Apparition of a Roman Soldier
Location: Thorncombe Woods, Higher Bockhampton
Terror in the Woods
On 13th October 1969, twelve boys from Guy's Marsh Borstal near Shaftesbury, and two adult supervisors set up a working camp within the wooded confines of Thorncombe Woods at Higher Bockhampton just outside Dorchester.
It was during this Autumn evening, that a boy from the borstal came rushing into the camp terrified of a ghostly figure he had seen in the trees. The boy described this apparition as a man dressed in a toga and wearing a helmet, armed with a sword and shield. Intrigued by this ghostly encounter the rest of the boys and the two supervisors went back to the area of the sighting, and were amazed to see the ghostly figure, still there floating silently some feet above the woodland floor.
One of the supervisors decided to approach the figure with a torch, but as he did so the apparition suddenly disappeared. It is interesting to note that when the party from Guy's Marsh Borstal established their camp at Thorncombe Woods, they were unaware that the camp was sited upon the course of the old Roman road that ran from Dorchester to Badbury. This is the reason why the Roman soldier appeared to float, as he must have been standing at the original level of the Roman road.