Spooky sightings of ghouls, ghosts and evil spirits are higher than they have been in the past 25 years, according to a new report on haunted Britain.
Published: 7:00AM BST 26 Apr 2010 Bolsover Castle - Most Haunted Infra red photo shows the ghostly figure of a cavalier in the keep at English Heritage's Bolsover Castle Photo: JOHN ROBERTSON
There have been nearly 1,000 reports of demonic activity in the past quarter of a century, with Yorkshire the nation's most ghostly county.
Encounters with devils, demons and evil spirits are as widespread today as they were in medieval times, researchers claim.
The research was led by the UKs leading authority on the unexplained Lionel Fanthorpe who studied various archives and websites as well as his own reports to identify all sightings and recordings of supernatural beings with satanic qualities.
The study found that despite being in time of accelerating technology, 21st century Britons have not turned their back on ghouls, boggarts, hell-hounds, witches, wizards, banshees and black magic curses, with a whopping 968 reports of demonic activity in the past 25 years.
The report indentifies Yorkshire as the centre of ghostly goings-on demonic activity with 74 reports of demons, including Uncabus and Succubus (male and female demons that make sexual attacks on sleeping victims), instances of demonic possession and sightings of hell hounds, water demons and demons with repulsive forms such as ghouls and werewolves.
Sightings of demons in Yorkshire have included a hideous shadow-like hell-hound with no discernible facial features which collided with a car between Northallerton and Leeming Bar on the A684. A sea-going water demon has also been reported off Filey Bay in Yorkshire. Witnesses claimed to have seen a ghostly creature with a long neck, a vast serpentine body and glowing eyes.
Devonshire rated second in the study with 57 reports of sinister activity, mainly from encounters with or sightings of demons with devil like qualities.
On Dartmoor there have been reports that the demonic shape of a man named Stephens who committed suicide still appears and bodes ill for those who encounter it his grave. The apparition is described as hideously skeletal and dressed in the ragged remnants of a grey robe.
Third in the ghoulish league table is Somerset, which hosts the highest number of monsters and has 51 sightings or reports of demonic entities, with Wiltshire coming in fourth with 46 sightings of demons.
Wiltshire is one of the most popular areas for sightings of phantom dogs, shucks or hell-hounds. At Black Dog Hill near Black Dog Woods in Chapmanslade, there are reports of a huge black hound with eyes like red hot coals.
People in Inverness report sightings of 13 water ghosts in the last 25 years, evil spirits whose main purpose is to lure their victims into dangerous water and then drown them. The water ghosts contribute to the area's overall total of 39 demonic beings and one of the most notorious water ghosts resides in the area of Boat of Garten, which lies on each side of the River Spey, near Chapeltown and Tulloch Moor. The paranormal reports from Boat of Garten involve an ancient, inscribed stone visible when the river is at its lowest. According to legend, the stone is cursed and guarded by a malevolent water-demon, or kelpie-type entity, who protects it savagely. Anyone touching it or attempting to move it is said to become prey to this aquatic, demonic being.
The Demonic Britain report was carried out for the latest DVD release of US TV series Supernatural, normally broadcast on the cable channel Living.
Lionel Fanthorpe said: This report clearly shows we are a nation still rich in sightings and reports of devils, demons and evil spirits of various forms.
"The present human population is many times greater than it was in the past. Therefore the more people that there are, statistically, the more potential encounters they might have with these unpleasant, non-human entities.
Top 10 ghostly sightings by area:
1 Yorkshire 74
2 Devonshire 57
3 Somerset 51
4 Wiltshire 46
5 Inverness 39
6 Dorset 37
7 = Norfolk 32
7 = Lancashire 32
8 = Sussex 30
8 = Derbyshire 30
9 = Essex 29
9 = Suffolk 29
10 Lincolnshire 24
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