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Crazywell Ghost

Crazywell Ghost

Crazywell Pool, it’s very name suggests that something is amiss or else why should a harmless pool of water earn such weird name? Yes if you read the old Dartmoor legend books plenty of weird things have happened there. Some will have you know that it’s dark waters are bottomless whilst others swear blind that if you peer into the pool on Midsummer’s Eve you will see the reflection of the next person to die. True there have been some explained and tragic deaths connected with the murky waters in recent years but any sane person would say that’s just coincidence – wouldn’t they?

Regardless of all the sinister tales Crazywell Pool has become a favourite spot for ‘wild swimmers’ whose want it is to bathe in untamed, icy waters as opposed to the tame waters of swimming baths. Karen Cook was one such person, for her the sensation of open water set in a truly breathtaking Dartmoor landscape was here way of relaxation or was it escapism?  Most weekends here blue Nissan Micra could be seen carefully parked down at Norsworthy Bridge from whence she made her way up Raddick Lane to the pool. You could almost set your clock to her blue towel appearing on the banks of the pool by the time the Dartmoor dawn shed its first light over the flanks of Raddick Hill. The towel signalled that fact that Karen in her blue swimsuit would  be gliding gracefully through the still waters. During the balmy days of summer that self same towel could be seen in the same spot as nightfall cast its shroud over the moor. One could easily say that the blue Nissan Micra, the blue towel and that blue swimsuit had become part of the Dartmoor landscape as the old stone cross which stands guard over the pool.

Over time she began to look at Crazywell Pool as her own personal lido, so much so that she noticeably began to resent any others sharing her waters. Unfortunately her much needed solitude was becoming less and less frequent as the popularity of the pool spread amongst other wild swimmers. On one warm and cloudless July day she counted thirteen other swimmers, three dogs and seven children all stealing her waters. In her mind she may have well driven down to Torquay and swam in the waters of Babbacombe Beach, it probably would have been less crowded. To overcome this problem Karen decided to visit HER pool earlier in the morning and later at night which worked well for a while. As time went by other swimmers had that same notion and Karen’s time became both earlier and later. Eventually she was visiting Crazywell at the very first crack of dawn which provider her with an empty pool but evenings were still a popular time for other swimmers. In the end much to her disgust Karen had to forgo her evening swim although each night there was always that urge to take a swim.

Crazywell Ghost

By mid June the new routine had been set, the little blue Micra, the blue towel spread on the bank and the blue swimmer could always be seen when the first birds began to sing their dawn songs. That particular June saw an exceptional heat wave hit Dartmoor with temperatures hitting the mid 30s and as a consequence even more swimmers were dipping in Crazywell’s waters. The 21st of June was to put it mildly a swealterer of a day with the thermometers reaching a scorching 36º. Even by 11.00pm the stifling heat had only cooled by 6º which meant for most people sleep was impossible. Karen was no exception to this and no matter how she tried the sandman was not paying his nightly visit. Despite the time of night she knew that the ideal way to cool off and relax was a good work-out swimming up and down HER pool and so before long had parked the little blue Micra at Norsworthy Bridge. As she wandered up Raddick Lane there was a distinct odour in the air, it was if if the very moor was sweating in the night heat. Then a fleeting but nagging thought came to her, it was the 21st of June, Midsummer’s Eve, the night strange otherworld things were said to happen at the pool. On arriving on the bank of the pool and seeing those cool, calm waters any thought of such things quickly disappeared. Within seconds the blue towel was neatly spread on the bank and the blue girl was lazily swimming up and down. Having spent a good hour in the pool Karen returned to her blue towel and began to dry off. She just happened to look down into the pool at the time the hazy blue moon seemed to intensify its reflection. Karen immediately froze as she peered into the still waters and gave a gasp, an icy shiver simultaneously shot up her spine. Immediately she quickly pulled on her clothes and hastily charged off towards Raddick Lane, not once giving a backward glance.

The following morning, Ken Scott swung his car into the parking bay at Norsworthy Bridge. He too was a man of solitude and habit and also had taken to visiting the pool early each morning. Not as early as Karen who he would often meet coming back down Raddick Lane. This particular day there was something missing but at first he could not quite see what. Then it dawned on him the little Blue Micra was missing which was very odd as this was the first morning he had ever not seen it? On reaching Crazywell Pool he was met with another mystery for there was the blue towel neatly spread on the bank. No car, but the towel was still there? His solution was that the girl must have gone for her swim even earlier that usual, probably because of the heat, and she had forgotten to take her towel. As he looked into what by then appeared to be a strangely dark and brooding pool, a shiver shook him from head to toe. Being a local man born and bred he too was only too well aware of the sinister tales attached to the pool especially at this particular time of the year. He briefly began to wonder if there was any connection with that, the odd colour of the pool and the lone blue towel neatly spread on the bank but then quickly dismissed the ridiculous thought. Having had his swim and feeling thoroughly refreshed Ken packed his things and strolled back to the car – all fit and ready for a good days work.

As he drove approached the sharp corner near Narrator Plantation he noticed a cluster of blue and orange flashing lights. On slowing down he could see an ambulance, police car and a tow truck along with an assembled throng of uniforms. The tow truck was slowly  pulling a vehicle out of the bank and it was at this point Ken recognised the little blue Micra. He climbed out of his car and walked over to one of the policemen and asked if he could be of help. The policeman solemnly replied that sadly nobody could be of any help to the poor girl, adding that the strange thing was that she had wet hair?

A week later the full report was printed in the local paper, it appears that there was no logical cause of the accident as the road conditions were perfect, the girl hadn’t been drinking or drugging and the car was in perfect operational order? Having read the article Ken went strangely quiet.

 

About Tim Sandles

Tim Sandles is the founder of Legendary Dartmoor

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