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Haunted Battlefields


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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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There are plenty of stories about battlefield ghosts from all around the world. Sometimes they vary from just the noise of battle and others they are supposedly seen as full blown battlefield appartions, or columns of troop movement. Again I think the sheer scale of these hauntings could lead to some interesting thoughts on what ghosts actually are. Is the whole battlefield or encounter to be seen as one ghost, or is it a crowd of spirits who get together for a re-enactment now and then. I may be very wrong, but I don't think I know of any battlefeld ghosts being experienced recently.

Mauro
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The Civil War battlefields

The Civil War battlefields were renown to be quite haunted. Edgehill was the subject a quite a number of "renactments": funny thing Prince Rupert was othen seen among the "ghostly" soldiers while he was still alive and well. I don't think that the traditional "ghost=spirit of the deceased" is an acceptable hypothesis here.
Another celebrated haunted battlefield is Marathon, Greece. As I've already said seeing the ghostly warriors was considered a death portent or, at the very best, a very bad omen.
Ghostly battles are rumoured to have been seen both at Waterloo and Azincourt.
Not strctly a battle but how about the "Lost Legion" mentioned by Archie McKerracher? These Roman soldiers (supposedly either defeated in battle and slaughtered by the Picts or killed off by starvation and illness while attempting to subdue a rebellious tribe) are apparently frequently heard (though never seen) in the Dunblane area.

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


Lee Waterhouse
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Marston moor is supposed to

Marston moor is supposed to be haunted, men in civil war attire are supposed to be seen on the aniversary of the battle. My take on this type of haunting are more of the recorded ghost than anything else. Does Culloden have any ghostly legends attached to it, i know from personal experience that the place "feels" odd.

Mauro
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There have also been a

There have also been a number of sighting of ghost warplanes: a lone Supermarine Spitfire has often been seen in skies near Biggin Hill. Experienced airmen have identified it as either a MkI or a MkIIa, almost identical in appearance. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BoBMF) actually owns a MkIIa and operated from Biggin Hill for a time before moving to RAF Coningsby.
There have also been a number of sightings involving bombers which are much more difficult to explain: the only airworthy WWII bomber in Britain is the BoBMF Avro Lancaster, whose air activities have long been restricted to a few selected events to save precious airframe hours. Moreover it fails to explains all those sightings involving twin engined WWII bombers (mainly Vickers Wellingtons). The last airworthy Wellington was scraped in 1953 and only two complete airframes survive to this day.

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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A phantom army was witnessed

A phantom army was witnessed on Souther Fell by a farm hand on Mid-Summers-Eve in the year 1735. The army took the form of mounted troops with infantry marching in a column. One year later on the same date the army was seen again by William Lancaster who was a local farmer. In 1745, the year of the Jacobite uprising the army was witnessed again by over 26 people on the 23rd June. This time the army was sighted with carriages, and covered an area of about half a mile. It would not have been possible to bring carriages on Souther Fell and the story is a complete mystery. An account of the haunting appeared in The Gentleman's Magazine in 1747.

This would be just after the uprising, the last conflict in which surface battles were fought on British soil. Many of the readers of The Gentleman's Magazine had probably served in the war. A ghostly army in Cumbria, the Scottish border. Carlisle Castle was the site of the last UK castle siege during this conflict and region would have suffered. Maybe rumours of a ghostly army were spread to help keep the Scots in line.

This account was put together for the website by Dan:
According to a local story (from the Saddleworth area) a patrol of Roman soldiers disappeared while crossing the desolate moors in the area around Bleaklow. They either became lost and died of exposure, or as my informant would have it, were ambushed by the local tribes and buried deep in some moorland bog, waiting to be found armour and all. The story may have some relation to reports of a ghostly legion seen by walkers on the Pennine way.

The area was certainly well used by the Roman legions. A Roman fort stands at Castleshaw and Roman road and routes can be seen such as Doctors Gate which ran from Navio Fort in Hope Valley to Melandria near Glossop.

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Lee Waterhouse
Lee Waterhouse wrote:

Marston moor is supposed to be haunted

Doing my family tree I found one of my ancestors apparently died at Marston Moor, fighting off Roundheads. Maybe he haunts?

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Daniel Parkinson
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Mauro wrote: Not strctly a
Mauro wrote:

Not strctly a battle but how about the "Lost Legion" mentioned by Archie McKerracher? These Roman soldiers (supposedly either defeated in battle and slaughtered by the Picts or killed off by starvation and illness while attempting to subdue a rebellious tribe) are apparently frequently heard (though never seen) in the Dunblane area.

The lost legion sounds interesting, when I wrote the bit about the Roman Patrol, I had heard it as a local legend while in Oldham. I used to do a lot of walking around The Pennine way and the local moors as a teenager and the story had always intrigued me, Bleaklow can be a wild disorienting place with the mist down and the story always added an extra dimension to the area. I am now wondering if it is related to the above account and has become supplanted through word of mouth, I will however have to track down my account of the sighting of Roman Soldiers. Was the Lost Legion mentioned in a book?

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Urisk
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There is the account of one

There is the account of one woman in Letham (Angus) witnessing the ghostly re-enactment of the battle of Nechtansmere. Only problem is that I don't think it was quite in the correct location. I'd have to look into this more though.

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Mauro
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Daniel Parkinson wrote: Was
Daniel Parkinson wrote:

Was the Lost Legion mentioned in a book?

Archie McKerracher
Perthshire in History and Legend
John Donald, Edinburgh

The book is currently out of print but not hard to find.

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Just a quick thought on

Just a quick thought on ghostly aircraft. As inanimate objects I think we can rule them out as being spirits and as for the stone tape recording theory, well, what substance would have recorded them and do they have a set range from said substance?

Mauro
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Thomas Charles Lethbridge

Thomas Charles Lethbridge put forward a theory according to which the "recording media" is supposed to be in some way related to water. He came up with the idea after two personal experiences (one involving a proper "ghost" sighting") made him look for "explanations he couldn't find".
I don't know about the warplanes, but the Edgehill ghost battle definetely shows that the ghosts of the deceased are not involved: Prince Rupert was clearly recognized among his troops by more than one Cavalier while he was known to be alive and well.
Could it be a case of "psychic recording"? And if water (or stone) is the recording media what are the writer and reader?

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-




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