There Is Something In The Woods

Nick Smith

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I'll get right to it.

I wonder if any of you forteans can connect with this.

Over the years I have always enjoyed woods and forests whether it be walks, mucking around with my kids or just being in nature as a change from city life.

But not all woods have the same feel. I lived near the famous Clapham woods in West Sussex and, straight after I read of its weird Hecate worshipping and vicar snatching properties in the long, defunct but ground breaking mag " The Unexplained" (yes, with the very spooky floppy disc of EVP mutterings that gave the teenage me nightmares) , I elected to spend the night there walking around with a torch and a camera to catch the culprit, I regret, nothing happened.

That was not the case when I lived in Brighton and would walk the dogs in Stamner Park great woods. This in an ancient place full of earthworks and Sarcen stones and those woods, or parts thereof, were very strange. Whilst walking just North of the woods near the Iron Age settlement and Roman graveyard at Rocky Clump, we saw a fleet of UAP emerging in the sky ( which was clear) one at a time and flying in a straight line to the North the lights were a bright orange with a strange glittering halo and, as they passed overhead and you looked up they were, in fact, a brilliant white diamond shape surrounded with orange light. There were fifteen that we counted processing equidistant and in total silent low enough to illuminate the treetops. They were moving at a steady pace and peacefully heading away towards Haywards Heath. As they grew smaller, however they climbed steeply upward and ended up as tiny dots followed by (bear with me) with comet fails behind them which were white but sparkling like tiny Christmas lights. Most odd.

The Forest itself is haunted. I can say this with certainty because my wife and I were both witness to it, and our two dogs,

We were walking ooh the wide path in October 1997 in the early twilight on a wet and windy autumn. Typically our German pointer, Tess, and Manchester terrier,Daisy, were ahead of us foraging around. Suddenly the dogs came hurtling back, tails down and ruffs up, both whimpering and cringing behind us. I thought they had been spooked by something so looked ahead. About 30 yards ahead, standing on the path six a man.He was stock still. I could make out that he was dressed in dark clothes which looked black in the gloom, a long coat of cloak to mid calf his hair was dark and looked long, he sported a sideburns and moustache (think Lemmy) and as I took some more steps in his direction I felt like I'd hit a wall of fear. Freezing cold and instantly I felt that I was literally going to shit myself. I could walk no further as my legs were shaking . My wife shouted that we needed to turn back as she too was terrified of this guy. Then something so weird happened. He "blinked" out he went from the centre of the path to the trees to his left in an instant. His arms looked odd as he sort of waves them to th side, all disjointed and most strange. He was not a physical person or a hallucination but we both knew that he was terrible in some way. We literally turned tail and legged it.

This is said to be the spirit of a clergy who was from Ditchling and was murdered in the forest due to his connection with smuggling brandy from Brighton to London back in the 17th century. I found this out later when I looked into it. I would say though that this was not a clergyman. No way. Whatever he represents it is something dark and physically dangerous.

Some time after this event I discovered a witches / Paganist circle in the woods adjacent to this. A huge pentagram made of beeche branches with a firepit at its centre and at the end of the points of the star enclosed in a circle of logs. It was a bit of hard work to make this thing. It was deep among the trees, out of sight of the path. Connected? I doubt it.

It has also been the site of a grisly sexual rape and strangling of a local woman called Margaret Frame in the 1970s. She was killed, stripped and buried in the great wood near the coldean Carpark on her way home from her cleaning job at Sussex Uni. Her murderer waited for police to search a certain part of the forest, then returned to her shallow grave, tried to behead her and then moved her corpse to the area already searched and reburied her there.

Some of the behaviour of her killer, the attack from behind the brutal rape and strangulation as well as the removal of trophies points towards the serial killer Peter Tobin who lived nearby at the time. Unfortunately this case remains unsolved though.

I will add that a close friend claims he was an ABC, something like a mountain lion running from the trees ahead of him in broad daylight. I also posted a short summary of the ghost element in a Brighton F.C. forum one Halloween and read an account from an expat in Australia of an incident at Stamner His story was high strangeness too. It want in the Forest but outside Stamner House as he walked across the cricket pitch. He was suddenly aware of a man next to him who had approached without him seeing him. The man appeared distressed, was sweating as if he had been running hard and he was gasping from breath. The asked the time and my correspondent. Looked down at his watch to reply.As he looked up the man had gone. Once again be was standing alone on a cricket pitch with nobody within his near distance. He looked all around but the breathless runner had just gone.

anyway. Over to you. Any Fortean Forests near you? Thanks for reading this long post.
 
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CharmerKamelion

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Wow. Great stuff. Very creepy and bewildering. I wonder if anyone else has had (or heard of) any other strange occurrences in that area? I don't know Brighton very well - been there 3 or 4 times - but coincidentally I had a vivid dream last night that I was driving around Brighton in the dark (or at least a version of Brighton) and finding my way around as if I knew the place like the back of my hand.
 

maximus otter

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It has also been the site of a grisly sexual rape and strangling of a local woman called Margaret Frame in the 1970s. She was killed, stripped and buried in the great wood near the coldean Carpark on her way home from her cleaning job at Sussex Uni. Her murderer waited for police to search a certain part of the forest, then returned to her shallow grave, tried to behead her and then moved her corpse to the area already searched and reburied her there.

Some of the behaviour of her killer, the attack from behind the brutal rape and strangulation as well as the removal of trophies points towards the serial killer Peter Tobin who lived nearby at the time. Unfortunately this case remains unsolved though.

An account of the crime, with aerial imagery of the locus.

maximus otter
 

catseye

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To be honest, I think woods in the dark activate our primitive brains. There is a tiny, tiny copse near me, which I walk past every single day with the dog. It's just off the road to our village. In the daytime it's a neat little wood of around a couple of acres. In the dark I can barely bring myself to go past it. My flesh creeps and I find myself averting my eyes, even though, if there were anything there, my dog would be going ballistic.

Plus the plantation was only put there in 1945. So it's not ancient woodland or anything like that. But I do wonder if our brains are still half waiting to see a giant cat coming for us so we are on high alert at all times.

Which, I know, doesn't explain the OP, but it's my take on Something In The Woods.
 

Paul_Exeter

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Fairy voices whilst lost in the woods:

"...try and explain her supernatural ordeal after walking through two trees. The woman then became completely lost, without being able to find her way back on path."

https://www.dublinlive.ie/news/dublin-news/womans-terrifying-ordeal-after-hearing-25006288

@lordmongrove you will appreciate this:

"Something was just wrong. My first instinct was to run but I didn't even know where to run. I just remember turning your clothes inside out is supposed to help."

I listened to your experience of finding yourself 'lost' on Dartmoor (Mysteries and Monster podcast, was it the 100th episode special?)
 
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Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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There are many bits of forests and woods around here.
I've visited most, if not all, within about a 10 mile radius, plus some a bit further afield, and I can't recall ever being at all 'spooked out' in any of them............except one..........

We knew it as 'Hadley Woods', to the north of Barnet on the outskirts of north London.
We had gone down there one summer afternoon for a stroll through the woods, for no apparent reason, and I distinctly recall the odd feeling we had that particular time, like a sense of foreboding bringing on a sort of panicky feeling.
We had walked only a short distance to the point where the bridge crosses the train line when we suddenly and very decidedly turned and quickly walked back to the car, feeling all 'goose flesh'.

I since discovered that;
"Claims have been made that the borough is the most haunted in Britain, and that Monken Hadley is the most haunted village in the UK (...) But Barnet's best known ghost tale is that of Geoffrey de Mandeville, a medieval earl who reputedly haunts East Barnet and Hadley Wood. (...). De Mandeville is said to have died through an accident while trying to bury his treasure, and his spectre has apparently returned to watch over his fortune."
https://www.cravenherald.co.uk/news/427935.a-popular-hauntwith-lots-of-ghosts/

Here;
(the big yellow dot was where we parked at the 'dead end', and the small dots our path)
1663420786468.png
 

Floyd1

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To be honest, I think woods in the dark activate our primitive brains. There is a tiny, tiny copse near me, which I walk past every single day with the dog. It's just off the road to our village. In the daytime it's a neat little wood of around a couple of acres. In the dark I can barely bring myself to go past it. My flesh creeps and I find myself averting my eyes, even though, if there were anything there, my dog would be going ballistic.

Plus the plantation was only put there in 1945. So it's not ancient woodland or anything like that. But I do wonder if our brains are still half waiting to see a giant cat coming for us so we are on high alert at all times.

Which, I know, doesn't explain the OP, but it's my take on Something In The Woods.
Maybe something happened in the past in the area where the copse now is though- there may have even been a building there. Worth a look on an old map.
 

catseye

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Maybe something happened in the past in the area where the copse now is though- there may have even been a building there. Worth a look on an old map.
As far back as it's able to tell, it was just the corner of a steep field. It's too steep a hill to have any buildings on and it's too out of the way to 'be' anything, if you see what I mean. It's just been boring old farmland forever. The only thing I've ever been able to find out about it was that it was planted by a family whose daughter died very young (she was born with Down Syndrome, in the early 60's).
 

Paul_Exeter

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There are many bits of forests and woods around here.
I've visited most, if not all, within about a 10 mile radius, plus some a bit further afield, and I can't recall ever being at all 'spooked out' in any of them............except one..........

We knew it as 'Hadley Woods', to the north of Barnet on the outskirts of north London.
We had gone down there one summer afternoon for a stroll through the woods, for no apparent reason, and I distinctly recall the odd feeling we had that particular time, like a sense of foreboding bringing on a sort of panicky feeling.
We had walked only a short distance to the point where the bridge crosses the train line when we suddenly and very decidedly turned and quickly walked back to the car, feeling all 'goose flesh'.

I since discovered that;
"Claims have been made that the borough is the most haunted in Britain, and that Monken Hadley is the most haunted village in the UK (...) But Barnet's best known ghost tale is that of Geoffrey de Mandeville, a medieval earl who reputedly haunts East Barnet and Hadley Wood. (...). De Mandeville is said to have died through an accident while trying to bury his treasure, and his spectre has apparently returned to watch over his fortune."
https://www.cravenherald.co.uk/news/427935.a-popular-hauntwith-lots-of-ghosts/

Here;
(the big yellow dot was where we parked at the 'dead end', and the small dots our path)
View attachment 59052
I was once at New Barnet station and you can see these woods from the platform. One thing that needs to be considered is that you were very close to the overhead electric wires of the railway and some might argue such wiring can affect our moods, especially under certain atmospheric conditions:

https://www.home-biology.com/electromagnetic-radiation/emf-radiation-health-effects/depression
 

hunck

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There are many bits of forests and woods around here.
I've visited most, if not all, within about a 10 mile radius, plus some a bit further afield, and I can't recall ever being at all 'spooked out' in any of them............except one..........

We knew it as 'Hadley Woods', to the north of Barnet on the outskirts of north London.
We had gone down there one summer afternoon for a stroll through the woods, for no apparent reason, and I distinctly recall the odd feeling we had that particular time, like a sense of foreboding bringing on a sort of panicky feeling.
We had walked only a short distance to the point where the bridge crosses the train line when we suddenly and very decidedly turned and quickly walked back to the car, feeling all 'goose flesh'.

I since discovered that;
"Claims have been made that the borough is the most haunted in Britain, and that Monken Hadley is the most haunted village in the UK (...) But Barnet's best known ghost tale is that of Geoffrey de Mandeville, a medieval earl who reputedly haunts East Barnet and Hadley Wood. (...). De Mandeville is said to have died through an accident while trying to bury his treasure, and his spectre has apparently returned to watch over his fortune."
https://www.cravenherald.co.uk/news/427935.a-popular-hauntwith-lots-of-ghosts/

Here;
(the big yellow dot was where we parked at the 'dead end', and the small dots our path)
I used to bike it round Hadley Wood as a youth quite often, being the nearest largeish woods to me, & at school our dreaded cross country run, done in rain or shine, was round the woods. At the train tracks we used to put pennies on the line then retrieve to inspect the damage. I have never noticed anything spooky about them. I am about as psychic as a plank though & this would be daytime, not night.

The houses on the Barnet Monken Hadley edge of the woods are now prime premiership footballer territory.

Sometimes you can spot Hadley Wood & it’s lake featuring in old Hammer Horrors & suchlike. Quite a few scenes were filmed there.
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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Yeah Hadley Wood and Monken Hadley areas were always full of rich owners, and the surrounding countryside too (especially Cuffley).

One thing that needs to be considered is that you were very close to the overhead electric wires of the railway and some might argue such wiring can affect our moods, especially under certain atmospheric conditions:

And nah....I'm not having that. I had been to those woods many times before and after, and lived for a long time near a railway line and also near overhead power lines, and never experienced that sort of 'in your bones' gut feeling that I had that time.
It was definitely something other.
 

Floyd1

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I was once at New Barnet station and you can see these woods from the platform. One thing that needs to be considered is that you were very close to the overhead electric wires of the railway and some might argue such wiring can affect our moods, especially under certain atmospheric conditions:

https://www.home-biology.com/electromagnetic-radiation/emf-radiation-health-effects/depression
Of course, electricity and railways have also been theorised as to why there have been so many time-slip cases around Bold Street in Liverpool.
 

Spookdaddy

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...But not all woods have the same feel. I lived near the famous Clapham woods in West Sussex and, straight after I read of its weird Hecate worshipping and vicar snatching properties in the long, defunct but ground breaking mag " The Unexplained" (yes, with the very spooky floppy disc of EVP mutterings that gave the teenage me nightmares) , I elected to spend the night there walking around with a torch and a camera to catch the culprit, I regret, nothing happened...

It will possibly be no surprise to anyone that we have a Chanctonbury Ring / Clapham Woods thread.

Worth a visit (the thread...as well as the actual place, I mean).
 

Paul_Exeter

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Yeah Hadley Wood and Monken Hadley areas were always full of rich owners, and the surrounding countryside too (especially Cuffley).



And nah....I'm not having that. I had been to those woods many times before and after, and lived for a long time near a railway line and also near overhead power lines, and never experienced that sort of 'in your bones' gut feeling that I had that time.
It was definitely something other.
Good. It is one the skeptics use a lot, especially that one on the 'Uncanny' podcast (Danny Robins, R4)

It has happened to me. I used to walk late at night from Sway station (near Brockenhurst in the New Forest) back to the hotel where I worked, a journey of about two miles. The A road was narrow and so too dangerous and I took a slightly longer route along some back lanes. These lanes had high hedges and ran along field boundaries. If you walked them at dusk you would see bats and even barn owls. I have no fear of the dark after having grown up in a rural area and used to sing quite loudly to myself as I made my way home from the last train after a few beers with mates.

However, one late night as i walked this route back in 1993 I began to feel as if 'something' from some nearby woods was closing in on me and I began to fell more and more anxious. I began walking faster and faster, anxiously looking over my shoulder. There was no-one around, just some light from the few dwellings along the route, but it was a horrible feeling of being pursued that didn't ease until I saw the lights of the hotel ahead of me. Have to admit, I sometimes wonder if my singing attracted Pan...
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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Brockenhurst
Lovely place. I went camping in the New Forest near there and cycled into town and had a cream tea.
The exact same seller of 'The Big Issue' (a woman dressed in what appeared to be Peruvian national costume) as we have locally in Hatfield here, was plying her magazines there.
I still wonder at her bilocation abilities to this day.

There was no-one around,
Maybe you were being followed by some giant electric pylons? lol.
 

Nick Smith

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I wonder if this has any connection to the Ditchling Beacon Walker thread as it's not that far from Stanmer Park.

https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/the-ditchling-beacon-walker.68097/
It was the Ditchling Beacon thread that prompted me to post about Stanmer. On the West extremity of the great wood runs Ditchling Road and the short run to the Beacon. You used to be able to walk through the woods almost to there but last time I visited there was a fence preventing that. The ,, "Ghost," we saw stood on the track that once ran directly from the earthworks at Coldean (which are still clearly seen in the field between Hollingdean & Coldean) onto the Beacon and down to the Weald. Stanmer Park is totally unique with all the phenomena apparently found at places like Skinwalker. It is a truly ancient place with standing stones out of place animals and apparitions.

It has never been investigated and if I have had accounts of bizarre things happening from three sober folk (a medical Doctor, Electrical Engineer and a Charge Nurse) the Christ knows how many others there are. All the ghost hunters UFO buffs and pixie whisperers hang about in the Laines or on the Downs...Stanmer is just sitting there unexplored.
 

Nick Smith

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It will possibly be no surprise to anyone that we have a Chanctonbury Ring / Clapham Woods thread.

Worth a visit (the thread...as well as the actual place, I mean).
My Sister lives directly under Chanctonbury Ring and I have walked up there many times. It is a lovely place to visit but , I regret, has never set my spidey senses twitching.
 

kesavaross

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It was the Ditchling Beacon thread that prompted me to post about Stanmer. On the West extremity of the great wood runs Ditchling Road and the short run to the Beacon. You used to be able to walk through the woods almost to there but last time I visited there was a fence preventing that. The ,, "Ghost," we saw stood on the track that once ran directly from the earthworks at Coldean (which are still clearly seen in the field between Hollingdean & Coldean) onto the Beacon and down to the Weald. Stanmer Park is totally unique with all the phenomena apparently found at places like Skinwalker. It is a truly ancient place with standing stones out of place animals and apparitions.

It has never been investigated and if I have had accounts of bizarre things happening from three sober folk (a medical Doctor, Electrical Engineer and a Charge Nurse) the Christ knows how many others there are. All the ghost hunters UFO buffs and pixie whisperers hang about in the Laines or on the Downs...Stanmer is just sitting there unexplored.
The Stanmer estate years ago covered a large area and one corner of it was at Ditchling Beacon.

I have always found Stanmer Woods to have something odd about it that is hard to describe. I wouldn't call it creepy as such but the place never feels right.

Also during the Roman era there was an outside shrine to the Goddess Minerva between what is now the edge of Stanmer Woods and Ditchling Beacon. Years ago I got the longitude/latitude from a local archaeological society and visited the place. Obviously there's no remains there now. The site was in the middle of a clump of trees and had a very peaceful feel about it, unlike Stanmer Woods.

Over the years there have been reports of sightings of an ABC including a sighting by some dustmen early one morning at Wild Park which is virtually next door to Stanmer Park.
 

catseye

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Also during the Roman era there was an outside shrine to the Goddess Minerva between what is now the edge of Stanmer Woods and Ditchling Beacon. Years ago I got the longitude/latitude from a local archaeological society and visited the place. Obviously there's no remains there now. The site was in the middle of a clump of trees and had a very peaceful feel about it, unlike Stanmer Woods.
Of course, the site probably wouldn't have been among trees in the Roman era, so I wonder if that makes a difference?
 

catseye

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Coal

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Yes, but it's my understanding that the Romans built temples and places of worship where they were visible, rather than tucked away in the trees.
Since roman times a site could have become heavily forested then cleared a dozen times.
 

SimonBurchell

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Yes, but it's my understanding that the Romans built temples and places of worship where they were visible, rather than tucked away in the trees.
There was a fair bit of religious syncretism going on in Roman Britain, and local shrines could be Romanised into Romano-British temples. I think sometimes the old pre-Roman British shrines or sacred places could be in tucked-away locations.
 

zaknsolly

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For many years I was a teacher at a special school. As part of our enrichment and social skills provision once a week we would travel to some very old woodland a few miles from school. We’d meet our Forest Schools instructor there and carry out a day’s activities. The students all really loved being there and the environment really benefited them in ways being in a class never could. My class were all Y7 and Y8 so early secondary school age. I would be the teacher in charge and I’d always have two or three teaching assistant colleagues with us.

As I’m talking about a special school I’m not going to mention the county we were in as special schools are relatively few in number and even though it’s a few years ago now someone might read this and guess the school correctly. I’ll just say it was in the East Midlands.

Anyway, one class I took there were relatively more able. The instructor would often end the day with an activity of the group’s choosing. This particular group always wanted to play hide and seek. It was summer and there was lots of leaf cover. We’d go to an area in the woods where two dry stone walls met. Further back a footpath crossed between the walls. This made a big triangular area where all the kids could see the boundaries they could hide in. Everyone was under strict instructions not to go out of that area. We’d been going there for quite a few weeks with this group and they all respected this rule. Everyone would hide and the instructor would look for everyone.

So, one afternoon myself, one of the teaching assistants plus one student had perched ourselves behind some bushes with our backs to one of the dry stone walls. I could also see the footpath from there and could see if anyone strayed away from where they should be.

Behind me on the other side of the wall I became aware of some heavy footsteps. These sounded really heavy, like a big man with a heavy rucksack tramping through leaves or shrubs. Behind that part of the wall was a drop of about 10 feet into a huge area of ferns which banked steadily for about a quarter of a mile down to a track and a stream. The whole area was impassable. You’d have been up to your waste in ferns.

So I’m looking up and behind me wondering who on Earth is walking along the bottom of the other side of the wall. I turned to look at my colleague and she’s also looking up equally puzzled. I whispered ‘that better not be one of the kids down there’. So we both stood up and quietly pulled ourselves up onto the wall to look over. All the time we can hear these heavy footsteps crunching along.

As soon as we peered over, the footsteps immediately stopped. We both looked around the scene then at each other and resumed our seats. Then the footsteps started again. So again we both climb up and look down. Oddly, the footsteps weren’t getting distant. They sounded like something on two legs pacing back and forth. Again as we peered over, they stopped. This happened a third time.

I then dropped back down (aware I wasn’t keeping an eye on what was going on out in front of us) but my colleague stayed peering over. At that point we heard the footsteps again and as she was still looking over I asked if she could now see anything. Then, a couple of seconds after I asked that, she dropped down looking upset, grabbed the student’s hand and quickly left the hiding place. I followed.

Most of the group were in the middle of the area with the instructor who had found them. Soon after it was time to head for the minibus to return to school.

After school I found my colleague and asked if she was ok. This was the first time I’d had chance to talk to her away from the students. She said when the footsteps started she could see the ferns dragging and parting as if something or someone large was wading through them. At that point she got scared and wanted to go.

The following week I asked the instructor about it. He suggested it could’ve been a grouse or pheasant. Whatever it was sounded much, much bigger-large human size and weight. My colleague couldn’t explain what could’ve disturbed the ferns that way and she certainly felt it could not have been something as small as a pheasant.

It was all extremely odd and the only strange thing that ever happened to us there.
 

catseye

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For many years I was a teacher at a special school. As part of our enrichment and social skills provision once a week we would travel to some very old woodland a few miles from school. We’d meet our Forest Schools instructor there and carry out a day’s activities. The students all really loved being there and the environment really benefited them in ways being in a class never could. My class were all Y7 and Y8 so early secondary school age. I would be the teacher in charge and I’d always have two or three teaching assistant colleagues with us.

As I’m talking about a special school I’m not going to mention the county we were in as special schools are relatively few in number and even though it’s a few years ago now someone might read this and guess the school correctly. I’ll just say it was in the East Midlands.

Anyway, one class I took there were relatively more able. The instructor would often end the day with an activity of the group’s choosing. This particular group always wanted to play hide and seek. It was summer and there was lots of leaf cover. We’d go to an area in the woods where two dry stone walls met. Further back a footpath crossed between the walls. This made a big triangular area where all the kids could see the boundaries they could hide in. Everyone was under strict instructions not to go out of that area. We’d been going there for quite a few weeks with this group and they all respected this rule. Everyone would hide and the instructor would look for everyone.

So, one afternoon myself, one of the teaching assistants plus one student had perched ourselves behind some bushes with our backs to one of the dry stone walls. I could also see the footpath from there and could see if anyone strayed away from where they should be.

Behind me on the other side of the wall I became aware of some heavy footsteps. These sounded really heavy, like a big man with a heavy rucksack tramping through leaves or shrubs. Behind that part of the wall was a drop of about 10 feet into a huge area of ferns which banked steadily for about a quarter of a mile down to a track and a stream. The whole area was impassable. You’d have been up to your waste in ferns.

So I’m looking up and behind me wondering who on Earth is walking along the bottom of the other side of the wall. I turned to look at my colleague and she’s also looking up equally puzzled. I whispered ‘that better not be one of the kids down there’. So we both stood up and quietly pulled ourselves up onto the wall to look over. All the time we can hear these heavy footsteps crunching along.

As soon as we peered over, the footsteps immediately stopped. We both looked around the scene then at each other and resumed our seats. Then the footsteps started again. So again we both climb up and look down. Oddly, the footsteps weren’t getting distant. They sounded like something on two legs pacing back and forth. Again as we peered over, they stopped. This happened a third time.

I then dropped back down (aware I wasn’t keeping an eye on what was going on out in front of us) but my colleague stayed peering over. At that point we heard the footsteps again and as she was still looking over I asked if she could now see anything. Then, a couple of seconds after I asked that, she dropped down looking upset, grabbed the student’s hand and quickly left the hiding place. I followed.

Most of the group were in the middle of the area with the instructor who had found them. Soon after it was time to head for the minibus to return to school.

After school I found my colleague and asked if she was ok. This was the first time I’d had chance to talk to her away from the students. She said when the footsteps started she could see the ferns dragging and parting as if something or someone large was wading through them. At that point she got scared and wanted to go.

The following week I asked the instructor about it. He suggested it could’ve been a grouse or pheasant. Whatever it was sounded much, much bigger-large human size and weight. My colleague couldn’t explain what could’ve disturbed the ferns that way and she certainly felt it could not have been something as small as a pheasant.

It was all extremely odd and the only strange thing that ever happened to us there.
To be honest, I often walk though a very small strip of woodland that borders one of the fields and forms a boundary to a bridleway. I've heard a noise that sounds like a deer or large mammal scratting about in the leaf mulch and stopped to look, only to find it's a blackbird turning over the dead leaves in search of food.

If there were lots of dry leaves underfoot, then something smallish can make a LOT more noise than you would ever think feasible.
 

hunck

Antediluvian
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Jul 13, 2011
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Hobbs End
To be honest, I often walk though a very small strip of woodland that borders one of the fields and forms a boundary to a bridleway. I've heard a noise that sounds like a deer or large mammal scratting about in the leaf mulch and stopped to look, only to find it's a blackbird turning over the dead leaves in search of food.

If there were lots of dry leaves underfoot, then something smallish can make a LOT more noise than you would ever think feasible.
It’d have to be a fairly large bird such as a pheasant to move the ferns.

An animal like a deer may stop moving if it sees people looking in it’s direction then start again once it feels safer..
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell with yesterday's knickers
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
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York
It’d have to be a fairly large bird such as a pheasant to move the ferns.

An animal like a deer may stop moving if it sees people looking in it’s direction then start again once it feels safer..
Pheasants are beefy birds, particularly in autumn. And they are running through undergrowth at just the height to move bracken stems out of the way (which is how they manage to move so fast). Plus, there may be more than one of them.
 
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