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Brograve Mill stands as a lonely sentinel on land once owned by a man said to have made a bargain with the Devil which he had no intention of honouring.

It was an underground experiment which set out to find scientific evidence of the afterlife – and there were some startling discoveries

It’s a stretch of road like no other in Norfolk, a spirit level which crosses the misty marshes to link a Broadland market town to the seaside.

It had been an unremarkable if pleasant evening spent with friends at a reading room in Bungay but it would end with something quite remarkable.

It has stood as a sentinel for centuries, a lonely, lichen-covered reminder of a frozen past when sabre-toothed tigers and woolly mammoths roamed the plains of East Anglia.

Hidden from the Holt Road are the relics of a prosperous past, the skeleton of a once-magnificent manor house once home to the Heydon family, a hidden gem now owned by English Heritage and boasting a very curious caretaker: a spectral sentry.

Just a stone’s throw from the swallowed town of Shipden and Cromer’s famous pier, local folklore tells of a ghost dog that haunts the beach, waiting where the waves break on the sand for an owner who never returned from the sea.

It is the vanishing village that just can’t stay silent, a forgotten parish from the Norfolk coast that was swallowed by the sea, the county’s own Atlantis just a stone’s throw from the famous Cromer Pier.

Video: Weird Norfolk: Kitty Witches Row

Friday, August 11, 2017

Most of us are aware that a witch’s familiar is often a cat – but less of us know the story behind Great Yarmouth’s Kitty Witches.

The earliest depictions of the devil show him in various forms – with scaly skin, folded wings and with cloven hooves, often attributed to early illustrations of the Pagan God Pan, who would have been reviled by good Christians.

She was the wise washerwoman of Irstead whose predictions, proverbs and observations were shared across Norfolk in the late 1700s and early to mid 1800s.

Unseasonal storms had all but blown away by the time that the former Lord Mayor of Norwich, London MP and their friend went for a stroll on Eccles beach in Norfolk, a quiet stretch of coastline – or it was until the appearance of Norfolk Nessie.

It is a curious inscription that links a quiet Norfolk village to an infamous French Queen who became a symbol of the excesses of the monarchy and famous for a quote she may never have even said: “let them eat cake”.

The haunting ivy-clad ruins hide behind a thicket of trees and a fairytale tangle of brambles, their ghostly secrets protected by the passage of time.

How handy it would be, in times of austerity, to rely on a visit from a Fairy Godmother who could appear at precisely the moment she was needed to wave her magic wand and make everything better.

We’ve heard of the Beast of Cumbria and the Creature of Cornwall, but what about the Cat of Congham?

It’s a lament said to travel across the centuries, a shriek that rips through time to tell the tale of a woman who loved and lost and whose spirit wanders in North Norfolk, restlessly searching for the baby murdered by her jealous husband.

California had a Gold Rush in the 1840s, East Anglia had a Coprolite Rush in the late 19th century – a different kind of black gold made from fossilised faeces.

Her birth was a Blessing, but her death was a curse: Rebecca Nurse from Great Yarmouth was one of three sisters accused of witchcraft at the infamous Salem Witch Trials and was the second person to be hanged.

It’s a heartrending story which for generations has acted as a warning to warring siblings.

It’s one of East Anglia’s most enduring folk tales, that of a midnight black hell hound with eyes as red as glowing coals that roams the countryside and brings death to the door of anyone unfortunate to lock eyes with him.

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