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Tree & Woodland Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

The ghostly figure in his coach.

Cobb's Coach

Location: Adderbury (Oxfordshire) - Area around Cobb House (no longer standing)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: George Cobb left death bed instructions that four oaks on his land should never be felled - sure enough, soon after his death the alterations were made, and Cobb's ghost travelling in a funeral coach has been seen since.

Dog in Trees

Location: Algarkirk (Lincolnshire) - Church
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This large black hound was seen between three trees that grow close to the religious house.

Hanged People

Location: Antrim Town (County Antrim) - Corner of the Belmont Road and Cunningham Way
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A few residents to the area have spotted ghosts of people hanging from the trees. Local folklore says that this was once the location of a hanging tree.

William Nevison

Location: Ardwick le Street (Yorkshire) - Hanging Wood
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The woods were a popular place for Nevison, a highwayman, to lurk before riding out to commit his crimes. After he was hanged in York, his shade returned to the scene of better times.

Swimming Horseman

Location: Ashford (Kent) - Eastwell Park and Manor House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 20 June - Horseman seen (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Riding towards the park house, this phantom horseman veers off at the last minute and enters the nearby lake. A white lady haunts the house itself, seen by porters on the night shift. In the seventeenth century, the Earl of Winchelsea cut down several oak trees, bestowing a curse on his family which took the life of his wife and son shortly after.

Magic Oak Tree

Location: Ashwellthorpe (Norfolk) - Ashwellthorp Hall
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 16th Century
Further Comments: In an act of Christmas kindness, Sir Thomas Knyvet welcomed a stranger into his home. The visitor used a magic acorn to grow a huge oak tree in the great hall in front of his Christmas guests. They chopped down the tree but were unable to move the fallen trunk - the stranger had to summon two goslings who picked the tree up and took it into the grounds.

A floating, ghostly woman (public domain).

Drifting Woman

Location: Auchindinny (Lothian) - Firth Woods
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early twentieth century
Further Comments: The ghostly woman who walks between the trees drowned herself after her lover ran away. Another story says that her lover was murdered by the woman's jealous father.

A strange black dog standing in the mist.

Black Dog

Location: Ayr (Ayrshire) - Wooded areas
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Mistakenly blamed for killing a child, it was later discovered that the dog had tried to defend the infant from a wolf (a la Gelert). However, this hound was less forgiving for its former master's murderous action and now runs around the dense woodland.

A phantom rider in woodland.

Woman on Horseback

Location: Badby (Northamptonshire) - Woods
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Riding through the forest, the woman travels either to or from her former lover's home - on her last mortal journey her husband intercepted her mid-way and murdered the adulteress.

Talking Tree

Location: Bakewell (Derbyshire) - Hassop Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A beech tree once stood on the grounds of the hall and would whisper the name of the true owner of the property. The hall is also reputed to be haunted, though nothing is said of the form the ghost takes.

Fast Foot

Location: Bathgate Hills (Lothian) - Area known as Knock Forest
Type: Other
Date / Time: Circa October 1988
Further Comments: Seen running in the forest by a family, this man-like creature travelled at an estimated speed of seventy miles per hour and ran through a fence. One of the witnesses described it as being seven foot tall and like a photographic negative.

Gibbet and Those Hanged

Location: Beccles (Suffolk) - Park near Roos Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: An oak tree standing in the park is said to be haunted by those once hanged there (including a woman in white), and that the Devil can be summoned by walking around it six times.

Roos Hall, Beccles, Suffolk.

Headless Horseman

Location: Beccles (Suffolk) - Roos Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 24 December (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Christmas Eve is marked by the arrival of a coach driven by a headless horseman and pulled by headless horses, which travel down the driveway and vanish as they arrive by the front door. Close by, an oak known as Nelson's Tree is reputed to have been used as gallows and is haunted by a woman in white, although it is not clear whether she was one of the tree's victims or mourns the loss of a loved one. In the hall itself, on a wall within in a bedroom cupboard, there is the imprint of the Devil's hoof branded into solid brick. Finally, another tale says there is a window at the hall which always opens itself, even if locked shut.

Tall Hairy Creature

Location: Beckermet (Cumbria) - Nursery Woods
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 25 January 1998, most recently 1 October 2005
Further Comments: A man walking his dog reported seeing a man like creature, just over two metres tall and covered in ginger hair, drinking from a pond in the woods.


Location: Beckermet (Cumbria) - Nursery Woods
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: January 2006
Further Comments: A witness reported a large pterosaur-like creature flying above Nursery woods.

Four Legged Man

Location: Ben MacDhui ((aka Ben MacDhui, Mac Dhui)) (Highland) - Rothiemurchus Forest
Type: Other
Date / Time: First entity in the twentieth century, the latter reoccurring to mark tragedies
Further Comments: Several people report having been chased by an invisible entity that 'felt' semi-human but could be heard pounding along on hooves. All the witnesses reported feeling extreme terror. An entity known as the Bod-an-Dun also haunts the area, appearing to mark a tragedy in the Grant family that once owned the land.

Strange Trees

Location: Blackburn (Lancashire) - Billinge Wood - Crow Wood
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: Current
Further Comments: Sounds of footsteps can be heard in the wood, even when no one is immediately visible. The trees are also said to dramatically change appearance.

Black Dog

Location: Blickling (Norfolk) - Forests in area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 17th Century onwards
Further Comments: Not a shuck, but the ghost of a hunting dog mistakenly killed after the death of its master.

Tall Man in Old Fashioned Clothes

Location: Borley (Essex) - Churchyard
Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A group of ghost hunters from London reported seeing a man smoking an old fashioned pipe standing under a tree in the churchyard - one of them later discovering that the figure resembled Harry Bull - one time owner of the rectory. A phantom nun also walks the area, likely to be the same entity seen along Nun's Walk. A particularly nasty smell is said to emerge from a bush, although the reason for the stench cannot be ascertained.

Watcher Shuck

Location: Bourne (Lincolnshire) - Bourne Wood
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The large black dog here would observe people while they were in the wood, though the creature would never leave the protective tree line. The site may also be the haunt of a grey woman and a grey man.


Location: Bournemouth (Dorset) - Talbot Woods
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: A shadowy hound, said to be slightly larger than a Saint Bernard dog, was reported to haunt this area. The creature has never seen directly, but only from the corner of the eye. Scraping sounds resembling claws on concrete can also be heard, always behind the witness.


Location: Brading (Isle of Wight) - Tree (no longer standing) in the area once known as Centurion's Copse
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Nineteenth century
Further Comments: Treasure was said to have been buried under a tree which once stood here. The only way to uproot the tree and recover the hoard was to chain twelve white oxen to the tree and have the creatures uproot it. Unfortunately, the tree was chopped down, so the treasure remains hidden.

Gypsy and Horse

Location: Bramley (Surrey) - Chinhurst woods
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A crossroads near to the woods is haunted by an old female traveller and her aging mare.

Servant Girl

Location: Brede (Sussex) - Small hill next to Brede Place
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This young lady was hanged from a tree which has since been chopped down, though her presence remains.

Cedar of Lebanon

Location: Bretby (Derbyshire) - Tree on the grounds of Bretby Hospital (no longer standing)
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Tree felled during 1950s
Further Comments: A local legend said that Lady Margaret had thrown herself off a tower here, her blood spilling on the tree which resulted in it being cursed. If a branch fell from the tree, a member of the family residing at the hall was said to die soon after.

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