"In the North old women whose teeth have fallen out may go out at night and eat people's babies. They are called the Autumn Aunties" (1475)
When dark the clouds past Pendle Hill
Roll in the night, and summon storm
When off the still-born child the caul
Is torn to make the night fall ill.
Then out from hovel and from bower,
Out from the broken hut and tower,
Out from the night passed summer's leave,
Out from the cold back of old pantries,
Out in the yellowed, sear-stained eve,
Toothless, they come, the Autumn Aunties.
Gap gummed, lank limbed, and after bairns,
Whose blood will straighten achen backs,
And new life into auld returns,
And Aunties dance 'til winter breaks.