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The Occult in the United Kingdom: Going Strong For a Long Time

Chartley Castle Crop Circle
The Chartley Castle Crop Circle

“The occult is the knowledge and study of supernatural or magical forces. Interest in the occult tended toward ceremonial magic rather than witchcraft.” That’s how Collins Dictionary describe the occult. Of course, at times matters relative to the occult, the supernatural and the paranormal blend together. With that said, I’m going to share with you a handful of stories that demonstrate how such phenomena has been utilized in the U.K. for a long time. We’ll begin with a very strange story. In the summer of 2006, a large Crop Circle appeared in a field practically right next door to Chartley Castle, a centuries-old construction in the English county of Staffordshire. Not only that, strewn around the fringes of the Crop Circle was a not inconsiderable pile of large and colorful peacock feathers. While the presence of the peacock feathers at the site of the circle was interesting and odd, it wasn’t necessarily connected. Or, maybe it was; according to one person, at least.

Peacock feathers
(Nick Redfern) One of the peacock feathers found near the Chartley Castle Crop Circle in 2006

Of the Peacock, there is this: “The peacock’s tail is the emblem of an Evil Eye, or an ever-vigilant traitor. The tale is this: Argus was the chief Minister of Osiris, King of Egypt. When the king started on his Indian expedition, he left his queen, Isis, regent, and Argus was to be her chief adviser. Argus, with one hundred spies (called eyes), soon made himself so powerful and formidable that he shut up the queen-regent in a strong castle, and proclaimed himself king. Mercury marched against him, took him prisoner, and cut off his head; whereupon Juno metamorphosed Argus into a peacock, and set his eyes in its tale.” Jane Adams is a devotee of Wicca who I first met in a Wiltshire Crop Circle back in August 1997. She has an intriguing theory to account for the presence of those out of place feathers. She is of the opinion that the presence of the feathers at Chartley Castle is evidence that the people she believes are guilty of making the formations in the crops use the peacock’s “Evil Eye” in what she describes as “black ceremonies.”

Now, onto another strange saga: Martin J. Clemens says that “Located in West Sussex, England, Clapham Wood stands to the north of the small village of Clapham. Historically, Clapham has been an archetypal English village, one that’s been around, likely, since Saxon times. Over the last 300 years, it has remained largely hidden from the outside world, except, that is, for the last four decades.” The “four decades”” comment is a very apt one. Since the early 1970s, Clapham Woods have been associated with murder, mystery, and a secret society called the Friends of Hecate. It was in 1972 that the mystery began. In June of that year, a police constable named Peter Goldsmith disappeared while walking through the woods. His body was not found for around six months, specifically on December 13. What makes this even more intriguing is the fact that two months before P.C. Goldsmith vanished, he had investigated the death of a woman who had been murdered in the very same woods. Two victims inextricably linked to one another.” Strange phenomena still occurs in those old woods.

February 14, 1945 was the date of a still-unresolved murder in rural England which bore all the hallmarks of death at the hands of a secret society. Some suggested a band of witches were the culprits, and others a secret sect of druids. The victim was a farm-worker, 74-year-old Charles Walton, found dead with nothing less than a pitchfork stick out of his chest. He was a resident of a small, picturesque village in Warwickshire, England called Lower Quinton. Walton had lived in the village all his life, in a pleasant old cottage that stood across from the local church. It was a scene not unlike what one might expect to see on Downton Abbey or in the pages of a Jane Austen novel. Until, that is, murder, mayhem, and a secret cult came to Lower Quinton. Despite an extensive investigation, and suspicions that the guilty party was a man named Albert Potter – who was employing Walton on the day he met his grisly end – the matter was never resolved to the satisfaction of the police and the mystery remained precisely that: a mystery.

By Nick Redfern
Mysterious Universe

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