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Old Mother Nightshade of Gedney Dyke

Gedney Parish at the village

Before the modern era, the areas in the Lincolnshire fens were isolated. everyone knew each other well.

In the village of Gedney Dyke, there lived an old fen woman who was the continuous subject of gossips and rumors. She lived in the outskirt of the village for everyone was afraid of her.

This is because the villagers can hear strange howling coming from her cottage. Thus, she was labeled as a witch, a lycanthropic witch, to be precise. She was called Old Mother Nightshade.

Everyone was  afraid of her except the idiotic lad which comes by the name of John Culpepper. He was in love with a beautiful lady named Rose Taylor. However, she only enjoys the attention. Soon, the love he felt turned to hatred so he sought after the witch’s help and went to the cottage.

He was welcomed and given a box of sweetmeats to give to the woman. He was also intructed to return by the night of full moon to give a report. He did all this.

On the promised night, he went back to the cottage and was asked to sit down and close his eyes. After doing so, the old woman tied him up and asked him to open his eyes. As he did so, the old woman turned into an enormous grey wolf.

Throughout the night, the village heard blood curling cries of terror and agony. When morning came, the men folk went to see what happened and was greeted by a bloody heap of bones and a pile of torn clothes owned by the dead man. There were also wolf’s paw prints.

They set the house on fire and buried the remains. the old lady never appeared again. As for Rose Taylor, she married another man and forgot about the stupid John Culpepper.

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