Cave Filled with Hundreds of Witches’ Marks Suggests People Used Magic to Counter Disease, Death, and Other Evils
Originally written off as graffiti, experts have now declared that the hundreds of markings of squares, letters, mazes, and lines in an English cave system are actually witches’ marks – apotropaic marks that were used as a sort of protective ‘magic’ to ward off evil or bad luck. And it seems these worries were still rampant in the East Midlands, central England less than 200 years ago.
The witches’ marks, or witches’ marks, were not a hidden feature in the Creswell Crags, a well-known archaeological site in the East Midlands. As Heritage facilitator John Charlesworth, the acting tour leader when the discovery was made this past October, stated: “These witches’ marks were in plain sight all the time. ” They were just disregarded as modern tourist graffiti until some experts decided it was time to take a better look at the variety of signs covering the walls.
What are Witches’ marks?
Despite their name, witches’ marks were not left by witches, instead they were meant to keep witches away, perhaps a better name would be ‘anti-witch marks’ or ‘ritual protection marks’. The Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey explains that they were one element used “in multiple layers of spiritual defence”, usually used alongside prayer and other rituals.
Witches’ marks have been found in houses, churches, and at other sites or on objects that people believed needed some layer of spiritual protection. The symbols were often placed near entryways into a space, around doorways, windows, and fireplaces.
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