Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Black Heart

The Dorsetarian brings us this recreation of some traditional protective hedge magic- a Bullock's Heart. It's a visually interesting prop and a creepy little piece of history.

At Wyke Regis, Weymouth, there once lived an old woman who was suspected of practising witchcraft, for it was believed she had overlooked a young girl. A gypsy informed the girl's mother to hang a bullock's heart stuffed with pins inside the chimney, which in time would break the spell. The mother did this and when the heart dried out, it fell into the fire and was burnt to a cinder. Later when her daughter recovered, the old witch was seen in a fit of rage claiming that some one had been meddling in her affairs.

Mentioned in the 'Dorset Year Book 1942-3'. The Police station at Frampton, near Dorchester found a Bullock’s heart in their chimney.

‘During the fitting of a new firegrate at the Police Station nearly forty years ago my mason dislodged a bullock’s heart stuffed full of pins’

Can you imagine the reaction when a heart filled with pins came tumbling out? It's a benign bit of folklore, but its appearance lends itself to misinterpretation as something far more ominous.


Phil said...

Very nicely done. Have the fun of creations like this for me are when they come with interesting backstories.

I wish I had their handwriting though. A pharmacist would have trouble deciphering my scrawls. :(

Fox Henderson said...

That's awesome.