The Crow here for c4ocradio.com
If there is a gateway to hell, a portal from the underworld used by demons and witches to wreak their evil havoc on humanity, then it could be in a small Creswell Crags cave. “What were they concerned about that they would go to this level? There is no area that hasn’t got a mark on it somewhere.” “You can’t help but wonder: How scared were they of something?” asked Paul Baker, director of Creswell Crags, an ancient cave system about 150 miles north of London. In what sounds like the opening scene of a horror movie, British cave enthusiasts have discovered hundreds of centuries-old protective marks and ritualistic drawings designed to capture, trap and repel evil forces. The nonprofit organization said it could be the largest collection of apotropaic marks in the United Kingdom. The drawings, which date to the medieval and early modern periods, had been spotted before but dismissed as graffiti from more recent eras.
However, cavers from the Subterranea Britannica organization noticed that the etchings we re actually apotropaic marks ― essentially protective marks ― scrawled all over the wells, ceilings and around holes and crevices, the cave’s operator said in a news release. The markings, at Creswell Crags, a limestone gorge on the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border, include hundreds of letters, symbols and patterns carved, at a time when belief in witchcraft was widespread. The etchings include “diagonal lines, boxes and mazes” believed to be “devices for capturing or trapping ‘evil.’’ ” There are also V V marks that are believed to represent Mary, “Virgin of Virgins,” as well as P M, for “Pace Maria.” But it’s not clear what, specifically, the “witches’ marks” were aimed at. “It could be fairies, witches, whatever you were fearful of, it was going to be down there,” Alison Fearn, a University of Leicester expert on protective marks, told The Guardian. The cave’s organization said the marks could have been made to ward off sickness, death and poor crop yields.
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