"Where trumpets rang and men marched by, none passes but the dragonfly" - Mary Webb

Haunted Shropshire

The White Lady of Longnor

So young, so pretty... and so sad is the White Lady of Longnor. Time was, she would emerge, as if from nowhere, to join in the dancing at parties in the Villa close to the Black Pool. At least one young man, smitten by the beauty and mystery of the young woman dressed in a white wedding gown, tried to woo her. But as he reached out to hold her in his arms she eluded his grasp and vanished. Faded away would be more precise. Faded away to the depths of the Black Pool, into which she had thrown herself many years before, broken hearted when deserted by fiancÚ. No-one dances at the Villa any more, since the beautiful young woman vanished at dawn in the midst of astonished revellers. Even the Black Pool has gone, long since filled in. But the White Lady remains, waiting for her fiancÚ perhaps... or just the invitation to dance.


Phantom Funeral

At Ratlinghope, should a grand funeral procession pass by at dusk, stand for a moment in respectful silence. Marvel at the grandeur of the cortege, led by the magnificent carriage, pulled by two horses decorated with black plumes, and accompanied by top-hatted bearers. Watch the procession slowly glide down the narrow lane, over the bridge, past the pub and climb the hill out of the village to disappear from view. How do we know that the funeral will pass this way? A word, friend. It has done so many times before. Who lies in the coffin and where is the body's final resting place is, no-one knows. No record of such a funeral exists.

The Devil's Chair

On hot summer nights on the top of the Stiperstones, the smell of brimstone in the air warns the wary traveller that Beelzebub himself sits upon his lofty throne, a ragged peak called the Devil's Chair, surveying his kingdom. One tale tells us that it was formed when Beelzebub was taking a break in his errand to fill in the valley at Hell's Gutter. Getting up, his apron strings broke and, cursing, he dropped the rocks where they now stand. Another is that the Devil's work is not yet complete. Disliking Shropshire more than any other county, he would bring rocks continually, hoping Shropshire will sink into the sea. You may even see Wild Edric, the rebel knight imprisoned underground as punishment for siding with William the Conqueror. Mounted on galloping horses, he and his men ride to war, unable to rest until all wrongs in the country have been put right.

Halloween Roll-Call

Dare you walk through Chirbury graveyard on a Halloween... when death is calling? Legend says whoever walks twelve times round Chirbury church at midnight hears a chilling roll-call of parishioners who will die within the year. In the 18th century, two men, the worse for a night's drinking, dared each other to make the fateful circuit. As they strained to hear the mumbled register of the damned, the name of one of their friends rang clear. Quickly, they ran to warn him. He scoffed... but was dead before the next Halloween. It's said a soul does not rest in the church until it has told the living of an impending death. Would you gladly hear the names it calls?

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