Discover the Ghosts of the Ancient Epping Forest
Stewart | On 02, Apr 2016
Haunted Epping Forest
The ancient woodland of Epping Forest is CHOCK-FULL OF GHOSTS AND MYSTERY!
Epping Forest is an ancient woodland and former royal forest which sits on the border between Essex and Greater London…
It stretches from Forest Gate in the south to Epping in the north.
Most of the hauntings are reported in the High Beach and Epping New Road areas. So if you want to explore the darker side of the forest, then these are places to start from!
Loughton Camp, Epping Forest
Loughton Camp is an Iron Age Hill fort in Epping Forest… this means it probably dates back to 500 BC!
There are a few theories to why the camp was built…
One is that it was used by the Trinovantes tribe to defend themselves from their arch rivals the Catuvellauni tribe.
The second, it was used to protect cattle and the third is it was a look out post!
There’s an interesting area to the south-west of the camp known as Kate’s cellar. It’s named after a homeless hermit who lived there in the year 1313.
It’s also rumoured that Dick Turpin used this area as a hideout!
It’s been reported that on certain nights, if you listen carefully, drumming and deep groaning can be heard at the camp.
Rumour has it that apparitions of three ghostly women have been seen walking along the road near the camp.
Interestingly, Loughton Camp has been investigated by paranormal groups. They’ve reported seeing white ghostly figures, spooky lights, eerie mists and hearing unexplained footsteps in the woods nearby.
A disturbing recording taken on one vigil captured a strange rhythmic sound…
Maybe this was the sound of the phantom drums which are often heard at the site!
Wake Arms Roundabout, Epping
If you head north along the Epping New Road from Loughton Camp you’ll come to a notorious accident black spot at the Wake Arms roundabout…
In the dead of night, the area is a mecca for apparitions.
Ghosts ranging from phantom horse-drawn coaches to headless bikers and horseman have all been witnessed here!
The sad apparition of a young girl is often seen and it’s believed that she’s the ghost of a girl who drowned near the King’s Oak Pub.
Some unfortunate car drivers have been scared witless whilst passing through this paranormal hotspot…
A spirit figure runs out in front of their cars only to vanishing into thin air!
Hangman’s Hill, High Beach
If you look on a map of the High Beach area for a hill called Hangman’s Hill you’ll not find it!
It’s actually a small slip road situated half way along Avey Lane which leads onto Pynest Green Lane.
Hangman’s Hill is infamous in this part of Essex for having a little party trick up its sleeve.
The hill is an excellent example of a rare gravity or magnetic hill… there’s only three other such hills that exist in England!
If you park your car at the bottom of the hill, turn off the engine, put it in neutral and release the brakes…
You’ll be amazed to discover that your car will start to roll up the hill!
But don’t panic…
It’s believed that this strange phenomenon is caused by an optical illusion with the downward slope of the road appearing to look like it goes upwards.
So why is it called Hangman’s Hill?
It’s to do with local legend. The legend says that your vehicle is pulled up the hill towards an ancient tree by a hangman’s noose!
And, this ancient tree is said to be the tree where three innocent men were hung.
But just maybe there’s some truth in local legend…
A ghostly apparition of a figure of a man has been witnessed in the wooded area of Hangman’s Hill.
And, chilling screams have been heard to ring out on the darkest nights from the hill!
Dick Turpin’s Camp, High Beach
Do you remember the hilarious Most Haunted Live episode in 2003 when Yvette and the Most Haunted team got lost in Epping Forest and were rescued by Keith the Forest Ranger live on air?
Well, they were on the hunt for Dick Turpin’s ghost…
You see, in the 1700s, Epping Forest was packed full with ruthless highwaymen including Dick Turpin.
Turpin used a cave in the High Beach area of the forest as a hide out. He used it to watch the road for unsuspecting travellers who he then ambushed and robbed at gunpoint.
In 1737 a bounty was put on Dick Turpin’s head. He lived rough in the forest to evade capture for some time before eventually fleeing to Yorkshire.
In 1739, Turpin was found guilty of stealing three horses which was a capital offence at that time…
A short time afterwards he hung at York’s Knavesmire.
It’s said that after the hanging, the spirit of Dick Turpin returned to Epping Forest and now haunts it.
The funny thing is…
A ghost of a man in a tricorn hat, a dark cape and riding a black horse is a common apparition witnessed in the High Beach area of the forest!
Church of the Holy Innocents, High Beach
There’s an idyllic church in the forest at High Beach called the Church of the Holy Innocents…
The church was built by Thomas Baring of Baring Brothers Bank in 1873. It was named the Church of the Holy Innocents because Baring had children who sadly died at a young age.
So it’s even more shocking to know that the wooded area around this idyllic church has rumours of satanic rituals, cannibalism and ancient tribal warfare linked to it.
Frightened witnesses have seen apparitions of small hooded figures and a ghostly grey figure in the road next to the church!
One paranormal group even saw phantom figures carrying lanterns through the trees.
And baffled drivers have even reported problems with their car’s engine whilst driving through this part of the forest!
Suicide Pool, Epping Forest
The Irish author, Elliott O’Donnell wrote about a secret pond in the depths of Epping Forest which is said to be the home of evil presences…
There are lots of local myths about this secret pond.
One story dating back 300 years tells of a young couple who were secretly meeting each other at a beautiful pool in the forest.
The girl’s father vehemently disapproved of the relationship, so much so, that he killed his daughter next to the pond in a frenzied fit of anger.
Her young lover was so grief-stricken that he killed himself at the exact same spot where his beloved was murdered!
After this tragedy, it’s said that the water of the pool turned dark black and no wildlife would go anywhere near it.
Many believed that the pool had some type of dark power which made people commit suicide…
Since the first deaths of the young lovers, it’s said that a woman and a young servant girl called Emma Morgan and her child have all mysteriously died near the pool.
Today, the location of the suicide pool is a mystery… the pool’s whereabouts has never been disclosed!
Carmel King (2009) Haunted Essex. The History Press
Jason Day (2011) Paranormal Essex. The History Press
FEATURED HAUNTED HOTEL: The Arnos Manor Hotel
Along the Bath Road in Bristol you’ll find the Arnos Manor Hotel.
The hotel was first built as a private home for the business merchant William Reeve in 1760.
It was once a girl’s school which was run by nuns and it’s the ghost of one of these nuns that is said to haunt the hotel today.
Local legend says that a nun had committed suicide because she fell pregnant.
To hide the scandal, the other nuns bricked up her body behind a wall at the hotel.
During the Second World War the hotel was bombed by the German Luftwaffe.
The workmen who were sent in to repair the bomb damage area of the hotel uncovered a female skeleton.
Apparently, to avoid delay, the workmen just buried the bones elsewhere within the building!
Since then, poltergeist activity has taken place throughout the hotel.
Terrified guests have also witnessed a ghostly brown figure within the hotel especially within Room 160.
Guests have heard a female voice calling their name and have felt a figure pinning them down whilst they’ve slept in Room 160.