With Halloween not too far away, stories of strange goings on are often told to local children. In the village of Giggleswick, not far from Rathmell, there is a tale of Sarah Birbeck that not many people know.
In 1740 Sarah Birkbeck of Giggleswick had been on a tour in Scotland for three weeks with her friends, leaving her four children at Settle with their father and a cousin named Mrs. Fairbank.
On her way home she was taken ill very suddenly at Cockermouth. One morning between seven and eight o’clock, Mrs. Fairbank went into the children’s room at Settle and found them all sitting up in their beds in great delight. “Mamma has been here”, they cried, and Esther, the youngest child, said, “She called, ‘Come, Esther’”. No news of Sarah Birkbeck’s illness had yet reached Settle, but that same morning she lay dying in Cockermouth. The friends who were nursing her heard her say, “I should be ready to go if I could but see my children”. She closed her eyes, and after ten minutes of perfect stillness said, “I am ready now, I have been with my children”. It was afterwards proved that this occurred at precisely the same time when the children saw their mother in Settle.
How Sarah did this is unknown, but shows how strong a mothers bond is with her children.
Do you have a spooky tale you can tell us…? Leave a reply below.