amwriting, folklore

SpookyMonth Showcase ~ FOLKLORE OF PAGHAM-ON-SEA (Farisee Stones)

Are you looking for a spooky read? Let’s see what I’ve got… I’ll be showcasing my work through the month of October! Buy links are at the bottom of the post! This one is an anthology of fictional folklore and urban legends from Pagham-on-Sea, East Sussex, and I’ll be doing a couple of posts about this as we go.

The Meteorite Strike ~ introduced in a previous post!
Jenny, Jennet and Pinnie-Pen ~ introduced in a previous post!
The Greenlad, or, The Girl Who Saw Herself ~ introduced in a previous post!
Farisee Stones
The Neo-Eleusinians
The Punch and Judy Man of Hangman’s Walk

Some of these can be read on my blog already, in their original forms. It’s only 99p so if you’d like to own them all as an eBook, all the creepy stories in one handy place, you can grab it from a variety of stores or directly from my Ko-Fi shop. If you get it from my Ko-Fi, I get all 99p rather than 20-30p royalties so I’d selfishly encourage you to do that if you can!

Farisee Stones

This one is a hyperlocal variant of a real English folktale called The Rose-Tree. I tried to deliberately mimic the style of folktales and fairy tales collected in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, like the one linked here by Joseph Jacobs. I wanted it to sound like the kind of thing “Rev. J. D. Allardyce” might have collected or re-written for his audience in 1904.

I included the farisee stones in this one as another example of what they are and what they can do. I introduced the concept in The Meteor Strike story, and thought it would be fun to have a few notes from Allardyce about other historical ‘examples’ of the stones being used. I took the opportunity to add in a bit more of the Pendles and their history into these preface notes, too.

Allardyce explains what the stones are:

FARISEE STONES ARE the pieces of rock that children used to collect from the site of the meteor crash, thought to have been the site of a Roman ironworks. The stones were variously thought to ward off fairies (or ‘farisees’ in local dialect) but also thought to have powers of their own. For example, if the stones are planted in earth and the pot placed by the bedside, it is said they will grow sweet dreams. If placed under a baby’s crib, they protect the baby from being taken and replaced by a changeling. Some older folk use the stone in their superstitious ways, to ward off evil (when washed in the water nearby, said to be a holy spring), or, if unwashed and sometimes befouled with grave dirt, then to put a curse on someone.

~ Folklore of Pagham-on-Sea, C. M. Rosens

I added a bit more to this, referencing an incident in 1693 to illustrate how belief in farisee stones has persisted in the town, the Pendle family’s influence, and the power the Sauvants had as a family over the area.


A lovely, hyperlocal, folkloric mini-collection to lead into the author’s novel, The Crows. 

5 star Goodreads Review & Verified Amazon Purchase

I enjoyed reading this book. This was the first time that I’ve read Gothic fiction and I enjoyed it. The prose is great and so are each of the folk stories within the book. There are some great twists within it and I was engaged throughout as I read. The format of the stories (poetry, diary entries, etc) was great too and so was how Rosens wrote from the POV of the characters of the stories (sometimes first person, sometimes third person, but always done well).
Rosens did a great job!

5 star Verified Amazon Purchase

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