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The Quarry Kids

June 2000

Surrounding the residential estate of Otterbourne, a village about 10 miles from Southampton, England lies a large wooded area. The area became a magnet for children in the area to play in. The 'centerpiece' if you will, was a large Quarry that had been disused for many years. One of the more popular games in the summer time for many kids in the area was to slide down the quarry banks and land into the quarry itself (which since closure had essentially become a large lake).

Consequently, on many a dark night was told the story of 2 boys who were named Peter & David Young (although variations on their names were not uncommon) who were swimming alone in the lake one day and decided to slide down the mud bank into the quarry. The story has it that once hitting the water, Peter surfaced only to find that his brother David hadn't. As panic set in Peter apparently exhausted himself swimming under water to find his brother (who he feared had been hurt from the jump and drowned). Being in the middle of the quarry lake meant the Peter found himself without the energy to swim to the lake edge and also drowned.

I'll always remember the time in 1992 when my best friend at the time Gavin (aged 12) came back from swimming in the quarry in the early evening. It was a family B-B-Q and my usually loud and excitable friend was in an uncontrollable state of panic. It took his father at least 5 minutes to even get his speech comprehendible.

Eventually Gavin told of how he was swimming for a while in the quarry, only to place his head underwater to swim. What he saw next is still to this day unclear, however it seems he saw a young boy smiling up to him from the bottom. Assuming it was a friend who had somehow swam down there for a second, Gavin smiled back. At this moment the young boy at the bottom of the quarry changed his expression to a more evil look, and an apparent malevolent grin. Gavin found himself flooded with uncontrollable fear and immediately in a panic swam for the quarry lake edge and ran sobbing all the way home.

Gavin and myself are both 20 now. However Gavin still swears by what happened to him that day in the quarry and refuses even now to go near the place, even after all this time. I remember the look on his face at the time and lying wasn't something I read. What he expressed was uncontrollable fear.

Are the ghosts of the 2 drowned boys still in Otterbourne Quarry looking to either warn off others or drag you down with them?..who knows...

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