Meg Shelton, also known as the “Fylde Hag” is buried in St Anne’s Church graveyard in Woodplumpton, Preston. A sign above her grave reads ‘The Witch’s Grave. Beneath this stone lies the remains of Meg Shelton alleged witch of Woodplumpton, buried in 1705.’
The story of Meg Shelton is infamous in Lancashire; she was known within the community to cause mischief and apparently used her powers to steal from farmers!
On one occasion, it is said that Meg transformed herself into a sack of corn and hid in a farmer’s barn to steal food his food. The farmer was somewhat smarter than she realised and noticed there was one sack too many. He stabbed each one with a pitchfork to make sure they were all filled with corn. Then, Meg let out a scream and returned to her human form before fleeing the scene.
Another story tells of Meg walking her goose through a farmer’s field until he saw milk dripping from the animal’s bill. Approaching the goose, he gave it a kick and it transformed back into a jug which then shattered; the milk spilled, and an infuriated Meg flew away.
It is said Meg died in an accident when she was crushed between a barrel and a wall in 1705 and, despite her reputation, it was decided to lay her to rest at the village church of nearby Woodplumpton.
Legend has it that when Meg was buried, she dug herself out of the ground, twice. It was then decided she would be buried head-first, with a boulder placed on top. That way, if Meg tried to dig herself out of the ground, she would be going the wrong way…
Read all about Danny Weston’s fictionalised version of Meg Shelton in The Witching Stone.