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Is Buckland Abbey haunted by the doomed spirit of Sir Francis Drake?
Sir Francis Drake lived in glory as a national hero. But his spirit is not a happy one and his ghost is said to haunt his Devon home.
The house built on the site of the former abbey was sold to Sir Francis Drake in 1580.
He made Buckland his home after returning to England after his three-year circumnavigation of the globe on The Golden Hind.
A pact with the devil
But while Sir Francis was regarded as a national hero, many locals feared him and believed he had supernatural powers. Some said that he had only defeated the Spanish Armada because he had made a pact with the Devil.
His ghost is believed to ride across Dartmoor in a black coach driven by headless horses, led by 12 chattering goblins and pursued by a pack of baying dogs. Any living dog that hears the spectral barking is said to die instantly.
The real Hound of the Baskervilles?
It’s possible this story inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write The Hound of the Baskervilles as he is known to have visited the area and is very likely to have heard of the ghost.
Sir Francis Drake facts
Sir Francis Drake was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe
… and the second ever to complete a circumnavigation of the globe. Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe was also a secret pirate mission sanctioned by Queen Elizabeth against the Spanish.
Drake was one of the first British slave traders
… undertaking voyages as early as 1560 with his cousin John Hawkins to West Africa to capture men and women. They also attacked Portuguese slave ships in order to steal their human ‘cargo’.
Drake was hated by the Spanish who nicknamed him ‘El Draque’ or the Dragon
This was due to numerous raids he made against Spanish ships and settlements on his voyages. Some Spanish mariners were so afraid of Drake that they believed he practiced witchcraft. Drake was rumoured to be in league with the devil and to possess a magic mirror that allowed him to see the location of all the ships in the sea.
A cannon ball is said to have flown straight through Drake’s legs but he was uninjured. This was during a battle in the harbour at Palma on Drake’s raid on the West Indies.
Chilling ghost stories that will make you believe in the afterlife
Absolutely true stories about shadowy figures, moving objects, strange voices, and other things that go bump in the night.
According to a 2017 poll by Essential Research, some 39 per cent of Australians believe angels and demons are active in the world and 35 per cent of respondents believe ghosts exist and can influence their will on the living.
The Unseen Patient
The ambulance company that I used to work for had a “haunted” ambulance: rig 12. A lot of EMTs had stories about it, but I never put much stock in paranormal stuff.
My partner and I were working in a rural community at 3 a.m., and it was pitch-dark and completely quiet. We were both dozing; I was in the driver’s seat, and she was in the passenger seat.
I woke up to a muffled voice, and I thought my partner was talking.
I told her I was trying to sleep and closed my eyes. I distinctly heard a male voice say, “Oh my God, am I dying?” followed by a few seconds of heavy breathing. My partner and I sat up straight and looked back into the patient compartment, where it sounded like the voice had come from.
Things were quiet for a couple seconds; then we heard the click of an oxygen-bottle regulator and a hiss, as if it was leaking. I turned on the lights, and we ran out of the rig.
I thought a transient might have climbed in while we were asleep, so we opened the rear doors. No one was there. I checked the oxygen bottles; neither was opened. We didn’t sleep much after that.
—Reddit.com contributor Zerbo
The Boy With No Eyes
One night when I was ten, I was woken up by my bedroom door opening, followed by someone sitting on my bed.
I felt my leg grazed and the bed sink under a person’s weight. Thinking it was my mom, I opened my eyes to see an eyeless boy (he had black empty sockets) about my age sitting at the foot of my bed. He extended his hand, and in it was a little box.
I was startled but reached out. He pulled back. I reached again and said, “Give it.” Then I blinked, and when I reopened my eyes, he was gone, but the imprint of someone sitting on my bed was present.
Fast-forward five years. My girlfriend came over to do homework. After she finished, she took a nap while she waited for her parents. When they arrived, I tried waking her up. She opened her eyes suddenly, looking up at a corner where the wall met the ceiling. She pointed there and went back to sleep. I shook her again. She came to full consciousness, and I explained what she’d done. She said, “Up on the wall, I saw a little boy with no eyes. He was there in a Spider-Man pose, staring at me.” I freaked out and told her my story about the same kid.
Fast-forward another five years. I was with the same girlfriend, and we had a two-year-old. We were living in my parents’ house, in my old room. My daughter started waking up at the same time every night, and she’d talk. After a while, I noticed she had almost the same conversation every night. I playfully asked her once whom she was talking to. She said, “It’s a little boy. He’s nice. He’s lost and looking for his mommy.” My daughter’s nightly conversations continued until we got our own place later that year.
—Reddit.com contributor kmendo4