Fortean North-East Derbyshire
Ashover (Hole opening up)
A tough woman living in Ashover by the name of Dorothy Matley worked at a lead mine, alongside the men. Whenever accused of a crime, her reply would be "If I’m guilty, may the Earth open and swallow me up.". Upon being accused in 1660 of stealing twopence from a fellow worker, she denied the theft and made the usual response. This resulted in her spinning ever faster and sinking into the ground. A rock appeared from nowhere, landing on her head, and the hole into which she was falling filled up with earth. When her dead body was dug up, the missing money was found on her.
Ashover (Ley Lines)
Charles Neal’s dowsing has led him to the conclusion that ley lines radiate out every 18° from Ashover Fabric - a hill near Ashover which was once the site of a Druid temple.
Bates, 2000, 2003; Eyre, 2016.
Ashover (The Turning Stone)
Alleged to be part of druidical remains, the large Turning Stone at Overton Tor turns itself over when the cockerel crows at certain times of the year.
Paranormal Database, 2015b.
The daughter and friends of a Bolsover lady had their photograph taken with a younger member of the family who was crying. The photographs shows, by the side of the girl and in front of the legs of one of the women, the image of a ghost child.
Broomhill Road, Old Whittington
In late August 2001, a giant web, consisting of a sticky white substance, appeared on the privet bush of a house on Broomhill Road.
Derbyshire Times, 2001; Eyre, 2016.
In Victorian times, Gabriel Hounds, identified as a strange noise in the air and taken to be a bad omen, appeared at Dronfield.
An official photograph taken outside Heath Church at the wedding of Terrie Phantom showed, in addition to the group of guests, an elderly lady standing on her own, whose appearance was identical to that of the bride’s deceased grandmother.
Holmesfield (Black Pheasant)
In the mid-2000s, the Black Pheasant, which is normally native to North America, was spotted at Holmesfield.
Hurley, n.d.; Eyre, 2016.
Holmesfield (Black Dog)
People have claimed to see a ghostly black dog with huge staring eyes and backward pointing feet wandering round Holmesfield.
In particular, during Victorian times, such a dog (also variously known as a barghast, barghest or padfoot) was seen by a woman at ‘three lane ends’ at Bury Hill, near Holmesfield. Her sister, who was accompanying her, was unable to see the barghast and died one month later. There is a legend that if you see a barghast, others with you will also see it if you touch them.
See also ‘Bowshaw House, Farm and Lodge, Bowshaw, Dronfield’ for a further example of a ghost dog.
Armitage, 2005; Clarke, 2013.
Nether Loads, Holymoorside
The valley of Nether Loads, near Holymoorside, was haunted by a giant black dog in the early 20th century. One farmer saw it in a field amongst his sheep. Fearing harm to his flock, he shot at the dog, only for the bullet to pass straight through the hound. The phantom was also seen around the Mill Close Farm area and howling was often heard.
On the 17th August 1990, a crop circle was located at Low Common Farm, Renishaw. There was an anticlockwise swirl and it was 73 ft in diameter. The site was high up compared with the surrounding land. Four rocks were found to be protruding out of the corn, all with black scrape marks. Upon later examination, it was found that bronze-like metal was embedded in the black scrape marks.
Three crop circles were formed, probably on the night of 29th / 30th July 1990, in the direction of Spinkhill, which could be viewed from Barlborough Village. They were situated nowhere near a road and could only be reached via an extremely long walk.
A flight instructor at Thorpe Salvin airfield said that he had observed crop circles for two or three years when flying over the area.
Delgado and Andrews, 1989; Eyre, 2016.
Many years ago, Sheffield poet John Holland’s mother, who lived in Staveley, claimed to have heard Gabriel’s ghost hounds, reported as being strange, unearthly and mysterious and which were heard at night. There used to be a superstition that this yelping sound was a forewarning of impending doom. The phenomenon was also known as Rache-hounds, a rache being a mediaeval hound which tracked by scent.
The Hagge, Nether Handley
The Mandrake Tree (also known as the Haunted Oak) was a great oak tree which was located at The Hagge. It was believed to be the only tree in Derbyshire that bore mistletoe. For generations, the locals believed the tree to have healing powers. There is a legend that if ever the tree was cut, it would bleed thick, red blood and a blood curdling, half human scream would be emitted. After surviving for hundreds of years, the tree was eventually blown down in a storm on the 12th December 1883.
Daniel, 1974; Anthony, 1977; Brindle, 2011.
Late one night in the early 1970s, Jean Evans was driving through Whitwell Common when she saw several bright lights or small fires encircling an ancient tree, together with a further fire in its branches. This type of phenomenon has been known as 'fairy fires'.
Four crop circles were discovered at Woodthorpe in July 1990. There was a large circle, with smaller ones beside it, in a field close to the M1 motorway, about 100 yards from the crash barriers and directly opposite Oxcroft opencast coal mine.
The farm on whose land the crop circles appeared belonged to Jackson Bros. The first small circle was perfectly round with an anticlockwise swirl and a perfect slot running off into the large circle. The large circle was laid anticlockwise
A year later, the corn and leaves inside where the circles had been was brown and wizened, whereas the surrounding area was a healthy green / yellow.
Worksop Trader, 1990; Eyre, 2016.