A Lancashire Tale

Photo copyright: Dale Rogerson.

Photo copyright: Dale Rogerson.

A wedding party had drifted over the Nick O Pendle. Since then the only sound heard on the hill had come from a pair of dotterels. But the hill was listening, it listened for those who had once climbed its slopes, for those who once harvested its bounty.
Now had you stood upon the hill the next day, you would have seen a ghostly white veil. So whether it’s the snow or cloud or even cotton grass, you had best not go upon Pendle hill when the veil is present. For the wind may sigh and the hill might answer:

On occasions I travel past Pendle Hill with it sad history, today’s offering is a snippet from a longer piece about the witches of Pendle .


Mike prior to his visit to the barbers.

This Post Has 65 Comments

  1. neilmacdon

    Lovely slow-cooked words

    1. Michael Humphris

      The middle section of this post which I had to cut out to stay within the word count, was in part about the culinary delights of the plant life of Pendle Hill, so I really appreciated your comment of ‘lovely slow-cooked words’ thank you Neil.

  2. ceayr

    Wonderfully atmospheric piece, Michael, I love it.

    In the photo, is your head upside down?

    1. Michael Humphris

      Sometimes it would be appropriate for my head to be upside down as there is more hair on my chin than on my bonnet.

  3. rochellewisoff

    Dear Michael,

    Simply lovely. The last line so poetic..



    1. Michael Humphris

      This is such a welcome comment from a fine writer like yourself, thank you Rochelle,

  4. Varad

    Beautiful, Michael. Very poetic and melancholic.

    1. Michael Humphris

      That’s is due to Pendle Hill undoubtedly. Thank you Varad

  5. Claire Fuller

    That last line is wonderful – it’s all wonderful. Sinister and beautiful.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Claire, so pleased to read your comment. Mike

  6. yarnspinnerr

    Intriguing read.

    1. Michael Humphris

      So pleased to read your comment, Thank you yarnspinnerr.

  7. granonine

    This draws me in like the fragrance from a fresh pot of coffee.

    1. Michael Humphris

      What a lovely comment, thank you granonine.

  8. Iain Kelly

    Note to self – avoid Pendle Hill. Atmospheric piece Michael, well done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Iain. No need to avoid; but check the weather forecast, and carry a packet of Kendal Mint Cake.

  9. Sandra

    Pendle Hill was a familiar haunt for me (excuse the pun). You caught the mood and atmosphere of the place beautifully. Well done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Loved the pun, and so pleased that you found Pendle Hill beautiful. I drive past the hill regularly on my way to the Lancashire coast.

  10. James

    I don’t have time to research Pendle Hill at the moment but it sounds like an interesting ghost story.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you James, Pendle Hill stands proud and beautiful on my regular routes around the area in which I live. Despite my story I don’t find it ghostly.

  11. liz young

    A haunting story.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Liz, despite my story I don’t find Pendle Hill ghostly, but it is beautiful and intriguing

  12. Anita

    I will be scared to spot one:)

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Antita. Pendle Hill can be quite a moody place, but can be quite beautiful also.

  13. Edith M. Field

    You present an ominous feel to the hill and yet the thought of taking a walk there is strangely compelling. An intriguing story, Michael. I very much enjoyed it.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Edith. At times Pendle Hill can appear ominous, yet it can also be beautiful. And sometimes intriguing. I am so pleased you enjoyed my abbreviated story. To stay within the word limit I cut out all the references to the culinary and medical history of the hill.

  14. sarahsouthwest

    That’s very atmospheric. Eerie.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Sarah, Pendle Hill does have its own distinctive climate. Until quite recent times it could be quite wild and untamed.

  15. pennygadd51

    Some places retain an atmosphere after horrific events, don’t they? You’ve skilfully captured that feeling with your words.

    1. Michael Humphris

      It does seem so, I might cause your toes to curl up with a couple of events that I witness. Darn it. I now have another paragraph to write and insert in my memoirs.

  16. Dale

    I must echo everyone’s comments with a very lovely, atmospheric piece, Michael.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much Dale.

  17. Susan

    Your story makes me wan to know more about this Peddle Hill. I love horror stories

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Susan. There is a bitter cold wind over Pendle Hill tonight.

  18. joem18b

    as mr. trump would say, it was a witch hunt.


    1. Michael Humphris

      In that case he would be right. I am glad that I am not a politician, as I just would not know where to start putting things to right.

  19. Keith's Ramblings

    The last sentence is simply perfect. Briliant Michael.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Keith, you are right about February, the snow drops are in full bloom and many a daffodil has been fooled into blooming. Yet a bitter cold wind blasts across Pendle Hill tonight.

      1. Keith's Ramblings

        Daffofils give false hope. I just shivered.

        1. Michael Humphris

          Thank you Keith, I am almost house bound with a heavy cold, and frustrated as wordpress will not allow me to like or comment on stories.

  20. anuragbakhshi

    Excellent atmosphere yiu created there Michael.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Then my job is done, Thank you so much.

  21. Rowena

    You live in such a beautiful part of the world, MIchael. I Googled Pendle Hill and was fascinated by the witch trial held there. Do you know if they found an explanation for what happened? I’ve heard that ergot poisoning has been attributed for some cases of so-called witchcraft such as the Salem Trials. Thought you might be interested in this article Google dug up for me: https://io9.gizmodo.com/this-fungus-was-a-medieval-mass-murderer-1711876237
    Best wishes,

    1. Michael Humphris

      Hi Rowena, thank you for the link, I had had completely forgotten about ergot poisoning. As for the Pendle witch trial, at the time I think there was very much hysteria centred around witches. Tonight there is a bitter cold wind over Pendle.

      1. Rowena

        Michael, I’m a bit concerned about that cold wind over Pendle tonight. Sounds like those ghosts are up to no good again!
        I took a course called “Crime & Deviance” when I studied history at Sydney University. Witchcraft was one of the topics we looked at and that’s how I found out about the ergot poisoning.
        In Australia we are experiencing a different type of hysteria at the moment and a different witch hunt. Don’t know whether you heard that our Deputy Prime Minister left his wife and four kids to get involved with a staffer who is now about to give birth. He is surviving by the skin of his teeth atm.
        Personally, I can’t understand why people are getting so upset about it. When it comes to looking for role models, I put politicians in the same camp as footballers and don’t expect much at all. Well, not much good anyway. Indeed, it’s a bit hard to find any particular profession that you can trust. That said, I’ll run with nurses. My experience with teachers has also been great, but they’re not infallible either.
        xx Rowena

        1. Michael Humphris

          Hi Rowena, it seems that James the First, became fixated on witch craft, he wrote a book called Daemonologie, which ended up encouraging people to hunt for witches. And gave Pendle Hill a legacy. I am almost house bound at the moment with a heavy cold, and frustrated as word press will not allow me to like or comment on stories.

          1. Rowena

            Sorry to hear about your nasty cold, Michael. I get housebound for periods of time and I don’t count obligatory school drop offs and pickups as really getting out either. That is criminal for WordPress to play up when you’re stuck at home with a cold. It should have some sort of empathy, compassion and be there for you. Hope you start feeling better soon and thanks for that snippet about James I. I think he was the one who wrote the King James version of the Bible, wasn’t he?
            Take care!
            Best wishes,

          2. Michael Humphris

            Thank you Rowena, King James I, did indeed sponsor a version of the Bible in English. Not feeling well enough to going outside is frustrating. What I would give for a warm sunny day and beach sand between my toes. Still I can at least write a few more snippets for my memoirs.

  22. Norma

    That’s a wonderful piece Michael. Loved the last line. Thanks to you, I just got to know about Pendle Hill. Seems like there could be a lot of stories to tell apart from the one that google has to offer.
    Click to read: https://normashilpi.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/a-story-to-tell/

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Norma. I do see potential stories all around the Pendle area. Like “a story to tell” it is down to destiny and the prompt pictures, whether they get written.

  23. Lynn Love

    A fascinating piece of British history, the Pendle witches and you did the subject proud with your atmospheric story Michael

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Lynn, If I work hard, there are a multitude of stories to be found around Pendle Hill,

      1. Lynn Love

        How very true! A thoroughly inspiring place

  24. Alicia Jamtaas

    Michael, I think this might be one of your best stories. So much atmosphere and a bit of longing, too.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Alicia, the area around Pendle Hill is full of atmosphere,

  25. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    Love the atmosphere in your story as everyone else does.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Bjorn, I am almost house bound with a heavy cold, and frustrated as wordpress will not allow me to like or comment on stories.

  26. spicedmullings

    Achingly beautiful! We often do trespass on nature!

    1. Michael Humphris
        Thank you so much for such a lovely comment, I am almost house bound with a heavy cold, and frustrated as word press will not allow me to like or comment on stories.
      1. spicedmullings

        A cold does stifle things. Pray you are better.
        Thank you!

        1. Michael Humphris

          I do not like being forced to stay at home, but so be it. Thanking you for your kind words

          1. spicedmullings
  27. Tina Sequeira

    Hi Michael! This is my first time on your blog and I loved what I read. I so want to go and check out the plac yet I am scared to go there…at least not on my own for sure and definitely not when it´s dark. Looking forward to your next! Cheers 🙂

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Tina. Pendle is definately a place best enjoyed when in company.

      1. Tina Sequeira

        Thank you, Michael! I will surely keep that in mind whenever I go there 🙂

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