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The Black Lady of Bradley Woods


Hundreds of years ago there lived a poor woodcutter in Bradley Woods with his pretty young wife and their baby boy. They lived very happily together until the woodcutter was pressed into military service for the local lord.  He was sent to fight in the wars that were then raging in England. The woodcutter's wife waited anxiously for many months for news of her husband, hoping to see him coming home along the path to their cottage in the
woods.

One grey morning on new year's day, a group of mounted soldiers came riding through the woods, part of an army that had been laying waste to the countryside. Spying the cottage, they broke in, demanding the woodcutter's wife hand over all her money and anything else of value she might have. She refused, and as a result was raped and beaten by the soldiers, who snatched her baby up and rode of with it, taunting the poor woman as they went.

From that day forward, the woman only dressed in black and spent her days flitting between the trees of Bradley Woods, calling out for her baby and asking any passers by if they had seen it. Her husband never returned home, and she died a broken woman, having lost her family.

Legend has it that she can still be seen in Bradley Woods to this day, flitting between the trees and calling for her missing baby. The surest way to see her, however, is to go to the woods on Christmas Eve and call "Black lady, black lady, I've stolen your baby!" three times. It is said her vengeful spectre will appear and confront anyone brave enough to do this.

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Author: 
P A McHugh

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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Re: The Black Lady of Bradley Woods

Some versions of the story put this during the 15th century War of the Roses or 13th century Barons War.



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