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Thursday, October 31, 2013

a hermit of Hælɨ fæks

[Switch on audio to hear John's Talk]
"There is a story that a Halifax market-woman was riding her horse past the Gibbet as the axe fell and the severed head bounced across the platform and into her lap, where it seized her apron in its teeth and refused to let go....... "[from:]

Picture the scene........Stood sheltering from the heavy rain against the blackened walls of Halifax Minster last Sunday afternoon.
20 or so Souls taking part in one of the Calderdale Heritage Walks.
We listen to John Billingsley tell us the origins & meaning of the name "Halifax".
You can also read about Halifax's Grizzly History here Haunts of the Halifax Slasher A walk through hysteria and violence in a Pennine milltown

One of the cues/prompts for this week is to 'celebrate our ancestral homes ' Hence this  audio of John's voice.
The photo here is of an unknown member of the Scottish branch of my family in Perth.(taken ,presumably outside his house?) .He looks like a hermit,non?
My Family tree has many branches of Half-members.
In the 1960s .I remember Me & my Mum visiting one relative, obscure & reclusive in Perth.
We knocked and we knocked but therelative I never saw  didnt  answer the door.....I think the house in the photo was where we waited & eventually (sadly) walked away........
Now.This photo is much older.(1920's?) But I feel a connection with my own  memory and with the hermit of Hælɨ  fæks.......... .
This is a sepia saturday post.

26 comments:

Brian Miller said...

we have a few interesting ones in our family tree....funny, my boys school is doing an ancestry project and so we have been looking into ours.

Kurt said...

I thought of Halifax, Canada and Perth, Australia when I read this, but google reveals that there are British versions of both of them.

tony said...

Yea Kurt.Halifax in West Yorkshire,England (the original one)& Perth in Scotland!

Akum said...

Sounds fun bro

Bob Scotney said...

The John Billingsley talk is fascinating. I shall remember it every time someone mentions Halifax.
Two of my 'favourite' uncles never invited us to their homes - I always wondered why.

tony said...

Bob,I have several more audio clips of John's Talk..once up loaded,I will send you links via facebook.

ScotSue said...

Good to read of a Yorkshire story and I did enjoy your style.

Dee said...

Love the photo of the home. I also enjoyed the accent.

Dee

boundforoz said...

WOW. What a story.

Wendy said...

Here in Virginia we have a town of Halifax and a Halifax County. I doubt either has such an interesting history as YOUR Halifax claims.

Deb Gould said...

Love this, Tony! What's the thingie to the right of the door (to the right of the column)?

tony said...

Not Sure Deb.My Guess Would Be A Doorbell of Some Description?

Postcardy said...

I was thinking you must have gone to Australia to visit someone in Perth.

Rosie said...

The story of the woman's head being severed and landing in her lap and biting her apron comes right in time for Halloween stories, good one Tony.

Kristin said...

What a gristly story!

Karen S. said...

Oh my Tony, I so enjoyed what you did with this post as it is just the perfect story, especially for all of us that are deeply involved with Halloween and all that ghostly jazz! This first photo itself takes my breath away!

Karen S. said...

Gosh now I have to come back to make sure my comment went through. Grrr! Blogger has a few haunts and Boos it needs to correct today!

Patrica Ball Morrison said...

Oh what a great Halifax story! Perfect for this haunting season...sad the door was never answered, but who knows why or what grudges people bear

Boobook said...

Your Perth hermit looks to be living in quite a substantial house - tiled floor etc. He's probably a rich relative yu should follow up :)NMining

Tattered and Lost said...

Well this was fascinating! Creepy, but fascinating.

Joan said...

eerie, but strangely compelling. Loved it.

Kat Mortensen said...

I wonder if the Haligonians of Nova Scotia are aware of this origin? I bet not!

Ann ODyne said...

The mystery thing by the door is probably a pull. Pulling it outwards makes a bell ring inside.
House just like that one were built all over the Western District of Victoria AUS by the many Scots emigrants of the 1850's and they gave Scottish placenames to every town they settled as pioneers: Hamilton, Dunkeld, Glen Thompson, Ardachy, Penshurst etc.

I bookmarked your 'deliver me from Hell Hull and Halifax' link thanks, and love the detail at the gibbet link of the stolen animal 'pulling the pin' on the decapitator.
Keep 'em coming.

Little Nell said...

Hermit-like indeed - and somewhat spooky.

Dominic Rivron said...

What brilliant moving images!

The Halifax gibbet. Many's the time I've driven past it. Man's inhumanity to man, eh?

blackwatertown said...

Hello - for some reason, I can never be the first to leave a comment. It's not shyness. Some technical thing.
So I'm looking forward to somebody else setting the ball rolling on your Jackie Leven anniversary post.