Somewhere in Rendlesham Forest could be found an S-shaped pond with a very sinister reputation. Children in the 19th century were warned to stay away from it 'lest the mermaid should come and crome you in'. Crome was a long-handled rake.
Some folklorists believe that these legends of water bogeys are, in fact, distorted memories of water spirits that were worshipped by our pagan ancestors. Others suggest that such tales were simply invented to deter children from playing near water.
The April issue of Psychic News features my investigation of Edinburgh Castle and its ghosts. Available from all good newsagents or online here - www.psychicnews.org.uk/
Here's a link to the archive repeat. Hope you like it kcorradio.com/KCOR/Podcasts/The-Voice-of-Spirit/2018/March/John-West-John-west-Media-The-Voice-of-Spirit-Hosted-by-Leo-Bonomo-KCOR-Digital-Radio-Network.mp3
I'm being interviewed by Leo Bonomo tonight. I'll be chatting about my writing and broadcasting career. Starts at 6 pm in the UK.
The practice of walling up a cat, often with the animal still alive, was a medieval attempt to protect a building against evil spirits and witches. This tradition survived in places like East Anglia until the 19th century.
This mummified example can be found on display in the Lavenham Guildhall, Suffolk.
The coast below the village of Happisburgh in Norfolk is the reputed haunt of a terrifying apparition. Over the years, people have claimed to have witnessed a figure with no legs and with its head hanging down its back from a strip of flesh. It was first seen in 1765 by two farmers who were making their way home one night along Whimpwell Street. It was reported to be wearing sailor's clothes and appeared to be holding a sack to its chest. Upon reaching a well, it vanished. The well was later searched and the remains of a dismembered man were found hidden in two sacks. A pistol was also found with the corpse. It was surmised that he may have been a smuggler and had been murdered by his colleagues after some dispute.
The spectre is still said to haunt the area. The well has long gone but some still claim to hear strange moans and groans emanating from the spot. The ideal time to see the ghost is on moonlit nights.
The submerged remains of the village of Eccles can be found off the coast. It was largely lost to the sea in the 17th century but fishermen still claim to hear the bells of the church tower when storms are imminent.
John is a producer, TV/Radio presenter and writer living in Suffolk