Haunted Trees and other Myths & Legends of the Forest

 
 


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.


 
 


Outlined Lady

Location: Amesbury (Wiltshire) - Lords Walk, along London Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Winter 1985/1986
Further Comments: This petite phantom lady, who was grey but with a brighter outline, was observed by two friends taking a shortcut through the woods - they ran away from the figure, turning to look back only to see the woman had vanished.


 
 


Hanged People

Location: Antrim Town (County Antrim) - Corner of the Belmont Road and Cunningham Way
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A number of 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.


 
 


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 cropped down the tree, but were unable to move it - the stranger had to summon two goslings who picked the tree up for them and took it into the grounds.


 
 


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.


 
 


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.


 
 


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: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Seen running in the forest by a family, this man-like creature travelled at an estimated speed of 70 miles per hour.


 
 


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.


 
 


Pterosaur?

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.


 
 


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.


 
 


Four Legged Man

Location: Ben MacDhui (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) - Church
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 on 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.


 
 


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.


 
 


Shadows

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.


 
 


Treasure

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 cropped 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 cropped down, though her presence remains.


 
 


Tall Man in Black

Location: Brightling (Sussex) - Wooded area north of Darvell reservoir
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1996
Further Comments: This spooky figure is reportedly the ghost of a local drug dealer who was murdered in the middle of the twentieth century.


 
 


Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Location: Bristol (Somerset) - Leigh Woods
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Brunel Unknown, teenager's experience in 2014
Further Comments: Brunel's shade has been reported near the site of the suspension bridge - he designed the object, but died before it became operational. In 2014 it was reported that two teenagers who spent the night in the woods had heard a child's voice, and had photographed a ghostly figure (although the photographic image could have been pareidolia).


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