A former medieval prison called “The Cage” is now up for sale in St. Osyth, Essex, England. If being a former prison isn’t creepy enough, it’s also considered to be the most haunted house in all of Essex. In fact, there is so much paranormal activity that happens at the house that its current owner can’t even live there. Vanessa Mitchell has owned the property since 2004, but she had to move out after just three years, leaving the home vacant for more than ten years.
There is definitely a creepy history that’s associated with the house. On February 20, 1582, the local priory owner and magistrate named Sir Brian Darcy ordered Ursula Kemp to be ripped away from her son’s arms. She and thirteen others were charged with performing witchcraft. Known as the “Witches of St. Osyth”, they were thrown into The Cage prison. They had a trial and two of the fourteen were found guilty, including Ursula Kemp. They were sentenced to death by hanging. There is even a plaque on the property that states Kemp was imprisoned there prior to being hanged in 1582.
Kemp was said to have been the most powerful and notorious of all the women. She lived her life as a midwife as well as a healer. Many of the locals would visit her for medicine, and she was additionally known to have removed spells from people who believed they were cursed by black magic.
The Cage continued as a prison for men, women, and even children, until 1908 when it was turned into a private home. The paranormal activity had been too much for many of the previous owners to handle and the property changed hands several times over the years.
The current owner said that she witnessed a total of twelve spirits haunting the home. She claimed that the ghosts attempted to hit her from behind, pull her hair, and even tried to throw people down the steps who were visiting. Mitchell said that she saw a shadow figure standing over her son, and what’s even more terrifying (if that’s even possible) is that a CCTV camera allegedly captured an image of what she believed was a satanic goat on her property.
In an interview with BBC in 2016, Mitchell said that it would be “too dangerous” for a family with children to buy her home. She then said that she was being “physically attacked and seeing ghosts every day,” adding, “It’s so haunted I don’t know what more I can do...”
Supposedly the house has since been “cleared” of the evil entities that were allegedly occupying the location. But with a history like the one that’s attached to The Cage, I wouldn’t be surprised if at least some of the spirits are still restlessly wandering around the area – maybe even a witch looking for revenge...