Legends tell of a vast treasure beneath Tynemouth Castle & Priory. Did Walter the Bold really find the Wizard's Cave, or does it lie there still?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on February 23, 2017

Did treasure once lie in the Wizard’s Cave of Tynemouth?

Tynemouth Castle & Priory stand on a lonely promontory intruding into the savage North Sea. But local legends claim a mysterious Wizard’s Cave lies hidden in the cliffs below the ruins. Scholars believe Edwin of Northumbria founded Tynemouth Priory in the early 7th century. And tales abound of ghostly monks loitering among the ruins. But we’re…

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Northumberland features many tales of the fey folk - and the Rothley fairies appear in not one but two stories! But what exactly happens if you cross them?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on February 16, 2017

Who are the Rothley fairies and what happens if you cross them?

We’ve discussed Northumbrian fairies before, but this time we’re going to explore two tales of the Rothley fairies. The village lies 2 miles north-east of Cambo and 6 miles west of Morpeth. It’s also known for this rather attractive 18th-century folly, Rothley Castle. Incidentally, Rothley is around 14 miles from Brinkburn. Perhaps the Rothley fairies use…

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Do the Brinkburn Bells now ring in Durham, or do they lie at the bottom of the River Coquet? Find out the legends of this quiet corner of Northumberland.

Published by Icy Sedgwick on February 9, 2017

What is the legend of the Brinkburn Bells in Northumberland?

According to local legend, the Brinkburn Bells now ring in Durham Cathedral. Or do they? As with any legends, other versions exist that place the bells in the river Coquet. Perhaps the water carries the ringing of bells as it winds its way through Northumberland. Either way, several tales of the Brinkburn Bells resound through…

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Who is the Grey Man of Bellister, whose appearance heralds tragedy? Does he still wander the lonely roads and riverbanks around the ruins in Northumberland?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on February 2, 2017

Who was the Grey Man of Bellister?

Many lonely and remote parts of the UK echo with tales of local spirits. The Grey Man of Bellister is no exception. Fond of a (now) ruined castle and a broken road, the Grey Man wanders in twilight. Yet he’s not a regular presence. Some believe he hasn’t been seen for at least 50 years….

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There are plenty of superstitions involving numbers. But what about numbers in folklore? Read on to find out why 3, 7 and 9 are so important.

Published by Icy Sedgwick on January 26, 2017

Numbers in folklore: Why are 3, 7 and 9 important?

Try searching for numbers in folklore. You’ll find all manner of things about mystical maths and sacred numbers. It seems ancient people loved numbers. In the 6th Century BCE, the Greek Pythagoreans founded a system based on numerology. For them, the first 9 numbers held sacred meanings. 3 represented Harmony since 1 meant Unity, and 2 meant…

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Popular culture puts the witching hour in the dead of night - and it's a time for all sorts of shenanigans. But what is it - and does it really exist?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on January 19, 2017

What Is The Witching Hour And Does It Exist?

If you’ve hung around folklore for long, you’ve probably heard of the witching hour. In the occult, it’s apparently that time when witches and demons are at their most powerful. It does also have usage in different areas. So the time your baby might cry every night, or even stock market volatility, is sometimes called…

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Rowan is a popular tree for protecting against witchcraft and fairies. But how did people use rowan to get the most from its protective abilities?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on January 12, 2017

How to use rowan to protect your house (and livestock)

Rowan trees have long been associated with witchcraft and magic. Its wood acted as an antidote against fairies, the Evil Eye and even disease. It even bore the name of the “wayfarer’s tree” since it stopped people getting lost on a journey. But what makes this humble tree so powerful? Let’s investigate the folklore of the rowan. Rowan and…

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You probably know it's unlucky to leave your Christmas decorations up after Twelfth Night. But what other folklore surrounds this often forgotten festival?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on January 5, 2017

Boost your New Year with Twelfth Night folklore!

Twelfth Night is an often forgotten festival in the English calendar. In the Christian tradition, it mark the start of Epiphany. Briefly, that’s when the Magi visited Jesus. It’s moved around the calendar, but now the traditional date of Epiphany is January 6th. And while Twelfth Night is the eve of Epiphany, there’s still a lot…

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Published by Icy Sedgwick on December 29, 2016

Should you buy Accused: British Witches Throughout History?

Should you buy Accused: British Witches Throughout History? In a short word, yes. But that wouldn’t be much of a review if we left it at that, would it? Written by #FolkloreThursday‘s own Willow Winsham, Accused examines the stories of 11 British witches. Winsham starts in Ireland in 1324, while our final witch is as recent as 1944!…

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Holly and Christmas go together like bacon and eggs...but where did the links first come from? And who is the Holly King, who must battle the Oak King?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on December 15, 2016

What are the festive links with holly and Christmas?

Holly and Christmas are like chocolate eggs and Easter. You can’t imagine one without the other. And there’s something so delightfully festive about holly garlands or wreaths in December. But how did this glossy but prickly plant become such a central part of Christmas decorations? Read on to find out! So what are the links…

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