Dark Dorset Online Scrapbook is an archive of current and past events relating to local history, folklore and mysteries that can be discovered in the English county of Dorset.

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Friday, 30 December 2005

Haunted pub in running for award

An historic Dorset pub has made it through to the national finals of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) awards.

The Boot in Weymouth has been voted top Wessex pub in the regional heats of the CAMRA competition.

The pub dates back to around 1600, and is thought to be the oldest public house in the town.

During the English Civil War the street outside became the scene of a bloody battle and the pub is said to be haunted by at least five ghosts.

Landlord Giles Embley said they were "chuffed to bits" with the news.

Source: BBC News Friday, 30 December 2005

Friday, 25 November 2005

Being with fairies has high rewards for Dorset author

Spending time away with the fairies has paid off for the curator of Ewell's Bourne Hall Museum after he scooped a national book award.

Jeremy Harte, who has been taking time out from reality to explore the world of fairies, has been presented with this year's Folklore Society's award for the best book about folklore.

Source: Harrow Times Friday 25th November 2005

Tuesday, 1 November 2005


The Tank Museum is to host professional paranormal researchers after years of spooky goings on in the museum galleries - and they are looking for recruits to join in their investigations.

Paranormal Tours, a company specialising in ghost hunting events are to give delegates an opportunity to test their own ghost busting and psychic abilities in an all night vigil.

Museum spokesman Nik Wyness said; "Over the years, stories have circulated of unusual goings on inside The Museum; with sightings of ghostly figures, mysterious footsteps, and tales of staff reporting an uncomfortable feeling of being watched. So to some, the idea that The Museum may be haunted is not an unusual one at all."

One enduring ghost story features an apparition of a grey figure believed to be that of a German officer, who is said to wander the Museum floor at night. Sightings became so frequent that the figure has become affectionately known as `Herman The German'.

Former staff have since claimed that Herman was an invention designed to keep mischievous children away from The Museum at night. But this doesn't explain the continued and distinctive sightings of a ghostly German officer inside the museum.

Nik added; "The museum is full of machines that were designed for war and have witnessed some of the most distressing and testing human experiences that it is possible to imagine.

"Each one has a story, and so many carry the visible scars of battle that we can only speculate on the fate of their occupants.

"That is the reality of any Museum that features the weapons and machines of war"," said Nik.

The investigation, which takes place on the night of Saturday 19th March starting at 7pm, features unique overnight access to The Museum with a workshop and demonstration of ghost hunting tools including; Clairvoyance, Mediumship, and the physical equipment to be used throughout the night.

If you would like to take part in ghost hunting at The Tank Museum, please call Paranormal Tours on 0871 288 4026, or visit their website.

News Release issued: 1st November 2005

Paranormal researchers are returning to Bovington to continue their investigations into spooky goings on at The Tank Museum.

Paranormal researchers are returning to Bovington to continue their investigations into spooky goings on at The Tank Museum.

In March, ghost hunting events company Paranormal Tours gave delegates an opportunity to test their own ghost busting and psychic abilities in an all night vigil.

Paranormal Tours Development Manager Kerry Marsay said; “Since our last investigation there have been more reports of unusual activity in the Museum. Visitors continue to report strange distortions in photographs they have taken in the museum. A professional photographer commissioned by the Museum to take internal shots discovered during processing that many of his pictures had been ruined by an unexplainable streak of light though the frames.

“Others claim to have seen mysterious figures wandering about the Museum floor in historic servicemen’s attire – the latest report came in from a member of the public just two weeks ago. Over the years, Museum staff have also told tales of hearing footsteps, seeing apparitions, and of having that eerie feeling of being watched. ”

One enduring Tank Museum story features a ghostly figure dressed in the grey uniform of a German Officer. He is said to prowl the Museum floor at night, and has been seen so frequently over the years that he has become affectionately known as `Herman the German`.

Whilst Herman failed to make his presence known in March, a number of vehicles seemed to attract the attention of the Paranormal Tours psychic.

“The World War II Hanomag, Panzer and Tiger tanks were all a hive of paranormal activity,” says Kerry, “and there was plenty of unusual activity reported all over this site, which will allow us to focus our investigations during our next visit.”

Paranormal researchers are returning to Bovington to continue their investigations into spooky goings on at The Tank Museum.

The investigation will take place on Saturday 26th to the morning of Sunday 26th of November 2005.

Guests will be treated to a hearty meal, ghost hunting workshop and demonstration of ghost hunting equipment before the all night investigations begin.

If you would like to take part, contact 0871 288 4036 or visit the Paranormal Tours website for more information.

Investigators must be over the age of 18 and spaces are strictly limited.

News Release issued: 1st November 2005

Thursday, 27 October 2005

Witch bottle' was cure for sick cows

A Bottle containing a potion designed to ward off cattle disease in the 18th century is going on show after it was unearthed in Purbeck.

Experts believe the rare find is a `witch bottle' used to fend off evil spirits which were thought to cause horned cattle distemper - the foot and mouth of the period.

Source: Dorset Echo Thursday 27th Oct 2005

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

Witch bottle 'used to save cows'

The bottle was found on the Isle of Purbeck A rare 18th Century "witch bottle" used to ward off evil spirits is to go on show at a Dorset castle.

The bottle, which is one of only four found in the UK with its contents still inside, is to go on show at Corfe Castle for two weeks from Wednesday.

Source: BBC News Wednesday, 26 October 2005

Tuesday, 25 October 2005

A haunting discovery

A sealed bottle found on the Purbeck estate has been identified as an 18th century witch bottle.

It is believed the artefact, which was found by the National Trust, is a counter-witchcraft measure to ward off horned cattle distemper, the foot-and-mouth of the period.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Thursday 27th Oct 2005

Monday, 24 October 2005

What is that lurking in the bushes?

Shocked 10-year-old Nicholas Rogers claims he came face to face with a big cat in Poole's leafy suburbs as he walked home for his tea.

Nicholas, from Ascot Road, in Broadstone, was running home from the Recreation ground next to Silverdale Close where he had been playing football with friends last Tuesday, when he saw a large black creature crossing the road towards him.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Monday 24th Oct 2005

Friday, 7 October 2005

Wallace and Gromit spook island

Posters for the new Wallace and Gromit film in a south coast town will not feature the word "rabbit" because of a local superstition.

Source: BBC News 7 October 2005

Monday, 26 September 2005

Partygoer: I came face to face with a big cat on the cliffs

A woman on her way out to a party says she came face to face with a big cat near the cliffs in Bournemouth - just a month after a holidaymaker reported seeing a puma just a mile and a half along the seafront.

Shocked Helen Bowman was with two other people near Boscombe Pier at about 7pm on Friday when she saw the creature. "There's a hill and some wasteland nearby. This cat shot up the hill. It was a rich, red colour and about 4ft 6ins to 5ft long with a chubby tail. It was definitely more like a cat than a dog," she said.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Monday 26th Sep 2005

Monday, 5 September 2005

The boars are back in town!

For 300 years they have been missing from the countryside - but now one of three small colonies of wild boar in England is scavenging around the Dorset backwoods.

What should be done about the re-emergence of animals that for centuries were extinct in the British Isles?

Source: Dorset Echo Monday 5th Sep 2005

Friday, 26 August 2005

`Big cat sighting left me terrified'

Thealleged sighting of a big cat last weekend on Bournemouth's West Cliff brought memories flooding back for Branksome woman Carol Lewis.

Two years ago Carol came face to face with a large dark brown cat as she walked home from the beach along Alum Chine.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Friday 26th Aug 2005

Wednesday, 24 August 2005

Warning after 'big cat' sighting

Holidaymakers in Dorset are being warned to dial 999 if they see a big cat-like creature following a number of sightings across the county.

Pc John Snellin, wildlife officer for Dorset Police, has advised people not to approach them or corner them, especially if they are injured.

Source: BBC News Wednesday, 24 August 2005

Was puma on prowl at West Cliff?

Residents are being warned to be on their guard following sightings of a big cat in Bournemouth and on the outskirts of Christchurch.

A shocked security guard alerted police at the weekend after spotting a large black cat while on patrol at a Hurn industrial estate.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Wednesday 24th Aug 2005

Monday, 22 August 2005

Birthday boy feels the curse of Were-Rabbit

LITTLE William Cain has finally seen The Curse of the Were-Rabbit after his first trip to see the movie ended when the film melted.

The youngster went to Cineworld in Weymouth with mum Jenny to see the popular Wallace and Gromit movie for his seventh birthday.
But he had to go home and return another day after the film melted and sound failed shortly after the start.

The breakdown came after a few posters advertising the film found their way to Portland, where local people refuse to say the word `rabbit' because of a long-standing superstition about the creatures' burrowing collapsing quarries.

Source: Dorset Echo Saturday 22nd Oct 2005

Thursday, 18 August 2005

Ghostbusting enterprise

A team of paranormal investigators from Dorset is determined to find definitive proof of the afterlife.

The ghost hunters have just opened for business and already have bookings from a haunted homeowner in Wareham, who claims to see a phantom at the end of the bed, and a terrified man from Blandford who hears voices when his house is empty.

Source: Dorset Echo 18th Aug 2005

Wednesday, 27 July 2005

Giant disappears after residents say ad is 'pants'

Prudish residents have ordered a copy of the Cerne Abbas giant to be removed, even though he is wearing pants.

The giant replica, which was created as an advert for Lynx on the flight path to Gatwick airport, was washed away on the orders of the deodorant manufacturer, after complaints from Hampshire residents and environmentalists.

Tandridge District Council, the local authority, threatened enforcement action against Unilever, who own Lynx, unless they removed the 100,000 square foot image.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Wednesday 27th Jul 2005

Wednesday, 13 July 2005

The Lynx effect!

He Cerne Giant has pulled - thanks to a million pound advertising scheme.

The famous naked chalk image will be recreated on a flight path to Gatwick Airport, with the addition of two similarly nude women in close proximity.

As well as the giant advert, Dorset's famous fertility symbol will also appear in a series of TV commercials, deemed so saucy that they must be shown after the 9pm watershed.

The new image, which will be more than 9,290 square metres, is designed to advertise Lynx deodorants and catch the eye of passengers flying into the airport from July 18 to August 14.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Wednesday 13th Jul 2005

Sunday, 10 July 2005

Dowsers find stone from ancient temple

An ancient standing stone from a lost sun temple has been unearthed by dowsers in east Dorset.

Students on a local dowsing course discovered the hidden Bronze Age relic at Knowlton Henge, two miles south of Cranborne.

Source: Dorset Echo Friday 10th Jun 2005

Friday, 17 June 2005

Britons braced to grasp nettle - and eat it

London - A handful of hardy souls will descend on a quiet English village this weekend to stuff their mouths full of stinging nettles in a bizarre competition which started as an argument in a pub.

Combatants will gather at The Bottle Inn in Marshwood, south-west England, on Saturday night to take part in the 9th annual World Nettle Eating Championship.

Source: IOL,
June 17 2005

Thursday, 16 June 2005

Drive-by spooking

Have you experienced any spooky phenomena while driving near the ancient Badbury Rings site close to Wimborne?

Did your arms become locked at the wheel for a couple of seconds? Or has a wing mirror suddenly cracked for no reason?

A local researcher is asking car drivers to contact him if they have noticed any strange happenings on certain key roads in east Dorset.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Thursday 16th Jun 2005

Saturday, 21 May 2005

The Lynx of Casterbridge?

Thomas Hardy would be amused.

His Victorian villa on the outskirts of Dorchester is not only attracting tourists but now, apparently, a big cat as well.

Max Gate, where Hardy wrote Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure and The Mayor of Casterbridge has become the latest location to be noted in the Dorset Echo's big cat diary.

A Dorchester resident told police he saw a tabby cat "the size of a large Labrador with pointed ears" in Allington Avenue late at night.

Source: Dorset Echo 21st May 2005

Tuesday, 3 May 2005

Mysterious Dorset

Experts in UFO, crop circles, government conspiracies and the paranormal from around the world gather at Dorchester's Corn Exchange for the annual 'Unexplained' conference each spring.

Dorset has more than its fair share of mysteries with their roots deep in local folklore, so we asked conference organiser and UFO and Crop Circles expert David Kingston to locate some of our most mysterious places

Source: BBC Dorset - Features - Mysteries 3rd May 2005

Monday, 2 May 2005

Photograph of UFO taken over Dorchester?

UFOEvidence.org website displays a photograph of a UFO seen in the Dorchester area on 14th November 2004. To see the photograph and judge for self visit http://www.ufoevidence.org/Photographs/Photo352.htm

Tuesday, 15 March 2005

Bid to chart wild boar population

Wild boar numbers will be officially measured after numerous sightings across Dorset.

Once considered a rare species, the animal will be included for the first time in The National Gamebag Census.

The census is carried out by The Game Conservatory Trust, which advises the Government on environmental issues such as bio-diversity and disease control.

Source: Dorset Echo Monday 15th Mar 2004

Friday, 25 February 2005

Wild beast of the west returns

A mysterious big black cat has been spotted in Melplash again.

This time it was by Wendy and Richard Plummer of Slades Green, Bridport, who were driving on the Beaminster road on Saturday morning when they saw it.

Source: Dorset Echo Friday 25th Feb 2005

Wednesday, 16 February 2005

On the `tracks' of a ghostly army

Not all visitors to Bovington Tank Museum have bought an admission ticket.

Museum chiefs are bringing in a team of paranormal researchers to investigate reports of ghosts seen inside the museum building.

Researchers with Paranormal Tours, a company specialising in ghost-hunting events, will spend a night at the museum with a collection of ghost-detecting equipment and their own sixth sense.

Source: Dorset Echo 16th Feb 2005
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