Magical Mystery Tour: Britain's most intriguing puzzles revealed

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30th October 2017

  • Mysteries ancient and modern fascinate the nation according to new study
  • Scotland's enigma of the deep, the Loch Ness Monster, triumphs as the UK's greatest unexplained event
  • Survey compiled to launch Halloween season for TV channel Really

The Loch Ness Monster, The Enfield Haunting and the Rendlesham Forest UFO have been named the most intriguing British supernatural or unexplained mysteries, in a new study.

The research, specially commissioned to mark Halloween season - #Halloweek - on TV channel Really, gathered the views of 2,000 British adults to identify the eerie and unexplained historical mysteries which continue to baffle the nation.

Topping the list was the Loch Ness Monster, a story dating back to the 6th century and has regularly resurfaced with people claiming to have even captured it on film. It heads up a collection of strange phenomena, disappearances and unearthly creatures.

The top 10 enduring British supernatural mysteries were listed as:

1. The Loch Ness Monster (42%) - In the 6th century, Saint Columba is said to have saved a man from being attacked by a 'water beast' which lived in the River Ness, flowing away from the loch. We are still no closer to solving the mystery 1,500 years after the legend first arose.
2. Stonehenge (32%) - what was it for and how was it constructed? Built on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, it is believed that Stonehenge was constructed in several stages between 3000 and 1500 B.C. How it was built however and the monument's purpose has been the subject of widespread speculation for centuries. Early legends held that Merlin had a giant build the structure for him or that he had magically transported it from Mount Killaraus in Ireland.
3. The Beast of Bodmin Moor, Cornwall (19%) - There have been repeated sightings of a phantom wildcat roaming Bodmin Moor and killing livestock since at least the mid-1990s, but as yet hard proof has remained as elusive as the cat...
4. The Enfield Haunting (17%) - A suburban council house in Enfield, north London was the scene of a ghostly mystery between 1977 and 1979 when 11-year-old Janet Hodgson was repeatedly possessed by the spirit of an old man. The mystery has been the subject of two Hollywood films.
5. The suicidal dogs at Overtoun Bridge (14%) - More than 50 dogs have died by throwing themselves off Overtoun Bridge in West Dunbartonshire in the past 70 years, with hundreds more surviving the fall. And no one knows why...
6. Agatha Christie in her 'missing 11 days' (13%) - In December 1926 Agatha Christie became front-page news when she vanished in bizarre circumstances from her home in Berkshire, England. The crime writer was found 11 days later in a hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire, unable to explain where she had been - or what had happened.
7. The Rendlesham Forest UFO, Suffolk (12%) - Unexplained lights were seen over Rendlesham Forest descending into the woodland on two separate nights in December 1980. When people reached the site where the objects appeared to have landed, they found burn marks in the ground but no sign of debris.
8. The Devil's Footprints (10%) - Early on the morning of 9 February 1855, people in towns across southern Devon awoke to find a single line of hoof-like marks in the deep snow as if they had been branded with a hot iron. Locals quickly decided they must belong to the Devil himself. And more than 150 years later there is still no rational explanation, despite scientific scrutiny.
9. The Highgate Vampire (8%) - Ever since the 1960s, there has been a belief that a vampire has stalked Highgate Cemetery in north London lading to mass vampire hunts, numerous sightings and a huge amount of media coverage.
10. The Hampton Court Ghosts - The palace given to Henry VIII by Cardinal Wolsey in 1528 is said to be haunted by the king along with Jane Seymour and Catherine Howard, numbers 3 and 5 of his six wives.

Mysteries that just missed out on a top 10 placing included The Spinning Relic of Manchester Museum, which made headlines all over the world in 2013 when a 4,000-year-old statuette of an Egyptian called Neb-Senu was caught on a time-lapse camera rotating 180 degrees while locked in a sturdy glass museum case.

Richard Williams, General Manager for UKTV Play, UKTV's on demand service which is hosting over 250 hours of paranormal programming on Really over Halloween, said:

Britain has stories of unexplained phenomena dating back centuries and we have seen new mysteries unfold in more recent decades. One of the nation's oldest mysteries, The Loch Ness Monster, has topped our poll and still baffles the nation today. Nessie continues to capture the imagination of Brits, ever since the first 'photograph' of the monster in 1933 gained worldwide attention. That's why we are celebrating the things we are at a loss to explain with our Halloween season.

Really's Halloween season of programming includes Ghost Adventures and Most Haunted and is available now at


For more information contact Sam Corry or Alex Butler / Tel: 0208 206 5151

Notes to Editors

About UKTV Play

UKTV Play is an on demand TV service providing instant access to shows from UKTV channels Dave, Drama, Really and Yesterday.

UKTV Play is available on TV via Amazon Fire TV, BT TV, Eire, Freesat, Freeview Play, Now TV, Sky, Sky Go, Talk Talk, Virgin Media and YouView. M+ subscribers on Virgin Media or BT TV can also access shows from other UKTV channels including Gold, W, Alibi, Good Food, Home and Eden. UKTV programmes can also be streamed free via the easy-to-use UKTV Play app on PC, Mac, iOS and Android devices. / @UKTVPlay on Twitter.

About UKTV

UKTV is a commercial broadcaster reaching over 40m viewers every month.

The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for nearly 10% of the British commercial TV market. The network delivers inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories. Now celebrating over 20 years at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the first British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list. / / @uktv_press