From ghost sightings and ‘demonic’ hauntings to UFOs caught on military radar - Lincolnshire has been a hotbed of all things paranormal over the years.
Join us, if you dare, as we take a look back over some of the creepiest cases from across the county...
1 The ‘Demon Church’: In 2004 the Louth Leader reported on a series of sinister and ungodly practises allegedly taking place at a remote, disused church in the village of Skidbrooke. A church leader at the time told our reporter he believed satanists had been conducting satanic rituals and animal sacrifices at the 13th century St Botolph’s Church. The disturbing nature of these reports proved to be very controversial at the time - with ‘vigilante villagers’ resorting to barricading the entrance to the church to stop people intent on satanic worship. But things were about to turn even darker when parapsychologist David Wharmby visited the site to conduct an investigation. During the overnight vigil, Mr Wharmby and his team claimed to have witnessed strange cylindrical ‘rods’ travelling at speed in the skies above the church, and, more disturbingly, the spectres of ‘babies among the gravestones and grass’. A nearby resident even called upon a priest to bless her house because of the strange goings-on, stating: “People may think it’s a load of nonsense, but there is such a thing as black magic and it’s dangerous.” The isolated Skidbrooke church has not been used for Christian worship for around 40 years.
2 Ruskington’s Ghost Road: A road cutting through the Fens is said to have been giving motorists the creeps for decades. Drivers along the A15 just before the turn off to Ruskington have reported seeing the alarming spectre of a man with his arm raised as they pass along the road. In many cases the figure, wearing dark clothing, appears to jump out from a field in front of the car - or even go under the wheels of the vehicle. But each time the panicked drivers get out to check, no person can be found. The ghost was said to have dark hair and pale pock-marked face. The road has not been without its tragedy in the past, having been the site of two road fatalities, including a local hermit who was run over. It is also said to be situated next to a field where victims of the plague were brought to be buried.
3 The Louth UFO ‘flap’: Lincolnshire has seen a high number of UFO reports over recent years. Over in Louth there was a large volume of UFO reports coming into the Louth Leader office around 2008/9. So many that even the UK’s leading UFO expert Nick Pope told us he thought this part of Lincolnshire was a ‘hotspot’ for UFO activity. Reports during this period included a bizarre ‘donut-shaped’ UFO, a rainbow-coloured UFO, orange lights, and black triangles, The most notable case involved several credible witnesses spotting a ‘tentacled’ UFO over nearby Conisholme windfarm. The next day one of the wind turbines was found to have been badly damaged - with the blades bent and broken off. This lead many to conclude that the UFO had collided with the turbine. Our story was later picked up by national and international news outlets. And even when the German company behind the turbines came out to claim the blades had come off due to a faulty bolt, people - especially those who witnessed the UFO - cried ‘cover-up’. Speaking to our reporters at the time, Nick Pope voiced caution that the ‘right people’ should be investigating the case, suggesting the police should have been involved. Leading UFO author Timothy Good also told us he believed there may have been ‘an element of hostility’ involved in the turbine’s destruction.
Then there was the curious case of Eric Goring in the nearby, but remote village of Brinkhill. Mr Goring visited our Louth office several times during this period stating he had witnessed hundreds of ‘alien spaceships’ near his home, from triangular craft to ‘blinking lights’. He even claimed to have found a circular depression in the ground in a field which he thought could have been an alien craft landing site.
An online poll we conducted at the time showed that 72 per cent of local people believed we were being visited by aliens.
4 The Beast of the Wolds: Giant escaped panthers living secretly in the fields and woodlands around the Wolds - or just an oversized domestic cat? There have been a number of people coming forward to say they had seen the beast over the past couple of decades - with the papers in Horncastle, Market Rasen and Louth reporting on a glut of beastly sightings. Witnesses were pretty credible too - with Market Rasen’s mayor in 2004 saying he and his wife spotted a black beast ‘bigger than an Alsatian dog’ when it jumped into the road in front of their car. Just three years ago in 2014, a resident of Woodhall Spa had a terrifying encounter when walking his dog near the famous Hotchkin golf course. The man said his pet suddenly became spooked and started growling, only for a large cat to spring out the bushes 20 yards ahead of them. “It stopped on the path. Its eyes were bright yellow and for a split second I thought it was going to attack us,” he said. “Then, it ran off and disappeared on the other side of a field.” Another woman was said to be ‘noticeably shaken’ when she contacted the Horncastle News to say she saw the beast lying down in grass in Wilksby near Wood Enderby. Sightings in the Louth area included a woman who spotted a large black creature in her garden, and a local teenager who saw an oversized black feline prowling the town centre streets.
5 The ‘train to Hell’ UFO: Back in September 2012, we reported on a man’s ‘terrifying vision’ of a UFO which he claimed to have witnessed in the skies over Boston. The man, visiting the town from Nottinghamshire, was adamant he had seen something which defied rational explanation - describing the UFO as ‘carriage-shaped vessels in the sky’, and adding “I wasn’t on drugs.” Speaking to our reporters, he said: “I don’t believe in aliens, but what I saw was certainly out of this world. Even when I think about it now, it disturbs me. At first I thought it was one of those Japanese lanterns, but then I saw something else materialise. The clouds came away from it and revealed what I can only describe as a train carriage with fire coming off it.” He said it was heading towards the direction of the 700-year-old Stump church – and moving so fast it almost looked like a fireball. He brushed off suggestions it could have been the meteorite spotted in other more northern parts of Lincolnshire around the same time. “There’s no way it could have been a meteorite as it was going up if anything, not down,” he said. The witness claimed the sighting gave him an ominous feeling of doom, and added: “I’m very concerned about what I saw. It was scary. To me, and I know it’s going to sound crazy, but it looked like a prison van with a train full of prisoners being dragged to Hell.”
6 The Cursed Film Crew: In 2012 a controversial British horror film called The Lucifer Effect debuted at Cannes Film Festival. Nothing unusual there you may think - but this one was said to have been cursed, with on-set incidents allegedly seeing a cast member hospitalised and police seizing the footage. Before the film had even got to Cannes, reports surfaced that there had been some terrifying incidents involving the ‘cast’ and crew. The independent film purports to be a ‘found-footage’ documentary centering around the disused Rauceby mental hospital in Quarrington near Sleaford. The film depicts ‘participants’ taking part in a paranormal investigation at the former asylum, which dates back to 1898. Reports alleged one of the participants tried to throttle another cast member during a ouija bourd scene, while others said they needed counselling after the production ended. The Lucifer Effect’s producers also claimed that the film’s first ‘director’ went missing and had to be replaced with another.
Some have simply dismissed the claims as being nothing more than a promotional stunt.
7 The UFO caught on military radar: One of the most credible UFO sightings came from Skegness and Boston in October 1996 - some details of which have only recently been released by the Ministry of Defence.
The official report details how a red and green rotating light was spotted over the North Sea by witnesses on the ground, including police and coastguard. It was also picked up on military radar as an unidentified blip and observed for several hours. The most interesting part of this case is that the RAF, set to scramble to intercept the object, were reportedly ‘over-ruled at the highest level’ and told to stand down.
Despite several eye-witness reports of the bizarre light, some have tried to explain away the object detected on radar as being an ‘echo’ from the Boston Stump’s 273ft tall tower. While others said the ‘light’ was just the planet Venus or the star Sirius. The truth, as they say, is ‘out there’...
8 The Coffee House Spectre: Things were stirring at Larders Coffee House in 2015 - and not just the cups of tea. Staff at the café in Mercer Row, Louth, were being seriously creeped-out by some spooky goings-on. It began after closing hours one day when the owner received a notification on his phone to say the cafe’s infrared motion sensors had gone off. Accessing the live CCTV feed, the owner was then horrified to see a dark shadowy figure in the room. Initially believing the property was being burgled, he called the police. Four police officers sealed off exits from the café and approached with tasers, only to find no-one inside. Other staff at the site claim to have heard strange sounds in their time working at the café - including the sounds of a little girl’s voice coming over the staff’s two-way radio. The figure of a little girl seen on the landing has also been reported.
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