Man Proposing on 'Haunted Hill' Discovers Ring Is Mysteriously Missing

Planning to propose? If so, you might want to avoid the Simonside Hills in Northumberland National Park.

Located in the north of England, the region is reportedly home to a race of evil dwarves known as the Duergar. Said to possess magical powers and metallurgical skills, according to a 1993 dictionary cited by the park's website, the Duergar make a point of pranking the human beings they encounter, sometimes with fatal consequences.

In one folktale, a man traveling to the neighboring town of Rothbury meets such a dwarf. Once the sun comes up, however, the man is horrified to see that he was nearly tricked into plummeting to his death, according to a 1944 collection of folk tales cited by the park's website.

"Had he leaned over to the left to reach the other gate-post, as the dwarf had challenged him to do, he would have fallen down the cliff and killed himself," the tale reads.

However, chemistry student George Goddard, 25, didn't take local mythology into account when he decided to propose to his girlfriend Isobel Neal, also 25, in the hills.

With the intention of picnicking, the two hiked 1,312 feet to the summit one day last week. When Goddard reached into his pocket to take out the box that contained the £1,000 ring he'd bought back in October, he was shocked and horrified to realize that it was missing.

"I then realized there was a hole in the pocket, meaning at some point on the walk the ring would have fallen out," he said, according to Staffordshire Live via the Southwest News Service (SWNS).

When Neal saw his distress, Goddard spilled the beans. Carefully retracing their steps, the two searched the hills for four hours to no avail.

"It was in a bright blue box so it would be pretty obvious if it was left. I was just hoping that someone would pick it up [and] keep it safe until they found out it belonged to me. We were even asking people in the car park and got lots of shock reactions and sympathy," Goddard said, according to SWNS.

On the drive home, Goddard alerted a Rothbury Facebook group, according to the Northumberland Gazette. Member Steven Bridgett saw Goddard's plea for help and put him in contact with a person who had posted about finding a ring in the middle of the trail that day on their personal Facebook page. Once Goddard picked it up from the person's residence, he popped the question. The happy couple hopes to wed next summer, according to the outlet.

"I think the notorious Duergar were having some fun with us," Goddard said, according to SWNS. Thankfully, he added, "We got the ring back, but Isobel might leave it at home next time we visit the hills to be on the safe side."

Other supernatural creatures said to dwell in the Simonside Hills include elves and will-o'-the-wisps, tiny, floating lights that lead lost travelers astray.

A hillside blooms in California.
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