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20 Year Old Witch Burned Alive, Papua New Guinea (2013)

The following article by Richard Shears appeared in the Daily Mail on 7 February 2013 and was entitled. 'Mother, 20, accused of being a 'witch' and 'killing a boy with sorcery' tortured and burned alive on pile of tyres Read More »

A Witch-Hare at Sedgefield

The following account of the story is extracted from ‘Legends Superstitions of the County of Durham’ by William Brockie (1886). ‘A similar incident* is said to have happened at the small market town of Sedgefield, about seventy years ago. A party out coursing hares raised one in a field near that place, towards which they were astonished to see that it ran direct. Read More »

Abbot William Sadyngton, Onychomancer

William Sadyngton was made Abbot of Leister Abbey on 26th October 1420 and he died in 1442. The Abbot is probably best known for using the occult power of Onychomancy to catch the thief of a silver plate and some coinage. Read More »

Bearnshaw Tower and Lady Sybil

The 17th century Bearnshaw Tower (or Bernshaw Tower) is said to have collapsed in the 1860's when its foundations were dug away by people hunting for hidden treasure. This pele tower though is best known for its association with a witch, Lady Sybil, who's story below appeared in 'Lancashire Legends' (1873) by John Harland & T T Wilkinson. Read More »

Belvoir Castle

Belvoir Castle is home to David Manners, 11th Duke of Rutland, Marquess of Granby. It has been the seat of the Dukes of Rutland for three hundred years and the home of the Manners family over for over five hundred. In ‘The Story of My Life, volumes 4-6’ (1900), Augustus J. C. Hare gives the following story of a haunt like experience at Belvoir. Read More »

Bessie Dunlop, The Witch of Dalry

Bessie Dunlop was known as the witch of Dalry (Ayrshire), she was burned at the stake in 1576 although she was seen as a white witch. Her story is interesting because it outlines some of the folk beliefs at the time. Read More »

Betty Chidley The Witch

Below is the story of Betty Chidley, originally published in Miss C. S. Burne’s ‘Shropshire Folk-Lore’ and then again in ‘English Fairy and Other Folk Tales’ by Edwin Sidney Hartland [1890]. Read More »

Bewitched Child, Wearmouth Colliery

The following account of the story is extracted from‘Legends Superstitions of the County of Durham’ by William Brockie (1886). 'It is far from uncommon, in Sunderland, Shields, Durham, Hartlepool, and other towns and villages, for mothers whose children are not thriving to think them bewitched. Read More »

Black Heddon

This area was haunted by a bright glowing ghost female ghost. This type of ghost has acquired a name due what it wears and is known as a Silky. She would appear in silken attire and according to An Encyclopaedia of Occultism by Lewis Spence, would be "rattling in her silks". The spirit would terrify travelers foolish enough to venture into the night.  Read More »

Black Willie of Hartlepool

The following account of the story is extracted from ‘Legends Superstitions of the County of Durham’ by William Brockie (1886). 'The Rev. H. B. Read More »

Byard's Leap

Black Meg was a man-eating ogress who lived in a cave on the wild and lonely expanse of Ancaster Heath. She terrorised the countryside for miles around, devouring anyone she came across. Her foul, evil spells made the land barren and she used her long iron claws to maul and kill livestock. Read More »

Crossroad Blues


“I went down to the Crossroads, fell down on my knees” Robert Johnson.
When Robert Johnson sang of the Crossroads down in the 1930’s Mississippi Delta, he was paying homage to a tradition that has existed in varied forms for centuries, and at the same time adding his own contribution to the wealth of folklore that exists around the crossing place of two highways. Read More »

Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester

Penance of Eleanor Cobham

Immortalised by Shakespeare, Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester was accused of trying to assassinate King Henry VI using witchcraft; a crime for which she received life imprisonment and perhaps left a ghostly legacy. Read More »


King Duff (930AD-966AD) was son of King Malcolm I and succeeded King Indulf to the throne of Alba (Scotland) in 962AD. Culen, son of Indulf attempted to take the throne in battle but failed. However King Duff fell ill shortly afterwards and in his weakened state could not govern the country properly and rebellions began to break out. Read More »

Galley Hill

A hill called Galley Hill on the outskirts of Luton was in former times the site of a gallows, where public executions would have taken place. Read More »

Hill of Fare

The Hill of Fare was the scene of a battle in 1562 between George, the 4th Earl of Huntly and Mary Queen of Scots, his first cousin. Huntly's wife had been in consultation with the witches of Strathbogie who told her that Huntly would be lying in the Tollbooth at Aberdeen without a wound on his body by nightfall. Read More »

Hoo St Werburgh Witch Buried

On 14 March 2009 a funeral service and burial was held at Hoo St Werburgh parish church for the remains of a suspected witch, buried seven centuries ago and discovered in an archaeological dig in 2007. On 3rd March 2009, The Daily Mail printed the following article entitled ‘Teenage 'witch' decapitated 700 years ago to be given Christian funeral service.' Read More »

In the Shadow of the Highgate Vampire by David Farrant

In The Shadow of the Highgate Vampire

I have known the name David Farrant ever since I first started reading about and investigating the paranormal. Read More »

Isabel Gowdie, Witch of Auldearn

Isabel (Isobel) Gowdie was a young housewife from Auldearn in Nairnshire who is remembered not just for being tried as a witch, but for her detailed confession. Her trial was in 1662 and what makes her confession so interesting, apart from the detail, is that is that it was supposedly taken without the use of torture. Read More »

Jersey Devil –The Origins

Jersey Devil

Over the last 250 years there have been several sightings of a creature that has become known as the Jersey Devil (or Leeds Devil). Described as being bipedal with hooves and wings, the Jersey Devil would apparently dry up the milk within cows by breathing upon them. Read More »

Leddy Lister

The following account of the story is extracted from‘Legends Superstitions of the County of Durham’ by William Brockie (1886). 'A retired farmers wife at Hedworth, who went by the name of Leddy Lister, was commonly held by the people round about to be a witch. Read More »

Llyn Cowlyd

On the edge of the Carneddau range of mountains in Snowdonia lays the deepest lake in North Wales, Llyn Cowlyd. The lake has been dammed so it is unnaturally deep, but it has given soundings of 229 feet, and has a mean depth of 109 feet. The lake is almost 2 miles long, and a third of a mile wide, with the adjacent hills dropping steeply to the lakes edges. Read More »

Long Compton

About a mile from the Rollright Stones, it was once it was said that ‘There are enough witches in Long Compton to draw a load of hay up Long Compton Hill.’ Roy Palmer in his 'The Folklore Of Warwickshire' gives the following brief account of account of someone contacting the D Read More »

Major Thomas Weir’s House

According to an article by Oliver Norton in the Daily Mail on 7 February 2014, part of the home of the occultist Thomas Weir still survives. Read More »

Meg Shelton the Fylde Witch

Meg Shelton (Mag Shelton or Margery Hilton) the Fylde Witch (Fylde Hag) who died in 1705 is said to be buried beneath a large boulder in the grounds of St Anne's Church, Woodplumpton. She was buried in a vertical position, head first with the boulder placed on top to prevent her from digging herself out of the grave, which apparently she had done twice previously. Read More »



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