Although I now live in Sweden, I come from the county of Dorset, which lies along the South West Coast of England and forms part of the ancient kingdom of Wessex. Dorset is noted for its vast beauty with its amazing costal scenery, rich pastures, undulating downs, picturesque postcard villages, desolate heaths and ancient monuments.
The county is steeped in folklore, full of sinister hauntings, spellbinding witchcraft, malevolent fairies, gruesome murders, black demon dogs, phantom armies, headless ghosts, flower fairies, water fairies, sprites, bewitching nymphs and nymphets, Ignis Fatuus, goblins and bogeys, sea monsters, peculiar customs, eerie events and uncanny superstitions. The Devil himself has a mention within the intertwined fabric of Dorset’s dark and unearthly history.
The ghost of John Daniel, the Turbervilles Phantom Coach, the Stalbridge Manor ghost, the White Lady of Corfe, Diana the Huntress, the Haunting at Athelhampton Hall, Bettiscombe Screaming Skull, the ghost of Lawrence of Arabia, the Tarrant Gunville vampire, the Baglake House poltergeist and the countless ghosts of outposted Roman soldiers. The Hell Stone, Old Harry Rocks, the Posy Tree, the Hollow Horror, the specter dogs, Witches Corner, the mermaid of Church Ope Cove, the Burton Bradstock mermaid, crop circles, Will O’ Wisps, the black dog of Lyme, the Shapwick Monster, the Cerne Abbas Giant.
Mummified cats have been found in lofts and wedged in chimneys, placed as magic charms against the evils of witchcraft. Many believe rabbits bring bad luck. Dorset fishermen adopted the Hag Stone to protect themselves against malicious witchcraft. Other Dorset inhabitants carried these stones around in their pockets or tied them to lengths of cord and hung them around their necks, both to protect themselves from the effects of evil and to generally safeguard their owners luck. At night the stones were hung on bed-posts to keep demons away.
If any county in any country on this planet has its share of folklore and superstitions, then Dorset is within the top ranking.
We created the witches, vampires, werewolves, Succubus, banshees and monsters that have followed us throughout our colorful history. It’s hardly surprising then that we created superstitions to protect ourselves from our previous creations. We are strange creatures to be sure.
That’s enough for today
Part three in just three days