Located on the banks of the river Nidd, near Knaresborough in North Yorkshire, is a mystical well that converts objects to stone. Any object touched by the well’s dripping waters – leaves, sticks, dead birds, and more – naturally turn to stone within a few months!
For many centuries, locals believed that the Petrifying Well was cursed by the devil – a myth fueled by the fact that the side of the well looks like a giant’s skull. They constantly lived with the fear that if they touched the well’s water, they would be turned to stone too.
A few adventurous people left everyday objects near the waterfall, only to witness the transformation occur over weeks. Some of these relics can be spotted even today, like a Victorian top hat and a lady’s bonnet from the 1800s – both converted to solid stone. More recently, people have left teddy bears, kettles, and even a bicycle in the petrifying well, with similar results.
But history shows that the well wasn’t always known for its petrifying qualities. The earliest known reference to it was by John Leyland, antiquarian to Henry VIII. In 1538, he wrote that people believed the well to have miraculous healing properties. Many bathed under its waters to be cured from various ailments. In the early 1600s, a medical physician examined samples of water and concluded that it was a miracle cure for “any flux of the body.” But as locals began to observe objects slowly turn to stone, the well’s reputation turned sour.
Read More: Here