So the next YouTube video was about Annabel
I have put the text below
Annabel the witch who I mentioned in my first video about Uppermill was a bigger celebrity than I thought.
It seems that the full legend was that she haunted an old barn at the top of Brownhill. This barn stood on what was, at the time, unenclosed common land which the locals used to leave their animals grazing on at night.
One night a young man was sent to the barn to retrieve his father’s horses in preparation for a journey the following day. Knowing of the legend of Annabel he approached the barn with trepidation. He couldn’t hear any horses in the barn and not wanting to actually enter the barn he decided the best option would be to throw stones into the barn in the hope that the horses would be driven out.
Eventually, after a large number of stones were thrown in, the horses took fright and rushed out onto the common. The lad was just congratulating himself on a job well done when suddenly Annabel rose out of the ground with two burning eyes and making the most unholy noises. The legend is that this was the last night for Annabell as the villagers decided to put her to rest in a place as ‘long as hollies grow green and water does not run uphill’. She was placed under a large stone in Brownhill.
The fear of Annabell was so great that a pile of stones was situated at Brownhill for years – some say it was an ancient burial mound or a cairn and the locals added to those stones every time they passed them. It was a ritual for each passer-by to add to the heap and renew the charm by which the spirit had been laid, and also ask that they should not be harmed by any evil activites of the witch should she ever succeed in bursting her bonds and in returning once more to the surface of the earth
The ever useful Saddleworth sketches from the 19th Century refers to the tale still being told with bated breath by villagers around the winter fire and the feelings which came over them whenever they had to pass that place, and of the awe with which they placed their stone upon the pile.
So quite a good tale so far, a nice bit of local folklore – well hold on to your hats it’s not over yet. When they started building the railway and Saddleworth station in 1844, the workmen with their usual approach for keeping history intact decided to just dig up the cairn and Annabells resting place.
They found two urns, covered by a large flagstone. The jars were charred, and the cords around them had been burnt away. Inside one container were calcified bones of a child and a stone celt or hammer was in the other.
The navvies were very careful extracting the urns as they thought they contained treasure, but when they found out what the contents actually were, they just smashed them and dumped the contents into the quarry waste. The whole episode turned into an official inquest and murder enquiry. It was only after some time that an archaeologist managed to convince the inquiry that these bones had been in the ground for over 2000 years and that the perpetrators were unlikely to be caught.
So this all ties up the legend of Brownhill, the moving of the church stones away from what must have been either Annabell’s grave or at least an early site of worship. Annabell was also blamed for the naming of the station at Brownhill as Saddleworth which according to reports caused endless confusion for travellers and goods delivery for years until its closure in the 1960s. f