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The Holy Head of Halifax
Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire


Asceticism and self-mortification had so warped Father Aeldred's mind and body that reason forsook him. To his grotto-confessional on the hill came the girl probationers from a Holy House, and among them an artless fair-haired vision of elfin beauty. Aeldred felt her charm, but madness gripped him, and his disordered brain saw but the Devil tempting him in frail disguise . . . . . One frenzied blow was enough! Then, severing the head, he bound it by its own shining tresses to the bole of a yew tree, in the nark of which the hairs miraculously took root. Aeldred fled to die that night in the hills.

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