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.

Search the Dark Dorset Scrapbook Archive

Monday, 24 December 2007

Morris dancers celebrate winter solstice

THE winter solstice was celebrated in traditional style at Lyme's Cobb harbour on Saturday.

Ten men in white, with black top hats strode across the sandbar carrying wooden sticks - as the Uplyme Morris Men turned out to ensure good fortune and fertility for the coming season.

Source: Bridport and Lyme Regis News Monday 24th December 2007

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Screaming skull boosts church funds

The guest of honour at Bettiscombe church's first Christmas fair proved a powerful magnet to the masses.

That honoured guest was the Screaming Skull of Bettiscombe seen in public for the first time in St Stephen's Church on Saturday.

By computer magic the actual skull, subject of so many scary stories, appeared at an exhibition of Bettiscombe's art, crafts and working history in the church, part of the fair in the village hall.

Source: Bridport and Lyme Regis News Tuesday 4th Dec 2007

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

A Magpie Collecting Old Times

Terry Gale of Belmont Avenue is a magpie when it comes to historical local photographs.

Not for the first time, he shared some images from his vast collection with Looking Back and reminisced over the changing face of Weymouth.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 27th November 2007

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

A-nurdling we will go!

The ancient Dorset art of nurdling made a welcome return to Upwey in Weymouth for a televised display.

The game, which involves hurling a wooden block called a nurdle at other players, will be shown on the unusual pastimes section of BBC One's Saturday morning breakfast show.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 21st November 2007

SEE MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Video Wednesday 21st November 2007

Power shower

A Blandford trainee beauty therapist told how she was struck by lightning - as she washed her hair in the shower.

Student Abbie Jackson was hit when the bolt came in through her bathroom window.

She was left reeling in pain but escaped without serious injury.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Wednesday 21st Nov 2007

Bolt from the blue

A trainee beauty therapist told today how she was struck by lightning - as she washed her hair in the shower.

Weymouth College student Abbie Jackson was hit when the bolt came in through her bathroom window.

Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 21st Nov 2007

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Unexplained Mysteries

When experts from around the world - specialising in UFO, crop circles, government conspiracies and the paranormal -gathered at Dorchester's Corn Exchange for an Unexplained Mysteries conference, all were agreed: Dorset's a mysterious place!

Taking part in the conference was, among others, an extraterrestrial abduction researcher from the USA, a modern day Indiana Jones who's been to Egypt and an animal healer.

And according to the advertising blurb for the Unexplained Mysteries conference:

"The truth is not out there - it's in Dorchester"

Source: BBC Dorset - Features - Unexplained Mysteries 1st November 2007

Monday, 29 October 2007

Spooky fort is a scary prospect

Nothe Fort in Weymouth has been named as one of the top 10 spookiest locations across the UK.

The fort, which was built in 1860 as part of the defence of Portland Harbour, has been ranked fourth best place for ghost hunters in a survey by the National Lottery.

Source: Dorset Echo Monday 29th Oct 2007

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Steps back in time

Hidden traces of Weymouth's medieval history have been uncovered at Chapelhay.

Sections of 400-year-old stone steps have been revealed by volunteers clearing undergrowth in Chapelhay Gardens.

The Chapelhay Community Partnership is removing vegetation which began to thrive after a German land mine flattened much of the area in 1941.

Source: Dorset Echo Saturday 27th October 2007

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Theatre revamp may banish 'ghost'

A planned £13m restoration of a "haunted" 1920s theatre to its former glory may silence its ghostly sounds.

Footsteps on an empty stage and sightings of a woman in a bonnet are some of the ghostly reports by staff at Bournemouth's Pavilion.

Some say it is the spirit of Emily, an actress who died on stage in the 1930s.

Source: BBC News Thursday, 25 October 2007

Fathers group denies attack on monuments

Two Dorset monuments have been daubed with paint by activists claiming to be from Fathers4Justice.

Hardy's Monument and the Nine Stones at Winterbourne Abbas were both daubed with graffiti saying "Read family court hell" and "F4J".

The attacks have been condemned as mindless vandalism by landowners and people who use the sites.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Thursday 25th October 2007

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Vandals target two historic sites

Two historic sites in Dorset have been targeted by vandals who have covered them in graffiti.

The ancient Nine Stones circle, beside the A35 at Winterbourne Abbas, near Dorchester, was targeted overnight.

READ MORE - Source: BBC News Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Monday, 22 October 2007

Halloween in Dorset

Pumpkins at the ready, witches! Around Dorset this Halloween there's spooky goings-on galore, and here are just a few of them...........

Source: BBC - Dorset - Entertainment - Halloween 22/10/07

Peter Knight on Sacred Sites in Dorset

If you enjoy walking through the Dorset countryside, you’ll probably have spotted them for yourself. Big grey boulders placed in a circle in an isolated field. Earth Mysteries expert Peter Knight uncovers the secrets of the county’s sacred stones.

Source: BBC Dorset - Features - Sacred Sites 22nd October 2007

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Author’s return to Littlemoor

A weymouth author who has taken the magical fiction world by storm is returning to Littlemoor where she started writing 24 years ago.

The latest of Kit Berry's series of novels - Solstice At Stonewylde has been released this month after worldwide critical acclaim about her books set in a hidden community in Dorset.

There will be a double signing on Saturday, October 27, starting off at A Littlemore Hardware, Littlemoor from 9.45am to 11am and then heading to The Pickled Witch Market at the Corn Exchange, Dorchester, from midday until 2pm.

Her fifth book, Solstice at Stonewylde, is available locally and in national bookshops this month.

Source: Dorset Echo Thursday 18th October 2007

Monday, 15 October 2007

Ghostly things that go bump in the night

Ghostly goings-on mean two neighbours are keeping their lights on.

Mysterious footsteps, an opening and slamming door - and a cry for help from a phantom woman are disturbing the lives of two Boscombe residents.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Monday 15th Oct 2007

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

It’s market day for witchy folk

Witches will be topping up their stocks of wands and other little essentials at the Pickled Witch Market in the Corn Exchange this month.

Organiser Chris Walsh said the event followed a successful witch market in Dorchester a year ago.

Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 10th Oct 2007

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Dorset’s hidden black history and the legend of the Bettiscombe Screaming Skull

The Black History in Dorset Project aims to explore the experiences of black people in Dorset. Behind the project is British-Ghanaian poet and historian Louisa Adjoa Parker. Here she describes Dorset’s slave trade past link: BBC Dorset - Dorset’s hidden black history

One reference she makes is the The legend of the screaming skull

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Dinosaurs on the beach!

Terrified bathers fled Bournemouth beach on Wednesday when a prehistoric monster emerged from beneath the sand.

Have-a-go hero Stephen Hart was first on the scene. The lab technician banished thoughts for his own safety to thwart the beast, which he claimed had slipped through a hole in the space-time continuum.

And relax.

The events described above did take place, but only as part of filming for the new series of ITV's hit science fiction series, Primeval.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Wednesday 5th Sep 2007

Friday, 31 August 2007

UFO seen at Uplyme

Another UFO has been sighted at Uplyme - this time by five people.

The mystery object with "pulsating lights and a lined body" was seen by a family staying at the Hook Farm caravan and camping park on Sunday night at around 10.15pm.

Source: Bridport and Lyme Regis News Friday 31st Aug 2007

UFO seen at Uplyme

Another UFO has been sighted at Uplyme - this time by five people.

The mystery object with "pulsating lights and a lined body" was seen by a family staying at the Hook Farm caravan and camping park on Sunday night at around 10.15pm.

Rob Vincent, from Weston Super Mare, is convinced there is no earthly explanation for what they saw.

READ MORE - Source: Bridport and Lyme Regis News Friday 31st August 2007

Thursday, 30 August 2007

The mystery of town’s big cat

A Mystery big cat animal has been spotted in a field on the outskirts of Dorchester.

Mark Dawson said he is 'absolutely 100 per cent sure' that the animal he saw standing in a field near Dorchester football stadium was a panther.

Source: Dorset Echo Thursday 30th August 2007

Friday, 24 August 2007

Medieval pendant found in village

A metal detectorist who discovered a rare 700-year-old pendant in Osmington is delighted to hand his treasure over to the British Museum.

Paul Rainford, 53, of Littlemoor Road, Preston found the medieval pendant with a green stone engraved with a woman's portrait in a farmer's ploughed field on March 6.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Friday 24th August 2007

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Druids and witches honour executed girl’s spirit

THE spirit of a slain girl who inspired a Hardy poem was honoured by druids and witches at Maumbury Rings in Dorchester.

Taloch, the stag lord of the Dolmen Grove, blessed the memory of Mary Channing, who was executed there in 1705.

Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 22nd August 2007

Friday, 10 August 2007

It’s market day for witchy folk

Witches will be topping up their stocks of wands and other little essentials at the Pickled Witch Market in the Corn Exchange this month.

Organiser Chris Walsh said the event followed a successful witch market in Dorchester a year ago.

Source: Dorset Echo 10th Oct 2007

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Man rescues baby monkey from tree

A man rescued a baby rhesus macaque monkey from a tree in his garden - by coaxing it down with a banana.

Marty Wright, 39, did not believe his wife Lucy when she said she had spotted the animal in the tree at their house in Beaminster, Dorset on Sunday.

Source: BBC News Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Friday, 27 July 2007

This legislation needs changing

Colin Lodge in his letter Are we dancing the wrong dance' (Echo, June 21) states he is member of Wessex Morris and that some mummers plays have dancing performed within their theatrical plots and that this is equally as ancient tradition as morris.

Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 27th June 2007

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Homer sets up a 'quickie mart' in Cerne Abbas

Dorset's famous Cerne Abbas giant has a new rival in the form of loud-mouthed, doughnut-loving Homer Simpson.

TV's most famous cartoon dad has been painted on the hillside next to the giant to celebrate the launch of the Simpsons Movie.

Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 17th Jul 2007

Monday, 16 July 2007

Wish for rain to wash away Homer

Pagans have pledged to perform "rain magic" to wash away a cartoon character painted next to their famous fertility symbol - the Cerne Abbas giant.

A doughnut-brandishing Homer Simpson was painted next to the giant on the hill above Cerne Abbas, Dorset, to promote the new Simpsons film.

Source: BBC New Monday, 16 July 2007

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Author takes on Harry Potter

West Dorset author Kit Berry has taken on the tough world of publishing and beaten it at its own game.

Kit Berry, a former teacher, started writing her Stonewylde series after work. She set up her own publishing company, even remortgaged her house to get her work read - now the Americans want it and academics and authors are praising it.

Like Thomas Hardy, she has drawn on real Dorset places and customs to create the series - and thanks to the word of mouth power of the internet she's quietly taking the country by storm.

She will be at The Bookshop in Bridport for a book signing on July 14 from 10am to noon.

Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 10th Jul 2007

Friday, 6 July 2007

Big cat sightings appeal

Livestock keepers across Dorset are being asked to take part in an online survey to see whether or not they believe in the existence of wild big cats.

Source: Dorset Echo Friday 6th Jul 2007

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Headstone for Ripper-hunt officer

A Scotland Yard detective who led the police hunt for Jack the Ripper is to have his grave marked with a headstone 78 years after his death.

Det Insp Frederick Abberline, who was born in Blandford Forum, retired to Bournemouth, Dorset and was buried in an unmarked grave there in 1929.

Source: BBC News Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Twister wreckage

A Tornado left behind a trail of destruction when it ripped through a garden in Bridport.

David Wallace and his wife Lisa woke to find a 120-year-old tree in their garden had crashed through a fence on to a neighbour's garage.

Source: Bridport and Lyme Regis News Wednesday 27th Jun 2007

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Has the ghost of Lyme fisherman returned to his old home?

Has the ghost of Lyme fisherman Victor Homyer returned to his old home? Simon Bennett and Jill Parry, of the Old Watch House fish shop, seem to think so.

Source: Bridport and Lyme News Thursday 21st June 2007

Sunday, 17 June 2007

I've been dancing for 33 years and never realised I was doing a Mummers dance

I read Doug Milne's letter 'Morris dancing is just for men', (Echo, June 7) on the dubious delights of watching mixed sides of dancers performing The Morris.

Source: Dorset Echo Sunday 17th June 2007

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Opening ritual for druids held at stone circle

THE order of Dorset druids held its opening ritual at the Kingston Russell stone circle.

Members of the newly-formed order gathered and were led by Chris Walsh, arch druid Melkin of the Dolmen Grove order and another chief druid known as Wildfox.

Source: Dorset Echo Saturday 16th Jun 2007

Thursday, 14 June 2007

News Clipping: Big cat strolls around Bournemouth

Holidaymakers at an English seaside resort have been warned to watch out for big cats on the prowl following a spate of recent sightings. Kevin Hamersley, 24, had been celebrating a friend's 21st birthday in Bournemouth, Dorset, when he spotted a puma prowling the West Cliff at around 4.30am on August 20.

Read more: Source - The Daily Mail 14th June 2007

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

UFO video attracts big audience

A video of lights in the sky over Bournemouth, which led people to think flying saucers were hovering over the town, attracted a big website audience.

The footage, shot by Echo reader Nicky Smith, was the second most popular video broadcast by Newsquest, the Echo's parent company. Newsquest has 18 daily titles and almost 300 weekly newspapers across the country.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Tuesday 12th Jun 2007

Thursday, 31 May 2007

UFOs spotted over Dorset

Captain Kirk is make-believe, but are we being visited by real space travellers? Unidentified lights were sighted in the sky by many people in Bournemouth on Thursday night. They seemed to move in formation for about 40 minutes.

Source: BBC South Today News

Monday, 28 May 2007

We believe in aliens, say Echo readers

Aliens visit us here on Earth - say Echo readers.

A weekend webpoll attracted nearly 700 people and 64 per cent of then believe we get visitors from other planets.

The poll was in response to a suspected UFO sighting over Bournemouth on Thursday night, which turned out to be graduating students releasing Chinese lanterns.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Monday 28th May 2007

Saturday, 26 May 2007

UFOs? Er no, just high spirits

Alien communications? UFOs? Top secret military activity? The Echo has been flooded with theories about the mysterious lights over Bournemouth on Thursday night.

But now we can exclusively reveal they were nothing more than Asian-style sky lanterns, released by students celebrating the end of their courses.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Saturday 26th May 2007

Friday, 25 May 2007


It was like a scene from the movie Close Encounters, according to at least one eye-witness.

Orange lights dancing in the night sky moved in formation, coming and going in waves.

Numerous reports were phoned and emailed into the Echo of strange events in the sky at around 10pm last night.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Friday 25th May 2007

UFOs over Charminster

UFO sightings or a perfectly reasonable explanation? Tina Pope sent her footage to the Bournemouth Daily Echo of the lights over Charminster.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo 25th May 2007

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Popular pub has ceased trading

A pub believed to be home to the 200-year-old ghost of a Portuguese sailor has gone into administration.

Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 15th May 2007

Monday, 14 May 2007


Aliens appear to have arrived in Bournemouth in May 2007. Watch eyewitness footage of mysterious lights over Charminster, by clicking the link below.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo 14th May 2007

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Where has this Dorset flag sprung from? Is it correct?

Cornwall has one, Devon has one, Somerset has one - and now Dorset seems to have one on the Keep Military Museum, a flag that is.

For as long as I can remember - I've never seen a flag for Dorset.

We're all probably familiar with the St Pirin flag of Cornwall - black with a white cross and - some of us will have seen the newly created Devon flag (green with a white cross).

So I was a little amazed to suddenly see several online shops selling a so-called Dorset' flag.

It appears to be white with three red lions in heraldic style similar to the Dorset County Council seal.

Can this be right? Are their any vexillologists out there who can confirm this correct for Dorset?

David White, Durnover Court, Dorchester.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 2nd May 2007

Source: www.flagfordorset.org.uk

Friday, 27 April 2007

Burning climax to pagan festival

Dolmen Grove druids and witches are staging one of the biggest pagan festivals in England this weekend - complete with a giant wicker man made in a Weymouth garden.

The figure plays a leading role in the Beltane Spirit of Rebirth Festival at Burnbake camp site near Corfe Castle when it will be burned as the high point of a fire ritual on Saturday night.

Source: Dorset Echo Friday 27th April 2007

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Portland Big cats and Sea Monsters

Find out about when Dr. Darren Naish, Jonathan McGowan and myself went in search of the existence of Lynx on Portland

Source: Tetrapod Zoology - Beasts of Portland: the location of wheatears, the spread of wall lizards, the scat of a lynx April 22, 2007

Picture Right: Dr. Darren Naish and Mark North with Veästa - the Chesil Beach Monster

Monday, 2 April 2007

Mary Shelley 'did not write Frankenstein'

An American academic has stirred up controversy by claiming that Mary Shelley, who is buried in Bournemouth, was not the true author of the Gothic masterpiece Frankenstein.

After seven years of research, Harvard-educated John Lauritson has concluded that the book was actually written by Mary's husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who drowned off the coast of Italy in 1822.

His theory has emerged as Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood announced he was seeking National Lottery funding for a bronze statue of Frankenstein's monster in Boscombe, to commemorate Mary Shelley and her family's local links.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Monday 2nd Apr 2007

Mystery Cats in Dorset - Do big cats really live wild in the Dorset countryside? Zoologist Chris Moiser reveals all in new publication

What are we to make of claims that big cats have been sighted on the fields and heathlands of Dorset? If there are such animals wild in Dorset, where do they come from and how do they survive? Chris Moiser is a professional zoologist who has taught the subject for over twenty years. He has studied big cats extensively and has participated in expeditions to Africa on a number of occasions. His interest in big cats sightings in Britain started in 1995 when he was called in to examine some footprints in a bunker at a local golf course. Although initially sceptical about some sightings, over the years he has interviewed many witnesses and examined a number of livestock kills and is now a firm believer in the existence of a number of alien predator species being present in Britain.

Mystery Cats in Dorset by Chris Moiser - Published by Inspiring Places Publishing

Friday, 30 March 2007

MP’s call for bronze statue of a monster

A Bournemouth MP plans to apply for National Lottery funding to put up a bronze statue of Frankenstein's monster in Boscombe.

Tobias Ellwood, who represents Bournemouth East, is hoping the council will agree to the statue being sited on the roundabout at the bottom of Sea Road or in Shelley Park.

The author of the Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, is buried in St Peter's Churchyard and her son Sir Percy Florence Shelley used to live at Shelley Manor in Boscombe.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo Friday 30th Mar 2007

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Residents stumped by felling joke

Residents were outraged at a pre-April Fool's Day hoax that announced ancient trees would be felled and replaced by telephone masts in a Dorset town.

Locals complained after seeing fake planning notices bearing the West Dorset District Council logo on much-loved trees in Bridport.

The forms announced that a telephone company had applied for permission to fell all local trees.

The deadline for public comments on the scheme was stated as 1 April.

The notices apparently bore the signature of John Greenslade, the council's development control manager.

Mr Greenslade said: "These notices are a hoax. There has been no planning application.

"We sometimes get this sort of thing around April 1 and we hope that this April fool has not caused local people too much concern," he said.

READ MORE - Source: BBC News Thursday, 29 March 2007

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Heroes’ memorial plan hit by delays

Plans for a display in Dorchester's council chamber to honour Dorset's ex-servicemen have run into delays.

Former mayor Leslie Phillips - an ex-Household Cavalry solider - has called for a scroll to honour the county's soldiers.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo Saturday 24th Mar 2007

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Sadness at loss of ancient tree

A 200-YEAR-OLD tree at the centre of worship by druids and witches has been chopped down to size after it became diseased.

The 80ft beech at Winterbourne Abbas has been reduced to a 10-metre stump by English Heritage because of fears it would die and fall over.

The tree has become a dominant feature at the site, famous for the ancient stone circle standing beneath its branches.

Source: Dorset Echo Tuesday 13th March 2007

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

What a coincidence!

Plasterer Pete Jarvis called in his cousin to work on his new home - only to find a 23-year-old newspaper photo of his helpful relative under the carpet.

Pete, 23, and his cousin Roger Pearce, 47, could not believe their eyes at the discovery at a house in Chickerell Road Weymouth.

Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 21st February 2007

What a coincidence!

Plasterer Pete Jarvis called in his cousin to work on his new home - only to find a 23-year-old newspaper photo of his helpful relative under the carpet.

Pete, 23, and his cousin Roger Pearce, 47, could not believe their eyes at the discovery at a house in Chickerell Road Weymouth.

Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 21st February 2007

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

The way ahead

South Dorset's most striking landmark could soon be offering MP3 trails, archaeological digs and a festival of folklore.

Source: Dorset Echo Wednesday 7th February 2007
Related Posts with Thumbnails