Stephen Hawkins
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Registration Date: 26-01-2016
Date of Birth: Hidden (72 years old)
Local Time: 02-07-2020 at 08:38 AM
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Joined: 26-01-2016
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Additional Info About Stephen Hawkins
Location: Lancashire, England.
Bio: Soldier, Police Officer, College Lecturer.
Degree in History.
Sex: Male

Stephen Hawkins's Most Thanked Post
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Things That Go Bump In The Night. 3
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Things That Go Bump In The Night. The Pub
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Lancaster Castle is an imposing building, believed to have been founded in the 11th Century.  Records show that it was in use as a prison in 1196, and it has been used for this purpose until quite recently.  Lancaster Crown Court still sits in this venue today.

Over the centuries, hundreds of executions have taken place at Lancaster Castle, the most famous of these involved "The Pendle Witch Trials" in 1612, and the subsequent executions of a number of elderly women who were found guilty of witchcraft.

One explanation of the strange behaviour of these women suggested that they had eaten bread made from Rye which was contaminated with Ergot, a mind altering fungi found on wheat and rye.  There is no evidence to support this theory, which I imagine could have been postulated by an imaginative and enthusiastic undergraduate.

What is certain is that these women played on the myths surrounding witchcraft, earning a few pennies from ignorant neighbours who believed that their livelihoods depended on keeping these women sweet.

Until the Capital Punishment Act of 1868, all executions were held in public.  Crowds gathered early on execution days to claim the most advantageous positions, and brought with them their picnics.  As many as half a dozen convicted prisoners could be hanged in a morning, keeping the jeering crowds entertained.

My Wife and I went on a guided tour of the Castle in the mid nineteen-nineties.  The guide pointed out the condemned cell, stating that no light could penetrate the cell, and that the ghosts of executed prisons haunted it.  She asked for a volunteer to be locked in the cell, and I quite fancied a bit of excitement.

The guide was right about light not being able to penetrate into the cell, but I was quite happy to sit in total darkness on the wooden bed.  While I was voluntarily incarcerated, the guide told the other people in the group that everybody who was locked in this cell knocked on the door to be released.  

After several minutes, the guide expressed dismay at the length of time I had been in there.  My Wife told her:  "If anyone knocks to come out, it will be the bloody ghost!"  THE END.