There was, an old, old house on the road sliding up toward Stainmore Pass. It was known as the Old Spital Inn and stood on the site of a 12th Century monastic hospital belonging to Marrick Priory.
One night a lady stopped to pass the night but insisted that she must leave early the next morning and that, if a little breakfast was left out for her, she need not disturb the rest of the household.
The landlord and his wife asked the maid to make sure the lady was comfortable and to lay out some breakfast before retiring, which she did but, as she was banking up the fire, she noticed a pair of trouser legs beneath the lady’s skirt. All thought of sleep banished, she lay down on a couch and, after a respectable interval, settled into a rhythm of convincing snores.
The lady, who of course was nothing of the sort, took from his coat a Hand of Glory*.
*A Hand of Glory Recipe:
Take the corpse of a man who is freshly hung from the gallows, and sever his hand at the wrist. Squeeze out as much blood as you can.
Taking some of the remaining corpse, render it down (boiling or microwaving both work well) to gather a quantity of fat.
Preserve the hand with saltpetre and season well with salt and pepper and leave in a stoneware jar for two weeks.
Place the hand in a hot oven – 230 degrees/gas mark 8 – for an hour before removing and shaping the hand to form a fist.
Take some of the rendered human fat and make a candle (scented or unscented – it seems to make no difference) that is then forced into the grip of the fist.
Your Hand of Glory is now complete and, when lit and accompanied by the right spell, will render all those asleep unwakeable.
The robber placed the Hand of Glory on the table, lit the candle made from the dead flesh and said:
“Let those who are asleep be asleep,
Let those who are awake be awake.”
He then went to the door of the inn and, after drawing back the bolts, stepped out into the night and whistled to his accomplices. However it was at this moment that the maid, rising from her feigned slumber, gave the robber a hearty shove, slammed the door and pushed home the bolts.
She ran upstairs but could not wake the landlord nor any of his family as they lay locked in their enchanted sleep. Hearing the disgruntled robbers attempting o force the door, she acted on a surprisingly effective instinct and, sweeping up a bowl of milk, she doused the flame of the Hand of Glory. Instantly the sleepers awoke and, hearing the noise at the door, the landlord’s son leaned out of an upper window to ask the men their business.
They replied that, if they could have the Hand of Glory, they would do no harm and be on their way. By way of reply the lad discharged a blunderbuss and, in a clatter of old iron, a cloud of smoke and a spattering of blood, the robbers took to their heels. And, in the best tradition of a traditional tale, were never seen again.
The Road to Penyghent
This story comes from:
Tales From The Dales
A major exhibition of new paintings based on stories from the Yorkshire Dales collected over the last two years. In addition to artwork the exhibition sees the launch of a book for children: The Penhill Giant, which is an illustrated retelling of events which took place on the hill overlooking the exhibition location. The exhibition will also see the launch of a book, illustrated with paintings created for the exhibition, which will include a collection of Dales stories, many of which will be appearing in print for the first time. The exhibition will be on at:
Wensley Church, Wensley, N Yorks.
10 am - 5 am 27 July – 11 August 2013
Preview: 7 - 9 pm Friday 26th July
A chance to see the paintings and meet the artist.
Stories of the Dales: 5.00 - 6.30 Saturday 27th July
Four Yorkshire writers read from and talk about their work.
Open Mic Night: 7 - 9 pm Saturday 10th August
A great evening of music with musicians from the Yorkshire Dales.
If you would like to perform CLICK HERE
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