Here is one of my favourite spooky Cumbrian ghost stories, the tale of the Beckside Boggle . . . . The story takes place in deepest darkest Miterdale, a small valley in Eskdale. Guests in our Eskdale cottages may well have walked this way on a walk to Burnmoor Tarn or Scafell Pike.
At the head of Miterdale beyond the forest, there is an ancient ruined farmstead. Legend has it that it fell into disrepair after the family fled in terror from the haunted valley, a haunting all of their own doing . . . . .
Miterdale Head is a lonely place at the best of times. It is a long way from civilisation and the final valley outpost before heading in to the wilds of Burnmoor and Eskdale Moor.
A small family lived at the farm. One evening the farmer was away on business in nearby Whitehaven leaving his wife and young child at the farm. At dusk an old woman arrived at the farm and as it was too late for her to reach her destination in Eskdale before nightfall, the farmer’s wife offered her lodgings at the farm for the night.
The old woman fell asleep by the fire where the farmer’s wife was busy making tallow candles. As the night wore on, the old woman’s shawl slipped from her head and shoulders to reveal a coarse looking man grasping a sharp knife. The farmer’s wife was gripped with fear and in her panic, lifted the boiling pan of tallow and poured it over the sleeping stranger, straight over his face and into his open mouth, choking him to death.
Next day when the farmer returned to his wife, he found her distraught, not knowing what to do with the corpse still sat in front of the fire. They buried the body in the valley and didn’t speak of it every since.
This was not the end of the story as the farmer and his family were plagued by a series of strange and scary occurrences. Not long after, they fled the valley never to return. The tale has lived on and the farm is now in ruins. Even without the story, Miterdale Head is definitely an eerie place to be.
Why not try our Burnmoor tarn walk that goes past the ruins of the farm. Walk up there if you dare!