is at the end of October, All Hallows Eve, that these people believed the barriers between our world and the spirit world
were at their weakest and therefore spirits were most likely to be seen on earth, they built bonfires to frighten the spirits
away and feasted and danced around fires.
Cornwall has always had its tales of the supernatural, local legends of standing stones and other landscape features
suggest a history of witches, ghosts and goblins attending night meetings and after all Cornwall is the home of the
Museum of Witchcraft. In the first half of the ninetieth century our county also had its very own witch, her name was Thomasine Blight and she went by the name the White Witch of Helston. She was born Thomasine Williams in Gwennap,
near Redruth in 1793.
off of cursed livestock, cure the sick, remove the curses of black witches and place her own curses on those who
displeased her. Blight's husband, James Thomas, was said to possess similar powers and for a while they had a
successful partnership but there was an indiscretion on his part and he was forced to flee, no doubt with Thomasine
cursing him all the way!
In reality, Blight was probably an independent and resourceful woman who saw through superstition but used it to
Thomasine died the year painting below was completed, it has been said that as she lay on her death bed, people were
carried to her on stretchers and placed beside her and with one incantation they were said to have risen up and left
This wonderful painting by if Helston's White Witch is William Jones Chapman, a travelling portrait /sport painter,
and is held in the Royal Institution of Cornwall.