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Magical myths and ghostly tales of the Lake District

By Wateredge Inn

Mysteries of years gone by, fascinating tales and spooky stories about the local area always pique our interest here at the Wateredge Inn. We love learning about the Lake District and with its rich history stemming back thousands of years, there’s always plenty to discover.

Now, of course you will have heard of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, but did you know we might have our very own mysterious creature right here in Windermere? Over the years, there have been many sightings of an unidentified large creature, known locally as ‘Bownessie’ swimming in the southern end of Windermere.

Another ghostly figure in Windermere is The White Horse of Windermere, and legend has it that when harm is about to come to the area around the lake, a ghostly white horse walks on the water from shore to shore.

Then there’s the tale of the Crier of Claife. Hundreds of years ago, the ferrymen at Ferry Nab would often hear strange calls for the boat to come across the water but were too scared to go. Then one night, a young ferryman rowed across. On his return whatever he had seen had terrified him so much that he couldn't speak, and the next day he died.

The ghost was believed to be the spirit of a monk whose role was to save the souls of 'fallen' women. Rumour has it that he fell in love with one of the women but was rejected, causing him to go insane and he later died. The local people were so shocked after the young ferryman’s death that they asked a monk to exorcise the ghost. But the ghost might not have gone too far, as to this day there are stories of walkers being followed by a hooded figure on the heights of Claife.

If that hasn’t spooked you enough, then the haunting of Calgarth Hall will surely make your spine tingle. The Lake District National Park website tells us that the sixteenth century manor house was owned by Kraster Cook and his wife Dorothy. Their neighbour was local Justice of the Peace, Myles Philipson who wanted to buy the house, but the Cooks didn't want to sell.

To get his hands on the property, Myles accused the Cooks of theft, judged them and condemned them to death. However before she died, Dorothy cursed Calgarth promising that their screaming skulls would haunt the Hall night and day until the Philipsons left and that the family would never prosper. Spooky!

Have we missed out your favourite Lake District legend, or your number one spooky story?Let us know - we’d love to hear some more.

If you want to try and spot Bownessie or The White Horse of Windermere for yourself, you’ll need a warm and cosy bed to rest your weary head after a day of exploring - take a look at our latest offers.

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Wateredge Inn is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Borrans Road, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 0EP. Registered number: 2962282.