Devon & Cornwall

paulsamfreya

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Hello all,
I've received an e-mail from the step daughter of a French family friend. She is a journalist on a Parisian newspaper and is researching ghost stories from Devon and Cornwall for a series of articles.
She contacted my brother, who in turn suggested she contact me (I live in Bristol, he knows of my Fortean leanings and that I've stayed overnight at The Ancient Ram Inn three times!).
Other than the infamous Jamaica Inn, can anyone please suggest other locations in Devon and Cornwall she might visit? She's coming over in early July.
Thank you! :yeay:
 

Spookdaddy

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First thoughts:

Postbridge and the infamous Hairy Hands - which has been well covered somewhere on the MB.

Also, I've recently re-read Will Storr Vs the Supernatural by...well, Will Storr and Sennen's haunted First and Last Inn gets a chapter all to itself.

And, way back in the mists of time, I'm sure that Cornwall had it's very own thread.

Edit: Yup. Weird Cornwall thread here.
 

Ravenstone

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General area of the Hairy Hands

Berry Pomeroy
 

birdy

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The site of Jay's Grave on Dartmoor.
Legend has it she was a teenage wench put in the family way by a member of the household and committed suicide.
Kitty Jay was buried at a crossroads which is now very close to the side of a road through the moor, I've seen it many times and used to BEG my parents to make the detour after a sunday walk in the vain hope of seeing her ghost which reportedly sat atop the mound. I've never been there without seeing fresh flowers on the grave.

There's also the mystery of John Lee, The Man They Could Not Hang which is definitely worth googling and Im particularly interested in because its very local to where i grew up and as a child my mum used to visit the house involved.

Devon has literally hundreds of legends from Black Dogs to ghostly pigs, white ladies, monks, headless horsemen, The Hairy Hands, haunted pools and ponds, pixies, Richard Cabel's (of Baskerville fame) haunted tomb, whist hounds... it goes on and on!

I'd be really interested to know more about the project!
 

birdy

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I've been racking my brains trying to remember the author of a brilliant book I had once and read until the pages turned to dust, and it's just come to me:
'Devon Ghosts' by Theo Brown.
It documents the county's paranormal occurrences rather than retelling legends and stories so I always found it more fascinating than the myriad other Devon ghost books out there
The edition I used to have had wonderful stark ink illustrations and i'd suggest to anyone that it's worth tracking down!
 

birdy

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i literally read it cover to cover and back again for about ten years!
 

Stormkhan

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The Bucket of Blood, also in Hayle, has an unsolved murder in it's history ... thought that's back in the 1800's.
 

Stormkhan

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Oh, and the quayside of Penzance has a "Black Dog" apparition of it's own, which is unusual considering Black Dogs are usually "boundary" spirits of parish/county borders.
Oh, you might also point them to Zennor on the north coast, where there is a lucky escape from the Black Death and a Mermaid love story, immortalised on one of the church pews. The Zennor Quoit - an ancient stone construction nearby - makes this village a must-see. And, I admit, the village itself is a lovely place to visit.
 

rynner2

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Stormkhan said:
Oh, you might also point them to Zennor on the north coast, where there is a lucky escape from the Black Death and a Mermaid love story, immortalised on one of the church pews. The Zennor Quoit - an ancient stone construction nearby - makes this village a must-see. And, I admit, the village itself is a lovely place to visit.
See here:
http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewt ... 100#714100
 

Stormkhan

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Jolly good.

The "search" function on the FTMB works. How very ... novel.

Nothing like personal experience or recommendation.
 

rynner2

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Ghost hunters in Cornwall cause problems for police officer
11:00am Monday 23rd August 2010
By Stephen Ivall »

Night-time ghost hunters are causing problems for a police inspector and his family living in a converted church at Baldhu, near Truro.

So much so Inspector Steve Lenney, wants to put up a garage in which to keep a boat and cars safe and will disturb the grave yard as little as possible in the process.

Inspector Lenney, who operates the custody centre at Camborne police station, knows that the former listed building, St Michael’s Church, is reputed to be the most haunted place in Cornwall, but says the number of visitors to its graveyard have surprised him.

He told Kea parish councillors in whose area the church is situated, that because of fears to his car and a racing dinghy which he currently parks outside, he needs to build a garage for their protection.

“We bought the property in November but could not foresee the sheer numbers of visitors we get ghost hunting. It was a place linked with satanic worship and is classed as the most haunted place in Cornwall. Three and four nights a week we get people outside with very loud cars,” he said.

He says as a police officer, and his wife a youth offending team manager, they make it their business to go out and educate these late night callers and tell them it is no longer a derelict church but their family home.

“We found two people in the back gardens one day who have convictions for burglary”, he said. “We have my daughter’s racing dinghy in the garden and we have found people around it.”

He said the public were allowed to visit the site in daylight hours but because of their other unwanted visitors they needed somewhere to put their car and the boat under cover.

He told councillors he was aware of objections to this structure in a graveyard but added: “You will not find a prouder owner of a grade two listed building. We don’t want to make it a sow’s ear. All this has put us at risk of being subject to crime and not being able to protect our property.”

He said that in order to make the garage more attractive and in keeping with its surroundings he was paying over £4,000 for a pair of oak doors which were “very tasteful and very beautiful”.

He added that his family were working to bring back the 150 year old churchyard to how it should be. “It is going to be a beautiful place”, he said.

Questioned by the parish councillors he said he would have to lift a headstone to gain access for the construction of the garage but would put it back. No grave or human remains would be touched.

Discussing his application for the two-car garage and room for a boat, members were concerned that it would be close to the memorial to revivalist preacher Billy Bray who is buried in the churchyard.

The council agreed to Insp Lenney’s application. There were exceptional circumstances for the protection of property.

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/83 ... er/?ref=mr

I went looking for Baldhu last week, following reports of mining subsidence there, and I passed near Billy Bray's chapel. Not sure if this is the building in question - clearly, another expedition is called for!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Bray
 

rynner2

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Right, got it sorted now. The copper lives in the old church at Baldhu, and this is also where you find Billy Bray's memorial.

Pictures of the church when derelict:
http://www.roughwood.net/ChurchAlbum/Co ... hu1996.htm

Now it looks very smart - the conversion must have cost a bomb! The south side of the old churchyard, around the memorial, is quite pleasant, but the north side is heavily shaded by trees, and, with its ancient graves, looks somewhat gothic, even on a sunny summer afternoon! Could well be spooky on a winter's night.


Billy Bray's Chapel is about 1km NW. He built it himself, when he wasn't on shift down the mines! He was quite a character. It's a pretty plain chapel from the outside, but inside it's pleasantly light and peaceful. If I was a God-fearing man, I'd like to worship at a place like that.
 

FrKadash

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Just saw this recent Yahoo article on the Hairy Hands of Dartmoor case,

The Hairy Hands of Dartmoor: The story of Devon’s ‘haunted road’
Anthony Pearce's Blog 20 September 2016

The B3212 is a road that runs from the outskirts of Exeter through sprawling, picturesque Dartmoor and on to Yelverton.
But search the internet for its name and you’re more likely to find tales of horror than you are traffic information.
What greets you is the question: is the B3212 Britain’s most haunted road?
To understand this you have to look back through the history books — and to less empirical works — to find out why.
According to legend the road, or, rather, a particular area of it — in Postbridge, Dartmoor — is said to be haunted by a malevolent spirit: the Hairy Hands.
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/the-hairy-hands-the-eerie-ghost-story-that-lives-144500562.html
 

Frideswide

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I wonder if the builders who did the conversion experienced any spooky events...
any update? fascinating story Rynner, only just found your posts :D

Just saw this recent Yahoo article on the Hairy Hands of Dartmoor case,
It is one of my favourite cases :D
 

IbisNibs

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I just listened--it's a good primer on how irresponsible writers and a touch of oral history can become scary local ghost lore/urban legend. Fun!
(The Daily Mail comes in for some commentary . . . )
 

WeirdExeter

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i grew up in Devon and have spent the majority of my adult life living and working in Devon and Cornwall, including a year on Dartmoor., so pleased to see this thread!

The hairy hands are a great legend and one of the first I heard as a child.Interestingly, the aforementioned Theo Brown had her own encounter with the hairy hands in 1921 whilst sleeping in a caravan close the the bridge where other witnesses have had their experiences. She reported being awoken by the hands horrifically clawing at her caravan w8ndow in the dead of night o_O.

I can remember the hairy hands being discussed on the Radio Devon breakfast show in the early 1980s, and there was some connection with Army truck drivers (a large area of Northern Dartmoor is used for training by Armed Forces). i desperately wish I could recall the exact details, but I believe it was something to do with lone Army truck drivers reporting a presence in their cab whilst negotiating Dartmoor roads. So frustrating...!

Nick Redfern tracked down and interviewed a 2008 witness to an encounter with the hairy hands on the road bridge itself (see his British Bigfoot book) but other than that there have been few if any reports from the last half century. Dartmoor‘s roads are a lot busier that they were during Theo’s day, although during the winter months (and especially at night) you can still drive for miles and barely see a soul.
 
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