ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

A group of archaeologists working on an old 17th century house in England made a creepy discovery: 'Witch marks' were scratched into the woodwork.

Witnesses described the markings as 'Blair Witch-y,' which grabbed my interest as I loved that movie. Let's take a look at these witch marks in more detail.

Archaeologists are working at Knole House, England

The old house was prepped for a visit from superstitious King James I in 1606. James was obsessed with witches, writing a book, Daemonologie, on the subject. Knole is part of an £18 million ($28 million) restoration and conservation project.


Restoration unearthed marks untouched for centuries

Archaeologists found 'witch marks' etched into woodwork under floorboards, in beams and walls, particularly around fireplaces, which were thought to weaken an evil spirit's power. Witch marks are also hidden away in openings, crawlspaces, metal objects and even shoes and clothing.


Witch Marks have a long and fascinating history

Alternatively known as apotropaic marks, the witch marks are actually for protection, and are found mostly in buildings built between the 15th and 18th centuries, when witch paranoia was at a peak.


Different Witch Marks mean different things

At Knole, archaeologists found two common types of witch marks: the Marion Mark, which is several double V's overlapping - this refers to the 'Virgin of Virgins' and invokes the protection of the Virgin Mary. Other more random scratching formations are known as Demon Traps - criss-crossed line patterns designed to trap spirits in the pattern.


If you just happen to be in Kent, England you can go visit the site yourself...


What would you do if you found witch marks hidden in your house?

Sources: The Guardian, io9, The Independent, The National Trust

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