Home to witches and spirits, would you dare to visit Pendle Hill?
Ten people were executed in the 1612 Lancashire witch trials – also known as the Pendle Hill witch trials. These now legendary events have scarred the landscape of supernatural history. Not to mention the effect the violence and tragedy meted out to those accused of sorcery, and later killed, had on the many victims. King James I made England’s paranoia over witchcraft immeasurably worse by publishing a book, Daemonologie (1597), that urged people to prosecute supporters and practitioners of witchcraft. He firmly believed the threat was real and was living in fear, particularly after the aftermath of Guy Fawkes’ failed gunpowder plot, which had aimed to assassinate the monarch by blowing up Parliament’s House of Lords in 1605.
The Pendle Witch Trial kicked off with one of the accused women – Alizon Device. Travelling on the road and begging, Alizon asked a pedlar named John Law for some pins. When he refused, Alizon cursed him – and, soon after, John Law suffered a stroke. The event was brought before Justice Nowell, to whom Alizon confessed she’d actually bewitched Law… She also accused her grandmother, ‘Old Demdike’ (a woman in her 80s, who ended up being incarcerated and dying in a dungeon before the trial) and members of the Chattox family, along with others, of witchcraft.
One of the women arrested was Alice Nutter – a staunch Catholic. The 10 accused were executed by hanging. Confused memories, hearsay and superstition led to the prosecutions – and the damning evidence of 9-year-old child, Jennet Device, against her whole family.
Today, Lancashire’s Pendle Hill – once treated as a wild, lawless area that had a high incidence of violence – has a reputation for being heavily haunted, leaving visitors shaken and even physically harmed by the attentions of malevolent spirits. The atmospheric and dramatic countryside only add to the mystery of the site in the area where the so-called Pendle Witches used to reside.
Investigators have been strangled, had breathing difficulties, been possessed and glasses and tables have been smashed. But still, many make the pilgrimage to the site on Halloween. Tynedale Farm is said to be where the ‘witches’ used to regularly meet, and has been the subject of paranormal investigations.
Would you go ghost-hunting up on Pendle Hill?