jump to navigation
  • Witch Bone Breaking? March 27, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern , trackback

    bone break

    This story needs to be linked with a veritable collection made on this blog of witch bleeding. Interesting here though that not just blood but allegedly a bone will do the trick. And the date? 14 June 1895.

    From Lincolnshire comes a story which in these days of compulsory education seems almost incredible. In a little hamlet in that county there lives an old lady who has been forced to seek the shelter of an almshouse. According to the story, she is a very harmless, quiet old lady, who has seen better days. But she has the misfortune to possess some neighbours who look with suspicion upon her in a very curious way. According to the story, her neighbours had pigs, and these said pigs manifested disinclination do all right thinking pigs should, lie still in their styes and get fat. Besides the pigs there were hens, and these hens showed remarkable objection to laying any eggs. And there were cows, who refused to give the proper quantity of milk; and the cream showed a remarkable disinclination to turn into butter, churn the housewife never wisely. And, most ominous of all, the wife of the neighbour had made a pudding [?] one day, which swelled much in the pot in which it was being cooked that she could not get it out. Whether it is there yet the story does not say. Now, what could the reason for this unaccountable behaviour on the part of the pigs, the cows, the hens, the cream, and the pudding? What, indeed, but that it was bewitched by the old lady in the almshouse, who had been seen to cast her evil eye over byre and poultry yard.

    Now things, of course, get nasty. Jaws music…

    And the farmer and his wife were so convinced of this that the story goes to tell of how they took council together as to how the baleful influence of this 19th century witch could be counteracted. If bone could be broken or blood drawn all would be well, and, incredible as it may seem, the story that this was done by the presiding genius of the poultry yard and the dairy, who fell upon the old lady, pushed her over a fence, and broke her arm. Since then the law has intervened, and it is said that the ‘bewitched’ farmer and his wife will be invited to take part in interview with a local bench of magistrates at a distant date. They are, it is said, however, perfectly satisfied with their efforts to break the spell which has been cast over them and theirs. The pigs snore contentedly in the stye, the hens are laying in business-like manner, and the cream is turned into butter within reasonable time.

    Can anyone parallel this idea of bone breaking? Can anyone fill in the actual location of this witch attack? drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com

    28 Mar 2016: Linda from the Anomalist writes in ‘I’ve just read your item of today’s date asking for info on the case.  It’s mentioned in the Lincolnshire Echo of Saturday June 15, 1895 and occurred at Long Sutton, near Spalding.’ Linda sent in a screenshot. Thanks to Linda and our friends at the Anomalist.

    witch bone breaking

    28 Mar 2016: Bruce goes wide. ‘It was an occasional feature of certain stories I heard as a child. They lay more in the realm of myth and legend. The stories usually revolve around a character named “Jack” who always outwits the natural and supernatural beings that cross his path. I recall a gruesome one where Jack had to trick a witch into grinding her bones into dust to rid the neighborhood of her. “Jack” stories are very common in the central and southern Appalachians and have been for nearly two centuries. It probably reflects on the belief system of an earlier time, or even place, as you’re dealing with a mixed community of immigrants, voluntary or not.’