Art and Culture Community Palmers Green Planning and open spaces Spooky stories

No sleeps till the Scream

Neighbours, the  time is almost upon us. Ever since the manuscript was found in the town hall telling of  the way in which our forebears banished evil, there has been an imperative to make sure that Palmers Green remains pure and good hearted. With the Palmers Scream this evening, at 5.15 sharp in Broomfield Park, we will meet together and celebrate the dark, and our stories.


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Organisers down play ‘scream’ incident at festival

paper_found_with_scrollOrganisers of the Palmers Green Festival have reluctantly admitted that a handbill unearthed in the Town Hall, telling of the ancient rituals once used to keep evil at bay, was stolen from the Palmers Scream stall at the festival this weekend. The document had previously been on display at Baskerville’s, where staff had reported a number of mysterious visitors.

“The theft goes to show the necessity of as many Palmers Green people as possible supporting the Palmers Scream event on 31 October” said a spokesman who asked to remain anonymous. “Only through assembling together with a sense of joy can we overcome mysterious forces which are clearly still at work.”

“Plus it’s a free event which means that you can have a cracking night out with the kids on Halloween without having to go trick or treating.”

For more information about the October event, the missing manuscript, and tales of mystery about the area, visit


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More about the Broomfield House find

Ralph Hutchings has now made a short video about the Broomfield House witch bottle finds. Though it happened over 30 years ago, other recent discoveries in the Town Hall have led Ralph to come forward to talk about the day he visited Broomfield House after the fire to help in the conservation work to save the Lanscroon murals


For more information visit

Art and Culture Community Enfield History Palmers Green Planning and open spaces Spooky stories

Broomfield bottle find raises further questions about our past

Ralph Hutchings
Ralph Hutchings

Following the discovery of a manuscript in the Town Hall,  we understand that local furniture expert Ralph Hutchings has now also come forward with a story of an earlier find in Broomfield House thirty years ago during post fire work to recover the Lanscroon murals.

The conservation team uncovered a small box in the remains of Broomfield House’s great staircase, containing a number of objects, including what look like three 17th century witch bottles.
This find isn’t the first witch bottle cache to be unearthed in recent times. Another was found in Newark on Trent  last year during to the Old Magnus Buildings and Tudor Hall. Witch bottles are typically filled with hair, fingernails and even urine to stop spells and curses entering homes.
Art and Culture Community Enfield Green Palmers Green History Palmers Green Planning and open spaces Spooky stories

Enfield loses its nerve over hauntings?

Broomfield's bandstand
Broomfield’s bandstand

The last few days have seen local groups in uproar following the news that Enfield won’t be taking part in London Open House this year. Apparently, Enfield has pulled out because it was unwilling to pay the £4,000 contribution required for its participating venues to appear in the Open House guidebook.

However other sources are suggesting that the real reason is that the Council is concerned about the number of hauntings and strange occurrences in the borough, not least the appearance recently, after a long absence, of ‘Bandstand Bob’ in Broomfield Park, glimpsed by a lady walking her dog just before the park closed. Bandstand Bob was associated with Broomfield House and the area by the lake, but hadn’t been seen since the fire which reduced the structure to its present state in the 1990s.

A few weeks ago there was also the discovery of a manuscript during the Town Hall renovations which indicated that Palmers Green was one of the three haunted hamlets of Middlesex, and that local people participated in rituals to keep witches at bay – a kind of Palmers Scream. The document is currently being examined by Dr Susan Devereux, lecturer in Early Modern History.

A source close to the Council has indicated that the borough is concerned that recent developments, combined with the current showing of the Enfield Haunting on Sky Living, is ‘creating a backward image’ for the borough.

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Shock document find in town hall reveals local witch ritual

For hundreds of years the area round Enfield was notorious for witchcraft, the most famous being Winchmore Hill’s Elizabeth Sawyer, the so called Witch of Edmonton. Sawyer was accused of murdering by mysterious means a neighbour who had stuck her pig, and was hanged at Tyburn.

It wasn’t the first incident. A few years earlier, a group of men were accused of performing rituals in the woods in an area close to present day Hounsden Road. Closer to home, there have been sightings of black dogs reported down the ages, including at Palmers Green’s Deadman’s Bridge where cartsman Gibby Haynes is said to have drowned after his horse was startled by a black creature.

There were woodlands all around Palmers Green before the coming of the diggers inhabited by peasants and country folk, and not a few vagabonds. A document discovered in the Town Hall last week seems to show that the fear of witchcraft was very real in the fields and homesteads of what became Palmers Green.

While there has been no formal investigation as yet, the document is a stunning find which could reframe our whole history. It is believed to have been found in a box when workmen took down a partition wall, and may predate anything we previously knew about the Palmers Green area.

Photos of the script show a barely legible script, part of which, unsettlingly, seems to relate to instructions for an annual ritual to keep the Broomfield area safe from witchcraft. Enfield’s Local Studies and Archive are currently working on a full transcript.

scroll_beginningImage with kind permission of Enfield Local Studies and Archive