Fisherman’s Cot in Devon is haunted with spirits of unknown origin, says RICK HALE

Sitting along the shore of the River Exe, in the village of Bickleigh, Devon is the charming hotel, The Fisherman’s Cot.

The Fisherman’s Cot is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful hotels in the south of England.

The Fisherman’s Cot may not be very old, nevertheless it is home to two spirits. One appears to like to have a good time. While the other could only be described as truly terrifying.

The Fisherman’s Cot Hotel

History of The Fisherman’s Cot Hotel

It’s believed the hotel got its unique name from when it was originally a hostel for local fisherman to have something to eat and get some much needed sleep.

Although the hotel is of a much more recent vintage, it’s neighbouring village of Bickleigh is far older.

Bickleigh is steeped in history and it was first mentioned in the Domesday Book.

The village of Bickleigh and it’s castle, Bickleigh castle was a Royalist stronghold during the civil war.

Castle Bickleigh is said to be haunted by some of the Royalist soldier who died when Parliamentary soldiers laid siege to the castle.

Parliamentary troops got word that the king’s wife, Henrietta Marie was in residence. They thought if they captured the queen their side would be victorious

Fortunately for her, Henrietta was able to flee the castle before it fell to the parliamentary soldiers.

Once the castle was in their hands, they went about the business of tearing it down.

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Interesting fact about the castle, it was believed that the castle and stone bridge over the Exe inspired Paul Simon to write the song, “Bridge over troubled water.” After spending a few days there.

The Haunting of Fisherman’s Cot Hotel

As far as the identities of the two ghosts that haunt the hotel are concerned, not much is known.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t make them any less significant. Or, any less frightening.

The Giggling Girl

Over the years, several guests and staff members have reported hearing the sound of a young woman giggling.

The laughter is often heard in the bar area at night when business starts to slow down.

Several guests have further reported hearing laughter in their rooms at night while they try to sleep.

Whomever this giggling ghost is she is not satisfied with just merely being heard.

Her apparition has been seen wandering the halls of the hotel. She has been described as being young and wearing a white dress. And, of course, she is giggling.

She has also appeared in guest’s rooms and awakens them when she sits on their bed.

No one really knows who she was in life. However, some have offered the theory that she was the daughter of a former owner that drowned in the River Exe. And it’s anyone’s guess what she finds so funny.

The Headless Horseman

Standing over the River Exe is an ancient stone bridge constructed sometime in the 14th century.

It is from the bridge that the second ghost rides from. A horrific spectre that lost his head many centuries ago.

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If you just so happen to be outside of the hotel, the area becomes silent except for the clatter of horses hooves galloping at breakneck speed.

While waiting to see where the noise is coming from, your eye may be met by a horrific spectre that should only exist in your worst nightmares.

A headless figure in a uniform appears atop a coal black horse.

The sinister spirit pays no mind to those observing him. Once it reaches the hotel the headless horseman vanishes.

It’s believed the headless horseman was a parliamentary soldier who lost his head as he joined the siege to capture Bickleigh castle.

As for the ancient stone bridge, some believe it is a portal to the spirit realm where entities can come and go at will.

What The Hotel Offers

The Fisherman’s Cot Hotel is well known for its hospitality and charm.

The hotel has 21 tastefully decorated ensuite rooms.

The hotel’s restaurant serves up a menu of both traditional and modern English cuisine.

Out and About

Bickleigh may be a small village, but there is no shortage of things to keep you busy.

In nearby Tiverton and Devon there are a number of art galleries and museums. As well as several pubs and restaurants.

If you like outdoor activities you can take a leisurely stroll down the coast. Or, you can explore the lovely landscape that surrounds the hotel.

If you have ever stayed at the Fisherman’s Cot Hotel, and had an experience, we invite you to tell us about it in the comments section.

Rick Hale
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