This week we venture into Herefordshire’s world of the supernatural, superstitions and curses. Many of which were attributed to people who had experienced wrong doing upon them and had in true fashion responded in kind.
The Cursed Doll
In Hereford Museum there is said to be a cursed doll amongst their collection of artefacts. Dated to around the late nineteenth century it was discovered at 21 East Street in 1960. Found with it was a note bearing the words,
Mary Ann Ward
I act this spell upon you from my holl heart wishing you to never rest nor eat nor sleep the rest part of your life. I hope your flesh will waste away and I hope you will never spend another penny I ought to have. Wishing this from my whole heart.”
The identity of the author of the note was never found.
The Little Wooden Coffin
Another strange item in the museum which is thought to come from around the same time, is a little wooden coffin with a human effigy. The body is firmly pinned down by a nail. It was unearthed at a house in Woolhope by the then owners in 1987. It is said that not long after it’s discovery the lady of the house happened to be visiting friends when an entire window fell on her from three stories up. Thankfully she received only a glancing blow but could have easily died. Not long after another misfortune beset the family when their daughter became seriously ill. Suspicious of the item and not wanting to chance further bad luck. The lady of the house took the effigy to Hereford Museum in a bid to rid her family of the misfortune it had supposedly brought them.
The then curator at Hereford Museum apparently kept it in her office for a very short time. However within days her husband was involved in a serious road accident. Not one to tempt fate and recalling the families recent experiences she immediately moved it to a display case. This object has been on show at various times over the years at the museum.
You may think that the supernatural, superstitions and curses belong in fantasy films and you may be right, but then again…………..
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