Hell's Kettles - County Durham

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

These three, supposedly bottomless pits are rumoured to have taken the lives of people and animals; drowned or eaten alive by the Pikes and Eels thought to infest them. Believed to contain the souls of sinners, many reports claim that the bodies of victims can be witnessed floating in the pools when clear.

Thought to have been created by a ferocious earthquake in1179, the water is believed to be hot as a result of reverberation. The sinkholes are fed by artesian water and have been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for their ability to support a hard water "fen" flora.

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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.

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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 Oak and Oakmen

Most people know the rhyming proverb 'Fairy folks are in old oaks'.

'The Gospel Oak' or 'The King's Oak' in every considerable forest had probably a traditional sacredness from unremembered times, and an oak coppice in which the young saplings had sprung from the stumps of felled trees was thought to be an uncanny place after sunset. An oak coppice was often considered an evil and dangerous place to travel through at night, especially if it was a blue-bell wood.

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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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The Richmond Drummer Boy Legend

Legend has it there used to be a tunnel connecting Easby Abbey to Richmond Castle. After many hundreds of years, possibly at the end of the 18th century, the tunnel was rediscovered under the Keep of the Castleby some soldiers . It had been quite damaged over the passing of time; only a small boy could pass through the fallen rubble.

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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. 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, which were formed by the action of the River Axe on the limestone hills. Within these caves, the Witch of Wookey Hole dwells. 

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