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Battlefield Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Major Smalman

Location: Church Stretton (Shropshire) - Area around Wilderhope Manor
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1965
Further Comments: A diehard Royalist, Smalman's home was once besieged by Roundheads during the latter stages of the Civil War. The Major managed to escape on horseback, his ghost now seen galloping away from the building. The manor itself is also reported to be haunted by both Smalman and the shade of a young girl who smiles at any witnesses before screaming horribly.

Mistaken Soldier

Location: Clonegal (County Carlow) - Huntingdon Castle (aka Clonegal Castle)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: His ghostly form since seen knocking on the castle door, this trooper was mistakenly killed by his own forces after returning to the castle disguised as an English Royalist soldier. The castle is also haunted by former owner Barbara St Lege, one of her maids, and several monks.

Headless Woman

Location: Corfe Castle (Dorset) - Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Woman and horse unknown, male figure seen 15 May 2009, around 01:30h
Further Comments: The terrifying shade of the headless woman walks the hill near the gateway of where this castle stands. The same ghost may also be responsible for the lights that flit across the ruins at night, or they could be caused by phantasmal Royalists that used the castle in 1643. The sound of a galloping phantom horse has been heard at the bottom of the castle hill. A cloaked figure with a brown floppy hat was observed by a local man in 2009 while he was picking worms for fishing. The figure was in the middle of a field but vanished after the witness took his eyes off the man for a few seconds.

Sounds of Battle

Location: Cotgrave (Nottinghamshire) - Colston Gate, open road flanked by fields
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: 10 February 1994, 02:00h
Further Comments: Two friends were walking through the area on a cold frosty morning. There was a sudden gust of wind, followed by the sounds of shouting, horses galloping, and the clash of swords. Both witnesses were scared by their encounter.

WW2 Soldiers

Location: Cruden Bay (Aberdeenshire) - Slains Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Soldiers dressed in Second World War uniform have been seen around the castle area, and the site is also said to be haunted by a horse and carriage. As a side note, Bram Stoker is said to have been partly inspired to write Dracula after seeing the castle while staying at Cruden Bay.


Location: Culloden (Highland) - Site of battle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Horses heard 2006
Further Comments: The single, solitary highlander seen walking on the site is thought to be one of the many killed by English soldiers on 16 April 1746. He has also been observed lying on top of a burial mound. Sorche Nic Leodhas writes that one person has seen the entire battle re-fought, 150 years after the actual event, while in 2006 a family heard horse's hooves but could see nothing.


Location: Dartmoor (Devon) - Cadover Bridge
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The sound of battle can be heard near the bridge, the screams of the dying and injured, and the clash of sword and shield.

Phantom Army

Location: Deeside (Clwyd) - Ewloe Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Weather Dependent: Stormy weather
Further Comments: Aside from the occasional ghostly echo of marching soldiers, a soft singing can be heard as the rain and wind knock against the castle.

Sounds of a Running Battle

Location: Derby (Derbyshire) - Alvaston area, near the castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Three girls reported listening to the sounds of a small battle here in the early twentieth century - gunfire, galloping horses, and men shouting. The sounds were also heard by four people out late at night during the 1980s.

Runaway Horses

Location: Devizes (Wiltshire) - Oliver's Castle, aka Roundway Castle, aka Rundaway Castle - Bloody Ditch
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: It is said eight hundred men died at the Battle of Roundway Hill in 1643, after a battlefield manoeuvre which trapped cavalry in a slopped area. The men and horses were slaughtered, and since the battle ghostly horses have been seen galloping around the area. A headless ghost was once also said to walk the area, possibly linked to a barrow on the site, as is the phantom hound which drags a chain from its neck.

Battlefield Noises

Location: Downham Market (Norfolk) - Moat Farm
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late 1800s
Further Comments: Reports at the end of the nineteenth century claimed that screams and shouting echoed across the fields around moat farm, and that a spooky mist often shrouded the area.

Troops Checking their Dead

Location: Dunnichen (Angus) - Battlefield of Nechtanesmere
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: January 1950
Further Comments: A woman walking home one night saw men dressed in old clothing moving around the area, searching the corpses which lay at their feet.

Marching Army

Location: Dunster (Somerset) - Conygar Hill - Dunster castle
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: July 1951
Further Comments: A small group of tourists visiting the castle perched on top of a hill heard a large number of marching people approach their location, though nothing could be seen - the noise grew so loud that they all ran from the scene, stopping only once they reached the base of the hill.

Fighting Armies

Location: East Lulworth (Dorset) - Flower's Barrow and Grange Hill
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: December, during wartime
Further Comments: The ghostly figures found here when Britain is at war generate screams, horses and the clashing of swords as they move over the hills overlooking the coast. The apparitions are said to have last appeared during the Second World War.

Streaking Irishmen

Location: East Stoke (Nottinghamshire) - Area around the river
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Thought to be mercenaries from the War of the Roses, these ghostly troops joined the losing side and were stripped and humiliated for their efforts.

Battle of Edgehill Repeating

Location: Edgehill (Warwickshire) - Kineton
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: 23 October (reoccurring), also 23 December 1642, lasting several nights
Further Comments: A bloody battle of the English Civil War, the fighting repeated itself for several successive nights in 1642, in front of dozens of witnesses. More recently, sounds of battle have been reported, though the visuals are not forthcoming. The date of the more recent battle sounds is said to be 23 October.

Hessian Cavalry

Location: Foulkesmill, Horetown (County Wexford) - Battle of Horetown site and Green Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 20 June (reoccurring)
Further Comments: The entire Battle of Horetown is replayed on its anniversary, while a lone Hessian trooper is seen standing by a tree along Green Road where his is thought to be buried.

British Defeat

Location: Gisleham (Suffolk) - Bloodmoor Hill
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The sounds of battle have been reported here. Local legend speaks of an engagement between Romano-British and Angle soldiers - the British were totally routed and slaughtered.


Location: Glen Shiel (Highland) - General area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A group of men have reportedly been observed fighting with sword and gun.

Alexander MacAllister

Location: Glenlivet (Moray) - Altnachoylachan Hill
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 03 October (reoccurring)
Further Comments: The site of a battle in 1594 between the troops of George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly and Francis Hay, 9th Earl of Erroll, is haunted by the headless ghost of MacAllister riding on horseback - he fought briefly, although was decapitated by the first cannon shot.

Marching Soldiers

Location: Glossop (Derbyshire) - Road between Glossop and Hayfield
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early twentieth century?
Further Comments: A small group of spectral soldiers were once said to march between Glossop and Hayfield, their presence marked by beating drums.


Location: Gosport (Hampshire) - Fort Brockhurst
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The phantom whistling and occasional footsteps are thought to belong to a sergeant major that still patrols the grounds of this fortified building.

Civil War Skirmish

Location: Grafton Regis (Northamptonshire) - Exact location not known
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: 23 December 1943
Further Comments: Six workers claimed they heard charging horses, the clash of swords, and gunfire, though could see nothing strange. A local historian said that a small fight had happened nearby, between Roundheads and Cavaliers.

Fighting Galleons

Location: Great Yarmouth (Norfolk) - Breydon Water
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Varies: 11 July, 14 September (reoccurring)
Further Comments: The first set of ships to haunt this area is said to be a fleet of galleons heading towards Burgh Castle. The second is a battle between a pirate ship and two smaller vessels.


Location: Hardknott Pass (Cumbria) - Roman Fort
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 08 May 2007, 12:30h
Further Comments: While exploring the empty ruins of the Roman Fort, two people heard marching. One of the couple reported it sounded like boots on a hard surface, even though the area is covered in grass. The footsteps lasted no more than twenty seconds before fading away.

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