Reports of Old Nick from the Paranormal Database

White Stag

Location: Corwen (Clwyd) - Llangar Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Fifteenth century?
Further Comments: Work on the church was hampered by the Devil stealing the construction materials each night. A wise man told the builders the only way to prevent this from happening was to find a new spot for the church, and that the area would be indicated by a white stag. Sure enough, after searching the local area, a white stag was found; the church was successfully built on the spot of the sighting with no further interruptions.

Moving Away

Location: Cottenham (Cambridgeshire) - Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Church still present
Further Comments: The church was due to be built in the middle of the village, but the Devil thought otherwise and moved the building materials to the outskirts.

The Devil's Shovel Full

Location: Coxbench (Derbyshire) - Circular earthworks
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: This barrow was created by Old Nick after he lost his shoe and was forced to drop a shovel full of earth with which he intended to dam the Derwent in Derby.

Thrown Missile

Location: Crail (Fife) - Blue Stone (outside the parish church)
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: The Devil, who may have been secretly involved in constructing the church, was angered by a local man. The Devil fled to the Isle of May and threw a stone at the church. The projectile fell short, and remains in place to this day.

Footballing Devil

Location: Crawshawbooth (Lancashire) - Village green
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Old Nick once popped up and started playing football on the Sabbath with a group of local lads - with his first kick of the ball it turned into a burning sphere, causing all the other players to flee!

Lost Bell

Location: Danbury (Essex) - Bell Common
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Having stolen the church bell, the Devil dropped it on the common, where it sunk into the earth. The bell is said to still be buried there today.

Monk Appears in Storm

Location: Danbury (Essex) - Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: 1492
Further Comments: During a violent storm, a ghostly monk appeared during Mass in the church. At the same time, the roof shook with such force that it was feared it would collapse. Some say the monk was actually the devil in disguise, and he returned a short time later, left scorch marks on the north door, and stole the bell.

Lost Souls

Location: Darlington (Durham) - Hell's Kettles, along the River Tees
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Kettles still present
Further Comments: Deep pools of water located along the river, the Hell's Kettles are said to contain the souls of sinners. Some report that these people (and animals in some cases) can be seen floating in the pools when they are clear.

The Devil does a Deal

Location: Dartmoor (Devon) - Tunhill Kistvaen
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: 21 October 1631
Further Comments: It was at this spot that Jan Reynolds was approached by a cloaked stranger who bought his soul from him for seven years of good luck. He agreed, and seven years later the Devil came and took his due, while Jan sat in Widecombe church.

Cloven Hoof Stranger

Location: Dartmoor (Devon) - Widecombe in the Moor
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: 1638
Further Comments: The Devil once appeared in the village, when a bolt of lightning came down from a stormy sky and started several fires. He had arrived to take the soul of Jan Reynolds, who had sold it to Old Nick several years previous. Jan and three others died in the church as it burnt.

Petrified Parson

Location: Dawlish (Devon) - Parson and Clerk Rock
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A priest and his clerk found themselves lost in the area and sought shelter in an old house where they found several men eating and drinking to excess. The two visitors joined in, only to soon realise that their host was Old Nick. They tried to escape but failed. One legend says that they were found dead on the rock that now bears their names, while other stories say that the pair were turned into the stone.

Cheated Devil

Location: Devil's Bridge (Dyfed) - Lowest of the three bridges
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This bridge was built by Old Nick by the request of an old woman who needed to cross the water to reach her livestock. In return for his work, the Devil demanded the soul of the first living creature to walk over it. The old woman was not prepared to lose her own soul, and sent her dog over the bridge first; the Devil left angry and empty handed.

Devil's Print

Location: Devil's Dyke (Sussex) - Hillfort, and general location
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: An ancient hillfort, Devil's Dyke is also rumoured to be a popular place with those who practice the dark arts; it was here a large footprint was found in the mud, twice the size of a human's, with only four toes. Legend has it that the Devil tried to dig a large trench across the land to flood all the churches in the region. He was foiled by either St Dunstan or a local man who made all the cockerels in the area crow, fooling the Devil into thinking dawn was arriving.

Black Tom of Scothill

Location: Dewsbury (Yorkshire) - Dewsbury Parish Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: 24 December (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Black Tom is the name of the bell in the church, and is toiled the number of the year (ie, in 2007 it was tolled 2007 times) to ensure Old Nick doesn't visit the village during the following twelve months. The last peal must occur on the stroke of midnight to ensure success.

Floating Stone

Location: Dollar (Clackmannanshire) - Deil's Cradle, found on a glen which was known as Burngrens
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: 31 October (reoccurring)
Further Comments: The stone was said to float in the air on Halloween's night, the Devil sitting upon it, surrounded by witches, until dawn breaks the following morn.

Meeting Place

Location: Drymen (Stirling) - Finnich Glen, aka Devil's Pulpit
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This site was were the Devil would stand and preach to his followers below.


Location: Duffield (Derbyshire) - St Alkmund's Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Church still standing
Further Comments: Wayne Anthony, in Haunted Derbyshire and the Peak District, writes that St Alkmund's was going to be constructed next to Duffield castle, but every night for a week the building materials were moved by the Devil to the current site where it was eventually erected.

Doom Park

Location: Earlsferry (Fife) - Unidentified park
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Early twentieth century?
Further Comments: A circular piece of ground, surrounded by a low wall, was said to have been left untouched by human hands as it belonged to the Devil. It was officially known as the Dome Park, but as it was believed that only evil people were buried there, it acquired the name Doom Park.

Missing Steeple

Location: East Bergholt (Suffolk) - Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Bell house still stands
Further Comments: Night after night, during the construction of the church, the Devil appeared and pulled down the steeple. The builders finally gave up building the tower, and the bells now stand in a little bell house.


Location: East Knoyle (Wiltshire) - Large stone (exact location unknown)
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A large stone in the village was once believed unmovable, and was said to have been dropped by the Devil as he constructed Stonehenge.

Dropped in a Huff

Location: East Worlington (Devon) - Standing Stone (private land)
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Stone still present
Further Comments: Angered after hearing the bells of East Worlington church, the Devil dropped this stone - some say it cannot be moved by man or beast. Four crosses decorate the stone.

Lady Elizabeth Hatton

Location: EC1N (Greater London) - Bleeding Heart Yard
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A bloody local legend says that Elizabeth was found here in 1626, her four limbs ripped from her body, but her heart still beating. She was last spotted dancing with a tall dark figure, said to be the devil.

Countless Stones

Location: Eccles (Kent) - Little (or Lower) Kit's Coty
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: A baker attempted to count the stones here, to prove that it was possible to number the so-called 'countless stones'. The baker placed a loaf of bread on each rock, and when complete, counted each one he took back. The Devil had other plans, however, and consumed several loaves before the baker had finished.

Entrance to Hell

Location: Eldon (Derbyshire) - Pothole near the village
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: This hole is said to be bottomless and used by Old Nick to travel between this world and his own.

Built by the Devil

Location: Exmoor (Devon) - Tarr Bridge (also known as Tarr Steps)
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Dating back thousands of years, it is said that a local giant made a wager with Old Nick that he couldn't build the bridge overnight. Old Nick promptly proved him wrong. The Devil then took ownership of the bridge, refusing to let anyone cross safely until a priest drove him away.

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