The Witch of Porthkerry

24 February 2021 ·

Halloween background - Witch Riding On Broom

In the mid-1700s, there lived at Cliffwood Cottage a wise woman called Anne
Jenkins, who was renowned and respected for her spells.
On one gloriously sunny day in midsummer, a gentleman and his servant
entered Porthkerry Woods.
The gentleman wanted a ‘love potion’ for a lady that he was sweet on in Barry,
and was aware that the right-hand fork in the road was the way to the ‘wise
With night drawing in, the pace quickened and suddenly they could see a glow
of light coming from a small window, and the smell of burning hawthorn filled
the air.
No sooner had they reached the cottage, when the smell of herbs could be smelt,
coming from a gap under the cottage door. Before the servant could reach the
door to tap upon it, it suddenly opened, to the sound of an old woman’s voice.
“I know why you have come,” she said. “She is a very beautiful young girl isn’t
she?” The gentleman replied: “Yes, you old hag. It is a love spell I have come for.”
With dismay, and anger about being called a hag, Anne Jenkins stood in the
doorway and replied: “I am no old hag.” She looked beautiful, not old at all.

“You are to wait here young man, and don’t leave the path when you have
received my potion,” said the wise woman, slamming a door in the
gentleman’s face.

After a while of waiting, he grew inpatient. As he ordered the servant to bang
on the door again, it opened. It was the figure of an old woman that handed
the potion to the servant, and she waited in the doorway. The gentleman
exclaimed that he had waited too long, and he was to leave with haste.
Whether the servant forgot to pay the old woman or not, both of them left and made their way back up the slope to the Old Barry Way. The wise woman cast a spell on them as they left. “For the arrogant who don’t listen, for those who take and don’t give, may they never leave these woods.”
The gentleman and the servant saw a light towards the right as they headed
towards the old road. “Master, let’s head towards the light,” said the servant.
“We mustn’t,” said the gentleman, but the servant didn’t listen and headed
towards the light, and disappeared from view. Now disorientated by the failing
light, the master followed, with the pair never to be seen again.

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