Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Myssterious Cornwall

There can be no doubt that Cornwall is a unique and beautiful part of Britain. The county is dominated by the granite mass that lies beneath the soils. It is that granite that has allowed this long, thin peninsula to withstand the pounding of the Atlantic storms as they as they sweep in from the west. It is that granite which forms the bedrock on which the landscape is built.

Whether it is the heights of Bodmin Moor or the cliffs of Lands End, the ancient rocks of Cornwall underlie the landscape. And that landscape is quite distinctive. Nowhere else in Britain are the fields so small, so that the hedges and walls can shelter the crops from the prevailing winds that force the trees to grow with a slant to the east. Nowhere else do the stone villages huddle around ancient churches quite so closely. Nowhere else do so many tiny harbours shelter boats and yachts under the shadow of ancient farming villages.

And nowhere else is there quite such an astonishing array of the mysterious, paranormal and downright odd. Other counties have their ghosts, their witches and their legends - but Cornwall has the lot and in numbers that seem to defy belief. It seems that almost everywhere you turn there is another mystery to be found, unearthed and studied to the bafflement and wonder of all.

from MYSTERIOUS CORNWALL by Rupert Matthews

Buy your copy HERE


Friday, 24 January 2014

The Roswell UFO Crash in Brief

In July 1947 the local newspaper and radio station at Roswell, New Mexico, carried reports that a local rancher had found a crashed flying saucer on his land. The USAF was alerted and military teams moved in to collect the wreckage. The USAFlater announced that the crashed craft was actually a weather balloon. In 1980s UFO reasearchers reinvestigated the incident and found that no weather balloon had been in the area at the time. They also found witnesses who described finding a crashed aircraft like nothing made on earth, and dead bodies and wreckage with bizarre properties. A subsequent USAF investigation found that the original announcement of a weather balloon had been invented to cover up the crash of an experimental craft, but many researchers remain convinced that it was a UFO that crashed at Roswell.

Buy your copy HERE

Friday, 17 January 2014

A Huanted Square in Sunderland

When I pulled up beside the ancient St Peter’s Church in Monkwearmouth, it was to track down Hallgarth Square. The place did not feature on any maps of Sunderland that I could find, but an old book in my possession was very clear about the haunting. “Close to St Peter's Church, Monkwearmouth,” the book said, “is Hallgarth Square. One of the workmen’s cottages here was occupied by a miner and his family in the 1880s. Each night as they lay in bed they would hear the most unearthly bloodcurdling screams, from underneath the house. Neighbours also heard the screams so not long after that the building was demolished, and it was while searching among the foundations that the answer to the mystery of the screams was found. It was revealed that at one time on the same site had been a Benedictine Monastery, under which some of the monks had been buried. What was thought to have been a last resting place and burial refuge for the monks, had been far from safe or peaceful. It had been swarming with river rats which had squealed in hunger as they tore into the remains of the monks after burial.” It would seem that the ghosts of the rats went screaming on.

Gruesome stuff, I thought. I wandered around the church and nearby roads, but there was no sign of Hallgarth Square. There were, however, plenty of new buildings in the shape of car showrooms, industrial units and blocks of flats. I asked a woman walking her dog through the churchyard if she knew where the find the elusive square. “Hallgarth Square”, she mused. “I think there was a square down there,” she pointed towards the car showroom, “but that was years ago. All been redeveloped now.”

I later discoverred that Hallgarth Square stood just south of St Peter’s Church, off what is now St Peter’s Way, but was then part of Church Street. The wall that divided the churchyard from the square was standing within living memory, when the square was lined by fairly large town houses. The area is now covered by commercial buildings and no ghostly activity has been reported for years.

from HAUNTED SUNDERLAND by Rupert Matthews

Buy your copy HERE

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The Ghost of Bincombe Tunnel, Dorset

Just to the west of Bincombe the mainline railway from London to Weymouth cuts through the hills by way of a tunnel. It is the tunnel that is haunted by a man who walks with stumbling tread and bowed head. More than one train driver has thought he has run down some hapless member of the public, only to find no sign of a body nor of anything that might have looked like a person. In 1991 a driver went so far as to call the police, but even the most dedicated search by the local constabulary could find nothing.

Perhaps this is the ghost of some unfortunate who was, indeed, run down by a train in Bincombe Tunnel.

from HAUNTED PLACES OF DORSET by Rupert Matthews
Get your copy HERE

Just opposite from the Yorkshire Hussar pub stands the very modern Park Inn Hotel. One of the houses that was pulled down to make way for this imposing edifice was well known to be haunted. A murder had taken place there in Victorian times, and the ghost of the victim had walked in the house ever since. Most people hoped and expected that when the old house was bulldozed, the ghost would go with it. Not so, apparently. Since the hotel opened there have been persistent, but largely unconfirmed reports, that members of staff have seen a vague, shadowy figure of indistinct outline hovering about the place.

from HAUNTED PLACES OF YORK by Rupert Matthews

Buy your copy HERE


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

A ghost in Salisbury, Wiltshire

Away from the Cathedral another phantom lurks at the almost as ancient Poltry Cross, a market cross of carved stone the arches of which once provided shelter for market stalls, but which now serve the same purpose for shoppers and tourists. The ghost here can be difficult to spot. He is a man in a grey, pinstriped three piece business suit. He stands quietly by himself, but attracts attention by some unidentified oddness about him. Then he vanishes abruptly, like a light being flicked off.


Buy your copy HERE


Monday, 6 January 2014

A Tragic Huanting at Wolvey, Warwickshire

The month of July is the time to come to Wolvey in search of the supernatural for this is the anniversary of a tragic event that was to claim three lives.

Back in the 18th century a local man fell in love with a girl from a passing gypsy troupe. The villagers warned him that no good would come of the romance, for the travellers would soon move on. The man was, however, truly smitten as was the girl. To the surprise of almost everyone, the girl gave up her travelling life to marry the man and settle down in Wolvey. The following July tragedy struck. The beautiful girl died in childbirth, the baby dying also.

The pair were buried together in the same grave in Wolvey churchyard. Every day the distraught young man would come to the grave on his way to and from work, weeping for the loved ones he had lost. A year to the day since the burial, he was found dead slumped over the grave. His family buried him in the same grave as his wife and baby.

Each July the young couple, carrying their baby in their arms, return to the churchyard. They are seen sitting or walking quietly and appear to be quite at peace with themselves and with the world that treated them all so badly.

from "Haunted Warwickshire" by Rupert Matthews


The Ghostly Highwayman of Nottingham

A little down the hill from the castle, and across the modern ring road that cuts it off from the city centre, stands Ye Olde Salutation Inn. This pub dates back to 1240, though most of what stands today dates to the 15th century. It is said to hide two ghosts within its welcoming walls.

The older is that of a highwayman who was arrested there in the 1730. He appears to recreate the last moments before the forces of justice overtook him. He leaps to his feet brandishing a pair of pistols and shouting silent oaths of defiance at invisible attackers, then he vanishes.

From "Haunted Places of Nothinghamshire" by Rupert Matthews.