Hauntings in Bourne
With Bourne having such a long history of a settlement (it is thought to have been formed around the St Peter's Pool in Wellhead Gardens), it's perhaps no surpirse that it has its fair share of ghost stories and UFO sightings, with many documented sightings at various locations in and around the town.
One of Bourne's allegedly most haunted locations are the ancient Bourne Woods, on the western outskirts of the town. These woods date back hundreds of years and have a long history of ghost sightings. One of the most reported sightings is that of a large black dog that is said to observe people while they are in the wood. Although the creature never actually leaves the protective tree line, it said that this ghostly dog can be heard growling loudly at anyone who is unfortunate enough to encounter its ghostly presence.
A black dog is described as being black in colour though they have been seen in white. They are a lot bigger than a average size dog, have a shaggy coat, big red eyes that glow, long teeth and a slavering mouth. They disappear as mysteriously as they appear, as they simply vanish into thin air, some gradually fade until nothing, others change into another form.
A local paranormal investigation team recently visited the Bourne Woods to investigate this location. It was reported that two members of the team refused to enter the wood after experiencing extreme fear on the perimeter of the wood, with one breaking down into tears for no particular reason. The remaining members who did enter the wood were reported to make a quick escape though a gap in a perimeter hedge, after hearing the ghostly growling of what was thought to be the black dog.
One member of the team quoted the following regarding the loud growling noise that had been heard from within the woods, "The noise was really strange. It totally freaked everyone out, as we were in a wood the natural explanation of it being an animal springs to mind, but having experienced the shire loudness of the growl, and how it seemed to surround us, I'm convinced it was not an animal. It shook everyone up, and as a result this part of the investigation came to a rather hasty end."
It has been reported that the Bourne Woods may also be haunted by a grey lady and man, who are said to roam the woods after darkness falls, although documented cases of this particular haunting are scarce.
The Elsea/Math Wood, located on the southern outskirts of the town, close to the new by-pass and the small halmet of Northorpe are also reported to be haunted. It is said that these woods are haunted by a ghostly character known as Nanny Rutt. Legend has it that a girl called Nancy Rutter became pregnant by the farmer who employed her. When villagers found out she was pregnant, she was shunned and forced to take refuge in Elsea Wood where she lived until her baby was born. Sadly the child died young but it is reported that Nancy herself stayed living in the woods as a hermit for the rest of her life. It is thought to be Nancy who still haunts the woods to this day.
It has been reported that some people have experienced an overwhelming sense of being watched when walking though these woods and hearing identifiable noises, which it is thought could be Nancy.
There have also been sightings of ghostly figures seen on some of the isolated roads around Bourne, most notably the road between Bourne and Sleaford (A15), where there have been several ghostly sightings, including a little girl dressed in pink, dashing horses, and a man in a leather jacket standing beside the road. In fact, sightings in this area have been reported by a significant number of people. One couple in particular reported seeing a ghostly figure on the far side of the road. It was said that this figure was seen walking towards them and grabbed their attention because it was so dark, and there was no sign of life or civilization in the direction in which he was heading. It was reported that his clothes were very strange and as the others cars headlight were passing him, he seamed to take a large stumble in to the centre of the road. It was reported that the gentlemen driving the car slammed on the brakes at the same moment his wife called stop! As they passed where the figure should have been, it was said that he was right back to the side of the road again. They both thought this was strange, as logic dictates that he should have been hit by the vehicle, as he could not have possibly moved back onto the side of the road that quickly. They then reported that when we looked up they noticed that the car in front of them never broke once, which suggested that they had not even seen this figure. The last reported sighting in this area was in 2013.
It is also reported that one of the oldest surviving domestic properties in Bourne, the Red Hall, is reputably haunted by a grey lady, who is thought to be a former tenant, Catherine Digby. Catherine who died on 7th August 1811, age 76, is reported being seen on a number of occasions roaming this impressive 17th century building - reluctant to leave her former home. It has to be said that this property has an eerie feeling when darkness falls and many don't like being alone here after dark.
Some of the old properties around the Bourne Abbey Church are also thought to be haunted, with some residents reporting strange goings-on over the years, particularly sightings of monks who would have been active in this particular area of the Bourne in the past. One resident actually reported being physically attacked by a monk like apparition and of the property becoming flooded upstairs, but with no obvious cause of the flooding ever being found. It is thought that this could be linked to a legend that several monks were drowned in a tunnel that used to link the Abbey Church to the Red Hall and would have possibly passed below where this property now stands.
Several wraithlike monk apparitions have also been reported as being seen at St Peter's Pool in the Wellhead Gardens, which is one of the country's oldest artesian water supplies. Wellhead Gardens (along with the Wellhead Field at the back of Wellhead Gardens) could have been the sight of successive Saxon and Norman fortifications, along with a castle (known as the Bourne Castle), so it is no surpirse that this area is haunted.
UFO sightings in and around Bourne are also common place, with many people claiming to have experienced an unexplained sighting. Please review the links below to read some eye witnessed accounts from people in the area.