A SERIES of hand-crafted booklets on the folklore and legends of Cumbria has been published. Read More »
In 1590, King James VI (19 June 1566 - 27 March 1625) of Scotland took a personal interest in the prosecution of a coven of witches from North Berwick who were accused of trying to assassinate him and his new bride Anne of Denmark with the use of Black Magic. Read More »
Penkaet Castle (which has also been known as Fountainhall, Penkaet House and Woodhead) is a 16th century mansion and would seem to have several ghosts. One of these is generally identified as Alexander Hamilton, a beggar who had approached the castle seeking food and shelter, only to be cruelly turned away. Hamilton threw a curse at the family as he was removed from the property. Read More »
Between 300-340AD the Roman fort of Anderitum was built, one of the last and strongest of the south forts. It formed part of the Litus Saxonicum (Saxon Shore) a series of defensive positions designed to defend Roman Britain from the threat of the Saxons. This fort formed the foundations of Pevensey Castle. Read More »
The town of Crickhowell and the village of Langattock face each other over the River Usk. Wirt Sykes in his ‘British Goblins’ (1881) recounts the following story of a gentleman called Walter Jones being taught a lesson by a local inn keeper thought to dabble in witchcraft. Read More »
The following story from ‘English Fairy and Other Folk Tales (1890)’ by Edwin Sidney Hartland concerns a Black Dog that haunted the site of a gibbet in which the body of a witch killer was displayed. Read More »
Salem Village (now Danvers) was settled by European farmers from nearby Salem Town in the 1630's becoming a separate parish in 1672. The Parsonage dated from 1681, and from 1689 when the covenant church was established it was the home of English born Rev Samuel Parris (born 1653 – died 27 February 1720), his family and household slaves. Read More »
The village of Ysbyty Ystwyth is thought to have been the property of the Knights Hospitallier ( Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem) and also, maybe the home of one of Wales infamous magicians. Read More »
Spynie Palace was the seat of the bishops of Moray for over 500 years; the atmospheric ruins now a shell of its former glory. The Palace - like many old historical buildings - has its share of traditions and ghost stories. Read More »
For over five hundred years witches, male and female, practised magic for harm and good in their communities. Most witches worked locally, used by their neighbours to cure illness, create love, or gratify personal spite against another. Read More »
In his editorial David J. Wingfield expressed his hopes that 'The Initiate' would become a forum to discuss the nature of tradition in a quasi-academic context. Well I think he is on the right path and I certainly found all the articles to be both fascinating and thought provoking.
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Demolished in 1905, The Lamb Inn became a centre of attention during the 18th century with an investigated and well reported poltergeist like haunting that lasted over a year. The Lamb Inn dated from 1651 and stood between Gloucester Land and Lawford Street. There is I believe nothing remaining of the old building now. Read More »
The following legend of 'The Wise Woman Of Littondale' appeared in 'The Table Book' (1827) by William Hone (Born 3 June 1780 – Died 8 November 1842) and partially reprinted in ‘Yorkshire Legends and Traditions’ by Rev Thomas Parkinson (1888). Read More »
The following story was published in ‘Legends Superstitions of the County of Durham’ by William Brockie (1886). ‘Mrs. Read More »
A hero celebrated for his hatred of witchcraft, was warming himself in his hunting hut, in the forest of Gaick, in Badenoch. His faithful hounds, fatigued with the morning chase, lay stretched on the turf by his side,--his gun, that would not miss, reclined in the neuk of the bothy,--the skian dhu of the sharp edge hung by his side, and these alone constituted his company. Read More »
IN the time of my grandmother, the farm of Delnabo was proportionally divided between three tenants. Read More »
The following account of the story is extracted from‘Legends Superstitions of the County of Durham’ by William Brockie (1886). 'A case occurred in old Dundas Street, Monkwearmouth, twenty-four years ago, of a child believed to be witched, so that it was shrivelled up to anatomy. Read More »
The local church made from the distinctive stones taken from Hadrian's Wall dates back to Saxon times. The churchyard holds the grave of Margaret Teasdale who died aged ninety-eight in 1777. Items found in her home after her death led the locals to believe she had an interest in the occult and she has been regarded as a witch since then.
In Chelmsford, 1582, fourteen women from St Osyth were put on trial. The charge was witchcraft. Ten of those women faced charges of 'bewitching to death'. Seperate skeletons found in St Osyth during 1921 were thought to belong to two of these women, executed as witches. Read More »
Our modern conventions tend to view the realms of fairies and witches separately. Witches have been viewed as evil, while fairies are seen as benevolent, cute, and kind. As scholars reevaluate witch trials and the confessions of those accused, we are coming to new conclusions on accused witches. Read More »
On 18th April 1943 four Stourbridge teenagers, Fred Payne, Tommy Willetts, Robert Hart and Bob Farmer discovered the remains of a woman inside a hollow Wych Elm (also known as Scots (Scotch) Elm or Ulmus glabra) in Hagley Wood. It has been suggested that ritualistic magic or even wartime espionage may have been behind this murder mystery that after sixty years is still a focus of interest. Read More »
On a minor road between Wilden and Ravensden a strange figure dressed in black has been seen in broad daylight.
The figure has been identified as a witch with a malevolent character.
Directions: The haunted road is a minor road off the B660 between Ravensden and Wilden
In December 2011 a 17th century cottage complete with an entombed mummified cat was unearthed in Barley, near Pendle Hill, an area which is of course famous for the Pendle Witches. Read More »