Afloat on birdsong, hawthorn petals and young leaves
Feb. 21, 2021

Haunted Canals

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Stormy nights like this, when then wind howls among the reeds under a hunted moon, are perfect for curling up with a ghost story or two. In this episode we hear about two ghost stories set in locations close to where NB 506812 is currently moored and explore what do these stories tell us about the worlds that produced them and us today. 

Journal entry:

“18th February, Thursday.

Each dawn and dusk skeins of geese fill the winter-bruised skies; soundscapes of the enclosing nights of autumn.
 And I am haunted by the one lone goose who, yesterday as the day broke, flew across the charcoal smudged sky in the opposite direction. With each stroke of its majestic wings it cried out into dusky world. 
 It flew over me. Then its call crumbled into mumbles and squawks. 
 It flew strong into the southeast and the sun, etched on the dawn.
 I stood, until I could hear something of its soul no more.” 

Episode Information

In this episode I read excerpts from Alan Scott-Davies’ (2010) Shadows on the Water: The Haunted Canals and Waterways of Britain published by History Press Ltd.

I also make a reference to John Miller’s (2020) thoughtful introduction to his edited collection Weird Woods: Tales from the Haunted Forests of Britain published by the British Library.

You can view Jean Mann’s lovely vlog featuring the gorgeous waters and villages of the Norfolk Broads (East Anglia) here: Jean Mann’s YouTube Channel.

You can see Pete Tuffrey’s evocative paintings of canals and night-time scenes at:


General Details

In the intro and the outro, Saint-Saen's The Swan is performed by Karr and Bernstein (1961) and available on CC at

Two-stroke narrowboat engine recorded by 'James2nd' on the River weaver, Cheshire. Uploaded on 23rd June 2018. Creative Commons Licence. 

Piano interludes composed and performed by Helen Ingram.

All other audio recorded on site. 

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