The most notable Witch Stone that I know of is that built into the fabric of the church tower at Newchurch, known locally as ‘The Eye of God’.
Throughout History, many cultures have believed that stones that have holes carved completely through them by the power of nature held healing and mystical properties. They are considered to carry the wisdom of ages, and are thought to offer protection if worn or carried.
Large holey stones, called men-an-tols, were used in ancient ceremonies. Representing the doorway between the physical and spiritual world, they were often placed at the entrance to tombs and cairns. In some cultures, the belief was held that they also represented rebirth and transition.
Ancient Celtic peoples would hold marriage ceremonies where the new couple would join hands through the stone to symbolize and bless the union. Another example claimed that if after a year of marriage no child had been gotten, the couple could choose to return to the stone and renounce their union.
Healing was another power attributed to holes in large stones and rocks, and sick children would be passed through the stone three times to cure the illness. Adults could crawl through the stone nine times as a curative. In the absence of large stones, small holed stones would be rubbed on the afflicted body area.
The most powerful attribute of a holey stone is its protective power. Worn or carried, it would ward off evil spirits and protect the wearer from harm. Dobbie stones were hung from bedposts to prevent nightmares. If a stone was broke, it was thought to have used its power to protect a life.
These powerful stones are also reputed to bestow the gift of psychic sight upon anyone looking through the stone. It is held that if one looks through the stone during the light of the full moon, the realm of faerie can be seen, along with ghosts, visions, and the “other world”.