St Mark’s Eve

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  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 . “

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