Dead Man’s Acre is an acre of land on the side of the hill below Selsley Common in Stroud, Gloucestershire, England. It is noticeable from virtually anywhere in the town from which the common can be seen. It is noticeable because it is surrounded by a hedge and wall, which makes it look like an island in the mass of common.

The plot gets its unusual name from local folk story: when all the land of Selsley Common was to be enclosed, the locals protested, preventing the land from being taken from them. One man however, struck a deal that he could take possession of all the land he could enclose in one day. However, he was too greedy and, the effort of enclosing a full acre took his life, and he was found dead the next day, lying in the field. The story is occasionally embellished with details suggesting the man made a pact with the devil.

And so the field got its name of Dead Man’s Acre.

Nowadays the field is a small private owned plot of land, it has a fence running through the middle and a small barn at the far end. It is often a dare at Halloween to camp in the field for a night, and so you occasionally find a tent in the middle of the field, with a few freaked out teenagers sitting telling ghost stories inside.

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