Category Archives: Water Faerie

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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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…

 

 

The Portrush Selkie

Thank you for your interest in my Father’s story. I’ll just explain how I came to have it.

My Father was a traveling man, he was known as The Grey. My Mother was a settled woman. They both tried each other’s way of living but neither could manage it for more than a few months at a time. So, when I was around 6 years old, Mother and I went our own way, settling in Cornwall with her family while Father took to the road. We saw him from time to time, but he rarely came this far south.

A few months ago, a traveling family known to us paid a visit with the sad news my Father had died. They gave us his few belongings and I was surprised to find Father had been writing an account of his life. In mind, I think, to publish. It would have been a colorful read, and there are several tales of him crossing paths with the Little People.

There is one in particular I want to share with you because it seems to be one Faerie rarely mentioned when discussing the Little People.

Well I’ll give you Father’s story exactly as he had it drafted in his notes. Of course, he didn’t write it himself, a friend would have helped him with that, but it sounds like his voice good enough.

Anyway, you are welcome to share his words. Who know, one day I might make a book of his notes.

John – Cornwall

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The year was 1966. I spent the good part of the summer and autumn working out of a pub there in Portrush (Northern Ireland). It is a fishing town ye know, and me regulars were fishing men. Twas a rough sort of place, not a place for tourists if ye get me meaning. Well i ran the bar and broke up the fights, but there weren’t many of them anyway. The job paid, and left me days to free and that suited me well enough.

I’m not one for going out on the sea meself, I prefer me feet on the ground, but often turned me ear toward the talk of the fishing men, for they were never short of a line or two.

boats-rope (2)

Well I heard manys the tale over that stained bar, and most I couldnae repeat for fear of of offending some one or another, then there are those I have long forgotten altogether, but a few I remember right well and are worth the repeating.

Ye see, from time to time, the fishing men would turn their talk to the woman of the water who dwelled at Portrush Head out there. The Selkie.

selkie freeimages (3)

One day, I heard this between two fishing men…

“I saw Herself today”

“Ah, ye did”

“She turned me round well enough”

“She turned ye round, aye she did”

“Just clear o’the harbour, She crossed me bow 3 times there”

“Not wanting ye to see open water, so?”

“Aye”

“After I’d gone out was it?”

“Aye ye were in the deep by then”

“Ye turned yerself back then”

“Aye, that I did”

I’d need both me hands to count the times I heard this conversation. The fishing men were familiar with Selkie and held that if She crossed yer path, that is yer bow, 3 times it meant ‘turn yer boat around and get yer feet on dry land’.

Twas a warning of sorts. Not that they feared Herself, not a jot of that, no, they were fond of Herself, but believed She knew if bad luck would befall them in the deep water and so at every corner, did heed her warning and stay dry that day.

They would only speak of Herself among each other mind, only among the fishing men. If a brickie or a farming man walked in the door they’d shut up quick shot. But they didn’t seem to mind me listening in, sure wasn’t I pouring their drinks anyway.

They said other things about Her too, that if ye caught Her playful she would come alongside the boat and squeal in delight as She swam through the wash, but not any boat. She had her favorites.

There were a handful o’boats out of Portrush She had no regard for at all. It was said if She saw a fishing boat take more than their share from the sea, or creatures from the water that were too small for taking, well bad luck would follow them until such time her temper cooled.

There was this one day, the fishing men came in early. They’d been drinking for hours before I got to the pub meself. All the boats had gone out that morning and why wouldn’t they? It was a clear, bright morning as I remember it meself. No sign of a Selkie warning. But not an hour out to sea, Herself appears, singing a loud, wailing song byside each boat before swimming swift onto the next.

Well, some took heed, those fellas telling the story o’course, and turned for safety of the harbor. Others couldnae see the warning for the coin ye see, and ignored Her. Didn’t a mighty storm blow up in the same hour and smash one of the boats to bits. The others who ignored Her made it back to safety of harbor but with boats battered for their trouble.

Three dead so they told me, and wishing it weren’t so with every jar.

“She told em”menacing-clouds-1312090 (2)

“She did that”

“She could do no more”

“She could not”

“They know, the fairy folk…”

“Aye, they know well enough”

Well there was a great sadness for a time and the fishing men didnae mention Selkie for weeks after. I asked em one night, how was Herself and I tell ye, it were like getting teeth pulled, getting them to talk.

“She hasnae come by, since the storm”

“But we’ve heard Her”

“Aye, we’ve heard Her well enough, singing from yonder rocks”

“Broken hearted She sounds”

“None can say they don’t care for us, the fairy folk”

“None who know, can say that”

I cannae say if those fellas told their families about Selkie, and how She took care of the fishing folk, but about a week after that they were back chatting about Her again. She was out with the boats, swimming byside and having a lark.

And their spirits were lifted. They were fond of Her and no doubt.

The Grey.

 

 

 

Cross in the River

My name is Ann. I am 17 and I live in Ulster.

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.

fairy-dust-1-1545647 (2)

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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??

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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.

 

Playing with Pond Faerie

This is a story which my father has told me about my childhood. I was too young to remember any of the details so I will be relying on my father’s veracity, yet he isn’t a man prone to fantasy.

The incident occurred when I was a young child… possibly around 6 years of age. I was a blonde, curly haired, boy who wasn’t one for wandering.

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We were on a family picnic at a large park. The park was kind of in the country, but not too far from town. There were various areas of trees and bushes, as well as many ponds of green tinged water. There were other families about, but they were doing their own things away from us.

At some point I had gone for a wander to play and my parents paid me little attention until they noticed I had been gone for a while. Despite this, they were not too worried, we were in the country and it wasn’t a very populated area.

After a while, my father noticed I had been gone for some time and decided to go look for me. He wandered about the park and didn’t see me with any of the other children. He walked round and round without finding any trace of me. Apparently, he was starting to get a little worried, yet he was sure I was still there somewhere… he told me he was thinking that I was just hiding from him.

fairy-pond-1393019 (2)

He walked to the edge of one of the ponds and listened, to hear if he could find me. While he listened, he looked down at the water and noticed an odd bright green plant a short distance under the water. The plant appeared strange to him and something about it peaked his curiosity.

For a reason he can’t explain, he got down on his knees and reached into the water, and grasped the bright green plant.

He pulled the plant out and as it started to emerge, he realised it wasn’t a plant, it was my hair which he had grasped.

He lifted me into the air and I just looked at him calmly, then he put me on the grass and I sat down peacefully. He stared at me in shock and asked me what happened. In my childish language I told him that I was playing with some other children. They told me to follow them into the water and I was playing with them there, under the water.

The weirdest thing about this story is that I was sitting on the bottom of the pond for several minutes. I wasn’t hurt in any way and when I emerged I was calm and acted as though nothing traumatic had happened.

Danny – County Kerry