Near Shere in Surrey, well within walking distance, is the Silent Pool.
This lake is linked with a ghostly legend that dates back to Saxon times.
The legend tells of a woodcutter who lived in the forest that surrounded the lake with his beloved son and daughter. One day, the woodcutter’s daughter, who was a beautiful young woman called Emma, went bathing in the lake. As she was doing so, she was disturbed by the sound of a horse and rider approaching. She had no time to return to the bank to dress, so she waded to the deepest part of the lake to cover her naked body. The stranger on horseback arrived at the lakeside, and seeing the beautiful woman, tried to lure her out of the water. The man frightened Emma, and she continued to wade deeper and deeper into the lake. This angered the stranger, and he rode his horse into the lake after the screaming maiden. Her brother, who had been working in the forest, heard her cries of distress and ran to the lake to rescue her. The young man desperately tried to drag his sister from the water, but he could barely swim himself. The deep water engulfed them both, and they drowned together at the bottom of the deep lake. The stranger galloped away from the water and disappeared into the forest.
The woodcutter searched for his beloved children for days on end, until one afternoon, he dragged their bodies from the water. It is believed that the wicked horseman was Prince John, Regent of Britain, who was known for his evil deeds.
The ghost of the drowned maiden still haunts the lake to this day. Some have seen the pale figure floating on the surface of the water, others have heard her dying screams and pleas for help. The lake’s eerie calmness sends shivers down the spines of many visitors, and hence it has come to be known as the Silent Pool.