Fortean Places

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#1
A while ago I suggested we should have a “fortean places” forum. This would let us request and share information on individual sites and areas and suggest places to visit. One of the drawbacks of being interested in fortean phenomena is that there is little opportunity to get hands-on and the odd site-visit is maybe the closest some of us will get. What I personally am interested in are the lesser known sites that only someone familiar with a particular area might know about. Sometimes it’s just the atmosphere of a place that marks it out and it’s sites like this that books tend to ignore because they lack any juicy background. And face it most of the guide-books in this field tend to cover the same ground and repeat each other endlessly. Between us we could do a much better job.

Here’s a start. Just a few places that come to mind - and one request for information.

Rosslyn Chapel - A well-known site but worth going on about. I gave up trying to decipher all the theories about this place years ago. Stunning atmosphere and incredible carved interior - no book on the place will come near to describing it properly.

Highgate Cemetery - Not the new part but the old bit over the road. I first went years ago when it was totally overgrown and you didn’t have to have a guide. It’s been tidied up a tad and you have to go around in a guided group but it is still well worth a visit. The atmosphere on a gloomy, autumn afternoon is straight out of Hammer.

Luds Church - Not so well known. Chasm in a wooded hillside overlooking the Dane Valley (SW Peak District). Supposedly the site of Gawain’s final confrontation with the Green Knight. Lots of stories associated with it and if there weren’t you would have to make them up.

Alderley Edge - The village is all poshed up since Alan Garner wrote The Weirdstone of Brisingamen but the Edge itself can still be a very strange place. Likewise for the isolated and spectacularly overgrown grounds and ruined house at Erwood in the Goyt Valley which were used in The Moon of
Gomrath
.

Callanish 1 - Most atmospheric big stone-circle I’ve visited. Not an afternoon jaunt as it’s in the Outer Hebrides.

Minninglow - Megalithic site in Derbyshire. Small but very atmospheric. Unfortunately on private land.

Babyface cave - Cave with strange face carved in the wall apparently situated at Ladye Bay, Clevedon. I’ve looked twice and couldn’t find it. Anyone know anything about it?

Right, everyone else start chucking ideas in and with luck, when the thread gets chaotic enough, they might give us a forum.
 
A

Anonymous

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#2
Virginia

Anyone know of any Fortean places in Virginia? Specifically anything paranormal/odd around the Virginia Beach area..
 

carole

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#3
There are several Fortean places in Orkney. The Ring of Brodgar, Maes Howe . . . the whole place has a feel to it.

Carole
 

mikelegs

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#4
I'm looking for anything fortean in the vicinity of the lehigh valley, PA. IE. Eastern PA, NW Jersey, etc.

Only contributions I can make are for haunted places around here, if anyone is interested.

HauntedPA

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#5
Re: Virginia

Gideon said:
Anyone know of any Fortean places in Virginia? Specifically anything paranormal/odd around the Virginia Beach area..
You’ve probably already done this but I had a quick Google last night and came up with a Haunted Virginia website. There were three entries under Virginia Beach - the Adam Thoroughgood House, Cavalier Hotel and Tandoms Pine Tree Inn. Bit sparse on details though. I’m pretty sure that I once stumbled on a site describing an overgrown Revolution fort somewhere in Virginia that was supposed to be very haunted.

I would have thought that neck of the woods would have more than it’s fair share of ghosts. The oldest stone house in America, Bacon’s Rebellion, the first slaves landed in the US, a prime role in the War of Independance. Actually some of that might not be technically correct as originally I think the name Virginia covered a far wider territory than it does now. Still, if ghosts are a by-product of history there must be a fair few out there.
 

intaglio

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#6
Many fine fortean locations in Britain are known. Here are a few that seem to have escaped general notice.

The following 4 are all in the Yorkshire Wolds
Rudston - probably the best known because of its fine Megalith.
Duggleby Howe and Willy Howe - ancient meeting places both with definite spirits of place.
Kilham - Look at this on the OS map. The Roman road diverts itself there The church is described as having fine norman architecture in the tower, it also has long and short work (usu. Saxon). The external beam ends have some disturbing carvings. and theres a stone by the entrance that seems to be from a broken shiel na righ. Inside is one of the very few examples of a pentagram in a european church. All saints is built on a mound over one of the source springs of the R. Hull.

The Rufus Stone, Hants. - Sight of an early conspiricy theary assassination.

St Peters on the Wall, Bradwell on Sea, Essex - Try to avoid the happy, clappies and go there on your own. Definite strangeness.

Cornwall - just stick a pin in the map

Finally for this post, back to Yorkshire and the early christian chapel in Scarboro castle - to an ignoramus like me it has the flavour of a small mithraeum

Have fun :)
 

rynner2

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#7
As Intaglio says: "Cornwall - just stick a pin in the map"

You get two for the price of one at Madron Well, as there is a monastic cell or chapel nearby. There is water in the chapel, so some people mistake it for the well, but this is further along the path, and is just a small pool. But the trees around it are covered with strips of rags and other little offerings or prayers. Very atmospheric, but usually one for the welly boots.
(GR SW 445337)

The west of the county probably has more standing stones and other megalithic stuff per square yard than anywhere else in the country.

There is also a lot of this stuff on the Isles of Scilly - the atmosphere is enhanced by the knowledge that the islands are slowly sinking into the sea. It's said that in Roman times there were just two large islands instead of the dozens (depending how you count the rocks) today. One of my favourite world places.
 

Breakfastologist

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#9
You get two for the price of one at Madron Well...
That is a very interesting name as well- when Culhwch is seeking for the Twrch Trwyth in the Mabinogion, he has to find Mabon son of Modron:
Throughout the world there is not a huntsman who can hunt with this dog, except Mabon the son of Modron. He was taken from his mother when three nights old, and it is not known where he now is, nor whether he is living or dead...
Could that be an extra level of interest associated with that place?

Does anyone know of any odd or interesting places in the South East? It seems to have a bit of a dearth of old or interesting stuff, although there have been people around here for a long time, as far as I can tell.
 
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Anonymous

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#10
There is a neolithic burial mound called Waylands Smithy - on the ridgeway in Oxfordshire.

It has been excavated and is quite important archaeologically as the inner structure is both wooden and stone.

It can have a really spooky atmosphere but at other times it is very very still and calming.

My mum went up there with my dad in their dim and distant past and it freaked her out completely - my dad turned round to say something to her and she was off running across the fields!

If anyone knows any more about this place other than archaeological detail or the legend of Wayland shoeing the horses of the gods there, I would love to hear about it.
 

johnnyboy1968

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#11
Emmy Mallow said:
There is a neolithic burial mound called Waylands Smithy - on the ridgeway in Oxfordshire.

It has been excavated and is quite important archaeologically as the inner structure is both wooden and stone.

It can have a really spooky atmosphere but at other times it is very very still and calming.
I felt very relaxed there - in fact, I fell asleep round the back of the mound. Woke up and found my face being licked by a big black dog! My reaction was to yell my head off and jump about ten feet in the air. Think the dog and his owners were more scared than I was:eek:

Near the Yorkshire Wolds sites mentioned above is Skipsea Brough, a Motte & Bailey with an eerie atmosphere. Its got its own white lady ghost, supposedly a niece of William the Conquerer who was murdered by the evil Count Drogo, her husband. A girl I was at school with claimed to have seen her once.

On a trip to the levels between Cardiff and Newport, a friend and myself once came across a village with a pretty substantial derelict church surrounded by barbed wire and "keep out" signs. Being totally irresponsible we ignored all that and went in. It was weird being inside this decrepit medieval building with no fittings, with only pigeons for company. Problem is, I've no idea what the place was, or what it was called! I went looking for it again last year, but couldn't find it.

Also in Wales, Caerwent is well worth visiting. It was the Roman city of Venta Silurium, and though there's only a few farms, pubs and a church there now, the place is surrounded by these huge city walls, with towers and the remains of gates. You can also see the remains of a temple, houses, and the basilica. The church has got some Roman altars inside, and some great carved stones in the walls.
 

rynner2

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#12
Many norman castles in south west Wales, in various states of preservation.

The 'Welsh Triangle' one-time UFO hotspot in St Brides bay.

Also the place of origin of the Stonehenge bluestones is in the Preseli Mountains.

I loved this whole area of Wales - all kinds of historical and Fortean vibes.
 

rynner2

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#14
Here's a really triangular tower!

http://www.haldonbelvedere.co.uk/frmain.htm

I have never actually been here, but I was student in Exeter for 4 years altogether (60s and 70s), and Haldon Tower (as we knew it) was often visible on the distant south western horizon. Silhouetted against the bright afternoon sky it always seemed dark and mysterious.

As the60s was also the first time I read Lord of the Rings, Haldon became THE Dark Tower for me!
 

intaglio

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#15
Well for the Southeast theres always the Long Man at Wilmington (E. Sussex)

Elsewhere in England -
Maiden & Castle, Mam Tor.
Despite the tourists Eyam in Derbyshire, oh yes and Kenilworth, the abbey fields there are really strange.
Then in London and if you can persuade the staff the Arched Library in the BMuseum, try getting onto the gallery. Sir John Soanes museum had a weird atmosphere but I gather theres been work done on this since I was last there.
 

Breakfastologist

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#16
If anyone knows any more about this place other than archaeological detail or the legend of Wayland shoeing the horses of the gods there, I would love to hear about it.
There is a bit more on Wayland here and if anyone likes their mythic fiction then Michael Scott Rohan's Winter of the World trilogy has a very nice take on these myths, as well as touching on the Kalevela and various other world mythologies.

I could not see any other associated myths, though.
 
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Anonymous

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#17
Cheers Breakfast!

Rohan - Of all the fantasy fiction that I have read how did I manage to miss this? Hooray! More books to read!
:)
 

augustverango

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#18
I'm currently living in one of 'the least Fortean places in the world... ever! (TM)'

Well, it is as far as I'm aware. Unless you count the Fleetwood UFO 'flap' earlier this year. Also, not a megalithic site for miles around and NO CAR!
 
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Anonymous

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#20
A Fortean Place...

My bedroom...satanic oddments, ghostly globdules which attack me in my sleep, ritual skulls, effigies, entities, the biggest paranormal video collection, hundreds of books, psychic vampires, David Farrant's autograph, the smell of leopard droppings...oh, and all things 1960s Mod!!!!
Oh, and don't forget Highgate Cemetery and Blue Bell Hill!
 

augustverango

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#21
Hermes said:
No Fortean phenomena at all? Sounds quite Fortean to me.
hehe... Of course, weird stuff happens everywhere, just not when I'm around. I must have a kind of built-in 'weirdness deflection shield'....
 

intaglio

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#22
Mike Scott Rohan

Writes a good schtick but don't make the mistake of finding out about how Smiths really work. Loved the Winter of the World series until ...
I find them unreadable now
 
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#23
intaglio said:
Elsewhere in England -
Maiden & Castle, Mam Tor.
Intaglio, when you visited Mam Tor did you see the broken road nearby. I always think it’s a bit like walking into some post-apocalyptic film the way this stretch of tarmac just breaks off and drops away in several places. Before I went to university I used to work out there in all weathers - an awesome place on a blustery winters day I can tell you. This area of NW Derbyshire retains more than it’s fair share of Celtic place-names and, especially over to the east nearing the Cheshire plain, there is a peculiar prevalence of names apparently referring to demons and phantoms. I often wonder if the Saxons didn’t march up from the flatlands of Cheshire, look at the names, see Shining Tor and Shutlingsloe in the distance, think bugger that for a game of soldiers and march home again.

Actually I think Cornwall and the Peak have a certain similarity - not so much in landscape as in atmosphere. Whereas Cornwall has all the stones the Peak has burial mounds on literally every hill in some areas (and there are lots of hills). My mad old Aunt used to say it was like living in a huge cemetary. Both places contain constant reminders in the landscape of the people who once lived there.
 

intaglio

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#24
August Verango said:
I'm currently living in one of 'the least Fortean places in the world... ever! (TM)'

Well, it is as far as I'm aware. Unless you count the Fleetwood UFO 'flap' earlier this year. Also, not a megalithic site for miles around and NO CAR!
and i didn't believe u "once the 2nd largest fishing port in England ...", "home to the Fishermans Friend ...", "pier, now closed ...". Whats needed is a few good UL's (Fishermans Friend implicated in new Ecstacy scare?), or transport, or a new job anywhere else. Someone please prove me wrong :eek:

Only just saw your post about old shaky. You mean where the old main road was thrown off many times. What puzzles me more is how the Hill Fort remains have remained.

My Mam Tor definitely feels less friendly than Pendle and thats bad enough.
 

rynner2

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#25
I was SURE Fisherman's Friend came from the East Coast, Gt Yarmouth or Lowestoft, but Intaglio is right:
seethis page

They clearly sell a lot in the US, judging from the web pages Google found.

This has got me worried. What if all the other stuff I'm sure about is wrong? Is my whole life a lie?? [Exits, with much existentialist wailing...]
 

intaglio

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#26
Rynner if you believe it long enough it will be true.

One more thing, If anyone wants Cornwall with many megaliths and burial chambers try southwest Ireland
 
A

Anonymous

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#27
If your ever in Sydney Id suggest the old quarrantine station in Manly.Very spooky.Apparently 100s of people died horrible deaths from smallpox and the like right up to the 50s.Did a tour with some friends,one of whom claims to see dead people.He left completly freaked.
Also of interest is the old orphanage at Parramatta.Doubly spooky as the ghosts are mainly children.Havent been inside but looking at it from the outside certainly sends a chill down the spine.
 

TheOriginalCujo

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#28
Aberdeenshire has an incredible ammount of stone circles and quite a lot of chamber cairn burrials. Also the Anthropological Museum in Marischal Colledge, Aberdeen, is quite fortean in content and haunted.

Cujo
 

rynner2

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#29
intaglio said:
...One more thing, If anyone wants Cornwall with many megaliths and burial chambers try southwest Ireland
Slightly off topic, but I can't resist this one:

Sailing iin SW Ireland in the 70s, we saw a pair of big white radomes up high on a hillside - very high tech (US military?). Since the hill is called Mount Gabriel, the locals referred to the things as Gabriel's Balls!

(Perhaps this should go on a thread about angels - plenty of metaphysics to discuss there, methinks!)
 

carole

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#30
I suppose it would be more interesting than debating how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, Rynner!

Carole
 
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