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Hidden Welsh Witchcraft Den And Demon Traps Discovered In Old Home

Hidden Welsh Witchcraft Den And Demon Traps Discovered In Old Home

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A home full of occult objects has attracted enormous interest, recently. A hidden space beneath a staircase in a 16th-century Welsh home was filled with occult objects, including animal skulls and a hoard of left shoes, and its being called a “witchcraft den.” Lecturer Kerrie Jackson and her husband Bleddyn were renovating their 16th century AD farmhouse in Denbigh, North Wales, when they discovered a witchcraft den hidden beneath their staircase. Animal skulls, poison, perfume-filled bottles, odd shoes, and a half-eaten wooly hat were among the occult objects that had been placed under the staircase to trap witches, and their consorts in spiritual crime, demons.

How The Welsh Witchcraft Den Was Discovered

The house in which the 500-year-old artifacts were discovered was inherited by Bleddyn and it had been in his family for several centuries. This Grade II-listed farmhouse in Denbigh, North Wales, is called “the Plas Uchaf” and Kerry told The Scottish Sun that her husband had been working in the room next door when he “saw something through a hole he'd made in the wall.”

The staircase under which the Welsh witchcraft den was found by the couple living in the medieval house. (Kerrie Jackson / Denbighshire County Council)

The staircase under which the Welsh witchcraft den was found by the couple living in the medieval house. (Kerrie Jackson / Denbighshire County Council )

Further exploration revealed the staircase had been built over a sealed up medieval doorway that had once linked different parts of the house. Kerry said it “was very eerie to peer into the darkness” and at first they could only see a couple of shoes through the rubble. Then, as their eyes adjusted, they discerned what they describe as an “eerie bundle,” which was found to contain the collection of supernaturally imbued objects. And after a little research they discovered that previous tenants in their home had attempted to “trap witches and demons,” according to a report in the Wales Online .

Using Human Things To Attract And Trap Witches

When the Welsh couple explored the hidden witchcraft den beneath their stairs they first discovered “eight odd shoes,” all for left feet, ranging from toddler’s shoes to heavy men’s work boots. They also found a wooden hat, parts of a horse’s skull, fragments from the barrel of a gun, old receipts and bottles full of both poison and perfume, all of which were believed to ward off evil in the late medieval period. As if this weren’t all classically horror movie-esque enough, the most chilling discovery was yet to come, in the form of a washed out old portrait of woman nicknamed “Vicky,” that was hidden behind shutters in the parlor.

The shoes and witch bottle that traps witches and demons found under the staircase in the Welsh home. (Kerrie Jackson / Denbighshire County Council)

The shoes and witch bottle that traps witches and demons found under the staircase in the Welsh home. (Kerrie Jackson / Denbighshire County Council )

Kerrie says that a closer inspection of the left shoes determined they were all in a remarkably good state. She told the Scottish Sun that “you could even still make out the imprint of their owners' feet.” The most favored theory by scholars on the meaning of the hundreds of “concealed shoes” found all across Britain is that they were placed in hidden spots within homes to protect against evil influences such as demons, ghosts, witches, and familiars. According to author Eamonn P. Kelly in his 2012 Archaeology Ireland paper titled Trapping Witches in Wicklow , witches were believed to be “attracted by the human scent of a shoe, and after entering one found themselves trapped, as they are unable to reverse.”

The skull of a horse was also part of the Welsh witchcraft den finds. (Kerrie Jackson / Denbighshire County Council)

The skull of a horse was also part of the Welsh witchcraft den finds. (Kerrie Jackson / Denbighshire County Council )

Horse Skulls Are Linked To Two Ancient Traditions

The couple speculated that the horse skull was perhaps connected with the Mari Lwyd, the ancient Welsh New Year's tradition of wearing a white sheet crowned with a horse's skull and travelling from house to house singing or reciting poetry. However, this is not what the horse skull represents in the context in which it was found. The answer to the mystery of the horse skull is explained by scholar Sonja Hukantaival who wrote Horse Skulls and "Alder Horses": The Horse as a Depositional Sacrifice in Buildings . The author states that horse skulls relate to the larger folk tradition of “concealing objects” in structures along with “ witch bottles ,” several of which were discovered beneath the staircase in the Welsh home. So, all of the objects found in the Welsh witchcraft den, including the horse skull, were designed to thwart the mischief and evil of witches and demons.

The Witchcraft Den: A Firewall Against A Highway To Hell

Kerrie told the press that she and her husband are not in any way worried about finding the collection of occult artifacts beneath their staircase. She added that they were used to coming across quirky things in their 16th century home. Not that I want to worry them in any way, but haven’t they seen the 1979 movie “ The Amityville Horror ” in which a gateway to hell was discovered hidden in a well? “Look inside the well, for it is the gateway to hell,” is a quote fans of this movie still remember.

What I am getting at here, in all seriousness, is that house restorers in Britain often find “a” concealed shoe, or “a” horse skull, or “a” witch bottle within the structures of medieval buildings. But to find such a plethora of anti-witch devices and demon traps suggests that at one time the staircase in this old house was seen as a highway to hell, and that previous owners were battling “something” beyond their understanding that they interpreted as being so demonic that they built a symbolic firewall to protect themselves.

Afterthoughts On Witchcraft Dens And The Church

Imagine for a second, being so scared in your own home of demonic intervention, that you are driven to gathering and collecting all of these items in a bid to save your soul, and those of your loved ones. Thus, what this witchcraft den collection actually represents is a reality from a time when the Church had so much power over the psyche of the people that the devil was in every way as real as God.

Top image: The medieval Welsh witchcraft den house as seen from the outside.   Source: Kerrie Jackson / Denbighshire County Council Inset: The skull of a horse was also part of the Welsh witchcraft den finds. (Kerrie Jackson / Denbighshire County Council )

By Ashley Cowie

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