In August 1914, a valiant British Expeditionary Force marched through Belgium to connect with French forces when suddenly and unexpectedly found themselves confronted by the main thrust of advancing German forces. During a massive attack by the Germans, the British troops, being heavily outnumbered and outflanked suffered many casualties, were forced to rapidly retreat.

The supernatural allies saved members of the British Army by leading them across a field to a hidden, sunken road to escape.


In September 1914, a Welsh author, named Arthur Machen published a fictional short story entitled “The Bowmen” in The Evening News, a London newspaper. He was inspired by accounts of World War I, the Battle at Mons, near Belgium, and an idea he had soon after.

The short story described phantom bowmen from the Battle of Agincourt summoned by a soldier calling on St. George to destroy German troops. Machen’s story was not, however, labeled as fortuitous fiction and the unintended result was that he received a number of requests to produce evidence, and sources for the story from his readers, who perceived it as the truth, or a hoax. Machen responded that it was imaginary, and had no desire to create a hoax.

The imaginary story snowballed into an urban legend, later becoming the “The Angels of Mons.” Other magazines requested permission to reprint the story, and for sources. However, Machen replied that he had none.


The Angels of Mons is an urban legend about the intervention of a spectral army of angelic warriors, that stood on the front lines between British and German armies. Over a period of six days, as the battle raged on, soldiers and officers reported that angels dressed in shining white garments appeared during the fierce battle.

The story was even told by German prisoners of ghostly bowmen, led by a tall figure on a white horse, who urged the British troops to move forward. The retreat and the battle were rapidly perceived by the British public as being a key moment in the war.


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