Dark Art

Allison Gross

Halloween Folklore 2020

Allison Gross

Allison Gross is a witch with a history reaching back to Celtic times, having a story that’s tied into directly Samhain. 

Said to be the ugliest witch of her time, Alison Gross lived in a tower overlooking the bog she considered her domain and did not take kindly to trespassers. 

Making things even worse, Allison was the worst kind of evil witch…an imaginative one!

Nothing so simple as being bunged in the oven for one poor fool who crossed her path – instead he was turned into a worm then cursed to circle a tree in the witch’s bog until he eventually died. 

This fool got very, very lucky when Samhain came around,  as on the day that the barriers between the world are at their thinnest the Fairy Queen rode out across Ireland. Whether she took pity on the cursed man, or thought it would be fun to mess with the witch’s plans, the Fairy Queen returned him to a man who could then flee the bog he really should have stayed away from in the first place! 

Written by lukegreensmithscarybits

Allison Gross by Steeleye Span – a Halloween anthem perhaps? Great song from the past!

Art by Wanda Fraser , THOU in partnership with The Ghost Story Guys Podcast

The Haunting of Us – Dark Art Digital Downloads

Alison Gross

O Allison Gross, that lives in yon tow’r, 

The ugliest witch i’ the north country, 

Has trysted me ae day up till her bow’r, 

An’ monny fair speech she made to me. 

She stroaked my head, an’ she kembed my hair, 

An’ she set me down saftly on her knee; 

Says, ‘Gin ye will be my lemman so true, 

Sae monny braw things as I woud you gi’.’ 

She show’d me a mantle o’ red scarlet, 

Wi’ gouden flow’rs an’ fringes fine; 

Says, ‘Gin ye will be my lemman sae true, 

This goodly gift it sal be thine.’ 

‘Awa’, awa’, ye ugly witch, 

Haud far awa’, an’ lat me be; 

I never will be your lemman sae true, 

An’ I wish I were out o’ your company.’ 

She neist brought a sark o’ the saftest silk, 

Well wrought wi’ pearles about the ban’; 

Says, ‘Gin ye will be my ain true love, 

This goodly gift you sal comman’.’ 

She show’d me a cup o’ the good red gold, 

Well set wi’ jewls sae fair to see; 

Says, ‘Gin you will be my lemman sae true, 

This goodly gift I will you gi’.’ 

‘Awa’, awa’, ye ugly witch, 

Had far awa’, and lat me be! 

For I woudna ance kiss your ugly mouth 

For a’ the gifts that you coud gi’.’ 

She’s turn’d her right and roun’ about, 

An’ thrice she blaw on a grass-green horn; 

An’ she sware by the meen and the stars abeen, 

That she’d gar me rue the day I was born. 

Then out has she ta’en a silver wand, 

An’ she’s turn’d her three times roun’ and roun’; 

She’s mutter’d sich words till my strength it fail’d, 

An’ I fell down senceless upon the groun’. 

She’s turn’d me into an ugly worm, 

And gard me toddle about the tree; 

An’ ay, on ilka Saturday’s night, 

My sister Maisry came to me; 

Wi’ silver bason and silver kemb, 

To kemb my heady upon her knee; 

But or I had kiss’d her ugly mouth, 

I’d rather ‘a’ toddled about the tree. 

But as it fell out on last Hallow-even, 

When the seely court was ridin’ by, 

The queen lighted down on a gowany bank, 

Nae far frae the tree where I wont to lye. 

She took me up in her milk-white han’, 

An’ she’s stroak’d me three times o’er her knee; 

She chang’d me again to my ain proper shape, 

And I nae mair maun toddle about the tree.

Frank Sidgwick

If you would like to purchase a digital download of Wanda Fraser’s Dark Art check out her online shop. For 10% off your purchase use the code THOU10. Happy Halloween!

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