Fiction & folklore!

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

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Callaly Castle was originally said to be built on Castle Hill, not the sheltered valley in which it stands. Did fairies have a say in its location?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on November 17, 2016

Was the location of Callaly Castle really picked by fairies?

Callaly Castle stands around 9 miles west of Alnwick. Converted into private apartments, there’s currently no public access. Yet the castle features an odd history, and the fairy folk make an appearance in the story of its foundation. So what we’re going to ask ourselves today is… Was the location of Callaly Castle really picked…

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Emily Murdoch is a trained medieval historian and author of historical fiction. Read on to discover why she loves writing historical romances!

Published by Icy Sedgwick on November 15, 2016

Guest by Emily Murdoch – More Fact than Fiction: (Re)Writing History

Historical fiction is actually a guilty pleasure of mine. So it brings me a lot of joy to throw open the doors of my blog and hand over the reins to historical author, Emily Murdoch. Take it away, Emily! More Fact than Fiction: (Re)Writing History When you are a historical author, you are constantly stuck…

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CPD, or continued professional development, is rife in the workplace. But can you apply its principles to your ongoing writing career?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on November 14, 2016

5 Simple Ways to Boost your Writing using CPD

Years ago, if you practised the skills needed for your job, you were ‘learning your craft’. Nowadays, it has a fancy new title, and most professionals are all too aware of ‘continued professional development’, or CPD! The idea is that you continually build and improve your toolbox of skills you need to do your job. You’re continually on top…

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King Arthur is said to rest beneath a range of castles around the UK. But does he sleep below Sewingshields Castle in Northumberland?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on November 10, 2016

Can King Arthur be found sleeping under Sewingshields Castle?

King Arthur continues to hold a fascination for folklorists and the public alike. After all, the deeds of Arthur and his knights are now legendary. They’ve become part of Britain’s mythology. Scholars argue over the location of Camelot. Tintagel in Cornwall is thought to be the most likely spot. But can King Arthur be found sleeping under Sewingshields…

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NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, has become something of a 'trial by fire' for novelists. But why should, and shouldn't, you give it a go?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on November 7, 2016

Why should, and shouldn’t, you do NaNoWriMo?

You pretty much can’t avoid NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) every November. Whether you’re an author yourself, or just someone who knows one, you’ll have seen that acronym pretty much everywhere for the last week. If you haven’t, the general point of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Yeah, it’s not quite a novel, but…

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The Simonside Dwarfs apparently live in the Simonside Hills near Rothbury. They lurk in the darkness, ready to lure unwitting travellers to their doom...

Published by Icy Sedgwick on November 3, 2016

Are the Simonside dwarfs like the miners of Middle Earth?

The Simonside dwarfs are a common tale around Northumberland. They apparently lure lost travellers to their doom on the moors near Rothbury. And as I spent October looking at folklore around witches and witchcraft, for November I’d like to look at folklore closer to home! So come with me to meet the Simonside dwarfs… Let’s travel…

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These 4 weird ghost stories come directly from my own experience. I can't see if they happened, or I just imagined them, but read them with an open mind...

Published by Icy Sedgwick on October 31, 2016

4 Weird Ghost Stories Direct From Real Life

Halloween is a perfect time of year to tell ghost stories. Lord knows I have enough weird ghost stories among my free short stories. But I ran a poll on Facebook and Twitter, and a whopping 93% of the respondents on Twitter wanted me to talk about my own weird experiences, rather than post yet…

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Toxic plants have interesting folklore, but find out why henbane, wolfsbane and mandrake are an essential part of any witch's pantry!

Published by Icy Sedgwick on October 27, 2016

Why are these 3 plants essential in a witch’s toolkit?

We’ve looked at the folklore of toxic plants before. But given it’s almost Halloween, we’re focusing on 3 essential plants that you might find in a witch’s pantry. I give you henbane, wolfsbane and mandrake! Henbane Sometimes also known as black nightshade or devil’s eye, henbane is highly toxic. It’s so poisonous that even the smell of its…

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Ouija boards are portrayed as doorways to hell by Hollywood, but they were originally harmless parlour games. Are they evil or just misunderstood?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on October 24, 2016

Are Ouija boards really evil doorways to hell?

Ouija boards hold a particularly sinister reputation, even among people who might otherwise consider themselves rational or scientific. They’ll happily use an EMF meter, or bust out the cameras and voice recorders, on a ghost hunt. But show them a Ouija board and you can’t see them for dust. If you believe horror movies, the boards are…

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Witch bottles have been used since the 1600s to protect homes and individuals from evil spells. Are they relevant in 2016, or are they just a folk tale?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on October 20, 2016

How to make easy witch bottles to protect your home!

Witch bottles date to at least the 1600s in both England and the US. Despite the name, witches did not make the bottles. Rather, ordinary people made them to repel a witch’s power. If you thought a witch had cast a spell against you, then you’d create one of these to counteract it. In this post…

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