If you’re taking the tots to one of the holiday parks in Dorset, they (and you!) are in for a treat at any time of year. From snorkelling and hiking to stargazing and geocaching, this natural oasis is well-suited to families in search of athletic adventures of any kind. The fun doesn’t end here, though: Dorset is also the birthplace of some of the country’s spookiest stories, which are a real hit among imaginative children. To keep your kids entertained during walks and as you’re sitting around a crackling fire at night, here are four eerie tales that are sure to capture their attention. The best part is that you’ll have to find out for yourself whether or not they’re true...
Let’s start with a tame one. If you’re exploring the hills between Weymouth and Dorchester, you’ll come across a series of long, narrow rocks. While this ridge is already somewhat ominous on its own, it’s said that it served as a burial ground thousands of years ago... and that uncanny, song-like sounds sometimes emerge from the site. This tale has resulted in the ridge’s nickname, “Singing Marys”. Could it be that the spirits of the dead are singing to us? We may never know...
A Creepy Chicken
Visiting the Isle of Portland? Spice up the trip by telling your children about the Mer-Chicken that supposedly inhabits the surrounding waters. Well, according to Raphael Holinshed, at least. In the fifteenth century, he wrote that a mysterious creature emerged from the sea, featuring a massive, scarlet beard and legs that were a half yard long. This beast was apparently half human, half chicken – and to make things even stranger, Holinshed claims that it crowed and tossed its head four times before diving under the waves again. Before you ask, no: we also don’t know what that could possibly mean!
A Chilling Corpse
Ah, there’s nothing like a vampire story if you’re looking for a real nail biter. If the first two tales are too harmless for your children, this one’s sure to send shivers down their spine: Tarrant Gunville, a village in northern Dorset, was once (and maybe still is!) home to a vampire. Around 1845, a corpse in pristine condition was discovered – vampire teeth and all. The villagers were convinced that the corpse belonged to William Dogget, a resident who had committed suicide 300 years earlier and had been haunting the town ever since. After they got rid of the body (which was apparently necessary for vampires), the mysterious incidents stopped... but it’s unclear whether – or when – they’ll start up again.
Time for an extraterrestrial tale that any alien-obsessed child is bound to love. If you’re visiting Maiden Castle, situated in the vicinity of many of the holiday parks in Dorset, look out for UFOs – apparently, they’re drawn to the castle like moths to the light. Over the past few decades, there have been a ludicrous number of supposed sightings. Let’s just hope that no one’s been abducted.
While these stories may be a bit whimsical, there’s no denying that they make for spine-tingling entertainment. To add to the intrigue of your stay in one of the holiday parks in Dorset, any and all of these tales hit the nail right on the head. Maybe you’ll even be able to confirm whether they’re true... keep us posted!
Michael Paul is the Managing Director of Michael Paul Holidays, a holiday property agency offering a handpicked range of accommodation in wonderful UK locations. Whether you are looking for the best holiday parks in Dorset or the cosiest cottages and log cabins in Scotland, he and his team will find you that perfect property for an unforgettable trip.