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Minehead is the scene of the Obby Oss Festival April 30th, May 1st -3rd. The oss or horse is a covered wooden frame with a painted head at the centre bedecked with ribbons. The Oss meets the rising sun early on the 1st of May. In some stories this festival is said to date to a time when the local people scared away Norse invaders by disguising their ship as a sea serpent.

Minehead was also the scene for the seventeenth century ghost of Mrs Leaky 'The Whistling Spectre'. Mrs Leaky was a well-liked and respected figure in the neighbourhood, where she lived with her son and daughter in law. Her son being a successful ship-owner. After her death it seemed that she could not rest in her grave, and started to haunt the area. Her spirit was blamed for many local tragedies, including whistling up the wind to wreck her son's boats, and frightening people in the lonely roads, amongst other mischief. Charles I sent a royal commission to the town to investigate the reports of her malevolent spectre. Eventually an Irish bishop was called upon to exorcise the ghost, which was successful, although she is still said to roam the vicinity of Culver Cliffs.

Reached form the A35.

Image Copyright: 
Alison Topham

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