So, here’s a bit of fun. Something I filmed a while back, and yes; I now have different coloured hair. But I had the urge to do some video editing, I haven’t had the opportunity for ages. So, I dug out these clips and opened iMovie; thus proceeded hours of amusement (it doesn’t take much). Have fun … I did.
Traditionally an Irish creature believed to be of fairy origin; she is tasked with the job of warning family members of an imminent death within the household. Some believe they only appear for selected noble folk of Eire, others swear to have heard The Banshee wail upon the deathbed of their family member who was not related to Irish nobility.
Female and nearly always in three’s; a young maid, a middle-aged matron and an old crone; dressed in either white or dusky grey. They appear hooded or with long, wild hair flowing in the wind (sometimes described as having a silver comb in it, leading to the superstition of finding a comb on the ground as bad luck). Dishevelled, stinking and screaming the omen of death.
Her caterwaul is referred to as caoine (keening), possibly based on the ancient tradition of Irish women singing a lament at funerals, known locally as Keeners. The connection seems deliciously apt. Are Keeners somehow embroiled within the legend of The Banshee? Singing ladies aiding to ease the loss of a family member, or is The Banshee a true spirit of the sky, screeching like a demented ghost; ridiculing the soon-to-be bereaved?
Not all Banshee’s come in three’s; sometimes she appears alone, a washer woman, who scrubs the bloodstains out of the ill-fated victims clothes; although this seems a little mysterious as The Banshee is reported to be very rarely seen; only heard. Her wails so harrowing it is like no other sound known on earth, thin and reedy, and at such a pitch it could shatter bone.
What few sightings there have been, dictate that once aware of being watched; she evaporates into an angry mist; with the sound of flapping wings resonating in your ears.
King James I believed he had been approached by one such creature; in 1437. Odd then that he was murdered not long after.
The Banshee does not cause death, merely warns of it. And although many consider her to be merely a myth retold over the centuries, many do believe in her existence; just as many truly believe they have heard her warning cry moments before a loved one passes away.
Sources: Drakensang online.
Racton Tower. Funtington. West Sussex.
By far, one of the creepiest places I have ever been to so far, and I was there in broad daylight.
There is a distinctly malevolent mood about the place, a veiled ambience which hinted of dark deeds. Lots of ivy, very isolated; hidden from prying eyes. I certainly wouldn’t want to be around it at night on my own.
Racton Tower is a four storey tapering monument built in approximately 1772 as either a folly or a watch tower; sadly now just a ruin. To find it, you have to park at the bottom of a small track and walk up the incline to get near the place; and seriously, it felt like someone was following me all the way. I’m a bit of a ballsy bird, 3rd Dan Black Belt; not an awful lot unnerves me, but every time I looked round, I half expected some sort of Phantom Menace to be leering out of the bushes. It has a seriously displaced atmosphere.
Well worth a visit if you like being spooked. Dark Magic sparks the imagination in the heavy atmosphere which envelopes the ruin. I can easily envisage occult practice and illegal RAVES going on.
At 80 feet high it is visible for quite a few miles, yet isn’t the easiest place to pin-point. I drove passed it at least twice before parking up and wandering up a narrow bridleway, hoping it was close by, literally to stumble across the edifice surrounded by dense foliage and broken down wire fencing. Someone wanted visitors kept out, but obviously visitors had other plans.
Popular with ghost hunters due to its links with devil worship; reports of a ghostly woman ambling around the site; of dark spectral beings skulking close by; even bricks thrown from the top of the folly itself have been reported. Much is added to the benevolence of the place by the graffiti daubed within the structure and the evidence of nocturnal activity obvious to even the most disinterested observers.
A paranormal investigation was carried out here by a Portsmouth based team called ‘Ghost Intelligent Investigations’ and their findings can be viewed on YouTube.
Racton Tower, although it has no obvious purpose except for a rich mans whimsy, an eccentric frivolity perhaps to watch ships dock at Emsworth some 3 miles away; it is without doubt, now atmospheric to the degree of Blair Witch syndrome. I’d like to re-visit Racton but a nagging feeling tells me that wouldn’t be a good idea; it’s cold, even on a sunny day and decidedly unpleasant; so what is it that draws me back?
Sources: westsussex.info. found objects. ghost intelligent investigations. a bit about Britain.
I expect most of us remember the tales of these creatures from our childhood. The big, bumbling humanoid form which is sometimes kindly and dumb; but mostly intelligent and aggressive.
The Cyclops is a one eyed humongous who has the strength of 1,000 men. Mostly of Greek and then later, Roman mythology; the most famous being Polyphemus from Homer’s Odyssey. Cyclopses are members of a primitive race of giants, each with a single eye in the middle of their forehead. The name is widely thought to mean “round-eyed” or “circle-eyed”. They are carnivorous and enjoy the meat of sheep and human’s.
The Cyclops by Odilon Redon (undated.)
Sources: wikipedia. monster,com. wikivillians.
Fittleworth Woods. Fittleworth. West Sussex.
Fittleworth is a lovely little village just a few miles between Petworth and Pulborough. The great Nineteenth-century folklorist, Charlotte Latham lived here with her Reverend husband, writing up her fables and fairytales.
There is a legend here of the Hissing Worm of Fittleworth. Said to live in the treetops and never come to ground, spraying its venom from the cover of the branches.
More sweetly, a little wooden bear lives here. He has been repaired numerous times over the years, and sadly at the time of writing, only has one leg. Apparently he was a wedding gift to a young couple for felt he should be allowed to roam free. And roam free he has done for many years.
Fruit Flinging Event. Worthing. West Sussex.
The Local Custom of throwing oranges and lemons (some say at each other but in all respect to health and safety they are thrown the longest distance with the winner claiming a cash prize) is in remembrance of a stricken sea vessel that went down off the coast of Sussex. The event is held every year on the sands just off Heene Terrace, recalling the many tonnes of fruit that was washed ashore from the S.S.Indiana in 1901.
Plaque close to Worthing Pier, detailing not just the sinking of the S.S.Indiana but of other wrecks off the coast.
The SS Indiana ran aground in March 1901, bursting her hold as tens of thousands of oranges and lemons bobbed ashore between the beaches of Goring and Brighton. She was still dived upon until recent years, though now her wreck has been consumed by the sea, even in her watery grave, she briefly provided a home for giant conger eels.
Thousands of people splashed into the chilly waters to gather their unexpected prize from this maritime accident. Allegedly one man died in Brighton after wading into the cold water to collect his reward and suffered a fatal heart attack, whilst fights broke out amongst others in their eager attempt to take home their fruity pickings, not to mention the highly priced bottled citrus oil which was also being transported in the hold. The local constabulary was employed to chase off the looters but according to reports they could not have succeeded as there was an excess of marmalade for many years.
Young competitors throwing their oranges and lemons. (Be warned to keep out the way!)
The ever-present Morris Dancers help kick off the event.
The Old Steine. Brighton. East Sussex.
Here is a fable that deserves a mention. That of the unfortunate John Robinson of the Eighteenth century.
John was a soldier of (mis)fortune who met a double helping of bad luck in the country that was then known as Persia – his eyes were burnt out with red-hot pokers after being captured during a failed rebellion attempt.
A compassionate merchant helped Robinson return to England; where the unsuccessful mercenary finally made his way back to his hometown of Brighton, dying miserably at the site of The Old Steine.
His ghost has been seen lying in the road by a woman who was so badly traumatized by the phantom’s appearance she was rushed to hospital and kept in under observation due to shock. Also, by a paroling Police Officer who rushed to the aid of what he believed to be a traffic accident only to vomit at the sight of the mutilated, eyeball-less face of an apparition which disappeared slowly in front of him.