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Spooky Rivers of Britain

It’s almost Halloween (or Hallowe’en if you prefer the traditional spelling), and whether you believe in ghosts or not, rivers can be pretty spooky places to be as the air gets colder and the evenings get darker. Here’s a few ghost stories based around rivers that have given us chills recently:


Pumpkin carving exploits from our friends at University of Bristol Canoe Club

The Drowned Children of the River Severn

One winter, two young twins were playing on the spoil heaps of the Craven-Dunnhill Tile Works; it had been a particularly wet winter, with the River Severn flooded to humongous levels.

As the ferocious river surged its banks and eroded the bottom of the spoil heaps atop which the children were happily playing, unaware of the danger that lay ahead, the ground suddenly collapsed underneath them and they were swept into the raging torrents below.

Their bodies were eventually recovered downstream some time later, still holding hands. The anguished cries of the twins can sometimes still be heard in what remains of the spoil heaps from which the river took them.

The Haunted Wreck of the River Adur

The River Adur runs through Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex, the newest region of which has a history that dates back to Roman times, so legends are plenty!

At one time, the river was at the heart of the local community, with fishing being a significant source of income for the town. During a storm of unprecedented size in 1893, one particular resident’s fishing boat was carried upstream by a sizeable wave and smashed against the rocks of the river bank. The owner of the vessel was distraught as this meant the ruin of his livelihood and the onset of hard times for his family.

The remains of the wreck can be seen to this day, now far from the River Adur’s meandering path, and it is said that the howls and sobs of the fisherman and his family can be heard late at night as they attempt to push the ghostly wreck back towards the water; some have even reported seeing feint figures of the fisherman, his wife and two children around the wreck, their faces dull and eyes dark as they mourn the vessel’s loss eternally.


If those stories have left you in the mood for more chills, check out Go Canoeing’s Spooky Halloween Events for some quality family fright times this weekend: