Pictures from the past: Black magic at flats?

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Was it black magic or a joke in bad taste by a bunch of schoolboys?

The LBO reported on October 22, 1963 that at there were strange goings on at the partly-built flats of Rockleigh Court, Linslade.

Just across the road from the railway station, workmen found what they believed to be the remnants of black magic ceremonies – and there were reports of weird noises and drum beatings coming from the flats in the still of night.

Ingrid Smaile, 17, said she heard a high-pitched scream accompanied by a drum beat.

The next day, electricians found a pile of stones at the flats with the cremated remains of a bird on top. Later in the week, other finds included a ring of sawdust which encircled chalked signs of the zodiac and a skull and crossbones, a partly-burned candle, and a rubber imitation of a shrunken human head and imitation spider.

Police said they were “keeping an eye” on the situation but were minded to regard it as an elaborate practical joke.

> Pictured: Some of the finds at Rockleigh Court; plus Young Robert Bartlett of Waterdell, Leighton, with ‘Wendy’ his pet fox. He found the cub when it as only a few weeks old.