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Ghosts of the Peak District

The Peak District has many, many ghost stories, only adding to the mystery and wonder of the place. There are several ghostly peddlers who've been sighted, one who was murdered at Darley Dale near Matlock and went on to haunt a quiet lane near St Helen's church, a lane which is still sometimes called Ghost Lane today.
There are the ghostly phantoms of Shady Lane, near Great Longstone who frighten the life out people, literally it seems. At twilight or just before dawn, travellers might be faced with 12 headless men who carry an empty coffin. The story goes, if you see the grim procession, you will be the next person to occupy the coffin.

There have also been spooky happenings which have been reported in the caves and lead mines in the area. The present owner of Good Luck Mine in the Via Gellia , near Cromford, knows the name of his because the initials G.H are carved into the rock. The gentleman is called Gamaliel Hall who met his death in the mine and was 'duly buried in a woollen shroud as was the custom of the day,' and he still wears this as he wanders around the caves, apparently, a very ghostly sighting indeed.

One of the Peak's most haunted houses is High low Hall in Hathersage, where ghosts have been busy scaring visitors here for over 600 years. It seems to have started when a young heiress cursed her lover Nicolas Eyre for deceiving her and then she took her own life. Nicolas created another ghost at High low Hall when he took his sword to a stonemason caught shirking his duties. There is also another spectre of a man who died by the sword during a drunken quarrel and farm workers and a coal deliveryman have also watched a pale apparition of a lady enter the front of the hall when there is nobody there.

Many other ghost stories talk of broken hearted maidens. A lady called Margaret Vernon is doomed to repeat a ride on horseback for all eternity. She witnessed her lover marrying another woman in Hope Church and became mad with grief and rode wildly home to Hazel Badge Hall, where she slowly pined to death.

Taddington Hall is home to the ghosts of two of its former residents, one of drunken farmer who died after falling from his horse on the way home from Bakewell market. His ghost appeared to his wife even before she knew he was dead. The other ghost is called Isaac, who was murdered by his brother in the cellar of the hall. During the severe winter of 1947, a man's voice was heard steadying a sick horse but there was nobody to be seen, nor were there any footprints in the fresh snow.

Winster Hall is said to be haunted by two lovers who jumped from the roof to their deaths rather than be parted. The occupants of Goose Hill Hall at Castleton have seen occasional glimpses of a mediaeval tournament in the grounds. According to tradition, a magnificent contest was held in the shadow of Peveril Castle. Knights came from far and wide to compete at the hands of the nobleman's daughter and many men lost their lives. People have reported spooky sound sin the Miner's Standard pub at Winster, and some have heard footsteps in empty rooms . Others have heard the shaky voice of an old lady singing three blind mice but nobody has actually seen anything.

Lots of Peak District pubs have a reputation for being haunted. Stories of the supernatural have happened at the Red Lion in Wirksworth, going back to the days of coach travel where a legend has it that a coachman's head was knocked off when it's horse bolted through the archway. The ghost of a headless coachman appears as a cloaked figure dressed in dark green. The Travellers Rest of Brough report sightings of the ghost of a fun girl who died after falling headlong down the stairs while fleeing from the drunken customer.

The Miner's Arms at Eyan has been linked to a ghostly tragedy. There was once a shack built over a forgotten mineshaft. Some children accidentally started a fire in the shack while playing with a candle and one girl tumbled to her death down the shaft, while another died in the fire and many people have reported hearing unexplained footstep upstair. Others tell of seeing objects moved by invisible hands.

 In Winster there is Bowling Green Inn and many customers have witnessed the supernatural, either by strange movements or eerie sounds and one former landlady complained about hearing ghostly footsteps upstairs and every time she thought it was her children out of bed, they were always fast asleep.

At Edale a wartime tragedy re-occurs at the Old Nag's Head at Edale. During the Second World War, many aircraft were wrecked on the Kinder Moors and after one RAF bomber crashed, the bodies of the crew were carried down to the Old Nags' Head and customers have reported seeing ghostly figures in men's uniforms while others have heard voices and sounds they couldn't identify.

You can read more about the wreckage of several planes in our section Ghost Planes In The Peak - it's really fascinating and also quite sad.

Most of the ghosts and ghoulies seem quite friendly and even though they may make you jump if you see one, why not say hello and tell them how much you're enjoying staying in their lovely part of the world?