The Mystery Of Clapham Wood

nightmare forest with creepy trees

Forests are supposed to be places of peace and quiet where one can escape the rush of urban areas and commune with nature. But as you may or may not expect, some wooded areas are not so innocent. Some are dark places where sinister things that go beyond rational understanding occurr. The people who make up the communities of West Sussex know this all too well. They understand that it is unwise to get lost in Clapham Wood because if they do, they may never be seen again.

In a country where everyone has a story to tell of the inexplicable and unexpected, stories of Clapham Wood is something else entirely. Not only is Clapham haunted by terrifying specters of the dead, but instances of high strangeness have been reported here alongside dark tales of occult practices, perhaps even human sacrifice.

For centuries, generations of West Sussex residents used Clapham for hunting, fishing and cultivating food. All that changed in 1967, when citizens of the surrounding area reported sights and sounds they could not explain. Lights that seemed intelligent in nature were seen floating over and zipping among the trees. 

When the peculiar phenomena began, residents thought the lights belonged to people camping in the woods; of course that was until they got much closer. The lights, seemingly guided by an unknown force, flew around the woods crackling with an unearthly energy. It was hard to dismiss such things, especially after a UFO was seen by a local man.

In August 1967, a man was taking a leisurely stroll through Clapham, when he looked up and beheld the strangest thing he ever saw. Hovering a mere 200 feet over his head was a large boomerang shaped craft silently hanging in the night sky. Without thinking, the man instinctively knew he was witnessing something not of this world. Whether it was curiosity or fear that held him in place, the man could not ascertain. Nevertheless, he watched as the craft lifted up and vanished in the starry night.

Thus began the stories and claims by UFO enthusiasts that Clapham Wood was a hotspot for either intergalactic or interdimensional beings. Since that night, sightings of UFOs and strange lights in the skies over Clapham Wood became a regular occurrence.Vigils are held in the woods by curiosity seekers hoping to catch a glimpse of a UFO. Some even hope to make contact with a being from another world.

With these curiosity seekers, more scientifically minded investigators were not far behind. Professional UFO investigators from all around the world have descended upon the woods with geiger counters to measure for possible radiation and believe or not, there have been some interesting results. 

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Low levels of radiation have been discovered in the ground and the trees. Skeptics might conclude that low levels of radiation would be commonplace, even naturally occurring. Of course this is a viable argument, but those who have experienced the bizarre goings-on of Clapham Wood would disagree wholeheartedly.

Visitors to Clapham Wood have had brushes with entities that are not extraterrestrial in nature. Frightening large black masses have been spotted lurking among the trees. Several people have even claimed to have been physically attacked by these malevolent entities. Full bodied apparitions have also been seen in Clapham leading many to believe this seemingly innocent forest is one of the most haunted places in the United Kingdom.

If otherworldly visitors and terrifying specters aren’t enough to scare you away, the woods contain something far more sinister. Clapham Wood is rumored to be crawling with satanists and practitioners of black magic rituals.

In 1987, Toyne Newton, Charles Walker and Alan Brown shocked the Sussex countryside with the release of their book, The Demonic Connection. In their book, the three men claimed that deep in Clapham, satanists were meeting for black magic rituals. Several years earlier, Charles Walker, claimed to be in contact with a coven of occultists calling themselves, The Friends of Hecate. Hecate, was the Greco-Roman goddess of magic and crossroads. A deity many believe to be the mother of witchcraft.

According to the book, the initiate claimed his group was responsible for disappearances of dogs that began in 1975. The initiate further claimed responsibility for the abductions of several people over a decade. When pressed for the reason why, the initiate simply replied, “For sacrificial purpose.” Of course some would roll their eyes in skepticism, considering some of those allegedly abducted people were civic leaders and leading citizens of the community. Nevertheless, Friends of Hecate appear to be a real group and have left behind evidence of their dark rituals.

Near Clapham Wood stands an old manor house many believe the occultists use as a meeting house. Among the empty rooms and crumbling corridors, blood covered altars have been discovered with the remains of small animals surrounding them. Thankfully, no evidence of human sacrifice has ever been found. Either no human blood has ever been spilled or the so-called satanists were more clever in appeasing their infernal god.

Dark, mysterious and perhaps evil, Clapham Wood is a place only the bravest should dare to enter. For the most part, the residents of the surrounding area regard the dark stories of Clapham Wood as nothing more than urban legend. Conversely, it is difficult to dismiss the police reports of missing dogs. Not to mention, the dozens of eyewitness accounts of unexplained phenomena going as far back as the late 1960s. Urban legend or not, Clapham Wood is both feared and respected by the residents of West Sussex.

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About Rick Hale 106 Articles
Rick Hale became interested in anomalous phenomenon at an early age after encountering an apparition in his grandparent's home. Rick is the author of "The Geek's Guide To The Strange and Unusual: Poltergeists, Ghost and Demons," and "Behold! Shocking True Tales Off Terror...And Some Other Spooky Stuff." Rick has been published in Haunted Times Magazine, Paranormal Underground Magazine, The Supernatural Magazine, and Legends Magazine. Rick appeared in Ghost Tapes 2 and Ghost Tapes: The Series found at

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