The village of Bradley has existed for about a thousand years counting back from the present. It is a lovely community with a moderate number of people.
For many years now, it has become a common practice for parents in the village of Bradley and surrounding areas to warn and scare their children that the black lady will come get them if they don’t sleep early or if they wander off carelessly.
Stories have circulated throughout time of a vision of a ghost in the woods of the village. She is described to be a young and pretty lady with a height of about 5’6”. People have different versions but most of them agree that she is wearing a flowing black cloak. However, she seems to be harmless. Instead, she seems to look pitiful as people can see her pale, tear-stricken face.
Three of the most famous stories of why the black lady has been haunting the woods have been passed on through the word of mouth and, currently, published through the internet.
The first theory tells of a nun from the once existing convent in Nunsthorpe. Theory has it that she is dressed in black due to the black habit the nun’s wear. However, it seems illogical for a nun to haunt the woods in Bradley when she is in fact from the convent in Nunsthorpe, unless she has a sort of affinity with Bradley woods.
The second story is that of a spinster who lived in isolation in a cottage in the woods of Bradley. There is a probability that she scared off the children who entered the woods, labeling her as some sort of other element than that of human. Moreover, some with imaginative minds may have labeled her to be isolated due to her practice of witchcraft. This isn’t impossible since belief says that witches did indeed exist in olden times.
The third and most famous of the stories tells of the time during the War of the Roses or The Baron’s War when a woodsman and his wife and baby son lived in a cottage in the woods of the village of Bradley. However, the woodsman was recruited to be in the army of the Earl of Yarborough. Days and months passed and the husband did not return. The wife, however, continued waiting for him with their baby in the entrance of the woods.
Time came when the enemy army has started to cross the Humber. The wife, with the baby in her arms, tried to escape. However, three hobilars blocked her way. They raped the woman and took her baby away. Shamed and ruined, the woman continued to search for her husband and baby son even after death.
Most people in the village believe that if you go to the woods on Christmas eve and say, “Black lady, black lady, I’ve stolen your baby” three times, the black lady will appear to you.
Many have reported seeing the black lady through. She was seen by cars and passers-by who pass through the woods. She is said to be seen standing near the entrance of the woods. Some have reported that they’ve seen a lady run in front of their car. When they come out to see who they’ve hit, there was no on there.
A few relates to seeing the lady in a form of a mist. They tried to follow it but it led them to St. George’s church, where the lady disappeared through the door, even if there wasn’t really a door there. Some says that they’ve only seen a strange light appearing on the bend, while, a couple saw a lady dressed in clothing in the 1800’s in different shades of gray. One captured the ‘supposed’ black lady and several others on picture.
There is no denying that the black lady does exist in the woods of the village of Bradley, but, it also does not change the fact that throughout the years, she is still searching for the people she lost, unable to find peace for herself.