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’.
John – Liverpool