A spooked mum has been forced to put her house on the market – because she claims it is the most haunted in Britain.
Vanessa Mitchell had to flee the home with her baby son in 2008 and has been too scared to return after being terrorised by ghosts.
The 44-year-old bought The Cage in St Osyth, Essex, in 2004 but didn’t realise it was haunted.
Her home was formally a medieval prison and hosted one of England’s most famous witch hunts in the 16th Century – where eight women died after being accused.
Soon after moving in, she was soon plagued by ghostly figures and was even pushed over while pregnant and saw mysterious blood splatters appearing.
Terrified Vanessa was even spanked on the bottom and says the house was “unlivable” due to the spooky happenings and has twice put it on the market.
The final nail in the coffin came when her CCTV picked up an eerie image of what she fears was a satanic goat roaming the premises.
She left the home with son Jesse, now nine, in 2008 to move into rented accommodation and has since desperately been trying to flog it.
Vanessa, who also has a ten-month-old son, said: “The house is so haunted I haven’t been able to live there since 2008.
“I was there for about three years but I had to leave with my young son for our own safety.
“Blood would appear on the walls and ground, things would shoot across the room, doors randomly slammed and I saw three ghosts while I was there.
“We had no choice but to leave because it got so bad.”
Vanessa purchased the Cage in 2004 for £148,000 but had no clue about is murky past.
The building was only transformed into a home in 1908. Before then it had served as the local village jail for centuries.
Its most famous inmates were the 14 local women accused of witchcraft in 1582.
Midwife and healer Ursula Kemp was the first to be denounced after she was accused of putting a hex on a baby girl who died when she fell from her cot and broke her neck, following a row with the child’s mother over money.
The spooky cottage even has a Coffin Alley running alongside it, which is said to have been used to remove the bodies of witches who died while at held at the Cage.
Vanessa said: “I was never warned about the paranormal activity when I bought it. I’d seen the plague outside explaining about Ursula Kemp but that was it.
“I just want to move on with my life now and am happy for someone to buy it for any price.
“I believe that in some ways the house chose me to tell its story and I believe that with such a unique house, the next owners will also have a duty to look after it and continue telling its story.”
The Cage’s spooky history
The Cage was a medieval jail that held witches during the 16th Century.
Among its most famous inmates were 14 local women accused of witchcraft in 1582.
One of the more famous of those witches was Ursula Kemp, who was tried for witchcraft after being accused of causing the deaths of a woman and two children.
Kemp, who was aged somewhere between 25 and 35, was forced to confess to the hex and other “satanic acts” including preventing beer from brewing, casting spells and sending evil animal “familiars” to kill and maim enemies.
Interrogators also forced her to name other local women involved in witchcraft, and in turn those women pointed the finger at others. Eventually there were 14, who became known as the “St Osyth Witches”.
Kemp’s own eight-year-old son, Thomas, was forced to testify against her and she and one co-accused, Elizabeth Bennet, were found guilty of the most serious crime of “bewitching to death”.
They were sentenced to hang and spent their final weeks in chains in the jail before their executions. The other women were jailed, acquitted or reprieved.
The house would also have been where Kemp said goodbye to her young son.
Often, the children of executed witches were left to fend for themselves afterwards and died of starvation or neglect.
These children are among the spirits said to haunt the house.