What’s going on in the mysterious Chanctonbury Ring?

The Beech trees of the Chanctonbury Ring are surrounded by an early morning mist. Photo: Merry Jackdaw

There have been rumors of witchcraft ceremonies, UFO sightings, ghosts in the woodland mist. Those that venture there say they have a feeling of being watched by something or someone who isn’t really there.

The dear old British Isles are so full of ancient, unexplained mysteries that they could fill a whole set of encyclopedias. They are made more eerie because of the history of pagan sacrifices, Druid customs, roaming ghosts, haunted spots, elves and fairies and places that seem to have other paranormal qualities. What is the true reason for Stonehenge? Some of these ancient places seem to have magnetic fields or portals to other dimensions. Legends and folklore add to the mysteries.

The Chanctonbury Ring in West Sussex is an ancient earthwork crowned by a ring of beech trees. It is in the shape of a circle, thought to be on top of an Anglo-Saxon fort. If so, it has seen a lot of blood, misery, and death from agonizing battles. As it sits on a hilltop, it overlooks the coast of the English Channel. It is 750 feet above sea level and sailors look for it as a landmark on clear days.

The ring of beech trees was planted in 1760 by Charles Goring who owned what was then known as Chanclebury Estate. The Romans once camped on the spot and conducted their share of mysterious rituals.

There were also rumors of witchcraft ceremonies and those that venture there remark that they have a feeling of being watched by something or someone who isn’t really there. The prominent ghosts that inhabit the spot are known as The Midnight Druid and the White-Bearded Saxon. There have been UFO sightings in the area. Because of all the centuries of tales about the area, it draws the curious—those who are mildly curious for some excitement, such as teenagers, and those who are seriously curious in their study of the paranormal, such as the enigmatic Alistair Crowley.

The summer of 1974 had an abundance of strange-light sightings. Some members of a Sky Watcher group—concerned with spotting UFOs had an incident of mass paralysis. The condition first appeared on one member then all were afflicted. It did not last long but was unsettling.

Later that summer curious members of a ghost and psychic investigation group ventured into Chanctonbury Ring. The group included Charles Walker, Doug Wells, Richard Walker and William Lincoln, all good friends.

At about eleven p. m. as they were wandering about, William Lincoln was snatched by an unseen force and levitated in a horizontal position for at least thirty seconds while his horrified friends looked on. They did not get photos of the odd occurrence, but one of them got a tape recording of William’s fearful cries, “No more! No more! Please let me go!”

William Lincoln vowed to never return to this spot after the unbelievable event, but after the dust had settled for a few years, some of the group did venture back into the ring. On this occasion, Mr. Wells was knocked to the ground by an unseen force, and another of the group had a crucifix ripped from around his neck. When he located it on the ground, it was too hot for him to touch, immediately.

Sara Marie Hogg is the author of Curious, Indeed, a collection of true stories about the unknown and unexplained. Please click HERE to find the book on Amazon.

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