Saturday, 13 December 2014

Beware the Ides of March

Is the black dog to be feared or is it a good omen?  This apparition has frequently been reported throughout Britain and according to legend has huge red eyes like glowing coals that can see right into ones soul. Other stories tell of black dogs that help farmers to round up sheep.


The dog at Cockyard appears from nowhere at dusk and follows one down the hill towards Combs where it vanishes just as mysteriously.
On the opposite hillside above Tunstead, along Eccles Road, The Black Dog of Ollerenshaw makes his appearance at the Ides of March. Not far away, at Barmoor Clough a black dog has been seen emerging from a culvert. In the long tradition of ghostly apparitions, this one carries his head tucked under his arm.  Whilst here we must mention the curious "ebbing and flowing" well. This natural spring would flow and then cease without any regular pattern but has dried up since work was carried out on the railway tunnel. Near Horwich End is Hob Croft, a name centuries old which refers to the presence of a hob or hobgoblin. These are benevolent yet supernatural creatures which usually make their appearance when the household is asleep. In return for a little food they will tidy up, do the dusting and sweeping and sometimes even the ironing. Take care not to upset a hob for then it will take great delight in mischief and practical jokes. They resemble small hairy men and are notoriously difficult to get rid of.

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