I was inspired to write The Dragon Legacy from my lifelong love affair with The English Lake District. Incidentally it is also the setting for my second ghostly encounters post.
Like my ghostly experience in a haunted house this occurred on a family holiday about thirty years later with my own children. Not a spooky house this time but a family walk by the beautiful Lake Ullswater on a bright August day. At the time none of us attached any supernatural significance to the event until afterwards…
Taking advantage of the beautiful summer weather about ten years ago we decided to walk from Glenridding to How Town before catching the steamer onto Pooley Bridge and back to Glenridding. The walk is about 7 miles and seemed the ideal afternoon pursuit. Ullswater steamers run between Glenridding and Pooley Bridge and stop at How Town.
Lots of other people had the same idea and the first stretch of the walk was full of families with children running around. As we left the village behind we realised a young boy about the same age as my ten-year old son was walking with our kids. They chattered happily for about five minutes and then I became worried that he would be separated from his family, although when I looked around no one seemed to have missed him.
We reached a patch of grass close to the lakeside where some families were having picnics and decided to stop for a drink. The boy stayed with us for a while kicking the stones and chatting to other children and families. As we were leaving he came up to us and asked where we were headed.
“We’re walking to the How Town pier.” I said knowing it was approximately five miles ahead.
“You’ve a long walk ahead of you.” The boy replied.
I thought this was a strange remark for a child to make. We decided he must be a local child from one of the farms who made friends with children who passed by. We set off and when I looked back the boy vanished. I scanned the groups around but he wasn’t there, we carried on assuming he returned home.
During the long walk the weather changed and we got very wet, a common occurrence in these parts. The seven mile walk seemed to take forever as we got lost and ended up following one of my husband’s short cuts, never a good thing.
When we finally arrived at How Town Pier exhausted and wet we’d missed the last return ferry and faced a repeat of the long walk to get home again. As we convinced the kids they could make the return journey despite their blisters the boy’s words came back to us. We definitely did have a long walk ahead.
We trudged homeward and discussed the boy and his prophetic remarks. My daughter said he’d been dressed strangely like a child from the 1930s or 1940’s something we didn’t think about until afterwards even though it set him apart from the other children.
We looked for him on the way back as we passed farms and campsites but there was no trace. We couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something eerie about him and the whole experience.
Hours later we reached Glenridding and returned to where we were staying. Later that evening at the hotel bar my husband recounted our little adventure to some locals over a pint. They didn’t seem surprised and assured him the boy was a regular occurrence often seen by tourists on that part of the lake.
Intrigued we walked that way the next day but never saw him again.
When I researched ghostly happening on the lake there were stories of fairies and lake monsters as Ullswater is known as ‘The Dark Lake’ but nothing documented about the boy.
Just coincidence or something more?