To Cure And Protect

Cornwall is a county in the south-west of England (though many claim it to be a country in it's own right) that is filled with superstition, spells, charms and magic stretching back to ancient times. The following are merely a fraction of some of the traditional Cornish Charms. Do they work? That's for you to decide.


Adder Bite - Count from thirteen to one three times for three days. The Lord’s prayer must be said each time following the numbers. Also drink water in which a blue stone ring has been standing.

Asthma - swallow a ball of spiders’ web.

Bleeding - Recite the following:
“Christ was born in Bethlehem;
Baptised in the river Jordan.
The river stood,
So shall thy blood
(say name of patient)
In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost.”

Boils - Creep nine times against the sun through the holed ancient stone called Tolvaen, which is near Gweek.

Bronchitis - Wear a blue bead necklace.

Colic - Stand on your head for fifteen minutes.

Corns - Remove your stockings and shoes and show your bare feet to the moor. Repeat nine times, “Corns down here: narry a wan up there.”

Cramp In The Legs - Place your shoes at the foot of the bed with their toes turned upwards.

Fits - Pass the afflicted person over glowing coals taken from the fire of a well-wisher.

Measles - Fill a wineglass with spring water. Add to this three drops of blood squeezed from the amputated left ear of a cat. Drink the liquid.

Rickets - Pass the child through the Tolvean stone (near Gweek) nine times against the sun, the last time bringing him/her to the grassy hillock nearby. Here put him/her to sleep with a sixpence coin under his/her head.
Pass the sufferer nine times against the sun thorugh the holde stone known as Men-an Tol, which is on the Land’s End moors.

Ringworm - Encircle the sore three times against the sun.

Rheumatism - Carry a cork in the pocket
Lie down and be trodden by the feet of a woman who has recently had a child.

Sore Throat - Pass or carry the person across a stream three times.

Sprained Wrist - Tie a piece of wool around the wrist.

Toothache - Put on the right stocking last each morning.
Draw a tooth from a skull with your own teeth and keep it in your pocket.

Thrush - Thread six lengths of cotton, one after another, through the mouth of a cat and then afterwards through the patient’s mouth. Cast the cotton into a river and they will drift away, taking the disease with them.

Typhoid - Bind the entrails of a sheep just killed to the patient’s feet. This will lessen the fever.
Warts - Collect as many pebbles as you have warts. Place them in a bag and drop this on your way to Church. The warts will then disappear, only to be transferred to the unlucky finder of the bag.
Steal a piece of meat, touch the warts with this and bury it. The warts will diminish in size with the rotting meat.

Whooping Cough - Collect nine pebbles of quartz from a running stream. Take a quart of water from the stream by dipping in a vessel with it’s moth downstream. Heat the quartz stones and drop them into the water, which must be given to the patient, a wineglass full each morning for the next nine days.
Catch a spider and place it in an empty nutshell. Fasten this with wool and hang this around the patient’s neck. The cough will go when the spider dies.


Against …

Drowning at Sea - Enclose within a child’s caul two strips of parchment: one with Mezuzah and the other inscribed ‘Ps. Cvii 29 In Te Domine Speravi.’ Sew up all of this in a bag and carry it with you.

Hare Lip on an unborn child - Should a witch-hare cross the path of the mother to be, she must tear her gown from neck to hem.

House Fire - Keep a ginger cat

Evil Spirits - At Harvest time in the fields throw bread over the shoulder and spill a little beer.

Evil Spirits out of your home - Nail a horseshoe to the lintel.
Cut a five pointed star (a pentagram) on the door