Dartmoor is an ancient land and the feet of man have trodden across its moors and valleys since the time of stone. Everywhere you can find traces of there homes, graves, and temples, all which have stood silently witnessing the passing of time. Many moorfolk say that they are evil places and should be given a wide berth at all times as ancient spirits haunt the crumbling walls and circles.
Not that long ago there lived an old woman who regularly used to take her dog for a walk up through Lustleigh Cleave. For some reason she adored the deep cleft hewn by the river Bovey, in fact so much so the locals said she was “Cleave maized.” One evening she was up at the old Iron Age fort near Hunter’s tor, the sun was ebbing and dusk began to wrap its mantle over the moor. As the woman approached the remains of three hut circles she suddenly became aware of an eerie sense of foreboding which soon deepened into a premonition of evil. It was as if a thick curtain of mist had drawn itself around the ancient settlement, cutting her off from the living world. She was not the only one to experience this awful feeling of dread because her dog lay cowered at her feet, whimpering with fright. To her horror, the woman noticed small dark figures come creeping out of the hut circles, they were dressed in clothes of a long gone age. It was as if they were stooping under the low entrances of the huts and passing through into the mortal world. The ancient spirits seemed to be talking but no sound was coming out of their mouths, the whole of the old fort lay in a dank, unearthly silence.
Sadly nobody knows what they did next because with amazing agility for her age the old woman fled back down the cleave. From that day on she never went up the deep, wooden valley unless it was daylight and enough time to return before sun-down.