Long before the ‘trick of treat’ commercialisation of Halloween our forebears used the misty Autumn days to conjure up tales of witchcraft and the Devil.

Hugh Walpole in his novel Rogue Herries described a witch lynching in Borrowdale around 1700, which was based on an historic tradition.

In 1857 J. Sullivan told of a witch who haunted Appleby in the form of a hare while a man witch called Dr Lickbarrrow lived in Longsleddale.

Despite his ‘dealings with the evil one’ he annoyed Old Nick by going to church.

But the service was interrupted by ‘a diabolical hurricane as none there had ever heard, which caused slates to be blown from the roof of the Chapel’.

Only by agreeing to the usual fee of selling him his soul did the Devil halt the tempest.

Years later as the bad doctor lay dying, a black pigeon was seen to kill a white dove on his window sill, a sure sign, it was believed, that he was destined for eternal damnation.