Eden Camp – Where the Ghosts Make It Personal

Eden Camp (in Malton, England) may be one of the eeriest sites ever shown on “Most Haunted.”
And it’s one of England’s best locations for ghost hunting.

Continued from Eden Camp Ghosts, Part One

If you saw the two-part Most Haunted episode in January 2019, it might have looked like a tame, friendly little haunt.

It’s not.

There are three reasons I  recommend Eden Camp:

  1. Most of the phenomena are “lite.”  That’s why Eden Camp is ideal for first-time researchers.
  2. Weird things happen more frequently than at many haunted sites. That makes it equally ideal for jaded professionals.
  3. The ghosts make it personal. It’s one thing to wonder if the ghosts know you’re there. It’s entirely different when you’re sure the ghosts know what scares you the most.

Lots of Ghostly Activity

In my review of the first half of Most Haunted’s Eden Camp Museum investigation, I described almost steady, low-level phenomena.

Investigators heard:

  • clatters
  • thuds
  • footsteps
  • other unexplained noises.

Those things aren’t scary, but when you hear enough of them, it can get under your skin.

In some locations, like the bungalow (the pre-fab house), Eden Camp’s ghost/s seemed to respond rapidly to what Karl or Stuart said.

But even when the ghosts weren’t reacting to questions or commands, the unpredictable – and usually random – noises continued.

Aside from the bicycle (in the bungalow) falling over multiple times, what happened wasn’t physical. No one seemed at risk.

Such regular – but apparently minor – activity makes Eden Camp an ideal site for a ghost vigil.

  • You’re likely to witness at least one or two “weird” things.
  • You’ll know you’ve had a genuinely odd, ghostly experience.
  • You’ll go home with a smile.

But… more experienced investigators might not take Eden Camp so lightly.

Eden Camp’s Ghosts from a Professional View

Eden Camp - Where the ghosts make it personalIn my previous review, I mentioned two impressive aspects of Most Haunted’s investigation.

Of course, it’s always a relief when a site has a steady patter of activity. At most locations, ghost hunters sit and stand for hours, waiting for something to happen.

It’s not that the ghosts were entirely obliging at Eden Camp. Yvette gave them many opportunities to manifest – as noises, poltergeists, and so on. But, they seemed less interested in startling her.

However, in Part 1 of the show, I noticed a few unusual things.

Separating the Investigators

First, when the team were working in pairs of two, unearthly footsteps seemed to come from two distinct areas in one hut.

Mary Beattie impressed me when she quickly realized something was trying to separate – and isolate – team members from one another.  As a professional investigator, that kind of activity is a big red flag. It’s one step away (no pun intended) from being malicious activity.

And, in most cases, it seemed like a deeply personal effort by Eden Camp’s ghost/s.

Making it Personal?

Then, something about Stuart’s demeanor troubled me. He seemed to internalize what was happening in the bungalow.

In other words, Mary could detach herself, mentally, from what was going on.

She saw the “method in the madness” of the moment.

By contrast, Stuart Torevell seemed deeply affected by the ghosts.

If one of my team member’s demeanor was like his, I’d be very concerned. He might need to leave the area for his own safety.

When Ghosts Unsettle Professionals

Stuart isn’t a ghost hunting novice.  Since 2002, he’s been part of the Most Haunted crew and team. He’s been at the center of some very troubling paranormal activity.

So, when you see Stuart seem troubled by what’s going on at a haunted site – even if the activity seems minor – pay close attention. That “red flag” may be subtle, but it’s significant. It’s a location that’s more haunted than most.

Remember: Those of us who’ve been investigating haunts for years… well, we get a little jaded. (That may be an understatement.)

  • A plate flies across the room and we yawn, “Yes, it’s another poltergeist.”
  • A team member feels a tap on his shoulder and we sigh, “Okay, it’s another attention-seeking ghost.”
  • Listening to EVP right after we recorded it, if the ghost mumbles, we’ll say, “Aww, c’mon, speak clearly.”

And so on. We’re not as startled or impressed as we once were.

So, when a pro reacts – especially in a dramatic or uncharacteristic way – that’s an anomaly in itself.

At Eden Camp, It’s Not Just Residual Energy

Ghosts of Eden Camp - it's not just residual energy.When I researched Eden Camp’s history, I found many reasons the site could have simple, residual energy hauntings.

It was a POW camp. People were there against their will, and some prisoners were Nazi officers whose political views were both extreme and aggressive.

That could explain lingering energy.

Eden Camp’s Eerie History Started Much Earlier

In later research, I uncovered Malton’s surprising importance as a Roman fort – and perhaps a hub of Roman occupation – for four centuries.

That’s why, when I started watching Most Haunted’s first episode about Eden Camp – broadcast “as live” – I thought, “Okay, Eden Camp has more than the usual amount of residual energy.”

Soon, I realized something intelligent was behind what’s going on at Eden Camp.

It wasn’t just what Mary said or how Stuart reacted… it was more. It was the consistency of the activity, and who seemed targeted by it.

That seemed… odd.

The clever subtlety of Eden Camp’s paranormal activity impressed me. And its variety.

From my experience, a lot of hauntings are “one-trick ponies.”

  • There may be noises.
  • There might be some poltergeist activity.
  • A “shadow person” might make a fleeting appearance.
  • Or, an investigator might notice an odd odor, usually pipe tobacco or perfume.

And so on.

The Mystery of Mixed Anomalies

When investigators talk in terms of three or four types of anomalies, either the site is profoundly haunted…

Or, some “anomalies” aren’t extraordinary.

To be blunt, either they’re imagined, exaggerated, or – in rare cases – rigged.

In this case, I think Eden Camp is haunted… really, really haunted.

Most Haunted’s Eden Camp episodes were among the most authentic ghost hunting broadcasts I’ve seen.

Chicken or the Egg?

Eden Camp Ghosts - which came first, the chicken or the egg?The intensity of the team’s encounters were why I started looking into other weird things in Malton’s history.

I found plenty. The question is, are there layers of turbulent history – or extraordinary energy – beneath what I found?

Or, was there some interesting energy around Malton from earliest times?

Maybe more recent events just added to its paranormal activity.

Each piece of weird history added to my general impression of Eden Camp and the Malton area… and its ghosts.

So, by the time I saw Part 2 of Most Haunted’s Eden Camp broadcast,  my expectations were high.

I was not disappointed.

Yes, It’s Personal

There may be residual energy hauntings at Eden Camp. Some noises could be explained that way.

In fact, the team went out of their way to debunk most of the phenomena.

Eden Camp ghosts - personal and scaryIn the first episode, the cat might have been responsible for some noises.

Maybe the bicycle wasn’t solidly propped against the wall, each time it fell.

And maybe there was a technical glitch so the smoke machine kept running, intermittently.

Rapping noises on the ceiling (or roof) and in the walls… sure, maybe they were squirrels or mice.

The swinging doors might have been an odd gust of wind. But then another… and another? Each time that happened, “normal” explanations seemed less likely.

When you put all of these seemingly low-level anomalies together, the picture changes.

The fact is, almost all ghostly phenomena can be explained by a dedicated skeptic.

But… ghost hunters (like me) raise an eyebrow when many odd, “explainable” things happen, one after another.

Variety, Pace, and Timing

It’s not the cause/explanation that holds our attention; it’s that these things happen at an anomalous pace, and all at one site.

Also at Eden Camp, some expected things didn’t happen.

Each of those was an anomaly, as well.

For example, at Eden Camp, relatively little seemed to happen around Yvette.

That’s odd. Usually, she’s the one most targeted by ghosts.

(She also recovers quickly when she’s startled. And then she gets straight to the point, challenging ghosts to make themselves – and their interests – known. Is it possible that Eden Camp’s ghosts were intimidated by Yvette?)

Eden Camp: An Intelligent Haunting

Eden Camp isn’t just haunted: It’s intelligently haunted.

The ghost (or ghosts) know exactly what they’re doing.

They’re tailoring each person’s experience to the individual.

Creating anomalies that could be explained/debunked… that’s a great way for ghosts to get you to drop your guard.

And that’s why the two-part Most Haunted investigation of Eden Camp was so compelling: Each investigator had a unique, unsettling experience.

That’s why I recommend Eden Camp Museum for ghost hunting.

Something intelligent haunts Eden Camp. I don’t know what its motives are.

It’s subtle. It’s clever.

If you go there, never wander off. Never be on your own.

Why to Investigate Eden Camp’s Ghosts

Eden Camp is an ideal site for casual ghost hunters to encounter a “good scare.” I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful visit and vigil.

But, even better, Most Haunted’s investigation barely scratched the surface.

Your visit to Eden Camp could be intense.

humorous ghost divider

Congratulations to Most Haunted for an excellent, authentic investigation. From my sofa, I was applauding.

Resources

*They did not ask me to recommend them and that’s not any type of affiliate link. I genuinely believe Eden Camp is one of England’s most impressive haunts.

 

Why is Malton, England So Haunted? Learn Here.

Malton is one of England’s most fascinating haunts. Find out why. Malton’s history can make your ghost vigils even more interesting.

Eden Camp – featured on “Most Haunted” – is just one of many ghostly sites you can investigate around Malton, England.

Let’s start with the A64, where you might glimpse a ghost and not even realize it.

Ghosts of Malton, England

Ghosts of Malton, England - stories and historyThe A64’s ghost story is from the late 18th century or early 19th century, when a woman – traveling along the old Roman road – may have been murdered by a highwayman.

She is seen on foggy or misty nights, traveling towards Malton. She wears a simple, traditional gown – not torn or bloody, just normal-looking for that era – and she’s carrying a child.

The ghostly woman glances towards passing cars, but doesn’t seem to see them. She just keeps walking.

The odd thing is, despite her apparently rapid pace, she’s not making much progress. It’s as if she’s suspended just slightly over the ground, and walking towards the town.

The Talbot Hotel in Malton may have a ghost in its cloisters area. At the very least, several people have reported cold spots. (Later in this article, you’ll read why this hotel might have some wonderful residual energy. Expect ghosts from the 18th century through the Regency.)

At or near the Talbot (especially at York House), two more ghosts have been reported more frequently.  Neither sound sinister, just watchful or even nurturing. (They may be Green Ladies, best known in in Scotland, but North Yorkshire may have them, as well.)

Blue Ball Inn Ghosts

Blue Ball Inn at Malton may have a ghost who – according to reports – appears to be a cook. I’m not sure why people associate him with the kitchen. (But, per Chris at the Inn, there’s no known ghostly cook.)

Some have associated the Blue Ball Inn’s ghost with Friar Tuck of Robin Hood fame.

Before you laugh at that idea, Friar Tuck is one of the few Robin Hood characters with a real history… if not quite in the right era. (Not unless his ghost led a band of robbers.)

The following is from a website called The Search for a Real Robin Hood.

“Twice in 1417, royal writs demand the arrest of an outlaw who led a band which robbed, murdered and committed other acts of general mayhem. One report says he “assumed the name of Frere Tuk newly so called in the common parlance.”

The Blue Ball Inn is a great location, in comfortable walking distance of several other haunts.

Nearby, visitors to The Spotted Cow at Malton’s Cattle Market area (near the corner of Middlecave Road and The Mount), have reported ghostly footsteps and some poltergeist activity.

However, those reports are infrequent, so I’m not sure it’s a reliably haunted site.  (I’d go there because the pub has great reviews.)

Ghosts at the Derwent River

The Derwent River may have a mischievous ghost.  According to one story from the 1980s, a fisherman was pushed and engaged in a fight with his apparent attacker. However, when the fisherman turned to face his assailant, no one was there… it was a ghost.

(The most credible part of this is the continued connection I’ve seen between poltergeist activity – which includes ghosts that push people – and water.)

If you investigate at the Derwent River, be careful. Frankly, it’s safer to research in the middle of Malton. You’ll have plenty of friendlier haunts to explore there, anyway.

More Ghosts Near Malton

Nunnington Hall is the home of several ghosts, including the Lady of Nunnington. (Like the ghostly woman at York House, I wonder if the Lady of Nunnington is a “green lady.”)

Pickering Castle may be the site of a ghostly, robed monk. He wanders with his face concealed and his hands outstretched.

That sounds like an opportunity for pranks, so – if you think you see the ghostly monk – use caution. He might be someone very much alive, and intent on scaring people.  Do not approach him. (I’ve always said that ghost hunters have more to fear from the living than the dead.)

But, if you do encounter the ghostly monk, start recording EVP immediately. From my experience, monks were either very chatty in real life, or they kept vows of silence.

In both cases, their ghosts are likely to talk, and talk, and talk…

Then there’s the odd dragon on the Malton Road. I didn’t take this seriously until I saw the number of reports of this “mythical” beast.

Dragons at Malton Road

Dragons are reported along the B1257 (Malton Road, to Hovingham). The Paranormal Database describes it as a ghost of a great lizard, killed by a local man and his dog. (All died of their injuries in the fight.)

However, this story closely matches the story of The Dragon of Loschy Hill, set just a few miles north of dragon sightings along the B1257. The Loschy Hill story has a Nunnington connection, as well… the site of many more hauntings.

So, is the ghostly dragon near Malton an urban legend based on the Loschy Hill story, or does this area still have dragons… or at least their ghosts? Given the volume of reports, cryptozoologists and dragon enthusiasts may want to explore the Malton Road.

Also in the cryptozoology category, Alien Big Cats (ABCs) appear in the Malton area, but – so far – no Black Shucks.

If you’re looking for ABCs… well, they’ve been seen in several locations around Malton. (I even wondered if ABCs might explain some of the odd activity filmed during Most Haunted’s visit to Eden Camp.)

If I were in the Malton area, I’d also investigate Wharram Percy,  and possibly “cursed” Howsham Hall and nearby Kirkham Priory. (The Hall was for sale in 2009, and I’m not sure anyone has been willing to buy it since then.)

Why is Malton So Haunted?

The endearing, eccentric history of Malton,England.
Photo © Paul Buckingham (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Malton is unique for many reasons, including some unusual historical events. Also, Malton has been the home of endearing characters… most likely to return as ghosts.

Other aspects of Malton’s history may explain why the town is so haunted… besides it being in Yorkshire (widely respected for its ghosts) and near Scotland (ditto).

As I continued my Eden Camp ghosts research – looking at the location and its Roman history – I stumbled onto some delightful history.

The Colorful, Independent-Minded Wentworths

The quirky history may start with Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford (1593 – 1641). He served in Parliament and supported King Charles I,  but when Strafford had to choose sides, he aligned with the king and turned firmly against Parliament.

Parliament was not amused. Strafford had to pay the price.

Under some duress from Parliament, Charles I signed Strafford’s death warrant. (After all, the King was still trying to save his own neck.)

So, Strafford – not guilty of any crime – was executed. (Eight years later, when King Charles I was beheaded, his last words were that God was punishing him for allowing Strafford’s death.)

But that’s just the beginning…

Politics and Family Rivalries

Where the family tree gets interesting is when the revived Earl of Strafford title went to Thomas Wentworth (1672-1739), the 2nd Earl, who was impeached for his involvement of the Congress of Utrecht, and was a leading conspirator in the Atterbury Plot of 1720-1722 to restore the Stuarts to the throne. 

Meanwhile, though Thomas Wentworth inherited the Strafford title, the Strafford fortune and the Jacobean house, Wentworth Woodhouse, was left to Thomas Watson (1665 – 1723).

Of course, that sparked a significant rivalry among the relatives.

Note: I’m still sorting the Wentworth family tree, with its multiple William Wentworths, Thomas Watson-Wentworths, and so on. (I apologize for any genealogical errors.)

In receipt of the fortune and the house, Thomas Watson changed his name to Thomas Watson-Wentworth, and – with part of his inherited fortune – bought the Borough of Malton in 1713. When he died, he was buried in York Minster, and memorialized by a lovely monument there.

The Malton Estate website notes that, “From the outset the family invested heavily in Malton as they do to this day.”

Twelve generations later, much of Malton is still owned by descendants of Thomas Watson-Wentworth (the elder). That’s helped Malton retain its unique identity as a community.

By contrast, as the York Press suggests, “Most town centres are now owned by institutions like insurance companies and pension funds, investors from overseas and collective investment schemes.”

That authenticity may contribute to the vivid residual energy and hauntings in the area.

But, Malton has even better reasons to be haunted. One includes an odd little mystery.

Thomas Watson-Wentworth (the younger) and the Gascoigne Papers

Especially in the early 18th century, Malton records are rife with the kinds of events that can spark later hauntings.

The first one that caught my attention was an act of wanton destruction… for no apparent reason.

In 1723, Thomas Watson-Wentworth’s son – also called Thomas Watson-Wentworth (1693-1750) – succeeded as 1st Marquess of Rockingham.

Then, in 1728, he inherited as Baron Malton.

… That’s when – on the advice of his attorney – Thomas Watson-Wentworth (the younger) deliberately burned most of the genealogical records left by his ancestor, Richard Gascoigne.  

What was the secret? I’m trying to understand why those records seemed so dangerous.

So, I tried to reconstruct them.

At least some of those records  were copied by a relative before Watson-Wentworth burned them. They appear in the book, The History of Barwick-in-Elmet (pages 129-132). Additional references are in the History of Barnbow.

Yes, I see that Sir Thomas Gascoigne was accused of conspiracy to murder King Charles II, but he was acquitted.

Also, in 1567, there may have been issues when the Gawthorpe and Harewood estates were passed to the Wentworth family, by marriage. That wasn’t a secret, either.

So, I’m baffled. I don’t see anything to suggest why it was imperative to destroy historical records. (If anyone can explain this, I’m very interested.)

Even More Likely Haunts in Malton

Then there’s Hoober Stand, a folly constructed by Henry Flitcroft (1697 – 1769) at the request of Thomas Watson-Wentworth (the younger), to celebrate the English victory at Culloden.

In light of his cousin’s role in trying to restore the Stuarts to the throne, that probably sparked more controversy within the family.

I’m fairly certain ghost hunters will find EVP around Hoober Stand.

Also, I’m intrigued that, in 1739, Watson-Wentworth acquired the building we now know as the Talbot Hotel. He then turned it into a hotel for people attending the races in Malton.

That sounds like a jolly idea. Though the record-burning is odd, the more I learn about Thomas Watson-Wentworth (the younger), the more I like him.

So, I’m sure there were boisterous parties in Watson-Wentworth’s era, and they could have left residual energy that lingers to this day… including at the Talbot Hotel.

In 1746, Thomas Watson-Wentworth inherited Rockingham Castle (famous for its ghosts), and – sadly – in 1750, he died, “drowned in claret.”

But, Malton’s ghostly history continued.

Ghosts in Malton - Connections with William the Conqueror, Robert the Bruce, and More

Malton Castle and Two Piles of Rocks

Malton Castle had its own astonishing history.

Around the site now known as Castle Gardens, the Romans built a fort – and rebuilt it, repeatedly – starting around 71 AD. It survived until the 1800s. (Its location is in the green rectangle, in the overlayed map, below.)

1926 map of Malton, England - Roman camp

The blue oval on the map shows where Malton Castle was built, possibly in the early 12th century.

When William the Conqueror was King, the Lordship of Malton – and the castle site – was granted to Gilbert de Tyson. Then Henry I owned it, and then Eustace FitzJohn, who gave Malton Castle to David, King of Scotland.

In 1138, in connection with the Battle of the Standard, Archbishop Thurstan of York attacked Malton, burning the town and capturing the castle.

Then, in 1322, Robert the Bruce occupied the castle. (Ghosts are reported at almost every major site connected with Robert the Bruce. Drum Castle is among the more famous, but there are many more… and I’d bet Malton Castle site is among them.)

After Robert the Bruce’s occupation, the castle fell into ruins for two hundred years.

Then, in 1569, Ralph, Lord Eure, built a house on the site.

After that, the Eure family rebuilt the house (I’m not sure how many times), until two sisters – Mary and Margaret Eure – inherited the house, together.

That did not set well with either sister, and an icy cold feud began. Finally – to settle the dispute – in 1674, Henry Marwood, High Sheriff of York, demolished the mansion.

He piled the stones into two equal heaps, one for each sister.

The nearby Lodge and gateways are still original to the Malton Castle estate, but they probably used the stones in many of today’s Malton buildings.

(In other English towns – such as Glastonbury – hauntings have been connected with the re-use of stones from emotionally charged sites.)

And so, Malton has Ghosts

This turbulent history – from family secrets to feuds and fires, and from Roman forts to Eden Camp – makes Malton, England a prime resource for ghost hunters.

As a paranormal researcher, two questions really stood out as I studied Malton’s history.

  1. Why did Watson-Wentworth burn his family records?
  2. Why were forts, castles, and houses built and rebuilt, repeatedly? (I know the Yorkshire winters can be harsh. Fires happen. And time takes its toll on all buildings. But… the frequent rebuilding in Malton suggests something else.)

From haunted hotels to ghostly pubs to Eden Camp Museum, investigated by Most Haunted in January 2019, you’ll find plenty to explore – and ghosts to encounter – in Malton, England.

Visit Malton

For an overview of Malton, this YouTube video is brief and shows various parts of town.

Places to see in ( Malton – UK )

Places to see in ( Malton – UK ) Malton is a market town, civil parish and electoral ward in North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the North Riding …

That one-minute video tour of Malton is at https://youtu.be/WFrBmEleeZg

How to Get to Malton

Malton is bypassed by the A64, which runs from Leeds and York to Scarborough, with a junction at the A169 to Pickering and Whitby.

Malton’s bus service is run by Coastliner.

Malton railway station is Grade II Listed, and it’s on the TransPennine Express route.  Fast trains run every hour from Scarborough to York, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. Current fastest train time from Malton to London Kings Cross (with one change at York) is approximately 2 hours 33 minutes.

Why Eden Camp Is Extraordinary… and Worrisome

Q. What could give a professional ghost hunter chills, just watching TV?

A. When it goes far beyond the usual frights, and gets personal – even sinister – with the investigation team.

That’s what I saw when Most Haunted visited Eden Camp, and – in my review – you’ll learn why their investigation troubled me.

Most Haunted’s first Eden Camp episode (2019) showed viewers that Eden Camp has consistent, low-level activity. That – plus some of my own research – convinced me that Eden Camp was worth a visit.

In fact, when Eden Camp Museum is open for ghost vigils (evening or overnight investigations), I recommend it… but ONLY if you’re okay with real ghosts.

Why…?

Most Haunted - a review of the Eden Camp investigationWell, in the first Most Haunted segment from Eden Camp, several things impressed me. I felt like the Bungalow – investigated by Karl and Stuart – was one of the stars of the show.

It was more than just a building. Something is in there, and I’m not sure what it is… but it seems able to get inside your thoughts.

Eden Camp’s Bungalow

The bungalow – where Karl Beattie and Stuart Torevell investigated – was a surprise.

It seemed the only location with an obvious, intelligent haunting.  That is, the spirit/s responded directly to what Karl and Stuart were saying.

The K-II responses, noises, and poltergeist-like activity were more reliable than most hauntings.

But, I was more interested in Stuart’s demeanor. For an experienced investigator, it seemed odd. And a little worrisome.

At times, he seemed deeply and personally concerned. To me, that personal connection practically shouted “active, sentient ghosts!”

For example, his facial expression was almost distressed when he said that – except that he was on an investigation – most people would run from that building and never look back.

(If he wasn’t aware of how distressed he seemed, someone needs to mention it to him.)

When a spirit makes an especially deep emotional impact on an investigator, that’s noteworthy.

If he returns there, I’d keep a close watch on Stuart at Eden Camp, because he may be more vulnerable than the other investigators.

I’d warn other investigators to protect their personal/emotional boundaries at Eden Camp, too. As we saw when something tried to separate Mary and Darren, a malicious entity might lurk at Eden Camp. 

Also, in Most Haunted’s second Eden Camp segment, I hope someone returned to the bungalow kitchen, and they set up multiple cameras to capture poltergeist activity and noises there. The amount of energy there… that was fascinating.

The Bicycle

In the bungalow, I think everyone was startled when the bicycle fell over. When it toppled a second time, though it had been carefully propped against the wall, that was especially odd.

The haunted bicycle at Eden Camp.

One reason the bicycle interests me is: it’s made of metal. From my research, metal objects – especially iron and steel – can hold considerable psychic energy.

Could a bicycle act as an antenna for EVP…? I have no idea. That seems a bit of a reach.

But – in this case – I’d definitely explore that possibility.

I’d also want to know if the bicycle belonged in the camp when POWs were there. Does the bicycle have residual energy from one person in particular?

The Cafeteria

In the second segment (airing 19 Jan 2019), I’m eager to see what the Most Haunted team discover in the cafeteria/dining hall. I was intrigued when Yvette Fielding and Glen Hunt commented that the cafeteria seemed “wrong.”

Since that room has a history of poltergeist-like activity – chairs moving, by themselves – that could be an interesting room to investigate.

Poltergeist Activity

Speaking of poltergeists, I think it’s brilliant to include new team member Mary, because she’s bright and thoughtful, and she seems to have nerves of steel, especially for someone new to these intense settings.

When two phenomena happened in opposite sides of the hut, Mary immediately realized the entity might be trying to separate team members from one another.

More young investigators, please.That was a very astute observation. And, in my opinion, it was accurate. I hope Mary continues to investigate with Most Haunted.

In addition, her age and gender could further fuel the energy used by poltergeists.

(From past studies, we know that women – especially teens  – are often connected with poltergeist activity.  Likewise, I’m sure gender was one reason that – at Eden Camp – Louise and Jenny saw the most startling, consistent poltergeist activity: the swinging door.)

An additional benefit to more young cast members like Mary is: the new generation of ghost hunters bring fresh viewpoints and attitudes. 

As an “old timer,” I’m mindful of the importance of experience. But, if that’s all we needed, we’d have more insights about hauntings. And have a better grasp of what ghosts are.

The Unasked Questions

I’ll admit that my own research – especially about the Romans – caused me to talk to the TV screen as I watched the first Eden Camp episode.

(And yes, I know that no one hears me when I talk to my TV. Nevertheless, I talk to the TV screen, saying what I would, had I been part of the investigation team.)

During the show, Yvette asked the ghosts “Are you German?” and “Are you Italian?”

Roman ghosts at Camp Eden MuseumThe only response she received was a negative one when she asked, “Are you English?”

That’s when I spoke to the TV screen insisting, “No, ask them if they’re Roman!”

To me, the singular response to the English question suggested Romans.

  • If they were German, they’d have responded “no” to both the question about being Italian and the one about being English.
  • And, if they were Italian: vice versa.

In my opinion, only the Romans would be vehement enough about the English to single out that nationality for a “no!” response.

But… maybe I’m reading too much into this. I tend to be very literal (and perhaps hyper-vigilant) when using real-time communications with ghosts.

And, to be fair, my own focus is a little narrow. After all, Yvette didn’t ask if the ghosts were Vikings or Norse, either.  And I haven’t researched their occupation of the Malton area, if there was any.

(Admittedly, I jumped on the Roman topic because York’s half-body ghosts have fascinated me. Vikings, etc…? Not so much.)

The Camp… or the Land Beneath It?

Seeing the wide range of low-level activity at the camp, I believe the land beneath the camp could be important. History suggests Roman occupation at the Eden Camp site.

That could explain why the ghosts said multiple people had died at the Eden Camp site. During Eden Camp’s POW years, only one person died there.

My guess is: those other deaths were Romans. Or other people who were on the Eden Camp property before it became a prisoner of war camp.

When you have widespread activity at a location, always consider the history of the property it’s on.

At Eden Camp, the team found evidence of:

  • Poltergeist activity, sometimes very physical and dramatic, throughout the camp.
  • The sound of footsteps – and some other anomalous noises – throughout the camp.
  • Shadows and shadow figures, inside and outdoors.
  • Intelligent hauntings, both in the bungalow, and when an entity tried to separate team members from one another.

The team did not seem to witness physical contact. No one was hit, pushed, or otherwise assaulted, even by thrown objects. So, I think physical danger is unlikely.

(I’m still concerned about the effects on Stuart, as well as the clever attempt to separate or isolate team members.)

Nevertheless, the extreme range of activity intrigues me. I’d like to know more about Eden Camp’s location – why it was placed there, and any known history of that particular site.  (For that, I might need local resources. Meanwhile, for additional articles at this website, I’m researching Eden Camp’s location with my personal library and the Internet.)

In the Eden Camp episode, I applaud Most Haunted for presenting a realistic, two-hour show.

Though Eden Camp is especially active, it was refreshing to see Most Haunted convey what real ghost hunts are like. I hope more ghost-related TV shows follow Most Haunted’s great example.

Here’s one brief video showing Eden Camp Museum in daylight:

Places to see in ( Yorkshire – UK ) Eden Camp

Places to see in ( Yorkshire – UK ) Eden Camp Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum is a large Second World War-related museum near Malton in North Yorkshire…

That video is at https://youtu.be/h9zL8mF3xqQ

Read more at this website

 

Eden Camp’s Roman Ghosts – Ley Lines and Forgotten Graves

Do ghosts lure the living to recreate a world where the ghosts are most comfortable? Eden Camp may be a peek into the power plays of the past.

Eden Camp Ghosts - The Roman army connectionEden Camp – in Malton, England – has at least a thousand reasons to be haunted: one ghost for every POW (mostly Nazi officers) who lived there between 1942 and 1948.

However, when looking at Eden Camp’s ghosts and at haunted sites in nearby Malton, the prison camp may be the tip of the iceberg.

Some of the area’s ghosts – or at least residual energy hauntings – probably date back to the 1st century.

Maybe earlier.

The story starts with the Romans. And, from my research, if the Romans occupied a British site for more than a century… it’s haunted.

About two miles south of Eden Camp, the Romans built a camp and then a timber fort for troops. It was Derventio Brigantum,  built in the Flavian period (69 – 96 AD).

Ruins suggest an even earlier settlement beneath it.

The Romans occupied the area until the end of the 4th century. That means many Romans lived and died there. That’s a compelling reason to investigate Eden Camp and the Malton area.

Roman Ghosts are Different

Most hauntings seem to involve ghosts of famous people – like Anne Boleyn – or ghosts of people who lived between 1600 and the present day.

Of course, there are exceptions.

Roman ghosts are noteworthy, and their ghosts around York are legendary.

Ghosts with only half a body

As far as I know, York (the city) is where people first reported Roman ghosts with only half a body… the upper half.

That’s not unusual among apparitions. People often see an upper body that seems to fade into nothing, from the waist down.

(That may be explained by a Japanese study – from at least a decade ago – showing that people store more energy in their upper body. If that energy lingers after death, perhaps it manifests in the shape of the upper body? Of course, that’s extreme speculation, but it makes sense to me.)

So, what was different in York…?

Those Roman bodies didn’t fade gradually at waist level.

It was more like they’d emerged from a magician’s “sawed in half” act, but one where things went very wrong.

And, from the torso movement, the ghostly bodies seemed to be walking, anyway.

So, paranormal researchers studied the phenomenon.  Then, they realized that those ghosts – perhaps residual energy images – were walking on roads and paths that existed in the past.

The ghosts weren’t half-bodies, after all.

They were full apparitions, but the other half was underground.  (I’ve talked about this in the past, analyzing a ghost video.)

Ghosts and the Roman fort at MaltonMy point is: Roman ghosts – or at least their spiritual energy – seem to linger longer – and more vividly – than many ghosts from more recent eras.

I’m not sure why.

When I learned that Romans had built a fort in Malton, near Eden Camp – and probably a settlement around it – and the Romans lived there for four centuries… that really sparked my interest in the area.

It’s likely you’ll find Roman ghosts around Malton.

A Forgotten Burial Site?

I’m not sure how much archaeologists have excavated Malton’s Bronze Age tumulus (burial mound). At least one urn from the site is at the British Museum.

Here’s a 1926 map of Malton, showing the Roman Camp (outlined in green), and the tumulus (in red), next to – and perhaps partially beneath – the London North Eastern Railway tracks.

I’ve placed the 1926 map over a modern one (courtesy of Google Maps), for a general idea of what’s where, today… with apologies for mismatched areas.

1926 map of Malton, England - Roman camp

(The yellow arrow indicates the Lodge – still in Malton – and, in the blue oval, where Malton Castle once was. Both sites have unusual histories.)

So, at this point in my research, I’d found evidence of:

  • Ley lines connecting Eden Camp (and Malton) with several significant, haunted sites.
  • Many psychological reasons why Eden Camp might be haunted, including the powerful personalities of the Nazi officers imprisoned there.
  • The likelihood of Roman ghosts within two miles of Eden Camp (and possibly at the camp itself).
  • A burial mound with railroad tracks over part of it. 

With this much quirky information, I was ready to delve deeper into the ancient history of Malton and Eden Camp.

It was time to return to my maps for a closer look at ley lines and Roman roads.

Roman Roads, Ley Lines, and Eden Camp Ghosts

Roman roads, ghosts, and ley lines

Alfred Watkins (1855 – 1935) popularized ley lines as straight lines between geographical landmarks and communities.

Ley lines seem to be useful in ghost research, too.

In the 1960s, John Michell – in his book, The New View Over Atlantis –  suggested links between ley lines, sacred sites, and paranormal activity.

After that, many more investigators explored ley lines and reached similar conclusions. In his book, Mysteries, Colin Wilson quotes Michell:

[On the subject of ley lines] “Traditionally, they are also paths of psychic activity, of apparitions, spirits of the dead…”

From my own studies, I can vouch for that.

Many researchers – including David Yarrow – suggest that some Roman roads followed ley lines. At the website Terra: Sacred Space, Yarrow explained:

“Watkins’ friends joined his weekend hiking trips to document his vision. In early years, Watkins was convinced the alignments were ancient trader tracks linking settlements by the shortest pathways. In fact, Roman roads were built on the alignments. But careful research revealed the alignments existed long before Roman conquest. Late in his life, Watkins began to believe some other intention than commerce motivated ancient people to create the alignments.” [emphasis added]

Yarrow is correct about the alignments. This two-minute YouTube video shows how the Romans built long-lasting roads along precise – and carefully chosen – lines.

That YouTube video is at https://youtu.be/IsxTXzjLomU

But why did the Romans choose those lines, and why make them so straight? Why not follow the contours of the land, heading in the general direction of the nearest community?

I’m not sure if answers exist. Some ley line enthusiasts equate ley lines and Roman roads, and suggest a spiritual element to the Romans’ plans.

That may be true. Here’s what I’ve observed:

  • When I can connect three or more haunted sites with a straight line, those sites are usually haunted.
  • When I can’t find connecting lines – or any other evidence supporting actual ghosts – the site usually has other issues. Most often, it’s a wiring problem resulting in high EMF, or subtle vibrations from an underground stream are disorienting the residents.

So far, I haven’t decided if Roman roads and ley lines correlate.

But ley lines weren’t my only reason to study Roman roads near Eden Camp.

I wanted to see if Malton was a small (but long-enduring) Roman outpost at the end of a dirt path, or something bigger.

A bigger settlement could mean more ghostly energy.

All Roads Lead to… Malton?

I created the following map – based on others’ historical research – to see how important Malton was in Roman times.

So many Roman roads point to Malton, the town seems like a major hub of Roman activity. That suggests a significant Roman population.

That could explain why – in the first Most Haunted episode about Eden Camp – the ghosts claimed multiple people died there. (Only one death had occurred during the POW era.)

And, since those Roman roads – perhaps ley lines – converge at Malton, that could mean the town has heightened paranormal activity, too. (That’s not guaranteed. In the early stages of evaluating a site, I lean slightly towards skepticism… but note this kind of configuration, anyway.)

Roman roads and ghosts in Malton, England

Also, Eden Camp’s location is so close to the center of that network, it’s reasonable to believe the prison camp was not the first use of that site.

In fact, I’d question if the land already had a “bad vibe” or something, so people decided it wasn’t prime real estate. In that case, it was a perfect site for a POW camp.

I’ve seen this in the past. When a community wants to build something distasteful – a cemetery, a prison, etc. – they look for empty land that’s slightly outside the town centre. Often, that land is empty because it has an unsavory history, or a creepy legend connected to it.

If Eden Camp is truly eerie and haunted, I’d bet the land beneath it has an unsavory history.

Whatever happened on that land in the past, its history (and energy) may be part of what’s haunting Eden Camp.

In my next article, I’ll describe several other reasons why Malton – and Eden Camp – may be haunted. And I’ll list some of the most-often reported ghosts there.

Malton has a fascinating history including political conflicts, plots, feuding relatives… and an unusual mystery that’s never been explained.

Eden Camp Ghosts – Haunting Evidence in Maps & History

Eden Camp… is it really haunted?

If you’re like me, you want more than just a few ghost stories. A TV star claiming they felt chills… that’s not enough, either.

Knowing that Most Haunted was planning to investigate the site, I went looking for the kind of evidence that convinces me.

Eden Camp Ghosts - EvidenceWithin a few hours, I found evidence explaining why Malton (England) is likely to be haunted… perhaps very haunted.

(If you’re looking for insights about Most Haunted’s 2019 Eden Camp investigation, you may enjoy Eden Camp Ghosts – Where the Ghosts Make It Personal.)

Here’s where I looked and what I found within a few hours.

No Credible Ghost Stories

First, I looked for Eden Camp ghost stories, online, and found nothing credible.

That was a small red flag… but a very small one. Personally, I prefer to investigate sites that haven’t been visited by thousands of ghost hunters.

Even if the site is a tourist attraction by day, the ghostly energy can be fresher – easier to detect – if I’m among the first to investigate its ghosts. (That was true in the 1990s, when I was among the first to tour Edinburgh’s vaults.)

And, since Most Haunted was visiting the Eden Camp Museum – and found enough activity for two episodes – I wanted to know more.

Connecting Confirmed, Haunted Sites

With no convincing ghost stories to research, I looked for more tangible evidence. From my past locations work, I’ve learned to rely on ley lines.

I found several lines that include Eden Camp.

The following maps convinced me that something odd might be going on at Eden Camp.

(I don’t claim ley lines as “proof” of ghosts. They’re not. But, though some may raise an eyebrow, this kind of pre-investigation research has helped me find many off-the-beaten-path paranormal sites.)

Ley Lines Connect Eden Camp to Other Haunted Sites

The red line is the most reliable. It connects Eden Camp to Nunnington Hall, brushes by Kiplin Hall, and continues to Ravensworth Castle.

All of them have credible ghost stories.

If I widen the line by a mile or two – reasonable when the line covers so much distance (and maps aren’t 100% accurate) – haunted Barnard Castle is on this line, too.

Eden Camp Museum ghosts - ley lines to other haunted places

Another possible ley line intrigues me. It connects the Devil’s Arrows with Eden Camp and continues to Filey, an area with several noted, haunted locations.

 

I think the Devil’s Arrows are fascinating. They’re shown below.

Three (of five or more) standing stones form a line that extends through four Neolithic earthworks, Nunwick Henge, and the three Thornborough henges. (Per Nigel Pennick’s research in Leylines: Mysteries of the Ancient World.)

To me, that’s just plain weird, but – for now – I’m not applying any specific meaning to it.

Photo of Devil's Arrows, mysterious monuments in Yorkshire, England

In addition, a Roman road connected the Eden Camp area with Filey, and those roads were among Watkins’ earliest ley line studies.

Note: I’m working with broad “ley line” (or energy line) concepts. I want to see at least three anomalous – usually haunted – sites on a single straight line.

The longer the line, the more sites I should find, and they should be well-documented for paranormal research. Otherwise, I’ll dismiss the line altogether.

For now, the Eden Camp to Ravensworth Castle line was enough to justify further research into the POW camp.

Connections to Ghosts and Hauntings

Next, I studied the history of Eden Camp. I was looking for connections that usually indicate a haunting: money, power struggles, drama, and tragedy.

Prison camp ghosts

Almost every prisoner of war camp seems to be haunted.

In the US, I can think of many, including  – on the east coast – Rutland Prison Camp (MA); Elmira Civil War Prison Camp (NY), where 25% of the 2963 prisoners died;  and Point Lookout (MD), also known as Camp Hoffman, which held over 20,000 prisoners. That was double its maximum capacity.

In the western US and Midwest, I’ve heard creepy stories from Camp Douglas (IL), Camp Chase (OH) where at least 2,000 prisoners died, and a very haunted prison camp in Nephi (UT). Currently, the Nephi site is a men’s state correctional facility.

And, in the deep South, Andersonville and Fort McAllister – both in Georgia – are notorious for their ghosts.

So, the prison camp connection increases the likelihood that something haunts Eden Camp Museum.

The History of Eden Camp

Eden Camp was one of about 456 known British prisoner of war (POW) camps. Of them, only 11 remain with over 80% of their structures still standing. That makes Eden Camp extraordinary, and it’s why the museum has won at least two awards for excellence.

At the end of 1945, over 355,000 prisoners of war were in the UK. There wasn’t a single successful prisoner escape from Britain itself. (A Canadian escape was featured in the 1957 movie, The One That Got Away.)

At first, Eden Camp – also known as Camp 83 – was the home of about 250 Italian POWs, and perhaps some Italian immigrants and those with Italian parents or grandparents.

They helped to build the camp’s huts, and were the main residents between 1942 and 1943.

Nazi German officers were sent north to Eden Camp.From 1944 to 1948, German POWs made up most of the thousand residents at Eden Camp.

When German prisoners were brought to the UK, they were categorized as “white, grey, or black.” The white ones were non-Nazis, the greys were those considered dubious, and hardened Nazis (such as officers) were coded as blacks.

The more dangerous Nazis were imprisoned further north than the whites and greys.

That’s why most German officers were sent to POW camps in the Lake District and North Yorkshire… including Eden Camp.

Many of those officers remained in UK prison camps until 1948 or later, until they were shipped to Germany for war crimes trials.

Eden Camp After World War Two

After the war, Eden Camp became a home for displaced persons, then an agricultural holiday camp and Ministry of Agriculture depot.

In the 1950s, Malton Minerals used it to dry & store grain, followed in the 1970s when individuals sublet the huts as workshops.

In 1985, Stanley Johnson bought the site, intending to use it for a crisps (potato chips) manufacturing plant.

And that’s where the story turns really interesting. 

A former Italian POW contacted Mr. Johnson. The Italian wanted to revisit the camp where he’d lived during World War II.

Why is that important…?

It’s very odd. And, it tells me that other POWs – alive or dead – may want to revisit Eden Camp, too.

If I were looking for a good reason for Eden Camp Museum to have ghosts, that one is compelling.

So, in March 1987, Stan Johnson opened the site as Eden Camp Modern History Museum, “to honour the courage, fortitude, and sacrifice of the people who served in all walks of life during the Second World War, 1939 – 1945.”

Eden Camp plaque, Malton, England
Memorial plaque at Eden Camp Museum, established 1987 /Photo © Christine Matthews (cc-by-sa/2.0)

The museum started as 10 huts. Then they restored six more, and it has expanded since then.  (The original camp had at least 33 huts.)

Visitors say you’ll need at least two or three hours to see all the exhibits… and that’s in daylight. If you’re investigating ghosts, especially after dark, plan a full overnight vigil, if the site opens to them. (Please, do not trespass and spoil it for the rest of us.)

More Reasons for Eden Camp Museum’s Ghosts

In two additional articles, I’ll explain many other reasons ghosts may haunt the Eden Camp site and nearby Malton.

One of the main reasons (besides potential ley line energy) is a direct, physical connection with an ancient Roman camp, and – possibly –  a large Roman community. One of the camp’s names was Derventio Brigantum, and residences may have expanded to the nearby Eden Camp area. (The Romans were there for at least four centuries.)

Also, on the central part of the Roman camp, Malton Castle (two built on the site, actually) had a turbulent history involving politics, plots, feuds, and tragedies.

So, Eden Camp is likely to be haunted… and the east and northeast sides of Malton may have lurking ghosts, too.

Where to Start Research at Eden Camp Museum

(I wrote this before the Most Haunted episodes aired.)

I’d start with Hut 10, refurbished in 2002. It contains the world’s most comprehensive collection of POW artifacts.

If you believe in residual energy hauntings or haunted objects, Hut 10 seems certain to have some ghostly activity.

And then there are the other daily cues, churning up energy related to power struggles, drama, and tragedies of the war.

These quotes are from a 1994 Liverpool Echo article by Angela Candlin, “A weekend on the warpath!”

A weekend on the warpath! The Second World War as a tourist attraction oh, what a lovely idea…

No dusty history book can compete with the blood ‘n’ guts reality of Eden Camp…

This is as authentic as barbed wire, UXBs, and the smell of fear…

Shiver at the horrors of a U-boat attack and feel the goosepimples as a mother screams for help during the Blitz. The smell of burning, the thud of bombs lingers even inside the camp theatre hut with its “We’ll Meet Again” nostalgia.

I’m not sure I’ve ever read such a dramatic list of triggers likely to result in paranormal activity, ghosts, and… well, everything that happens at truly haunted sites.

Weekend on the Warpath - Liverpool Echo - 1994

Is Eden Camp Haunted?

Until I visit it, I can’t confirm that it has ghosts. However, at first glance, it has much to recommend it:

  • It seems to be on at least one ley line of powerfully haunted sites.
  • It was a prison camp, and – from past experience – many (perhaps most) former prison camps have ghosts.
  • Some past prisoners (living) have expressed a deep wish to revisit the site. Perhaps the dead do, too.
  • With Nazi German officers held at the camp, it was certainly the site of power struggles, one of my “top four” reasons to expect ghosts.
  • The museum includes steady “triggers” that ghost hunters use to encourage paranormal activity – sights and sounds, plus artifacts – related to the drama behind the hauntings. So, I’d expect poltergeist activity.
  • The area has connections to military conflicts, feuds, deliberate and destructive fires, and unmarked graves, including those of infants. (I’ll talk about those points in future articles.)

The more I research Malton and the area around Eden Camp Museum, the more weird history – and likely ghost stories – I find.

If I were closer to Malton, England, I’d visit Eden Camp today. Really, it sounds like a ghost hunter’s dream site.

If you’ve been there – or if you watch the Most Haunted Eden Camp episode – I hope you’ll share your thoughts in comments.

In my next article in this series, I’ll explain why Malton’s Roman history makes the area – including Eden Camp – even more interesting for paranormal research. [Link]

Other, related articles:

Eden Camp Ghosts – Research Resources

Eden Camp – https://www.edencamp.co.uk/

Eden Camp Museum – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eden_Camp_Museum

Most Haunted – Upcoming episodes, airing Friday evenings on Really

Most Haunted Experience – Meet Eden Camp’s ghosts with Most Haunted experts.

Prisoner of War Camps in the UK During World War Two – Transcript of a lecture by Colin Dean

Photos by Christine Matthews are copyright Christine Matthews (cc-by-sa/2.0)

 

“Pig Man” Ghosts – Real or Urban Legend? The Mystery Continues

Is “Pig Man” a ghost? An urban legend? Or something weird, somewhat hidden, and – perhaps – widespread, like Bigfoot?

I’m leaning towards this being an urban legend, but these stories are a little quirkier than the usual urban legends.

So, you may have a different opinion.

If you’re interested in “pig man” ghosts, you may want to start your research in Tennessee. That state’s hiking trails can be spectacular… or spectacularly haunted.

A May 2018 article, This Haunted Hike in Tennessee Will Send You Running for the Hills, claimed that Germantown (TN) area has multiple ghost stories.

One of them… well, one reason I think this is an urban legend is: In 2016,  a similar story was part of “American Horror Story: Roanoke.”

But where do these stories start, and do they have any basis in fact?

The 2018 article says:

“… Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park is located in Germantown, Tennessee, on the western side of the state. It’s a beautiful place that boasts over 13,000 acres of land.”

According to that article, the area’s most infamous ghost is “Pigman.” If you think he’s just some spectral figure with an unattractive nose or tiny, piercing eyes, think again.

The article says:

“The most well-known ghost is that of a man who worked at a local explosives plant during the second world war. He was horribly, wickedly disfigured during an accident, and was given the nickname “Pigman.”
It’s just the right kind of scare to offset such deep Tennessee beauty. There are stories of the Pigman, that he wanders around in the dead of night wearing the face of a pig.

“He is said to be looking for his next victim. “

But Wait… There’s More!

Another version of the story – also located in Tennessee – describes Pig Man as a deranged recluse who put dead pigs’ heads on pikes around his property, to scare away visitors. (He killed visitors who weren’t scared away… and then put their heads on pikes, too. Sounds a lot like Dracula.)

And, in death, he’s still up to his old tricks, scaring people.

Yet another story says that Pig Man was a circus animal trainer. He was mauled when his pigs turned on him and killed him. I’m not sure why he’d haunt with a pig’s head on. (Apparitions usually look exactly as the ghosts want to appear to you… and a pig’s head doesn’t seem a likely choice.)

The Tennessee story seems more detailed than counterparts in other areas, which could give it more credibility.

Or maybe that’s just a reporter’s creative writing. It needs to be verified in the actual areas where Pig Man has been reported.

But, no matter who Pig Man (or “Pigman”) was, or where he lived, the rest of the story is the same:

  • After death, he’s appeared with a human body.
  • People note the vile stench, even before he appears.
  • He’s wearing a pig’s head. (Not a mask, but an actual pig’s head instead of a human one… or maybe it’s wrapped around his head.)

Stay Far Away

Approaching him is not advised. In fact, if anything looks or smells like him, get out of there as fast as you can.

(That’s true whether he’s a real ghost or someone playing a sick prank.)

A ghost like this…? It might not be a ghost. It could be something more sinister.

Of course, some researchers will explore this version of the Pig Man story. (It’s a good excuse to visit some spectacular locations, right…?)

From my research, the Tennessee pig-faced ghost is usually seen around “Pigman Bridge” in Millington (TN).

According to reports, if you park in the middle of Pigman Bridge and shout, “Pigman!” three times, he’ll appear. (Some claim it helps to flash your lights three times, as well.)

Related Ghost Stories - Haunted bridges, mirrors, and more

Related, Non-Porcine Urban Legends

First of all, no one should ever park their car in the middle of a bridge, especially at night. That’s a major safety concern, and probably against the law.

Houston, Texas’ Most Haunted Bridge

This story has a strong resemblance to a couple of Houston legends, including Langham Creek Bridge, on Patterson Road in Bear Creek Park. According to stories, dead Civil War soldiers tap on cars.

Some say the sound is from rifles or canteens, or something else metallic, carried by each soldier, and hitting the car as they pass.

Others say the soldiers are tapping as if to say, “Move along, it’s not safe here.” After all, those soldiers died, and some may have encountered something other than a human enemy.

Yes, I’ve heard the tapping on my car at Bear Creek Bridge, when no one was around.  The taps were noisy and intermittent. The sounds came from my car. The metallic sound was definitely on my car, not inside and not from the bridge itself.

Each time, I rolled my window down to be sure nothing (like a persistent, hard-shelled insect) was actually there. But the tapping repeated.

They were single taps, and then two or three taps in a row, and so on. I can’t explain it, but it was real, and someone else (someone usually skeptical) witnessed it. I’m still looking for a reasonable explanation that fits what happened, but – for now – that ghost story seems true.

Nashua, New Hampshire’s Colonial Ghost

The Tennessee legend also resonates with a Gilson Road Cemetery (Nashua, NH) story:  Supposedly, if you’re on Gilson Road, the ghost of Betty Gilson can be summoned by shouting three times, “Betty Gilson, I have your baby.”

Most frequent reports claim she’s dressed in Colonial garb – complete with a mob cap – and dashes out from behind a nearby tree. Or, she just peers out from behind it, so you just see her cap, some of her hair, and her glowing eyes.

Haunted University Mirrors

Haunted university mirrors

Various universities have stories similar to the “Betty Gilson” legend.

At those colleges & universities, student claim if you summon a spirit while looking in a haunted mirror, calling the ghost’s name three times, she’ll appear.

I’ve seen ghosts in mirrors, but these university tales seem silly, and possibly dangerous. (Those dangers – of mirrors and possible demonic doorways – are a topic for another article.)

Sometimes, the name of the ghost is just “Bloody Mary.” That may (or may not) summon the grisly ghost of Mary Tudor (the Queen of England before Queen Elizabeth I).

Most related university legends give this advice:

  1. At night, around 10 PM, turn off all lights in the room with the mirror. (Usually, the mirror is in a dorm.)
  2. Then, look in the mirror and say, “Bloody Mary” either three or five times. (The number varies with the storyteller.)

The ghost’s image should appear within seconds.

If that doesn’t work, say “Bloody Mary, I have your baby,” or “I stole your baby, Bloody Mary.” (This references Queen Mary Tudor’s faux pregnancy.)

Other college and university haunted mirror stories advise using the name of a deceased student who – according to the stories – died by suicide. (Some Bradford College ghost stories described a student’s ghost in a mirror. Apparently, there really had been a suicide in that dorm.)

Additional “haunted mirror” ghost stories include different names and different tragic stories that explain them.

Usually, whether it’s Bloody Mary or some other spectre, the face of the ghost is a gruesome image. Luckily, it’s there for less than a second, and rarely appears more than two or three times, per night.

There are at least two major problems with these stories:

  1. Ghosts usually appear as they want to be remembered. I suppose a spirit might be bitter enough to remind people of his or her gruesome death, but that’s very rare. I’d guess they’re less than 1% of all reported apparitions. Most ghosts appear as attractive young people, or as beloved elderly archetypes.
  2. Ghosts rarely travel from one place to another. In fact, I know of only a few in the U.S. and the U.K. I can’t think of a single good reason for England’s Queen Mary Tudor to appear in American university mirrors.

That’s why I’m leaning towards these stories being urban legends.

More Pigman Tales?

One of the biggest problems with the Tennessee story is this: An almost identical tale is told about Pigman Road in Angola, New York. It has a similar history, including heads on spikes, and a lingering,  pig-faced ghost hiding in the woods, waiting to kill teens.

I don’t watch “American Horror Story,” but a Mental Floss article (linked below) suggested the TV “Pig Man” episode was based on the NY story.

So, maybe it is more credible than the TN counterpart.

I wanted to get to the bottom of this, so Pig-faced woman in the 17th centuryI searched Tennessee newspapers for a reference to “pig man” – with or without a reference to Millington – and found nothing.

A similar search of New York newspapers, with “pig man” and a reference to Angola, New York, turned up nothing, either.

So, at this point, I have no historical support for either legend.

However, I did uncover a “Pig-faced woman” legend… though it’s from the 17th century, and appeared in Holland, England, and France.

Initially, I thought this was parody, insulting some particular woman. Further research suggested that – in western Europe – several, reclusive people had “pig heads.”

Was it the result of a disease? A deformity? Were they aliens, or some version of “mole people”?

I have no idea. But, whatever it was… maybe that’s the basis of the New York, Tennessee, and other stories.

Those Pig Man Sites May Still Be Haunted

The Pig Man story is an interesting tale, but – being a little cynical – I wonder how many communities are trying to attract tourists who watch “American Horror.”

Or, maybe the current “pig man” stories evolved from earlier, sordid ghost stories in each area. It’s possible. Sometimes, a colorful ghost story may be fictional, but its roots might be authentic.

For example, Snallygaster stories related to the Blair Witch seem to echo Native American Thunderbird lore from distant parts of the U.S. They also sound eerily like some Bell Witch reports.

So, I wouldn’t dismiss the basic concept: a malicious entity with a grotesque, pig-like face. And, I wouldn’t go looking for one.

Like Bigfoot, Pig Men might appear (or even dwell) at multiple locations, and behave similarly in each one… complete with pigs’ heads on pikes.

Is he a ghost…? He doesn’t fit the usual profile. Not even close.

If he exists, I’d probably categorize him with other crypto-zoological creatures like Bigfoot.

And that’s a “best case” scenario.  When I first read about “Pig Man,” I immediately thought of demons.

For example, in the Bible, there’s a story of Jesus casting demons into a herd of pigs: Matthew 8:30-37; Mark 5:1-20; and Luke 8:27-38.

In Homer’s The Odyssey, Circe turned some of Odysseus’ men into pigs.

A casual search of “men turned into pigs” will show many similar references, across multiple eras & cultures.

Those kinds of stories often have a very real foundation. What I don’t know is… why pigs? 

Should You Investigate Pig Man? Maybe.

To verify this story, I’d investigate the Tennessee location because it sounds lovely… whether or not an unattractive ghost is in the woods.

By contrast, Angola, New York, was the site of a well-documented 19th-century tragedy. So, there’s provenance (credible evidence) for ghosts in that area.

If that “Pigman” site is truly haunted – and it might be, at least with residual energy – I’m not likely to investigate it. What happened there is just too sad.

(But that’s my personal preference. You may have more tolerance for research at disaster sites.)

Of course, those axe-wielding, pig-related legends are difficult to believe, without some first-person stories to support them.

That’s another reason to visit areas where “Pig Man” has been reported: To find out if anyone has a credible, first-person story of seeing him.

This might be an interesting example of how urban legends migrate, nearly intact.

Or… maybe all the stories are true. (Cue the Twilight Zone music…?)

If you’ve seen “Pig Man” in Georgia, New York, Tennessee, Texas, or Vermont, or know a similar ghost story – true or urban legend – please leave a comment at this website.

Pig man resources: additional reading

Illustration credit: Pig-faced woman, By Anonymous – Print given free with the 7 January 1882 issue of Illustrated Police News, reproduced in Fortean Times, April 2007, PD-US, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28115837