Category Archives: Unknown

An Attempted Abduction?

It was late in the afternoon in a small town in the Cascadian Mountain range in 2010.

I suddenly had a strong whim to go to a park I’ve only passed by once. In that small, safe town, following my whims often lead me to some beautiful places and was a fun way to occupy my time.

This whim was very strong though, I felt like someone was waiting for me. Honestly, I thought it was my professor– and my encounter would help my studies. It was freezing out and a mile and a half walk away.

But– why not! I put on my boots and coat and head out. It was a new moon that night– but I forgot to bring a flashlight. In that rural town– it would be blinding-dark on a night of a new-moon. I cursed this mistake 20 minutes into my walk.

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I get there while the sun was still pretty well up in the sky and I’m drawn to this tree. I don’t understand it, but I go with it. So I wait by the tree– and out from in the top of this tree appears this black cat.

It jumps down and sits in front of me very regally. It meows as if it’s conversing with me and then runs off down a deer path in the park . It comes back up. Sits regally. Meows very demanding-like and…

… runs down the path. This repeats 4 times until I decide “ok I’m following this cat!” and I follow this cat down this path which was unusually nice but obviously not-officially maintained by the town.

The cat and I both hopped stones over the river and up quite a ways— I’m getting quite nervous at this point! It’s going to be very dark soon! Finally- we arrive in this door way that was built into the mountain.

Like a tiny 3-foot stone entry way into the mountain with a lovely wooden door hinged upon it. There was a small sliver of one of the door’s boards missing from the bottom and the cat jumped thru it- jumped out, jumped in, jumped out. It meowed- it wanted me to go inside.

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The sun was setting— the rocks over the river– and now into this dark doorway without a flash light?

Cat, I’m sorry I’ll come back tomorrow” I told the cat- honestly quite scared.

The whole thing is over-worldly and my guts and bones are telling me to not open that door.

I turned my back and the cat meowed and meowed and meowed at me. “I’ll be back first thing in the morning!!” I promised the cat. I used the last few inches of the light in the sky to see my way back to the maintained path that had lights in the park.

I was overwhelmed— I went home and couldn’t relax. I woke up before sunrise unable to rest and as soon as dawn broke I made my way back to the park– down the deer path, over the river– and there I kid you freaking not:

The entire doorway was succumbed to dead thorns.

The door that was previous properly hinged was on the floor by the sheer strength of these dead thorns. The ENTIRE door way was chalked full of these dead thorns, and it grew out out of the door-way and even surpassed the door. Also the door wasn’t all cute and lovely anymore and it looked like it had laid there for a several years.

I cannot explain this logically for the life of me. The strength of a plant to knock a door off it’s hinges wouldn’t have even been able to die in a mere night.

I previously thought I missed out on an Alice in Wonderland kinda experience but now I’m curious if I was almost adult-napped by fairies.

Skuttle Star – U.S.A

Illustration
 

Illustration by Skuttle Star.

 

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The Red Fox

This happened 18 months ago. My husband and I woke early to visit my Mother at the retirement home as she was poorly with flu.

While my husband made tea, I pulled the curtains back in our sunroom which opens out to the garden.

Stood there, just a few yards from the glass door was a red fox, staring at me, with a wee branch from a Rowan Tree in its mouth. The branch had no leaves, but an abundance of red berries.

I stood perfectly still as we stared at each other and quietly called to my husband to come and see for himself, for I knew well enough he would never believe me if he hadn’t seen it himself.

When my husband entered the room, the fox stepped forward and gently lay the Rowan branch upon the grass close to the door. All the while it never took its eye from mine.

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The telephone rang and the red fox turned and scarpered away.

The caller was from the retirement home to tell us my dear Mother had passed away during the night.

I knew immediately, and without a doubt, that the red fox was delivering a message. The Rowan Tree signifies courage, wisdom and protection, and it was a message from my Mother.

Heather – near Aberdeen.

Boudicea and the Wee Folk

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.

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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.

Maura – Dublin.

The German struck by Strey

Well now it must have been around 1991 or 1992. I remember you see as Mary Robinson was still new as President and the German had taken a shine to her.

This German man, don’t ask me his name for I have no chance of remembering that, it’s all I can do to remember my dinner these days, anyway this German fella came over to Cork for to recover from some thing or another. It was some sort of upset anyway he was trying to recuperate from. Why he chose Cork I do not know, but he did.little-cottage-free images (2)

So he rented the wee cottage down the way from my farm, someways outside of Bantry town. I saw him from most days taking walks and we would pass the time, you know how it is. He was friendly enough. Not interested in taking in the tourist sites or anything like that, and he wasn’t a drinking man, not least in town but who knows what people do behind closed doors and it’s not for me to say.

He must have been here, in the valley just a few weeks. I’d see him walking 2 or 3 times a day, from the fields or my kitchen window you see.

Then this one day I see him rushing toward my house like a mad thing and it must have been around dusk then. Something had hold of him and no doubt. His clothes were sopping and grabbed at me talking gibberish and wouldn’t let go of my arms.

So I sat him down and got him speaking English and he said he had been out since morning walking. Walking and walking, he said he couldn’t stop and couldn’t find his way back.

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He was just walking around the same woodland path, through the creek, around a set of trees on that side of the creek, then he’d find himself back at the creek, walk through it to get to the other side, then around the same woodland path and back to the creek.

He was lost he said and every time he thought he figured the way out, he found himself back at the creek. And something telling him his house was on the other side of the creek so he crossed it and so it went over and again.

He was in a feckin torment. Had been going on for hours and hours so he said.

Well I gave it some thought and asked him, “Did you go near the old stones at all?” and he answered yes, he did.

And I told him I said “you don’t want to be going near those old stones. You’re after upsetting the Good Folk there”. Well o’course he had no idea of the Good Folk so I explained to him all I thought he need knowing, it wasn’t much but enough. “They’ve only put the Strey on you” I said, “They play tricks with your mind, get you lost and keep you lost. You can count yourself lucky they didn’t drown you in that creek”.

Well his face fell deathly pale and he made me walk with him, back to his wee house. He packed his bags and left. Right then. I walked with him to the road to Bantry and stood waiting with him until a car pulled up and gave him a ride.

Never saw that German again, poor fella got such a fright. But it’s true you know, what I said, he was lucky to get away with only a dose of the Strey. It could have been worse, much worse.

Barry – County Cork

Our Cousin Quinn

This is a story that has been passed down, and around, my family for donkey’s years. As far as I know, it is the first time it has been written down and shared outside the family and I am curious to know if any of your readers have a similar story in their own family.

The last time I gave our cousin Quinn a thought was as passing mention in a paper for school. The subject was ‘The Good People’ (as we called them at the time) and their influence in County Galway, where my family had lived for many generations.

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My family moved from Ireland to Ottawa, Canada, 20 odd years ago but I was reminded of the story this past fall by my sister, who just returned from a visit to Ireland herself.

The story was always told by my Father, and not often, perhaps once a year at Christmas or Halloween. Now, my father was a pragmatic man, an Engineer in fact, not prone to sentimentality or melancholy, but when he told this story a change came over him. He spoke with a great reverence, as though every word were of enormous importance. (I also had a sense, even as a child, that he knew more than he told us and I wish now that I had pressed him to tell me more.)

Father always began by telling us that it was told him by his own Grandfather (on his Mother’s side) and that his Grandfather swore on the honour of his own Mother that every word of it was true.

Well here it is anyway, make of it what you will.

The story goes that in the year 1845, when the potato blight, or the Famine as it is commonly known, first struck, the Kelly’s (my Great Grandfather’s maternal ancestors), lived very near their cousins the Quinn’s. Both families were tenant farmers to the same landlord and by all accounts, they enjoyed a friendly association.

One thing of which Father was always adamant: the Kelly’s had no cause to speak ill, or muddy the name, of the Quinn’s. Then or now.

The two families, and their other neighbours, weathered the failed harvest of 1845 but disaster struck in 1846 when they were evicted from their cottages and forced to live on the road. The Kelly’s and the Quinn’s bid goodbye and travelled separately, scavenging for food as they went.

Months later, the Kelly’s and the Quinn’s crossed paths at a temporary ‘soup-kitchen’ provided by a wealthy landlord. (His generosity it is said, was dependent on the people promising to leave his lands once they had been fed.)

The Kelly’s were grieved to learn that Quinn’s wife, who was pregnant at the time of their eviction, had succumbed to hunger and died, leaving her husband to care for their 5 children. Worse still, was the state of Quinn himself. The story goes that he was half-mad with delirium.

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Statue of Man in Dublin Famine Memorial.

We all know it is not uncommon for law-abiding, God-fearing people to make ‘uncharacteristic’ decisions at desperate times but as 1847 approached, and with the country on verge of catastrophe, Quinn came to Kelly with a crazy, and ungodly, offer.

(At this point in the story, and I remember this well, Father would pause, gaze down at the floor and say “we must not judge him harshly. Desperate times call for desperate measures. If it were not for Quinn, we would none of us be here today”.)

Quinn, he told Kelly, had been visited by the Wee Folk. The Good People. The Faerie.

fairy-tale-1376064 (2)He said the Faerie had come to him that very morning as he kneeled beside the river, his children asleep on nearby grass. There were 2 of them and Quinn described them to Kelly as naked, with red skin and very long legs. The Faerie spoke to him in Irish and with great pity in their eyes asked after his suffering.

As Quinn explained his troubles, the Faerie edged closer and closer until they were crouching close beside him. Quinn told Kelly he felt no fear and did not shy when they each placed a red hand upon the skin and bone of his back. Indeed, he said he felt a great warmth pulse through his body and closed his eyes as he listened to the Faerie hum in harmony with each other.

On opening his eyes, Quinn saw the Faerie were now sat in front of him and his children, who were wide awake and curious. “You may come with us” they said to Quinn, “You will work and eat and dance and be safe from pain and suffering”.

Quinn and Kelly knew of the Good People and their ways and their dangers. Every descendant of Kelly to have told the story has said that under normal circumstances Quinn would never have risked his children’s lives to the Faerie but we must remember, those were far from normal circumstances.

Quinn excitedly told Kelly that the Faerie extended their invitation to his ‘kind and worthy’ kin and invited Kelly and his family to join him. But no amount of impassioned pleading could convince Kelly to leave off his chances on the road, and in the hands of his God, to join the land of the Faeries and so it was, Quinn and Kelly parted ways. This time forever.

But, that was not the end of the story. Before he walked his starving children back to the river, Quinn whispered something into Kelly’s ear.

That whisper not only saved the lives of the Kelly family, but secured the prosperity of their descendants.

It is said, and long believed, that Quinn told Kelly if he would not go with the Faerie, they would offer him a gift to save his family from starvation. Kelly was told to go, under cover of darkness, to the old Oak tree standing at the curve of the river and there, dig to a shallow hole where there was buried a small wooden box filled to brim with coins.

Kelly did this, and following Quinn’s advice, took his family across the waters to England. There Kelly bid his time until the year 1855 when they returned to County Galway and bought a cottage and parcel of land.

The Kelly’s, and their descendants, farmed this land until the 1970’s but it has since been sold off and the Kelly’s scattered across Ireland, Canada, America and Australia too. But, I’m happy to say there are still some of the old family there, in Galway. They welcomed my sister recently and reminded her of the tale of ‘mad’ Quinn who they still say is ‘off with the Faeries’.

Mad or not, isn’t Quinn still remembered some 170 years later? As for descendants of the Kelly’s, we are going strong and I think all of us (privately or openly) are grateful to Quinn, and the Faerie of Ireland.

From John – Ottawa, Canada.

The Faerie Dog

I had an encounter with a Faerie when I was 8 or 9 years old. I don’t remember a lot of it myself, although I definitely remember it happening. big-foot-1312500 (2)

Luckily my Mum was there too and has told the story so many times since it happened, I couldn’t forget it if I tried!

I live in Dublin now raising my own children, but back in 1972 when we had our ‘encounter’, we were living outside of Bunclody in the County Wexford.

So, the day I encountered the Faerie dog had been like any other day. I was after getting off the school bus to find that, once again, Mum was late and not there in the car to drive me home. This had happened a thousand times before and I knew what to do: stand still and wait for her. This I did, and can remember running the nine times table through my mind over and over, for to keep myself occupied.

So, I was there alone, the bus long gone and the road was quiet but I wasn’t worried. It was a safe town after all.beetle-free (2)

Then I noticed this olive green car with 2 men in it drive past me, real slow like, looking at me all the while, then a few minutes later it drove past going the other way, turned and came back toward me.

All of a sudden, this black dog, or it could have been brown, appeared out of no place and stood beside me. It was big. Not so big as a wolfhound but heavier. I think it had a real barrel chest and a thick, short coat but can’t be certain, and to this day, I couldn’t tell you if it were male or female.

Anyway, this dog rested a paw on my foot, hard like, pushing my foot into the ground as it stared at the car approaching us. I remember the sound of it growling low and deep so that its whole body shuddered and the fur on its back shackled upright.

I was scared stiff. Truly I couldn’t move a muscle, not knowing whether to stay or run or whether to be more scared of the dog or the car.

The car with the 2 men stopped right in front of me and the fella in the passenger seat rolled his window down and said something like “hop in and come for a ride”.

Next thing I know, he opened the car door, stepped a foot out onto the road and the dog flew at him, grabbed his leg, shook it hard and pulled on it something fierce, I thought he was going to rip his whole leg off!

I remember the fella shrieking high, like a girl, and his pal hollering at him to get back in the car. But he just kept shrieking and wailing.

The dog was latched on that fella’s leg and wasn’t letting go and I tell you, the snarl coming from it was like nothing I’d heard before, or since. Just the thought of it gives me shivers, even today.

And that’s when I noticed my Mum pull up in her car behind. She hurled herself from out behind the wheel and round her car and the driver of the car hit the pedal.

The shrieking man was dragged along the road, half in the car, half out of it, with the dog still attached to his leg. There was blood everywhere, all over the road, all over the dog. It was awful. I remember the smell of the blood, sweet but foul, like a gutted fish left sat in the Sun.

My Mum stood in the middle of the road, flailing her arms and hurling abuse after the car. The dog let go the man and the car sped off. I was crying, Mum was screaming and the dog… well it was stood in the middle of the road too, but then it turned and looked hard at Mum.

No word of a lie, with only one glare, that dog silenced my Mum (and if you knew my Mum you’d think it a miracle!).

The dog, blood covering its head and chest and still dripping from its jaw, walked right up and stood about a metre in front of her. The two of them stood staring at each other for about half a minute. It wasn’t long but I remember it felt like forever.

Do you know, not for a second did I think it would attack her, I don’t know why, I just knew it wouldn’t. Anyway, then the dog walked away toward the cluster of trees I guess it came out of and it was gone.

Without a word, Mum scooped me up and put me in the car, a mustard Cortina it was (I loved that car), grabbed paper and pencils from her bag, and shoved them at me. Then she barked at me to write down everything that just happened, and fast. Well this I did, and she did the same. Every now and again she would say, “EVERYTHING, WRITE EVERY LITTLE THING”.

We both finished and sat in silence for I don’t know how long until eventually my Mum said, “you were just saved by a Faerie. And if we aren’t careful, we’ll forget the whole thing”.

Mum drove like a Banshee to my Auntie’s house which was only 5 minutes from the bus stop, and burst through her door yelling “Nora, I’ve just been scolded by a Faerie!”.

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Aunt Nora

We told Auntie Nora everything we could remember and then passed her our written notes. I remember my Auntie raising an eyebrow and saying “There’s a lot you have written that you didn’t tell me. You are forgetting and no doubt”.

Then she frowned and said to Mum “Please tell me you didn’t thank the Faerie”.

Of course I didn’t thank the Faerie Nora, what sort of fool do you take me for? You never thank a Faerie!”

I didn’t have a scratch on me, nothing to prove what had happened, and then I remembered my foot. The weight of the dog pushing on my foot. I rolled my sock off and there it was, a purple bruised pawprint. I saw it with my own eyes, and showed it to Mum and Auntie too. Not that Auntie needed convincing, she always believed in the Good Folk. Sure, she’d have plenty of stories for you herself.

That was the day I encountered a Faerie of Ireland. I can safely say that every week of every month of every year since that day in 1972, either Mum or Auntie have told this story to someone, to keep it alive like, so it’s never forgotten. Thank goodness my Mum knew enough of the Faerie to write the experience down before it was lost to us.

Oh! I almost forgot the best part. When the dog stood in front of Mum and stared at her, she said she heard its voice in her own mind. She wrote down only moments later what it had said to her.

Manys the time I have watched over your unguarded daughter. If she is left alone once more, I will claim her to live among Faerie.”

From Sharon – Dublin, Ireland

Billy Connelly’s Secret

Well, I don’t know much about Faeries but my Auntie Yvonne sure thought she did.

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When I was a kid, we would haul our caravan from Liverpool twice a year and stay in the backyard of Yvonne’s house at Tenby in Wales. Of course, being a teenager at the time, I thought it was an utter ‘drag’ but now I have many fond memories of those holidays.

As to Auntie Yvonne, well she was one of a kind. Her house was full of cats. More than I could count, and more than she could name too. She would just call them all ‘sweetie’ or ‘dear’ or ‘darling’. I remember seeing cat hair just floating on the air and landing on food and in cups of tea. It never bothered Yvonne a dot.

The back door to her house stood open 9 months of the year, so the cats could go in and out unbothered and she had those macramé hanging baskets everywhere! Inside the house and outside. She said they afforded the Faerie a safe and pleasant place to land, or nap, away from the cats.

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Mind you, they all contained hard plants like cactus, “because” she said, “it’s all good and well for Faerie to visit, but I don’t want them so comfortable they want to stay“. So it was, while we would go to the beach or the park, Yvonne would stay home and spend half the day walking around with a watering can talking or singing to the plants, or perhaps wetting the Faerie!

And good God, she must have driven her neighbours made. From dawn til dusk you would hear her holler “I’m coming out now!” or, “I’m going in now!”. To warn the Faeries you see, in case any were crossing by her backdoor, Yvonne believed it a necessary courtesy to warn the Faerie of her movements so she didn’t step on them. She said that passing Faerie will always cross a doorway. I don’t know about that, but I know I never got a sleep in at Yvonne’s house, every morning from 5am I would be woken by her yelling “Coming out noooooow”.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about Yvonne and Billy Connelly.

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Once darkness fell, Yvonne’s life revolved around the telly, and why wouldn’t it, her telly was top of the range for the time. (No one really knows where she got her money from but that’s another story).

Yvonne covered her velvet lounge in crochet blankets which were themselves covered in cat hair. Mum and Dad sat with Yvonne and the cats on the lounge. Mum and Yvonne sipping their Pimm’s and lemonade, and Dad his beer,  but I refused to get covered in cat hair, (and wasn’t allowed the Pimm’s) so always sit on the purple vinyl pouf. That is how we spent every evening of our Tenby holiday, gathered around the telly.

If the telly was King, Michael Parkinson was its Prince. Yvonne adored him and och! I remember being mortified when she regaled us with all his sexy qualities.

Anyhow, Billy Connelly came to be a regular sort of guest on Parkinson’s show and I happened to be at Yvonne’s house several times when Connelly made an appearance. Every single time Connelly made his way down those stairs and sat down beside Parky, Yvonne lowered her voice to a hush and told us most earnestly that Connelly was “touched by the Faerie”.

Look at him” she’d say and point at the telly, “He wears the skin of an ordinary man but look, just look at how he has people enthralled. Mesmerized, euphoric, they forget themselves when he’s talking. Mark my word, he is no ordinary man. He is touched, there is no doubt. That is Faerie work”.

Then, she would sit back on her furry crochet blanket and laugh so hard she would pee herself. And this was a young woman, she must have been in her late 30’s at the time, with an otherwise healthy bladder, she would literally pee herself with laughter.

Connelly wasn’t the only person she thought ‘touched’ by Faerie. I can tell you that, according to Yvonne, Charlie Chaplin, Van Gogh and Elvis Presley were also ‘touched’.

Well, if it is true Faerie ‘touch’ some ordinary people, turn them into something a little bit special, then Yvonne was surely touched herself. She was an extraordinary woman. I wish I had taken the time to talk to her more, to know her better. I can’t help thinking this world would be a better place if there were more people like my Auntie Yvonne.

From Michelle, Liverpool, UK