DEVON, UK – During some renovation work, a funeral director found quite a surprise behind the wall of his cottage.
Builders were working on Richard Parson’s home when they discovered the mummified body of a cat behind a wall. Parson said, “The builders were stripping one of the bathrooms upstairs and this little fellow came to light. It is quite scary looking and is a lot bigger than a normal domestic cat.”
Parson did some research and discovered that about 400 years ago, local residents would board up cats behind walls to ward off witches.
Marion Gibson, a witchcraft and folklore expert of Exeter University, said, “Cats were often put into walls as some kind of good luck charm. It seems to have been quite a widespread practice across the European continent.”
Parson added, “There has been a local myth, a legend, that there was a cat buried in the house but of course we had no idea where that was.” His neighbors have since explained that the cat had in fact been found 20 years ago, but was put back by another resident.
A child’s boot is also rumored to be hidden in the house’s structure as a good luck charm, as it was once a shoemaker’s shop.
When asked what will become of the cat, Parson explained, “I cannot throw it away so we plan to put it back on completion of the building work. But my wife is not all that keen on it, as she says she will have bad dreams.”