Folklore - British

  • Black Annis

    Vast talons, foul with human flesh, there grew
    In place of hands, and features livid blue
    Glar’d in her visage; while the obscene waist
    Warm skins of human victims close embraced.

    The blue faced hag of the British Hills. She lives in the Dane Hills, Leicestershire, in a cave called Black Annis’ Bower Close, which she dug out of rock with her own iron-strong claws. Dozens of huge cats prowl the Bower with her, and it is guarded by a great pollarded oak in which she hides so that she may catch lambs and small children to eat. She carries her victims back to her cave, where she flays them alive before devouring them. She drapes their skins on her guardian oak to dry. Her skirt is fashioned from the skins of her prey, and her bed is a high-piled bed of their bones.

    Black Annis’ perfume is a mixture of damp cave lichen and oak leaf with a hint of vetiver, civet and anise.

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