The Witch Of Scrapfaggot Green!

Back in the days of Witch Trials and Mathew Hopkins, the Witch Finder General, many people, mostly women but not exclusively, where tried as witches. Some were burned at the stake, others drowned and some beheaded. These were barbaric and superstitious times, many people lived in terror and suspicion of their neighbours and folklore and legends arose from these, sometimes-horrific experiences.
One such story is that of the Scrap Faggot (oooer) of Great Leighs. Legend has it that many centuries ago a witch was tried and found guilty under the Witchcraft Act of 1563. The witch was executed on Scrap Faggot Green (Scrap Faggot being old English slang for Witch – nowt to do with Cuffy) and buried there with a stake through her heart and a heavy boulder placed on top to stop her rising from the grave to plague the locals. The reason for burying the witch at Scrap Faggot Green was that tradition had it that witches were buried in unhallowed ground at cross roads so that their spirit would not be able to find their way back to the village.
All was quiet until during the Second World War, when large American artillery trucks needed to pass through Great Leighs to get to the local military installation and had great difficulty navigating the boulder at the cross roads. So, in their infinite wisdom and total disregard for local heritage, they removed the boulder. It was then that trouble flared…..

One instance involved 2 livestock owners, one kept hens the other ducks. One morning the two gentlemen arose to find that the hen keeper had the ducks and the duck keeper had the hens. Maybe this was some form of practical joke but can you imagine the noise that would have been made rounding up dozens of ducks in the middle of the night? Another family found that their rabbits and chickens had all been swapped around. And at a stabling yard, all the horses were found to have been turned around in their stalls. Whoever, or whatever did it clearly terrified the horses as they were found sweating in fright. Some of the horses are reported to have died soon afterwards……….
A room at the local pub, the St Anne’s Castle, suddenly became haunted. Mr Higginson, the then landlord of the inn spoke about the haunting. The pub itself dates back to medieval times and is listed in many guide books as a ‘haunted inn’.
“I can’t say I have seen the ghost myself,” he said “but my wife swears by it…”
Apparently Mr Harrison’s wife refused to use the haunted room, which he himself used as a storeroom that for some reason he could not keep tidy. Even the cleaning lady had problems tidying the room, often finding the contents of boxes strewn across the room. Mr Harrison’s two dogs also refused to enter the room but mysteriously the cat would. Knocks and raps would sound, footsteps shuffling round, and cold-spots were felt.
Once Mrs Harrison was having a bath while Mr Harrison was watching the television. She heard someone walking outside the bathroom in the corridor. That someone then stopped outside the bathroom door and started rattling the handle as if trying to get in, but Mr Harrison was watching the television and there was no one else in the building.
Another time, a drayman from the brewery came delivering supplies. Mr Harrison left him on his own in the cellar for a few moments and on his return he found the drayman white as a sheet, clearly shocked and terrified refusing to go back into the cellar ever again. Mr Harrison claimed that he tried to get the drayman to return but the drayman replied “Not likely, not after that thing standing behind me!” What that “thing” was Mr Harrison never found out as the drayman refused to deliver to the inn ever again.
There were other similar incidents like this at the inn but most remarkable was that of a young girl that also saw a “thing” in the fireplace shortly before screaming and fainting…..the girl vowed never to return to the inn.
After pressure from the local people, who were becoming quite frightened by these sudden and strange phenomena, the US Army grudgingly agreed to put the huge stone back. The night before the stone was replaced, “all Hell” was let loose around the village, as if the presence was making the most of its last night of freedom. As soon as the stone was pushed back into place, the hauntings and mysterious animal-shufflings ceased…

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).