Hell's Kettles - County Durham

VictorianHell's Kettles, also known as ‘Kettles of Hell’ or ‘Devil’s Kettles’ have been the subject of numerous legends and superstitions. These three, supposedly bottomless pits are located at Oxen-le-Hall, in the south of the parish of Darlington and are the subject of many tales.

Locals may tell you of their green, boiling sulphurous waters that have taken the lives of people and animals; drowned or eaten alive by the Pikes and Eels that infest them. Believed to have been created by a ferocious earthquake in 1179, the Hell’s Kettles are said to contain the souls of sinners and reports claim the bodies of the victims can be witnessed floating in the pools when clear.

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Herne the Hunter

Herne the HunterHerne the Hunter is an antlered ghost, associated with Windsor Forest and Great Park in the English county of Berkshire. 

The first recorded mention of Herne appears in William Shakespeare’s play, The Merry Wives of Windsor and little else was written about him until the 16th century.

Shakespeare describes Herne as “a spirit” and “sometime a keeper…in Windsor forest” who is seen to “walk round an oak, with great ragg’d horns” at midnight during winter-time.

Samuel Ireland (chief victim of the Ireland Shakespeare forgeries by his son William Henry Ireland; who purported to have found lost manuscripts of the playwright) expanded on the story as follows. “The story of this Herne, who was keeper in the forest in the time of Elizabeth, reads thus: That having committed some great offence, for which he feared to lose his situation and fall into disgrace, he was induced to hang himself on this tree.” Ireland suggests that the unholy method of his death gave cause to his unquiet spirit to haunt the forest.

The hauntings have been reported in Windsor Forest (covering all of East Berkshire and parts of south Buckinghamshire, northeast Hampshire and northwest Surry) and specifically the Great Park. Some hauntings report he appears antlered beneath the tree on which he was hanged, known as “Herne’s Oak”, others claim to see him riding his horse, accompanied by other wild huntsmen and the captured souls of those he encounters on his journey. He is described as having a phosphorescent glow and is accompanied by a horned owl, demon hounds and other creatures of the forest.

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The Crier of Claiffe

For centuries ferrymen rowed passengers across Lake Windermere, between Ferry Nab and Sawrey. This 500m crossing saves miles on the journey from Windermere to Hawkshead and beyond.The wooded heights on the west bank of the lake are known as Claiffe Heights and legend has it that in the 15th century this was home to the Claiffe Crier.

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The Devil's Arrows

DevilsArrowsLocation : United Kingdom - Boroughbridge, North Riding of Yorkshire

The three huge standing stones on the western outskirts of Boroughbridge are among the least understood and most neglected historic monuments in Britain. Where they came from, how many there were originally, what their purpose is, and who placed them and when, have been for hundreds of years – and are still today – matters of conjecture.

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The Devils Footprints

The Devil's Footprints was the name given to a peculiar phenomenon that occurred in South Devon, England on 8th February 1855. After a heavy snowfall, during the night, a series of hoof-like marks appeared in the snow. These footprints, measuring 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide and eight inches apart, continued throughout the countryside for a total of over 100 miles, and, although veering at various points, for the greater part of their course followed straight lines.

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The Petrifying Well

Over the years millions of people have come to see for themselves the amazing powers of The Petrifying Well. This ancient Well – formerly known as the Dropping Well –is believed to be the only one of its kind in England. At the time Mother Shipton was born, Knaresborough townsfolk believed the Well to be magic and never ventured near it, they had seen small twigs, leaves and perhaps a dead bird turned to stone in the Wells falling waters.

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Thomas the Rhymer / True Thomas

Thomas was a real man who lived in Scotland in the 13th century. Known as Thomas Learmont or Thomas de Ercildoun, he is mentioned in charters from 1294 and 1260 – 1280, His father being Thome (Thomas) Rymour de Ercildoun. (Ercildoun being the name at the time for the present day village of Earlston in Galashiels, approximately 30 miles south east of Edinburgh) It has been speculated that he was known as Thomas the Rhymer due to his prophetic verses however it seems far more plausible that it is a corruption of his fathers’ name.

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Witch of Wookey Hole


Wookey Hole is a village close to Wells in Somerset, England. It is within the parish of St Cuthbert Out. The name Wookey is thought to come from the Old English wocig (an animal trap). The village of Wookey Hole is dominated by the Wookey Hole Caves. Wookey Hole cave was formed by the action of the River Axe on the limestone hills.  

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