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Saturday, 20 July 2002

Review of Dark Dorset in Dorset Magazine, July 2002

We all love a tale that sends a shiver down the spine, a tale that gets you thinking that just maybe there might be more to reality than science has answers to. Well, it seems that Dorset has its fair share of tales involving goblins and ghosties and things that go bump in the night, and our two intrepid authors have brought them all together in this book.

They’re all here, those visitors from the other side, and those other regions where nightmares dwell. Ghosts, poltergeists, fairies, goblins, giants, vampires, conjurors and witches, not to mention the odd UFO, big cat, demon dog and crop circle. Not only that, but you can look up a town, village or loca­tion and go straight to the tale or tales that apply to that particular place. Surprise, surprise, but right up there with a lot of nasties is Portland with over a dozen entries including big cats, black dogs, mermaids and monsters, though it’s Dorchester that’s top of ghoulish goings-on with nearly 20 entries!

It’s all good fun, of course, but the next time I’m wandering home at the dead of night out Loders way, and I do it all the time, I hope to God I don’t meet the headless coachman who haunts Yellow Lane going towards Waddon Hill. He’s looking for his head after it was decapitated by a tree branch and apparently he’s just one of a number of headless folk who are seen about the county. And it’s not always coachmen who lose their heads - on the Dorchester to Bridport road near Kingston Russell House, a headless coachman has been seen driving a team of headless horses with four headless passengers and a headless footman -you couldn’t make it up, could you?

I hope somebody did.

Source: Dorset Magazine, July 2002

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