Fiction & folklore!

Writer of dark fantasy & Gothic horror. Blogger of weird myths and folklore.

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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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Chillingham Castle boasts many tales of phantoms and spirits, but who are the Blue Boy, the Grey Lady, and the Lady in White? Come and meet them...

Published by Icy Sedgwick on January 16, 2017

Who are the 3 sad phantoms of Chillingham Castle?

Chillingham Castle stands in Northumberland, some 14 miles north of Alnwick. It dates back to the tumultuous days of the 12th century. Even Edward I, Hammer of the Scots, stayed here on his journey north in 1298. The castle boasts a dungeon beneath the north eastern tower. A rack, an iron maiden and various other…

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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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The Newcastle Castle has seen many weird things in its 849 years. Explore these 3 strange legends of the city centre castle - and decide if they're true!

Published by Icy Sedgwick on January 9, 2017

Explore 3 strange legends of the Newcastle Castle

The Newcastle Castle occupies a strange position in the city centre. Buildings have stood on the site for centuries, dating back to the Romans and their Pons Aelius fort. But the Newcastle Castle was originally founded in 1080 by Robert Curthose, the eldest son of William the Conqueror. Castles were built from wood in his…

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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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What books did I get for Christmas 2016?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on January 2, 2017

What books did I get for Christmas?

I’m not normally a fan of showing off what I got for Christmas. But this is a blog by a writer, and a book-loving writer at that. So it seemed fair enough to show off the books I got for Christmas in 2016! The links are affiliate links but any money generated goes to pay for my…

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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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Where you set your story is just as important as what happens in it. So let's look at how to choose locations to boost the world-building of your story!

Published by Icy Sedgwick on December 12, 2016

How to choose locations to boost your story!

Knowing how to choose locations is the easiest way to ensure the success of your world-building. After all, writers often spend a great deal of their time concentrating on developing authentic dialogue. They need fleshed out, 3-dimensional characters. And they spend hours creating a coherent plot, contained within a sensible structure. But what about setting and location?…

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Mistletoe seems a natural part of modern Christmas decorations. But why has it become linked with kissing during the festive period? Find out here!

Published by Icy Sedgwick on December 8, 2016

What strange folklore lies behind mistletoe and Christmas?

Mistletoe is a strange plant. Neither tree nor shrub, it grows between soil and sky on the branches of other trees. It’s rarely found on the oak and ancient Druids viewed mistletoe as sacred if it was. Felling an oak that played host to the parasitic plant invited disaster. In fact, Margaret Baker recounts the story…

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