Fiction & folklore!

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

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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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The Black Gate stands as the gateway to the heart of old Newcastle. But what is the dark secret that lies beneath its wooden walkways?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on January 23, 2017

What is the dark secret beneath Newcastle’s Black Gate?

Walk south along St Nicholas’ Street in Newcastle and you’ll spot a medieval building on your left. Surrounded by the behemoth of Milburn House and the engineering of the railway arches, it seems out of place. But the Black Gate once stood as the entrance to the formidable Castle Keep. This 13th-century barbican repelled invaders…

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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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