County Durham is an ancient place with a deep and rich history. So it is really not too surprising to find there are a number of legends and superstitions that date back centuries that relate to the area. Modern re-telling of these legends can often seem a little formulaic, so I was really interested when I found a book first published in 1886. Think about that year. It is two years before the Whitechapel Murders in London would spawn the mystery surrounding “Jack the Ripper”.
The book entitled “Legends and Superstitions of the County of Durham” was written by William Brockie and published four years before his death in 1890. It tells the legends within the context of the latter stages of the reign of Queen Victoria.
As someone who has more than a passing interest in the history of County Durham, I found myself coming across many of the tales for the first time. Had they been forgotten and left untold since this era? Perhaps.
As luck would have it, you do not have to spend a fortune on getting your own copy. Archive.org has digitised the book and holds it within their online library.
The book is embedded below, so click on the Full Screen button to expand it so you can read through all the legends. Clicking on the link to visit the Archive.org site also allows you to download the book in a format for your favourite eReader.