Curators Choice – Ethel Rudkin’s Witch Balls

Ethel Rudkin was an important Lincolnshire folklorist, as well as an archaeologist and historian. From the late 1920s Rudkin collected anything related to folklore, stories and customs. She drove all around Lincolnshire and beyond in her car, recording her travels and findings in her diary. The notes Rudkin made were edited and published in her book, Lincolnshire Folklore in 1936.

As well as archival material, Rudkin collected objects. Many of these objects were donated to the Museum alongside much of the archival material as the Rudkin Collection. Amongst the objects are two brightly coloured glass Witch Balls. Traditionally Witch Balls were hung in windows, where they would attract the eye of a witch or evil spirit, mesmerising and trapping them before they could cause any harm.

In this video, Collections Assistant Social History Eveline van Breemen, takes a closer look Ethel Rudkin and the witch balls she collected.

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