THE FAIRY STEPS: A corpse way between Arnside and Beetham, Cumbria

Supernatural encounters are reported on the corpse road from Arnside to Beetham church in Cumbria. The path which consists of a series of straight sections follows a dead straight course from Hazelslack Tower Farm, named after the ruined stone fortress that still stands on the farm, to the Fairy Steps.

At Whin Scar the straight corpse road is forced to make a series of dog-leg turns as it ascends the scar in two flights of stone steps cut out of the rock. The second flight is known locally as the Fairy Steps and is an immpossibly steep rock-cut stairway at the bottom of a very narrow gully. The idea that pallbearers could manoeuvre a coffin up this cleft is hard to credit.

It is at the Fairy Steps where tradition has it that your wish will be granted by the fairies if you can skip up the stairway without touching the sides. The author has attempted this feat with no success. In places the cleft is as narrow as a foot at shoulder height. Those with second sight are believed to be able to witness the fairy folk skipping up the steps. Danny Sullivan