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 Arnos Manor Hotel
Along the Bath Road in Bristol you’ll find the Arnos Manor Hotel.
The hotel was first built as a private home for the business merchant William Reeve in 1760.
It was once a girl’s school which was run by nuns and it’s the ghost of one of these nuns that is said to haunt the hotel today.
Local legend says that a nun had committed suicide because she fell pregnant.
To hide the scandal, the other nuns bricked up her body behind a wall at the hotel.
During the Second World War the hotel was bombed by the German Luftwaffe.
The workmen who were sent in to repair the bomb damage area of the hotel uncovered a female skeleton.
Apparently, to avoid delay, the workmen just buried the bones elsewhere within the building!
Since then, poltergeist activity has taken place throughout the hotel.
Terrified guests have also witnessed a ghostly brown figure within the hotel especially within Room 160.
Guests have heard a female voice calling their name and have felt a figure pinning them down whilst they’ve slept in Room 160.