Boggarts are from Lancashire the English county where I set the series about Tom Ward and the Spook. But similar creatures are found all over the world. I think they are mostly invisible and are a type pf what we would now call a poltergeist.
By now most of you will be familiar with the story of the Stalmine Boggart, also known as ‘The Hall-Knocker’ because it rapped on walls and scared people away from church. It was bound under the step of a local cottage by a priest. That was my inspiration for ‘The Spook’s Apprentice’ which was called ‘The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch’ in the USA – it would be about a man who dealt with the supernatural.
A couple of miles north of Stalmine is the ‘Hackensall Hall Boggart’ which is sometimes seen in the shape of a horse and can be heard to clip-clop up and down the nearest lane. There is also a hairy boggart at Wheeton. Lancashire is riddled with boggarts that scare people play tricks and cause harm.
Another famous Lancashire boggart was bound under what has been called ‘The Written Stone’, near Longridge (a place known as ‘The Long Ridge’ in my books). A farmer thought the stone would be useful in his kitchen so he had it removed from its place on the ground to there. That’s when the trouble started! Any kettle cup or up or other piece of crockery placed upon it would be thrown over by the invisible boggart. At night when the farmer was in bed they would hear noises from the kitchen. The boggart was moving things to show its annoyance. So the farmer gave up and returned the stone to its original position where it remains to this day. Thus peace was restored!
This brings me back to my original point that I think boggarts are a type of poltergeist. My son once lived in a house that appeared to be haunted. One dark winter night they heard a tremendous crash from the kitchen and went downstairs to find a pan in the middle of the kitchen floor. Inside it there was half of a cup and a spatula. The other half of the cup was over by the door. The pan and the other items had all been safely tidied away so how did they get down there?
It sounds to me like a poltergeist (an invisible spirit which can move objects – perhaps another name for a boggart). So I think my son had a boggart in his kitchen. He’s moved house now so it is probably plaguing somebody else!
Have a great Halloween!