Fortean Devon

Kondoru

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#1
Going on residential training in Exeter.

Im going to put my spare time to good use.

anything in Devon?
 

rynner2

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#2

James_H

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#4
Anything in Devon? The air positively reeks of ghosts... I used to buy those 'haunted devon' type pamphlets when I used to go on holiday there, they frightened the living daylights out of me as a child. But there is an enormous amount of history, folklore and legend out there. Lots of black dogs and ladies walled up in castles with ever-crying babies and that kind of thing.
 

ProfessorF

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#5
Take a trip to Cornwall to Roche Rock - one of my favourite places to visit.
Have to try and get back soon.
 

bugmum

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#6
Welcome to the best end of the world!

I would suggest Berry Pomeroy...or sitting on Dartmoor at night with the car lights off...or, as has been mentioned, any tourist knick-knack shop will supply Haunted Devon books with plenty of ideas!
 

Blinko_Glick

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#8
Dude you have to go to Wistman's Wood near Two Bridges on Dartmoor - very eerie.
Berry Pomeroy Castle is well worth a visit too - I once saw something that pretended to be a ghost cat on one of the dungeon stairwells, although ghosts don't really fit in with my world view.
But the place certainly has it's fair share of vibes.
Then there's Union Street in Plymouth on Friday & Saturday nights.
There's plenty of weird & wonderful things going on there mostly involving sailors & skimpy clad chavettes.

Oh Hello BTW, I'm Blinko Glick.
 

stu neville

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#9
Hello and welcome, Blinko Glick.

I have relatives just outside Teignmouth, and a lane not far from them is reputed to be a black dog track - high hedges either side with a stunning view of the sea head on, but by night it's brown trousers material.

I also think Lydford Gorge feels somehow... oh god, I'll have to say enchanted (hate the word, but there's no other way of describing it.) Tangible nature, mischievous, busy but entirely benevolent.
 

rynner2

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#10
Ah, Teignmouth, a place I used to know well. (In fact, I have a note on my desk reminding me to unearth some B&W photos I took there about 50 years ago...)

And coincidentally it was the murder scene in a novel I recently read.

Not particularly Fortean, but I recommend the train ride from Exeter to Teignmouth (or even Totnes). Along the estuary, then the coast, etc... wonderful.
 

stu neville

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#11
rynner2 said:
Ah, Teignmouth, a place I used to know well. (In fact, I have a note on my desk reminding me to unearth some B&W photos I took there about 50 years ago...)
Doubt it's changed much - but that's not a criticism. We go there a lot.
rynner2 said:
Not particularly Fortean, but I recommend the train ride from Exeter to Teignmouth (or even Totnes). Along the estuary, then the coast, etc... wonderful.
..especially good late autumn or early spring, when you get through Dawlish Warren and past the Red Rock and basically the track goes along the beach. Great fun in high winds as waves lash the train (though they do tend to get wussy and close the track a bit more often these days apparently..)
 

rynner2

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#12
stuneville said:
Great fun in high winds as waves lash the train (though they do tend to get wussy and close the track a bit more often these days apparently..)
Despite the threat of sea level rise, they have put the idea of an alternative route on hold for the time being, so this old track will be in use for some yet.

Those interested in Brunel and his works should check this out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheri ... on_Railway

('Atmospheric' refers to air pressure, not the scenic ambience of the route! ;) )
 

Ffalstaf

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#13
stuneville said:
...when you get through Dawlish Warren and past the Red Rock and basically the track goes along the beach. Great fun in high winds as waves lash the train....
Ah! Thankyou. You've just explained a pic I saw a couple of days ago (click the thumbnail):


Caption: "Waves batter a Virgin train as it passes along the coastal railway line at Dawlish in Devon, south w"
 

Blinko_Glick

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#15
Fantastic pic - one can't help but think that old Brunel could have chosen a less moist position for his track though!

Thanks for the welcome Stu, you may remember me in a former life as Quicksilver (before the forum got all red taped & uneccessary).

You use the word 'enchanted' well.
In fact, for me Devon itself holds a particular kind of 'feel' that no other county does.

Second largest county IIRC and blessed with such a huge variety of scenery & geography, I wouldn't move away. Ever. Assuming Angelina Jolie never tires of being Mrs Pitt.

I frgot to mention the eeriest place I've ever experienced on the Moors though:

Crazy Well pool, not far from Burrator Reservoir is an odd water filled hole on the moor. The water level varies very little during the year, in fact they used to drain water from it to assist in the granite mining, with no discernable drop in water level occuring.

There are tales saying that it's bottomless.
There's a legend that says if you camp overnight you'll see a monster rising from the pool. You will invariably die the next day or soon after.

But one things for sure - with nothing but this odd body of water and the sound of skylarks overhead, this place evokes a sense of strangeness rare to find these days.

Definately worth a visit.
 

stu neville

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#18
Blinko_Glick said:
..Thanks for the welcome Stu, you may remember me in a former life as Quicksilver (before the forum got all red taped & uneccessary).
Possibly the most apt phrase to describe the present board. Fort knows, we've tried to get it simplified, let non-members view it, etc, but no. Combo of TPTB that don't give a toss coupled with the world's wankiest hosting company, that couldn't find it's own...(cot'd p94)

Blinko_Glick said:
You use the word 'enchanted' well.
In fact, for me Devon itself holds a particular kind of 'feel' that no other county does.
Definitely go along with that - that said, I think most counties, particularly old, geographically sensible ones (ie not the product of 1970-onward, camel-designed-by-a-committee gerrymandering idiocies) have their own distinct atmosphere: worth punting that perhaps that had something to do with the location of the boundaries, which can seem otherwise oddly arbitrary in some cases?
Blinko_Glick said:
..Crazy Well pool, not far from Burrator Reservoir is an odd water filled hole on the moor. The water level varies very little during the year, in fact they used to drain water from it to assist in the granite mining, with no discernable drop in water level occuring.

There are tales saying that it's bottomless.
There's a legend that says if you camp overnight you'll see a monster rising from the pool. You will invariably die the next day or soon after.
Ah - I'd heard of that, but didn't know the name. Ta muchly :).
Spookdaddy said:
Of course no visit to Fawltean Devon is complete without a visit to the Gleneagles Hotel.
I've really got to go, one day. Shame the inspiration himself is long gone :(.
 

jeff544

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#19
stuneville said:
I also think Lydford Gorge feels somehow... oh god, I'll have to say enchanted (hate the word, but there's no other way of describing it.) Tangible nature, mischievous, busy but entirely benevolent.
I agree. Lydford Gorge is truly beautiful and seems so isolated from the 'outside world' but in a good way.

I have just remembered a weird thing that happened about 10 years ago on one of our regular holidays to North Devon -(I try not to tell many people how lovely North Devon is in case they go there & spoil it ;) )

We were driving on the main road to Bideford from Gt Torrington and saw a sign for 'cream teas next left' the sign looked old but I don't remember seeing it before, but we were actually looking for somewhere to have food & drink. So we followed the sign up a hill and eventually to a big old house that looks like it may have been a hotel once. We had possibly the best and biggest cream tea ever. There were fresh strawberries for the kids and afterwards we went for a sort of nature ramble that was laid out in the grounds. what a lovely afternoon. There seemed to be 2 middle aged ladies running the place, possibly sisters, who were friendly but not overly, and reserved at the same time. What made it even nicer was that we appeared to be the only customers. We did not go to Devon for 2 years after this, but on our return tried to find this place. Guess what - we tried and tried but could not find it. Even the road seemed different. we tried other left turns from the main road but to this day have not found it. It may have been knocked down in the 2 yeas we did not go there, if so it is a shame. It would have been near Weare Giffard but on the other side of the main road.
 
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#20
Maybe this qualifies? Smooth snake with Devon cream? Vid at link.


Devon Smooth snake re-introduction 'successful'
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/england/devon/10475149.stm

Smooth snake The Smooth snake was last recorded in Devon in the 1950s

A project to reintroduce Smooth snakes to Devon has been successful, according to conservationists.

Last July, the reptiles were taken from Dorset to restored RSPB heathland in Devon after a 50-year absence.

Nick Moulton, from Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, said: "It's gone pretty well, it's been a cold winter and extremely hot summer."

He said: "We know the animals have successfully hibernated and initially it looks really good."

Mr Moulton said it was now a "question of time to see if the animals can breed".
Continue reading the main story

We don't want to put snakes back into places where they will just decline again

Dr Chris Reading UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

The RSPB monitors the restored heathland, which provides the non-venomous snakes with the correct food as well as warmth and areas for them to bask in the sun.

Dr Chris Reading, from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, said: "The big thing that we have to be careful about is relocating snakes to an area where they once were.

"We don't want to put snakes back into places where they will just decline again."

The secretive reptile was last recorded in Devon in the 1950s, but disappeared after the loss of its natural habitat.
Wildlife resurgence

Conservationists are moving more Smooth snakes from Dorset to Devon this summer to boost the numbers on the heathland.

Prior to the project, the snakes were only found on lowland heaths in Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Dorset, and due to the snakes not being very mobile they did not naturally re-colonise isolated heath sites.

The restored heathland has also led to a resurgence of other wildlife including Dartford warblers, nightjars and silver studded blue butterflies.
 

birdy

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#22
Theo Brown's "Devon Ghosts" is a brilliant read for an overview on some of the wonderful weirdness we Devonians live amongst. I read it cover to cover and back again for years while growing up and begged my parents to make sure our family excursions took in some of the locations mentioned.
Includes some of the most eerie illustrations I've ever seen in a ghost-y book, one which stick in my mind is a scratchy ink drawing of two pure white pigs chained amongst thick dark vegetation - although reading that back, maybe you had to be there! :oops: Even the cover art gives me the creeeeps.

Definitely a recommended read though!
 

Fanari_Lloyd

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#23
I have just ordered Devon Ghosts from Amazon - thank-you for mentioning it!
I love books like that, that I can read cover to cover. I don't live in Devon, (Wiltshire) but not too far away.
 

Kevin25

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#24
Yes, loads of weirdness for us Devonians down here.

You can travel the "Hairy Hands" road and visit the site of the WWI Powder Mill in which, after an explosion, they supposedly found a pair of hands as the only remains which is the origin of the story. The accidents they later caused were very real.

Crazy Well Pool definitely. Camping anywhere on Dartmoor is a fun experience after you have read all the stories!

One story I am trying to locate if anyone can help. Sometime in the 90's (I think) the BBC had a programme featuring the four most convincing ghost stories they could find. One of these was located somewhere inland behind Dawlish/Teignmouth.

There was this terrible malevolent entity in the house which was physically attacking the owner. Very bad. At some later stage they dug in the garden and found crucified cats! A ghost hunter from Teignmouth was called in. He was interviewed as all this had happened recently (ie the 80's?)

Now I done many Google searches for this using endless variations of keywords. It's the most convincing ghost story I've ever happened upon.

Does anyone remember the programme? Is it in any book? I've looked through countless Devon Ghost Books to no avail.
 

GNC

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#25
Sounds like the sort of thing YouTube is made for, you could always scour the paranormal fans' channels for a clip of the programme?
 

Kevin25

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#26
Thank you gncxx

Your tip finally enabled me to find this!

Key word is "Hawthorn Cottage" Teignmouth. There is the 11 minute extract from the BBC documentary - late 90's I think, called Britain's Most Terrifying Ghost Stories.

This is the best programme I've seen on "ghosts" with four excellent stories and all the eyewitnesses - whole docu is on youtube.

Thanks again - Kevin
 

asparagus

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#29
As a resident of nearby Dawlish, I'm interested to read about Hawthorn Cottage, Teignmouth - which I'd never heard of before. Just up from Dawlish in the Haldon Hills, Lidwell Chapel is worth looking out with its notorious legend of the mad monk. There is a persistent story that someone in the 1970s took photos at the ruined site that when developed showed the chapel as it would have been in its prime in the fourteenth century. A nice story, though it sounds a bit like an urban myth.

The most evocative place in Devon is perhaps Wistman's Wood, near Two Bridges. It is seemingly part of the original forest which covered Dartmoor before prehistoric inhabitants cleared most of it several thousand years ago. The gnarled trees seem to grow out of solid rocks and it is really unlike anywhere else not only in Devon but I think the whole UK.
 
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