Reports of Curses and Cursed Places in the UK and Ireland


Bleeding Cat

Location: Near Clifton (?) - Oxenby Manor House (no longer standing?)
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Elliott O'Donnell wrote that this manor house was haunted by a mutilated feline, which would slowly sink into the wooden floor and disappear - it was considered an ill omen as a death followed shortly after the creature was spotted. A ghostly pale face with yellow teeth was also seen by one witness. When the area was dug up years later, a number of bodies were discovered.



Location: Newburgh (Yorkshire) - Newburgh Priory
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This phantom figure is reportedly a duellist who once fought (and lost) here. Another ghost, that of a woman, drifts around near the lake, and is thought by some to herald tragedy in the family. G Bernard Wood wrote that the priory was cursed by its last Prior, and that if anyone completed the decorating in an unfinished room upstairs, they would suffer a death in the family.



Location: Nottingham (Nottinghamshire) - Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem public house
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Probably the oldest public house in England, the building is home to spectral voices and other phantom noises. A model galleon, thick with dust, hangs from the ceiling and is said to be cursed - anyone who touches it dies within twelve months.


Cursed Lock

Location: Odstock (Wiltshire) - Church
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A young gypsy lad buried in the churchyard was hanged for stealing a horse - a crime his relatives claimed he didn't commit. To stop their protests, the church door was locked to prevent them from visiting, but their leader cursed anyone who ever locked the door again. After several deaths occurring to people who preformed this action, the key was thrown into the nearby river.


Mother Ivey's Curse

Location: Padstow (Cornwall) - Field near the Hellyer's farm house, Harlyn Bay
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Sixteenth century
Further Comments: Mother Ivey (or Ivy), a local wise woman, cursed this land after pilchards that could have been used to feed starving villagers were used to fertilise the field. She reportedly said if the soil was broken, death would soon follow. Whoever digs up any of the field is reputed to suffer soon afterwards. The story was carried by the popular UK press once it emerged that Conservative leader David Cameron had booked a holiday on the 'cursed' land.


Young Horseman

Location: Penicuik (Lothian) - General area
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Often heard and sometimes even seen, the horseman is thought to have been a young lad who stole a horse from his master to speed up the journey to meet his secret lover. In his haste, he galloped past the scene of an accident involving a cart - he could have saved the life of the driver, trapped underneath, but lust took priority and the rider left the site without offering assistance. The victim of the accident later died, but managed first to curse the lad who rode on by; hence, the boy's ghost now roams.


Underground Mutton

Location: Portland (Dorset) - General area
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Still occurring
Further Comments: The death of a crane operator in the nineteenth century, caused by a rabbit warren caving in, gave birth to the belief that saying the word 'rabbit' is unlucky. Instead, bunnies are referred to as underground mutton or furry things.


Maud Toogood

Location: Ramsbury (Wiltshire) - Elm tree in village (now replaced with an oak)
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Oak still present
Further Comments: A hollow elm tree which was killed off by Dutch elm disease was replaced with an oak. One of the reasons for the replacement was that the shade of a local witch had taken up residence in the tree, and locals were worried that she may curse the area if the elm was fell.


White Lady

Location: Randalstown (County Antrim) - Shane’s Castle
Type: Curse
Date / Time: 1966
Further Comments: This pallid female wraith cursed the family with everlasting sorrow and misfortune. She is said to be quite tall and slender, with blue eyes and blonde hair. The figure was last seen in 1966, where the entity was said to be on her knees, crying, bathed in bluish-white light.



Location: Rostherne (Cheshire) - St Mary's Church
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Newly married couples avoided passing through the Lychgate as it was believed the marriage would fail, either by discontent or death.



Location: Sand Hutton (Yorkshire) - Busby Stoop Inn, road outside
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Tom Busby murdered his father with a hammer - an event which resulted in the public house in which the crime was committed being named after him. Hanged for the crime, his shade now comes back complete with noose, and any who see it are doomed. The shade was once thought to be centred on Tom's favourite chair, though when the chair was removed to Thirsk Museum, Tom stayed pub-bound. The chair itself was thought to be cursed, anyone sitting on it would die soon after.


Lewes Dowrich

Location: Sandford (Devon) - Dowrich manor house
Type: Curse
Date / Time: 1973
Further Comments: Lewes died drunk, after falling from his horse on the nearby bridge. He was cursed to return home from the bridge, but only to move ten centimetres every four weeks. The ghost was seen in 1973, only a few metres short of its goal.


Billy Callender

Location: SE19 (Greater London) - Crystal Palace Football Ground (Selhurst Park)
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Callender, a goalkeeper, hanged himself in the Old Stand in 1932, after his fiancé died of a disease. His form is said to linger on. The ground was also subject to a curse in the 1970s from a psychic who was originally called in to lay the ghost of Callender.



Location: Semley (Wiltshire) - Pythouse
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: After murdering her daughter by pouring boiling water over her, Molly the maid was herself hanged for the crime, and her skeleton placed inside this house. Her ghost appears in the 'Pink Room', where she committed her heinous crime. The skeleton itself is reputedly cursed, and removing the bones would bring misfortune to the occupiers.


Peasant Girl

Location: Silverstone (Northamptonshire) - Whittlebury Forest
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A knight took his own life after having his love rejected by a peasant girl. Lying in his own blood, the knight cursed her, and she died soon after. The peasant's ghost remains in the forest. Another entity reported to haunt the area is the wild hunt, complete with headless horseman.


Egyptian Curse

Location: Sligo (County Sligo) - Seaforth House
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Early twentieth century?
Further Comments: Poltergeist activity broke out in the house shortly after it was filled with Egyptian and Syrian artefacts brought back from the Middle East by Owen Phibbs. Servants were driven away, while the house sometimes shook to the very foundations. Eventually the family moved away and left the house to rot.


Pagan Help Required

Location: Southampton (Hampshire) - St Mary’s Stadium
Type: Curse
Date / Time: November 2001
Further Comments: Cerridwen Dragonoak Connelly was called in to cleanse this stadium after it was believed the location was cursed or jinxed. After the blessing, the football team went on to their first win at their new home.


Chair of Despair

Location: Southport (Lancashire) - Oast House public house
Type: Curse
Date / Time: 2005
Further Comments: A chair in this public house has reported as being cursed after eight people who sat there died.


No Mine

Location: St Keverne (Cornwall) - General area
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: When St Keverne lived here he was shown little respect by the locals, so he cursed the area with 'No metal will run within the sound of St. Keverne's bells'. Hence, no mines within the area.


Four Poster Bed

Location: St Michael's Mount (Cornwall) - Castle
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Still present?
Further Comments: A four poster bed in the castle is reported to be cursed - any child who sleeps in it never wakes up.


Do Not Move

Location: Stockton (Norfolk) - Stockton Stone
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Stone still present
Further Comments: This stone is said to be cursed; when it was last moved to straighten the nearby road, one of the workmen is said to have dropped dead.


Shakespeare's Grave

Location: Stratford-upon-Avon (Warwickshire) - Holy Trinity Church
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: The tomb of Shakespeare has the following curse written upon it: Good frend for Jesus sake forebeare, To digg the dust encloased heare; Bleste be the man that spares thes stones, And curst be he that moves my bones.


Kentish Longtails

Location: Strood (Kent) - General area
Type: Curse
Date / Time: 24 December 1190 onwards
Further Comments: One legend says that Thomas Becket was riding through the land when a member of the de Broc family cut off his horse's tail. This must have mightily upset the archbishop, as Becket cursed the population of Strood to be born with tails.


Mummified Feline

Location: Sudbury (Suffolk) - Mill Hotel
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Still present?
Further Comments: If removed, this cat is said to bring ill fortune to the building and the occupiers. When the cat was first discovered (before the mill became a hotel), it was sold to a nearby shop. The shop burned down, so the cat came back has stayed ever since.


Cursed Widow

Location: Sundridge (Kent) - Combe Bank - Parkland
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Cursed by her husband prior to his execution (the woman's testimony placed him there, enabling her to run off with another man), Lord Ferrer's widow died in a fire so intense only part of her thumb was recovered. Her spirit is said to be looking for the rest of the body.

Records 51 - 75, of 84

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