Category Archives: Story

Faerie Spotting on the Isle of Man – John H.

A special treat here. John from Liverpool had a fascinating encounter with Faerie on the Isle of Man in 1994.

isle of man map

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. isle of man tt2

 

 

I hope you will enjoy. As for me, I’ve just added the Isle of Man to my ‘must visit’ list. Cheers, Kitty.

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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!

Isle of Man. Photo by www.iomchamber.org.im
Isle of Man. Photo by http://www.iomchamber.org.im

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.”

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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.black dog (2)

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. isle of man fairy bridge (2)

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!

isle of man3 fairy bridge

The Old Fairy Bridge,Isle of Man. photo www.atlanticreligion.com

 

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. ghosty

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’.

John – Liverpool

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Fae in my Life

My name is Richard. I have been practicing witchcraft and Wicca for over 20 years.

ball of light (2)I had experiences with the Fae including those of Celtic, even before I had embraced Wicca.

The Fae folk had appeared to me in dreams, as well as in the physical world.

When I see them they appear as points of light. As well as glowing mists of light. And even as shadowy forms. shadow (2)

At times they appear in physical form either small to the size of a human.

They have become more frequent in my life. Even as I write this I sense their presence more so since it’s one of their holidays, the Summer Solstice.

Despite what some may think. They are very real. I am truly blessed that they are in my life. They and their relations.

Blessed be.

by Richardtwicca

Granny hears the Banshee

Vee shares some memories of her Granny and her extraordinary life: being born and raised in a cottage built within a Fairy Fort!

It is clear the Good People looked kindly upon Vee’s Granny, as she had knowledge of the mysteries. She knew, if you treated them with thoughtful kindness, they would not harm you. And more, she knew the call of the Banshee….

* The Sidhe/The Good People.

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My Granny Hollywood was born in Killean, South Armagh, Ireland. old granny

The cottage she was born and raised in was built a Fairy Fort. The path around the house on one side was actually an internal path in the Fort, with a wall to each side. It was only one person wide, and the wall which made the gable end of the cottage, had markings scratched on it, with swirl patterns and V shapes, reminiscent of the markings at Newgrange.

The dog slept in ‘ the box’, which was a sort of small ‘cave’ made of stone slabs along the wall, topped with a massive slab. A fox would come and share the box with him sometimes.

fox asleep

Granny married a Hollywood, and so was gifted the cure of the whooping cough. When people were frightened of the Si*, she wouldn’t say anything, but she always told us after never to be afraid, that the Si knew us and wouldn’t ever harm us. We just had to leave white Foxglove flowers for them.

foxglove

Although a devout catholic, Granny followed the old ways too.

There was a bend in the road a bit down from the Fort. One of Granny’s sisters was afraid to pass this place alone, and always had to be escorted past…to school, to work, any time she had to go that way. If she was alone, she would walk the fields rather than pass it!

She married and lived over the road a bit. One night when my Dad was wee, he was sleeping up in the cottage and he kept waking up complaining he could hear a cat yowling.

Everyone passed it off as a dream, but Granny got anxious, and wanted them to go looking for her sister who hadn’t arrived for her usual Ceili.

They went looking for her, and they found her dead, just at the bend of the road.

Granny said it wasn’t a cat, it was the Bean Si (Banshee) that Dad had heard, trying to warn them. She said Dad was special to the Si.

bend road

On Mam’s side, most of my female ancestress’ had the gift of perception. Some could see, some could hear, but they nearly all could foretell danger. But as they lived in the town, Granny discouraged them speaking of it, as they would be shunned.

Even yet, some people will be hostile. ☘️

Vee – Ireland

Faerie Phantom?

This is a fascinating experience. I suspect that given Simon feels this was some ‘Faerie intervention’, it probably was, but… it is difficult to explain. We would need to consider the incidence of Faerie attaching themselves to particular families and also ‘appearing’ great distances from home.
It is particularly interesting that Mary was raised in a family not only aware of the Good People, but clearly allowed the Good People into their daily lives. It’s a curious one, please let me know what you think, or if you have heard of a similar occurrence.
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I was recently reminded of an interesting experience I had in my youth which I feel may be a time I encountered these Good People.  I feel that I may have encountered some sort of changeling… yet I would love to hear your view on this encounter.

 

It was many years ago, in the early 2000s.  I was fairly young and living in my home country of Australia, in the capital city of Canberra.  I had been dating a young Irish girl whom came to Australia for a holiday.  Her name was Mary and we hit it off and quickly moved in together before we planned on getting married (yes, it was a very quick romance… I think the whole issue of getting a visa played a big part in this).

Her family were very angry that she had decided to marry someone they never met, and after weeks of phone calls and letters they persuaded her to come home to Ireland for a short while before she would return for the marriage.  It was their intention to talk her out of it when she was home.

plane moon

Mary and I drove to Sydney International airport with a few of my friends who wanted to see her off too.  Mary and I said our sad goodbyes, promising to see each other again in a couple of months when she would return.  I watched her walk to the departure gate and leave.  I sadly returned to Canberra (several hours drive away) with my friends, where we decided to go out in an attempt to cheer me up and get my mind off missing Mary.

 

We decided to go to the movies, where we would watch a movie (funnily enough) called “Something about Mary” and we were the only people in the cinema.  After the movie, we chatted for a while as the credits rolled before my friends and I stood to leave.

cinema chairs
The cinema lights had been turned on, and we could see very well.  As we entered the aisle to leave , near the door to the cinema, stood Mary.  She stood there staring at us, wearing the same clothes we just saw her wearing when she boarded the plane, with no real expression on her face.  My friends and I stopped in the aisle when we saw her… we all looked at each other and one of them asked if that was Mary.
I told them it couldn’t be… they were with me when I dropped her off at the airport… she should be well into her flight back to Ireland.  We stood and watched her for a moment before she turned slowly and proceeded to walk to the closed door.
At this point we started to follow, she opened the door and walked through, allowing it to close behind her.  We quickly reached the door and opened it, to see her standing in the main cinema corridor (from which other cinema’s branched).
The corridor was only partially lit, yet we could see her very clearly.  She was part way up the corridor, her body sideways to us and she watched us as we left the cinema.  My friends again told me that it was Mary, yet I said that it can’t be Mary… I said that they knew as well as I did that she was on a plane, and this person was acting very strange.
blur girl (2)
We stood in silence, watching her before she moved again.  She slowly turned and walked down the corridor away from us, heading towards the large cinema at the end of the hall.  I could see as she walked, her head turned slightly every now and then to see us as she walked.  I knew she wanted me to follow her, and my friends asked if I was going to follow her.  I wanted to,,, yet I replied that I wouldn’t follow.
I knew it wasn’t my Mary… I didn’t know what it was, yet I suspected that it was not a good idea to follow this figure.
A day or two later. Mary called from Ireland to let me know she arrived home safely.  When I told her about the figure I had witnessed, she had no knowledge of this visitation we encountered… not that I thought she would.
One more interesting point… when I did meet her family they were very connected to the Faerie world.  Not a day would go by without them mentioning something about the Good People… something, at the time, I thought was very unusual.
When I think back, knowing what I do now, could it be possible that the Good People were trying to prevent Mary and I from being together?  If so, it changed little as Mary and I married later that year, although our marriage didn’t work out in the end. So who knows?
I often wonder what would have happened had I followed that “pseudo” Mary.  Would my life be more interesting?  Would I have gone to some place amazing?  Or was it some phantom creature who meant to cause me harm?
I guess I will never know.
Simon – Sydney.
girl in hole 2

The Tale of a Foiled Fairy Abduction

Did you know there is a long-held belief that the Faerie are repelled by iron? In fact, those walking late at night would often carry an iron rod in their coat pocket for protection in case they were to cross paths with a Faerie on their journey.

I’m not sure how they would use this iron rod to rid themselves of a pesky Faerie, surely not try to whack it?

Certainly, if you whacked the Faerie it might buy you time to run away, but if you swing and miss, you could have a very angry Faerie on your hands with nothing but your wits to help you.

Perhaps the idea was simply to hold the bar between yourself and the Faerie and this would cause the Faerie to simply go away. We know that in days gone by it was common for parents to lay an iron rod or open scissors over the cradle or bed of their baby or young child.

It was said this would prevent the Faerie from abducting the baby. But would it really work?

The answer could be found in this story sent in by Grace from Toronto, Canada.

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Don’t believe in Fairy abductions? My Granny would have a sit down with you and soon set you straight.

thatched house

From the very day of her birth, Granny’s parents carefully lay their iron fire-poker across the basket she slept in. They were believer’s you see, in the Good People. Well, wasn’t everyone back then? But times have changed and now there are fewer who believe. Who knows, maybe the Good People like it that way. My Granny thinks so and she says she should know.

I’ve lived one foot in our world and the other foot in theirs” so she says. You see, when Granny was but a few months old, the Good People tried to steal her away.

Without a drop of whiskey on her breath she’ll tell you that she was asleep in her wee basket when there was a commotion out back of her parent’s cottage.

baby basket

They lived in County Limerick at that time, it was a farm, with mainly sheep she says, and anyway all hell had broken loose tween sheep and dogs and Granny’s Mam and Pop upped and ran outside to see the damage.

As it happened, there was nothing to see, nothing at all. It had been all bluster for the sheep and dogs were only calm and dozey. Which was strange in itself.

Granny’s Mam was pretty canny, and she hightailed it back the cottage to find Granny, still wrapped tight in her blanket, laying at the threshold at the front door. Fast asleep.

Granny was told by her parents that the Good People had distracted them so they could steal her away for she was ‘touched’, having one blue eye and one green you see. Only they couldn’t get her out from the cottage on account she’d been baptised.

Granny will tell you the iron bar did nothing to keep the Good People from reaching in her basket and whatsmore, it wasn’t true, her being baptised. It’s what her parents told anyone who asked, but in truth, she was yet to be baptised and only a day or two after the ‘visit’ as Granny calls it, her parents took her on the quiet to the Priest for to get the job done.

old lady (2)

 

So we can only guess that the Good People dropped Granny to the ground when they heard her Mam approaching. I think Granny enjoys telling the story and wears it as a kind of badge actually.

It is remarked by many who have known Granny that she has lived a charmed life on account of her touch by the Good People. There could be something to that, she is nearing 100 years old after all and as bright and feisty as ever before.  

Grace Toronto, Canada.

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If we are to believe Grace’s Granny, neither iron or baptism will provide protection from the Good People. It seems if they have their mind set on abduction, or meddling in the lives of Humans, there is little we can do to stop them.

But, there may be plenty we can do to appease them.

We know that the Good People favour ancient sites such as ring forts, standing stones and wells. It is also widely accepted they dwell in or near places of natural beauty, rivers, woodlands, oceans, forests and the like and treasure particular trees such as the Hawthorn and Rowan.  

There is much we can learn from this. Clearly if you want to avoid the Good People altogether, staying within the concrete and steel of an inner city is your best bet, but even then you shouldn’t get complacent. For every city has its trees and parks, ponds and lakes. You never know who might be lurking up a tree or behind a bush.

Surely the best advice to avoid ‘wicked’ attention from the Good People is to live your life in a way which does not offend or annoy them. It’s not so hard to score some Brownie points (‘scuse the pun) and keep the Good People on side. Here are 2 quick and easy tips to help you on your way:

Tip One: We know they love nature, so it follows no self-respecting Faerie would bring harm to the door of a Human who cares for their environment. Tidy up after yourself, recycle, upcycle, downcycle, cycle to work or school, pick up rubbish in the park, in drains or grates to avoid waste entering the sea or rivers and tend your own garden, even if it’s a single pot plant. This is certain to please them.

Tip Two: It is known that Faerie will take vengeance on Humans who are cruel or neglectful of animals and even each other. Be kind, in words and actions. Particularly to those who are vulnerable, the young and old, the injured, the lost or lonely. If the Faerie see your kindness, who knows, they might leave some good fortune at your own door.

Bonus Tip: Do not try to hit a Faerie with an iron bar, or anything else for that matter. There may be much we don’t know about the Faerie but one thing is absolutely certain, you would live to regret it. – Kitty.

Faeries by the old Elm Tree

A lovely tale which reminds us that there may be a good reason why a particular place, (in Kit’s case a running brook beside an old Elm Tree) calms or refreshes your spirit.

Although he didn’t know it at the time, he was in the company of friendly Faerie, no doubt pleased at his quiet appreciation of Mother Nature…

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I’ve just been reminded of a story from when I was around 10-11.

I used to walk home from my junior school through a wood (it was longer but meant I didn’t have to walk on the road). There was a brook which disappeared into a rudimentary brick-built tunnel mainly torn up by tree roots of an old elm tree.

tree roots stream

So, on good days I would sit there for awhile, dropping things into the brook to watch them disappear into the darkness of this tunnel. It felt like a very special and secret place and although I was a very talkative kid it was my time for silence.

old lady hands

One day, I was playing with a friend from my village and we went to take some topsoil in a wheelbarrow to her Nan who lived near the wood. I’d never met her before (although I had seen her around). My friend introduced me and the Nan replied “Oh you’re the little boy who plays with the faeries up by the elm tree“.

Now at the time I assumed she meant “I was away with the faeries” a local saying that meant in your own world. I was surprised because I always thought I’d been alone and unwatched so the fact my friend’s Nan had clearly seen me was a bit embarrassing.

However, a few years later my friend told us that her Nan kept a journal about her time with the faeries in the wood. I now like to think that my playing by that brook wasn’t alone but was overwatched by others and in turn they talked to my friends Nan about me.

Needless to say, as a teen I always made sure not to get up to anything in that wood that could get back to my friends Nan!

Kit Cox.

West Scotland Silkie

This is such a curious tale. I’m so pleased that the story of the Portrush Selkie, here in this collection served to remind Em from Belfast of this story about her Granny. And that she shared it with us!!!

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I was reading the post about the Portrush Selkie and it reminded me of something.

Years ago, i would have been in my early twenties, my aunt and i were going through my Granny’s things after she passed. She used to wear this old overcoat and floppy hat, every day (whenever i see that show Vera i laugh coz she reminds me of my Granny), she’d go out walking along the coast road or along the shoreline in that hat and coat.

old bookIn the pocket of the overcoat was a small tatty notebook and worn down pencil. And inside the notebook were loads of this scribbling.

It took me a minute to figure out her writing but turned out she was keeping a sort of log of sightings she was making of what she called a Silkie. The notes went back a bit, about 5 years before she died but stopped about 6 months before she died. I suppose that was when she stopped walking.

She made comments about where she saw the Silkie, what the weather was like on the day, how many people were about and what it was doing and what mood she thought it was in! You know, happy, melancholy, playful, agitated. She even wrote ‘aroused’ in one entry. Don’t ask me how she knew it was aroused. black rocks

Seems like most of the sightings were on or around this outcrop of black rocks. I know the place. It has this broad overhang over the rocks and not a cave as such but a sort of nook in it. I’m in Ireland now, and this on the west coast of Scotland. I’ve been thinking about it a lot since reading the story of the Portrush Selkie. I  might even go up there for a visit.

Anyhow, my Aunt was really interested in the notebook too and ended up taking it with her. I wish now i’d asked to keep it.

I was wondering if anyone else has heard of a Silkie on the west coast of Scotland?

Em – Belfast.

If you or someone you know has any knowledge of Silkie dwelling on the west coast of Scotland, please let us know. I’m sure many of us would be very curious for any information or photos of the area Em’s Granny took her walks…