Bizarre Places: Clapham Wood

Clapham Wood is a forest in West Sussex, England that is linked to several supposed phenomena. There are unproven stories that a Satanic cult operated in the woods during the latter half of the 20th century. There are countless reports of UFO sightings, though those reportedly happen in both the woods and Clapham Village. Other phenomena reported in the woods include animal disappearances and human deaths.

While the stories of Clapham Wood are bizarre and the area has developed a bizarre reputation, it seems that the stories may be the only bizarre thing about Clapham Wood. As far as the UFOs are concerned, there is no way to prove that any of these UFOs were really sighted and, if they were, that their origins were otherworldly or supernatural.

Another phenomenon reported in Clapham Wood is much like the UFOs, unable to be proven. Some people have claimed that a strange mist engulfs parts of the woods as they walk through it. To read of the stories, one would assume that those who saw it found it to be unrelated to the weather, given that they found it strange enough to report.

A less strange occurrence in Clapham Wood, given its reputation are reports that people get the sense something is following them through the woods. These can easily be linked to paranoia concerning the stories that have surrounded the forest since the 1970s. It is natural that some people would feel scared in Clapham Wood. The alternative is that something really is following them, which would explain why some people feel like they are being pushed in the woods when there is nothing occurring to explain the feeling.

At least four dogs have allegedly vanished in Clapham Wood. One returned so ill that it had to be put down. Another one was found mangled and dead. The thing with these reports is that they have been happening since 1970, the most recent occurring in 2011. Dogs do tend to get lost in the woods when they are unleashed. There may be nothing unusual going on here at all. It is entirely feasible that the domesticated animals were attacked by other animals.

The most alarming stories regarding Clapham Wood involve the deaths of five people -- four according to some sources. Apparently, three lone men disappeared at different times and were found days to years later. A couple also disappeared -- just a woman in some versions -- and were later found dead. The man was sexually assaulted according to Wikipedia. The woman was sexually assaulted according to other sources. There are no reports of sexual assault in the other cases, though decomposition reportedly made autopsy difficult. These deaths were allegedly attributed to a serial killer named Tim Withers who was jailed for the crimes. It should be noted that this writer could find very little regarding Tim Withers and it was all related to Clapham Wood. It seems odd that there is nothing else out there about this supposed serial killer.

One must conclude, with the evidence available, that there is nothing so bizarre about Clapham Wood, save its reputation. What is odd here is that there seems to be widespread speculation about this forest with very little evidence that anything is amiss.