The Darkest Days – The Mistletoe Bride

According to legend, in the early 17th Century a young girl by the name of Anne Cope was married to Lord Hugh Bethell at Bramshill House in Hampshire, England. When it was time to take to the marital bed, Anne suggested a quick game of hide and seek first. Her husband and guests obliged and Anne hurried off to hide.The seekers searched the house for hours, but there was no sign of Anne anywhere.

They continued their search into the next day and before long, there were rumours that she had fled rather than spend her life with Lord Hugh. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, months into years and Anne never reappeared.

Fifty years after the terrible game, Lord Hugh was rambling around in his house, still searching for clues as to what had happened to his wife, and it was in the attic where he found her. Inside an ornate oak chest lay the skeleton of his bride and a withered sprig of mistletoe.

“Oh sad was her fate! In sportive jest, she hid from her Lord in an old oak chest. It closed with a spring and her bridal bloom, lay withering in that living tomb.” – Samuel Rogers

2 thoughts on “The Darkest Days – The Mistletoe Bride”

  1. Just commenting to say that I am very much enjoying this series. For me it’s a lovely mixture of familiar faces (yay Krampus! Mari Lwyd!), ones I’d heard of but never knew much about (the Cailleach) and some I had never encountered before (Marzanna). I’ve found the photography and your poem about Marzanna atmospheric and evocative. Thank you for sharing them with us. 🙂

    The tale of the ‘Mistletoe Bride’ caught my attention, because I was sure I’d heard of it before, but in a different guise. Turns out, consulting a book of ghost stories, that there’s another version, also set in the 17th century, but involving people with completely different names and set somewhere else altogether in England (Somerset, not Hampshire). Were there multiple brides going missing in oak chests in the 17th century? Guess it was just a popular motif… :O

    1. Hello!! I want to let you know that your comment has made my day! It’s been a rough couple of days, where my ‘subjects’ just haven’t wanted to be written about, so I’ve been feeling a tad pissed off and, admittedly, worried. But your words are so encouraging though and I’m going to storm forwards. 🙂 I’m especially grateful for your words about Marzanna. ❤ I'm delighted that The Mistletoe Bride caught your attention, and it makes me happy that it led you to consulting a book of ghost stories! You made me smile with 'Were there multiple brides going missing in oak chests in the 17th century?' THANK YOU! ❤

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