Years ago when we first moved to our little village by the sea, we spent a lot of our free time taking long walks along the coast, the valley and the woods. It was during one of those walks when I first noticed this desolate looking grave that was obviously buried outside the graveyard, but still near Minster Church.
I became even more intrigued when I read what was written on the headstone.
Died 1813 in Bodmin Jail
No longer abused.
Abused? Was she a victim of a ghastly crime which happened long ago? I couldn’t wait to go home and do a bit of sleuthing on-line and google did not disappoint. After typing in her name, I learned that she was a witch, also known as the Fighting Fairy Woman. During her time everyone knew her as a clairvoyant, a diviner and a healer. However, she developed a tooth abscess which probably was the reason why she became so bad-tempered later in life and would shout and pick fights with incredible strength (as reported), which led people to believe that she was possessed by the devil. She was later imprisoned not because of sorcery, but because of public brawling and died of pneumonia at age 38 in Bodmin jail.
Apparently, over the years her bones were disinterred and used in seances and other pranks, before being displayed at the Witchcraft museum in our little village. Not only was she persecuted through life, but even in death, she was ridiculed as visitors gaped at her and stared at her bones through the window display of the museum.
In the late 80s, the then curator decided to have her bones laid to rest, especially since they were experiencing some “disturbances” in the museum. After almost two hundred years, she was finally at peace … no longer abused.
Not on consecrated grounds though – see that fence? She’s buried just outside the boundaries of the church’s grounds, into the woods.
This post is linked-up with PODcast’s #WhatsTheStory.
Hope everyone has a lovely week ahead of them!