This five part mini-series will look at some of the haunted spots within our county borders. From stately homes to run down terraces, waterfalls to woodlands, mines and quarries, there are plenty of ghostly goings-on to delight and disturb.
In this part 1 we look at a haunting from the High Peak, most notably the famous story of Alan and Clara from Winnats Pass, Hope Valley.
In April 1758, Winnats Pass, or more properly Wyndeyates, was a major entrance into the town, carrying the salt route from Cheshire to Yorkshire and also lead to Peak Forest, a place were couples could be married at any time of day or night. This attracted many eloping couples, such as Alan and Clara who, according to the story, were originally from Scotland.
Alan and Clara went up through the pass on horseback one morning, having stayed at a local inn the night before. They were set upon by five local miners, murdered and their money and valuables taken. The robbers disposed of the bodies.
A few nights afterwards locals began reporting thumping noises, screams and the apparitions of a young couple around the mouth of the pass. It was widely rumoured that the young couple had met a murderous end.
The robbers ended by paying their price, one died a year later, two more were killed in the pass, one committed suicide. The fifth, tormented by guilt, confessed all to a local vicar.
Both spirits are said to still appear on moonlit nights, seen trying to escape their pursuers.
The saddle from Clara’s horse is now within the Speedwell Caverns Gift Shop, just at the mouth of the pass.