Over on our social media channels we have been counting down to Halloween by sharing some of the creepiest tales from Penwith's folklore if you missed any of them, here's all the tales collated in one chilling collection!
- We're started our Creepy Penwith series in St Buryan Churchyard, where according to legend the devil has been known to make an appearance in the form of a bull! He was particularly known to appear on the northern side of the Churchyard.
- In the first of our creepy cures, did you know that in local folklore, it used to be believed that a cure for warts was rubbing them with the insides of a live slug, that had just been cut open? The the unfortunate slug was then nailed to a tree - as it rotted away, the warts would go. (Regardless of how you feel about slugs in the garden, please don't try this!!)
- You may be in for spooky time if you visit the ancient site of Castle-an-Dinas, where you might spot the ghost of Wild Harris of Kenegie. The spirit of this local lord terrorised the area of Gulval, until a Parson set the unquiet spirit the task of counting all the grass in Castle-an-Dinas nine times; a task that keeps him occupied to this day... Parsons condemning ghosts to fates to keep them from terrorising locals appears in many places in Cornish folklore; one such spirit was even confined to a pigeonhole!
- Another reportedly haunted site is St John's Hall in Penzance. Ghost sightings have been reported in this building since it's construction, and still are! The library staff there still notice phantom figures, and books being moved and rearranged into piles of their own accord.
- Next we're in the world of the tin mines. Considering the dangerous nature of the work it is unsurprising that many ill omens were believed in by the miners; but perhaps the most horrifying was a disembodied hand that would follow miners up and down ladders - foretelling their death or a great misfortune.
- The next stop on our tour is Towednack Church. Have you ever wondered why this particular church has such a short tower? According to local folklore, the Devil himself would not allow it to be completed; whenever further building work took place during the day, the Devil would reportedly come and pull it all down that night! In the end it was decided to leave the tower as it is today.
- Another piece of work related folklore here, this time for fishermen and sailors - another dangerous job that attracted a great deal of superstition. For those around the Penwith coast, a boat coming to a dead stop for no reason was believed to be a sign that the body of sailor lost at sea could be found directly underneath.
- And for our final piece of folklore, perhaps the creepiest local cure of all - according to Penwith folklore, a cure for numerous ailments was rubbing the hand of a dead person over the affected spot! This could not be a close relative of the afflicted person, making it a tricky cure to get.
Which of our pieces of Creepy Penwith folklore was your favourite, or is there anything you'd add?
If you enjoyed this trip round Penwith's folklore make sure you take a look at our other folklore related blogs