Jan 10, 2023 I Paul Seaburn

Robin Hood and Some Merry Ghosts May Haunt a Shop Near Sherwood Forest

Can a mythical person have a ghost? Conversely, if a ghost claims to be a mythical person with no verified historical records, can the spirit be used as proof of their existence? There are places in England said to be haunted by the ghost of King Arthur, but historians have yet to agree on any factual evidence to back up his vast mythical collection of deeds and tales. The same could be said of Robin Hood, his band of Merry Men and one fair maiden girlfriend. Ghosts said to resemble or send messages that they are Robin, Little John, Friar Tuck, Maid Marian and a few others are common in and around the very real Sherwood Forest area of Nottinghamshire in the East Midlands region of England.

Someone who has encountered – and photographed - his share of spirits and unusual anomalies in and around Sherwood Forest is paranormal investigator Dean Buckley and his team at The Buckley Paranormal. In 2021, Buckley photographed what he said was the ghost of a hooded monk at Roche Abbey near Maltby – an abbey where some stories say Robin Hood and his band often stopped and worshiped. Could this have been one of the White Monks or Cistercians who built the Abbey and sang during services? (Judge the photo for yourself here.) In 2022, Buckley and his wife Veronica, a spiritualist medium, went into Sherwood Forest with other investigators and  all either encountered or photographed a ghostly archer – Robin or one of his band? (You can see the photos here.) Or possibly one of the legendary men of the Sheriff of Nottingham pursuing them?

 The Robin Hood Experience shop (photo credit: Dean Buckley)

Dean Buckley and his intrepid team recently returned to the Sherwood Forest area for another investigation – this time at The Robin Hood Experience shop on Friar Lane in Nottingham town centre across  from Nottingham Castle. You’ve got to love a town that cherishes (and makes money off of) its legends and this establishment reenacts the legendary characters live and on screen, answer questions and has a souvenir shop. Oh … and it also has some ghosts.

“It’s a very active haunted location.”

Paranormal investigators Dean Buckley and Frank Goncalves (photo credit: Dean Buckley)

Dean and Veronica Buckley were prepared for encounters at The Robin Hood Experience shop and said they were not disappointed. With the permission of the shop owner, they conducted an overnight vigil in the Sherriff of Nottingham room. According to Dean’s account (shared via email), the strangeness began almost immediately as he and spiritualist medium Veronica “heard a man in the room coming from the corner where the front window is to our right.” A mannequin dressed to be the Sheriff of Nottingham was in the room so Veronica attempted to connect to the spirit by talking to it. That resulted in them hearing a voice and the room turning ice cold as the spirit entered. They also heard bangs coming from the room above them. This apparently occurred again during their second vigil in the Sheriff’s room, along with more of the male voice and some grunting noises.

“Spiritualist medium Veronica Buckley also linked in with an energy called ‘John’ who is very active around the location, popping in from outside. He is from the 12th century when it was an active castle. He used to hide in trees nearby and go back to Sherwood Forest and he collected apples from the nearby area.”

Spirit energy in the shop  (photo credit: Dean Buckley)

Veronica got more information from a spirit called John, while the rest of the investigation team - paranormal investigators Frank Goncalves, Jayne Danby and Adele Thomas held a spirit box vigil in the building’s attic. There they claim “the spirits keep shouting for paranormal investigator Dean Buckley to come up.” When he did, they stop calling his name. All of the team members reported hearing “bangs and walking and knocks coming from the ground floor” while they were setting up their equipment. Veronica Buckley says she thinks the noises were from a spirit named Charlie she encountered in the cellar. Charlie was from the late 13th century and may have been connected with spirit energies she has felt before from the caves under Friar Lane connected with the castle.

This is starting to sound like an episode of the popular sitcom (in both the U.S. and England) “Ghosts,” but nothing was funny when Henry Tolley appeared to be “taken over while in trance in the cave area” by a spirit who shared who he is and what he did and how he lost his life. According to Dean, the spirits seemed to be attracted to Henry Tolley – the investigators reported feeling one or more spirits whenever Henry walked into a room. Dean himself heard a man start walking around the ground floor while he was with Henry, and they heard grunting and a man whispering in a cave when they came in with Henry.

Paranormal investigator Adele Thomas stood while investigator Henry Tolley sat with spirit energy of Charlie at the side of him. (photo credit: Dean Buckley)         

Perhaps the most interesting encounter during the team’s stay at The Robin Hood Experience shop came as they were packing up to leave. According to Dean, after the completion of a vigil in a cave under the cellar, he was collecting the equipment and passing it out to Henry and Adele. In his haste, he forgot a wildcam and tripod in the cave – a mistake that wasn’t noticed until the next day when he got home and was taking inventory. Dean called Adam, the owner of the shop, and told him where the camera and tripod were left. They weren’t there.

“Adam found it on top of a mannequin outside the cellar door on the ground floor and not where he left it, so the spirit does moved things around.”

Veronica Buckley walking up the stairs.  (photo credit: Dean Buckley)

Did Dean and Vernonica Buckley and the rest of their paranormal investigation team encounter any legendary spirits of Robin Hood and HIS team? Dean says people in the shop often report seeing the shadow of a man walking the staircase area between the bishops room and the Sherriff room down to the other two rooms on the floor below. Many people in the area consider this to be Nottingham’s most haunted location. It has plenty of competition – the churchyard where Will Scarlet is said to be buried in a grave the shape of an arrow; the Fountain Dale where Robin Hood and Friar Tuck first met and fought; St Mary's Church where Robin Hood and Maid Marian were said to have wed; St James' Church where Merry Man Alan A' Dale got married. Spirits and anomalies have been seen and presences felt in these spots and others around Sherwood Forest. Does the legend stimulate the imagination of those who want to believe? Or are these real sites hosting spirits of Robin, Marian, and his men and crying out: “We were real!”?

As always, many thanks and kudos to Dean and Veronica Buckley and their paranormal investigation team for their fine account and photographs of their encoutners at the very haunted The Robin Hood Experience shop in Nottingham.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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