The Bizarre Exploits of Helen Duncan: Ectoplasm Producing Medium and Britain’s ‘Last Witch’

Helen Duncan, ‘the last witch’ of Britain, was born in the small town of Callander, Scotland in 1897 to Archibald McFarlane and Isabella Rattray. As a child, Helen (born Victoria Helen) was said to cause distress at school by tormenting her classmates with frightening prophesies. And from a young age Helen believed she was clairvoyant and could see the spirits...

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The Unsolvable Shugborough Inscription, the Priory of Sion, and the Holy Grail

Almost two decades ago, Dan Brown’s blockbuster novel The Da Vinci Code won over millions of readers with an entertaining pseudo-historical adventure to find the Holy Grail. And with a new interest in historical conspiracy theories and secret societies, a spotlight was put on the Shugborough Inscription at Shugborough Hall, a sequence of ten letters that form one of the...

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Sam the Sandown Clown: Alien, Man in Black, or Folie à Deux?

This is a weird story, I fully admit that. But I have so many drafts about haunted locations on the Isle of Wight that I was curious if anything other than ghost sightings had happened on the island. And then I stumbled upon the bizarre story of Sam the Sandown Clown and obviously had to look more into… whatever the...

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The History of The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall and Britain’s Most Famous Ghost Photograph

Raynham Hall in Norfolk, considered one of the most beautiful homes in the country, began construction in 1619 and was completed some fifteenth years later. The house was designed by Sir Roger, 1st Baronet Townshend, with construction lead by his Master Mason, William Edge. The hall is the first in England to be heavily influenced by European architecture, possibly a...

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John Dee and Edward Kelley: Visual Depictions of the Renaissance Occultists at Work

The stories of John Dee and Edward Kelley, notorious Renaissance occultists, are a peculiar mix of history and folklore that continue to influence artists and writers hundreds of years after their deaths. The small sample of artistic representations of Dee and Kelley below explore the lasting romantic impression they left of black magic, alchemy, and spiritualism during the English Renaissance....

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The History of the British Government’s UFO Files (and How You Can Access Them)

Put away your tinfoil hats — everything you’re about to read regarding the British government and secret UFO files is entirely true. It’s just not as exciting as you’d expect it to be. Though it might sound like a crazy conspiracy theory, there was a period of about 60 years where the British government was interested enough in UFOs to...

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The Ghosts of England’s Oldest Pub, The Royal Standard of England, Buckinghamshire

Quirky, cosy, and radiating warmth, The Royal Standard of England in Penn, Buckinghamshire can easily be considered one of the most charming pubs in the southwest. With low beams, hidden nooks and crannies, and an assortment of knick-knacks, the pub’s unique aesthetic is only rivalled by it’s delicious food and homey atmosphere. And according to reports, this historic pub is...

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The Tragic History of Knighton Gorges, the Isle of Wight’s most Haunted Location

The manor house of Knighton Gorges, historically considered to be one of the finest homes on the Isle of Wight, was built sometime during the twelfth-century. Before it’s destruction in the nineteenth-century, antiquarian Sir Henry Englefield visited the home and described it as “by far the most considerable and beautiful of the ancient mansions of the Island.” During the nearly...

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Phantom Animals and Lighthouse Keepers at St. Catherine’s Lighthouse, Isle of Wight

St. Catherine’s Lighthouse, located at the southernmost point of the Isle of Wight has been guiding ships through the turbulent sea for over 180 years. Unlike the northside of the island with it’s views of mainland England, the lighthouse at Niton Undercliff looks out into the deep, empty expanse of the English Channel. Despite it’s scenic and peaceful location, the...

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King Arthur’s Tomb at Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset

The town of Glastonbury, located 23 miles south of Bristol in southwest England, has long been a centre of mystery, spiritualism, and folklore. Not only known for its famous music festival, Glastonbury celebrates its unique esoteric heritage through quirky shops, spiritual retreats, and nods to famous legends. And at the heart of the town sits the ruined Glastonbury Abbey, a...

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