Episode 20: The Spectre Horseman

Go fool! Here comes one better than thee..

This episode we’re back with a very spooky story from Lancashire featuring, amongst other things, class politics, horses, a kiss and several levels of storytelling.

“Und die Todten reiten schnell”

Gottfried August Bürger, Lenore
Translation: “And the dead travel fast!”
Story in summary (Warning – contains spoilers!)

The story in brief, without the detail or discussion – not a transcript.

If you’ve already listened and just want a refresh, only want the bare bones of the story, or really don’t care about spoilers then please do click below to read on…

The Spectre Horseman

Images not appearing in this story

It doesn’t seem that there exists any public domain illustrations of this tale. Every picture of a spectral horseman I can find in the public domain is not of this story at all. It usually of Death in his role as fourth horseman of the apocalypse.

But there’s a load of pictures below for your edification anyway. But just for completeness: The horse in the story is black. The spectre is not a skeleton despite the inclusion of some skeletonesque features. Because it very definitely has those lips.

But I wanted some pictures of spectral horseman (Bring me those pictures Peter!) and so this is the best of what I can find.

If you want to illustrate this story with some weird potentially homoerotic, potentially just horrific, spectral horseman of your own my office door is open.

John Roby

John Roby – Traditions of Lancashire – A Regional antiquarian of the highest order

The two lads…

Two Lads Cairns

About Rivington, the two lads is a good website featuring pictures of the cairns, and there’s lots more besides. The website author also took the drone video below showcasing the two in some rather impressive lighting.

There’s also another good website featuring the two lads and packed with lots of other interesting information on a huge variety of topics: The Northern Antiquarian on the two lads.

Neither of these sources mention John Roby’s theory that these were altars to Ba’al, for some reason. Which is a shame as I’d love to see this in Lancashire

Alter to Ba'al
Eye up cocker, just doing some fire worship are ya?

Rivington Pike as a whole is a popular place for drone shots and you can have a good look at the tower the men sheltered in, alongside some extremely dramatic music:

And Winter Hill

The TV transmitter, one of the tallest structures in the UK

Only a very brief mention at the end of the episode but there’s lots to explore on Winter Hill with its murders, aeroplane crashes and UFO sightings.

All topped off with the Lancashire-renowned TV mast that can be seen for many miles around.

It’s even got its own paranormal investigator with a facebook page right here, for all that spooky stuff: Paranormal Winter Hill

Visit that website for photoshops of moth man on Winter Hill. What more could you possibly want?

A shout out to Jamie Mann

Just after I started the podcast I was given a physical copy of John Roby’s “Lancashire Legends” by a friend of mine who thought I’d have more use of it than him. It was a cracking read and really helped inspire me to keep going with the podcast, even if it did take two years until I actually recorded a story from it.

Anyway, while this isn’t really related to folklore he’s got an Instagram which features amazing street art from the UK, Europe and beyond (though quite a lot from my beloved home of Sheffield). So now I have an excuse to put a picture from it here. Also this particular piece of art is a skeleton, which is sort of related to the story, if you squint.

Give him a follow @Jamieman on instagram, if you like that kind of thing:

Selected Sources

Musical credits for Episode 20: the Spectre Horseman

Intro and outro theme from the incredibly talented Alice Nicholls Music

Other music, used under various Creative Commons licenses:

Damiano Baldoni
A Ghrà
Momento di solitudine

Lionel Schmitt
Winter Land
The strangers

Kevin Hartnell
Liidinous Orison

Ben von Wildenhaus
Week Twenty nine

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Welcome to Tales of Britain and Ireland!

Welcome to Tales of Britain & Ireland: A podcast telling folktales, myths and legends from across Britain and Ireland. Hosted by Graeme Cooke.

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