Dunstable witch to feature in fantasy film

Priory Church, Dunstable
Priory Church, Dunstable

A new fantasy feature film, Trapped Magic: The Broken Blade, is to be shot in Dunstable.

It’s about a troubled and unassuming teen who discovers a magic bottle that contains the ghost of an 18th Century witch and is loosely based on the myth of Sally the Dunstable Witch.

Many locals remember being told not to hang around after dark in the area surrounding Priory Church graveyard for fear of Sally and the Bottle Curse.

The story originated after a poem was written about her in the late 19th Century. She was allegedly a little old lady living alone with her cat, who turned to the dark arts when anyone crossed her.

She was eventually burned at the stake but died cursing loudly and threatening revenge. Her avenging spirit terrified everyone in the church and an exorcist was called in. He backed her into a corner and got her into a bottle, which was then buried.

It later turned out that the story had been invented by the local headmaster, who was trying to shame the then rector into clearing up the churchyard.

Trapepd Magic director Heather Aspinall said: “I’ve grown up greatly enjoying fantasy films such as The Never-ending Story or the Harry Potter franchise.

“Fantasy film and movies in general often carry the message that ‘anything is possible’ and I believe this message needs to be promoted more to young adults, especially at a time when the economic situation makes it more difficult to pursue dream careers.”

The film is a feature-length adaptation of the fantasy short Trapped Magic, which appeared on the BBC One Programme BBC TV Points West last Hallowe’en.