The Cursed Sailor's Stone within the Devil's Punchbowl

The Cursed Sailor's Stone within the Devil's Punchbowl
12 April 2024 J.W.H

In Surrey, England, there’s an area of ​​woodland on Hindhead Commons called the Devil's Punch Bowl. It is alleged to have been created by the devil himself out of spite and there are various local legends and superstitions. Years later, an unknown sailor was brutally murdered there and is believed to haunt the realm.

Sometimes through the Middle Ages the devil himself, irritated by most of the churches in Sussex, would implement a diabolical plan. Wanting to flood the realm, he began digging a canal from the English Channel through the South Downs. As he dug, he threw up colossal lumps of earth, each of which transformed into local landmarks resembling the Chanctonbury Ring and the Cissbury Ring. The Devil's ambitious project was thwarted within the village of Poynings, now referred to as Devil's Dyke, when the crowing of an alert rooster thwarted his efforts, or so the story goes.

Another story tells of a devil who jumped between the hills, called the Devil's Leap, irritating Thor, the Norse god, a lot that he tried to strike down the devil along with his thunder and lightning. In retaliation, the Devil began throwing dirt at Thor, leading to the creation of the Punch Bowl.

Devil's Punch Bowl: As seen from down within the valley.//Source

What is the Devil's Punch Bowl in Surrey?

The Devil's Punch Bowl in Surrey, England is a big natural amphitheater and viewing area with a singular geological formation. It was formed by a mixture of natural processes, including the erosion of the soft, sandy rocks that make up the basin.

The name “Devil's Punch Bowl” is related to local folklore and legends that try to elucidate its creation. In fact, the Devil's Punch Bowl is the results of a mixture of water erosion and freeze-thaw processes.

It is now a protected nature reserve and a preferred destination for walkers and nature lovers. This place offers stunning views, diverse natural world and a wealthy geological history.

It can be referred to as the location of a gruesome murder that left a stain on the realm, and as the location of a curse placed on the grave of the deceased.

Murder of an unknown sailor

On September 24, 1786, the Unknown Sailor entered the Red Lion Inn in Thursley Village. He was walking to London to board the ship and had drinks with three other sailors: James Marshall, Michael Casey and Edward Lonegon.

According to witnesses, the Unknown Sailor paid for all drinks and food before leaving Hindhead Hill with. This was the last time anyone saw him alive, as they killed him and took his clothes. He got here near being beheaded and left naked within the valley.

The murderers were arrested just hours later after they tried to sell his clothes on the Sun Inn in Rake, now Rogate. Six months later they stood trial and two months after being convicted they were hanged near the spot where they’d committed the Hindhead murder.

The Cursed Sailor's Stone

The Unknown Sailor was buried within the place where he died because of the assistance and money of the villagers. No one knew his name and nobody came upon. It is speculated within the book Who was the sailor murdered at Hindhead in 1786? from 2000 by Peter Moorey that his name was Edward Hardman, born in 1752 in Lambeth, London.

Sailor Stone: A photograph of the reverse side of the Sailor's Stone on Gallows Hill, where the curse is written. // Source: Wikimedia Commons

Another stone, the Sailor's Stone, was placed near Cosford Mill, near the location of the murder. When it was erected, there was an inscription on it:

This caused the local population to develop into superstitious in regards to the stone and the encompassing area. Was this really the devil's place? Was it haunted by a sailor, or even perhaps by murderers hanged on the hill?

They tried to erect a Celtic cross on Szubienkowe Hill, within the place where the scaffolding on which the murderers were hanged, was situated, with the inscription: “Light after darkness. Peace within the passing of time. Hope in the sunshine. Salvation after death.” They did this to place an end to the legends and superstitions that the villagers believed about. But did it help in any respect? After all, people still sometimes claim to see what looks like a lone wanderer wherein an unnamed sailor was killed.


Picture shown: Wikimedia Commons

Devil's Punch Bowl – Wikipedia

Unknown Sailor – Wikipedia

The history of Hindhead Commons and the Devil's Punch Bowl

Image Source:

  • J.W.H

    About John:

    John Williams is a Reincarnationist paranormal Intuitive freelance writer...he is living proof of reincarnation existence, through his personal exploration, he has confirmed its authenticity through visits to the very lands where these events transpired.

    Through guided meditation/s using hemi-sync technology he has managed to recollect 3 previous lives to his own, that go back to the Mid to Late 19th century.

    JWH - "You are the GODS! - Inclusion of the Eternal Light of Love and you shall never die”.

    “Death is Just the Beginning of Life”