In the vicinity of Steng Cross, near to the roadside is the eerie site of a Gibbet or `stob', as the Northumbrians call them.
Known as Winter's Gibbet, it was from this that the body of a certain William Winter was hung, following his execution at Westgate, Newcastle in 1791. Winter, (a gypsy) had been executed for the murder of an defenceless old woman, called Margaret Crozier.
The old woman ran a small drapery store in the neighbourhood, which led Winter to believe she was wealthy. Winter slit her throat.
Winter's body was returned to the Elsdon area following his execution in accordance with an old custom that murderer's corpses should be displayed near the scene of their crime.
His lifeless body was fed upon by birds, pecking out his eyeballs and feasting on his rotting flesh, insects and maggots would soon infect the corpse and wild animals would come to feed on any Ďmeatí that would fall from the cage.
Eventually all that was left was his bones, the bones would traditionally be buried at the spot of the gibbet, but itís believed that Winterís bones were scattered, and his skull was sent to Newcastle.
For a time the morbid site of Winter's body, drew sightseers from all around, until the stench from the corpse became so bad that people began to avoid using the road that passed that way.
Eventually the corpse was taken down and burried, but was replaced with a carved wooden effigy of Winter, of which only the head now remains.
This gives the gibbet the curious appearance of an incompleted game of hangman.
taken May 28, in its location on the edge of Harwood forest, a remote spot, high in the windsept Northumbrian moors - where's it's always chilly and very eerie!
His ghost has been often reported, lurking around this gibbet in the twilight.