Witchcraft & Folklore

Prehistoric remains in Guernsey, from the Lukis MSS

28th June 2016
In the early 20th century, local historian Edith Carey made copious notes from various manuscripts belonging to the Lukis family into scrapbooks which are now in the Library collection. She collected the following observations about early island archaeology together and copied them again into the notes she made to the book Guernsey Folk Lore, intended to aid her as its editor in a putative new edition, which she never completed. The Lukis family (Frederick Corbin Lukis and his children) were all deeply interested in archaeology, and these journal notes give a very Guernsey flavour of the beginnings of archaeology as a science. The photograph is of 'Frederick Lukis, Esq., at the Du Tus cromlech, Guernsey' from an album in the Library's Harvey collection (the Harvey and Lukis families were related.)

A tale of St George's chapel

16th October 2015
A ghost story, from The Stranger's Guide to the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, Guernsey: Collins /Barbet 1833, pp. 17-18. The illustration is from The Channel Islands, historical and legendary sketches, a book of poetry by C J Metcalfe, Jnr., London: Simpkin, Marshall and Co., 1852.

The Invisible Man: A Midsummer Tragedy

22nd April 2015
This story is by J R Le Ruez, and was published in the magazine Guernsey Gossip and Visitors' List, June 6 1908. The tale comes from Jersey, and is interesting because of the superstitions and beliefs it is based on; in the seventeenth century Elie Brévint of Sark, himself of Jersey extraction, wrote of the belief that one could aller à la graine de fougère, or 'use the fern seed' and become invisible.

November 5th

Guernsey did not celebrate November 5th until the 19th century, when the 'Guy Fawkes' Night' festival was introduced, probably by British immigrants, and began to replace the traditional burning or burial of the 'budloe' log on New Year's Eve. Late in the century the celebrations were 'officialised'. The photographs are of the procession of 1900; the one above shows the collectors wearing their placards, and the other the budloe paraded on a stretcher.