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The Dartmoor area is renowned for its Myths, legends and numerous ghost stories. This is maybe due in part to the bleak nature of the moor and its changeable weather conditions. Alternatively it could just be that Ghosts, Ghouls and Water Sprites enjoy the idyllic countryside living as much as the residents who live here and the many tourists who visit it each year.

"The word Dartmoor conjures up many things to many people. Some think of ponies and cream teas, others picture vast tracts of wilderness and bottomless bogs. To those who take the time to get to know the 'moor' it is 368 square miles of pure intrigue and fascination. Be warned, it is an addictive place and once you have fallen under the spell of 'Old Dartymoor' you will never want to be parted from it."

Legendary Dartmoor is a wonderful website which is packed full of legends, stories and folklore from the moor. The site covers all the ghosts, piskies, witchcraft and endless mysteries that abound Dartmoor. The site has been written as a personal labour of love for the moor and as such makes a superb and fascinating read.

If you want to read more about the Myths and Legends of Dartmoor then we highly recommend you visit:

 Kutty Dyer
Ashburton's most famous myth is that of Kutty Dyer, an evil little water sprite that lives in the river Ashburn under King's Bridge, next to the town hall. For many generations naughty children were warned to keep away or he would cut their throats and drink their blood.

Misbehaving children were not his sole clients - he was particularly active against those folk who drank too much. He would eagerly waylay anyone in a state of alcoholic stupor as they staggered home, and they could expect the same treatment as the naughty children.

The picture shows the view down river from King's Bridge, home of Kutty Dyer.

 Jay's Grave
Kitty Jay's wayside grave is situated on the road between Hound Tor and Heatree Cross. It is believed that she committed suicide after becoming pregnant out of wedlock. In keeping with tradition she had to be buried at the nearest crossroads rather than in the consecrated ground of a parish church cemetery.

In 1860, James Bryant, a road mender, discovered bones in a rough grave and it was at first supposed they were that of an animal. When it was discovered they were from a young woman, his wife vaguely remembered a story told to her by her own mother about an orphan girl who hanged herself. The bones were reburied in their present position and to this day fresh flowers appear daily on her grave, creating their own mystery, as nobody knows who does this caring deed.

 The Hairy Hands
Shortly after 1910 a series of strange incidents were reported along the road between Postbridge and Two Bridges. Most occurred near a farm called Archerton, near Postbridge. Cyclists felt their handlebars wrenched out of their hands, pitching them into the ditch and even ponytraps were put out of control and ended up in the ditch beside the road. Later, cars suffered similar fates, sometimes with fatal results. One account by an Army officer, who was injured on his motorcycle but survived, revealed that a pair of large, muscular hairy hands closed over his own and forced him off the road.

In the mid 1920s, a lady in a caravan parked on this stretch of the road, saw a large hairy hand clawing its way up the outside of the window.

Between 1910 and 1930 there was a spate of serious incidents, but since those times the strange occurrences, which have undoubtedly happened along that road, have not been as dramatic. There was at least one fatal accident involving an overturned car but as the young occupant was found dead at the scene, we will never know whether the Hairy Hands played out their murderous role or whether, indeed, it was simply an accident. Nevertheless, many folk will always feel a sense of unease, particularly between the Cherry Brook bridge and Postbridge and keep a wary eye out for any hairy intruders.

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