Dig the Dead

“The church of St. Mawgan, in Kerrier, was formerly at Carminowe, at the end of the parish. It was removed thence to its present site on account of the ghoulish propensities of the giants, who used to dig up the dead from their graves. The in-habitants tried in vain to destroy them by making deep pits, and covering them over with “sprouse” (light hay or grass) so that the unwary giants, walking over them as on firm ground, might fall into them and be killed. As this project failed, they were reluctantly compelled to remove the church to its present place, beyond the reach of their troublesome neighbours.”

– Rev. S. Rundle, Penzance Natural History Society, 1885-1886.

Just a neat little thing from my commonplace book. I ganked it from Cornish Feasts and Folklore (1890), by Margaret Ann Courtney, a book I found in a charity shop for 50p, along with the 1885 edition of The Ingoldsby Legends–also 50p. I wound up using it as the basis for my short story, “Unquiet in the Earth”, available in the anthology, Sockhops and Seances, from 18thWall Productions. Why not check it out?

If you’d like to read Cornish Feasts, you can check out and/or download a scanned copy thanks to the Internet Archive.