Filed under superstition

A Witch Saved

This is from Felix Farley’s Bristol Journal from 1773: A few days ago, at the Village of Seend, in Wiltshire, a Report prevailed, that a Woman who was dangerously ill of a putrid Fever, was bewitched, and this Report excited the Curiosity of Numbers of her Neighbours to go and se hr. The Fever attending … Continue reading


Norfolk Witches

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 … Continue reading

Superstitions in Cambridge

Superstitions in Cambridge

These are from the Cambridge Local History Museum : This is a witches’ bottle, designed to dazzle a witch to prevent her working evil: And this is the local equivalent of a voodoo doll, with pins stuck into it, called the Corp Chreadh or clay body. They could also place it in water so the … Continue reading

How Old and Ugly Were Witches?

I have always worried at the bad images we have of witches, especially those who were punished for their ‘crimes’. The image of an ugly, isolated old woman just doesn’t seem to fit many of the cases, in particular the famous Pendle witches. The old hags seem more cartoon characters. Many pamphlets and ballads were … Continue reading

A Local Witch

This comes from Joseph Ashby of Tysoe 1859-1919, a real goldmine of  first person details. This is unusual as it shows the boys misbehaving, but also the old woman treating them with what seems to be benign indifference. Was this sort of behaviour so commonplace at the time? Or did she know they meant no … Continue reading

A Poem on Sprites, From 1600

This is a small piece from Hobgoblin & Sweet Puck Fairy Names & Natures by Gillian Edwards In old wives’ dais, that in old time did live (To those odd tales much credit men did give) Great store of goblins, fairies, bugs, night-mares, Yea, far more sprites did haunt in divers places Than there be women … Continue reading

Folklore Meets Bunga Bunga

Folklore Meets Bunga Bunga

This is a gem from a great book, A Field Guide to the Little People by Nancy Arrowsmith with George Morse. It’s one of the most useful books for anyone interested in folklore as it details the little folk, their behaviour, and where they can be found. This is my favourite one, the Barabao, which is … Continue reading

Wingrave Witches

This comes from Highways & Byways of Buckinghamshire, and shows not all witch accusations were accepted. This one seems particularly lame, again from the village of Wingrave : William Wooley, who was vicar here for 1753 to 1783, was a great witch-hunter in years when the belief in witchcraft was happily dying out. It is … Continue reading

The Bogle of Mulgrave Woods

This is from Highways & Byways in Yorkshire where the author mentions country stories of gnomes and fairies that may continue their pranks today: There was one such in those Mulgrave Woods… Her name was Jeanie; she may still e there for aught I know, but few will go look for her when they hear … Continue reading