jump to navigation
  • Plague Oak at Wrexham (and Fairies) May 12, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Plague Oak at Wrexham (and Fairies)

    There are a number of fairy oaks in Wales, as Chris from Haunted Ohio Books, previously illustrated. But this one, the fairy oak of Wrexham, is particularly interesting because of a curious legend associated with it. This article appeared in a book of Welsh poems in 1837. Apparently the fairy tree had grown on a […]

    Lee’s Luck May 11, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Lee's Luck

    Robert E. Lee led the army of North Virginia, the central institution of the Confederacy, for just under three years (1862-1865). In that time he was able to rely on the most important military resource of all: not acumen, not courage, not atom bombs but sheer dumb luck. In Lee’s case the luck was deserved: there […]

    Burning Libraries: Lost Yorkshire Folk Collection May 10, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Burning Libraries: Lost Yorkshire Folk Collection

    Beach has frequently pointed to burning libraries, lost books or in this case lost sheaves of papers. First, let’s introduce the author ‘Ariel’ writing in the Blackburn Standard in 1892. ‘Ariel’ wrote a column for this publication from the late 1880s and then right through the 1890s apparently ending in 1900: normally termed ‘Passing Notes […]

    Review: Lost Book of Moses May 9, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Modern
    Review: Lost Book of Moses

    Chanan Tigay, The Lost Book of Moses (Harper-Collins, 2016) This blogger has a dilemma. There are three pages of a century-old book he wants about an obscure English county. The book is not present in any library in the world, but one copy exists in the hands of a bookseller who wants about two hundred […]

    Grow a Tree Trick and Poltergeist Wood Chips May 8, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Grow a Tree Trick and Poltergeist Wood Chips

    This was one that really whets the curiosity. We are brought back to London in the early seventeenth-century, whereas this is being remembered in the later 1600s. What the hell is going on here? Dr Lamb, who was killed by the Mob for a conjurer, about 1640,* met one Morning Sir Miles Sands and Mr […]

    Review: Physical Evidence, A Feeling for Magic May 2, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
    Review: Physical Evidence, A Feeling for Magic

    Ronald Hutton (ed), Physical Evidence for Ritual Acts, Sorcery and Witchcraft in Christian Britain: A Feeling for Magic (Palgrave Macmillan 2016) Academic essay collections fall into different categories including such old and tried favourites as: ‘new directions’; ‘pot pouri’; ‘the EU gave us some money so we had a conference’; and ‘x is wrong and […]

    The Stalmine Fairy Tree: A Lancashire Mystery April 29, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Stalmine Fairy Tree: A Lancashire Mystery

    Here is a record that Beach simply cannot explain and that to the best of his knowledge is unique in England. Before getting to the fairy juice though some details about the document in which this unusual reference appears. Every British parish had, in the nineteenth century, tithe apportion records. The writers of these documents […]

    Woman-Hating Bedforshire Wild Man April 28, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Woman-Hating Bedforshire Wild Man

    A couple of months ago Beach offered a post on British wild men. Here is one to add to the list, Simon Goodman or Simon Goodwin aka Tim Goodman or Tim Goodwin: those name variants give some warning of the kind of historical bog we are about to wade into. Simon Goodman was born c. […]

    Lost Sounds #1: Dawn Chorus of Clogs in the Nineteenth Century April 27, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Lost Sounds #1: Dawn Chorus of Clogs in the Nineteenth Century

    The clog was the preferred footwear of the English industrial north, and particularly the industrial north-west. Shoes were cut from wood and tipped with iron in Lancashire, in the West Riding and the mill towns of Cheshire and Derbyshire. The clog cost relatively little, it was good for defending yourself, it was durable and it […]

    Mysterious American Indian Ceremony April 26, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Mysterious American Indian Ceremony

    This is a curious little snippet of American native religious ritual from the least expected source, a late seventeenth-century book of apparitions. We are introduced first to the protagonist. A goodly minister, Mr. Farnworth, that came hither from New England (being a Nonconformist and extream poor, dyed as all about him said, of meer Poverty, […]

    Britain’s Lost Bogies: Holden Rag April 22, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Britain's Lost Bogies: Holden Rag

    Holden is a stretch of countryside just to the north of Burnley, a small town in a small county (Lancashire) in the UK. It would be good to give a map at this point but Beach has decided against this  because the nineteenth-century ordinance survey has this territory on an edge between map sheets. That […]

    The Last African Slaves to Be Brought to America: Eyewitness Accounts April 21, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Last African Slaves to Be Brought to America: Eyewitness Accounts

    The slave trade to America was banned in 1807, but slaves were still brought to America illegally in the decades that followed. The last known slave ship that brought slaves across the Atlantic was the Clotilde in 1859. What is extraordinary about the Clotilde’s journey is that the young slaves who were sold in Alabama, […]

    The Republic of the Seven Islands April 19, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Republic of the Seven Islands

    A thalassocracy is a sea power, a realm built around the sea. The word is sometimes used to refer to maritime superpowers, like the British and French empires, but is more typically employed for chains of islands governed by a single king or council. Historical examples include Tondo; or some of the Viking polities from […]

    The Hare that Got Away April 16, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Hare that Got Away

    Here is a short paragraph from the late nineteenth century about Pendle in Lancashire. He who visits Pendle will yet find that charms are generally resorted to amongst the lower classes; that there are hares, which in their persuasion, never can be caught, and which survive only to baffle and confound the huntsman; that each […]

    Hare Horror in Furness! Return of the Supernatural Bunnies April 14, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Hare Horror in Furness! Return of the Supernatural Bunnies

    Beach has recently been enjoying the splendour of supernatural rabbits and hares. Yes, dear reader, do you remember the thud of paranormal poltergeist bunnies? What about the legendary Baum Rabbit? Or the Welsh ghost rabbit as big as a sheep? Or Boudicca’s sacrificial hare? Or the Mann witch trial hare? However, everything that he has […]

    Page 2 of 7712345...102030...Last »