In The Discoverie of Witchcraft, Reginald Scott writes:
Our mothers' maids have so terrified us with bull-beggars, spirits, witches, urchins, elves, hags, fairies, satyrs, pans, faunes, sylens, tritons, centaurs, dwarfs, giants, nymphes, Incubus, Robin good fellow, the spoom, the man in the oke, the fire-drake, the puckle, Tom Thombe, Tom tumbler boneless, and such other bugs.
Who was “the spoom”?

What ever happened to the Giants of Cashmere?

Why don’t weblogs go left to right, like this?

Page 36 of the June 15, 1850 edition of Notes and Queries describes the traditional cure for nosebleeds used by the rural folk of South Northamptonshire:
For stopping or preventing bleeding at the nose, a toad is killed by transfixing it with some sharp pointed instrument, after which it is enclosed in a little bag and suspended round the neck.
That seems such an overly complicated, time consuming procedure for a simple bloody nose. Were nose bleeds among the rural folk of South Northamptonshire in 1850 much worse than nose bleeds are today? Or was South Northamptonshire in 1850 so teeming with toads that catching and stabbing one only took a moment?

Why can't I stop reading Notes and Queries?

Why is The Tide News the only major media outlet willing to tackle this controversial issue?


  1. I still stop my nose bleeds int the old South Northamptonshire way, but I spit in the toad's face before I transfix it. Very effective

  2. I've noticed you often combine the traditional with the cutting edge.

    Nosebleeds could be prevented in the first place by tying a toad to the index finger.

    I've never understood the toad (or seen one in the wild). To me he's a frog who hates swimming so he moves from the shore to the country. What's the point?

    I'm truly hoping some technoid can provide an answer to query #3.

  3. Still no news on The Spoom. I've looked in a lot of places but nothing. A letter to the Fortean Times might be order.

  4. That passage is quoted in C.S. Lewis' The Discarded Image. In some sources instead of "the spoom" it's spelled "the spoorne". I'm hoping spoorne is a typo, because I'm not interested in knowing what the spoorne is.


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