Laying a "ghost" at Loscoe Taken from the Eastwood & Kimberley Advertiser, 25 July 1930
During road works on Denby Lane, Loscoe, described as having "the unenviable distinction of being one of the worst stretches of road in the country," a local character, Tom Allen, was given the job of night watchman. In the early hours of a dark misty morning, Tom was sitting half inside and half outside his watchman's box, when he spotted something moving slowly up the lane, by the side of the palings running alongside the recreation ground.
Tom immediately thought it was a ghost, or, if not a ghost, then it had to be someone
covered with a sheet trying to play a trick on him. The object was coming closer,
and Tom did not want to be trapped inside his box, so, taking his stout walking stick
for defence, he moved to the side of the road, away from the light of the fire, and
waited for the arrival of the spectre. The suspense was terrible, and many thoughts
passed through Tom's mind -
So, advancing with raised stick, he was about to hit out when the ghost shouted, "Hey up! Hold on!"
Whereupon our hero replied, "It's a good job you spoke, or you'd a got one." He immediately recognised the supposed ghost as one of the employees of the Midland General Omnibus Company, in white coat and white hat, who was returning home after working a late shift. Before leaving, he confided to Tom that other people had been frightened by his ghostly appearance in the past.
Earlier than the story, this shows a view up Denby Lane at Loscoe, from the main road, at the turn of the last century.
Sukey's Hollow (from the Society newsletter, 1991)
For many years, Sukey's Hollow was a dark, lonely footpath lit only by one gas lamp
in the middle near the White Cottage. The footpath was the nearest route between
Heanor, Sye Lane and Marlpool, until the creation of Ella Bank Road, Claramount Road
and Westfield Avenue around the end of the nineteenth century. Even in the 1930s,
women, and even men, were very fearful of walking past the ruins after dark. Sukey's
Hollow was said to have been the site for two murders in the eighteenth century -
The Nan Tantum connection might have been through the house across the field on Hands Road at the top of the hill. The house stands next to The Starthe field and had its name on a stone reading "Tantum Cottage" but this has been obscured by rendering in recent years.
The dark and gloomy Victorian vicarage between Hands Road and the white house would do nothing to reassure people taking a short cut through Sukey's Hollow on a wild, wintry evening.
Another Foxhole Spirit
Prompted by this website, we were contacted by a working medium, Yvette Sinclair-
"The first Spirit I saw in Foxholes Plantation wood was a man hanging from one of
the very old beech trees in the middle of the wood alongside the path that runs through
the middle. He was dressed in clothes that would have put him around the end of
the nineteenth century. Long dark hair, a finger tip length brown jacket, and high,
brown leather boots. He terrified my dogs, who both refused to walk anywhere near
the tree, and acted like a horse would when it shies around an object that startles
You may be sceptical; you may believe. Whatever, it is an interesting tale.
The Foxhole Children
A sunny spring day in 1956. A 17 year old Heanor miner, keen on motorcycling, went off for a ride to Codnor Castle, and then rode down across the fields below the castle.
Around half a mile north-
The young man stopped his bike, deciding to have a cigarette. As he leant against
a tree, he saw two young children come out from by the pond -
The pond in Foxhole Plantation, autumn 2004 (it looks the same today).
The children were two girls. The eldest, who walked in front, was 7 or 8 years old, and had blonde hair. The younger one, aged about 6, had brown hair. They were dressed in what he described as 1940s clothing. He followed, and called after them to see if they were alright, but there was no reply. Walking in complete silence, to the edge of the wood, they then climbed over a stile out of the wood, heading across the fields towards Kennels Farm. By now, the youth was himself caked in mud, but still the children were spotless. At this point, as he moved to follow them further, the youngest turned and said, "You can't come!". The children continued across the field and then, without warning, vanished.
Needless to say, the spectator in this story didn't hang around very long to see what else happened! That said, he does believe that he has seen these same children again, many years later and in a different part of the country, in equally strange circumstances. But that's another story.....!
Hardy Barn Murders
Hardy Barn is the name given to the steep hill down from Marlpool towards Shipley on the Heanor to Ilkeston road. Fred Fletcher, in his memoirs "The Cry from the Soil" tells how he started dating a girl from Ilkeston, so had to travel along this stretch of road on foot, just after the First World War.
He briefly tells of "the unsavoury happenings down Hardy Barn, a dark stretch of
road leading to Ilkeston, where it was said, a murder was committed twice at the
same spot. The first was the clubbing to death of the Royal Mail van driver -
Any other references to these murders or ghosts would be appreciated.
A few stories to while away a winter's night.........
The Tantum Ghost
The most famous ghost story of the area, dating from 1795, is told by William Howitt to the author R.D. Owen in his book, "Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World." 
"One fine afternoon, my mother [Phoebe Howitt], shortly after a confinement, but perfectly convalescent, was lying in bed enjoying from her window the sense of summer beauty and repose, a bright sky above and the quiet village before her. In this state she was gladdened by hearing the footsteps which she took to be those of her brother Frank [Francis Tantum], as he was familiarly called, approaching the door. The visitor knocked and entered. The foot of the bed was towards the door, and the curtains at the foot, notwithstanding the season, were drawn to prevent the draught. Her brother parted and looked in upon her. His gaze was earnest and destitute of its usual cheerfulness and he spoke not a word. 'My dear Frank' said my mother, 'How glad I am to see you! Come round to the bedside; I wish to have some talk with you.' He closed the curtains, as complying, but instead of doing so my mother to her astonishment heard him leave the room, close the door behind him, and begin to descend the stairs. Greatly amazed, she hastily rang, and when her maid appeared she bade her call her brother back. The girl replied that she had not seen him enter the house. But my mother insisted, saying 'He was here but this instant. Run! Quick! Call him back! I must see him!'
"The girl hurried away, but after a time returned, saying that she could learn nothing
of him anywhere; nor had anyone in or about the house seen him either enter or depart.
Now my father's house stood at the bottom of the village and close to the high road,
which was quite straight; so that anyone passing along it must have been seen for
a much longer period than had elapsed. The girl said she had looked up and down the
road, then searched the garden -
"My mother, though a very pious woman, was far from superstitious; yet the strangeness
of this circumstance stuck her forcibly. While she lay pondering upon it, there was
heard a sudden rushing and exited talking in the village street. My mother listened:
it increased though up to that time the village had been profoundly still; and she
became convinced that something very unusual had occurred. Again she rang the bell,
to inquire the cause of the disturbance. This time it was the monthly nurse who answered
it. She sought to tranquillize my mother, as a nurse usually does a patient: 'Oh,
it is nothing particular, ma'am,' she said, 'Some trifling affair!', which she pretended
to relate, passing lightly over the particulars. But her ill-
"The melancholy event had thus occurred. My uncle, Francis Tantum, had been dining
at Shipley Hall, with Mr Edward Miller Mundy, member of Parliament for the county.
Shipley Hall lay off to the left of the village as you looked up the main street
from my father's house, and about a mile distant from it; while Heanor Fall, my uncle's
residence, was situated to the right; the road to the one country seat to the other
crossing, nearly at right angles, the upper portion of the village street at a point
where stood one of the two village inns, the 'Admiral Rodney' [later renamed the
old Crown Inn], respectably kept by the widow H-
"Francis Tantum, riding home from Shipley Hall after the early country dinner of
that day, somewhat elate it may be with wine, stopped at the widow's inn and bade
her son bring him a glass of ale. As the latter hurried to obey, my uncle, giving
the youth a smart switch across the back with his riding-
"The young man, instead of receiving the playful stroke as a jest, took it as an insult. He rushed into the house, snatched up a carving knife, and darting back into the street, stabbed my uncle to the heart as he sat on his horse, so that he fell dead on the instant, in the road.
"The sensation throughout the quiet village may be imagined. The inhabitants who
idolized the murdered man, were prevented from taking summary vengeance on the homicide
only by the constables carrying him off to the office of the nearest magistrate.
"So great was the respect entertained for my uncle, and such the deep impression of his tragic end, that so long as that generation lived the church bells of the village were regularly tolled on the anniversary of his death.
"On comparing the circumstances and the exact time at which each occurred, the fact was substantiated that the apparition presented itself to my mother almost instantly after her brother had received the fatal stroke."
Do you know any other supernatural stories from the Heanor area? If so, please use the Contact page to let us know.