BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in October 2006We've left it here for reference.More information

2 September 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
DevonDevon

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Devon
Things to do
People & Places
Nature
History
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Devon

Cornwall
Dorset
Somerset

Related BBC Sites

England
 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 
 tinyYour views & experiences on camera & online Homepage Make this my Homepage
David Phillips at Kitty Jay's Grave This Video

Video Nation home.
Sitetitle. Chloe
  LATEST VIDEO
Chloe is worried about repeated graffiti attacks at her school in Plymouth.
VideoWatch this video
Find out moreFind out more


ArrowMORE VIDEOS FROM
DEVON
ArrowMORE VIDEOS FROM
 ACROSS THE UK

Take PartHOW DO I TAKE PART

Download archive films
Download a selection of old films from the BBC archives
Film maker:
David Phillips

Length: 3.5 mins
Date: 2 Nov 2004
Subject: Kitty Jay's Grave

VideoWatch this video
 
You will need RealPlayer to view the videos
(The BBC is not responsible for the control of external websites)
 
Title: Kitty Jay's Grave
David Phillips from Paignton is a founder member of a team of ghostbusters called the Torbay Investigators of the Paranormal. He's also interested in Devon's myths and legends and has been investigating the mysterious tale of Kitty Jay's Grave on Dartmoor.

See also: Ufo

Links:
Video Nation Devon archive
Main BBC Video Nation Website
More videos across the UK
Filming Tips
FAQ's
How to view the videos
Your comments on this video.
Comment on the videos
name:
comment:

Your Comments:


Rhaya
what actually happened?

Reply from BBC Devon: Hello Rhaya: David tells the story in his film. However, in a nutshell, Kitty Jay was a young girl who fell pregnant in the early 1800s, and was ostracised by the local community on Dartmoor where she lived. She took her own life and was buried on the spot where the grave remains today. It's said that fresh flowers appear on the grave regularly - but no-one ever sees them being delivered.

ellie and the olds
we live here and my grandad knows everything about dartmoor!and its a really scary tale to tell if you know the truth

EMB
my nannan visited the grave when she went down there for a holiday, she said there was all nice flowers on it.I think jays story is very sad and now i want to visit the grave for myself

katherine and danielle
my sister does a paranormal investigations club. my mate left money on her grave and heard a voice say danielle i am behind u. she ran. also my mate went on a residental trip to heetree house a face appeared on the wall she went into another room and again there was a drawing of a horse she went back to the room and the head of mary kitty jay was moving. there was also a incident with the boys a carving on the bed appeared saying i am coming to get you. we found all these really freaky and scary these are all true

Mark Neville
i live near jay's grave. i have seen the ghosts and flowers put on the grave. It is not a scary place, it is onli the grave of a 17 yr old girl and she doesnt like tourists disruptin her, make sure u leave money/flowers or u get bad luck.

shantelle
i went to summer school and we went to see kitty jays grave it was so scary

Tash
i would love to camp by the grave and see if there would be any flowers at midnight would apeer and it would be so call if there was gided ghost walks as well!!!! on Dartmoor i live quite close to Dartmoor

george rawlings
grand

daniella sterling
it is a true and definate story and i like it!i went up to dartmoor just yesterday and i saw all the memorials there and the flowers, the money and the gifts and comments!

freddie sliye
i feel that i would like to take part in this work and i would also like to expirience the thought of being a purson who puts flowers there every single day!

eliza
im 12 ive just been up 2 dartmoore for a residential nd we went 2 c the grave

emily
im 14 and we talked about dartmoor ledgends today my teacher told me the ledgend of jays grave also the hairy hands tale it freakedmy hole class out

J and B
One of our dartmoor walks passed this grave and we were intrigued by it. On this particular day there was evidence of flowers being put there (although they were faded) and lots of little twig crosses had been put all over the grass. Some locals told us a little of the story and as soon as we got home we "googled" Jay's Grave and found your video. Very informative and interesting. Thank you.

Sam
I feel sorry for her because she had no paerents at all .

David -TIP
Hi Kris! The group I run-TIP-did a night vigil there once. Likewise nothing spooky happened, but there was one odd thing that did occur! We didn't have the luxury of a generator, so our camcorders were battery powered. At one point a car drove passed us and as its headlights swept across us and the equipment I happened to be viewing the grave through the inbuilt monitor which also gives the battery level reading, and at that moment the battery level increased quite a bit and didn't drop once it had gone by! Maybe the increased lighting made the cam think the nightshot had been turned off thus saving battery juice, don't know-most odd! I've had batteries drained in spooky places but never charged up before!

Kris - Torquay
Back in 2000 as part of my film and video production course, 5 crew and 2 actors reinacted a story that was related to me regarding a young couple who witnessed the mist falling upon the grave and the flowers being replaced, which you mentioned in the clip. We were shooting on 16mm with a generator and lighting, you couldn't miss us! We remained there for 3 or 4 nights in a row, from before dusk till 1 - 2am. We all hoped that something would actually happen whilst we were there but alas, nothing. Not even the flowers changed. Needless to say, knowing what I know It's not that scary anymore unfortunately!

Steve
Okay Having watched the video, I would like to state that the video was very detailed and informative, but would like to add the following. Back in the late 80's/ early 90's there was a TV program called (I believe) mysterious world))part of this program dealt with Jay's grave. They videod the grave using infra-red cameras etc and the outcome was flowers floating through the air to the grave but no-one holding them. Now for the most un-believable part. I myself went to the school about 10 minutes walk away from the grave.The following happened to myself and a friend of mine named Richard one Sunday afternoon sometime in the summer of 1983.(Although I feel ashamed to admit what we done that day) Both of us went for a walk to Hound Tor and on the way back we decided to check the grave for money. Even back then people used to leave money. Having found a few of quid under the flowers we decided to take it. (we only used to get 60p pocket money in those days, so a few quid was a bonus). Anyway walking away from the grave and around the first corner we could hear horse beats on the road behind us, this was something new to us, as having been at the school since 1979 we had never known horses to travel this road in group's, especially at speed. As most teenagers do we looked at each other and decided to run. We got to the next bend and looked back, what greeted us S**t us up real bad, we saw a carriage with 6 horses and a headless driver, at this we threw the money away and belted for the school grounds. To this day I have never forgotten this and every time since that day whilst at the school I avoided that side of the road where possible. It is only today that I reveal this issue as this is the first time I have seen this site and remembered that day. It was I day that although I would like to forget never really will. Steve

peter b
thanks for an interesting vid< I will br taking a group of school children to the grave soon thank for the information and background

David TIP
Thanks Margaret! It's not far from Widecombe. Head out of Widecombe towards Haytor then turn off to the left on quite a sharp turn signposted Manaton. Go past Hound Tor on right and keep heading left at the junction. Keep following the road and eventually you will come across it on the left hand side. There is a small pull in on the right if you want to stop and have a quick look. Hope you find it! It is marked on the Dartmoor ordinance survey map.

margaret
I would like to see this how can i find out where it is love the flim

sammi
btw i think this is really interetsting and its scary i wanna find out more bout it xxxx

David TIP
Thank you Martine for your kind comments! It's always nice to know that ones efforts are being appreciated all around the world! If you would like to see and hear more about Dartmoor on the internet could I suggest a site called "virtually Dartmoor"? It shows images and peoples views and experiences from the moor. Shortly a new section will be added about the area around Postbridge which will feature yours truely talking along with others about the myths and legends in that part of the moor! Enjoy!

Martine - Belgium
This summer my daughter and I visited Dartmoor and were as fortunate as to be "guided" by two lovely friends we met some years ago in Shropshire and who live nearby. They drove us past Jay's Grave and told us the story, which of course, intrigued us ! Now, getting into sorting out the photos and trying to "reconstruct" our holiday, I thought I might find something about it on the internet. You can imagine what a nice surprise this page was. I really enjoyed watching the clip, things like that take the beauty and grandour of Britain a bit closer to those who aren't lucky enough to be able to call it their home country !

Danni age 15 from Dartmoor
i no the legend of kitty jay, she worked in the country and a rich man fancied her and got her pregnant out of wedlock, she was so upset and scared that she commited suicide and the rich man moved away up country. as she died of un-natural circumstances she was buried at a cross-roads. when her bones were found the discoverers thort she was a man until they found the bones of the little baby inside her, i hope this has helped someone!

siobhan
hya i recebtly visited Kitty Jay's garve and evertymorning there appeared to be freash f lowers.

Nicki
Hi I'm eleven and I went ona residental to Heatree House with my school. There is where she worked in the barn now bedrooms!

David TIP
Well you have come to the right place! Just play the video clip and all will be revealed! Feel free to ask if you have any further questions. If it's musical inspiration about the grave you are after, try Seth Lakeman's album "Kitty Jay".

David TIP
Hi J and C! Re the farmer and his jeep-there are a lot of farms in that area and it is just possible that he goes out every night at the same time checking up on his land before going to bed at night and that's why you saw him at the same time because you were there the same time too! If it is related to the grave, maybe it's someone who likes to add flowers to the grave but won't do it whilst others are around, so perhaps you scared them off which is why they didn't look at you! I haven't heard of any phantom farmers or jeeps on the moors up to now! Maybe he thought it a bit odd seeing you there both times!

james and carly
me and my friend went to jayes grave twice at around twelvish, both times , the second time at exactly 12 o clock an old fasioned geep thing drove past as soon as it was midnight. it was quite strange that it was the only other car we had ever seen and it was the same one both times, the farmer in the old car did not even look at us either times. does anyone know anything about it or had the same experience?

David TIP
Hello readers and those interested in this video clip! This is a polite request-about a month ago a friend of mine left an "offering" for Kitty Jay on the grave, now it has gone! If anyone has taken it for safe keeping or knows of anyone who "tends" the grave removing stuff after a certain period of time, please could they either place it back on the grave or get in touch with me for it's return! They will know what the object is as "she" came in her own container! Unfortunately for anyone taking it with "bad intentions" "she" is guarded by an army of orcs and a balrog!-my friend is a big LOTR fan!-so they should keep looking over their shoulder! My friend has another that may be placed there at some point-that will be a lot better protected I can assure you! I will keep you posted on developments! This is just a harmless experiment to see how long things do last on the grave and an attempt to find out who does remove them!

Jess Short
I went to Dartmoor friday 10th march and there was Flowers lad on the Grave. So the legond must be true kk i will watch the video now kk bi thanks

alex prankard
i think the story of jay is relay quit strange how the flowers allways changes and on some ocasions the monlight shines on a dark figuer with its hands in its head i think that figuer is the man that left her

David TIP
Hi Mo-Flowers have been appearing at the grave for many many years now. Some say that the authoress Beatrice Chase(1874-1955) who lived on Dartmoor and wrote about it may have started the custom. Nowadays it is quite a common sight to see floral tributes left at the sites of tragedies, something that has escalated since the untimely demise of Princess Diana. Possibly this has become the British way of dealing with grief-leaving flowers. Jay's grave is now benefiting from this practice.

mo
hi, can you tell me since when the flowers start to show up.

David TIP
Hi John! Thanks for your comments. The coins are always coming and going! I'd like to think that whoever takes it used it to buy new flowers but that's possibly wishful thinking! To date have never come across any bodies of people struck down for taking it! As yet I have not seen any records of her death but it is a fact that bones were uncovered and reburied at that spot. I was not suggesting that witchcraft is carried out at the grave just that there is a very strong connection between the symbolism of dogs and bears and the goddess Hecate worshipped by witches! She also has a connection with crossroads and the dead!

John Birch
I see someone has taken the coins, no doubt 'bad luck' will follow them. How much of the Myth has been reseached and found true? Deaths were always recorded, is here a record of this one? Just because someone leaves a bear they got with a meal, it does not incure whitchcraft.

David TIP
Hello Marys! Glad you like it! When you say moved-do you mean the grave wasn't at that spot or that it was angled differently? Could it be that the walls around the grave have been altered or the track leading to the gate has been widened? When she was originally buried there it was an unmarked hole in the ground! It was only when the land owner dug up her bones that she was reintered with the mound and headstone-but we are talking well before the 1950's! I think this is a case of the memory playing tricks or the landscape having changed around it-as far as I'm aware the grave has always been at that spot but if I find any other explanation I will post it here!

mrs mary white
my neighbour and i enjoyed watching your video its a subject that s often talked about between us my neighbour visited the grave in the 1950 s and revisited in the 1980 s with myself only to find the grave was nt in the same position we have tried on numerous occasions to get to the bottom of it but just draw a blank can you help ? mary white and mary fry

David TIP
Seems they were heading back to the cottage! Make contact via our website www.tipfiles.com. We have meetings on Monday nights at Churston Court near Brixham. We will see if we can arrange for you to see the video/pictures.

kirsty
hi david i have to say that when i read your reply to my story i was gobsmacked and really freaked out at the thought of what i had seen a pyscic has actully drawn, i would love to see those drawings to see if it is what i saw, and would also like to see that documentary too. as to your question in which way they went, they walked away to the left as we were facing the grave.

David TIP
Hi Kirsty, thanks for your story. I must confess that although I have spent time there during the hours of darkness with members of my group, as yet we have not seen any "figures" there! However what you saw fits in with a documentary programme that was made a number of years ago now. A woman I know who is a psychic artist was taken to the cottage nearest the grave to see if she could pick up and draw anyone associated with Kitty Jay. What she drew was the figure of an old style vicar/preacher and an old lady! I have the documentary on video and my friend hopefully still has the drawings-would love to know if they match what you saw! One thing I would like to check is which direction they went in-from the parking space looking at the grave to the left towards the cottage or right down the lane?

David TIP
Hi Kirsty thanks for your story.I myself have never seen any spooky figures around the grave even though I have spent a few nights there with the group I run. However some members of the group claim to have seen a girl and older woman there psychically! More interesting are the drawings that a friend of mine drew for a TV programme a number of years ago. She is a psychic artist and was asked to do a sitting at the cottage nearest to the grave to see if she was able to pick up anybody associated with Kitty Jay. What she drew was an old fashioned vicar/preacher and an old woman that looked like the one my friends had seen psychically! Seems to fit what you saw too! Would be interested to know which way they walked-as you look at grave from parking spot did they go left towards the cottage or to the right down the lane? Posted 13-1-06

john and charlie
cool to see kitty jays grave

kirsty
Hi David sorry but igot cut off just now before i had finished my story. As i was saying they looked like they were preying then they got up walked away in the direction they came from , so we followed them in our car and they just dissapeared. As you can imagine we were screaming and everything because we could not believe what we had jues seen. I would love to no if you or anyone else has seen these two figures.

kirsty
Hi David I would just like to share my story with you, about 14 yrs ago me and 3 friends went to Jays grave at half eleven at night because the night before they had seen 2 people put flowers down. So because i like anything about ghosts they took me up the following night. As we sat there for quite a while these two figures walked towards the grave, not even looking at us in our car, one was a tall man grey hair grey face wearing wot looked like an old fashioned long vickers outfit. The other was shorter and looked like a female, she was wearing a long black hooded cloak. They went over to the grave crouched down and layed flowers on it, they looked like they were preying too.

David T.I.P.
Hi Margaret,glad you liked it. Could I ask whereabouts your daughter is buried. Is it in Devon? I presume it's in a church graveyard? Are you aware of any neighbouring graves having similar tributes left? Would love to know more details.

Margaret
Hi, just watched the video, fascinating. I hadnt heard of jays grave before, but a friend sent me the link because a similar thing is happening at my daughters grave. Flowers just appear there, and i have checked with family and friends, and its none of them. I dont mind anyone leaving the flowers there for my daughter, but it does leave me curious as to who it could be. This has been going on for approximately 18 months now. Anyway David, keep up the good work. Thought the video was well worth watching, thanks.

amanda
great

David T.I.P.
Hi! Just keeping you all updated on developments at the grave. When I passed by at the weekend I saw the latest addition to the flowers and other offerings-a solar powered garden light no less! So if you come across it late at night and see it shining away, don't panic! It's not Jay's spirit come back to haunt you,just some kind soul providing you with a guiding light to help you on your way!

stace
went to school just down that path behind the grave, down that lane, many years ago back in the 80's, and had many thoughts about as to why money was left there, but aswell as some not mentioned in the video clip. would really like to no if anyone no's anymore on this, but the video clip was well worth watching thanks david.

Marie Gray
Maybe one day we will find out more. A great video.

Karen and Steve
It was great to meet you at the graveside purely by chance a few weeks ago! As you may recall Steve has studied the history of Kitty Jay too. We were particularly interested in the more recent events though....Knew nothing of that.

David Phillips T.I.P.
In answer to the people enquiring about the leaving of money at the gravesite. Traditionally it was just flowers but in more recent times other offerings and money have been found there. The abundance of flowers and the wish to leave them may come from more recent experiences of the tributes left for Princess Diana. The money is probably left in the belief that it is lucky to do so, in a similar way to throwing money in wishing wells etc. The practice of leaving monetary tributes to the dead is an ancient custom steming from the Greeks and their belief that in order to pass into the underworld the deceased had to pay the ferryman, Charon, to ferry them across the river Styx. To this end the dead were often buried with coins covering their eyes to be removed by Charon as the payment. However the leaving of "toys" + other objects possibly have other connotations as I mention in the video.

cat plymton
yeah i agree with Fred there is ment to be 1 pennt left there by the grave and freash flowers everyday did that happen? i think it is sad why dont we just let jay go to rest r.i.p. jay

bill
pity she did not carry the birth and confront it with the father? that would have been a better upset than taking away all evidence,or,,,was it something other??

Fred from Plymouth
I've just watched the video clip of David Phillips tell the story of Kitty but he never mentioned about the money being left. Is it lucky to leave coins or something else.

David Phillips
Me again! As I mention in the clip, over the last year or so various childrens toys have appeared on the grave, mainly dogs + bears. If anyone knows who is responcible for leaving them there I would very much like to hear from them as part of my on going research. Thank you.

David Phillips
Firstly, thanks for all the compliments about my little offering! For those like Roger who want to know more about my group T.I.P. look no further than this very website! You will find a couple of links in the news section. For those that live locally we meet every Monday night at the Churston Court Hotel just outside Brixham from about 9.00pm onwards-all are welcome, especially those who have interesting stories to share with us or better still to offer us places to investigate! Look out for more of my video clips in the New Year apparantly!!!

brian...australia
went there many years ago, just as mysterious now as it was then !

Roger
Great video - I would be interested in learning more about David's Paranormal group, can anyone join? If so, where can we get details? Cheers, Roger

Dan Rayner
very informative! if you read this dave, i have recently made two 15 minute films about the grave, which you may like to see. Go to www.medtheatre.co.uk to get in contact. We also have information regarding where the flowers may come from... ;)

John
Enjoyed very much look forward to a visit

Lou
Hey. Great story!

Edward
I remember going to Kitty Jay's grave with some mates when I was a teenager. We spent all night there on a vigil hoping to see something or someone, but we didn't witness anything out of the ordinary. But I've always been fascinated by the appearance of flowers, which happens all the time. I don't think there will ever be an explanation for it.

Jo & Tom
hi Dave! just watched your video and thought it was great, any more info on the hecate aspect? all the best. Jo & Thomas

 



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy