IT’s one of the best known views of Comber.

The Enler River winding its way towards Strangford Lough with a few yachts and other craft tied up haphazardly, often waiting for the tide.

But how many people who gaze down at the view from the nearby Killinchy Road are aware of the unusual name for this small piece of Co Down heaven?

It’s known as the ‘Ghost Hole’.

Comber Historical Society provides two possible stories behind the name Ghost Hole, or Ghaist Hole, which has been in existence since the 18th or early 19th century.

The first story refers to the ‘lengthy journey’ a legless beggar was forced to take while travelling from one side of the town to another.

His only way around was to depend on the residents of Comber carrying him from one house to another. He started off at one end of the town and a person living in the first house would carry him to the next, and so on down the street.

This seemed to work out ‘very well’ for the beggar for a long time, but unfortunately, there was one very unhappy resident who lived in the last house in the row along Killinchy Street.

He always had to carry the beggar for quite a distance across what used to be the railway crossing and on to the next house which was near the road down to Ardmillan.

The story goes that one day, in a fit of temper, he dragged the helpless beggar down to the water and threw him in.

Ever since that time tradition has it that the ghost of the legless beggar can be seen around the area and hence the place was called ‘Ghost Hole’.

The second story, which isn’t as ’spirited’ as the first, may be closer to the truth.

In the days when smuggling contraband into the country was in full force, the shores of Strangford Lough were always a favourite landing place for the smugglers.

This small inlet at Comber was favoured by those who wished to take their goods to Belfast to be sold, since it was the nearest point to the city.

But through time the revenue officers became aware of the operations in the area so the smugglers reverted to the old practice of dressing up with white sheets over their heads and acting as ‘ghosts’ to scare away the revenue officers.

If anyone has heard any other reasons of how the area got its name, please get in touch with Comber Historical Society on and please drop the Chronicle a line.