A terrifying nature reserve with an eerie history, and spooky folklore has been freaking out locals and visitors who flock to the countryside village to see it.
Fans of the Blair Witch Project – or any spooky horror film – have been visiting the Wicken Fen Nature Reserve in Cambridgeshire, a county in the East of England.
Despite the nature reserve being a popular spot for its beautiful walking paths and scenery, the eerie folklore that surrounds the reserve makes for a haunting day out.
The ancient myth of the Lantern Men of East Anglia have been reportedly regularly spotted at the site. Ghost lovers and ghoul spotters alike have seen mysterious lights flickering over the peat bogs or marshlands that cover the vast expanse of the reserve.
In fact, it is horrifyingly believed that the ghostly lights are evil spirits trying to draw victims to their death in the reed beds.
According to the folklore of the Fens, the lights would dance and twist their way in and out of the reed beds, and are apparently drawn to the sound of whistling. And this phenomenon would terrify locals who walked in the darkness as they drifted over the marshland.
But one method for evading the terrifying spectres is to throw yourself face down in the muddy ground with your mouth pressed firmly into the mud.
And another way to deter the men would to be taking it in turns to whistle from opposite sides of the marsh. If two men found themselves far enough apart, this could lure the lantern man back and forth until they were able to make their escape.
While the spooky story is enough to rattle a few bones, visiting the nature reserve during the day is completely safe.
Wicken Fen is located in Ely and is the National Trust’s oldest nature reserve. And its beauty flourishes in the autumn, where the leaves turn orange and red, and many visitors flock to the reserve during this time.
Families are also able to visit the wet woodlands, open water, reedbeds and chalky river water – all which make for a stunning, peaceful walk through nature.
This time of year is especially exciting at Wicken Fen as if you are lucky you will get to see the ponies that roam freely. The grazing Konik ponies help to attract new species of flora and fauna to the Fen, leaving water-filled hoof prints as they go.
Wicken Fen nature reserve is a walker’s paradise whether it is a quick stroll you’re after or a long scenic walk to enjoy the majestic views.
The routes are planned out for you so all you need to do is to decide which one works for you – this could be the 40 minute Boardwalk Trail or the two hour Octavia Hill Trail.