Sunday, 31 October 2021

Halloween At Ledston

Over the last few years, my Halloween posts have been about the spooky trail at Lotherton so this year, instead of taking you back to Lotherton, I thought I'd take you to see how a local village celebrates Halloween.

Ledston is a small village with a population of about 400. It's about four miles from where we live and it's where Mary Pannell, a woman accused of witchcraft in the 16th century, lived.

I'll let you scroll through the photos I took in Ledston recently of their Halloween scarecrows while I tell you about the story of Mary Pannell.

Mary was accused of, and executed for, witchcraft but there are differing accounts of her story.

The first account is that she was a maid at Ledston Hall in 1593 and that, trying to help the son of the house, she brewed a potion to be applied to the boy's skin. His mother thought the potion was to drink and after giving it to her son, he died. Mary was accused of witchcraft.

The second account was that it had nothing to do with the son of the house, but in fact the master, Sir William Witham. After taking advantage of Mary, Sir William had then spurned her and because of this, Mary had arranged his death, after which it was assumed that she had practiced witchcraft upon him.

There's also confusion about her end. It's recorded in some places that Mary's execution took place in 1603, which was years after her trial and conviction.

Some believe she was hanged in York prior to her body being brought back to Pannell Hill, near Castleford, and burned.

Others say she was burned alive as a witch on Pannell Hill.

Apparently, her ghost has been seen on Pannell Hill leading a horse, and it's said that if you see this apparition, there will be a death in your family.

Ledston Hall was originally a grange and chapel, built by the monks of Pontefract Priory. It is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in Yorkshire and was featured on Most Haunted on Halloween 2007 but was called Wheler Priory for security reasons at the time.

For such a small village it certainly has a lot of history.

I like to see these type of events where it's quite obvious that the whole village gets involved.

They've certainly put on a good display. It's a ten from me, and him.

Happy Halloween!


  1. Such fab pictures, all in good fun too. Jean

  2. What a wonderful blog post and I enjoyed reading about Mary Pannell. I loved seeing all your photos and a good display in the village.Happy Halloween Jo. I have a Spooky Halloween cake to break into this evening, it doubles as a birthday cake but don't tell anyone ;)

  3. what great decorations. We don't do Halloween now the boys are grown and there doesn't seem to be much in our immediate area.

  4. They have come up with a very spooky display this year, haven't they. I'm glad we'll all be doing Christmas next, so much more tinsel and sparkle needed for that!

  5. What a great display very interesting story about Mary Pannell too, I would love to visit somewhere like this, great fun. xx

  6. I love seeing everyone else's Halloween decorations and from your photos the nearby village have come up with some great displays!💖

  7. It's been pouring with rain here all day and all evening so I don't think there will have been many trick-or-treaters out round my area. It's nice to see a small community making an effort, these displays are great. I particularly like the first skeleton and the second pumpkin - a cat? It looks cute whatever it is :)

  8. Great post and pictures, Jo! Halloween is a big event in the USA, but I don't remember celebrating it in England as a child. That was a long time ago, however, and things change. Happy Halloween. P.x

  9. Interesting post, and good pictures. xx

  10. A very interesting read, and I enjoyed all of your photographs.

    Happy November Wishes.

    All the best Jan

  11. I loved this post and really enjoyed seeing all the decorations, how brilliant they all are. Loved the spooky tales too.