Witch Cat, Staindrop
The following account of the story is extracted from‘Legends Superstitions of the County of Durham’ by William Brockie (1886). ‘Mr. Hylton Longstaffe relates that a farmer of Staindrop was one night crossing a bridge near that place, when a cat jumped out, stood before him, and looking him full in the face, said “Johnny Reed, Johnny Reed! Tell Madame Momfoot That Mally Dixon’s deed!”
The farmer returned home, and in mickle wonder recited this awful stanza, when up started their black cat, saying, “Is she?” rushed out at the door, and disappeared for ever. It was supposed she was a fairy in disguise, and that she had run off to attend a sister’s funeral; for in this part of the world, if not in all countries, fairies do die, and green shady spots used to be pointed out by the country folks as the cemeteries of the tiny people.