The Red Witch Of Hardley - England's "Santa Muerta"?
According to local folklore a mysterious spirit haunts a crossroads near a Norfolk village, one that can be called upon or petitioned for protection and help...
The Red Witch is a ghost or spirit associated in local folklore with a "Cross Stone" that marks a crossroads. The location is out in the countryside, about five miles or so from a quaint small town called Loddon in Norfolk, Eastern England. It's around forty miles from where I currently live in the county of Suffolk.
The Cross Stone is at the edge of a field where three roads and a dirt track converge. It's almost within view of nearby Hardley village church.
That block of stone has stood sentry at the crossroads for centuries. Cross Stones actually predate the building of churches in England... back in the 6th and 7th centuries, wooden crosses marked the place where priests or monks would preach to local communities.
These were soon replaced with stone crosses and this would have been what the Cross Stone near Hardley was. Thus many villages like Hardley still have the remains of the old preaching crosses, even if they are now only stone blocks.
Now to the Red Witch...
Local stories, first recorded by the 19th-century folklorist William Blythe Gerish, claim that on certain nights of the year, "an old woman in red" appears at midnight sitting on the stone on the corner of Cross Stone Road, watching over all directions, guarding the place where all four meet.
She's always dressed in red, a color often associated with spirit energy which is protective of a particular place or person.
The Red Witch is now being felt - and seen - in other parts of the world too; quite possibly because I have related the story to many people, and also have conducted ritual and seance work at this crossroads. In many ways, but on a much smaller scale, it’s similar to how the Mexican Santa Muerte is seen all over the world, and is protective and caring, and a helper of the common folk and underdog.
How to pay respects to the Red Witch...
One way is to light a red candle at anytime of day or night - when you most need help and protection. Perhaps visualize the Red Witch and say a prayer along the following lines.
Red Witch, I thank thee for your graces, Glory be to you who watches over us all. From my heart, I offer these prayers to you. Red Witch watch over me, Keep me, and my own, safe. Lead me to all that is righteous and good, Protect me from those that would wish me harm. I am your humble follower, [your name]. Here is my offering...
The offering could be flowers or even chocolate. Candy in general. Possible a libation of red wine. Ideally you'd leave your offerings at a crossroads.