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Sorcery and supernatural secrets will be revealed at Bury St Edmunds museum

Heritage officer Dan Clarke with a 17th Century Elder Wand ANL-160919-180953001
Heritage officer Dan Clarke with a 17th Century Elder Wand ANL-160919-180953001

Two ‘real’ witches and the most notorious witch hunter of all will be at Moyse’s Hall Museum this weekend.

Medieval 14th century witch, Goodwyfe Mally Gladwell, a modern hook-nosed, green-faced, Hollywood–style witch, called Hogsback Sal, and infamous Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins, will be at the museum, on September 24 and Sunday 25.

14th Century Witch Mally Gladwell ANL-160920-142926001
14th Century Witch Mally Gladwell ANL-160920-142926001

It’s all part of a special pre-Halloween event created especially for the town after heritage officers teamed up with a company of leading costume interpreters and historical specialists.

Black Knight Historical has entertained audiences across the UK performing historical shows at schools, colleges, castles, cathedrals and The Treasure Homes of England. They are also a regular contributor to national TV.

The company has created the two new witch characters, and brought back to life the self-styled Witchfinder General, especially for the weekend, called Something Wicked, This Way Comes,

A spokesman said: “When we visited Moyse’s Hall, what really jumped out is the superstition and witchcraft exhibits,

“We felt these were something we could help interpret by creating believable costumed characters, both fictional and real, each with their own story to tell. By talking to and interacting with them, young and old alike can learn about the history of witchcraft in Bury St Edmunds and East Anglia and why it is so important to our understanding of witchcraft, today.”

Moyse’s Hall’s collection of witchcraft artefacts includes a rare 17th century Elder Wand, a witch’s puppet, along with mummified cats, child and adult shoes, which were bricked up in the walls of Suffolk properties to keeping witches away.

In the Harry Potter novels, the Elder Wand was considered the most powerful wand of all. Visitors can also see a replica Bellatrix LesStrange wand, learn to cast spells, make powder potions, go on a prize witch-themed treasure hunt and make wands.

“With Halloween just over a month away, this is a one–off chance to meet real witches in person and learning some of their sorcery and supernatural secrets,” said heritage officer, Dan Clarke.“Black Knight Historical create knowledge and understanding of a subject in a way unattainable by traditional methods such as books, film and TV, bringing history alive.”


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