Skulls that supposedly horribly scream or cause any type of poltergeist or ghostly phenomena and/or activity.
In many cultures and countries skeletons have, perhaps understandably, been associated with death and haunting. However, a peculiarly English preoccupation, in terms of ghosts and hauntings, has been with the skulls alone — skulls which bitterly resent any indignity offered them.
Stories of "screaming skulls" have been recorded in Somerset, Cumbria, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Dorset, Derbyshire, Sussex, Lancashire indeed, in most counties of England. They usually relate to skulls which appear to cause poltergeist activity, or scream like banshees, often because someone has attempted to remove them from some place to which they have become accustomed, but sometimes simply because they have been separated from their bodies.
One of the most curious of all skull legends in Britain is that of the screaming skull of Bettiscombe Manor, in Dorset, ancestral home of the Pinney family. The story goes that during the 18th century a Pinney who had been living in the West Indies returned home with a Negro slave. Subsequently the slave died, after making his master promise that he would be buried in his homeland, the Caribbean island of Nevis. But the squire apparently broke his promise, and the man was buried in the local churchyard. Soon, passersby were terrified by blood-curdling screams from the grave. Contemporary owners of the manor, however, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Pinney, believed that the slave's dying wish was fulfilled and that the legend was for the most part the invention of Judge J. S. Udal, a 19th century antiquarian. Mrs. Pinney says:
"We believe the skull was found in a Celtic shrine behind the manor and brought into the house as a good-luck charm around 1690 to 1694. Judge Udal visited the island of Nevis in 1897, where he heard the tale of the slave who had gone to England. On his return he assumed the skull belonged to the Negro and read a paper about it to the local antiquarian society."
In fact, when the skull was examined by an expert it was said to be that of a girl and was 2,000 years old. Yet the legend remains that if it is ever removed from the house, the skull will scream, and the person who removes it will die within the year.
Another story goes that in the 17th century a girl named Am Griffiths, who lived at Burton Agnes Hall in Yorkshire, was assaulted and savagely beaten by robbers. As she lay dying from her injuries, she uttered the unusual request that her head should be buried in the home she had loved so well.
She was, nevertheless, buried in the village churchyard. After the funeral terrifying groans and the sound of mysterious crashes and slamming doors were heard in the house. The dead girl's skull was exhumed and bricked up in a wall off the staircase. Since then, Burton Agnes Hall has been at peace.
At Wardley Hall in Lancashire, the skull of a 16th century Catholic martyr, Father Ambrose Barlow, is on view at the head of the staircase, and an old legend warns that should it be disturbed it will produce blood-curdling screams.
Yet another screaming skull story is attached to William Corder, whose murder of his mistress, Maria Marten, in the Red Barn at Polstead in Suffolk in 1828 caused a sensation in the first half of the 19th century. It appears that after his hanging, Corder's body was dissected (as was the custom), and a Bury St. Edmunds' doctor, John Kilner (who had the macabre hobby of collecting skulls), stole the head, polished the skull, and mounted it in an ebony box. His household was immediately terrified by poltergeist disturbances; Kilner gave the skull away, and the new owner now had his own share of haunting and misfortunes until he gave the skull a Christian burial.
In other cases burial was no solution, for the skulls concerned allegedly dug themselves out of their graves and reappeared in the homes of their reluctant owner. Some of them may still be found in the houses which they appear so unwilling to leave. But it must be admitted that there is not one single case of a "screaming skull" which has stood up to the examination of ghost-hunters.
Psychological profiles of agents show that mental and emotional stress, personality disorders, phobias, obsessive behavior and schizophrenia are linked to supposed poltergeist phenomena, and in some cases psychotherapy has eliminated the poltergeist disturbances.
See Aunt Morbelia and the Screaming Skulls, Screaming Skulls: 101 of the World's Greatest Ghost Stories, The Screaming Skulls, and Other Ghost Stories: The Collected True Tales and Legends of Elliott O'Donnell, Ghost, Altered State of Consciousness, ESP, Seance, Materialization, Asport, Automatic Writing, Findhorn, Glastonbury Scripts, Theosophy, Psychic Archaeology, Spiritualism, Mystic Gifts and Charms - New Age Gift Shop & Wicca and Pagan Supplies, Love Spells -- Use these powerful love spells to help you find and keep your true love, The Tarot Store, The Chakra Store, Divination & Scrying Tools and Supplies, Unique Amulets, Talismans, Good Luck Charms, and Love Tokens, Powerful Witch Doctor Spell Kits, Powerful Spells - Cast by Andreika the Witch, Webmasters Make $$$, AzureGreen - Celebrating All Paths to the Divine, ISIS - Tools for Your Soul's Journey, and The Pyramid Collection - Myth, Magick, Fantasy and Romance.
Sources: Article is scheduled to be reviewed.
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