Ghost stories of Talland Bay. Talland Bay in Cornwall, is a secluded coastal area nestled between the ports of Looe and Polperro. It was also another prime position for smugglers and pirates. In an area with a rich history in the illicit trade.
Talland Bay, like other coastal settlements in the area, had and has its fair share of ghost stories too.
In this post and to share my artwork. I wanted to concentrate on one ghost story of Talland Bay in particular.
The Lady Of The Lane.
“He did not turn back to meet that women’s eyeless gaze”
Where is the Lady Of The Lane?
The Lady Of The Lane is said to haunt the road between West Looe and Talland.
Near the narrow roads around Tencreek Caravan Park.
The Lady of the Lane, also known as the “The White Lady”. Is a common name given to many ghostly apparitions of a female dressed in white.
Talland also has a story about a ‘White Lady’ and that is what this post is about. The Lady Of The Lane.
Local legend suggests this phantom haunted the narrow lanes and roads around Talland. High-hedged roads and the absence of light makes this area a secluded and eerie spot to wonder late in the evening.
If you are staying in and around Talland and fancy yourself as a ‘ghost chaser’ you may be tempted to look around.
Be extra careful of cars! Wear high-visibility clothes and make sure to take a torch.
Some of the lanes around Talland and Looe can be difficult to see around at night, and locals wouldn’t want to hit you on the road! SO BE CAREFUL.
A ghost story of Talland Bay | The Lady Of Lane
Be warned traveler, for it is told that a sorrowful spirit haunts the narrow lanes towards Talland. Its overgrown trees and high hedged Cornish walls conceal narrow sodden roads.
From the blackness of night, to the eerie muffled quiet, nobody in their right mind would want to walk around there at night, even in the midst of summer.
The lights from the town will be your only relief in wooded darkness, and should you venture through the old lanes toward the bay this will vanish behind the hill before long.
Venture down this road If you dare.
On a clear night, stars may appear in the narrow canopy of leaves. But this road was often dark and very quiet. Branches from trees arch across from both sides of the high walls.
You will either see forward.
There is no reason to be here, and even locals might give this road a wide berth.
So the story goes for the haunting
Upon a dark and cool summer’s eve, a man was walking down the lane when he heard sobbing not too far ahead. A woman, dressed only in her nightclothes stood bare-footed in the middle of the lane with her face cupped into her hands.
The poor soul was lost. She looked cold and frightened.
The gentleman, concerned for your woman, approached her. She was as pale as pale as can be. And stood in stark white contrast to her dark surroundings.
The woman was facing away, her shoulders heaved to the rhythm of her pitiful sobs.
With knots tightening in his stomach, the man approached the solitary figure.
The women’s white dress floated and billowed in the windless night. And the woman stood on nothing but air.
She shivered and looked terribly cold.
The man spoke to the woman in a cautious raspy whisper.
The woman paused, she stopped crying and said no more.
Silently, she raised her head with her back still facing the man and lowered her hands to her sides.
Her fingers were emaciated. Bony knuckles and pale slender fingers draped loosely against her narrow hips.
Slowly, she turned to him.
Her long dark hair clung to her face but the man could see all that he needed to from the dim light of his lantern.
The deep pits of the woman’s cheeks and and the sinuous muscles of her face were thinly veiled by ice cold skin.
Her face revealed itself in all of terrible horror. she looked like death. Where two eyes should have been, 2 dark sockets glared back at the man.
His bowels turned to water.
The gentleman ran back the way he came. Staggering over leaves and broken branches. The ground was sodden and wet. He tripped in the mud and gashed his knee on something hidden in the mulch, but this was not enough to slow him. The hot wet warmth from his knee did little to cleanse the image from his mind.
And did not turn back to meet that women’s e gaze.
His lungs were sore with the effort or running back up a hill and his legs burned. Eventually, he made it to the top – a clearing where lane and arching trees stopped. It was a fork in the road.
He turned to see if he had been followed.
She had gone.
And nobody ever really knew if she was there. A tale of a cider drinking drunk with little better to do than to tell tales in a cosy Cornish tavern.
None would know what he saw that night.
The man would would forever meet her gaze in his sleep in his sleep though.
About Lady Of The Lane | Talland Bay
The Lady of the lane, otherwise known as The White Lady, was a lesser-known legend that I came to know when visiting friends that lived near Talland. Many areas have a White lady – a lonely ghostly figure that roams the countryside, and Talland is no exception.
The Lady of the Lane was said to haunt the narrow overgrown lanes around Talland.
She was described as being a woman dressed in white, her hair long and lank and fixed with a sorrowful expression.
She was never described as being a malevolent spirit and her reason for the haunting is unknown. Regardless of the spirit’s purpose. It is still enough to give a fright to any would-be late-night traveler.
Either way, that part of the town is said to be haunted.
Be a wary traveler.
Lady of Lane (white Lady Origin story)
I must confess and in all seriousness, this story was told to me in my late teens when I went for AirSoft battles in the dark fields around Talland. A friend that lived there at the time said the lane was haunted.
A white lady was said to wonder about the very dark lanes. Around the area. Who told them, remains a mystery but they live in the area.
And who doesn’t love a bit of folk paranormal?
About The artwork | Lady Of The Lane | Ghost stories of Talland Bay
The Lady Of The Lane was created as part of an exhibition. The exhibition that was held in 2011 in the Guildhall in Looe focused on local legends such as the Lady of Lane and smugglers.
Looe and Talland bay is packed full of local legends to be read about.
This piece of artwork was created using both pencils and painted digitally. I can actually remember being sat in the cafe whilst I was sketching out the linework for the character.
What I believe about the Lady of The Lane at Talland bay
Smugglers often created legends. And I wouldn’t be surprised if this was an exception! The reason why smugglers created these legends, such as the tale about the Lady Of The Lane, was to detour people from walking around at night.
And why did smugglers wish to detour people from using lanes late at night?
So they could smuggle, in short.
The fewer eyes that see what they are up to, the better. And Cornwall was rife with smugglers and contraband.
Once the smugglers had landed the goods, they needed to shift the goods inland. And a great way to do it without fuss? Tell the locals of the haunting to keep them away – or buy them off.
A ghostly white figure that floats down the lane chasing would be late-night walkers, is a great deterrent. I would have put it past somebody to dress also if there was any truth in the tale.
The smugglers were a canny bunch. With many of the locals also being in of the trade.
That is my theory behind the Lady of the lane too. If it wasn’t something that was made up there. It would have most likely have been born in the 17th century.
Ghost stories of Talland Bay near Looe | Haunting Folklore
I am a lover of all things to do with folklore and creating folklore art. Folklore can differ in many ways from pure fantasy as folklore sits more closely to traditional stories and cultures.
Cornwall, and the surroundings, is brimming with folklore and local legend which stays closer to the side of being a legend. Many folktales are passed down from generation to generation becoming part and parcel of local culture.
My fantasy work can come purely from imagination. not strictly needing any legend associated with. But in this case, it was inspired by a local legend near Looe – The Lady Of The Lane.
Other folklore tales and stories
If you enjoyed reading about the Lady Of The Lane and would like to browse other illustration projects around folktales – you may be also interested:-
- The White Hare of West Looe Hill
- Illustration depicting a Looe smuggler/prisoner
- The infamous Cruel John Coppinger
- Scotland / historical – Mary Kings Close
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Copyright JD Illustration (Jimm Odell) – ghost stories of Talland Bay. Originally illustrated in 2011. The Lady Of The Lane.