Nowhere conjures up the spooky mood of Dartmoor more than Wistman’s Wood.
Legends abound about how this small remote wood of dwarf, stunted oak trees hanging with beards of lichen and moss have attracted ‘Wisht Hounds’ – a “pack of huge black dogs with blood red eyes, huge yellow fangs and an insatiable hunger for human flesh and souls” according to Legendary Dartmoor.
On a more down to earth level Wistman’s Wood is one of the highest oakwoods in Britain and is pretty difficult to walk through due to the clitter (granite boulders) that is scattered amongst the trees.
Although the wood is in a remote location it can be easily reached from Two Bridges via a well designated footpath which shouldn’t take any longer than half an hour.
On a summer’s day it’s a pleasant walk alongside the West Dart River, but even at this time of the year you need to keep your eyes open for adders (Britain’s only poisonous snake).
On the other hand, if you want to experience Dartmoor at it’s spookiest, venture out here on a damp, foggy November day. I really wouldn’t suggest you did it in the dark for any number of reasons.
Apart from the treacherous granite boulders that would make the wood impenetrable, the Druids will still be keeping a watchful eye over the ’Wood of the Wisemen’. You’re in ‘Hairy Hand’ country as they say around here, and you would be well advised to leave the hounds to bay for somebody else’s blood.
You’ve been warned. Be afraid. Be very afraid.