Category Archives: Story

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 in 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

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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!!! – Kitty.

waves

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

chair

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.

In 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.

seals 4

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 like, happy, melancholy, playful, agitated. She even wrote ‘aroused’ in one entry.

(Don’t ask me how she knew it was aroused.)

Seems like most of the sightings were on or around this outcrop of black rocks. I know the place. black rocks

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…

 

 

The Fairy Whistle

I have never heard a tale quite like this one. Could it be the Leanan Sidhe at work?

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We were only teenagers then. Had been on the drink after a game like. My three cousins and me, walking home at a stumble.

The oldest, I won’t tell his name, was barely walking at all. Me and my other cousins took turns half carrying him across the fields and anyway we all fell into this ditch. It was shallow enough, and we all just lay there, under a tall tree, looking up at the stars for I can’t say how long.

starry sky

The night was silent, and so were we, which I suppose was the first sign of something unusual. Then we hear this music. It was simple, a whistle I think it was. Quiet, but close. I said to my cousin who was less inebriated than the other two “Do you hear that?”. He says “I do”. There was no one around for miles. My cousins’ house the only one nearby.

We listened for a time. All four of us. It was the most beautiful tune, played over and again. Almost had me in a daze. Then I shot up and realized we were laying our backs against the side of a fairy ring. I knew it well in daylight and wouldn’t go near it then. So, I upped and got them moving again.

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Well we got home no trouble and next day recalled the whistle we heard. We all four of us remembered it the same but swore not to mention it to our Mam’s for fear they’d tear strips off us for being foolish enough to sit on a fairy fort. But that tune, it was lighter and sweeter than anything I’d heard before or since.

Now you’ll be expecting me to tell you some terrible bad luck befell the four of us soon after. Well it didn’t. We were fine. In fact, I suppose you could say we were better than fine. For a time.

Each of us grew and spread our wings. My cousins each excelled in their field of interest. It’s not for me to tell their names but one was a successful multimedia artist in the city, another was a regarded musician who had traveled the world and the last was a history teacher who published several books on Fairy Folklore.

I say was because all 3 are passed now. Suddenly and every one before their 30th birthday. They each lived a short, bright life and I too have enjoyed a surprising measure of success in my own field.

In the end, we only saw each other at funerals. We’d look at each other with these eyes you know. Now there’s only me left. Well anyway, the thing is, I turn 30 myself next year and find myself wondering about that fairy fort, and the whistle we heard that night. And I wonder what awaits me.

Michael – Ireland.

I received a follow-up email from Michael and he asked me to add a curious detail which he forgot to include in his own account. Michael says that since that night, when he and his cousins lay back on the wall of the fairy fort, none of the 4 men ever experienced a sleeping dream. Ever again. Make of that what you will. If you have a theory on this, or how it relates to his extraordinary tale, I would love to hear it.

I wish Michael all the very best and thank him again for sharing.

Cheers, Kitty.

Faerie in the Fireplace

This is a really intriguing, and ongoing, encounter I received from Jennifer in Canada.

There is a lot going on here. A lot of activity and emotion too. I have a few ideas about what might be happening, but take a read yourself and i’ll meet you back at the end of Jennifer’s account. – Kitty.

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About 3 nights ago I had an unusual experience in my home. My dog has been staring and tracking something on some walls in our home that I don’tjennifer-glitter-lights-for-blog.jpg see.

I have seen some bright sparkles here and there on the walls but that was it til 3 nights ago.

At that time, I noticed my dog staring at my fireplace insert, it’s a fake fireplace. Thought that was odd so took a few pictures into the fire box insert and nearly fainted when I looked at those pictures.

There were about 6 or 7 little entities staring back at me. They looked pretty surprised I was looking at them and actually I felt that they were afraid. THEY were afraid, I wasn’t exactly overjoyed. lol.

Anywho, they moved around from photo to photo but I didn’t ever see them moving. If I caught them, they just froze. I got one pic where a big brown head was almost visible like it was materializing in there and in another it was in a different place in the fire box and in a different position.

I am sharing a picture of one of them with you. The photo is quite dark since the fire box is black inside and it wasn’t bright in the room. Not sure they are even visible in bright light. Anyways a friend of mine lightened up the photo so the entity is much more visible than the first shot I took.

Look in the middle of the pink circle I drew and the entity is in the centre. Its grey and seems to be looking down into the fire box. It’s just its head that is seen sticking out what seems to be a black hole in the side of the fire box. It has a big nose like Jim Durante’s nose was, sort of comical in look and you can see its beady little eye too.

Most people think it’s a fairy but I’m not sure, not familiar with all the types of gnomes etc. I don’t get a scary feeling from them but not happy either. I have had several UFO sightings in this area too over the years as has most of my neighbours. Weird area. We are very close to a big river, like across the street. Would love to know what you all think. Thank you.

I will tell you what is going on now with all this. Yesterday I think it was, time is blurring here, I went into my living room to get a couple of things and my back was to the fireplace where my first sighting of the beings took place, a few days before.

My little dog was sitting on the back of the couch near the fireplace. While my back was turned to it. I heard a distinct, pretty loud shuffling sound from the fireplace and right at that moment my dog whipped around and barked at the fireplace.

OH BOY!

Now the little suckers are making sounds. Sigh. I have never heard any auditory sounds from anything like this. I have had visitations from what are think are ETs and ghosts in the past and some not long ago actually but the only time I hear anything from them is when I wake up in the middle of the night and I seem to be in the middle of 2 people talking but the voices are quick.

One said once ‘she’s awake’. The other just happened last month, woke up to the voice of a woman who seemed to be sitting near my bed right around my head who just said loudly ‘WHATTT??” That was it.

I have had entities touch me 3 times since I was a teen and woke up after these events the next morning without any memory of how I got back to bed or what if anything happened in between. I am telling you this because the heads of these beings I am seeing now are mostly alien like but some are silly colors like bright yellow.

Good/bad, helpful, malevolent, I have no idea. I know nothing about gnomes and elementals but looked into that last night. If I knew they were just harmless fairies I could live with that but even those I hear can be nasty depending on the mood. If anyone has ever seen anything like the two pics I have of these beings I would love to know. Right now I don’t even really want to acknowledge them so trying to stay away from the area and maybe bore them into leaving. lol.

I am saying a prayer now given to me by paranormal investigators that basically goes straight to my Source, God, for help. In it I ask God to either release or destroy so that if these beings aren’t harmful but just lost or frightened God will help to release them from this place and maybe they can be saved. I would love that first if possible. So, see what happens.

jennifer beatty pic for blog

This pic of the fireplace folk is grainy but it’s the best I could do. The big blob on the logs started out first time I saw it as a big brown head peeping over the logs, you could see two beady eyes when I first saw it. In this photo it almost looks like it has more of a longer alien type head.

On the back wall of the fireplace behind the big head you can see two what look like almost clown heads as if painted on the wall. This was not on the wall before and it isn’t now. It’s like something was trying to scare me with ‘scary’ faces. lol.

On the left there is a little yellow very Grey Alien type head but its cartoonish. Finally, on the extreme left bottom of the fireplace there is a little grey alien type head and you can just barely make out the eyes.

– Jennifer, Canada

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Well, what did you make of that? It’s a situation I wouldn’t want to find myself in, and no doubt, but 2 things spring to mind.

First, is that the ‘creatures’ are some kind of Brownie: a Household Faerie. The character of Brownies varies wildly from region to region. some attach themselves to a home, others to a family. It’s possible these creatures are attached to the house Jennifer and her dog are living in. I would be interested to know if Jennifer is descended from a Scottish or Irish family as it is said that Brownie’s from those areas attach to the family, not the home, and will follow them wherever they go, including across the oceans.

Did I mention Brownie’s are notoriously easy to offend? It is possible Jennifer, or her dog, have entirely unintentionally, offended the Brownie’s and this is why they are causing such mayhem in her home, and by extension to her life. One of my Podcasts in the month of May takes a close look at Household Faerie and I share several stories of Brownie shenanigans. If Jennifer’s situation is a case of wicked Brownie’s, I hope they soon bore of their antics and settle down again.

Of course, it is possible the house is occupied by malevolent Faerie or spirits, and I understand that Jennifer has taken some action to counter this possibility. It reminds me of a news article I read recently about a ‘haunted’ house in Ireland which caused some debate about how best to deal with it. Take a read and let me know what you think of Jennifer’s predicament. – Cheers, Kitty

Irish Cottage with Violent Faeries