all hallows

All Hallows Eve in Old Lancashire

Posted on Oct 16, 2011 in all hallows, holidays, lancashire, pendle witches, reformation | 6 comments

All Hallows Eve in Old Lancashire

Come Halloween, the popular imagination turns to witches. Especially in Pendle Witch Country, the rugged Pennine landscape surrounding Pendle Hill, once home to twelve individuals arrested for witchcraft in 1612. The most notorious was Elizabeth Southerns, alias Old Demdike, cunning woman of long-standing repute and the heroine of my novel Daughters of the Witching Hill. How did these historical cunning folk celebrate All Hallows Eve? All Hallows has its roots in the ancient feast of Samhain, which marked the end of the pastoral year and was considered particularly numinous, a time when the...

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All Hallows Tide in Pendle

Posted on Oct 31, 2010 in all hallows, cunning folk, pendle witches, witchcraft | 6 comments

All Hallows Tide in Pendle

When Halloween comes around, the popular imagination turns to ghosts and hauntings. And to witches. Especially in my neck of the woods. I live in Pendle Witch Country, the rugged Pennine landscape surrounding Pendle Hill, once home to twelve individuals arrested for witchcraft in 1612. Unfortunately Halloween seems to drag out all kinds of ghoulish speculation about historical witches and cunning folk in a way that is not only historically inaccurate but disrespectful to the dead. The Pendle Witches were not ghouls, but real people who were held for months in a lightless dungeon in Lancaster...

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