A15 Lincolnshire Road Ghost (Ruskington/Sleaford)

ghughesarch

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The OS 1:25,000 map does mark the road as going through the "medieval village of Dunsby (site of)" though, at the point where it's roughly level with Ruskington.
Came across this footnote in George Oliver, “History of the Holy Trinity Guild at Sleaford, with an Account of Its Miracle Plays, Religious Mysteries, and Shows, As Practised in the Fifteenth Century”, 1837. P20, fn44:

"Gibson in his additions to Camden [ie the 1695 edition of Camden’s “Britannia”] mentions a hall at Dunsby, ''three miles north of Sleaford;" but all tradition of such a building is lost among the inhabitants of this district, except that the site had the reputation of being haunted, and the ghost was designated by the familiar soubriquet of " Dicky Dunsby." "

The site of Dunsby is right at the junction of the A15 with the road for Ruskington. It is a scheduled ancient monument and the description is at this link: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1018395

Interesting that there is a record, 150+ years earlier than the This Morning flap, of a tradition that the site was haunted.
 

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ghughesarch

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A bit more, this time from Edward Trollope, Sleaford and the Wapentakes of Flaxwell and Aswardhurn in the County of Lincoln, 1872

In latter times it was men's purses rather than their lives that were in great danger on the heath through highwaymen, by which it was infested. Even in the last century the Windmill House in the parish of Leasingham, was a favourite place of assemblage for these gentlemen of the road as they were termed, and a little hollow on the Lincoln road in Dunsby parish, now marked by a row of cottages*, was the most common scene of attack upon travellers.

During the Civil Wars some Parliamentary troops, probably the regiment raised by Colonel King, of Ashby, took possession of the place, felled the timber round it, and left it in a half ruined condition, after which time it was never again inhabited, and the materials of the old manor house were gradually removed, so that now only portions of the garden wall and some mounds mark the site where it once stood, close to the eastern verge of the road between Sleaford and Lincoln ; while the houses around it and the chapel have also quite disappeared. The site of this old hall afforded covert for marauders on the Heath during the last century, and perhaps from the unpleasant name of the last family who occupied it a tradition survives in connexion with it : that through the rash and impious vow of the last lady of the Death family, who was long childless, she at last did give birth to a queer little son, who after awhile was suddenly whisked away from his nurse's lap and disappeared up the chimney in the midst of more than ordinary smoke !


*This can only be the cottages marked on old OS maps as "Dunsby Houses" and now a single dwelling called Dunsby House, on the west side of the road opposite the site of the village.
 

Waymarker

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Christine Lee described her father's experience, evidently some time ago, when he worked at the RAF base at Cranwell. He and some friends decided one night to cut across the fields on their return to barracks when "this white ghostly figure came from up high [and] put his hand out as if to say ‘don’t go’." Christine's father grabbed his companions and led them away, taking the long way back to the barracks.
Christine said he had believed the fields may have been marshy or boggy, and that by the figure's gesture they were being warned of the danger.
At a later date, he apparently saw it again, whilst driving, and turned off to avoid the A15.
For what it's worth I might as well toss my "Cranwell" experience into the playpen too-

About 25 years ago I was doing a night bicycle ride from the Lincolnshire coast to my home in Leicester, and as I cycled past the Cranwell RAF base at about 2 in the morning on a warm summers night, the street lights on the left went out one by one as I passed them, then came back on when I got further down the road!
In fact I stopped the bike and looked around thinking somebody was pranking me or something but couldn't see a soul, and there was no traffic around. I continued on my way scratching my head, occasionally looking back to see if the lights had gone out but no, they were all shining merrily away quite normally.
Below is a current google pic of the scene, three of the rogue lights are visible on the left, and there are more at intervals down the road for about another half mile-


Anybody got any theories? I've heard that lights and electrical gadgets in peoples homes sometimes go haywire due to poltergeist activity, but I'm not a poltergeist, honest.
 

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You're a SLIder (Street Light Interferer) there is a thread about them.
Thanks, I couldn't find the thread but I found this on the net-

SLIders and the Streetlight Phenomenon
by Stephen Wagner
Updated May 11, 2017
The phenomenon that is known as street lamp interference, or SLI, is possibly a psychic event that is just beginning to be recognized and studied. Like most phenomena of this type, the evidence is almost exclusively anecdotal.
Typically, a person who has this effect on streetlights -- also known as a SLIder -- finds that the light switches on or off when he or she walks or drives beneath it.
https://www.thoughtco.com/sliders-and-streetlight-phenomenon-2596547
 

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This is a Most Excellent Thread, Curious Ident. The amount of work you've put into it is phenomenal, thank you. I'm just on page 2, will have to catch up on the rest later, but it's very interesting. I have heard of this road ghost before but didn't know much about it (and didn't see the Richard and Judy programme about it) so it's nice to read some more information on it. :)
 

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Just a thought- lots of RAF pilots who trained at Cranwell were killed in WW2, so perhaps their collective "psychic energy echoes" are still sloshing around the area in some way, I don't know.
 

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Looking back over this at the weekend something has dawned on me.

We don't actually know for certain which turnoff Kevin Whelan was talking about for his experience. In his original call into This Morning Kevin was travelling along the A15 from Lincoln to Sleaford. So roughly South on the A15.

His original description of where that was on the road was as follows:

RM: And where exactly is it on the road?

KW: On the road, where you come to a very very tight bend, and it’s just before. There’s a turn-off left to Ruskington, and a turn-off right to Cranwell -

RM: Right to Cranwell - the RAF place?

KW: That’s right, yeah. And just before the turn-off to Ruskington, there’s a house on the right and it happened between the very very sharp bend and the house on the right.
A page ago I posted a link to the following Ruskington turn off from the A15:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.0...4!1sZmO03eCflGMhBUHJGJ-fzQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

oldturnleft.png


Which did seem to largely match up with the images in the This Morning footage. A left hand turn off towards Ruskington. If you travel that road you will eventually hit the edge of Ruskington, near Westcliffe Road.

oldturnleftmap.png


It's only a short distance beyond a right hand turn which (in a very roundabout fashion) would take you in a very rough direction towards Cranwell. But it's by no means direct. It actually takes you out towards a quarry. If you wanted to go to Cranwell itself you'd very much need to take a detour.

And then there is also no house on the right hand side of the road. If you're travelling from Lincoln to Sleaford down that stretch there isn't really any house visible on current Google maps of this stretch on that side of the road before you reach that junction. Granted these are photo images from May 2011. A house may well have been demolished at some point in almost 20 years. But still. That does make me wonder a lot about whether we have got the right turn off.

The house is important. Because Sarah Martin also mentioned it.

SM: No. I was coming from Lincoln - we’d seen the pictures - coming to Cranwell where we live, and on that particular corner near the house that Kevin said I was driving along there and this black silhouette figure of a man, I would think, ran out from the ditch and went straight in front of the car as though...obviously, y’know we should have hit it, but it wasn’t -
Sarah was living in Cranwell at the time. And it got me thinking. Should we actually be looking at the next junction along. Because only a short distance down the road we have a junction with both a turn left leading directly into Ruskington and a turn right leading into Cranwell.

Between the junction This Morning seemed to believe they had down correct, and the next, there IS a big house on the right hand side of the road:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.0...4!1sTt5CraVTxoj0RFG4YdJqYw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656


The next junction down the A15 is this one:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.0...4!1sME97olEOusaVrDv36azOrw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

alternativeturningstreetview.png


You can't actually streetview your way into Cranwell on that road via Google Maps. Given that the village basically becomes RAF Cranwell at the far end of that road I suppose that shouldn't be too surprising... :)

alternativeturning.png


And there's another house at that junction. Yes. It's not on the right hand side of the road. The A15 remains a very desolate road. There aren't many. :)
 
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CuriousIdent

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Came across this footnote in George Oliver, “History of the Holy Trinity Guild at Sleaford, with an Account of Its Miracle Plays, Religious Mysteries, and Shows, As Practised in the Fifteenth Century”, 1837. P20, fn44:

"Gibson in his additions to Camden [ie the 1695 edition of Camden’s “Britannia”] mentions a hall at Dunsby, ''three miles north of Sleaford;" but all tradition of such a building is lost among the inhabitants of this district, except that the site had the reputation of being haunted, and the ghost was designated by the familiar soubriquet of " Dicky Dunsby." "

The site of Dunsby is right at the junction of the A15 with the road for Ruskington. It is a scheduled ancient monument and the description is at this link: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1018395

Interesting that there is a record, 150+ years earlier than the This Morning flap, of a tradition that the site was haunted.

Aside from my own debate above on whether we do/do not have the correct junction highlighted, you *could* be onto something here ghughesarch. Really. :) Regardless of which junction Kevin Whelan had his experience nearest to. Let me continue...

The Ordnance Survey map on the link above provides the following diagram for the placing of the site for the medieval village of Dunsby:

OSdunsby.png


That green line in the middle of the image is the A15. running right alongside where the village once stood.

But where exactly on the A15 is that?

Well, we have two landmarks we can work off. The OS map lists Dale Farm towards the upper right hands side of that image. And Dunsby House, opposite where the village of Dunsby once was.

And we can find both of those on modern maps. A quick google maps search for Dale Farm puts it in proper perspective. Because Dale Farm is along the very road which This Morning believed to be the correct Ruskington turnoff!

moderndaydunsby.png


But it gets more interesting than that...

What about Dunsby House? Well, Dunsby House can be found here:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.0...4!1sTt5CraVTxoj0RFG4YdJqYw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

dunsbyhouse.png


Anybody who read my previous post relating to the second junction will be familiar with this house. Because if you were travelling between Lincoln and Sleaford this would be the the last house on the right hand side of the A15 before you reached the Ruskington and Cranwell junction.

I kid not.

I even found a Zoopla listing for it! https://www.zoopla.co.uk/property/dunsby-house/dunsby-st-andrews/sleaford/ng34-8rj/16346926

My gut says to me that this is almost certainly the house which Kevin Whelan and Sarah Martin both passed shortly before their experiences.

Good work, ghughesarch.
 

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I've just stumbled across this thread (and forum) and remember the watching the "This Morning" coverage of this unfold when I lived in Lincolnshire in my teens, it really struck a chord and I've often thought of it (with a shudder) since.

Sorry to resurrect this, I know that Temple Bruer has been mentioned but I was unaware of how close its site is to these reported events, it still stands in a farm yard only a few hundred yards to the West of the A15 down Temple Rd, just to the North of the Ruskington turn off.

There was an excavation of this Templar site in the 1830's and the findings were disturbing to say the least. If there were ever to be tormented souls, then this area would be the place....

Quote below from Rev Dr George Oliver Temple Brewer and its Knights

"I would describe the in the caverns of Temple Bruer of Temple Bruer, when I excavated in 1833.....
Some of the vaults were appropriated to a purpose that is too revolting to allude to, In one of them a niche or cell was discovered which had been neatly walled up; and within it a niche or a cell was discovered which had been carefully walled up ; and within it the skeleton of a man, who appears to have died in a sitting posture, for his head and arms were found were found hanging between his legs, and the back bowed forward. Immurement was not an uncommon punishment in these places; and an instance of it was discovered a century ago, in one of the walls at Thornton Abbey. Another skeleton of an aged man was found in these dungeons, with only a tooth in his head. His body seems to have been thrown down, as if from a trap door; for he lay doubled up ; and in the fore part of his skull were two holes which had evidently been produced by violence. (In the corner of one of these vaults , I found plain indications of burning. The wall stones had assumed the colour of brick, and great numbers number of cinders were mixed with human sculls and bones, all of which had been submitted to the operation of fire, and some of them were perfectly calcined. This horrible cavern had been closed up with masonry.) Underneath the cloisters, between the church and the tower, many human bones were discovered which appear to have been thrown together in the utmost confusion and lying at different depths; some being very near the surface . Amongst these were the skeleton of a very young child, ; and the skull of an adult, with a round hole in the upper part, into which a little finger might be inserted, and which was probably the cause of death. Several large square stones were taken up were taken up with rings attached; and altogether the ruins exhibited signs of violence. . We can scarcely forebear entertaining the opinion that these are the remains of unhappy people who had been confined in the dungeons of the preceptory, for the Templars were forever at feud with their neighbours; and they also possessed the powers of executing criminals within their own liberties...."

A Selection of Papers relative to the County of Lincoln, read before the Lincolnshire Topographical Society, 1841,1842. Lincoln 1843 pp.82-3
 
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Dirtynidge

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That's fascinating. Oh if only the bodies had been discovered by modern archaeologists so we could have a bit more data...!
If only indeed.

There was a later excavation done on the site in 1907, the intention of which seemed to be to try and discredit the 1833 excavation. They certainly didnt report finding evidence of the horrors reported by Reverend Oliver.
 

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Aside from my own debate above on whether we do/do not have the correct junction highlighted, you *could* be onto something here ghughesarch. Really. :) Regardless of which junction Kevin Whelan had his experience nearest to. Let me continue...

The Ordnance Survey map on the link above provides the following diagram for the placing of the site for the medieval village of Dunsby:

View attachment 10022

That green line in the middle of the image is the A15. running right alongside where the village once stood.

But where exactly on the A15 is that?

Well, we have two landmarks we can work off. The OS map lists Dale Farm towards the upper right hands side of that image. And Dunsby House, opposite where the village of Dunsby once was.

And we can find both of those on modern maps. A quick google maps search for Dale Farm puts it in proper perspective. Because Dale Farm is along the very road which This Morning believed to be the correct Ruskington turnoff!

View attachment 10023

But it gets more interesting than that...

What about Dunsby House? Well, Dunsby House can be found here:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.0...4!1sTt5CraVTxoj0RFG4YdJqYw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

View attachment 10024

Anybody who read my previous post relating to the second junction will be familiar with this house. Because if you were travelling between Lincoln and Sleaford this would be the the last house on the right hand side of the A15 before you reached the Ruskington and Cranwell junction.

I kid not.

I even found a Zoopla listing for it! https://www.zoopla.co.uk/property/dunsby-house/dunsby-st-andrews/sleaford/ng34-8rj/16346926

My gut says to me that this is almost certainly the house which Kevin Whelan and Sarah Martin both passed shortly before their experiences.

Good work, ghughesarch.
A while ago l linked to the National Library of Scotland’s digitised map collection. This allows one to select maps from two different eras and overlay one atop the other, then vary the transparency of said overlay. This allows the explorer to “ travel through time”.

Might this be of some assistance?

maximus otter
 

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I've just stumbled across this thread (and forum) and remember the watching the "This Morning" coverage of this unfold when I lived in Lincolnshire in my teens, it really struck a chord and I've often thought of it (with a shudder) since.

Sorry to resurrect this, I know that Temple Bruer has been mentioned but I was unaware of how close its site is to these reported events, it still stands in a farm yard only a few hundred yards to the West of the A15 down Temple Rd, just to the North of the Ruskington turn off.

There was an excavation of this Templar site in the 1830's and the findings were disturbing to say the least. If there were ever to be tormented souls, then this area would be the place....

Quote below from Rev Dr George Oliver Temple Brewer and its Knights

"I would describe the in the caverns of Temple Bruer of Temple Bruer, when I excavated in 1833.....
Some of the vaults were appropriated to a purpose that is too revolting to allude to, In one of them a niche or cell was discovered which had been neatly walled up; and within it a niche or a cell was discovered which had been carefully walled up ; and within it the skeleton of a man, who appears to have died in a sitting posture, for his head and arms were found were found hanging between his legs, and the back bowed forward. Immurement was not an uncommon punishment in these places; and an instance of it was discovered a century ago, in one of the walls at Thornton Abbey. Another skeleton of an aged man was found in these dungeons, with only a tooth in his head. His body seems to have been thrown down, as if from a trap door; for he lay doubled up ; and in the fore part of his skull were two holes which had evidently been produced by violence. (In the corner of one of these vaults , I found plain indications of burning. The wall stones had assumed the colour of brick, and great numbers number of cinders were mixed with human sculls and bones, all of which had been submitted to the operation of fire, and some of them were perfectly calcined. This horrible cavern had been closed up with masonry.) Underneath the cloisters, between the church and the tower, many human bones were discovered which appear to have been thrown together in the utmost confusion and lying at different depths; some being very near the surface . Amongst these were the skeleton of a very young child, ; and the skull of an adult, with a round hole in the upper part, into which a little finger might be inserted, and which was probably the cause of death. Several large square stones were taken up were taken up with rings attached; and altogether the ruins exhibited signs of violence. . We can scarcely forebear entertaining the opinion that these are the remains of unhappy people who had been confined in the dungeons of the preceptory, for the Templars were forever at feud with their neighbours; and they also possessed the powers of executing criminals within their own liberties...."

A Selection of Papers relative to the County of Lincoln, read before the Lincolnshire Topographical Society, 1841,1842. Lincoln 1843 pp.82-3

Interesting. And thanks for sharing Dirtynidge.

We are talking relatively close to a former Templar site. And if, as these comments suggest, parts of that site were used for some kind of oubliette style prison? Then yes, if one were to postulate the concept of restless tortured souls clinging on to the mortal world after a really quite unpleasant death?

This would likely tick your boxes. :)

The only reason I have previously dodged away from the Templar side of things is that generally when you start looking along those lines it's only a matter of time before you start hitting upon the subject of Ley Lines between Templar sites. And that's am area either worthy of much more investigation than I have time to dedicate, or potential for a lot of pseudo-science to get thrown into the mix.

As a side note, Dirtynidge? If you were local to the area in your teens dd you ever travel this road? Or know of anybody who had their own story to tell about this road?
 
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CuriousIdent

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A while ago l linked to the National Library of Scotland’s digitised map collection. This allows one to select maps from two different eras and overlay one atop the other, then vary the transparency of said overlay. This allows the explorer to “ travel through time”.

Might this be of some assistance?

maximus otter

I suppose it could be. In as much as it might give us more detail of Dunsby village from earlier periods. My gut says that this has to be area of these sightings. Between Dunsby House (and the former village of Dunsby) an the ruskington turnoff down the road.
 
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Keith peace

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Interesting. And thanks for sharing Dirtynidge.

We are talking relatively close to a former Templar site. And if, as these comments suggest, parts of that site were used for some kind of oubliette style prison? Then yes, if one were to postulate the concept of restless tortured souls clinging on to the mortal world after a really quite unpleasant death?

This would likely tick your boxes. :)

The only reason I have previously dodged away from the Templar side of things is that generally when you start looking along those lines it's only a matter of time before you start hitting upon the subject of Ley Lines between Templar sites. And that's am area either worthy of much more investigation than I have time to dedicate, or potential for a lot of pseudo-science to get thrown into the mix.

As a side note, Dirtynidge? If you were local to the area in your teens dd you ever travel this road? Or know of anybody who had their own story to tell about this road?
I lived in the East of the County so I rarely if ever travelled this road.
Despite working with a few blokes who used to commute that road daily, as far as I'm aware, none of them saw anything untoward.
I remember discussing it with one of them who lived at Ruskington and he was completely unaware of it's short lived notoriety.
 

CuriousIdent

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I lived in the East of the County so I rarely if ever travelled this road.
Despite working with a few blokes who used to commute that road daily, as far as I'm aware, none of them saw anything untoward.
I remember discussing it with one of them who lived at Ruskington and he was completely unaware of it's short lived notoriety.
Entirely plausible that many don't. It strikes me as very much a local phenomenon experienced by a small number of people of a large number of years. What interested me about that This Morning phone-in back in the 90s was that off the back of one guy's testimony a bunch of people came forward to say 'funny you should say that. I've seen that too. Not really mentioned it to many people, as I thought folks would laugh at me'.

It all seemed very natural and uncontrived.

I do wonder how many other places around the world have similar hotspots of activity like this, though. Around my way there's a road in a small village near Coventry where two people I knew back in the early 90s vehemently claimed they had seen a figure walk out into the road while driving, in a similar fashion to this. A figure by rights which they should have hit, but passed straight through.

I have never been able to find anybody else who has seen a 'ghost' on this road, or find any other references to people experiencing it. But you never know...
 

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Madeley's choice of words would suggest that this was in some way known and historical fact.
Don't we all know people like this? They talk like they know what's really what, and so maneuver their way into supervisory positions. Then all the colleagues you enjoy working with start leaving for other jobs . . . (Not to sound sour or anything--I just miss the colleagues who've left my old job, who I didn't have personal contact info for. :violin:)

:botp: Thanks to everyone who's contributed to a fascinating and well researched thread!
 
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Brought back onto the resurging thread by IbisNibs...and having a quick catch up, it occurred to me...

the 'plague pit' for Lincoln that's being mentioned. Maybe it's not 'plague' as in the Black Death and therefore medieval, but could it be a typhoid burial ground? I note that Lincoln had a nasty outbreak in 1904.
https://www.lincolnshirelife.co.uk/posts/view/the-lincoln-typhoid-epidemic

I wonder, simply because where I grew up (Exeter), there is a park which was locally noted as a 'plague pit', but is actually a typhoid burial site (ie a lot later than what we would term 'the plague', but was known as a plague at the time).
 

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Brought back onto the resurging thread by IbisNibs...and having a quick catch up, it occurred to me...

the 'plague pit' for Lincoln that's being mentioned. Maybe it's not 'plague' as in the Black Death and therefore medieval, but could it be a typhoid burial ground? I note that Lincoln had a nasty outbreak in 1904.
https://www.lincolnshirelife.co.uk/posts/view/the-lincoln-typhoid-epidemic

I wonder, simply because where I grew up (Exeter), there is a park which was locally noted as a 'plague pit', but is actually a typhoid burial site (ie a lot later than what we would term 'the plague', but was known as a plague at the time).

Interesting. Something I absolutely hadn't considered. You'd think something that comparatively recent would be more known about. Might be worth looking into.
 

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Hi all,

Just a heads up that the ‘Ruskington Horror’ is the cover story of this month’s FT (401). Part 1 of a two part article by Rob Gandy covering the case.

This first part covers the This Morning testimonies, and also adds two further accounts which didn’t make it into that broadcast.

It also covers the (in some cases wild) tangents the program went off on. Trying to tie other local folklore to the same road. Such as Temple Bruer, the Templar church. Which Madely claimed to be ‘a few hundred yards away’. But which is actually two and half miles away from the A15.

And the claim that a ‘black-figured ghost’ on this road was definitely a local witch, according to the Atlas of Magical Britain. But which the article points out doesn’t match what is in that book. And that there are multiple recountings of that witch legend, but none really match.

I’ll be interested to see what’s in the second part, as Gandy mentioned that he had put a call out for more recent encounters.
 

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I enjoyed that article until it went a bit woo in the latter stages. But the anecdotes were good, and looking forward to part 2, as you say, @CuriousIdent .
 

CuriousIdent

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I enjoyed that article until it went a bit woo in the latter stages. But the anecdotes were good, and looking forward to part 2, as you say, @CuriousIdent .
Sadly, the This Morning investigation *did* go full on woo by the third broadcast. What Gandy is relaying is exactly as it was presented to viewer. It was total nonsense. A massive tangent.

And that was a shame, because the unprompted number of calls from the original phone-in showed a lot of promise. Enough common experiences of similar details, on different dates, to appear a credible Fortean case. But This Morning chose to ignore those and move on to vague connections to Templars and Witches in the wider region. Neither of which match the road in any tangible fashion.
 

GNC

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Sadly, the This Morning investigation *did* go full on woo by the third broadcast. What Gandy is relaying is exactly as it was presented to viewer. It was total nonsense. A massive tangent.

And that was a shame, because the unprompted number of calls from the original phone-in showed a lot of promise. Enough common experiences of similar details, on different dates, to appear a credible Fortean case. But This Morning chose to ignore those and move on to vague connections to Templars and Witches in the wider region. Neither of which match the road in any tangible fashion.
I didn't realise that, I agree it's a shame. I do wonder if the anecdotes aren't the most you can get out of reported phenomena like this, and all the hangers-on don't just obfuscate a more intriguing truth. Whatever that may be.
 
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