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  • Prayer Book Marriage Spell February 25, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern

    prayer book

    Location: Magic spells for determining future husbands and wives are to be found throughout Britain. But spells usually involve church porches. This spell with a prayer book is only to be found in the English west country.

    Aim: To see your future spouse.

    Ingredients: table, fire, food, drink, prayer book, attractive partner.

    Method:

    West Country Spell (Anon 1870)

    (i) A young man and a woman come down to the empty kitchen on Midsummer Night’s Eve some time before midnight.

    (ii) The young woman spreads food and drink on the table.

    (iii) The young man open the doors wide.

    (iv) Both sit at the table in absolute silence facing each other.

    (v) Both open the prayer book at the marriage ceremony and leave the book open on their laps.

    (vi) They wait for the midnight bell.

    (vii) They watch the wraiths that come through the door on the bell; these are their future spouses! Note that a walking coffin means that you will die before the year is out.

    (viii) If no wraith or coffin comes in they are to eat the food on the table and ‘make love to each other for consolation’.

    Dangers:

    Choose your partner very carefully for this particular ritual…

    Antiquity:

    Midsummer night’s eve has probably been a magical night since prehistory. Whether such love rituals are as ancient is, of course, unknown. However, the addition of the prayer book (or in other cases the church porch) gives this particular spell a Christian twist.

    Help:

    Beach is very curious about this ritual, but he can find no other reference to it anywhere. Is this an isolated west country spell; or is it simply a slightly risqué journalistic invention? The psychological pressure must have been immense, given the possible (likely?) finale: drbeachcombing At yahoo DOT com

    For references and explanation of the project and tag index: Beach’s Book of Shadows.

    History Roundup 781: Curious 19C Habits February 24, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 781: Curious 19C Habits

    Today’s links follow 1) Dining in the Pyramids: Egypt 2) Spanking Machines: Imagination 3) Self Electrocution: UK 4) Marrying Many: Pacific 5) Women Living Together: Wales 6) Victorian Breast Feeding Photographs: Studio (?!) and from the archives 6) Meteorite Weapons Any links to send in: strangehistorylinks AT gmail DOT com Other links: Irish Airman Forsees […]

    Daily History Picture: Faceless Buddha February 24, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Faceless Buddha

    The magnificent buddhas of Bamiyan

    Working Class Professors in the Nineteenth Century February 24, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Working Class Professors in the Nineteenth Century

    Imagine that you are born in the industrial heartlands of England to a working class family in the mid nineteenth-century. Aged six you are already sent out to earn a crust: let’s say you have to drive a donkey for a cruel master. You never get an education worth the name and still by your […]

    History Roundup 780: Grave Accounts February 23, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 780: Grave Accounts

    Today’s links follow 1) Boat Graves: China 2) Mass Grave: US 3) Magnus’ Face: Orkney 4) Mysterious Animal Burials: England 5) Full Boat Burial: Scotland and from the archives 6) Somers Affair Any links to send in: strangehistorylinks AT gmail DOT com Other links: Col Tempo Sai

    Daily History Picture: Cat Deities and Boxes February 23, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Cat Deities and Boxes

    Sorry…

    History Roundup 779: Supernatural Encounters February 22, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 779: Supernatural Encounters

    Today’s links follow 1) Ghosts and Country Music: US 2) Wollaton Gnomes: Britain 3) Fairy Tale Creatures: All Over 4) Churchill and Aliens: Outer Space 5) Devil: Cairo and from the archives 6) Last Zombie Burial? Any links to send in: strangehistorylinks AT gmail DOT com Other links: Is human evolution over?

    Daily History Picture: Selling Coats February 22, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Selling Coats

    Selling coats Danish style: Copenhagen 1936

    Victorian Urban Legends: Sewer Wealth February 21, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Victorian Urban Legends: Sewer Wealth

    Sewer stories… Several years ago a little German Jew, named Schwartz, believing that in the sewers of New York might be found many articles of value which had been lost, entered them, and for three days wandered through the labyrinth. He was very successful, picking up some 27,000 dols. worth of jewellery, spoons, forks, &c.; […]

    History Roundup 778: Animal Tales February 21, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 778: Animal Tales

    Today’s links follow 1) Electrocuting Animals: the lab 2) The Most Amazing Dog: Germany 3) Elephant Trunks and Trumpets: Medieval Europe 4) Rich Dogs: India 5) Hunting for the ‘Fox‘: Scotland and from the archives 6) Knights and Lightning Any links to send in: strangehistorylinks AT gmail DOT com Other links: Mending marriages with hallucinogens, Inspector […]

    Daily History Picture: Electric Fairy February 21, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Electric Fairy

    British exhibition in the 1950s. A fairy shows children how electrical appliances will transform the home…

    History Roundup 777: Curse Stories February 20, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 777: Curse Stories

    Today’s links follow 1) My Fatal Valentine: US 2) Black Pearl Earthquake: Pacific 3) Lincoln’s Pockets: US 4) Tute’s Curse: Egypt 5) Curse of the Monkey God: the Jungle 6) Cursed Poll: US and from the archives 7) Lost Saucy Roman History Book Any links to send in: strangehistorylinks AT gmail DOT com Other links: […]

    Daily History Picture: Training Wives February 20, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Training Wives

    This was an advertising style for a while. It would be interesting to do a post… 23 Feb 2017: EC I don’t have proof but that picture just screams “modern fake”. I mean, the woman is nude under her apron – THAT wasn’t an advertising style back then! And both that address and that organisation […]

    The Kentish Baboon February 20, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Kentish Baboon

    Here is an unusual story from Great Chart, Kent, UK. It is 1858. On Saturday evening week a person in the employ of Mr. E. Greenhill, at Bucksford-farm, Great Chart, was startled by the sudden apparition of what appeared to him to be an extraordinary kind of animal, resembling a large baboon, in one of […]

    Beating Up Ghosts February 20, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Uncategorized

    It is surprising (or perhaps depressingly predictable) that many ghosts turn out to be men dressed up in sheets. Very often these ghosts are roistered by the local population, who seem to enjoy the hunt: memory of ghost riots… Here are two reminders of why you never want to be that person: when the Scooby […]

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