There is no doubt that forests can be spooky places. Sometimes you feel as though you are not on your own. With numerous stories of myths and legends we take a look at some of the most haunted forests in the United Kingdom
Once upon a time a bandit named Ippikin is said to have buried his stolen treasure around Wenlock Edge, a deciduous woodland in Shropshire.
It is believed that if a traveller stands on Wenlock Edge and repeats “Ippikin, Ippikin, keep away with your long chin”, they should expect to be pushed off one of the long, steep slopes by the outlaw’s ghost.
Major Thomas Smallman was a Royalist officer in the English Civil War, and it is claimed that both he and the spirit of his horse are said to haunt an area on Wenlock Edge.
When Major Thomas was carrying an important message to Shrewsbury he was surrounded by Parliamentarian troops but Instead of surrendering, he mounted his horse and rode of a cliff. The horse tragically died, but the Major was saved by an apple tree.
The place he leapt from is now known as Major’s Leap.
Deep inside the woods of Epping Forest there is a place known as the suicide pool. It is an hidden area where a young couple, who were in love, were followed to the pool by the girl’s father who shortly afterwards decided to murder them.
The water would soon turn as black as night and local wildlife began to die at its edges. The whole area became barren but then the bodies started to appear.
First a woman was found dead at the side of the pond and later a girl was found with her young child dead beside her. Rumours began to surface that the pool was cursed and it began to draw people in, ultimately leading them to their deaths.
Another tale is about the world famous highwayman Dick Turpin who hid inside Epping Forest during the 18th century. It is believed that at some point Turpin had killed a man in these woods. In 1739 Dick Turpin was executed in York for horse theft.
Some paranormal enthusiasts claim that the spirit of Turpin and also Celtic soldiers are the ones who haunt these woods.
West Midlands, England
Cannock Chase is a large and dense woodland situated in the West Midlands. It has become known as one of the most active paranormal hotspots in the United Kingdom.
It gained its reputation for its alleged 'werewolf' sightings and, according to the myths, the creature hunts on the outskirts of Stafford.
As the area is home to war cemeteries for both German and allied soldiers, sightings of marching soldiers are often seen.
The most famous of the Cannock's hauntings is the fabled Black Eyed Child. It was first seen over thirty years ago. The creature is reported to stand staring at passers by with its jet black eyes.
Others have reported the sighting of other black eyed children moving around the woods. The ghostly white figures are often seen in various areas around the forest, ands they can usually be heard chanting and singing.
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St Mary's Vale
A Welsh folkloric character The giant Jack O’Kent lurks within the miles of oak and beech that make up St Mary’s Vale in Monmouthshire.
Jack O’Kent is generally considered to be a druid type wizard that is able to embarrass the Devil in games and bargains.
During one story that has been spoke about for centuries, Jack was said to have asked the Devil for help building a bridge in exchange for the soul of the first person who crosses it.
Once it was completed, Jack threw a bone across the bridge in order to summon a hungry dog.
Jack O’Kent’s heels are also supposed to have left a distinctive cleft in the Skirrid mountain, and to have thrown the standing stones at Trellech.
Forest of Rothiemurchus
An age-old iron cage confines the grave of the 14th-century tribal chief Seath Mor. It is located in the Scottish Forest of Rothiemurchus.
The chief’s spirit has often been spotted by walkers in the woods and he is supposed to challenge those who find him to a fight: anyone who accepts his offer are granted safe passage, while those who dare to run are cursed to wander eternally within the forest.
There are five stones that are placed on Seath Mor’s tomb, and perhaps this could be to represent those who perished with him in battle.
A cage that was placed in the 1980's protects the grave and the stones. Anybody who disturbs these stones are suspected of tempting fate.