Ghost stories

I’m not going to claim that ghosts definitely do, or don’t exist. I’ve never seen one, or anything which I’ve been unable to explain. I remain open-minded to the possibility of the paranormal.
I was reminded of a ghost story I read a while ago, when I was out biking on Tuesday this week. Amongst other places I visited Claife Heights and Latterbarrow.
The book was printed ten years ago, it is now no longer available unless you can track it down ‘pre-read’. The book is called “Ghostly Guide to the Lake District” by John Anthony Walker. If you like that sort of thing, go and buy it.
The relevant part concerns “The Crier Of Claife”:

———————————————— quote ————————————————
Claife is the wooded area with an old quarry on the far side of
the Lake. Legend has it that on odd nights a voice called out ‘Boat! Boat!’ from the Claife side. Most of the
boatmen were wise enough to ignore it, but on one wild and stormy night one of them, brave or foolhardy,
chose to row over to answer the voice. After about half an hour, he returned with an empty boat but he was
so terrified that he couldn’t talk. His friends did their best for him, but by the next morning he was dead.
All sorts of stories circulated about Claife which was said to be the haunt of demons and witches.
Then, a monk persuaded someone to row him across the lake with bell and bible in his hands. When he
landed he went into the woods of Claife and found the demon in the old quarry. By the power of his faith, he
caused it to be bound ‘until men should walk dryshod across the lake.’
That does not seem to be the end of it however, because in fairly recent times there is the story of a
fox hunt coming to Claife, when the hounds suddenly came to a dead stop and couldn’t be persuaded to go
any further. There was also a schoolmaster from Colthouse who laughed at the stories of the demon at
Claife and went out one night to show what nonsense it all was. He was never seen again.
One explanation of who the Crier of Claife was, is that he was a monk from Furness Abbey, who in
the Middle Ages, became involved with a local woman. He loved the woman deeply but because of his
position could never marry her. In the end she married someone else and he went up to the wilderness of
Claife to die of grief.
You can walk onto the heights of Claife, through the trees, but be warned – there are stories of
walkers being followed in mist or at dusk by a hooded figure.
———————————————— quote ————————————————

The weather on Tuesday was very calm, no rain or wind to speak of, and patches of mildly dense fog. I didn’t see anything there I couldn’t explain, but now that you have the story I’m confident you’ll think of the next time you’re in the area. Given today’s date, it’s a good time to post something like this. 🙂


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