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Folklore of Standing Stones & Circles

Banished Spirit

Location: Aldwark (Yorkshire) - Roads close to the stone known as the Conjuring Stone, close to Chapel-garth (currently on grounds of Aldwark Manor)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A ghost which haunted the roads around this area would terrify the locals after dark, so a holy man was dispatched to banish the entity. After a time, the ghost was tied to a large rock which was designated the Conjuring Stone.

Dancing Ladies

Location: Alport (Derbyshire) - Nine Stones
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: This set of four (not actually nine) stones, also called the Grey Ladies, was thought to come alive at midnight (or midday) and dance on the nearby moor. Others have said that hundreds of fairies come to the stones to dance and party.


Location: Amlwch (Gwynedd) - Stone circle between village & St Ellian Church
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A phantom hound was said to haunt this prehistoric site - it beat up a local preacher a couple of times before moving on to a further plane of existence.

Dragon Stone

Location: Anwick (Lincolnshire) - Drake Stone, currently in the churchyard
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: 1651, stone still present
Further Comments: A farmer watched in horror as his horses and plough were sucked underground in the middle of a field - a few seconds later a large dragon emerged and flew off. The stone that remains today is said to cover the dragon's treasure. Some believe the dragon was in fact Satan.


Location: Arbor Low (Derbyshire) - Arbor Low Stone Circle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Locals talk of a boggart that haunts the area of the circle - whomever spends time here after dark risks upsetting the entity.

Only at Dawn

Location: Ashover (Derbyshire) - The Turning Stone
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Stone still present
Further Comments: At certain times of the year (but when, no one knows for certain) this large stone turns itself over when the cockerel crows.

Horse and Rider

Location: Athlone (County Westmeath) - Clonfinlough Stone
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Stone still present
Further Comments: This stone is carved with scenes which could depict an ancient battle. One legend says that at certain times of the year a horseman manifests and gallops around it. Another story states that a man named Michael will one day find two pots of gold under the stone.

The standing stones of Avebury, Wiltshire.

The Haunt

Location: Avebury (Wiltshire) - Buildings constructed from Avebury stone
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Houses constructed from stones mined locally are thought to be unlucky and subjected to poltergeist-like activity from an entity known as 'The Haunt'.

The diamond shaped stone in Avebury, Wiltshire.

Crossing the Road

Location: Avebury (Wiltshire) - Diamond shaped stone (outer ring) by the roadside
Type: Other
Date / Time: Stone still present
Further Comments: This large stone is reputed to cross the road at midnight.

The Standing Stones across Avebury, Wiltshire.

Angry Stones

Location: Avebury (Wiltshire) - Standing Stones
Type: Other
Date / Time: Stories from fourteenth Century onwards? Fayre observed during First World War
Further Comments: Locals claim that these stones have an air of ill luck surrounding them, with several bizarre accidents occurring in their presence. At night, phantom singing has been heard going from the circles. Another person claims to have seen a medieval fayre in progress while she stood in the circle.


Location: Avening (Gloucestershire) - Long Stone (Hampton Fields) and Tingle Stone
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Midnight (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Both these stones are said to run around their fields as the clock strikes midnight.

Granite Stones

Location: Aviemore (Highland) - Rothiemurchus churchyard
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Still present?
Further Comments: A legend says that five cylinder shaped stones mark the spot where the last of the Comyns family is buried. The stones vanish and reappear depending on how the House of Rothiemurchus is fairing, but if moved or taken by a human hand, that person is doomed to die. One story says the stones where stolen by a group of people who were later found dead in a car, the stones discovered standing upright nearby.

Wishing Stone

Location: Avoca (County Wicklow) - Motto Stone
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: If a person can walk around the stone three times without thinking of a goat, their wish is granted!

Piece of Paper

Location: Ballafletcher (Isle of Man) - Stone cross in the area (current status not known)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A stone cross could not be moved by man or team of horses, and while a large group stood around the monument debating how to try to shift it, an old man told a young boy to reach under the rock. The boy did so, flipped the stone over, and pulled out a piece of paper which instructed the group to fear God and obey priests. Copies of the text were shared over the island and were said to bestow great fortune and protection from witches.

Devil's Apron String

Location: Ballingry (Fife) - Rocks in the area
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: While on a mission to fill the loch with stones, the Devil, carrying the boulders in his apron, had a mishap; the apron string broke, the rocks scattering themselves over the landscape. The Devil gave up and returned home.


Location: Ballyconnell (County Leitrim) - Rocks close to Dara Fort
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2009
Further Comments: The area surrounding two circular rocks with a third placed on top is reputedly haunted.

Money Stone

Location: Bandon (County Cork) - Monerone area
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A rock in the centre of the road was known locally as the Money Stone and according to legend was used to mark the location of buried treasure. People had tried to dig up the hoard but were always scared off by a supernatural presence.

Thrown Objects

Location: Barrasford (Northumberland) - Stones (no longer standing)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Last stone removed nineteenth century
Further Comments: Before being removed by farmers, the standing stones which stood around the area were thought to have been thrown by giants engaged in combat.

Rolling Stone

Location: Barrow (Suffolk) - Stone in pavement near village school
Type: Legend
Date / Time: New Year's Eve (Reoccurring)
Further Comments: A stone set into the pavement here is reported to mark the spot where a highwayman was hanged. Once a year the stone turns itself over on the stroke of midnight.

Turning Rock

Location: Baslow Edge (Derbyshire) - The Eagle Stone
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Stone still present
Further Comments: Wayne Anthony, in Haunted Derbyshire and the Peak District, writes that this large rock will sometimes slowly turn itself over when it hears the cock crow.


Location: Batcombe (Dorset) - Cross Hand Stone (aka Cross in Hand stone), Batcombe Down
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A felon was tortured on this stone and his bones eventually buried beneath it. The ghost of the man is said to make an occasional appearance. A priest is also have said to have witnessed a pillar of fire at this site.

Fighting Giants

Location: Bennachie (Aberdeenshire) - Standing Stone
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Stone still present
Further Comments: A monolith found here features a larger-than-life handprint and footprint - it is said that the prints belong to two giants who fought over the love of a woman.

Wishing Stone

Location: Bettiscombe (Dorset) - Sliding Hill
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 23 June (or Midsummer Eve) and following day (reoccurring)
Further Comments: The hill is said to be named after a magical stone that grants wishes. Once a year, on Midsummer Eve, the stone propels down the hill, before returning the following day.

Giant's Stone

Location: Birmingham (West Midlands) - Warstones Lane
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Still present?
Further Comments: A giant who lived at Birmingham castle was killed when the Giant of Dudley threw a stone at him (launched from Dudley!). The rock also demolished the castle. The stone was erected as a memento, and the lane named after the War Stone used as a weapon. The rock is now on a plinth within the cemetery.

Walking Stone

Location: Birsay (Orkney) - Standing Stone in the area
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 31 December (reoccurring)
Further Comments: At the stroke of midnight on Hogmanay, this stone would walk down to Birsay loch and would briefly dip its head into the water before moving back to its original location. Anyone foolish enough to try to observe the stone at this time would be found dead the following morning, laying by the base of the stone.

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