The Mermaids of the Peak District. And Upright Black Hairy Beasts

I know you guys are used to me bringing you stories and experiences that some would say are completely bonkers but for me can become a little run of the mill so to speak and these days im seldom shocked by the stories and experiences that ordinary people like you or I have experienced, but even I was surprised to come across a very strange tale while looking to see what else is happening in the areas that I receive reports of British Bigfoots and Canine type creatures. Believe me or not, but our central and beautiful land-locked and windswept Peak District is said to be home to not one, but two mermaids!

The first water nymph is rumoured to live in the appropriately named Mermaid’s Pool, situated just below Kinder Scout in the High Peaks. This site was thought to be popular for ancient water rituals for two reasons; firstly, the water is salty, which is very strange for an inland lake with no access to coast or tide. Secondly the nearby waterfall of Kinder Downfall often appears to have the mythical quality of water flowing upwards on a blustery day. Many a hiker have been taken aback to see what appears to be a waterfall flowing backwards and defying gravity.

The waters of the Mermaid’s Pool are believed to offer healing qualities to those brave enough to bathe within them.  For those looking for eternal life, the best time to visit is at midnight at Easter, which is the only time of the year when the Mermaid is said to appear. If she looks upon you fondly then she will grant you the gift of immortality. Make sure you catch her on a good day though, otherwise you can expect to be pulled into the pool to your death!

The second mermaid is said to live in Black Mere Pool on the south-western tip of the Staffordshire Peak District. There are two conflicting legends which explain how the mermaid arrived at this unexceptional inland lake. The first states that she was brought here hundreds of years ago by a sailor from the nearby town of Thorncliff, in a tale that is effectively a rather charming love story between water nymph and seafarer. However, after the sailor’s death the mermaid became angry and – unable to return to the sea – started to haunt the lake.

The other legend is slightly more sinister, and tells of a beautiful young woman who rejected the advances of a local man named Joshua Linnet. Unable to accept the rejection, Joshua accused the woman of being a witch and – being a rather persuasive chap – he managed to convince the local townsfolk to drown her in Black Mere Pond. With her final breath however, the young woman muttered a curse against Joshua and three days later his body was found by the pool, his face covered with claw marks. It is said that her spirit still haunts the pool in the form of a demon mermaid…

Even today, livestock are said to refuse to drink water from Black Mere Pool, and that birds will never fly across it. Although many have claimed to see the mermaid over the years, the last recorded sighting was in the mid nineteenth century when a group of locals attempted to drain the lake to see if the pool was indeed bottomless as claimed. Shortly after they began digging at the southern end of the pool (where a drainage ditch can still be seen to this day), it is said that the Mermaid appeared from the lake and threatened to flood the nearby towns of Leek and Leekfrith unless they ceased their activities immediately. Needless to say they quickly packed up their shovels and headed back to lower ground!

Now Mermaids are one thing, but would it surprise you if not only where these lonely water sources home to beautiful ladies who can grant you longevity or instant death, there are also Large Hairy Creature accounts that encircle these strange Peakland moors.  

The Hope Valley “Werewolf” Edale 1925. “Black in colour and of enormous size” 

The London Daily Express Headline for the Oct.14 1925 issue states – In the district of Edale, Derbyshire something “black in colour and of enormous size” was slaughtering sheep at night and “leaving the carcasses strewn about with legs, shoulders, and heads torn off; the sheep had broken backs and pieces of flesh ripped off.” Many hunting parties had gone out to find the beast but had failed to track the animal down. The newspaper stated “People in many places across the moor refuse to leave their homes after dark, and keep their children safe in the house.”  Though rarely seen, the creature was said to have a howl like a fog horn that could be heard all across the valley. The locals believed it was a Werewolf.

The Ladybower Reservoir 1991 “a large, hair-covered biped” 

It was in 1991 that one terrified family believed they had a close encounter with a British Bigfoot, seen near the Ladybower Reservoir in Derbyshire, and it was something they would never forget. The great thing about this sighting was that, despite the Johnsons being the only ones who dare come forward with their account, there was more than one eyewitness.

The day started off as normal for the Johnson family. Because the weather was so pleasant they decided to take a trip into nearby Bamford Village. They spent the day visiting the local sights and, at around 3:30pm, they decided to leave for home. It was as the family were driving along the Manchester Road, passing by the Ladybower Reservoir, that they saw “something was up” which for non Northern folk means “there was clearly a problem as a car was stopped in the middle of the road” They family thought there had been an accident so they stopped behind the car in the road and it was then that they realised the occupants of the other car were staring up a nearby hill, looking intently at something. The Johnsons looked in that direction too and saw for themselves what it was everyone was looking at. They all saw a large, hair-covered biped on the hillside. The biped stood at around 8 foot tall and “it” was described as having “human like eyes and a human shape but the whole body was covered in dark brown hair”  Behind the Johnstons another car pulled up and stopped probably wondering what all the fuss was about.  They to saw the strange looking creature and they honked their horn loudly. This sound started the figure and “it” bolted down the hill, over the road and jumped over the edge of a bridge. There was a ten foot drop over the other side of that bridge. The Johnsons drove forward and stopped, watching closely as the ‘Bigfoot’ ran up the hillside opposite, running among the trees. Soon it had vanished.

The people who had this encounter on this day in 1991 are still as baffled about it today as they were then. The Johnsons reported their encounter to one Martin Jeffery, of Mystery Mag. He received a phone call from the family, who he met with to discuss it openly. Martin described the family as quite normal, down to earth people. They did not come across as of unsound mind and they did not seek publicity. They described to him what happened and he was baffled. The father of the family gave the following details – “He/She was covered in long brown hair. It was shaggy but not dirty. The eyes looked normal, no different to ours. However it did walk differently, like it was crouching.”

Martin Jeffery was certain that the Johnsons were telling the truth.  In 1996 a group of friends reported witnessing a “tall, dark figure in the trees” At the same time they also saw what they described as some small green lights flickering within the trees.

Walkerwood Reservoir 2009 “Black hairy beast” 

Nick Redfern reported “Poachers in woods at Walkerwood Reservoir, Cheshire, heard noises within the brush in front of them, it was reported that as they heard the noises all of their torches suddenly stopped working at once. Panic set in and the group ran off. They stopped several hundred yards away and could still hear the noises which seemed to be pursuing them. The men  opened fire and all went quiet, they heard no sound at all for a little while, and then the noises began again, as though something was moving towards them through those dark bushes and to their horror from the darkness came a “huge dark figure” They described “It” as about seven feet tall and was completely black in color. They could see or make out no features, and the thing seemed to be absorbing the darkness, as if camouflaged in some way. The poachers of course  fled.”

Goyt Forest 2012 “Whoops and Howls”

“A few years ago, I had an interesting experience in my favourite location. I hadn’t visited the place for about a month and I was using my free time to search for Deer antlers in a Deer Park not to far from my house. I didn’t have much luck so I decided to head over to the forest where there is a wild population of Deer, to see if I could find any antlers there. A few hours in, I had just descended down a steep slope into the forest that lies in a valley, and started making my way down to the bottom of the ravine where I have to cross a river. I got myself down to the bottom and crossed the river,and then made my way up to a logging road for easier travel. About 10 minutes after I had reached the logging road and had walked a little further down it, I heard a series of VERY loud knocks, which sounded like they were coming from close to where I crossed the river only 10 minutes before. There would be 5 knocks, a 10 second pause, and then another 5 knocks. The knocks were very dull sounding, so it was coming from something being hit on a large thick tree.

Honestly I didn’t think much of it and just assumed it was loggers or someone working the woods. Anyway, this knocking went on for about 7 minutes, so I got curious and decided to go and check it all out expecting to see someone hitting wood on a tree. As I reach the corner of a clear cut that would allow me to see the river and the exact place where I had crossed and where I suspected the knocking was coming from the noises just stopped abruptly. I started glassing the area with my binos, and couldn’t see anyone or anything.

I know that no rangers were on duty that day, and there were no loggers as their vehicles and high vis jackets are easy to identify. I had just passed that area 10 minutes earlier and I am 100% positive nobody was there. Im so annoyed I didn’t getting a recording of the knocking, but I just assumed it was someone down there. Anyway after I had made my way down there quickly and there was nobody there at all I just stood there trying to work it all out. There was no wind, and the knocks were always a series of 5, and then an approx 10 second wait before there would be another series of 5 knocks. And I noticed the knocks started happening after I tripped and landed on a branch that had fallen, which made a large cracking sound.  Also as I was walking in I kept hearing this weird mumbling noise off in the brush. Like talking but it didn’t make any sense to me.

I actually went back with my sister about two weeks later and again we heard the same knocking sound. There was no wind, it wasn’t a woodpecker as it sounded like a log being pounded on a tree trunk, and I can rule out campers because I had just walked past the area the sound was coming from about 20 minutes earlier. I did a couple of hand claps to see if anything would respond, but the knocking immediately stopped again and we didn’t hear it after that. We headed home that day but a few nights later I went there at night and heard the exact same mumbling sound that I heard a couple of months ago coming from around 20 feet in the treeline at the side of the logging road I was walking on. I then heard something large run through the brush as I could hear the limbs breaking.  Im unsure what the knocking noises were or the strange mumbling talking I told you about.

Astbury Bigfoot Summer 2016 ” Dark hairy figure”

I encountered a bigfoot last summer. I was walking on top of a hill near a golf course and I spotted a dark hairy figure move across the side of the hill, it moved through the long grass on the hill side and disappeared quickly. It wasn’t a cat or a dog or a badger. It happened during the afternoon. It was a warm sunny day and I could see clearly. There was no one else around. I also heard strange grunting sounds coming from within the trees and bushes nearby. I walked away and haven’t been to the area since.

I can’t give you much information as I only saw it for about a matter of seconds and “it” disappeared almost as soon as I saw “it”  The way this thing moved was unreal, It was like a ninja moving fluidly through long grass. It wasn’t very big or stocky and “it” seemed to be crouching down as it moved, “it” looked about the  size of a humamalen, “its” fur was black and “it” moved very fluently. I thought it was a monkey,. When I saw it and it vanished, I stood and waited for it to re appear. I thought it was an escaped zoo animal or something. It was next to Astbury golf course.

I would like to go back to the area and video the Hill where I saw the Bigfoot and explain my account more if someone would come back with me.

Howden Reservoir 2017 “A quick moving biped”

It was in the summer I visited Howden high reservoir and whilst walking on the dry lake bed looking up to the North Eastern slopes I saw a biped about the size of a horse going at speed over the ridge. “It” was a greyish brown in colour. I’d like to further add, that there is a place up there on Howden Moors which is the furthest point from any roads, the most remote part of the moor.  It’s called the Grinah Stones and it is a place I visited once, after noticing on Google maps satellite images that there was a long shadow connected to what appears to be head and shoulders of a Sasquatch type creature.  I travelled there to see what might be causing the shadow and take a comparison shot as that can be handy for anyone who finds an anomaly in video film or google earth, revisiting can rule out any natural object that could be causing the anomaly.  So I went back for a good look and here were no dawn shadows of any length.  . I would like to return to Grinah with torches and a commando line if possible to look into the caves that are up there. There are the footings of ancient walls up there too. I should like to document them whilst there. But! the one time that I had been up there before was so deathly quiet that It became really uneasy and I felt the strong urge to leave well before dark had even come. I  felt as though I was being watched the whole time I was there.

The Moorland Beast 1984 “Bipedal figures and snarls”

My first experience with what has become known as the North East Derbyshire Moorland Beast was in the August of 1984. I was bivouac camping with my cousin at a place called Blackamoor, Totley just outside Sheffield. I was about 14 and I was visiting family in the school holidays. We had set up the tents and camp, and it had been a fund day and as evening drew in we called it a night. I got into the tent at around 11 pm and we both decided to try get some sleep.

It felt like no sooner had we settled down to sleep that we heard what I can only describe as “the deep growl of what we’d supposed must be a large apex predator” That may sound far fetched, but that’s what it sounded like at the time, it was not something we had heard before or could identify. We shook with fear instantly & struggled not to wet ourselves. We lay breathless as we listened to heavy footfalls moving through the heather around us. After a while we raised a bit of courage and gripping our knives we managed to get up out of the poncho shelter. A thick moorland mist had settled and we could barely see each other in it, let alone anything else, we kept searching the fog as we hurriedly packed, whilst all the time praying for all we could muster, strange how you suddenly find the need for God. We went quickly as we could back down to the street lights at Totley and home.

Kinder Scout “Footsteps in the night”

i was camped on top of kinder scout one night in the peak district near to a ww2 bomber crash site and I awoke to hear someone or something walking right next to my tent at about 4 am, I was really creeped out but i was too cold and tired to get up and go and have a look at what it was moving around out there..

Kinder Scout 2003 “Four black figures”

In the July or August, of 2003 I was in my 30’s and I loved to camp wild and it’s one of my hobbies so im always camping somewhere. On the occasion im talking about I had gone rough camping with my friend and his girlfriend. We were camping in the valley below Kinder and we had all settled in a hollow within the treeline of the smaller wood below Kinder Downfall & the Mermaids pool. It was first light when my friends girlfriend and I were woken at the same time. We both had heard movement above us on the edge of the dell, both of us saw what appeared to be jet black Figures moving back from the edge and  walking away into the wood. There was three or four of them. I was certain I saw three  figures, and the girlfriend said she had seen four. We both woke my friend up, packed camp up and went back down.

Snake Pass 2007 “Sheep Mutilation”

In late June or early July of 2007 I was out at Kinder  and went for a hike up to Kinder scout with the same friend that was sleeping when I saw the dark figures walking back to the wood. We had finished out hike and were on our way back home, as we were coming down the Snake Pass North West slope when we saw a lambs spine in the path. It was really strange, It was still fused and had tatters of flesh attached to it. I know a bit about these things and I would estimate it had around 48 hrs maximum post Mort at the time we found it, we walked on and soon came to a fleece ball in the middle of the path. We opened it and found the perfect little bones of a lamb, all bleached white and unbroken. Which means something intelligent and with a thought to brain disease had torn the head and spine from a lamb and swallowed what was left minus the fleece almost whole, or so it seemed. We did not find the head, we looked but we never came across it. As we carried on further down the path, walking and chatting, we were discussing what we’d found up above when we suddenly felt confronted by the rank odour of bad blood. The air was thick with it, we broke into a run all the rest of the way to the A57 treeline up to the road.

Barlow Woods 1989 “A loud whooping  noise”

It was around 1989 when this happened to me, back when I was 17.  I was just killing time and I went into the wood and im just wandering around and everything was normal, I could hear the birds singing and the leaves moving and it was just a good day up to that point.  I was about 100 yards in when everything suddenly went all quiet! silence!  not a sound, even the birds stopped. There was nobody around at all just me. The wood was so quiet I just stood there looking around and then I heard the strangest sound! A loud Whooping noise and knocking sounds from all around, then as suddenly as it started everything went silent again.

Just like that, complete quiet, no birds, no car noise, no animal sounds just complete silence, I didnt see who or what made the noises, but I could tell I was being watched I could feel it looking at me, im looking around everywhere but I can’t see anybody at all. These woods are thick and the trees are large, I really couldn’t make out anybody or anything around me.

I headed down towards the small stream and got down behind the bank to look and I saw nothing.  I lay there for ages hoping to trick whatever had made those weird noises so I could see what it was.  I did some knocks back and the whoops started again, louder this time. I was so spooked, I looked back into the thick woodland and my eyes saw loads of shapes in the sun light but nothing i could pinpoint. Then Bump Bump, Crack in the distance I could not take it anymore and I was off, I went back to my bike as fast as I could and all the way out I could feel I was being followed. I was so scared I kept turning around but couldnt see anything and then quiet came again, as I left the woods I could hear the natural noises return, the birds and stream noises. It was over, I have never returned to the wood but have passed close many times.

Dovedale to Beresford “Animal Remains”

I like to wild camp and on one occasion we were camped in between Beresford and Dovedale and we had a quiet night and slept well but on waking up in the morning as we packed up and started walking back the way we had come in and about 100 yards from where we were camping we found the carcass of a sheep with its spine ripped out? We noticed it looked fresh but we never heard a thing in the night and it wasn’t there the evening before ? So something had killed this sheep silently without waking us and then walked away.

The River Dove 2006 “Bipedal creature” 

Somewhere between the years of 2006 to 2008 I was returning from Dovedale in Derbyshire coming along the fields at the side of the River Dove. It was broad daylight, but I had no binoculars on me and was just walking along. About a field away on the other side of a 6ft hedge I saw an unmistakably grey creature which was approximately 7-9 ft tall walking along behind the hedge.

I could see half of it visible above the hedge, leading me to believe it was bipedal as whatever it was it was walking upright not down on all fours. It walked along the other side of the hedge and disappeared where the hedge ended. At the time I tried to think of a logical explanation for what I was seeing, and the only thing I could come up with was one Cow on top of another cows shoulders on the other side of the hedge. This impossible feat would give it the extra height and make it appear bipedal. Which is impossible ofcourse but was the only thing I could think of to explain what I was seeing. So if its a simple cow giving another cow a lift I should be able to cut it off at the edge of the field. However when I reached the location there were no cows in that field and no sign of whatever the creature was. Returning to the site a year or two later I discovered a ditch running through the middle of the hedge with a stream in it, which the creature may have gone down into to disappear. I believe the creature came out of Kendar Wood as it is privately owned and kept private by gamekeepers. I would like to investigate the area further in the slim hope that whatever it was wasn’t just passing through that day. I couldn’t make out any more details of the beast other than colour and size. It remains a mystery as to what I saw that day.

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