A Witch-Hare at Sedgefield
The following account of the story is extracted from ‘Legends Superstitions of the County of Durham’ by William Brockie (1886). ‘A similar incident* is said to have happened at the small market town of Sedgefield, about seventy years ago. A party out coursing hares raised one in a field near that place, towards which they were astonished to see that it ran direct. It made for a certain house, in the bottom of the door of which there was, as in the last case, a small cut, so as to admit the cat, or probably – liens.
Before it could reach it, however, one of the dogs caught it by the leg, but could not keep its grip, so that Bawtie** got through. The hunters came up as fast as they could, tried the door and finding that it was fastened inside, burst it open, by shoving the wooden bolt off. And when they had thus got in, there was the old wife, the occupant of the cottage, all in a broth of sweat, and puffing hard, with a broken leg.’
*Here Brockie refers to The Witch of Easington
** Scottish name for a dog and also for a hare.