Spookily, given the time of year, eMoov online estate agents have just been asked to sell a house that is located within one of the world’s most famously bewitched locations.
Canewdon, just north of Rochford, Essex, dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086.
In the 19th Century, James Murrell, apparently the last ‘Witch expert’ in England, stated that Canewdon would be ‘with Witches forever’. Murrell was the seventh son of a seventh son and as such said to have the gift of a ‘second sight’. A Witch whisperer of his day.
Witchy stuff began in Canewdon in 1580 when it is said that a woman named Rose Pye was tried as a witch for the spectoral murder of a 12 month old child. Although acquitted she was kept in prison and died there.
Five years later Cicely Makin was accused of Witchcraft and, unable to find five people that would swear that she was not a witch (probably through fear of being promptly stitched up as a hag themselves), was given five years by those in judgement locally to mend her cauldron stirring ways. She was unsuccessful in ‘proving’ such and then excommunicated by the church.
Legend has it that Canewdon will always be inhabited by six Witches. In fact for each time a stone falls from the local church, St Nicholas, one of them dies but is then swiftly replaced. If you run around the church three times on Halloween, anti-clockwise, you will go back in time. Naturally, the churchyard is haunted by ghosts including a certain ‘gray lady’, a headless witch that floats between its west gate and the nearby river Crouch. Once encountered by this ghostly apparition you’ll be lifted into the air and let down in the nearest ditch. Plus there’s another ghoul who returns each Halloween to seek her revenge. So it goes.
And of course every once in a while, when a novice Witch fancies membership to the local coven, the Devil himself appears to initiate her once she has danced around St Nicholas twelve times.
So as you can see, Canewdon is an interesting place. Particularly on 31st October.
Which is why you might definitely consider moving to Lion House, Creeksea Ferry Road. It has its own swimming pool (ducking stool not included) and lots of bedrooms to play MURDER in the dark in. It overlooks Wallasea Island, close enough to swim to in the event of a mass Witch invasion.
Perhaps arrange a viewing of Lion House on 0845 260 4950. But we’d give Monday week a miss if we were you…