Haunted: Scrapfaggot Green, Great Leighs, Essex
Stewart | On 18, Jun 2017
The Haunting of Scrapfaggot Green
Scrapfaggot is said to be an old Essex word for a witch or a hag.
Many people believe that witches were executed by being burnt at the stake.
In reality, hanging was the most common punishment for witchcraft.
Legend says that in 1621 Anne Hughes was executed for not only practising witchcraft but also for murdering her husband.
Murdering her husband was classed as petty treason in those days…
This is why she was burnt at the stake and not hung for witchcraft!
Locals believe that Anne Hughes was buried at the Scrapfaggot Green crossroads.
It’s said that she was burnt at the stake and her remains buried at the spot of her execution.
Then a large boulder was place over her burial spot to stop her spirit from rising again.
During the Second World War Americans soldiers were based at Great Leighs.
The Americans widened some of the country lanes around Great Leighs so that their large military vehicles could drive along them unhindered.
It’s said that whilst widening one of the lanes, an American bulldozer dislodged the large boulder covering Anne Hughes grave.
Apparently all hell broke loose soon afterwards!
First, in the early hours of the morning, the bell of St Mary the Virgin Church started to ring out all by itself.
Then the church clock started to chime at unusual times.
Plus it began losing time… which it had never done before!
Farmers reported livestock behaving strangely.
Haystacks were mysteriously knocked over in the middle of the night.
And villagers started to report objects within their own homes being moved around by unknown hands.
The famous ghost hunter Harry Price was sent to investigate the spooky goings-on in the village.
What he suggested wasn’t rocket science.
Put the boulder back to its rightful place over the witch’s grave!
It was replaced at midnight on the 11th October 1944.
And all the paranormal activity stopped.
Now, just outside the car park of St Anne’s Castle Inn there’s a small boulder which the locals call the witch’s stone.
They say it suddenly appeared there in 1945.
Many believed it was once the boulder which covered Anne Hughes’ grave.
But to me… it looks a little light to keep a witch’s spirit from rising!
Carmel King (2009) Haunted Essex. The History Press
Jason Day (2011) Paranormal Essex. The History Press
FEATURED HAUNTED HOTEL: The Queen Hotel, Chester
The Queen Hotel is said to be haunted by the ghost of a little girl.
She’s said to haunt the area of a former nursery which was once situated on the second floor of the hotel.
Women guests have reported the little girl ghost has sneaked up behind them and pulled their hair before making her escape!