A couple got more than they bargained for when they decided to do up their old country house – discovering a haul of random items left to deter witches.
Kerrie Jackson and her husband Bleddyn noticed something weird while working on the staircase of the 16th-century farmhouse in North Wales.
They found a mysterious bundle stuffed into a void in the woodwork, but nothing could have prepared them for what was inside.
It contained eight left-footed shoes, various animal skulls, rusted gun barrels and what looked to be the half-eaten remains of a hat.
Making the discovery even creepier, the couple believe that the items hail from late Medieval times, and would have been used to ward off witches and demons.
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Kerrie told North Wales Live : "Bleddyn was working in the room next door when he saw something through a hole he'd made in the wall.
"The staircase had been built across a sealed up medieval doorway that once connected different parts of the house, and the void underneath it had become exposed by the repairs being carried on the old timber frame.
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"It was very eerie to peer into the darkness and make out all the objects inside, and, initially, we could only see a couple of shoes through the rubble.
"But, as we kept pulling them out, more and more were found, until, eventually, we'd lined up eight odd shoes – all for the left foot and ranging from heavy men’s work boots to toddler shoes – along with the remnants of a horse’s skull, a wool hat and parts of a gun barrel."
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Researching the items online, Kerrie and Bleddyn slowly pieced together the spooky reason why they might have been put there.
"There's an old superstition that says witches would enter homes 'between' places such as staircases, or at twilght or the chiming of midnight," says Kerrie.
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"People believed that by leaving out items, such as shoes, witches or demons would be attracted to the scent left by the wearer and, once they entered the shoe or boot, they were unable to reverse back out and were therefore trapped.
"Other theories suggest that perhaps they would become so distracted by the novelty of the find that they would leave the family alone."
Their home, Grade II-listed Plas Uchaf in Denbigh, has been in her husband's family for generations.
She added that all the items have since been carefully put back in place to protect the house for another few hundred years.
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