Introduction

Hi and welcome to my site.
Cheshire is full of weird and wonderful stories of the supernatural, local heores and the mysterious.
I will take you on a tour as I look deep into the Cheshire that lies underneath the wonderful countryside and find the secrets that still hide there.
What magic and long lost secrets will we find?
So, sit back and enjoy my journey. This is a land of Magic, Knights, Dragons, Wizards, Witches, Boggarts, Murder, Ghosts and Old Forgotten Knowledge.


I would love to hear your stories as well. So if you have anything you would like me to look into and find information out, please let me know.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Information about Cheshire's customs

Church Porch Watch.

This took place on St Mark's Eve(24th April) but sometimes on New Years Eve, Midsummers Eve, Halloween or Christmas Eve depending from which part of the area you came from. It involved the village seer, ie wise people or witches holding a vigil at the Church door between 11pm and 1am.

The seers would then claim to see the spectral outlines of those who would die in the following year.




Crossroads

Criminals and suicides were buried here, as it is said that when the spirit rose at night, it would get confused and not know which way to go. This ment any bad person who had been buried there, could not return to the village.

It is said because of all this bad engery buried here, Demonic spirits could be raised at crossroads.

Midnight was not a time to be walking past crossroads, as you would probably see the ghosts of the dead buried here.




Corpse ways

These were also known as; Church ways, Burial paths, Church paths, Coffin paths and Lyke(old english word for corpse) ways.

Some of these paths were direct from village, church and graveyard. Some would wonder in and around the village and also join other churches from other areas.

Many have now disappeared from memory but can still be found on old tithe maps under such names as Churchway Field.

A traditional way to carry a corpse was feet first, so the soul could not see where it had come from and so stopping it returning to haunt the village.


Corpse ways are said to be very haunted.
As you may see, people were very scared of the dead and made every attempt to make sure that the dead stayed where they were supposed to and not return.




Fairy paths

These were simular to corpse ways and it was said that fairies did use corpse ways. Fairies would fly between the ragwort plants, found along these paths.

To obstruct a fairy path, brought you bad luck, illness, death or poltergeist activity. Which ties in with these paths being haunted.




Beltaine Fires

Beltaine is a fertily festival which is why it is celabrated on May Day(May 1st - Spring). It comes from the Irish Gaelic Bealtaine meaning Bel-fire (the fire of Bel, Celtic God of Light).

Other spellings include - Beltain, Beal-tine, Beltan, Baltein and Bel-tein.

In Cheshire, this time of year is very important as this has always been an agricultural area and the seasons ran the lives of the people living here.

These Beltaine of Goodly fires started in this area as a celebration of the Druids. They were lit at the turn of all four seasons (but more well known on May Day). These fires marked the progress of the sun.

These large bonfires were built on high land and odd ones on the Cheshire Plain. There are a number of places we know these fires were - The Edge at Congleton, Pennine ridges around Macclesfield, hills of Peckforton and Beeston, Mowcop, Alderley Edge and into Staffordshire and Derbyshire. Nantwich was one flat town that had its own Beltaine fire. These name only a few.

It was said that on the eve of these fires being lit, dragons fought eachother, demons would steal babies and the doorway to fairyland would open.

The fires would be lit during a great ceremony with included human and animal sacrifices.

In some areas animals were passed through the flames to cleanse them. Perhapes this is where the idea came from where people and animals jump through lit hoops as a trick.

The custom of lighting these fires lasted well into the 18th century.

What a wonderful sight these fires would have looked across the countryside.

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