As David Penney states, it is almost 400 years since the Lancashire Witch Trials.
I do not know of one person who actually does believe these unfortunate women were truly witches. With the exception of Alice Nutter, they were poor, uneducated women who had to obtain a living however and whenever they could, using the skills available to them.
The “witchcraft” they practiced we would today call homeopathy or aromatherapy and charge the going rate for. Alice Nutter, of course, was a different story - a persecuted Catholic with land that someone else had designs on.
All this said, this is a local legend. Do we believe in the Loch Ness monster? Of course not, but she does bring in the tourists. The same with Sherwood Forest and the legend of Robin Hood. The list could go on.
This legend causes no harm to anyone and anything that boosts trade in an ailing community can only be a good thing. We cannot undo this tragic episode in history but that is what it is, history, and if it does boost the area, albeit in a small way, then so be it.
MRS T. HEAP
Brown Street East, Colne