The Paranormal Database

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

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Ghosts & Folklore from Rivers & Waterways

Fiery Water Horse

Location: Carmarthen (Dyfed) - River Towy
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The water horse which would wait by the banks of the Towy had balls of fire for eyes, and breath of a furnace.

Jenny

Location: Chester (Cheshire) - River Dee, area known as The Groves
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Jenny is said to wait just beneath the waters of the river, waiting for an unsuspecting man to grab and drown. A Viking warrior is also reputed to haunt the same area.

Woman

Location: Chester Le Street (Durham) - River Wear
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown, likely to be early twentieth century
Further Comments: A ghostly woman was said to haunt this stretch of waterway.

Home of the Devil

Location: Cockerham (Lancashire) - River Cocker and surrounding area
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The Devil once decided that his new home would be here, but a cunning schoolteacher managed to drive him away after convincing Old Nick that he should try to make a rope of sand which could be used in the river without dissolving.

Yearly Sacrifice

Location: Combwich (Somerset) - River Parrett
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: To prevent the river from taking human life throughout the year, it is said that human sacrifices were once offered here. A phantom coach has also been seen, on the other side of the river to the village.

Drowning Entity

Location: Conon Bridge (Highland) - River Conon
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The river is home to an entity that has been known to grab people and hold them underwater until drowning occurs. Only then will the presence let the body float to the surface. Unrelated to this, the river is also home to the King Otter - this large water mammal is said to be much larger than its more common siblings, and if caught will grant a single wish in return for its freedom.

Giant Cow

Location: Corbridge (Northumberland) - Banks of the river
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1660
Further Comments: A giant skeleton, around 6.5 metres in length, which was dug up on the banks of the river was believed (at the time) to belong to a rather large cow.

Woman with Pram

Location: Corbridge (Northumberland) - River Tyne, heading towards Bardon Mill
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Summer, year unknown
Further Comments: Wearing a blue dress and pushing a pram, this phantom woman walks at speed along the bank of the river. Her presence is said to be around the spot the body of a woman and baby were found pre-twentieth century.

Amelia

Location: Cork (County Cork) - River Lee
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late nineteenth century
Further Comments: Amelia was murdered by her mistress on the banks of the Dee after being caught breaking into a cupboard full of expensive clothing. For several years after her death, Amelia was seen along the river on nights of the full moon, wearing black clothing and looking frightened.

Thomas Wildey

Location: Coventry (West Midlands) - Ryton Bridge, River Avon
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Wildey murdered a mother and her daughter, for which he was hanged. His body was then placed in a gibbet by the bridge where it slowly rotted for many years. The strange patchy mist that hangs over the area is blamed on the ghost of the man, as are the lights seen to flitter nearby.

Fish Stone

Location: Crickhowell (Powys) - Stone by the River Usk
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 23 June (or Midsummer Eve) (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Once a year this strangely shaped stone dives into the local river and goes for a swim.

Ship

Location: Croft Pasco Pool (Cornwall) - Body of Water
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This area is said to be haunted by a large white ship, with its sails bellowing, even if there is no wind.

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 the waters are clear.

Yeth Hounds

Location: Dartmoor (Devon) - General area of the River Tavy
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: These variants of the shuck, complete with hunters on horseback, have been heard running in this area after dark. Part of the Tavy is also said to be haunted by the ghost of Sir John Fitz, whose body was found in the river.

Calling Stones

Location: Dartmoor (Devon) - Rowbrook, Broad Stones, River Dart
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: It is said that the Dart takes one life a year, by gently calling the victim's name until they fall into the waters and drown.

Thrown Stone

Location: Denton (Lancashire) - River Tame
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Robin Hood, with the help of some fairies, threw a stone the 'size of a man' from the top of Werneth Low, which was later found within the waters of the River Tame.

Warning the Radcliffes'

Location: Derwentwater (Cumbria) - Shores of the lake
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Prior to a family disaster
Further Comments: A tall figure draped in grey robes is supposed to manifest to warn the Radcliff family of any impending disaster.

Parcel Carrier

Location: Dixton (Gwent) - Lanes between Rectory and river
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Weather dependent: Dark winter nights
Further Comments: A homeless man drowned in the river, and now walks around his final route, tightly clutching an unknown package. One version of the story says the man now has the head of a rat. The village is also haunted by a white dog, often seen alongside a strange man.

Oilliphéist

Location: Dowra, Cuilcagh Mountain (County Cavan) - Shannon River (source in Co Cavan)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Circa Fifth Century AD
Further Comments: Reputedly eel-like with a horse-like head, the Oilliphéist carved out the Shannon River while trying to escape Saint Patrick.

Fleming and Golding

Location: Drogheda (County Louth) - River Boyne
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: After Sir Edward Golding and his wife Elizabeth Fleming were drowned in a boating accident, their shades returned to haunt the area. The River Boyne is also the location where the tenth century poet Erard Mac Cossi threw a stone at a swan which fell to earth and transformed into a woman - she claimed to have been metamorphosed by demons who also travelled in the shape of swans.

Footsteps

Location: Dundee (Angus) - HMS Unicorn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Even though the ship never witnessed battle, there are stories of phantom footsteps being on board. The Paranormal Discovery team also report small objects have been thrown at investigators by unseen hands.

Charles Bonner

Location: Dundee (Angus) - The Discovery
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Bonner fell to his death from the crow's nest when the ship was sailing on the other side of the world, though his presence is still felt on the deck where his body landed.

Horse & Cart

Location: Durweston (Dorset) - River Stour
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The phantom horse and cart that haunts this area came into being after falling into the river and vanishing without trace.

Crying Man

Location: E1 (Greater London) - Thames close to Carron Wharf (closed 1974)
Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa 1897
Further Comments: After the discovery of a body in this section of river, for three consecutive nights two witnesses heard crying and could see a large man in the water, waving his arms before disappearing.

Swan Eater

Location: E20 (Greater London) - Lea River, Olympic Park
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Late 2011
Further Comments: Users of the river had reported the swan population had been dropping, and in November 2011 one witness watched a large Canada goose being quickly pulled under the water. Opinions of what is snacking on the local bird life have ranged from the exotic (escaped or released alligator or python) to the reasonable (catfish or pike).

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