WARNING: based on the film version of 2012 only!
The Woman in Black was maybe most of all unfair.
Jennet Humfrye wasn't married at the time when she suspected to be with child after a few missed periods, combined with nausea in the mornings and little to no interest in food. The child's father was obviously not willing to marry her and take his responsibility – in fact, he left right after the rumors about Jennet's condition began, not wanting to wait until those rumors were either confirmed or denied. Unlike her, he had been married.
The encounter that had left her possibly child-carrying had been a slip. Jennet had known, had not even thought of asking him for support in any way when she began to wonder herself about that one possibility.
She really tried to make it work despite getting those glares of disapproval everywhere – the whole of the village whispered bad about her, and that it just wasn't done to have a woman raise her child alone. The most painful of all was possibly the fact that Jennet's own sister was one of many whispering doubts of the developing situation.
Jennet Humfrye got no support from her or anyone else while she lived in one of the smaller cottages of Crythin Gifford while her belly slowly grew and her time to give birth neared. Nine months, she carried her son inside her… until she gave life to a small but healthy baby boy one day in October. Nathaniel's difficult delivery had taken twenty-odd hours. She managed to make it work for several years despite the rumors and glares.
Alice Drablow herself had never been able to bear children and had fueled the rumors only, to the point where the villagers began doubting about whether Jennet was actually still fit to raise her child when at the age of one he showed some signs of behavioral issues. Anyone with half a mind would know that often enough, no matter how badly the child's being cared for by their mother and father or others, that's barely the only factor related to behavioral issues – age has quite a bit to do with it. In effect, most of the signs disappeared when the boy reached age two. Of course, no one believed that it was not the 'good effect' of the Drablows…
Jennet wasn't even allowed to visit her son, forced to stay in the role of stranger as Alice and her husband cared for her own son as a mother and father while her mother heart ached from a distance the rare times the family visited the village and she saw them.
When the boy disappeared in the marshland, her life was over.
Alice had been quite insidious enough to marry a rich man. The thought of her son living in wealth at least had kept her sane, together with the thought of being able to tell her son the truth when he had reached a certain age. However, he never reached that given age. From pure jealousy and intense rage, she broke into the house when Mr. and Mrs. Drablow were to visit some of his relatives and hung herself in the nursery. For the sake of her own son, not wanting to confuse him more and wanting to believe that it might be best as everyone claimed, she never came near the house when he still lived – if only for the boy she loved so dearly.
Jennet Humfrye had haunted Eel Marsh House and the village ever since. Some said that she haunted first her brother-in-law then her own sister to death. The disbelievers countered she would have done that much sooner already if indeed that was the case. However, there were not a lot of disbelievers. At first of course no one thought much of it, but those who lost their children and those who had witnessed others having lost them had no other choice anymore in the end – mostly for there were no other possible reasons available for perfectly healthy young children to die or to have impossible mishaps… but her.
No one in town had supported her, had ever tried to help her instead of just judging her. Alice Drablow's carelessness was more of a contributing factor than their half-responsibility.
Most of all the children she took from pure jealousy hadn't been responsible… but innocent, their lives not even having begun yet.
Pure jealousy lead her to take Arthur Kipps and his son. The ghost of Jennet Humfrye was grateful enough that he had taken the boy from the marshland to be buried with her. She knew that he had done his very best, knew he had had the best of intentions and knew about having to say goodbye too soon from someone you love. He made her see that she was not the only one caring about his child very much to the point of being willing to give his own life for them. He could well have been the kind of man to get in-between and defend her when she found she was with child and offered to help her. He made her see unfairness in her actions, clouded by jealousy and deep pain.
However, the similarities between her dead son and Kipps' live one were far too much to bear. Mostly, the Woman in Black knew that he would never be happy without his deceased wife; that the look upon his face was to be sad for the rest of his lifetime. Indeed, he had never smiled so wide, so sincere, since the day she had been taken away from him and their little one… than when he took her hand again in the afterlife.
The ghost of the Woman in Black disappeared, together with Arthur and little Joseph Kipps, to her own son in life after death.