The Paranormal Database

Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

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Highway Robbers - Ghosts and Paranormal Places

Highwayman

Location: Little Marlow (Buckinghamshire) - Crooked Billet public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The phantom highwayman reputedly haunting this pub was hanged from a nearby tree.

Dick Turpin Followed by a Ghost

Location: Loughton (Essex) - Traps Hill
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Three times a year (exact dates not known)
Further Comments: Turpin's ghost is said to ride down this hill, with a ghost of an old woman hanging onto his back. In life, Turpin tortured her until the woman told him where she had hidden her money, so now her ghost haunts his.

Frozen Nick

Location: Lydmarsh (Somerset) - Windwhistle Hills
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The area is said to become so cold at night that the Devil died of exposure and is buried under a hill. Phantom highwaymen are also said to ride around the countryside.

Gilbert

Location: Marden (Kent) - Road to Hawkhurst
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 24 December (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Gilbert, an eighteenth century highwayman who tried to rob a coach, was stabbed to death by one of the occupants after she recognised him as having killed her brother. The killing drove the woman mad. The scene was said to silently re-enact every Christmas Eve.

Catherine Ferrers

Location: Markyate Cell (Hertfordshire) - Area around the priory
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Seen riding her horse topless, and swinging around tree branches without a stitch on, the ghost of the highwaywoman Ferrers continues to create the same amount of havoc that she did whilst living.

Rider

Location: Marlborough (Wiltshire) - General area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The ghost of a highwayman is said to ride through the area and is more likely to be heard than seen. The highwayman is said to follow the route of a road that no longer exists.

Hooves

Location: Millbrook (Bedfordshire) - Sandhill Close
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The sound of hooves heard passing this way are thought to belong to the horse of highwayman. Galloping Dick, who lived locally.

Headless Horseman

Location: Millbrook (Bedfordshire) - Station Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This phantom rider is named as local highwayman Galloping Dick.

Black Bess

Location: Milton Keynes (Buckinghamshire) - Woughton on the Green, general area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A former hideout of the highwayman Dick Turpin, both he and his dark horse were once seen in the area - even after his death.

Maxi Major

Location: Moretonhampstead (Devon) - Hunter's Hill?
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The highwayman Maxi Major is said to have been buried at Hunter's Hill - he can sometimes still be heard in the area.

Highwayman

Location: Moulton St Mary (Norfolk) - Callow (or Caller) Pit
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A phantom highwayman would ride around this pit before heading towards Callow Spong (where he would vanish). The pit itself was said to be the home of the Devil, who dragged one man down into its waters after he tried to fish out a chest of coins.

Humphrey Kynaston

Location: Nesscliffe (Shropshire) - Old Three Pigeons public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Wild Humphrey Kynaston, a local highwayman who robbed the rich to give to the poor, is said to haunt the building where his chair remains.

Highwayman

Location: Norwich (Norfolk) - Coachmaker's Arms public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: This phantom figure (who looks like Dick Turpin) stands at the end of the bar and has been mistaken for a paying customer. A ghostly woman in black reportedly walks down the staircase, while bottles and glasses fall from the shelves without just cause.

Landlord

Location: Nottingham (Nottinghamshire) - Salutation Inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Unable to handle the high pressure role of running the pub, this man took his own life - the shade remains in the building. A highwayman is also suspected of haunting the inn. The caves under the pub are said to be haunted by a young child, a four year old girl.

Highwayman

Location: Nuneaton (Warwickshire) - A5 between town and Hinckley (Watling Street)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1926 (wearing jacket), February 1927 (riding horseback), 1979 (shimmering shape)
Further Comments: One version of this tale says that, wearing a jacket with sleeves of bright crimson, a phantom highwayman lurks along the roadside with a tricorn hat hiding the face. Another version names him as Dick Turpin and when last seen, he was riding his horse across common land. It may have been the same entity seen in 1979, reduced to a shimmering shape which swirled like water. The witness to this event had an accident close to the spot later in the day.

Turpin

Location: NW3 (Greater London) - Hampstead Heath
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Sighting of ghosts unknown, cryptid in 2005
Further Comments: Thought to be none other than Dick Turpin, this ghostly robber rides around the heath after dusk on his jet black horse. Another ghost on the common land is that of a nineteenth century Member of Parliament who swallowed poison nearby; his shade can be identified by its top hat. A third ghost was spotted by two boys out playing on the heath, who reported watching an old man silently digging a hole. When they returned to the spot the following day, the ground was undisturbed. In 2005 a man encountered a large, winged creature which tore off the tops of trees as it passed overhead.

Turpin

Location: Outer London: Barnet (Greater London) - Finchley Common (no longer exists, now suburbs)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The common was said to be one of the homes of the ghostly form of Dick Turpin.

Turpin and Bess

Location: Outer London: Enfield (Greater London) - Rose & Crown public house, Clay Hill
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Reportedly once owned by Dick Turpin's grandfather, the highwayman would visit the family when he needed to hide out. His ghostly form has been seen both inside and out, sometimes accompanied by his horse.

Water Spirit

Location: Outer London: Hounslow (Greater London) - Bell Inn
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This destructive entity, named as a highwayman hanged just across the road, is blamed for turning on taps and smashing barrels of beer.

Dick

Location: Outer London: Hounslow (Surrey) - Hounslow Heath
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The highwayman Dick Turpin, who is just as busy in death as he was in life, is reported to haunt this area of urban heathland.

Highwayman

Location: Outer London: Hounslow (Surrey) - Hussars public house
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This figure, complete with dark clothing and cape, has been observed loitering around the cellar doors.

Highwayman

Location: Oxney Bottom (Kent) - Woodland in the area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Once the haunt of footpads and robbers, the woodland in the area is still said to be home to a ghostly highwayman prowling the area.

Dying Highwayman

Location: Pluckley (Kent) - Fright (aka Frith) Corner
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A large spectral tree has been seen here, together with a highwayman pinned to it by several swords. On other occasions, an elderly phantom woman is spotted; thought to be a gypsy woman, she accidentally set herself on fire with her pipe while sleeping.

Hanging Highwayman

Location: Pocklington (Yorkshire) - Feathers Inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This unpleasant footpad murdered a serving girl in the pub and was hanged in the yard for the crime. His shade still ensures he is not forgotten.

Tom King

Location: Rackenford (Devon) - The Stag Inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: The sound of hooves heard several times from outside the public house are thought to belong to the horse of Tom King, a local highwayman who once frequented the bar.

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