I used to be a teacher. Not much connection there with scary monsters, but I did once hear an absolutely wonderful ghost story at a Parents’ Evening. The phantom involved is actually very famous in Nottinghamshire, but at the time, I had never heard this scary tale.
I was speaking to a boy’s mother. She said that the family lived in the village of Calverton. She told me how her husband refused ever to drive again along a certain road to the north of Nottingham because it was strongly haunted, and he had been absolutely terrified when he met the ghost. Look for the orange arrow…
In the map above, the yellow road in the centre is the B684, the “Plains Road” which leaves Nottingham northwards and climbs slowly but surely along what must have been at one time an ancient Stone Age Ridge Route and perhaps even a hunting trail. With some amazing views, particular to the east, the road eventually sweeps around to the west to join the main road from Nottingham, the A614. This road goes northwards towards the A1 at Clumber Park, the “Great North Road”. Just before this major junction there is a minor cross roads called Dorket Head where a country lane winds northwards down an extremely steep hill. It forms a short cut down to what is nowadays the dormitory village of Calverton.
The map below is a larger scale version of the most important features in the tale. (the orange arrow points to the steeply winding country lane in question)
The mother explained how her husband had seen the ghost and he had been so absolutely terrified that, after this, he had never ever again driven back home along this road. He therefore ignored an obvious shortcut to Calverton from his office, one which would have saved quite a lot in petrol costs over the weeks and months. Instead the husband preferred to spend his hard earned cash on driving around the three sides of a rectangle, but a rectangle where there was no possible prospect of being terrified out of his wits on a second occasion. This circuitous route ran along the B684 to the main road, the A614, and then along the next turn right, the brown road past Ramsdale House and up to the Arts Centre, and then another right turn into Calverton. The three sides of his rectangle must have included making at least one right turn across the high-speed oncoming traffic on the A614.
Her husband had seen the ghost in the absolutely classic way which is featured on so many different websites about Nottinghamshire phantoms.
Basically it is a very simple scenario. As you drive down the narrow road following the twisting, turning descent with great care, concentrating hard on what is ahead of you, you suddenly notice that there is somebody sitting in the empty back seat of your car. You will see the stranger occasionally in the rear view mirror when the car swings from side to side as you follow the twisting loops of the road. Sightings of your unwanted passenger will be only fleeting, but they will seem more terrifying because of this. Drivers who stop the car to look behind them invariably find that the rear seat is empty.
Anyway, this particular father was so terrified that he never again even contemplated going down the hill. The ghost he saw, as far as I remember, was an old woman. The mother also told me how a very great number of people in Calverton, if they can possibly avoid it, would not consider for a moment driving down this hill for the very same reason as her husband.
Ten minutes’ research on the Internet revealed that the road is called George’s Lane and the hill is called George’s Hill. The haunting seems to be most frequent at Dorket Head or at the junction with Spindle Lane. On this map, Dorket Head is the crossroads which forms the junction of George’s Lane with the B684. The dotted line, indicated again by the orange arrow, is Spindle Lane.
Nicholas A.C. Blake of Nottingham made an appeal for information on his website. He too had seen an old lady in the car and he sought other witnesses at “firstname.lastname@example.org”
Sarah Meakin of Carlton, Nottingham, returned from Calverton after some babysitting to feel the car suddenly go cold on a warm summer’s evening, and she then looked in her rear view mirror to see “a black hooded figure, which can only describe as looking like a monk”.
The absolutely splendid “Paranormal Database” reveals that…
“A ghostly entity is reported to materialise on the back seat of passing cars in both of these locations – on the lane the figure takes the form of an old lady, and on the hill the figure wears a black hooded garment. Normally the witness only sees the entity in the rear view mirror; when they turn round, the figure has vanished.”
Well, you know where George’s Lane is, and you know what might happen and you know what you might see. So off you go, and make sure you keep your eyes on the road, as well as on your rear view mirror.