As I write this post I know some of you may find difficulty in believing what I am about to tell. But I assure you it is all true. I have passion for weird places and coupled with my love for archeology, walking and photography it was inevitable that I would be drawn to one of the most eerie of places on a very eerie moor. I had little idea what I would encounter there.
Very few people have heard of ‘Backstone stone circle’ on Rombalds moor. It just isn’t very well known – and besides it is very difficult to find. You don’t see it until you are a few feet from it – and it is nestled in very long grass. The circle stones are 3 to 5 ft high and there are about a dozen of them. Also, there is almost nothing about it on the internet.
I first heard about the circle from Paul Bennet when I accompanied him and a couple of friends on a walk across the moors a few weeks ago. Paul is a well known expert on all things Neolithic and the author of several excellent books on the subject – including ‘The Old Stones of Elmet’ and others. It was Paul and a couple of friends who first discovered the site in 1989. It was quite dark when Paul brought us to it and I wanted some shots of it in daylight – maybe some atmospheric black and whites.
I next visited the circle on a gorgeous Sunday morning with my camera. I could see a couple of walkers about in the far distance and the sun was shining. You don’t see the circle until you are almost on top of it, and as soon as I approached it I had an overwhelming feeling not to enter the enclosure. It was as though something inside the circle wouldn’t allow me go in. I know this is hard to believe but I swear it is perfectly true. I don’t suffer from ‘the vapours’ or have an over active imagination.
But something definitely didn’t want me to be there. It wasn’t evil or malevolent – but it was a very very strong feeling. Like something secret was going on and I wasn’t supposed to witness it. And it happened very suddenly – like walking into a brick wall.
Shaken I moved away and sat beside a stream for 10 minutes to gain my composure. After the feeling subsided and I went back, camera in hand, to the circle. Again, just as suddenly and just as strongly the feeling came over me – I was not allowed into the circle ring. I walked away from the circle and had some lunch – feeling much better – the previous dark thoughts melting away with the sun – quite quickly.
I retraced my steps but this time only walked around the outside of the circle taking photos (secretly wondering if I would capture anything ‘strange’). I took 36 photos and later at home I put the card in the computer only 5 came out. The rest were grossly overexposed and out of focus!
Thinking the camera was faulty I went to the garden and took 200 shots at various exposures and settings and everything was fine. It could have been a knackered SD card (I changed it later) – and I didn’t notice anything wrong on the camera’s viewing screen when I took the shots. It was a 4 month old Nikon DSLR. I thought about sending it for a check up but decided against it – last time I sent a camera away it was gone 2 months. Besides it is working fine now.
Speaking to Paul about this later he said it was a strange place and at least a dozen people have reported much the same feelings – stay out! One lady, Katy from Calderdale, said she would ‘never go there again. It terrified me. I don’t know why, there was nothing to be scared of, but the place just felt awful’. And a similar experience to mine had happened to Paul and his friend one evening.
And strange orange lights have been reported at the circle (I once saw some orange lights on the moors coming from the direction of the circle many years ago – although I didn’t know about the area then). And there are a lot of prehistoric stone carvings in the area too. The circle is near a 7000 year old settlement (although the circle is only believed to be about 4 to 5 thousand years old) and the Regional Archaeologist thinks it may have been used as a religious site for the inhabitants of the settlement.
Anyway, I decided I would have another look at Backstone circle – to see if there was anything I could uncover, although I had no idea what, and so a lovely dawn greeted me on the moors this Saturday morning. With apprehension I approached the circle and…nothing. All was well…I didn’t have any strange feelings and took dozens of pics, all of which came out and some are enclosed here. Only one weird thing though…whilst I was there I had an uncanny feeling I was being watched….