Pendle Hill – U.K Witchcraft Central!

It was the setting for one of England’s most infamous witches’ covens.
So the discovery of a mummified cat sealed into the walls of a 17th century cottage was yesterday described by historians as ‘spellbinding’.
The unfortunate animal – associated with witches for centuries – was apparently buried alive to protect the inhabitants from evil spirits.

It was found in the shadow of Pendle Hill, the looming Lancashire landmark which for 400 years has been a notorious centre of witchcraft.
Ten people from two local families were executed as witches in 1612, and experts suspect the cottage could have been home to one of the reputed covens – the mysterious Malkin Tower.
The discovery was made by water engineers from United Utilities on a routine construction project close to a local reservoir.

Archaeologists brought in to survey the area found a remarkably well-preserved building from the 1600s, hidden beneath a grass mound.
The building contained a sealed room, with a mummified cat bricked into the wall.
Although the cat is thought to have been left there as recently as 1800, it nevertheless offers a tantalising link to the area’s notorious past – not least for the local tourism industry, which makes great play of the Pendle witches.

Simon Entwistle, an expert on the Pendle witches, said: ‘In terms of significance, it’s like discovering Tutankhamun’s tomb.
‘We are just a few months away from the 400th anniversary of the Pendle witch trials, and here we have an incredibly rare find, right in the heart of witching country.’
Mr Entwistle said the cottage could be the remains of the Malkin Tower – home of one of the families and site of a gathering on Good Friday in 1612 which was held to have been a meeting of the coven.
He added: ‘Cats feature prominently in folklore about witches.
‘Whoever consigned this cat to such a horrible fate was clearly seeking protection from evil spirits. It’s an absolutely spellbinding discovery.’
Carl Sanders, project manager for United Utilities, said: ‘It’s not often you come across a fairytale cottage complete with witch’s cat.
‘The building is in remarkable condition. You can walk through it and get a real sense that you’re peering into the past.
‘Pendle Hill has a real aura about it, and it’s hard not to be affected by the place.
‘Even before we discovered the building, there were lots of jokes from the lads about broomsticks and black cats. The find has really stunned us all.’
The Pendle witchcraft saga began in March 1612 when local woman Alizon Device was accused of bewitching a pedlar for some metal pins.
Branded a witch, she in turn accused a neighbouring family of involvement in black magic, and after the Good Friday gathering, eight women and two men were hanged as witches.
According to historians, the investigation was a key influence on the notorious Salem witch trials of 1692.
Experts believe the cat was probably placed in the walls at the start of the 19th century, and the room’s two doorways sealed up.
The site also contains a 19th century kitchen range plus Victorian crockery, a tin bath and a bedstead.
Archaeologist Frank Giecco said: ‘It’s like discovering your own little Pompeii. We rarely get the opportunity to work with something so well preserved.
‘The building is a microcosm for the rise and fall of this area, from the time of the Pendle witches to the industrial age.’

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About Andrew

Co-founder & lead investigator of Paranormal Encounters. I've experienced the paranormal all my life, having encountered ghosts, angels and demons. I live in a haunted house and when not exploring and researching the unknown, I enjoy single malt Scotch whisky & potato chips (though not necessarily at the same time).