Mike and Lucky had had a scare – a spooky night up at Kirkcarrion. And being interested in these kind of things, I googled Kirkcarrion and found various bits of information:
‘…One of Durham’s most scenic Bronze Age sites, on the skyline of Lunedale and Tessdale. The barrow was excavated in 1804, and was found to hold a stone-lined grave with a cremation in a pot. The barrow was partially flattened in the process, but was then partially repaired, planted with pine trees and surrounded by a dry stone wall by the landowner. The tree-covered mound is visible from across Lunedale and Teesdale.
The name is said to derive from the burial, of a local chieftain called Caryn, with the original name of the site being Carreg Caryn…’
‘…Kirkcarrion was named after a Brigantean prince who was said to have been buried here in pre-Roman times, but it is thought much more likely that a Bronze-Age tribal chieftain was buried in the barrow. His or someone else’s ghost is still said to haunt the site on horseback….’
It all sounded good to me and before I knew it, Mike and I had concocted a plan to go back there for a ghost hunting wild camp. It was also generally agreed that as many dogs as possible should also be there – for the purposes of guarding and protection from spooky stuff.
Rather cleverly, I thought, we managed to pick a couple of days for the vigil that had a decent weather forecast – grey, but totally dry………….
It was definitely dry when we met up at Bowlees and still dry when we set off. But it didn’t stay that way.
And as we climbed higher, the fog closed in.
The rain came next. Persistent. Wet stuff. It didn’t stop.
Not that Tilly minded. In fact she revelled in showing us the deepest ways across the raging streams we had to cross.
We did have the excitement of going past a flushing toilet in the middle of nowhere mind – one that had apparently been built specially for Prince Charles to use on a shoot at some point.
But the highlight of the afternoon, was when our destination spookily loomed out of the fog and rain.
The mound is surrounded by a stone wall – with no gate – and you have to know the secret way in. Luckily, Mike did. Also luckily, Mike had been up there earlier in the week (in the safety of daylight) and stashed 10 litres of water for us to use, as we didn’t know of a water source in the vicinity.
We carefully climbed in to the enclosure and found a level bit for the tents.
Of course at this time of year the nights are rather long and bring with them the challenge of trying not to eat and sleep too early. We got the dogs howling and swapped spooky experiences for a while, but by 6pm I’d given in and had my first course and by 8pm, Tilly had donned her pyjamas.
By 8:30pm, I’d shouted across to Mike that Tilly and I were now officially snuggled up and might well fall asleep. Which we did.
10:pm, and I was rudely awoken from a deep slumber, by an owl hooting rather loudly in the tree right over our tent. After a while, another owl joined in, and another, and then it took off from the tree showering us in water in the process. This made Tilly jump rather alarmingly and put her on High Alert for a while.
Mike and I started chatting spooky stuff again and before we realised it, it was midnight. We ventured out for a little wander and discovered that the fog had actually lifted, leaving wonderful views of lights in the distance.
Mike then decided he was hungry, so had a midnight snack of coffee, cheese and oatcakes, but Tilly and I went back to sleep.
The rest of the night passed very peacefully, with nothing spooky happening. Tilly and I took a morning wander around the enclosure, noticing that the fog had once more returned.
Well. A touch disappointing on the spooky front, but never mind. There was nothing for it now, but to amble back to Bowlees for lunch. We packed up and took the Pennine Way – along the edge of the River Tees – for the five mile return journey. At least it wasn’t raining today, but to say that the riverside path was wet, muddy and horrendously slippery, was a bit of an understatement.
Anyway, despite the weather, we’d had fun and now that the Ghost Hunting Division of the Outdoor Bloggers has been formed, we’re looking for other spooky wild camps to investigate. Any suggestions?
If you want to read Mike’s version of events, you can click here.
19 thoughts on “Outdoor Bloggers – The Ghost Hunting Division”
Brilliant Chrissie, wonderful write up, looks like you had fun. Certainly the weather added just the right touch.
Thanks Dawn 🙂 It was a pity about the rain, but the fog was certainly spookily atmospheric!
Ryovan Bothy next then.
Meant to be haunted…. Ooooohhhhh
Nice walk that although weather could have been kinder.
Come to think of it the last time I walked with Pieman, there was no visibility.
Actually I did know about Ryvoan Bothy being haunted, although I’d forgotten about it ’till you just reminded me. Haven’t stayed there, but did have lunch there once. Well, there’s no reason why bothies shouldn’t be on the investigation list as well as wild camps, is there?
And do you think the Pieman might attract yucky weather, then?
It’s a nice viewpoint when the weather is clear but I must admit I have been up there a few times to catch the early morning light and found it a bit spooky. You will have been in the company of ghosts long before you got to Kirkcarrion though. In fact when you crossed Wynch bridge you will probably have been spotted by Old Peg Powler spirit of the Tees who waits to drag the unwary into its depths. Good job Mike made a water stash for you.
Hi David, thanks for commenting 🙂
Interesting what you say, as Mike did once have a genuine spooky experience there a few years ago, and that was at daybreak – not overnight.
Wish I’d known about Old Peg Powler beforehand, though. Mike never mentioned her!
Hi Chrissie – Fantastic posting and photos as always. You had me on the edge of my seat reading about ghosts, fog and being serenaded by a group of owls. :^) There are some places in the Four Corner states where I’ve felt the presence of “those on the other side of the veil”, such as Hovenweep, Mesa Verde, Canyon de Chelly and Chaco Canyon. There are all kinds of sites where ancient pueblo peoples lived long ago – and would be delightful places to spend a night camping. Chop kisses for Dixie and Tilly and a virtual hug for you!
Hi Karen, thanks for the nice comment 🙂
I’ve actually been to two of those places you mentioned – Mesa Verde and Canyon de Chelly – but it was in the middle of the day with loads of others about, so unfortunately didn’t feel any special atmospheres. However, we did once spend a night on the Queen Mary at Long Beach, and that definitely did have spots that felt incredibly creepy!
Hope Wyatt Earp is well – our two send him a giant Jumbone 🙂
Now, I love a good ghost story, particularly of the M R James variety. I was enjoying this post (especially the first morning photo of the trees in the fog) when, I kid you not, the food processor behind me in our kitchen, turned itself on rather noisily! Had me fair jumping out of my seat, I can tell you. So – no more posts which incite poltergeist activity please!
As to where you could go next: Ben Alder Cottage, spent a night on my own there once and wound myself up something rotten. Greenhead hostel, also has a very spooky atmosphere, they might object to you wild-camping though.
Keep those suggestions coming!
Do you remember ‘A Ghost Story for Christmas’ then, in the 70s? I can still picture ‘The Stalls of Barchester’ and ‘The Treasure of Abbot Thomas’. And what about Charles Dickens’ ‘The Signalman’? Good stuff, eh?
Sorry about the poltergeist.
Now this is true as well – for about the first three months after my dad died, our television went through a phase of turning itself back on several times each night, when you were trying to turn it off. It had never happened before and after about three months, it stopped as suddenly as it had started….
I’ve lots of stories!
Those are exactly the kinds of stories I was thinking of!
Eeee yer a bit sneaky with that camera… but Peg Powler aka Jenny Greenteeth.. ah yes… she’s responsible for the Tees “Roll” which takes away kids, cattle.. and naughty dogs…
You’ve got to watch it Mike, I just keep snapping away!
Peg Powler aka Jenny Greenteeth; It’s a good job Tilly was a well behaved dog then, and didn’t pull me over or anything…
Incidentally – why not Google “Winter’s Gibbet” Just sayin…oooer….
The dogs would have been the first to run away if anything spooky was really around! They hate ghosties 😉
You’re probably right, Carol! But I still fancied having the supposed security of a ginormous chocolate dollop in the tent with me 😀
Ghosts and haunted TVs/Food processors! Load of old nonsense. If there is such a thing as ghosts, where are the dinosaur ones 🙂
Cracking post though and something very different to cheer me up this morning.
“Who ya gonna call?”
You non-believers will never change the minds of those of us who were brought up in old, haunted farmhouses!
We’ll have to find somewhere creepy near you for the Ghost Hunting Division and you could come along 🙂 The Claerddu Bothy in fact – that must be good for a candlelit vigil…….