If you think you know all there is to know about the strange events at Redmire Pool, think again.
In a new book, The Haunting of Redmire Pool, former Angling Times news editor Adrian Curtis (below left) and angler and writer Len Arbery (below right) have put together some of the most supernatural events as related by famous anglers who have fished the legendary carp pool.
But only two men are known to have come face to face with the Redmire demon – Ricky Richardson and carp angler Mark Thomas.
Here, Adrian reveals a chilling extract from the book…
Ricky Richardson was initially thought to have been the only living person to have met Redmire’s demon skull face to face when it appeared inside his tent on an August night in 1989.
But during my research another angler, Mark Thomas, came forward to tell of his meeting, this time in 2006, on an August night in the Stumps swim on the haunted east bank.
Mark was born and bred in Bristol and had been carp fishing enough times at night to know all the usual sounds often heard by anglers in the hours of darkness. Now living in Burnham-on-Sea, in Somerset, he hardly goes carp fishing, although that has little to do with his ghostly experience.
Despite the passage of time, he vividly recollects that muggy night when he spent a weekend on the famous carp pool – one of his three visits during that year.
The trip didn’t get off to the best of starts, as when he arrived Mark recalled having a thumping headache, a condition that affected him throughout the entire weekend.
Mark recalled: “Conditions were quite muggy but it didn’t rain. It was very oppressive and I had a headache from the moment I got there until I got home, such was the atmospheric pressure.
“It was a weekend visit which began on Friday lunchtime and went on until I left on Sunday at the same time. It was my second trip of four. I fished there three times in 2006, a good one for me in terms of getting a place at Redmire, and once in 2008, when I fished three nights on my own and caught my biggest carp.
“It was the final night of that 2006 August trip and it was so dark I could just make out the trees on the far bank but I had a permanent headache. I’ve always fished the Willow or Keffords on the west bank when I’ve been at Redmire, and I had never fished the east bank. This particular visit was the only time I have ever fished on that side of the pool.
“When I went there in 2006 I didn’t want to fish the east bank, but I chose the Stumps because I could see fish clouding up in the swim. Everything seemed normal until the middle of the night, when I was awoken at 2.30am by two chaps walking through the estate along the track that runs behind the swim. They carried on up towards the cottage until I could no longer hear them.
“I started to settle down again and after about 20 minutes or so one of my Delkims let out a single bleep. I attempted to get up off of my bedchair but found that I couldn’t move and had a strange tingling sensation all over my body as if someone was holding me down.
“Suddenly I was aware of a black shadowy figure rising above me and it floated towards the middle of my bivvy.
“I was able to make out a face with no eyes and a demonic smile, then the figure drifted out of my bivvy through the fly sheet. It was there for about 15 to 30 seconds and then it was gone. Once it had left the bivvy I was immediately able to get up, which was bizarre.
“I didn’t really feel scared, I just couldn’t work out what the hell was going on. I had fished a lot in Somerset, on the moors on a lot of nights and never been spooked at all.
“That is the only time something odd like that has happened to me. I’ve never been frightened as a kid or been scared of the dark and it remains the only time I’ve had a ghostly encounter in my life. It must have been a good luck sign, as during my last few hours on the pool I finally caught my first two Redmire carp on floatfished corn so I went home happy.
“But when I went back to Redmire later that year for three nights on my own, the incident had put me on edge.
“On that trip, I took pictures in the day from the Evening Pitch but I could not bring myself to bivvy up and fish there at night.”
So, two people are now known to have witnessed the famed demon skull of Redmire at first hand.
The amazing thing is that both men saw the apparition in the month of August, albeit 16 years apart, and at around the same time. Indeed, 3am does seem to be the time when the ghoul stalks the east bank.
Was this the time when, in the distant past, something horrific took place, maybe a murder?
What is clear is that both men have never really spoken publicly about the events they experienced on Redmire’s east bank. But as I learned from legendary Redmire custodian Les Bamford, the Stumps is not without its own haunted history.
Indeed, it would appear the majority of swims on the east bank have a tale to tell of strange and mysterious happenings and visitations.
The other clear evidence from Mark’s particular experience is that, despite the good intentions of a holy blessing, the demon remains capable of showing itself to those visitors who choose to enter its domain.
want to read more of this story?
The Haunting of Redmire Pool: £23.25 plus P&P available from www.westernlocomotiveresearchsociety.com
A5 hardback, dust jacket, 108 pages, colour and black and white.