Spooky Spotlight – The Witching hour

Welcome to a week of Spooky Spotlights! To celebrate Halloween we will be delving into the Museum’s collections and putting the spotlight on the terrifyingly gruesome & frighteningly peculiar objects that lurk in the stores…

An enduring Halloween icon is the witch, so the final spooky spotlight falls on these Scottish stones which have a superstitious story behind them. All found in the 19th century these stones, with naturally formed holes, were known as ‘witches stones’ or ‘lucky stones.’ The fear of witchcraft was a very real part of rural Scottish life in the medieval period, and superstitions continued well into the 20th century. Unusual stones and many prehistoric, curious or notable objects, their original use being unknown, were kept as charms, often to ward off evil or witchcraft. For example the sandstone stone, bottom left, dates to the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age but was found in 1875 in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, hanging in a byre obviously being used as a charm to protect the cattle against witchcraft. So before this All Hallows’ Eve make sure you protect yourself from the witches’ evil eye by picking up your very own witches stone!

Witches Stones

Witches Stones

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About uoamuseums

The University of Aberdeen's Museums include King’s Museum and the University's Zoology Museum. The museums can claim to be Scotland's oldest, with records of museums and collections as far back as the late 17th century. Thanks to their status as a Recognised Collection of national significance, the Zoology Museum’s displays are currently being improved, while King's Museum hosts changing exhibitions drawn from across the collections, particularly those formerly in Marischal Museum. Visitors are warmly welcomed to the museums, and there are no charges for admission. Marischal College now houses the Museums Collections Centre, caring for and conserving many of the collections.
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