Scrapfaggot Green, the witch of

Scrapfaggot Green, the witch of
   According to articles in the Sunday Pictorial of 8 and 15 October 1944, the village of Great Leighs (Essex) was being plagued by nocturnal accidents to livestock, tools scattered, bells ringing, etc. They said it was because bulldozers widening a lane to a military base had pushed aside a boulder at a crossroads called Scrap-faggot Green - a boulder covering the remains of a witch, together with the fire that burnt her. When the boulder was replaced, trouble stopped.
   The 'weird events' have been taken seriously by several writers on the occult (e.g. Valiente, 1973: 352-4), but locals now admit they were tricks played on the London journalist. How much genuine folklore underlay them is now unclear; the name 'Scrapfaggot' invites puns, there are historical records of a witchcraft case at nearby Boreham, and there seems to have been a 'Witch's Stone' around in the 1930s (though not at the crossroads). Since the 1980s, a stone outside a pub in Great Leighs is claimed to be the original, supposedly brought there in 1945.
   ■ FLS News 17 (1993), 12-13; 19 (1994), 11; 20 (1994), 11; 24 (1996), 2; 26 (1997) 3-4; Revd W. J. T. Smith, The Boreham Witch: Fact or Fiction? (1995).

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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