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Cunning Murrell

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The history of the UK tells tales of many strange and mystical characters. One of the most infamous being James Murrell. Between 1812 and 1860 Hadleigh, Essex was the home of 'warlock' Cunning Murrell, as he was known to the locals.

'Cunning Murrell' was the seventh son of a seventh son. His career as a white magician grew amongst the Essex folk who viewed him with suspicion and sometimes fear. A strange and mysterious character, he was only ever seen outside of his home at night and no matter what the weather Murrell always carried an umbrella with him...

Cunning Murrell by Arthur MorrisonAmongst Murrell's magical equipment was a mirror with the power to discover lost or stolen property, a telescope that could look through walls and a copper charm which told him which of his clients was honest and dishonest.

Murrell referred to himself as 'the Devil's Master', saying he could exorcise spirits and overcome witchcraft by counter-spells. He would place samples of the blood, urine, nails and hair of clients whom he had diagnosed as bewitched into iron 'witch' bottles .

At midnight and in total silence, the mixture would be heated to boiling point in order to create a burning sensation in the witch's body thus forcing her to remove the spell.

According to one tale, a girl was brought to Murrell barking like a dog after she was cursed by a gypsy woman. When Murrell heated the witch bottle that night it exploded. The next day the charred body of a woman was discovered in a nearby country lane.

On December 15, 1860, the day before he died, Murrell predicted the exact time of his death. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Hadleigh churchyard.

Read 39204 times Last modified on Friday, 22 January 2010 23:46
More in this category: « Witches of Canewdon

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