Haunted Britain in C18th

Windows into History

The Headless Horseman “The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane” by John Quidor (1858), depicting a scene from Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

Creepy History 20. A Collection of Local Proverbs, and Popular Superstitions by Francis Grose was published in 1787. The section on popular superstitions reflects on the beliefs of less enlightened “former times”, although Grose does note that a great “number of superstitious notions and practices are still remaining and prevalent”. Here is what he had to say about beliefs in the spirit world:

The room in which the head of a family had died, was for a long time untenanted; particularly if they died without a will, or were supposed to have entertained any particular religious opinions. But if any disconsolate old maiden, or love-crossed bachelor, happened to dispatch themselves in their garters, the room where the deed was perpetrated was rendered for ever after uninhabitable, and not…

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