We conclude our special feature from John Hall and his Faerie adventures on the Isle of Man with a series of photos.
John took all these photos himself and has kindly shared them with us here on Faerie of Ireland. Some of these images have been published in Janet Bord’s book ‘The Traveller’s Guide to Fairy Sites’ by Gothic Publications, and are also mentioned in two other of her publications. Hope you enjoy, let me know what you think….
The muddy path looking back down the area of the experience
The actual picture of the Stick Figure in the tree canopy, (top centre) as I was having this weird sensation.
Enlargement close up of Figure.
Further colour filter close ups.
Different colour filter close up.
Another colour filter close up.
Last enlargement with alternative colour filter.
Upper Glen Auldyn looking toward the Slate Quarries where small figures where seen dancing.
John continues his Faerie spotting on the Isle of Man. He shares some of the old tales and his own incredible encounter with… something in the mist.
This part will feature the Fenoderee story and other tales.
Just prior to entering the upper part of the Glen via a metal gate across the rough track, we explored a field and area right a large field and trackway path going up the side of Skye hill.
Here where, this derelict and dilapidated mill building lies were figures reported last century cloaked in Blue/Grey with a Gnome like appearance. Also, some youths where chased by a woman wielding what looked like a frying pan!
A more recent sighting was two English tourists reported seeing a small woman with a white bonnet on her head or white object which she took off and used it to wave off or warn off the tourists. They fled!
Andrew Green (the Ghosthunter) in one of his books wondered if the apparition could have a Norse origin with the type of headdress?
Whatever has been seen over the years seems to change its appearance to adopt popular images eg… Cloaked Gnome, Witchlike Woman, next could be a Grey Alien?
The Old building was wooden, open and falling down. I had a camera, a pre-digital Canon 35mil with a good lens and a full roll of colour film loaded. That’s 36 frames!
The Woman or figures had been seen in the field, tackmill and the pathway, coming down from Skye Hill described in Part 1.
I noticed that a house that was the last on the lane backed onto this field and without exception all the rear windows were boarded over! Makes me wonder if it was to stop the spectacle being seen or stop something looking in!
Also, up on top of the hill something described as a “Fairy City” had been seen. Strange lights on the Mountain looking like an illuminated palace were what would be termed as Spooklights now or even a UFO.
Local people tempted in by the singing, dancing, food, fine ladies and handsome men should always exercise caution by refusing all food and drink in case they were taken /abducted. Fairy Time runs different to terrestrial time.
The “Stray sod ” or being Pixy-led is also in evidence here, when you can become lost forever going in circles until the spell is broken by turning your clothes inside out, carrying religious items, uttering prayers, and some iron or steel.
The Fairy promise of beautiful people and glittering castles, amazing food can all be the product of a” Glamour” fooling the human senses and creating a false but enticing bait for people to become entrapped. If all the gifts are refused the person when they awake will find the food was mouldy leaves, and the Palace just a clump of grass.
Back on track through the metal gate on walking upward the river to our left the hill to our right. North Barrule Mt and road to our Left now, through a wooded glen of Oak trees and Pine trees to what I originally went looking for: The Blue leafed Rowan Oak tree of the Fenoderee story (of which this Glen is known in folklore stories).
Walking up, my friend observed a mist hanging over the area, I could hear the stream over the rocks tumbling down the valley making a kind of drumming noise and a certain musical sound I couldn’t place.
I found a typical mushroom ring by the stream as we continued walking up, the walk was taking up to half an hour or more, when we came to a dip in the path by a stonewall. Directly below was a huge pool of water from a recent rainstorm.
No way through it, to carry on we’ll have to skirt around going into the little wooded area.
Now, here’s where it gets strange… I mean you go out on walks and nothing ever happens!
Sure I ‘d spent a few days prior reading up on the folklore in the Manx Museum taking notes and then selecting a suitable location that seemed interesting for a walk on a non raceday.
Just before I get to the final part, the Fenoderee story must be told now to give the proper perspective of the area. The story of how a mortal woman and a Fairy Prince meet and have a love affair in Glen Auldyn.
The woman, named Kitty Keruish, was wooed by an Otherworldly handsome man who she fell in love with. They used to meet at the Blue Rowan Tree in Glen Auldyn to be together in secret as Fairy and Mortals could not be or exist together according to tradition and this Fairy was of Royal blood and called himself “Udereek”.
He was supposed to attend a Manx Harvest home festival with all the other fairfolk at Glen Rushen across the other side of the Isle of Man. However, he did not as was meeting his lover at the Blue Rowan Tree. This was frowned upon by those of high ranking and to make an example he lost his status and was transformed into a half man- half goat. A Satyr or Pan like creature by the Fairy Council and left to roam forever in this form.
His lover had fled the Isle of Man to escape any form of retribution from the fairfolk or her own people. Now the Fenodree roamed the island alone and although in this form continued to be of help and assist humans in his hairy form: the wild man of the woods.
Several other stories have him assisting farmers and fisherman also in several other parts of the Island. There is one noteable crop-circle type deed with him stamping down the crop in fields like the Mowing Devil in the 1700’S. (Note…see the Fortean times for more info on the Mowing Devil!)
This very sad story puts the Fenoderee of Glen Auldyn right here in the Valley where he waits for his lost love timeless to him seeing watching and hiding in the wild places! Expect the Unexpected.
Taking a few pictures of the site before trying to get around the pool I noticed another mushroom ring much larger set on the embankment by the pool.
Getting down we noticed the immediate area under the trees was unusually darkened.
We could not see the hillside, just behind. The place had an eeriness to it, we felt as we were being watched by something.
No birdsong. The air was still, then a significant wind arose and we also heard something moving around in the dark area as twigs cracked. We both felt uneasy.
We were still a good way off being outside this wooded area and walked up to long deserted single story overgrown house, wondering if we had disturbed something. It didn’t feel right.
Thinking maybe we should turn around and go back now. I felt a bit strange as if I was being told to go back. A sense of panic set in. I felt a bit sick and dizzy. Head spinning. Feeling faint.
I stopped, took some more pictures, then quite suddenly a cold clammy wet feeling of something on my back which turned into icy cold spine chiller of ghoststories. What I did was try not to panic. I said to my friend “let’s go back now”, trying not to alarm her too much.
I took some photos of the area looking back at the area by the pool we just passed through. Then “we have got to go back and as quickly as possible”. I was getting some sort of transmitted message it seemed.
So back we went. It seemed to take a longer time as the path stretched out like was extending further, like the feeling when you run in a dream and the floor is like a reverse travellator.
Finally, we get back to steel white gate and get through, lock it down back on the B16 road by the end house. We carry on and stop outside the Church of St Fingan on the other side of the bridge river crossing. Here stop for breath, still feeling cold and shaken at what just happened.
My friend said “did you notice we were in a mist all the time there?”
“No” I said.
I told her why we needed to get out quick. It seemed it didn’t affect her the same.
On route back, we stopped to compare notes and write it all down. Some horses came over to us to say hello and we gave them some fresh long grass. This calmed me down.
“What was going to be on those photo’s?” I wondered.
There are two more stories that go together here.
Cloud of Darkness. – Seen by a woman going up Glen Auldyn one evening. Everything became black. She stood waiting for an hour but the cloud did not go away. She turned about to go back the way she had came to see the way down was still visible!
This happened above the bridge that was washed away (1931 flood?) some years earlier. This phenomena was also seen about 9.30pm half an hour before the woman’s experience.
A cottage stood back from the road where a great cloud of darkness was seen. This could be the same cottage and area we experienced it, although the time was around midday. Only later did I realise that some missing or extended time was also apparent in the experience. What should have been a 5-10 minute walk took half an hour.
One more story.
The Wild Hunt – An old deserted Mansion which was built over a fairy path was a frequent haunt of the Wild Hunt. Seen as lights on the Mountain side, and testified by older residents of the locality.
Usually on moonlit nights, and described with innumerable horses of every description with the cry of dogs breaking cover. They mirrored a human Hunting with the dress clothing etc of the time and year seen in.
Conclusion – What did I come across? I don’t know as it was hidden in cloaking of darkness. The Fenoderee? Or something else you don’t want to meet: a Buggane?
The phenomena that turned me around and prevented my trip up to Snaefell also saved me and my friend from a severe weather storm that moved in over the mountain so maybe it was a friendly warning after all.
My most recent trip to Glen Auldyn was by myself. It was a good day and I experienced no strange encounters.
The area changed a few years back because people had taken over the derelict house right by where I had taken the particular photo (photo 8). They had renovated the house, and moved in as a family residence. The photo is currently published in this books by Janet Bord, ‘The Travellers Guide to Fairy Sites’ and mentioned in two other of her publications.
The whole atmosphere had gone. The refurbishment had spoilt the darkened embankment area. It was all torn up, and the hillside now easily visible!
I wondered if the family knew about the stories of the Glen, and if they would experience the similar things, eg Ghosts, Poltergeist, Wild Hunt, strange lights and the Fair Folk being on a Fairy Path.
If I hadn’t had the strange feeling in that location I would have not taken the photo looking back. The roll of film I used was intact but, although I had taken a least three other shots there, it was as if the film had been rolled back as they were not on the negatives.
More missing time pixy-led confusion and things out of sync!
Had I encounted Pan in the wooded glade? The Fenoderee, with his cloaking device of darkness?
In terms of missing time: the 5-10 min walk from the gate and back took half an hour on the day I took the photo.
John – Liverpool
Next time: We publish the series of photos John took on his fateful walk. Did he capture evidence of the Good People? Take a look at the photos and decide for yourself…
A special treat here. John from Liverpool had a fascinating encounter with Faerie on the Isle of Man in 1994.
John was visiting the Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy – Annual Motorcycle Event) when he and a friend took a walk and found themselves in the middle of a very strange experience. You know me, I wanted details, details, details, so…
John has kindly put together some background information for us about the long-standing and lively Faerie activity on the Isle of Man, just to set the scene.
This information is well worth the read, and will set you up nicely to visualize John’s own experience which follows.
I hope you will enjoy. As for me, I’ve just added the Isle of Man to my ‘must visit’ list. Cheers, Kitty.
The whole area from the main road junction to up the Glen and to Snaefell has a rich heritage of Folklore and associated phenomena so i’ll start the tour with a round up of witness events and sightings and locations.
If anyone visits the Isle of Man and has a some time to spend on an walk, this is a good stretch of the legs! To begin with to get there by public transport a bus passes the road junction at Milntown corner!
From Ramsey to Douglas via Peel, on the TT motorcycle course the A3 main road, Milntown house is a large property open to visitors has its share of ghosts: A white lady, a Clergyman, another unknown man, footsteps a horse and carriage in the courtyard.
Milntown House was once home to Manx (Isle of Man) national martyr and home to the Christian family (as in: Fletcher Christian of “Munity on the Bounty ” fame!). There are other assorted apparitions in and around the house including the infamous Milntown Moddey-Dhoo, a huge phantom black dog with enormous fiery red eyes and shaggy coat. Often seen up and down Glen Auldyn and always a bad omen sign of impending doom!
Across the road from Milntown house is Magher y Trodden..”the field of contest” which is said to contain an ancient cemetery and haunt of the fairies. Once a battle site below Skye Hill between the Norse Vikings and ancient Celts.
The meadow skirted by the Sulby river was the area where other strange beings would be witnessed such as the Tarroo-Ushtey or Water Bull coming out of the river into the field.
Also the Moddey-Dhoo (Black Dog) and the Cabbyl-Ushtey (or Water Horse) or Cabbyl-Oie (The Night Horse) all lurked here at the junction of river,watermill and reputed burial grounds. Making it a place to hurry past if dark. Overshadowing trees emphasize the forbidding reputation in past pre electric street light times!
This is where to begin the walk up Glen Auldyn passing many locations of sightings of Gnome-like creatures, Fairfolk, ghosts, strange lights, Witchcraft, and the Phenoderee.
Here is an extract from WW Gills ‘Manx Scrapbook2’ of a witness sighting on the main road junction.
“Winter of 1912, the Witness was walking from Ramsey to Milntown in the evening . As she was nearing the corner, but short of the darkest part. Suddenly a figure appeared in front of her!
Facing her was a little man 2 foot high, wearing a red cap and a long blue coat with lots of shining buttons down the front of it! He had white hair and a bushy beard all over the lower part of his face, bright blue eyes and was smiling at her! She felt amused at seeing him!
He carried a lantern with a brilliant spark of light in it making him visible his upper face
covered in wrinkles. They stood and looked at each other for a few minutes before he then vanished! Her mothers sister had a similar experience a generation ago.
This useful light used to appear on dark nights to traveller’s to assist them on the corner.
12 Years earlier this Guardian or ‘Spook Light’ with a similar Gnome type entity was also
seen further up Glen Auldyn. This time the Gnome sat upon the chest of a man who had fell asleep near the Quarries.
Also the Gnome figures seen again by a visitor to the Isle of Man who had taken an
early walk up the Glen to the Quarries area. On a bright morning about 10am
he saw figures dancing in a circular motion, he said he felt strange watching the figures
who where small and had a grey look of fungus,he repeated the walk to the same area and saw them again for a second time.”
More about the Milntown Moddey-Dhoo. The phantom black dog that haunts the Glen has been seen with many witness reports.
The Moddey-Dhoo was seen by in 1931 by a Doctor by the side of the road just beyond Milntown Corner at 2am on his way to attend a call from a person who was ill also seen in 1927 before the witness’ father died. A Portent of evil connected with a similar Moddey-Dhoo that haunts the Sulby Hills.
In his Third’ Manx Scrapbook’, Manx folklorist WW Gill’s tells of his friend meeting the Milntown Moddey-Dhoo at night in 1931 coming from the Sulby direction. It had enormous fiery eyes, lit up face and shoulders and a long shaggy coat. Black and bigger than a normal looking animal.
It turned aside and left across the road and disappeared up Glen Auldyn . 2 Days later there was a great flood.
Another story tells this apparition was exorcised by local Ewan Christian in the 1800’s… apparently it didn’t take.
Continuing up the Glen we came to the bridge crossing the river where there is another story.
In old roads folklore, it is said that supernatural guardians remained faithful to their charges long after the crossings were spanned by stone bridges.
There is evidence of Haunted Fairy bridges. The spirit appears as a White Hand which makes a sign to those in Danger. The Warning Hand will push or place itself on people in danger of falling in the river in flood. A phantom rescuer!
The arm which pushed a woman back from a swollen river in the dark is carved on the Bridge but I didn’t see it unless, it’s a replacement bridge now (just opposite the chapel incidentally). A sacred nook is also said to be on this road.
There is also some other entity mentioned earlier also called the Night Horse, usually seen at in the evening time in moonlight and seen by a Christian of Milntown.
Turning the corner of the road he saw what he described as “A fine horse of terrible beauty, saddled awaiting a rider. If ridden though this horse would gallop to the nearest water, plunging into it to drown and devour it’s passenger.
The entity haunting this area could be a shapeshifter and adopt numerous disguises it seems. I had been informed orally that another ghost haunts this Bridge: a patient or nurse that walks from the cottage hospital to the site (unconfirmed).
It should be mentioned here that this road and pathway form part of the Millennium way across the Island, a Royal ancient highway.
The crossroads are a place where spirits come and go, many disposed of by the Black Dog.
Sweeping the crossroads on festive occasions to clear them of spirits and bring better luck on New Years day eve is still a tradition on the Isle of Man.
Continuing up the Glen on the other side of the river now towards Snaefell Mt. and the end of the B road where the houses stop and it goes to a wood land path entered via a metal gate.
You will find Skye hill to the right, forested slopes, and North Barrule Mt to the left. There is a river to the left and a wooded glade. It is here you will find the Phenoderee of Glen Aldyn.
By far the most famous tale of fairfolk in Glen Auldyn is the Phenoderee story and this will feature in Part Two: ‘Faerie Encounter on the Isle of Man’.
I want to share a story that when he told it in 1960, nearly ruined my Granda. I guarantee you’ve never heard a faerie tale like this one.
I never knew my Granda, he died young, but my father says he was regarded as a man of strong, sound mind until he went around town telling ‘that feckin story‘. Then he lost a lot of friends, and never really recovered from that. It’s pretty sad really, but I guess it was a different time.
So, one day in 1960, my Granda was travelling on one of those double buses from Malahide into Dublin when he bumped into an old friend from school. No one remembers his real name, they just called him Dinny.
So Granda’s sitting there on the bus and Dinny gets on and they have a rare old reunion. They hadn’t seen each other years you see, since they were around 14.
Granda was 20 years old in 1960 and so Dinny should have been, but he hadn’t aged a day and Granda said so. Then Dinny spun him a tale. He said he had ‘been away’ for years with ‘the good folk’.
He claimed to have seen some incredible things, and I’m only telling you the story as was told me.
So Dinny told Granda he had lived with the others in their place, eating and drinking and dancing with them but also working hard. He said he worked on their firepits, and that they’re all over Ireland. He travelled with a bunch of them on a wagon, fixing and lighting pits all over for their cooking and nightime revelries.
Well Granda listened to Dinny and took his words and manner for sincere. Repeating that part of Dinny’s story isn’t what got Granda in strife, I guess in the 60’s the idea of travelling around in a wagon with Faerie was considered believable enough. It was what came next that caused the trouble.
Dinny went on to tell Granda that he had, on several occasions, met Boudicea, (yes, the Celtic Warrior Queen who battled the invading Romans) and that she had been living among the good folk since her defeat in England in the year 60AD.
Dinny told Granda that she had only recently crossed the waters to the other side. Which we suppose to mean, died. Granda was enthralled, hanging off Dinny’s every word.
Dinny told him Boudicea was ‘not the kind of woman you meet every day’, but a lovely lady nevertheless.
Granda believed every word and wanted to hear more but Dinny cut him off and said he shouldn’t say anymore for fear of strife from the good folk. He said he had gotten in a ‘dot of bother with them you see’, and had to come away for a while, to mix among his own folk while things cool off.
And that was it. They arrived in Dublin and parted ways. Granda never saw Dinny again but believed his story with his whole heart. He told everyone he could about it and even wrote a piece about it for a local paper, which they did not print.
Everyone thought Granda had lost his mind. Not for believing Dinny, but for talking about it so openly. Things were hard for him after that and he died only 5 years later.
I haven’t told anyone this before (and my name isn’t even Ann) but I wanted to tell someone about a weird thing that is happening.
I like to hang out in these woods near my home. There’s a wee river runs through there and I usually just sit and sketch and listen to music. A few times I noticed some strange sounds around, but the woods are full of weird sounds and animals so I just ignored it.
Then one day, it was in the autumn, I was sitting at a cross in the river, a place where it splits into two. There are three massive stones which turn the river and I was sitting atop one of them. I heard laughing, quiet like, then felt something brush against me, not hard but it knocked the pencil from my hand into the river. There was more laughing, I looked around but there was nothing there.
So I packed up and got the hell out of there and didn’t go back for a while. Then I had an idea. At the spot where the river splits, there are tall, dense trees and I climbed up and waited. Nothing happened. So I went back the next day, same thing. No weird sounds, no laughter or rustling. Then the third time, I was sat up there about 20 minutes when it happened.
I heard chatter, and laughter but distant. Not distant far away, but quiet. Like the volume was turned down. Then it quickly got louder. I could make out 6 different voices talking. But they weren’t speaking English, although I picked up a few words in English. It was more like they were talking a few languages, all bunched together. I’m not certain, but there could have been some Irish or Nordic (my Dad watches those Nordic shows on tv).
The voices were really close now and when I looked down at the river and woods below me I could see movement and splashing, but not any real form of anyone. I called out ‘Who’s all there?” and it went silent. They were gone.
That was yesterday. I went back today and sat on the big rock again and waited and within 10 minutes they were back. Same thing. Quiet voices. I sat still and sort of whispered ‘Hello’. The water splashed in front of me as though several big people had jumped off the other big stones, then they started singing. 3 voices. They sounded like a chorus of birds, but real quiet and each singing a different song to the other. It was weird.
That’s all I remember. I woke up on the grass at the base of the big stone. I don’t know how long I’d lay there but everything was ok. Nothing bad happened. I called for them but they were gone. The song was real nice though. I’m pretty sure I’ll go back.
Anyway, searched for anyone talking about special places, you know where the other folk might hang out and found ‘thin places’. Now I’m wondering if the cross in my river is a thin place.
I can’t talk to my Dad or brother about it, they’ll think I’m taking the piss. Does anyone know much about it, or been around a thin place when the good folk are around? Is it safe?
Ann – Ulster
A note from Kitty.
I have received some interesting information for Ann via Reddit on whether it is safe to return to the place of her encounter, and also some advice on what to do if she does choose to return. Many thanks to everyone for your input.
From Krakenwaffles: I’ve been doing some research lately for a project. Basically, leave the fairies alone, especially if you are already losing time. Fairyland exists out of our time and a few minutes there can last for years. (See the poem The Fairies by Allingham.) Fairies can give you amazing gifts, but they have a cost and often fairies just want to mess with people.
According to Kipling in Puck of Pook’s Hill (1906) if there are many fairies around, the people nearby will get sick.
Fairies are capricious. They can reward humans they like but sometimes they want to keep those humans and replace them with changelings. Do not ever eat anything they give you and do not mess with their land (Glassie, Irish Folktales, 1985).
According to Yeats (Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland, 1888) fairies are fallen angels. They possess every charm but conscience. Good to the good, evil to the evil. Quickly offended but easily pleased by simple things. Listening to their music can drive you mad. Do not ever join in their songs! If you can’t improve the music somehow they will harm you. They can give magic healing knowledge to humans but this involves the humans being taken to fairyland for years.
According to Beveridge, Children into Swans (2014) thin places are surrounded by mist. It’s not wise to go into the mist because you might cross the border into fairyland.
You might come out ahead if they really like you and are being nice. Fairies can be amazing if they want to. But it would be a huge risk.
Whether or not you believe in fairies, this is what the sources say.
From Darth_Bfheidir : I’m not a believer, but my mother always said to carry “iron from the earth to banish misfortune”, but what “iron from the earth” means I don’t know. I assume it means unwrought iron.
She also said that an offering of cake or bread is suppose to placate them so they take the bread instead of messing with the person.
Of course the girl in question could always do what you’re supposed to do and stay away, there is a reason these places are marked.
From BabydollValentine: I know hardly anything about fairies because I’ve just begun this journey.
I read her story and what the fae were doing didn’t seem malicious to me. Just playing and messing with her a bit. Kinda strange she woke up by a big rock tho.
If she decides to keep going back perhaps she could bring a small gift or treat like some cream??
From BluePaws: A cold forged iron bell could work. If they appear again or you hear them, ring the bell and hopefully they will leave but if they don’t leave some sugar close to where they are, but not too close.
If that doesn’t work find somewhere else, better if that place doesn’t have any lakes, rivers, etc.
I have an Aunty who believes her daughter, my cousin, was fathered by a Faerie.
The story goes, when she was 16 Aunty disappeared for a week and when she got back home, she was pregnant.
Mam says my grandparents were livid and told everyone outside the family that she went over to England with a pal on a shopping trip and was ‘taken advantage of’, by an English scoundrel, but Aunty tells a different story.
She says she remembers it well. It was broad daylight on the day of the Summer solstice and she was walking home from the bus-stop with two bags of groceries, when she heard some music coming from a nearby ringed fort.
She says she was smart enough not to go near the music but remembers stopping on the road just to listen.
Next thing she knows, she’s walking in the front door a week later and sick as a parrot.
The whole pregnancy was woeful and she was sent to hospital a handful of times in a dire state. Anyway, my cousin was born early but perfect, and so she has always been.
If it were me I’d probably be pissed with everyone thinking me Da was a Faerie, but it doesn’t bother my cousin at all. She just laughs.