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Charles Christian

Charles Christian is an English barrister and Reuters correspondent turned writer, editor, podcaster, award-winning tech journalist and sometime werewolf hunter now a chronicler of weird tales in weird times. As well as being a regular contributor to Ancient Origins Premium, on medieval history, folklore and the occult, he also writes the monthly Fabulous Creatures column for Ancient Origins Magazine. You can find him and his weekly Weird Tales Radio Show podcasts online at

Saints & Sinners in Dark Age England

Five tales to take you from the misty years following the collapse of Roman rule in England, a time when it is hard to distinguish between history, myth and legend, through until the arrival of the Normans when, after over 600 years of almost constant chaos, some semblance of stability returned to English life. These are tales of murder, mayhem, treason, torture, incest and adultery in which we’ll encounter nine saints, eight English kings who met gruesome, bloody premature deaths, five scheming English queens who put the 'sex' into Wessex, and the mother of all wicked stepmothers.




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A Twelfth Night Feast: 'The King drinks' by Jan Steen (1661) Royal Collection (Public Domain)

Twelfth Night Ghost Story: The White Lady Of Flamborough

In the spirit of Twelfth Night one of Ancient Origins Premium’s favorite storytellers Charles Christian, entertains with his Father’s Ghost Story: I may have mentioned before I am sufficiently...
18th Century Post-Mortem Punishment: Gibbets ‘Hanging In Chains’ In England

18th Century Post-Mortem Punishment: Gibbets ‘Hanging In Chains’ In England

The curious English have a predilection for heaping abuse upon the corpses of the unfortunate dead, including a cruel and unusual punishment the bodies of executed murderers were subject to in the...
Sunset silhouette of Orford castle in Suffolk (Steve Mann / Adobe Stock)

Shuckland: Where Legends Haunt The Landscape

Shuckland encompasses haunted landscapes where legends, folklore, history and even tales of villains and heroes (but mainly villains) seemed to permeate the very fabric of the place and imprint their...
King John: The Worst Monarch in English History?

King John: The Worst Monarch in English History?

When it comes to Kings (and Queens) of England, there is strong competition as to who can claim the title of being the worst in the nation’s long history. There is Ethelred the Unready , whose...
Are Eastern Jinn, Western Faeries and Middle-Eastern Shedim Related?

Are Eastern Jinn, Western Faeries and Middle-Eastern Shedim Related?

In normal times (and the year 2020 is definitely not normal times) the Christmas holiday season is the point in the year when, in the United Kingdom, the annual pantomime theatre shows get underway...
The Rising Of The Revenant: Medieval Zombies As Ostension

The Rising Of The Revenant: Medieval Zombies As Ostension

During the mid-to-latter years of the 12th century respected chroniclers working in cathedrals and monasteries across England began writing, in all seriousness, about corpses rising from their graves...
The Wild Hunt of Odin by Peter Nicolai Arbo (1872) (Public Domain)

The Man Who Was Wednesday: The Norse Origin of Christmas

Christmastide traditions are a glorious amalgamation of customs and practices that have been appropriated wholesale from other belief systems, primarily those of Ancient Rome. But Rome is only part...
The Trials and Tribulations of BM 22542 (1889,0731)

The Trials and Tribulations of BM 22542 (1889,0731)

Spies have code names, so who was the mysterious BM 22542 (1889,0731), of Egyptian origin, that caused the deaths of many, sabotaged ships including the Titanic and Lusitania and disrupted the London...
Crucifixion of Saint Peter by Luca Giordano, Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice (circa 1660) (Public Domain)

Sorcery at the Vatican: The Papacy’s Seven Deadly Sinners

Mention ‘ the Pope ’ today and the image it immediately summons up for many people is of a saintly old man standing on a balcony in Rome blessing the crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square (technically...
Hecate: Procession to a Witches' Sabbath by Jusepe de Ribera  (1591–1652) (Public Domain)

The Fate of English Witches: From Water Torture to Divine Retribution

During the Early Modern period of European history – from the Renaissance (1500) to the French Revolution (1800), hundreds of thousands of witches suffered the terrible fate of being burned at the...
The Hay Harvest (1565), National Museum (Prague), Lobkowicz family collection in Lobkowicz Palace  by Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Divination: Art, Luck or Whim of the Gods?

Marrying a reliable partner to depend on to help eke out a living in harsh circumstances and predicting the weather crucial to a successful harvest, were two of the most vital factors in the lives of...
Alchemist Sendivogius (1566–1636) by Jan Matejko, (1867)

The Strange and Sudden Death of Ancient Alchemy

The quest for the Philosopher’s Stone, alchemy, the search for the Elixir of Life and turning base elements into gold, which occupied the minds of many famous ancient scientists such as Isaac Newton...
Arthur Rackham Christmas

Come Over to the Dark Side of Christmas

The Festive Season - a time of peace and goodwill to all men. It is a message people in the Western World have grown up with since childhood. Except it is not. It one forgets the saccharine...
Hermitage Castle bei Carlisle, Südschottland.

Halloween Haunting: The Hideous History of the Hermitage Castle

It is Halloween and what better than a story about a sinister Scottish castle, its ghosts, its legends, and its blood-soaked history? Not referring to Glamis Castle with its notorious secret chamber...
Ancient Sorcery: Antique witch book, black candle and ritual objects.

From Sorcerer to Saint: The Arcane Life and Magickal Times of Saint Cyprian

Of all the saints of the Christian church, one of the most anomalous must surely be St Cyprian who, after his martyrdom in the early 4th century AD, became known as the patron saint of sorcerers...
Scilly’s Northern Islands

The Ancient Trackways of Britain’s Ley-Lines Steered Bronze Age Tin Miners

The Great St Michael and St Mary Alignment (or ‘corridor of incidence’) is probably the most famous ley-line in Britain, if not the world. Running for 350-miles across the country in a north-east to...