Author Topic: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?  (Read 1644 times)

Offline Liza Frank

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Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« on: July 15, 2021, 11:57:37 am »
Hello!

I’m wondering if you might be able to help me.

I’m currently studying for a Masters in Folklore Studies at University of Hertfordshire and I’m working on my dissertation, Are You Afraid of the Dark? How folklore impacts our relationship with dark spaces. As the name implies, I’m researching how people relate to the dark and what effect folklore, stories, beliefs etc have on their reaction to dark spaces (even if they're not afraid). And, given the enormous amount of stories, folklore, beliefs and rituals attached to caves, I'm really interested in getting the perspective of people who work and spend their leisure time underground.

I’ve created a short questionnaire as part of my research, if you have 15 minutes to spare, would you mind filling it in, please? The survey is anonymous, confidential, participants must be 18 or over, and it's open until 18 August 2021. My webpage (https://liza-frank.com/are-you-afraid-of-the-dark/) says a little more about the research, and a direct link to the questionnaire (also included on the webpage) is: https://herts.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/are-you-afraid-of-the-dark 

Many thanks in advance, and feel free to ask me any questions about the dissertation
Liza Frank




Online Badlad

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2021, 06:04:31 pm »
The Hurtle Pot boggart might be of interest to you.  Information in the linked thread

https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=21145.0

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2021, 07:15:30 pm »
There's that well known advice from many Peak District cavers: never whistle underground as it calls up t'owd man".

The late Keith ("Ben") Bentham was always paranoid about folk whistling.

Offline T pot 2

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2021, 07:54:50 pm »
I caved with Ben for many years and the whistlel thing made one trip rather interesting, lathkill head in tiger 5, I whistled (this was before the garden path was open) ten minutes later I tried to get Ben's attention, he'd Buggered off out leaving me beyond the sky dive with little knowledge of the route out, some hours later I arrived at the Monyash layby and low and behold no lift home,
Have any of you managed to thumb a lift home in full caving gear?

Offline A_Northerner

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2021, 08:27:50 pm »
Our team digging Ben's Dig in P8 are convinced that he's left some of his spirit in there. From time-to-time you can get an overwhelming smell of tobacco, I never let anyone whistle while we're in there for fear of angering him.
Sweet is the sound of the pouring rain,
And the stream that falls from hill to plain.

Offline Liza Frank

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2021, 09:11:40 pm »
It interests me a lot! Thanks so much for posting, I particularly liked the paragraph about Hutton going into the cave (another cave not the Hurtle Pot boggart) saying He reported that “a thousand ideas, which had been for many years dormant, were excited in my imagination…Several passages out of Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Virgil and other classics crowded into my mind together”.
which feels really appropriate for my research.

Plus who doesn't love a boggart!

Thanks again
Liza

The Hurtle Pot boggart might be of interest to you.  Information in the linked thread

https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=21145.0

Offline Liza Frank

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2021, 09:14:08 pm »
You never know what's going to happen when you whistle! But I didn't know this was the case with being underground, thank you!

I've made a note, and thanks again
Liza


There's that well known advice from many Peak District cavers: never whistle underground as it calls up t'owd man".

The late Keith ("Ben") Bentham was always paranoid about folk whistling.

Offline Liza Frank

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2021, 09:15:38 pm »
Yikes! Have you ever whistled underground again?

I caved with Ben for many years and the whistlel thing made one trip rather interesting, lathkill head in tiger 5, I whistled (this was before the garden path was open) ten minutes later I tried to get Ben's attention, he'd Buggered off out leaving me beyond the sky dive with little knowledge of the route out, some hours later I arrived at the Monyash layby and low and behold no lift home,
Have any of you managed to thumb a lift home in full caving gear?

Offline ZombieCake

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2021, 09:25:51 pm »
Article and info sent over, just leave space to hide behind the sofa...

Offline Liza Frank

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2021, 10:09:51 pm »
Thank you! I'm very much looking forward to reading it. From behind the sofa...!

Article and info sent over, just leave space to hide behind the sofa...

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2021, 10:18:20 pm »
The questionnaire left out areas to post in I might have done about caves with atmosphere. If you want more PM me.

Offline crickleymal

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2021, 10:33:13 pm »

The late Keith ("Ben") Bentham was always paranoid about folk whistling.
How was he with jazz whistling or classical whistling?
Malc
Rusted and ropy, dog-eared old copy.
Vintage and classic or just plain Jurassic:
all words to describe me.

Online Fulk

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2021, 10:41:24 pm »
What year are we in? 1221, 1321?

Offline Graigwen

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2021, 04:50:00 am »
...
Have any of you managed to thumb a lift home in full caving gear?

More than half a century ago my girlfrind and I decided to hitch out to a lead mine in underground kit. We did not have any luck with lifts at first but then a bloke in a Land Rover picked us up. He worked for a Canadian mining company and the next day I was an employee with a whole new career.

.

Offline yrammy

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2021, 07:58:04 am »
completed your questionnaire - rather interesting. Want to add to the question about when you were afraid of the dark. Was playing in a hall with a friend as a kid. We had drawn the blackout curtains so it was very very dark. We were just crawling about on the floor have a laugh. Then I decided it was time to turn the lights on. I crawled to the wall and worked my way around to find the door and then to the light switch which I knew was there. As I put my hand on the switch....there was  a hand already on it!   Freaked me right out! My bloody sister had just sneaked in and waited .

Down Daren Cilau in Wales ( a long trip in a big cave)  we had got as far as we intended - the bonsai streamway. We two friend decided to go a little further so I waited in the stream. I switch off my light  - so this was them total blackness. The odd thing was that I get thinking I could hear people   - but it was just a trick of the water. But I switched my light back on as it was rather disconcerting.

BTW did you know that  Sheffield Uni has (or had) a folk library? I did an piece of work on corn dollies when I was there in 2005. If that interests you I can send you a copy of my work. I was looking at   The Role Of Corn Dollies In Modern British Society

Offline ZombieCake

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2021, 09:56:54 am »
There were two long letters in Descent 111, April 1993, pages 30-31 under the title of 'The Porth Phenomenon'.  One was by Jim Eyre, and the other by Tony Knibbs.  Both mainly about the large numbers of fatalities in the Porth Yr Ogof cave in South Wales, however, the folklore and paranormal aspects were also touched on, particularly in the Tony Knibbs letter.  I'll forward details.

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2021, 10:17:14 am »
I've just had a memory, of the only time I've felt 'scared' underground. More 'uneasy' than 'scared, but I definitely didn't feel happy...

I was out walking in Swaledale and, as was my habit at the time, wearing sandals that were comfortable for walking and also fine for getting wet. While these aren't the best underground footwear, it saved weight carrying wellies and you soon got used to the feeling of mud between your toes. I entered a mine I'd not been in before, but had spotted across the valley on a previous outing. The water was probably about waist deep and as I moved along the tunnel, I got the feeling that someone, or something, was following me. I stopped and the something stopped. I carried on and the something started following me again :doubt:

Logically, I knew the sounds were my own echoes, or the water that I was wading through and disturbing, but the sensation was pretty overpowering. I kept on nonetheless, telling myself not to be so stupid, but I've never been so glad to come to a complete collapse. I didn't even stop to probe it for a possible dig, I just turned straight around and hurried back out.

I often cave alone and I'm familiar with the sounds of echoes and water underground, but that day, something really upset me and I have no idea why...

Online Tomferry

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2021, 11:14:15 am »
My only bad experience underground was in a mine so I’ll throw it into this subject .

I was in my usual iron mine I had been around many many times never with any issues and new it like the back of my hand , a friend was visiting and asked me to take him on a trip down their I said no as I felt ill , then it ended up two friends came to visit at my house they eventually convinced me ,  I braved it up got of the sofa as I only see them once a year so I thought I’ll make most of it and man up from the man flu !  I had been checking this survey of the mine and had done around 90% of it I thought i would drag them around the last 10% , some reason I had never been in this section I went in feeling absolutely terrible and then spotted a very old ouija board I don’t believe in this stuff but gosh that day I left,  never to return again ! I don’t no why  I believe just feeling ill and also finding that was horrible !

Tom

Offline NeilC

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2021, 12:00:52 pm »
I've just had a memory, of the only time I've felt 'scared' underground. More 'uneasy' than 'scared, but I definitely didn't feel happy...

I was out walking in Swaledale and, as was my habit at the time, wearing sandals that were comfortable for walking and also fine for getting wet. While these aren't the best underground footwear, it saved weight carrying wellies and you soon got used to the feeling of mud between your toes. I entered a mine I'd not been in before, but had spotted across the valley on a previous outing. The water was probably about waist deep and as I moved along the tunnel, I got the feeling that someone, or something, was following me. I stopped and the something stopped. I carried on and the something started following me again :doubt:

Logically, I knew the sounds were my own echoes, or the water that I was wading through and disturbing, but the sensation was pretty overpowering. I kept on nonetheless, telling myself not to be so stupid, but I've never been so glad to come to a complete collapse. I didn't even stop to probe it for a possible dig, I just turned straight around and hurried back out.

I often cave alone and I'm familiar with the sounds of echoes and water underground, but that day, something really upset me and I have no idea why...

Probably going off topic a bit here, but your experience reminded me very much of the way people have often described supposed encounters with the grey man of Ben Macdui (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Am_Fear_Liath_M%C3%B2r)

Offline Pegasus

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2021, 12:22:05 pm »
Filled in the questionnaire  :smartass:

Offline mikem

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2021, 04:29:26 pm »
2 or 300 years ago, people would often put ritual protection marks beside passages that had cool draughts emanating from them, as they didn't know where the air was coming from.

Offline Liza Frank

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2021, 07:07:23 pm »
Thank you!

The questionnaire left out areas to post in I might have done about caves with atmosphere. If you want more PM me.

Offline Liza Frank

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2021, 07:16:48 pm »
Thank you so much for both completing the questionnaire and for those brilliant stories! It's amazing what our imaginations will fill in in the absence of light... (and what our siblings will do to mess with our heads!)

And yes about Sheffield, it has a great library and I believe one of our external moderators is affiliated with all things folklore there. Another good library is at The Folklore Society (https://folklore-society.com/about/the-folklore-society-library/) so if you ever fancy doing some research you should check them out. I love corn dollies, I actually tried (and failed) to make several during the harvest season last year - my big, fat fingers couldn't cope with the weaving though (https://liza-frank.com/20-september-2020-corn-dolly/). I'm not planning on doing any more work with them for now, but it's really kind of you to offer, thank you. 

completed your questionnaire - rather interesting. Want to add to the question about when you were afraid of the dark. Was playing in a hall with a friend as a kid. We had drawn the blackout curtains so it was very very dark. We were just crawling about on the floor have a laugh. Then I decided it was time to turn the lights on. I crawled to the wall and worked my way around to find the door and then to the light switch which I knew was there. As I put my hand on the switch....there was  a hand already on it!   Freaked me right out! My bloody sister had just sneaked in and waited .

Down Daren Cilau in Wales ( a long trip in a big cave)  we had got as far as we intended - the bonsai streamway. We two friend decided to go a little further so I waited in the stream. I switch off my light  - so this was them total blackness. The odd thing was that I get thinking I could hear people   - but it was just a trick of the water. But I switched my light back on as it was rather disconcerting.

BTW did you know that  Sheffield Uni has (or had) a folk library? I did an piece of work on corn dollies when I was there in 2005. If that interests you I can send you a copy of my work. I was looking at   The Role Of Corn Dollies In Modern British Society

Offline Liza Frank

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2021, 07:17:37 pm »
Thank you! It's a great article!

There were two long letters in Descent 111, April 1993, pages 30-31 under the title of 'The Porth Phenomenon'.  One was by Jim Eyre, and the other by Tony Knibbs.  Both mainly about the large numbers of fatalities in the Porth Yr Ogof cave in South Wales, however, the folklore and paranormal aspects were also touched on, particularly in the Tony Knibbs letter.  I'll forward details.

Offline Liza Frank

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Re: Help with dissertation - Are you afraid of the dark?
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2021, 07:19:50 pm »
Thank you for sharing, but that sounded terrifying! If there was a yikes emoji, I'd be posting it!

I've just had a memory, of the only time I've felt 'scared' underground. More 'uneasy' than 'scared, but I definitely didn't feel happy...

I was out walking in Swaledale and, as was my habit at the time, wearing sandals that were comfortable for walking and also fine for getting wet. While these aren't the best underground footwear, it saved weight carrying wellies and you soon got used to the feeling of mud between your toes. I entered a mine I'd not been in before, but had spotted across the valley on a previous outing. The water was probably about waist deep and as I moved along the tunnel, I got the feeling that someone, or something, was following me. I stopped and the something stopped. I carried on and the something started following me again :doubt:

Logically, I knew the sounds were my own echoes, or the water that I was wading through and disturbing, but the sensation was pretty overpowering. I kept on nonetheless, telling myself not to be so stupid, but I've never been so glad to come to a complete collapse. I didn't even stop to probe it for a possible dig, I just turned straight around and hurried back out.

I often cave alone and I'm familiar with the sounds of echoes and water underground, but that day, something really upset me and I have no idea why...

 

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