The nearest Saturday to Midsummer’s Day is Pixie Day in Ottery St Mary, where school children dressed as Pixies re-enact a legendary tale in which the local fairies tried to silence the church bells before retreating to their cave for another year.
Country and County: Ottery St Mary
There is a tradition dating back to the 17th century in Ottery St Mary, where tar soaked barrels lighted and carried through the Devonshire town. Only those who are born and lived within the town are eligible to carry one of the seventeen barrels which begin their journey from outside the local pubs.
The following account of a strange experience by a young Joseph Wilkins in 1754 is taken from ‘The Haunted Homes and Family Traditions of Great Britain’ (1897) by John Ingram though the case has also been mentioned in several books including ‘Phantasms of the Living’ edited by Edmund Gurney, Frederic William Henry Myers and Frank Podmore.