Spooky Season is nearly upon us so enjoy a thrill or two with some of Dartmoor’s spookiest legends. Dartmoor is rich with legend, myth and folklore with stories of phantom dogs, giants, witches and even pixies! Here are a selection of some of the creepiest stories to come from Dartmoor to send a shiver down your spine next time you visit.
The Legend of Jay’s Grave
Perhaps one of the weirdest of the stories to come from Dartmoor is the one that surrounds Kitty Jay’s grave. Located near Manaton on Dartmoor, the ‘grave’ sits on an intersection and is said to be the final resting place of a young lady, Kitty Jay. The story says that Kitty was a young unmarried housemaid who was discarded by her lover in a time when such things were not allowed in society. Devasted, she took her own life and as suicides were not allowed to be buried on consecrated ground, instead being laid to rest outside of church grounds, usually on a crossroads, Kitty was not given the burial we would expect. The body was later dug up and reinterred by James Bryan, who set up the stones that sit at the site today. So far, so normal.
Well, the weird thing is that the grave is always adorned with fresh flowers with no real explanation as to where they came from. No matter what time of year you visit, you will always see fresh flowers there. Local stories range from pixies leaving the flowers to kind inhabitants but no one is really sure.
Ever wanted to tell someone’s future? Well, head to Crazywell Pool on Midsummer’s Eve and gaze into the water and legend has it that you will see the face of the next parishioner to die.
Crazywell Pool can be found below Cramber Tor and the water seems to go on forever. According to the stories, a group of drinkers at a local inn were discussing the legend and a bet was placed on whether they would be brave enough to go to the pool on a Midsummer’s Eve. No one knows whether the boys who took up the bet saw anything though as they died on the way home.
Cutty Dyer is the name of an evil sprite who lives at King’s Bridge in Ashburton. A sprite is a type of fairy that is known for being mischievous but the one that lives here takes it a step too far. He is known to accost drunks and throw them into the river and sometimes, to even kill them, drink their blood and then throw them in the river. So make sure to always have a clear head when crossing the bridge.
The legend of the Hairy Hands
The bridge on the B3212 that goes through Dartmoor has a pretty spooky history. The stretch of road between Postbridge and Two Bridges is known for being haunted by a large pair of hairy hands which appear on your steering wheel and try to force you off the road. The road is notorious for fatal accidents, in fact, even before motor vehicles were common, travellers avoided this stretch as much as they could.
Want more spooky stories from Dartmoor? Find more myths and legends from the moor here.