Former Witches' Prison and 'Most Haunted House in Essex' for Sale in England

This house was once used as a prison to house women accused of witchcraft. (

This house was once used as a prison to house women accused of witchcraft. (

A former medieval witches’ prison and reputedly haunted house known as ‘The Cage’ is for sale near St. Osyth, Essex in England.

The St. Osyth Witches, as they’re known, included fourteen women accused of witchcraft, although only two women were executed—Ursula Kemp and Elizabeth Bennet were hanged in 1582.

Kemp, a midwife and healer whose reputation for being able to undo curses caused by witchcraft may have been her undoing, was the first woman accused.

Kemp’s own eight-year-old son was forced to testify against her, and he likely would have said his last goodbye to his mother in the house. It was not uncommon for the surviving children of women executed for witchcraft to be left to fend for themselves, and they often died of starvation and neglect. Some believe his spirit is among those haunting the home.

It is also believed that Kemp’s body is one of two that were found buried on the property in 1921.

Current owner Vanessa Mitchell purchased the house in 2004, and since then has claimed to experience a variety of paranormal phenomena; including being attacked and hit by an invisible force, having her hair pulled, visitors being pushed down the stairs, objects moving on their own and doorknobs rattling, faucets turning themselves on, blood appearing in the hallway, disturbing apparitions, and even the appearance of a satanic goat.

The house is listed for sale by Rightmove, who advertises the property as "a great business proposition for a special ‘paranormal' holiday cottage rental,” since it is the "most haunted house in Essex and possibly England."

“The superstitious among you will probably think twice about even setting foot in the property, let alone wanting to live there,” Rightmove property expert Miles Shipside said. “The building certainly has a unique atmosphere about it, but I’ll leave it for others to decide whether this is because of paranormal activity or not. The property itself is a charming cottage in a quintessential English village, so if home hunters can get past the hullabaloo surrounding its checkered past, I’m sure it would make a very cozy home for someone.”

Rightmove is currently entertaining any offer over $305,683.

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