Happy Halloween to our dear Museum-goers!


witch shoes


From news.com.au,


Mummified cats, ‘witch marks’ and children’s boots in your walls: The secret objects and hidden magic symbols used to trap evil spirits


by Candace Sutton


“IT STARTED off with the discovery of an old shoe and a lace collar hidden in the dark recesses of an 1830s house in one of the oldest parts of Sydney.
Next it was a tradesman’s boot in a chimney breast of a country house in the NSW town of Mudgee.


Soon Ian Evans was finding mummified cats, children’s shoes and anti-witch symbols known as hexafoils and merels, and ritually burnt marks hidden on and in the walls of homes and other buildings around Australia.


The Newcastle University historian knew he was on to a great hidden secret about an unspoken but widespread ritual of magic in Australia that has no recorded history.


But it was all confirmed by the spine tingling moment he was called to an isolated Tasmanian farmhouse where five members of the same family had died in a month in 1860, and the family had concealed 38 shoes, children’s toys and dolls clothes in the building’s voids.


“They were absolutely terrified,” Dr Evans said.


All the houses had been built before 1935 and secret marks and “ritual magic” objects were part of a terrible secret held by early Australian settlers.


They were deliberately concealed under floorboards, in roofs and the voids of houses by a population gripped with a fear that there was an underworld of evil spirits bringing death and destruction into their lives.


As part of a story which Dr Evans believes has its roots in medieval times, the objects were hidden and the symbols inscribed to decoy witches and devils….”


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