A still from the forthcoming feature film, Winifred Meeks. Written and directed by Jason Figgis. Produced by me. Starring Lara Belmont and introducing Julie Abbott as Winifred Meeks.
St Peter's Church in Westleton, Suffolk dates back to about 1300. A local legend claims that Old Nick himself lives below a small grating near a door in the church. Near to this is a 14th century fallen gravestone known as the ‘Witches’ Stone’. It is claimed that grass will not grow over it.
It is said that if you put a piece of straw in the grating and run around the church seven times, anti-clockwise, the straw will either vanish or you'll hear the Devil rattling his chains below the surface. A word of warning if you do decide to carry out this ritual ...... you must never look at the grating until the end of your run!
A local told me that the story was invented by smugglers to deter locals from visiting the churchyard at night. Smugglers were believed to have used the crypt to hide contraband from the revenue men!
This Suffolk village is thought to take its name from pits dug to trap wolves. The area is said to be the haunt of one such animal, caught and killed centuries ago. A farmer was once out looking for a lost calf and claimed to have seen it emerge from a hole in the ground. He rushed for his gun but lost it in the moonlight. He then noticed that it had left no footprints and concluded that he had seen the phantom wolf.
For some reason, the ghostly wolf is only said to appear after a fall of snow.
John is a producer, TV/Radio presenter and writer living in Suffolk