All Things Green Man & The Traditional Jack-in-the-Green

Archive for Dec 24, 2008

The Green Man

Remember me, try to remember.

I am that laughing man with eyes like leaves. 

When you think that winter will never end,   

I will come.  

You will feel my breath,  

a vine caressing your foot. 

I am the blue eye of a crocus,  

opening in the snow,  

a trickle of water, a calling bird, 

a shaft of light among the trees.  

You will hear me singing 

among the green groves of memory, 

and the shining leaves of tomorrow. 

I’ll come with daisies in my hands 

we’ll dance among the sycamores once more.

(Lauren Raine)


Green Man Ghosts?

 The following report is taken from the pages of the South Bucks Star of September 26th, 1986:

 Phantom of the Forest 

A GHOSTLY figure dressed in green startled two motorists as they drove past a crematorium just before midnight.

The apparition suddenly loomed up at the side of the road sending shivers down the spine of driver Mark Nursey and his girlfriend Allyson Buleptt, who was in the car behind.  

Mark, of Hepplewhite Close, High Wycombe, said: “The most uncanny thing was the way it stood. It seemed to be wearing what I can only describe as a big green jumper. I couldn’t make out the head or hands. It seemed to be stooping but was about 5ft 11ins tall and well built.”  

The ghost was seen outside Hughenden Crematorium, Four Ashes Lane, Cryers Hill.  

One theory is the figure was the spirit of the forest, a green man, as depicted on a number of pub signs in the Chilterns. He is also related to Herne the Hunter, spirit of the forest as depicted on TV’s Robin of Sherwood.  

A green man is also said to haunt the woods at Fingest. Ghosts are traditionally seen around midnight – the witching hour – and around graveyards.  

Another clue to his appearance may be a ley line passing near the haunted spot. Ley lines – alignments of ancient sites such as churches, stone circles and holy wells – are thought by some to possess mysterious powers.  

 Strange Folklore Society, based in High Wycombe, is investigating a ley line that starts at the end of Four Ashes Lane.  

On the line is a pond said to be inhabited by a dragon, St Mary’s Church, Princes Risborough and a holy well desecrated last year by black magicians.  

Speen Witch’s Stone – said to cover buried treasure but guarded by the ghost of a witch or highwayman – is also on the ley line. The green man ghost in Four Ashes Lane was standing just yards from the ley line.  

After reading the previous article another witness came forward and this is the report that appeared in The Star of October 17th, 1986:  

“ANOTHER witness of the phantom of the forest has recalled his terrifying ordeal. The seven-foot tall green ghost was seen by warehouseman Phil Mullett just yards from where 21-year-old Mark Nursey saw the figure on Four Ashes Road, Cryers Hill, near High Wycombe.  

Mark’s sighting, reported in the Star, September 26, happened just before midnight by Hughenden Garden of Rest on the road. His girlfriend Allyson Bulpett also saw the ghost. When Phil, 28, of Dashwood Avenue, High Wycombe, read the account he realised Mark had seen the same figure he saw eight years previously.  

Phil said: “It gave me quite a shock to read it. The account was so close to my own. It was about 9.30pm when I drove into Four Ashes Road and on turning my car lights on full I saw this green person appear from the right hand side of the road. It drifted out to the centre of the road and turned towards me. It waved its arms, not to frighten but as if to warn me to keep back. It drifted into the hedge on the other side of the road but as I got closer it came out again to the centre, turned and lifted its arms. I knew I was going to hit it. I think I cried out or shouted something.” 

Phil braked and although he must have hit the figure when he got out look there was nothing there. He said the figure was bright green but appeared to have no legs or hands. The body was solid and it stood about seven foot tall. Instead of a face there was just a misty grey round shape.  Strange Folklore Society is investigating the sightings.

Although presented in typical tabloid fashion (Has anyone actually ever seen a ghost in a greveyard at midnight!!!) the above experiences are nonetheless fascinating, does anyone else know of any similar reports? Please add as a comment or e-mail me at

A Riddle

I am born on May Morning by sticks, bells, and ribbons
I am the sap in the dark root
I am the dancer with his six fools
I am the tump behind the old church
I am the lost soul under the misericord
I am the oak against the stars
I am the face that peers through the leaves
I am the fear in a childs mind
I am the demon on the roof-boss
I am killed in October and laid on church altars
I am the guiser on the bright bonfire
I am the old grain sown with the seed
I am the flame in the pumpkins grin
I am the spirit in the kern-baby’s bosom

To add your favourite Green Man poem or verse (or even your own composition) either coment via the tag below or e-mail us at: