Once upon a time, not too long ago, a young family moved to a wonderful place called Blackley where their father had grown up. In Blackley was an even more wonderful place called Boggart Hole Clough.
One of the children decided to ask her dad why this wonderful park was called Boggart Hole Clough? It's such a strange name!
“Well,” said her dad, “a long time ago there was a Boggart…”
“What’s a Boggart?” asked Avé straight away.
“Well, let me think. It isn’t a dog or a big cat. It isn’t a bear or a gorilla. It isn’t a fox, or a wolf, or a ghost! It’s... something in-between.
“Anyway," he continued, "one day, the Boggart fell into a big hole and couldn’t get out. All the people who were nearby could hear a scream and a howl, a shriek and then a cry, then a roar! They were all too scared to go and see what was happening. So the Boggart was stuck there—forever!
"These days, people say they can still hear it at night, but no one has ever heard it during the day, so don't worry; it’s OK to play anywhere you like in the Clough. As long as you don’t go in after dark, you have no chance of hearing the Boggart.
"So, where are you going to play today?” asked Dad.
“We were going to go down the 99 steps and up to the Boating Lake." said Wyn, Avé’s brother.
“I use to love going to the Boating Lake when I was your age,” said dad with a smile. "Enjoy yourselves!"
Off they went with their pet dog Ruff for their first adventure in "the Clough," but it wasn’t long before they heard a boy screaming!
“The Boggart's out! The Boggart's out! I heard him down the Valley! I heard him, I heard him!” he cried.
“Are you sure?" asked one lady.
“I'm sure,” said the boy, "It could only be the Boggart. I’ve never heard anything like that before!”
“Well, you know what’s going to happen now!” said an old man.
“What?“ Wyn asked.
“The giant will be back to sort it out!”
“The Giant?” asked Wyn.
“Yes, the Giant; only he can put the Boggart back in his hole, and you better all leave before he gets here” he said
So all the kids and mums and dads ran out of the Clough. When they got to the gates, they heard a strange noise. It felt like the earth was shaking! As they looked up, they could see the tops of the trees swaying.
“Is it an earthquake?” said one child
“No!" said the Old man. "That’s the Giant! Now be off with you, and get back home before he sees you!"
So everybody went home and started talking to each other about what just happened! They could hear rumblings from the Clough, but daren’t go back in.
The next day, some of the braver ones started to creep into the Clough to see what had happened. As they got to the bottom of the 99 steps, they noticed some of the trees had lost their branches. They were scattered everywhere!
“Look at that big rock!” said one boy, “I don't remember that being there yesterday.”
“That’s no rock!” said the old man. “That’s the Giant's tooth!”
"The Giant's tooth?" Wyn repeated.
“Legend has it that after the Giant puts the Boggart back in its place, he leaves his tooth as a reminder to the Boggart never to come out and scare anyone again."
“Wow!” said Wyn, “It looks so big, the Giant must be huge!”
Later, some more of the people of Blackley came down and helped move the rock to the side of the path, so it was out of the way. There it stands today, in between the Hen house and the 99 steps.
“This place never ceases to amaze me!” said Avé’s dad. "There’s always something wonderful happening in the Clough!
“It can’t be any more amazing than that!” said Wyn
“Oh no?” asked Dad
“You haven’t been to Angel's Hill yet, or the Top Fields, and wait 'till I tell you about the White Lady!”
There were places the kids had yet to explore—not to mention the Monkey House, the Hen House, or the old man's hut!
“That's why I love this place, and why you will grow to love it just as much as I did.”
“Tell us about the White Lady, Dad!” begged Avé as Dad was putting them to sleep.
“Not tonight baby girl, you’ve had enough to take in for one day!”
Other stories in the Boggart Hole Clough series include:
The Monkey House
The Hen House
The Old Man's Hut
The Boating lake
The 99 steps
The White Lady