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