Posted in Inspiration, Writing Journey

Ghostly Experience in The Lakes

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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…

Photo0039Taking 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.

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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?

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Missed the Haunted House Post? Read Here.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Inspiration, Writing Journey

Inspiration

Inspiration is an important part of every writer’s journey. So far my writing has often been inspired by a place or a building. ‘The Dragon Legacy’ is set in the English Lake District in the hills overlooking Lake Ullswater. Although the village name I used is fictional it is based on a lakeside village that I know there.

I have spent many happy hours on and around the lake and for me it is easy to imagine dragons flying over the hills a thousand or so years ago. If you would like to see what I mean check out my Pinterest board  for ‘The Dragon Legacy’ .

Since I moved into the old mining village of Pleasley about eighteen months ago I’ve had numerous ideas for historical novels featuring the pit. Coal was first mined here in 1872. The ground was broken for the mine by Florence Nightingale whose family lived on the site.

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This weekend I discovered the surrounding mills and houses in nearby Pleasley Vale.  More pictures are on my Inspirational Places Pinterest board. Even though the mills are  currently used to house small businesses it isn’t hard to imagine what they were like in the seventeenth century when they were the site of a water forge . Or in 1784 when the cotton-spinning mills were built. There were decimating fires in the nineteenth century and the mills were used to store munitions during the 1914-1918 war. The history is so rich here I’m sure it could inspire a whole series of stories.

I particularly like the turreted house which makes me think about a paranormal romance with Fae. Or the setting for a time travel romantic adventure.

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The small plant nursery that is housed within the walls of an old mill was particularly intriguing. What would happen if you fell asleep in the sunshine in such a delightful spot, only to wake up in the dirt and dust of the original mill centuries before?

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My favourite though was this derelict stone building. What a story it could tell. Everyone loves a building with a past.

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I would love to know where you find your inspiration.

Jane x