Blitz Witch; the Last Woman Tried as a Witch

I recently discovered a YouTube channel that offers a lot of world history documentaries. This morning I have noticed a new one. In it, they investigate the truth behind the Scottish medium Helen Duncan who was known as the Blitz Witch and the last woman tried under the Witchcraft Act of 1735 in England.

Scotland’s haunted castles: would you be spooked?

This is an awesome write up of various castles in Scotland which are haunted. I know we’ve probably covered many of these individually over the years, but it’s nice to have it straight from someone living there.

The Hazel Tree

I’m not at all sure what the collective term for ghosts is:   a presence, perhaps, or a clutch?

Anyway, just in case it has escaped your attention, Hallowe’en is approaching;  if you were unaware, a walk around any supermarket will put this right.  This means that, all across the country, people will be queuing up to be scared witless – or merely entertained, depending on their constitution – by a ‘fright night’ in a haunted castle or mansion.

I’m never quite sure what to make of Hallowe’en – it is over-commercialised, but its underlying roots are as dark as night, reaching back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.   Spirits are said to be especially active around this time because the veil between their world and ours is very thin.

Fortified by this idea, I thought I’d take a look at some of Scotland’s most haunted castles and the stories…

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Abby Normal?? The New Theory Behind the “Bog Bodies” of Scotland

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The village of Cladh Hallan on the Scottish island of South Uist is a site of historical interest due to the age of the village itself. Dating back to prehistoric times, parts of this area give clues to what life must have been like in centuries past. One of the most interesting of these clues was the discovery of two mummies underneath the ruins of an 11th century home–human remains that had been preserved and then re-buried. These preserved remains, theorized to have been kept in the peat bogs to resist decomposition, have fascinated scientists and historians alike for many years. Recently, even more information of these ‘bog bodies’ have come to light that ultimately results in even more questions about these ancient people.

The remains. which were so perfectly preserved they have a nearly statue-like quality, were once thought to be two bodies of a man and a woman. However, recent questions about the structure of the mummies led to DNA experiments, which has led to the new suggestion that they are not the bodies of simply two people–they are instead compilations of several different body parts from several different people. If this is indeed the scenario, what was the human race experimenting with thousands of years ago? Was this a prehistoric ‘Frankenstein’ or part of some ancient ritual, lost to time?

The questions of course are still being answered as more interest grows in these mummies. What has been determined is that the female body is made of parts that were within the same period of time, however the male has parts that are several hundred years apart according to isotopic dating (also known as radiometric dating, or the method for determining the age of an object based on the concentration of a particular radioactive isotope contained within it).

It will likely be some time, if ever, that any type of real hypothesis can be made on why these bodies were pieced together and buried the way they were. It is however, a unique example of no matter how much we have learned, surmised and theorized about life and the human race thousands of years ago–there is still so much we do not know.

Sources:

“Frankenstein” Bog Mummies Discovered
Tales from the Bog

Ghostly image causes a stir

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A photo that appears to capture a ghostly image of a nun on The Long Walk has been causing a stir in the city this week.

Local photographer Jonathan Curran was taking a series of 13 photographs of the picturesque area in an attempt to create a panoramic view when he came across something very unusual in one of his shots. 

One of the images, which were taken less than a minute apart, appears to show an isolated female figure with the appearance of a 19th century Claddagh nun. Mr Curran said he was “freaked” to discover the strange appearance on the camera and checked the other 12 images but the elderly woman did not appear in any of the other pictures.

Story with image