amwriting, folklore

SpookyMonth Showcase ~ FOLKLORE OF PAGHAM-ON-SEA (Jenny, Jennet and Pinnie-Pen)

Are you looking for a spooky read? Here’s one! In this post you’ll find a creepy folk horror-inspired “folktale” from my fictional town in East Sussex.

The Meteor Strike ~ introduced in a previous post!
Jenny, Jennet and Pinnie-Pen
The Greenlad, or, The Girl Who Saw Herself
Farisee Stones
The Neo-Eleusinians
The Punch and Judy Man of Hangman’s Walk

Some of these can be read on my blog already, in their original forms. It’s only 99p so if you’d like to own them all as an eBook, all the creepy stories in one handy place, you can grab it from a variety of stores or directly from my Ko-Fi shop. If you get it from my Ko-Fi, I get all 99p rather than 20-30p royalties so I’d selfishly encourage you to do that if you can!

Jenny, Jennet and Pinnie-Pen

This one was inspired by mummers plays, the Salisbury Giant in Salisbury museum, and creepy rural folklore. I had been watching/re-watching a lot of folk horror, and the masks in THE WICKER MAN really stuck with me, so I paired this with the pre-existing long barrows in my fictional region to create a darker story of supernatural child abduction and a little bit of dream-like body-horror with those kinds of vibes.

You can read a version of this story on my blog for free.

I also read a lot of Sussex folktales and used the vocabulary from these, as well as phrases from Sussex fairy tales. You can find some online to get a flavour of these, but there are also some good collections by Jacqueline Simpson and Michael O’Leary. The Sussex Dialect Dictionary is also available online!

I created a fictional antiquarian, Rev. J. D. Allardyce, to collect these stories at the turn of the twentieth century, and put in some of his notes at the start of these collected stories. The introductions have Easter eggs relating to characters in the novels. Here’s the introduction note to Jenny, Jennet and Pinnie-Pen, recorded by the good Reverend in 1904:

This tale was collected from Richard Pendle in the parish of St Mark’s, Pagham-on-Sea. Richard Pendle’s uncle, Thomas Pendle, was the gamekeeper of Fairwood House. Richard Pendle married Eleanor Hunderby of Barrow Farm in 1873.

This is a tale passed down by the Hunderbys of Barrow Farm, although since the disappearance of Eleanor in 1876 there has been great animosity between the two families, resulting in Richard Pendle’s estrangement from his own relations.

It was a rare event that I was able to speak with him, for he is a solitary man and greatly dislikes company. Richard Pendle was the last to bear the Pendle name: his three cousins, Beverley, Olive and Eileen, all took married names and bestowed these upon their numerous children, although their husbands are something of a mystery and there is no record of their marriages in the parish records.

~ Margin note for this tale by J. D. Allardyce


Dickie Pendle and his cousin Beverley “Belle” Pendle appear in THE SMEECH MAN, which I wrote for #MonstrousMay 2022 using the prompt “Monster Under the Bed”.


A lovely, hyperlocal, folkloric mini-collection to lead into the author’s novel, The Crows. 

5 star Goodreads Review & Verified Amazon Purchase

I enjoyed reading this book. This was the first time that I’ve read Gothic fiction and I enjoyed it. The prose is great and so are each of the folk stories within the book. There are some great twists within it and I was engaged throughout as I read. The format of the stories (poetry, diary entries, etc) was great too and so was how Rosens wrote from the POV of the characters of the stories (sometimes first person, sometimes third person, but always done well).
Rosens did a great job!

5 star Verified Amazon Purchase

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