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Restless Ghosts And Black Dogs: Legend Of The Black Vaughan

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Sir Thomas Vaughan of Hergest was a Herefordshire landowner who fought for the Yorkists in the Wars of the Roses. On 26th July in 1469 he was taken prisoner in the battle at Danesmore in Northamptonshire, near Edgecote Moor, when the Earl of Warwick’s forces defeated those of King Edward IV.
After the battle Sir Thomas was beheaded at Banbury, aged 69 years. Tradition says he was an evil man, although the lack of documentary evidence to back this up suggests that the the name ‘Black Vaughan’ may be a comment on his black hair, rather than his demeanour.
Or, as with similar traditions, applied only after his death when certain ‘events’ began to happen.
Church of St Mary, Kington
According to local legend, after his headless body was brought back and buried in St Mary’s Church at Kington, on the border between Herefordshire and Wales, Black Vaughan proved to be a restless spirit who wreaked havoc amongst the townsfolk.
Legend has him appearing in many forms, such as a fly which tormented horses, causing them to bolt; a large black dog; a black bull that entered the church and frightened the congregation.
Sir Thomas in one form or another roamed the nearby countryside, terrifying women by leaping onto their coaches as they rode home. He is said to have left physical impressions in the ground after his visitations in the form of bare patches in the grass.
Eventually, the townsfolk at their wits end to solve this local nuisance, twelve local clergymen were summoned to lay the spirit and give the inhabitants of Kington some peace.
Thus a holy ceremony was held during which the spirit of Black Vaughan was shrunk and sealed into a snuff box and then buried beneath a large stone in the bottom of Hergest Pool.
Like all folklore, the amount of fact contained in the story is difficult to assess, but the power of the Vaughan legend lives on, and a visitor to the church in recent times is said to have witnessed a bull-like apparition form in the air.
The wife of Sir Thomas Vaughan was Ellen Gethin, daughter of Cadwgan ap Dafydd, and so with close Welsh connections. Lady Ellen was subject to her own folklore, earning for herself the name Ellen the Terrible.
It is said that, dressed as a man, she fired an arrow through the heart of her cousin during a local archery meeting, in retribution for her cousin’s murder of her brother. I have always had a sneaking admiration for Terrible Ellen.
The magnificent alabaster and marble tomb of Sir Thomas and Lady Ellen Vaughan can be seen today in the side chapel, immediately to your right as you enter the church at Kington.
The tomb is surrounded by figures of saints and angels on all four sides and features elaborate effigies of husband and wife. The effigies are highly detailed although unfortunately there has been some damage to Lady Ellen’s feet and to the dog lying at the feet of Thomas Vaughan.
The Vaughan’s legacy continues with the story of the black dog of Hergest Court, a companion to Sir Thomas Vaughan, which is believed to have had its own room at the top of the house. The dog is said to have haunted generations of the Vaughan family ever since, appearing before them to signify imminent death.
It is widely thought that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle based his Sherlock Holmes story The Hound of the Baskervilles on the tales of the Hergest black dog. Since Sir Arthur is known to have stayed at Hergest Court and presumably heard of the nearby Baskerville family from Eardisley, then maybe the story is based on fact. This is much local speculation but there is no proof.
Hergest Court is an impressive 15th century manor house, now much changed from the original, a mile or two outside Kington. It is privately owned and so not open to the public.
This is a wild and isolated area, and definitely worth a visit. Whether you will come across Black Vaughan and Terrible Ellen, or even the Hergest black dog, is quite another matter.
By Anne O’Brien, source: folklorethursday.com
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Cryptids

Bigfoot Researcher Leads Historic Expedition in Thailand

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C. Thomas Biscardi, a renowned Bigfoot researcher with more than 50 years of experience, has announced
the launch of “Bigfoot in Thailand: The Definitive Expedition”, a
groundbreaking venture that aims to uncover proof of the legendary
creature in a country where it is known as Orang Pendek.

Biscardi
and his team of experts will collaborate with Thai government
officials, academic leaders and locals who have witnessed or encountered
the elusive beast in the remote jungles of Southeast Asia.

Biscardi
said that Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia have a long
history of Bigfoot reports, dating back to the 16th century, but they
have been largely neglected by serious researchers due to various
challenges such as weather, terrain, wildlife, culture and politics.

He
said that his team, which includes tracker Robert “The Swede” Holmberg
and researcher Chris Contrearas, has the skills and experience to
overcome these obstacles and conduct a thorough and rigorous
investigation. He also said that Buddhist Monk “Att” will be a vital
part of the expedition, providing access and guidance to the lands and
people associated with Bigfoot sightings.

The
expedition will be documented by cameras that will capture every aspect
of the historic journey, from interviews with witnesses and experts to
field investigations and possible encounters with the monster.

The
footage will be used for a new documentary that will showcase the
definitive historical library of Bigfoot in Thailand, as well as the
clear evidence that Biscardi hopes to find.

“I am confident that
this expedition will be informative and successful in not only creating
the definitive historical library of Bigfoot in Thailand, but will also
produce clear evidence of the monster,” Biscardi said.

He added:
“Bigfoot is no stranger to the people of Southeast Asia, yet the
legendary monster remains just that – a legend. To add some real
evidence to the centuries of stories surrounding the mysterious beast,
we need to go where no one has gone before.”

Robert
“The Swede” Holmberg, who will be in charge of the field crew, said: “I
have been tracking and hunting animals for most of my life, but nothing
compares to the thrill of pursuing Bigfoot. I have seen some amazing
things in my previous expeditions with Tom, but I am ready for a new
challenge in Thailand. I believe we have a good chance of finding
something there.”

Chris Contrearas, who will be responsible for
collecting and analyzing information, said: “I have been fascinated by
Bigfoot since I was a kid, and I have dedicated my career to finding the
truth behind this phenomenon. I have studied hundreds of reports and
cases from around the world, but Thailand is a unique and intriguing
location. I am looking forward to working with Tom and his team to
uncover the secrets of this region.”

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Cryptids

Cornwall Owlman

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A photo of the Cornwall Owlman taken in 2019. Photo: Cornwall Live

The Cornwall Owlman is a Mothman-like creature spotted repeatedly since the 1920’s in a churchyard in the UK.

What is the Cornwall Owlman?

A sketch of the Cornwall Owlman

St Mawnan and St Stephen’s Church, located in Cornwall, is believed by some to be home to a creature that looks like a mix of a man and an owl. This creature has been scaring the local people and tourists since the 1920s. The church is in a peaceful area surrounded by trees and a beautiful view of the sea.

The first sighting of the Owlman was in 1926. The Cornish Echo newspaper told a story about two boys who were being chased by a really huge, angry bird. The boys were extremely frightened, but luckily they were able to get away and find safety behind a strong metal grating.

St Mawnan and St Stephen’s Church, located in Cornwall.

Another sighting of the Owlman of Mawnan Smith was reported 50 years later in April 1976. Two girls, June (12) and Vicky (9) Melling were on vacation with their parents They decided to walk to the old church for a look around. While they were on top of the church tower, they saw something they didn’t expect. It was a menacing creature that looked like a mixture of a bird and a man, with wings and feathers.

The girls were so terrified by what they saw that their father made the decision to end their vacation and leave Cornwall right away.

In July of that same year, two other 14-year-old girls chose to go camping in the woods surrounding the church. They also reported seeing a gigantic owl that looked like a human, and its eyes were glowing.

News about the sightings travelled quickly and even made it to the front pages of national newspapers.

Two years later, there was another incident where some people saw something strange. At first, they thought it was someone trying to prank them by wearing a costume, dressed as a very big bird that looked silvery-gray.

They quickly changed their minds however when they saw the creature actually fly up into the sky and vanish. After it flew away, they noticed a weird buzzing sound coming from the trees for a while.

In 1989 and then again six years later, there were more sightings of the owl man. This time, an American tourist was the witness. She described the owl man as being at least 5 feet tall and having enormous claws coming from its large wings.

At the end of the summer in 1995, she wrote a letter about her experience and sent it to Simon Parker, who was the night editor of the Western Morning News at that time.

Here is what she wrote:

“Dear Sir

I am a student of marine biology at the Field Museum, Chicago on the last day of a summer vacation in England. Last Sunday evening I had a most unique and frightening experience in the wooded area near the Old Church at Mawnan, Cornwall. I experienced what I can only describe as a ‘vision from hell’.

The time was 15 minutes after 9, more or less. And I was walking along a narrow track through the trees. I was halted in my tracks when about 30m ahead I saw a monstrous ‘Birdman’ thing. It was the size of a man with a ghastly face, a wide mouth, glowing eyes and pointed ears. It had huge clawed wings and was covered in feathers of silver grey colour. The thing had long bird legs which terminated in large black claws. It saw me and rose, floating towards me. I just screamed then turn and ran for my life. The whole experience was totally irrational and dreamlike.

Friends tell me that there is a tradition of a Phantom Owlman in that District. Now I know why. I have seen the phantom myself. Please don’t publish my real name and address. This could adversely affect my career. Now I have to rethink my ‘worldview’ entirely.

Yours very sincerely scared Eyewitness.”

Recent Sightings of the Cornwall Owlman

Another sketch based on sightings of the Cornwall Owlman

In 2019, a paranormal investigator in Falmouth claimed that he saw the Owlman, and that his friend was attacked by it.

Mark Davies, was in the graveyard with his friend Chris Power from Manchester. Suddenly they heard a hissing sound coming from the trees, accompanied by flapping noises. The sound seemed to pass right above their heads. At that moment, they saw a figure with horns on its head, which greatly alarmed them. They were carrying a meter used to detect electromagnetic energy, typically used for detecting ghosts. Surprisingly, they received coherent responses to their questions through the meter.

These occurrences indicated the presence of a demonic energy, which made them feel unsafe. Their friend experienced an attack in the form of scratches on his arm. Mark claimed that his camera broke during the incident. Although he didn’t see anything, he suddenly felt a surge of energy. It wasn’t until around half an hour later that he began to feel a burning sensation.

Mark and Chris managed to capture this photo that they claim may be the Owlman:

Could the Cornwall Owlman be Mothman?

The sightings of the Cornwall Owlman have a striking resemblance to stories of the Mothman, a legendary creature often described as a large, winged humanoid with glowing red eyes, known for its association with sightings of impending disasters and a sense of foreboding.

Could the Cornwall Owlman be Mothman? We decided to check if the reported sightings of the Owlman line up with any disasters in Cornwall’s history over the last 100 years.

There are a few disasters that the Cornwall Owlman could have been trying to warn us about.

The Accident at Castle-an-Dinas

Not long after the reported Owlman sighting in 1995, Cornwall’s worst ever traffic accident occurred.

On December 15, 1995, a digger’s arm, being carried on a lorry, swung out unexpectedly and hit the cars behind it, causing a devastating collision with shattered glass and twisted metal. Five people lost their lives, and others suffered severe head injuries.

The accident happened on a minor road at Castle-an-Dinas at 6:30 PM when the driver was returning the vehicle to the depot after a long day’s work. The companies responsible for the vehicle, Bazeley Plant Hire and Chepstow Plant Hire, were fined a total of £500,000 for not ensuring its safety.

The driver, who hailed from Fraddon, was found guilty of causing the death of five people due to dangerous driving. He was ordered to receive treatment at a psychiatric hospital due to mental illness linked to post-traumatic stress disorder and depression resulting from the accident.

The Camelford Poisoning

On July 6, 1988, a serious accident occurred at the water treatment plant near Camelford, Cornwall. Due to a mistake made by a relief lorry driver, around twenty tonnes of aluminium sulphate were dumped into the wrong water tank, contaminating the water supply for about 20,000 people in the area. This resulted in the water becoming highly acidic and filled with metals.

As a consequence, numerous residents experienced health problems such as stomach cramps, rashes, diarrhoea, mouth ulcers, and joint pain. Some even claimed that their hair turned green due to copper residues in the water. Despite receiving numerous complaints about the quality of the water, the South West Water Authority initially assured the public that it was safe to drink. However, it took nearly three weeks before a warning was finally issued. The incident left lasting health concerns within the community for many years.

The Cornwall Owlman wasn’t sighted again until the year after the poisoning occurred, but perhaps it was trying to warn us about the ongoing affects of the poisoning.

Possible Explanations for the Cornwall Owlman

Shrouded Hand covers the Owlman of Cornwall

The reason behind all these strange events occurring near Mawnan church remains a mystery. Some people suggest that the sightings could be attributed to an escaped Great Grey Owl. These owls can have a wingspan of almost 2 meters, possess large talons, and reach a height of around 4.5 feet. The fact that the Owlman has been seen over such a long period of time makes it unlikely that witness are seeing the same owl.

Another theory proposes a connection between the stories and the church’s location within ancient earthworks. Some researchers also mention the presence of a ley line, an energy line in the Earth, passing through the site. Some visitors to the area have described Mawnan Woods as brimming with a vibrant energy. Is it possible that this natural Earth energy is somehow linked to the reports of the Owlman?

Some people are skeptical about many of the sightings in the 1970’s as they were connected to one man, a magician and paranormal researcher Tony “Doc” Shiels.

During that period, Doc Shiels gained attention and recognition for his involvement in a project dedicated to discovering and summoning monsters. He claimed to have witnessed the Loch Ness monster and even captured a photograph of it.

For a long time, he resided in St Ives before relocating to Ponsanooth. He has since departed Cornwall and moved to Ireland.

What do you think about the Cornwall Owlman? Tell us in the comments.

If you enjoyed learning about the Owlman of Cornwall you might also be interested in of reports of a train hitting and killing a bigfoot or the Fresno Nightcrawler.

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