Norfolk Witches

This is from The Norfolk Broads published 1903  by William Dutt, as described by the rector of Rockland:

He assured me that even now there were men and women in Rockland and its neighbourhood who sought the aid of “wise women” and “cunning men” when a child was lost; who would not allow their relatives to be buried on the north side of the church; and who could not be brought to reject the idea that it was unlucky to disturb the swallows which nested in the church roof. There are old people living in the village who can remember the strange circumstances which attended the burial of a reputed witch. As the hour fixed for the interment approached, a storm arose, which so increased in fury that at the time when the coffin was being borne to the church, and from the church to the grave, the bearers could scarcely keep their feet. So long as the witch’s body was above ground the storm continued to rage; but the moment the coffin was lowered into the grave the storm ceased, “and there was great calm”. When, some years ago, Dr Jessup related his experiences among the dwellers in his delightful Arcady, and affirmed that a belief in witch craft survived among them, there were persons who could scarcely credit his assertion. For the superstitious folk who still cherish strange old beliefs and resort to primitive means of divination are chary of speaking of such things; you may lie among them for years and know little of what is going on around you. But now and again some chance remark, curious action, or inquiry into the origin of a rustic’s nickname, gives you a glimpse into what lies behind a mask of taciturnity, and by patient and careful investigation you may discover how tenacious is the old superstition.

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