Lydford GhostsDartmoor.
Lydford Village
Devon  EX20 4BH
 
 
 
It is no wonder that the ancient and grisly history of Lydford  on Dartmoor has given rise to many ghost stories.
 
Lydford itself has no street lighting and vision is good on a bright starlit night. Alternatively, when the mists come down, real objects turn into apparitions. The writer is not a fanciful person, but has, on two occasions experienced the icy chill left by an unhappy spirit.
 
It must be remembered that Lydford was an Anglo-Saxon settlement, raided by the bloodthirsty Vikings. It was a place of summary medieval justice and the castle remained a prison until the 19th century. Lydford Gorge has also been the site of several fatalities.
 
Lydford Village
An apparition of a large black pig, snorting and snuffling, is said to roam the streets of the village. This is supposed to be the ghost of the ‘Hanging Judge’ George Jefferies. The main problem with this theory is that Jefferies never came to Lydford, so why would his ghost hang around there.
 
Lydford Castle
The misty outline of a man is said to haunt the fern clad dungeons of the castle. An apparition resembling a bear or some such animal has been seen walking along and disappearing through a stone archway. This one leaves an icy cold chill in the air.
 
The Castle Inn
A ‘broad shouldered man in workman’s clothing’ is said to walk along the corridor from Room 6 and disappear through the wall. He is meant to be the prison jailor from the castle prison. The problem is that the jailors did not live in the Inn, they lived on the second floor of the castle. He must be somebody else.
 
There have been other sightings in the building of opaque mists suddenly forming, wafting around and disappearing, and reports of photographs showing orbs.
 
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Gallows Hill
On the edge of the village in a corner of a field is a low mound, shown on the OS Map as a tumulus. Locals say that this is where prisoners were hung, drawn and quartered. It is said that on dark, still nights the moans and screams of the dying can be heard coming from the spot.
 
Lydford Gorge
Unfortunately, drownings have occurred in the fast flowing waters of the gorge. The spectre of a woman known as ‘Old Kitty’ or ‘The Red Lady’ has been seen at a pool known as Kits Steps. She wears a red headscarf or shawl and can be seen at the pool’s edge staring down into the water.
 
The writer’s own experience occurred at Blists Hill Victorian Town, part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums World Heritage Site, Shropshire. I found out later that a young girl had died in an industrial accident exactly where I felt the icy chill.
 
Further Information
 
Google Map - Lydford Ghosts