Ghostbusting on Kinder Scout

Peak District National Park, backpacking
Ghostbusting in the Peak District.

Whatever your beliefs, we all like a good old fashioned ghost story eh? Well, this isn’t much of one admittedly but it might be interesting nonetheless.

Have a look around carefully in the Peak District and particularly the high windswept moors of Kinder Scout and Bleaklow and you may chance upon random shards of metal – as if someone has dumped some scrap up on the summits. As some of you will know, these are the remains of various air crash sites.

Some are well known and easy to find while others are more obscure having succumbed to the deep bogs of the moors and despicable wreck collectors. Of course much of the wreckage will have been cleared by the relevant authorities at the time, post-investigation of the accident.

Up on Edale Moor, close to the south-eastern flanks of Kinder Scout can be found the remains of a World War 2 bomber. It’s quite tricky to find if you don’t have a grid reference and GPS device. And that’s before you even consider negotiating the deep, damp groughs in the area.

But it’s this particular part of the moor where hardy ramblers often encounter strange sounds, apparitions and more. Most instances involve the sightings of a fire along with grey figures wandering around in a daze. While other stories involve people being helped off this part of the moor (as they’re usually lost) by men dressed in RAF attire from days gone by.

Next time, you’re in the area ask some of the locals and you’ll be surprised how regularly such encounters occur. More often than not, people who experience these peculiar sightings are not aware of any previous spooky instances on Edale Moor. Moreover, they tend to report a moorland fire only to discover later all is well up amongst the swamps.

Halifax Bomber, Edale Moor
Halifax Bomber HR727 crash site on Edale Moor.

On October 5th 1943 Halifax bomber HR727 was returning from a raid over Germany when it crashed on Edale Moor. After dropping it’s bombs, the Halifax had been mis-lead by searchlights over Frankfurt and was consequently attacked by a German night-fighter.

The crew managed to escape albeit with a badly damaged aircraft which involved communication equipment not working and a fuel tank shot and leaking.

Limping back to England endeavouring to reach their base in Yorkshire, the pilots encountered deterioating weather. With no way of being able to locate their current position, the Halifax gently descended through the cloud hoping to spot landmarks and thus guide themselves to safety.

Sadly, they tragically discovered they were over the hills of the Dark Peak and crashed into Kinder Scout – 4 members of the crew were killed immediately and another 3 survived. It wasn’t until the following morning that help arrived and another member sadly passed away due to severe injuries.

And so it was last week that myself, Eion and Sean headed up Kinder Scout for the night to seek out any paranormal going ons.

I’m much the man on the fence when it comes to apparitions but I did encounter unwittingly a peculiar circumstance on Edale Moor a couple of years ago. I chanced upon the remains of a moorland fire. It was the height of summer and I figured it was just one of those things that happens. I recall smoke still rising amongst the remains of heather and thinking how sad it was such damaged had occurred. Moments later while wandering the scorched earth heading for a place to camp, I came across in the midst of it all the wreckage of a plane.

It took me by surprise and I didn’t really give it any more thought other than to pay my respects to those who had died on this barren and remote spot (there was a small make-shift sign in memory to those who passed away).

A couple of weeks later I headed back to this exact part of the moor out of curiosity. I had discovered when I got home from my previous trip that there had been no reports of a moorland fire within this area of Kinder Scout. Thinking this must be incorrect I headed on back. As you do.

What bemused me was upon reaching the location, I soon found the wreck of the craft but not a single sign  of a burnt moor! Nothing. Na da. Zilch.

All the heather was fully grown. At least 3 years worth, minimum. I put it down to my mind playing games on me even though I was adamant I wandered amongst a burnt moor and chanced upon the wreck of the Halifax bomber.

Post trip, I did a search on the internet and found out all the stories I’ve mentioned above. Ooo! Spooky!

Eion and Sean form part of a team that investigates the paranormal and they were keen to not only head out for a wild camp in the Peak District but for me to take them to this location and try out their myriad of gadgets to see if there are any haunted shenanigans on Edale Moor.

Apart from enjoying the camp and delightful scenery, nothing of particular note was recorded – except one thing.

The following morning Eion was using an Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) meter at the crash site. Some believe ‘ghosts’ give off electricity or they draw energy from it. Using an EMF meter then becomes a handy tool for investigators like Sean and Eion. They take a base reading and such like so they can eliminate any other possibilities that the EMF meter would pick up.

Of course, up on this desolate part of the moor there shouldn’t be any electricity per se. There’s no power lines, and the wreckage of the bomber certainly doesn’t have any working devices left that would radiate electricity.

Air wreck on Kinder Scout
Eion takes EMF readings at the crash site.

But Eion’s meter suddenly went off the scale. Screaming away with the needle on maximum! While he was stood adjacent to to the crash site too. It lasted no more than 15 seconds and disappeared abruptly. Thereafter, readings would pop up ever so slightly but always consistently at a low level – but never zero.

Once away from the crash site, readings were all normal. Even when positioned near a mobile phone that was switched on (incidentally all such devices were off even when Eion and Sean took base readings).

What could have made the EMF meter go off the scale out the blue like this? I don’t know. They have their ideas. But it was interesting for me nonetheless. It certainly hasn’t put me off heading back. It’s a favourite part of Kinder for me. Total solitude and fine views. You should head up there and have a wander off the beaten path.

So, whatever your beliefs just bear a thought for this part of Kinder Scout – all is not as it seems……


Wild camping, Peak District
Sean and Eion prep for breakfast at camp.

Rab Latok Ultra bivi
I spent the night in the Rab Latok Ultra bivi I have on test this winter.

Salomon X Ultra Mid GTX
Bog plodding – some Salomon X Ultra Mid GTX shoes I have on test are put through their paces.

Mam Tor hill fort
Mam Tor looking fine as the sun sets while we headed up to camp.

Suunto Core crush
Time to catch ghosts – maybe not. Suunto Core Crush watch I’ve been trying out on trips

wild camping
Eion and Sean descend Ringing Roger. Time to head on home.

The Old Nags Head, Edale
From one kind of spirits to another – ale time in the Old Nags Head, Edale.


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