If you ever clear out an old house, you’ll probably end up finding some weird stuff hidden away. After all, many of us tend to acquire a lot of junk in our homes as the years wear on. But Kerrie and Bleddyn Jackson got quite the shock in 2020 when they were fixing up their centuries-old property in Wales. And this wasn’t just any ordinary clutter – it had a link to the supernatural!
Kerrie told WalesOnline that it was her husband who first spotted this collection of freaky objects after he’d made a hole in a wall. Through the gloom of the gap he’d created, Bleddyn caught a glimpse of what appeared to be several shoes stowed away. It was an unexpected discovery, certainly, but there was actually much more to it than that.
Kerry explained that Bleddyn counted a total of eight shoes inside the wall. But all of them were meant to be worn by a left foot. And they were different sizes – with some designed for fully grown adult men and others intended for infants.
Though Bleddyn soon realized that it wasn’t just left-footed shoes that were hidden away in this crevice. Alongside the footwear was also a hat and pieces of a gun barrel. Yet perhaps the weirdest thing about the haul was the skull they found. This, it seemed, had come from a horse.
It was certainly an odd discovery for Bleddyn to make – especially when we consider how old his house is. As we mentioned earlier, the property dates back to the 16th century. But had the shoes, gun, hat and horse skull been resting there for all that time?
The Jacksons were understandably confused by the things that they’d discovered in their home. So, the couple started to do some research. And it wasn’t long before they came across information that seemed apt. Long ago, their findings stated, people used objects like the ones they’d found in order to protect against wicked forces.
So, the couple’s house – which is located in the northern Welsh market town of Denbigh – may have something of a dark history. In any case, it certainly has an interesting one, as is illustrated by its status as a “listed building.” In the United Kingdom, this basically means that the structure is protected by the government because of its historical importance.
Apparently, these structures may not be altered, extended or destroyed without specific permission from the authorities. They must also exhibit most of the features that were present when it was first raised. And the website British Listed Buildings notes that there are almost half a million of these historically important structures in the U.K.
The Jacksons’ house, then, fits the bill quite perfectly. Known by the name Plas Uchaf, the home and its grounds have a long history which stretches back centuries. British Listed Buildings notes that it was initially the home of a wealthy English settler family called the Goodmans. But ownership of the property was passed on several times over the following generations.
The property’s core remains the same today as when it was first built, though a number of extensions have been added since then. According to the website, a staircase was installed around the year 1680 at the behest of one Meredith Wynne. And it’s actually under here that the creepy objects were first discovered.
Meredith’s child Edward later took on responsibility of the estate and made his own renovations. But these works were apparently quite cosmetic. In much more recent times, an entire wall of the house had to be knocked and built up again. Though generally speaking, the main home has retained its original qualities.
The aforementioned website notes that Plas Uchaf became a Grade II listed building back in 1952. Apparently, the reason for its status was because of the property’s “special historic interest as a fine vernacular unit-planned sub-medieval gentry house with good surviving interior features.”
Plas Uchaf has actually been in Bleddyn’s family for generations, and he has been renovating it with the help of his wife. In doing so, the couple have ended up delighting in the exploration of their historic home. They’ve even set up an Instagram page dedicated to showing off the incredible things that they’ve found there!
Among the many discoveries made at Plas Uchaf is a striking print of a young Queen Victoria behind some shutters. The Jacksons explained on their Instagram page that they hadn’t touched them since moving in, so they had no idea the picture was even there. It was only when a laborer was at work in the room that the creepy image was spotted.
Elsewhere, the couple managed to reveal the contents of an old safe that had been in the house. The object appeared to have been cleared of anything valuable when the Jacksons found it, but it did contain things like bottles and broken chains. The Jackson’s opined on Instagram that wages meant for employees at the house and its surrounding farmlands may once have been kept inside the safe.
Another find that provided an insight into the property was a collection of old, musty papers discovered in the granary. The couple claimed that these were receipts related to activities that were once going on throughout the farm. It looks like the most recent of these pages was from 1941, so we can safely say that they’re pretty old!
The grounds beyond the main house are also full of interesting signs of the estate’s former life. Among the relics discovered are an old rusty kettle and a similarly weathered pan. The family suspects that this latter implement may have once been used to make traditional Welsh cakes.
But what else have the Jackson’s stumbled across? Well, the couple have found an old boot which is in a state of decay and sprouting plant life. On top of that, it seems that the grounds are littered with a huge array of old glass bottles. The family have accumulated quite the collection of these containers, which come in a variety of shapes and colors.
Other discoveries have apparently been much more difficult to categorize. In the couple’s 17th-century walled garden they found several artifacts in the shape of butterflies. Based on the objects’ weight and texture, it’s suspected that they were made of lead. Their purpose, however, is something of a mystery.
On the creepier side of things, there have been plenty of old and eerie artworks discovered in Plas Uchaf. Some are portraits of people from another era, while others are religious works or pieces depicting important historical events. And a number of the pictures are so old that they’re in a state of rot.
But what about the main building’s attic rooms? Well, they too have an immensely rich history. The Jacksons explained in one of their Instagram posts that these upper rooms were once inhabited by prisoners of war from Italy. These people had apparently ended up at Plas Uchaf during WWII to help out on the farm.
The attic rooms in the granary also exhibit signs of their past life in the form of graffiti. People working at the property left their mark on its walls – leaving their names and other pieces of personal information. Incredibly, the Jacksons explained that the oldest etching they had found to date was from 1888!
Another piece of interesting graffiti can be found on the grounds. The nature of this etching, however, is a little different, as it was carved into a tree. It reads, “D.W. 1961.” The Jacksons have no idea who this might have been, but they’d most certainly like to find out.
Among the more chilling discoveries made at Plas Uchaf and its grounds was a faceless figurine of a man. The Jacksons wrote on their Instagram page, “Eagle-eyed oldest boy just found this heavy little lead chap!” Take a look at the picture: its aged appearance has a decidedly haunting quality, doesn’t it?
Creepy as this figurine was, though, the most frightening discovery at Plas Uchaf was undoubtedly the haul of objects under the stairs. Speaking to WalesOnline, Kerrie Jackson explained how they had come across these strange items. She said, “Bleddyn was working in the room next door when he saw something through a hole he’d made in the wall.”
Kerrie went on, “The staircase had been built across a sealed up medieval doorway that once connected different parts of the house. And the void underneath it had become exposed by the repairs being carried on the old timber frame. It was very eerie to peer into the darkness and make out all the objects inside. And, initially, we could only see a couple of shoes through the rubble.”
“… As we kept pulling them out, more and more were found, until, eventually, we’d lined up eight odd shoes…,” Kerrie explained. Plus, they were all different sizes, with some fit for children and others for grownups. There’s no question that this was weird, as was the discovery of a woolen hat and bits of a gun. But the fact that the collection of items also included an equine skull really made things quite terrifying!
The Jacksons were understandably baffled by the things that they’d stumbled upon. So, they turned to the internet in search of answers. And the results were chilling. It appears that the items may have been placed under the stairs by people who’d been terrified by sinister and mystical forces.
Kerrie told WalesOnline, “There’s an old superstition that says witches would enter homes ‘between’ places such as staircases, or at twilight or the chiming of midnight. People believed that by leaving out items such as shoes, witches or demons would be attracted to the scent left by the wearer. And once they entered the shoe or boot, they were unable to reverse back out and were therefore trapped.”
“Other theories suggest that perhaps they would become so distracted by the novelty of the find that they would leave the family alone,” Kerrie continued. “There are also lots of notions about why anyone would conceal horse skulls in houses, and we wondered if there was perhaps a connection to the Mari Lwyd.”
The Mari Lwyd is actually an old pagan winter tradition which continues today. During this event, the men of a town dress up and parade a horse’s skull on a pole. They then take it to local homes, where they request entry for food and drink through the medium of song. The houses’ owners are then expected to deny them access, and the two groups continue in song until one gives up. Interestingly, if the homeowners are the ones to relent, they then have to invite the group in and dine them.
Though its true origins are difficult to pin down, Mari Lwyd is widely linked with Christmas nowadays. The practice’s roots, though, are said to go further back in time than Christianity. This suggests that people may have been parading horses’ skulls around for several millennia now. If nothing else, that is a testament to the power of tradition!
In any case, it’s unclear whether or not the skull found in the Jacksons’ home was related to Mari Lwyd. But one person who saw the pictures of the haul on Instagram shared their thoughts on all those shoes. Apparently, the fact that they were all left-footed was meaningful because of an odd religious quirk.
The user commented, “The left shoes are also of significance. The whole thing of ‘the left hand side being against God’ was very much a thing. And [it] still [persists] in some forms to this day – hence why you hear stories of some teachers forcing children to write with their right hands. Left-handed shoes would have been seen as a very inviting place for a disembodied spirit to stay the night!”
So, whoever left all these items under the stairs was probably very superstitious. And they would have likely been relieved to learn that the Jacksons soon put all the stuff back where they found it! Indeed, witches wouldn’t be getting into the house any time soon.
But did the Jacksons put all these things back under the stairs in the spirit of tradition – or were they superstitious themselves? Well, apparently it was the former. Kerrie told WalesOnline, “We’re not worried about [the objects] being there and we’re not spooked by it at all.”
The Jacksons are committed to documenting all the oddities to be found in their home. But they’re equally determined to preserve the spirit of the property’s past. For that reason, they try to place their discoveries back where they found them so that future generations can experience the thrill of coming across the items themselves.
Speaking to WalesOnline, Jackson elaborated on this idea and revealed her family’s motivations for adhering to it. She said, “We quite often come across quirky things around this old house that really connect us to the past. We believe it’s important to record what we find and then return them for future generations to discover.”
In future years, Plas Uchaf will be defined by the influence of Kerrie and her family – especially in light of the renovations that they’re undertaking. And she is mindful of this, naturally. Kerrie explained, “It does make us wonder what future inhabitants of this place will make of the things we’ll end up leaving behind.”
So far, the Jacksons have made a huge number of discoveries at Plas Uchaf – both inside and outside the property. There’s also no sign that the amazing finds are likely to dry up any time soon. And as they continue to renovate and explore the place, who knows what else they’ll stumble upon?