St Mark’s Eve

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. Ian Topham says:

    Re: St Mark’s Eve
    ‘Haunted Churches’ (1939), Elliott O’Donnell (27 February 1872 – 8 May 1965)

    Reference has already been made in this book to the belief in some counties that if a person keeps watch in a certain church porch, on St. Mark’s Eve (April 24), for an hour on each side of midnight for three successive years (some consider one year is sufficient), he will see the forms of those doomed to die within the next twelve months pass, one by one, into the church. In Yorkshire it is further believed that if the watcher falls asleep during his vigil, he will die himself in the course of the year. An authentic case of a St. Mark’s Eve vigil is related by Mr. William Henderson. On St. Mark’s Eve, 1786, an old woman of Scarborough went to the porch of St. Mary’s church in order to see into the future. On the stroke of midnight " figure after figure glided into the church, turning round to her as they went on, so that she recognised their familiar faces. At last a figure turned and gazed at her ; she knew herself, screamed, and fell senseless to the ground, but she did not long survive the shock." Mr. Henderson goes on to say : " An old man, who recently died at Fishlake, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, was in the habit of keeping these vigils, and was, in consequence, an object of some dread to his neighbours. I have heard of the rite in Cleveland too, and at Teesdale, and one instance has come before me at Ford in Northumberland . “

  2. Ian says:

    According to ‘The Folklore Of Lincolnshire by Mabel Peacock (December 1900).’ On the Eve of St. Agnes, the Eve of St. Mark, and Hallow-E’en, various rites are practised to obtain a glimpse of the spirit of the husband who has been allotted to a girl by immutable destiny, or to ensure a dream in which he must show himself. With this object “dumbcake ” may be prepared and eaten with the appropriate observances, a supper may be set out to allure the man’s spirit, sage may be gathered to compel his appearance, or other spells may be used.

    Most of the stories connected with this kind of divination have a bad ending, and there is little doubt that young girls frequently allow themselves to be led astray from the conviction that the,”true love ” revealed to them by occult means is bound to marry them by a fore-doomed fate from which there is no escape.

  3. Ian says:

    According to ‘The Folklore Of Lincolnshire by Mabel Peacock (December 1900).’ It is difficult to determine whether anyone .now watches the, porch of the church on St. Mark’s Eve, to see the spirits of all “the parishioners enter the building. But various accounts of this practice as it was observed sixty years ago are still current. “The folks to be married came out arm-in-arm,” says one story, “and those who were to die within the next twelve months never came out at all.” Unless they are summoned by love-spells, or watched for at the church porch, the spirits of living men and women rarely appear, though they have at times been seen by persons gifted with what the Scotch term ” second sight,” a faculty which, according to my experience, is but rarely heard of in Lincolnshire.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *