Witchcraft and Ghosts

‘Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble.’ The dense thick woodland of the New Forest National Park provides the perfect spooky backdrop for a scary themed day out in The New Forest.

The villages in the New Forest are renowned for a range of different reasons, with Burley having one of the most interesting connections. Hidden away deep in the majestic forest this beautiful village provides natural beauty, quaint streets and even a little bit of magic.


Burley has a unique and quirky character with witchcraft playing a large role within the village history. During the late 1950’s Sybil Leek a famous ‘white’ witch lived in the village and was often seen walking around in her long black cloak with her pet jackdaw sitting on her shoulder. With the locals upset by her presence, Sybil moved to America where she continued studying and writing about the occult and astrology.

To this day, Burley has become well-known for its connections to witchcraft. One of the shops in Burley (A Coven of Witches) was not only named by Sybil but you can also find a portrait of her hanging above the Jacobean fireplace. The shops sells a variety of witchcraft-related items.

Ghosts of the New Forest

Beaulieu is supposedly one of the most haunted places in the UK, with ghostly and ghoulish sightings having been recorded by the 13th century Abbey and at the Palace House.

Even more spooky ghosts of the New Forest, include Charles I, who is said to haunt Hurst Castle. Spectral monks haunt Breamore churchyard, near Fordingbridge and at Breamore House, a stately home, two generations of Dodington ladies who lived there in the 1600s haunt the rooms.

In the heart of the New Forest is the Rufus Stone, which depicts where King William II (nicknamed Rufus due to his red hair) was killed accidently by Sir Walter Tyrrell. It is claimed that on a summer’s evening you may see a short, stocky man with red hair, a tunic an stout boots there, the ghost of King William II.

Not surprisingly given its history of witch craft, the village of Burley is also home to several ghosts. The ghost of a cat graces the Coven of Witches shop, a ghost lurks at Burley Lawn and strange noises are often reported in the Queen’s Head pub.

To find out more about the spooky history that lies within the New Forest why not come down and spend the day exploring and discovering all there is to know about the national park?

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