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Folklore: English canal system ghosts

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GUEST,Goldcrest 307955 21 Jan 07 - 11:21 AM
Willie-O 21 Jan 07 - 12:05 PM
Ruth Archer 21 Jan 07 - 12:29 PM
Zany Mouse 21 Jan 07 - 01:37 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 21 Jan 07 - 04:52 PM
bubblyrat 21 Jan 07 - 06:45 PM
Susanne (skw) 21 Jan 07 - 08:03 PM
GUEST,Jim Martin 21 Jan 07 - 09:38 PM
Rowan 21 Jan 07 - 10:24 PM
Leadfingers 21 Jan 07 - 10:34 PM
Rowan 21 Jan 07 - 10:55 PM
Moses 22 Jan 07 - 06:45 AM
GUEST,Barrie Roberts 22 Jan 07 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,Goldcrest 307955 23 Jan 07 - 09:36 AM
Dave Roberts 23 Jan 07 - 09:44 AM
Michael 23 Jan 07 - 03:34 PM
Rowan 23 Jan 07 - 04:25 PM
Mr Fox 24 Jan 07 - 07:26 AM
julian morbihan 24 Jan 07 - 09:10 AM
Dave Roberts 24 Jan 07 - 11:18 AM
FreddyHeadey 11 Apr 15 - 03:31 PM
FreddyHeadey 11 Apr 15 - 03:38 PM
GUEST 11 Apr 15 - 07:04 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Apr 15 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Dave Illingworth 12 Apr 15 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,Desi C 12 Apr 15 - 11:40 AM
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Snuffy 12 Apr 15 - 01:45 PM
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Subject: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: GUEST,Goldcrest 307955
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 11:21 AM

Does anyone have ghost stories related to the English canal system?
I've spent ages looking for some but all i get is a couple of brief notes at the bottom of webpages saying the equivelent of 'well, theres a rumour...'


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Willie-O
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 12:05 PM

Paging Greg Stephens...for an on-topic answer unlike mine.

I know a couple of ghost stories relating to the Rideau Canal of eastern Ontario (construction supervised by the English Colonel John By, it was designed as a 19th-century shipping/transportation route that would be secure from American depredations).

Rumour has it By's ghost still hangs around the final set of locks where the canal enters the Ottawa River:
http://hauntedontario.netfirms.com/ottawa.html

Also, there was a mill on the Rideau whose owner's young bride came for a tour of the shop. Tragically her cumbersome garments got caught in machinery, causing her death. (This is verified history). Naturally some say her ghost still haunts the old building.

The Rideau was built by Irish and French-Canadian labourers under terrible conditions, at least 500 perished from accidents and malaria as they dug through swampy portions of the route. I've paddled through one of those low-lying sections, a narrow dig near the village of Newboro, and I'd swear it was haunted--quiet, private and spooky, whereas most of the canal is now full of powerboats and fancy cottages.

The ugliest story of the Rideau predates the canal. At the current hamlet of Rideau Ferry there is now a graceful concrete bridge over the fairly wide river channel between Big Rideau and Lower Rideau Lakes. Before the bridge was built, it was called Oliver's Landing, starting in the early 1800's, named after an unsavoury innkeeper/ferryman there. It had an unsavoury reputation for disappearing travellers. Years later when the old inn was torn down, many human skeletal remains were found beneath the basement, giving credence to tales of travellers murdered for their possessions, and possible cannibalism. "Don't eat the soup at Oliver's Inn".

Perhaps irrelevant to your query, but one could argue that the Rideau is a British canal since it was built and funded by British subjects in the colonial era.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 12:29 PM

Try this:

http://www.rugeleyonline.co.uk/people/collins.htm

no ghost as such, but the steps are said to ooze blood.

Have alook at this:

http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/newsroom/stories/spectres_spooks_and_things_that_go_splosh_in_the_night.html


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 01:37 PM

Tony O'Neill (The Admiral on Mudcat) wrote a fantastic song about a ghost coal boat in Worksop. I don't know if it is based on a local story though. I suggest you PM The Admiral, who I'm sure will be very helpful.

Great song

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 04:52 PM

I'm pretty sure there are a number of tales, including one about Blisworth tunnel. It would be worth contacting the museum at Stoke Bruerne, which has some very helpful staff who are clued up on folklore of the canals.
KYBTTS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: bubblyrat
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 06:45 PM

I just finished reading an excellent canal book called "Journey into England"---Can"t remember the author, sorry ! Anyway,there were a couple of references to ghosts---One ,a headless woman who shrieks at boaters as they enter a tunnel ( Blisworth ??) and also a haunted stretch of canal cutting where the old-time boatmen & their families were too terrified to moor for the night !! Sometime in the last 2 or 3 years, I read,either in "Waterways World" or "Canal Boat" ,an article about a live-aboard couple,where the wife is ,in fact, a professional medium specialising in inland waterways ghosts !!! --if you contact either of those magazines,they would probably let you have the article---it"s fascinating !!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 08:03 PM

The Rosemary


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 09:38 PM

David Blagrove (Vice President, Commercial Boat Owners Assoc, Tel: 01604 862174) may be able to help here. He's an ex working boatman, canal author and singer/songwriter and has numerous contacts.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Rowan
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 10:24 PM

One of John (& Sue?) Kirkpatrick's LPs had a song mentioning the ghost of the character Webb who sought salvation in swimming, mostly in canals I gather. It's drifting around my memory, just out of sight, but I'm certain various 'Catters will fix you up.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 10:34 PM

Rowan - That John Betjemen's poem about Captain Webb from Darnley !


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Rowan
Date: 21 Jan 07 - 10:55 PM

Thanks Leadfingers. It's starting to come back to me; I also gather he was the first to swim the Channel.

CHeers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Moses
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 06:45 AM

Zorg knows the song ...it starts something like:- "The gas was up in the institute" -about the ghost of Capt Webb who drowned in the canal I think.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 11:05 AM

Anne Bradford and I created three books of West Midland ghost stories for Quercus/Walkways publications. There are canal ghost stories in those. In addition, I did three volumes of true murder stories for the same publisher, one of which contains the Rugeley haunting mentioned above. Try Quercus/Walkwaks website.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: GUEST,Goldcrest 307955
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 09:36 AM

Thanks!
I'd already heard about a couple but its all good!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 09:44 AM

From Betjeman's 'Collected Poems':

A Shropshire Lad

The gas was on in the Institute,
The flare was up in the gym,
A man was running a mineral line,
A lass was singing a hymn,
When Captain Webb the Dawley man,
Captain Webb from Dawley,
Came swimming along the old canal
That carried the bricks to Lawley.
Swimming along –
Swimming along –
Swimming along from Severn,
And paying a call at Dawley Bank
while swimming along to Heaven.

The sun shone low on the railway line
And over the bricks and stacks,
And in at the upstairs windows
Of the Dawley houses' backs,
When we saw the ghost of Captain Webb,
Webb in a water sheeting,
Come dripping along in a bathing dress
To the Saturday evening meeting.
Dripping along –
Dripping along –
To the Congregational Hall;
Dripping and still he rose over the sill
and faded away in a wall


There wasn't a man in Oakengates
That hadn't got hold of the tale,
And over the valley in Ironbridge,
And round by Coalbrookdale,
How Captain Webb the Dawley man,
Captain Webb from Dawley,
Rose rigid and dead from the old canal
That carries the bricks to Lawley.
Rigid and dead –
Rigid and dead –
To the Saturday congregation,
Paying a call at Dawley Bank
on his way to his destination.

   
JB used to perform this himself in what he admitted was a pretty woeful 'Midlands' accent.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Michael
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 03:34 PM

When I were a lad we used to travel the canals for our holidays(late 60's/early 70's)and this thread has reminded me of Kit Crewbucket who haunts the Harecastle Tunnel. Can't do a blicky but she 's mentioned in Wikipedia.

Mike


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Rowan
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 04:25 PM

Thanks for that, Dave


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Mr Fox
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 07:26 AM

Margaret Cornish's book 'Still Waters' is a collection of ghost stories set on the canals. Most of them are fiction, but at least one ('The Swimming Cat')is based on local legend.

Still Waters

Ms Cornish worked on the canals during the war and lived in a boat for many years afterwards. Her autobiography:

Troubled Waters

L T C Rolt also wrote canal-based ghost stories.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: julian morbihan
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 09:10 AM

Captain Webb's was the first successful attempt to swim the English Channel. He then had a career talking about that exploit. When the novelty had worn thin, to boost his career he attempted to swim the rapids below Niagra Falls. John Betjeman's poem follows on from that exploit!

I first heard the poem recited by John Betjeman with a brass band playing the tune in the background on the car radio whilst driving from Wiltshire to North Wales. And where was I at the time - Dawley! Spooky, or what...

I later learnt the song from John K's excellent rendition. I think the album was "Jump at the Sun".

Cheers

julian


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 11:18 AM

The music used for many of the Betjeman recordings was by Jim Parker.
Parker played the suggested tunes to JB on what he later described as 'a little harmonium'. A portable keyboard, probably.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 11 Apr 15 - 03:31 PM

Not a Jogger
(& not a song)
Location: Bosley - Macclesfield Canal, first bridge after top of Bosley lock flight on the permanent boat moorings
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: July 2007, circa 21:00h
Further Comments: A ten year old girl pointed out a figure running across a nearby field to her mother, saying the word 'jogger'. The mother looked and could see the person in black moving towards them, but as it approached, realised that the 'jogger' actually wore a monk's habit and no face under his hood. The figure stopped a short distance away, as if paused in mid sprint, and when the woman turned to check her daughter was okay (she had run off back to the boat), the monk vanished.
www.paranormaldatabase.com/cheshire/chesdata.php


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 11 Apr 15 - 03:38 PM

: Dave Roberts - PM
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 09:44 AM

From Betjeman's 'Collected Poems':
A Shropshire Lad

John Kirkpatrick & Sue Harris - A Shropshire Lad


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 15 - 07:04 PM

Bosley. No obvious monastic names there despite some intriguing humps and bumps in the fields to the east. To the west, we have Little and Big Dogbottom Woods.

The "monk" figure had clothes but no face. That's a fightening thought- what if our ghosts wear flares?

The "haunted stretch of canal cutting" mentioned by bubblyrat 8 years ago is probably Betton Cutting near Market Drayton on the Shroppie. If I'm not wrong (and I usually am), this is a "derivative" ghost. Monty James wrote a story, "A Neighbour's Landmark", which involved a screaming ghost in Betton Woods (fictional and not on the Shroppie). This seems to have been translocated to its namesake, but how and when is a mystery. It's known that Tom Rolt was a James fan- I wonder if he told tales on dark winters' evenings in boatmens' pubs, which got asociated with the namesake location.

All speculation, as is the coincidental fact that there is another wood grubbed up because of a screaming ghost near another canal. Skratta Wood near Shireoak Hall on the Chesterfield Canal is supposed to have hosted just such a ghost. And a couple of miles from Shireoak Hall is the area called Walling Well... Monty James wrote a story called "Wailing Well"!! Spooky or what?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Apr 15 - 08:13 AM

We have lots of rusting barges on the Aire and Calder that could be carrying cargo infinitely cheaper than road or rail. They might as well be ghosts!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: GUEST,Dave Illingworth
Date: 12 Apr 15 - 10:22 AM

If you go onto the website SONGS OF THE INLAND WATERWAYS you will find the words of the song "There's Something In The Cutting" by my good friend Dusty Miller. To quote Dusty:- "This song was inspired by an old superstition that the cutting above Audlem Locks was haunted. No boaters used to tie overnight in that cutting."
The song is also included in Dusty's songbook THE UNKNOWN BOATMAN and a recording can be found on DPN+1's CD MIST ON THE WATER.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 12 Apr 15 - 11:40 AM

Please Note
There are no such thing as Ghosts


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 12 Apr 15 - 12:02 PM

Although Mrs Hound and I have a boat booked for the Macclesfield Canal later in the year, I should point out that I have no intention of going jogging, and have no bad 'habits' so if there are any sightings reported.......

John(Bosley)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Apr 15 - 01:15 PM

Desi, can you prove this? I looked in the dictionary and it said 'disembodied spirit of a dead person'. Are you telling me dead persons don't exist?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: English canal system ghosts
From: Snuffy
Date: 12 Apr 15 - 01:45 PM

Surely by definition dead persons don't exist any more. :-)


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