Jenny Green Teeth

Barafundle’s recent blog post made an interesting reference to a bit of North Staffordshire folklore not mentioned in Jon Raven’s The Folklore of Staffordshire (1978)…

* Jenny Green Teeth

I am originally from Stoke-on-Trent and these [marl] holes were a by-product of the [pottery and] brick-making industry left behind after the clay was extracted. The local marl hole was said to contain ‘Jenny Green Teeth’ who was rumored to drag children under the water if they got too close. I did not need any Grimm’s Fairy Tales. My imagination on this was enough to keep me wanting more. I would pester my father to tell me how his elder cousin, Arthur, plagued him with stories of her magical powers. For years I thought Jenny Green Teeth to be the sole product of Arthur’s fertile imagination. Then, one weekend, I listened to Claire Balding’s [BBC] Ramblings programme [29th Sept 2011, currently still online as “Listen Again” in the UK], which featured a walk through the Roaches area of North Staffordshire. During this programme, I heard reference to Jenny Green Teeth as a popular myth of the Staffordshire and Cheshire vicinity. On Googling I discovered she was a popular lady of English folklore. Her power extends to Shropshire and Lancashire.


One comment on “Jenny Green Teeth

  1. […] There is no other indication, other than teeth and arms, of the actual physical appearance of Jenny Green-teeth. The absence of visual description presumably being infinitely more scary to the child-mind than otherwise, since it calls the imagination into play. Though that lack hasn’t stopped modern confabulators from dreaming up all sorts of visual appearances for Jinny, from fearsome mermaids to eerie water-fairies to green-skinned river-hags (though it is clear that she never was associated with rivers or streams, only with isolated freshwater pools, wells and flooded quarry pools and Potteries marl-holes). […]

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