The Old Woman At Change
In 1862 it was said there was a old
woman living at Change who was able to
rouse the enchanted spirits. Dressed in a
red cloak said to be the mark of a witch,
with a slight limp and cast in her eye.
She went into coates and out-houses,
pulling the front of the cloak over her
face. Mumbling in order to raise the
spirits from the vast deep so that she
may set them on some unfriendly
The Hanging Man
A man walking past what is now Bacup
Chippy glanced through the passageway that
leads from Rochdale Road to the Co-op car
park and saw a man hanging by a noose.
When he looked again the apparition had
The Doom Crow
Quarry workers at Rakehead believed that to
see a single rook or crow in flight was very
bad luck or an omen of disaster. If you are
alone when you see it, it is best to turn back
or disaster will befall you. If on the other hand
you are with a companion and direct his
attention to the bird and make the sign of the
cross and spit on the nearest stone you will
ward of the evil for both you and your
A tradition that existed in Bacup almost 140
years ago, on New Years eve the "
Mummers" would walk into someone's house
without knocking, dressed up in old clothes
symbolising the old worn out year and with
blackened faces. They carried with them an
ash bucket, fire shovel, brushes etc, and "
mum" without a word went up to the fire and
raked and mended the fire without a word,
cleared out the ashes put them in a bucket
A Tale Of Two Moorland Farms Above
A thieving cat was taking the cream in the
middle of the night from one of the farms.
This was not their own cat, and the puzzled
farmer and his son stayed up one night to
watch for any intruder. In the middle of the
night, the dairy door was pushed open, and
a cat came into the dairy and jumped on
the stone shelf.
The farmer and his son threw pots and
pans and everything they could get their
hands on at the cat, and it jumped out
through the window and vanished as
quickly as it appeared. On a neighbouring
farm, the farmer happened to wake up in the
middle of the night and found that his wife not
for the first time was missing. So he kept
awake to watch for her return,. Eventually
she crept back into the bedroom with her
arms scratched, her face bleeding and black
eyes, as if she had been badly bruised by
Was she a Witch?
Tong farm house bore the date
stone of 1851 and was built in the
style of many Georgian houses
with heavy stone mullioned
windows, the roof and gables
decorated with oblong stone balls.
At the time of the Boggart the
house was occupied by a man
known as " Owd Robin O'
Greaves" and his thrifty and
bustling wife Mally.
Old Meadows Boggart
A Boggart is a Lancashire term for poltergeist, and three little boys must had the fright of their life when they decided to eavesdrop on some
carters having a morning break at Old Meadows Coal pit. The youngsters had been playing at Old Meadows pushing the empty trucks back
down to the tramway. There was a grimy sort of office which the carters used to sit in and wait for the next load of wagons to come down the
incline. The youngsters crept inside to listen to the carters chatter, when one of the old colliers spotted the lads he looked across to one of his
carter pals and winked. " Ah yer, they'n bin raising the Boggart at th' hoil at Yenchley End pit""Ah daresay", said one of the carters. "There's
some reight bad uns I' that hoil. Heaw dun they do it, Abe?
The old fella then described how the initiated assembled in a lonely part of the pit, then dug a hole, about knee deep and they they all sat
around the edge with their feet in the hole. Each person held a lighted candle in one hand, and an earthenware pot or jug in the other. An
incantation was then chanted, and at a given part all thrust out their hands, smashing their pots together and letting the pieces fall into the
centre of the hole. An invocation then followed, at the end of which all blew out their candles, and in the darkness the demon rose up through
the broken pots. Throughout the telling of the tale the youngsters edged closer and closer to the door and on hearing the of the demon rising
through the broken pots all broke out at a fast pace as if the demon himself where after them.
and the swept up and polished the grate.
When all was tidied up they walked round the
room and touched the articles of furniture
and then presented, their collecting box. All
this was done without a word, hence their
name, for the rule was that if they spoke a
word, the family of the house could set on
them and pummel them with fists and drive
them out the house. Consequently as soon
as the "mummers " appeared the children
and adults of the house would try every trick
in the book to get the " mummers" to speak.
As soon as a payment had been placed in
the collecting box however the " mummers"
were allowed to speak and wish the
household a Happy New Year, and then go
on their way to the next house.
The Legend of Stubylee Hall originates
from about the year 850. On the site of
Stubylee Hall once stood a beautiful
Monastery, richly decorated and
containing many precious vestments and
jewels. Among the jewels was a beautiful
chalice of exceptional value. The monks
were noted far and wide for their
hospitality and kindness especially to the
women and children of the
neighbourhood. None of who were ever