Saturday, July 2, 2016

Nottingham Tales


Sometime ago I received a response to my post The Trail...which seemed to connect with many people. The reader, who has submitted content previously, wanted to convey a personal experience and a tale told by a neighbor:

Panic in the Woods (location: Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, UK)

After reading about the oddness experienced in woodland it reminded me of one such occurrence from my childhood and also a tale from a neighbour.

Every other Sunday we (myself and a friend) would walk towards a small wood that was surrounded by fields. Its main appeal was the silence and two very tall trees that where easy to climb. I`d estimate the size of this small wood as being 3/4s the size of a football field. You couldn’t really get lost in there as sooner or later you`d spot the fields surrounding you. We eventually found a small pond in there which seemed amazing and we decided this place was our “den” or camp. We had plans to make a very crude looking tree house and also camouflage everything – so other kids wouldn’t take an interest. Sadly, the tree house idea never worked as our parents once caught us walking off with wood, a hammer and some rusty nails. We resorted to making a very poor looking shelter that always fell apart. One visit to our “camp” revealed that someone else had taken the shelter away! Why someone would take every twig, branch and the scraps of plywood was a mystery. We climbed the trees and discussed plans to build a new, better hidden one. This is when we heard a noise like a thump somewhere in the wood. We looked around and listened but we couldn't locate the cause of this noise. So, we decided to climb down and investigate. After ten minutes of exploration we got bored and decided to make our way back to the two tall trees. This is when things got weird.

Our journey back became puzzling – retracing our path led to barriers of thorn & holly bushes. Walking around these and following the trodden path resulted in us walking around in circles. Even the clearings didn’t help us get our bearings & the surrounding fields no longer seemed to exist – just more trees and bushes. We decided to head down a banking into more dense undergrowth with the idea – eventually, were going to find the fields. This is when we heard the noise again and we seemed very close to it. We both froze and nervously looked around, but again nothing. After a short pause we noticed that everything was just too quiet here and both of us started to panic. Then we heard a dog growling behind us but no dog could be seen. We ran for it! Again, we ran around in circles until we spotted one of the tall trees in the distance. We just ran without breath directly towards it and again found the route leading us elsewhere. It was only when we decided to ignore the two trees that we suddenly rushed into open fields! It spooked both of us and took many weeks (Winter was approaching which meant alot of rain) before we dare enter that wood again. Strange thing is, we never got lost in their again and never came across the banking where we had heard the noises. In 1998 I took my dog for a walk and saw that little wood. I thought, "what the heck" and went in. I was filled with memories and found I could move through it without difficulty. I found the pond/two trees and then looked for that steep banking of earth. Couldnt locate it and ultimately was left with a silent chill down my spine. I went back many times and my little dog loved it. There was an "odd" feeling of peace in that place. Its still there today in the middle of fields.

Ghost Sighting - (location: Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, UK)

This is the tale told to me by a neighbour many years ago. One afternoon whilst walking his dog through Sherwood Forest, he began to notice how quiet and peaceful it was. Even the gentle breeze in the air seemed to be missing. His dog became excited by something and ran into the bushes. Calling his dog back didn’t work so off he went in search of him. This is when he saw a man on a horse ahead of him. He was about to ask this figure if he`d seen his dog when he noticed something odd about him. He was dressed in medieval soldier clothing complete with a small metal looking hat. Stranger still, he couldn't see the horses legs – it looked like the lower part of this animal had been erased. This “soldier” had noticed the dog walker and turned his head to stare at him – no doubt in shock just like my neighbour. The neighbour told me that when he moved away from this strange sight it all disappeared. He quickly found his dog and walked briskly away. I thought this tale was amazing and if left me thinking – did a ghost from the past witness a ghost from the future?

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