Nanny Rutt is a character in a popular English folk tale associated with Nanny Rutt's well, a spring in Math Wood, Lincolnshire, the name of which is taken from the story. According to local legend, any girls who went alone into the woods to elope without permission would be carried off by Nanny Rutt, never to be seen again.
A young girl arranged to meet with her lover at the well in Math Wood. When she entered the woods, she met an old woman with her face covered by a shawl, who warned her not to go in, but she ignored the woman's advice. She waited at the well, but by nightfall her lover had not arrived and she accepted he wasn't coming. She tried to leave the woods, but got lost and found herself at a small hut. In the doorway stood the woman, whose face was no longer covered, showing her hideous appearance. The girl was paralyzed with fear, and was unable even to scream as Nanny Rutt approached her.