Hob Headless

Nesham

A sprite of a very malevolent disposition, named Hob Headless, used formerly to infest the roads between Hurworth and Neasham ; but had it not in his power to cross the Kent, a little stream flowing into the Tees at the latter place, being subject, we may suppose, to the same law which once prevailed in the supernatural world in Scotland, whereby, under some mysterious penalty, even the witches durst not, in their nocturnal raids, cross a running stream.

Hob used to go as far as the Millstone Bridge, on the Darlington road, but never was seen past that place. A man named Robert Bone, usually called Bobby Byens, was the last person who saw Hob Headless, who was exorcised many years ago, and laid under a large stone, formerly on the road side. There he was to remain for ninety-nine years and a day and should any luckless person happen to sit down on that stone, it was verily believed that he would be unal)le to quit it for ever. But when Mr. Anthony Moss, of West Middleton, place, the stone was smashed up by the mason’s labourer, and part of it was used as a foundation stone. There is, or was, another Hob at Coniscliffe, on the other side of Darlington ; but no particulars regarding him have been learned.

Legends & Superstitions of the County of Durham

William Brockie 1886

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