John continues his Faerie spotting on the Isle of Man. He shares some of the old tales and his own incredible encounter with… something in the mist.
This part will feature the Fenoderee story and other tales.
Just prior to entering the upper part of the Glen via a metal gate across the rough track, we explored a field and area right a large field and trackway path going up the side of Skye hill.
Here where, this derelict and dilapidated mill building lies were figures reported last century cloaked in Blue/Grey with a Gnome like appearance. Also, some youths where chased by a woman wielding what looked like a frying pan!
A more recent sighting was two English tourists reported seeing a small woman with a white bonnet on her head or white object which she took off and used it to wave off or warn off the tourists. They fled!
Andrew Green (the Ghosthunter) in one of his books wondered if the apparition could have a Norse origin with the type of headdress?
Whatever has been seen over the years seems to change its appearance to adopt popular images eg… Cloaked Gnome, Witchlike Woman, next could be a Grey Alien?
The Old building was wooden, open and falling down. I had a camera, a pre-digital Canon 35mil with a good lens and a full roll of colour film loaded. That’s 36 frames!
The Woman or figures had been seen in the field, tackmill and the pathway, coming down from Skye Hill described in Part 1.
I noticed that a house that was the last on the lane backed onto this field and without exception all the rear windows were boarded over! Makes me wonder if it was to stop the spectacle being seen or stop something looking in!
Also, up on top of the hill something described as a “Fairy City” had been seen. Strange lights on the Mountain looking like an illuminated palace were what would be termed as Spooklights now or even a UFO.
Local people tempted in by the singing, dancing, food, fine ladies and handsome men should always exercise caution by refusing all food and drink in case they were taken /abducted. Fairy Time runs different to terrestrial time.
The “Stray sod ” or being Pixy-led is also in evidence here, when you can become lost forever going in circles until the spell is broken by turning your clothes inside out, carrying religious items, uttering prayers, and some iron or steel.
The Fairy promise of beautiful people and glittering castles, amazing food can all be the product of a” Glamour” fooling the human senses and creating a false but enticing bait for people to become entrapped. If all the gifts are refused the person when they awake will find the food was mouldy leaves, and the Palace just a clump of grass.
Back on track through the metal gate on walking upward the river to our left the hill to our right. North Barrule Mt and road to our Left now, through a wooded glen of Oak trees and Pine trees to what I originally went looking for: The Blue leafed Rowan Oak tree of the Fenoderee story (of which this Glen is known in folklore stories).
Walking up, my friend observed a mist hanging over the area, I could hear the stream over the rocks tumbling down the valley making a kind of drumming noise and a certain musical sound I couldn’t place.
I found a typical mushroom ring by the stream as we continued walking up, the walk was taking up to half an hour or more, when we came to a dip in the path by a stonewall. Directly below was a huge pool of water from a recent rainstorm.
No way through it, to carry on we’ll have to skirt around going into the little wooded area.
Now, here’s where it gets strange… I mean you go out on walks and nothing ever happens!
Sure I ‘d spent a few days prior reading up on the folklore in the Manx Museum taking notes and then selecting a suitable location that seemed interesting for a walk on a non raceday.
Just before I get to the final part, the Fenoderee story must be told now to give the proper perspective of the area. The story of how a mortal woman and a Fairy Prince meet and have a love affair in Glen Auldyn.
The woman, named Kitty Keruish, was wooed by an Otherworldly handsome man who she fell in love with. They used to meet at the Blue Rowan Tree in Glen Auldyn to be together in secret as Fairy and Mortals could not be or exist together according to tradition and this Fairy was of Royal blood and called himself “Udereek”.
He was supposed to attend a Manx Harvest home festival with all the other fairfolk at Glen Rushen across the other side of the Isle of Man. However, he did not as was meeting his lover at the Blue Rowan Tree. This was frowned upon by those of high ranking and to make an example he lost his status and was transformed into a half man- half goat. A Satyr or Pan like creature by the Fairy Council and left to roam forever in this form.
His lover had fled the Isle of Man to escape any form of retribution from the fairfolk or her own people. Now the Fenodree roamed the island alone and although in this form continued to be of help and assist humans in his hairy form: the wild man of the woods.
Several other stories have him assisting farmers and fisherman also in several other parts of the Island. There is one noteable crop-circle type deed with him stamping down the crop in fields like the Mowing Devil in the 1700’S. (Note…see the Fortean times for more info on the Mowing Devil!)
This very sad story puts the Fenoderee of Glen Auldyn right here in the Valley where he waits for his lost love timeless to him seeing watching and hiding in the wild places! Expect the Unexpected.
Taking a few pictures of the site before trying to get around the pool I noticed another mushroom ring much larger set on the embankment by the pool.
Getting down we noticed the immediate area under the trees was unusually darkened.
We could not see the hillside, just behind. The place had an eeriness to it, we felt as we were being watched by something.
No birdsong. The air was still, then a significant wind arose and we also heard something moving around in the dark area as twigs cracked. We both felt uneasy.
We were still a good way off being outside this wooded area and walked up to long deserted single story overgrown house, wondering if we had disturbed something. It didn’t feel right.
Thinking maybe we should turn around and go back now. I felt a bit strange as if I was being told to go back. A sense of panic set in. I felt a bit sick and dizzy. Head spinning. Feeling faint.
I stopped, took some more pictures, then quite suddenly a cold clammy wet feeling of something on my back which turned into icy cold spine chiller of ghoststories. What I did was try not to panic. I said to my friend “let’s go back now”, trying not to alarm her too much.
I took some photos of the area looking back at the area by the pool we just passed through. Then “we have got to go back and as quickly as possible”. I was getting some sort of transmitted message it seemed.
So back we went. It seemed to take a longer time as the path stretched out like was extending further, like the feeling when you run in a dream and the floor is like a reverse travellator.
Finally, we get back to steel white gate and get through, lock it down back on the B16 road by the end house. We carry on and stop outside the Church of St Fingan on the other side of the bridge river crossing. Here stop for breath, still feeling cold and shaken at what just happened.
My friend said “did you notice we were in a mist all the time there?”
“No” I said.
I told her why we needed to get out quick. It seemed it didn’t affect her the same.
On route back, we stopped to compare notes and write it all down. Some horses came over to us to say hello and we gave them some fresh long grass. This calmed me down.
“What was going to be on those photo’s?” I wondered.
There are two more stories that go together here.
Cloud of Darkness. – Seen by a woman going up Glen Auldyn one evening. Everything became black. She stood waiting for an hour but the cloud did not go away. She turned about to go back the way she had came to see the way down was still visible!
This happened above the bridge that was washed away (1931 flood?) some years earlier. This phenomena was also seen about 9.30pm half an hour before the woman’s experience.
A cottage stood back from the road where a great cloud of darkness was seen. This could be the same cottage and area we experienced it, although the time was around midday. Only later did I realise that some missing or extended time was also apparent in the experience. What should have been a 5-10 minute walk took half an hour.
One more story.
The Wild Hunt – An old deserted Mansion which was built over a fairy path was a frequent haunt of the Wild Hunt. Seen as lights on the Mountain side, and testified by older residents of the locality.
Usually on moonlit nights, and described with innumerable horses of every description with the cry of dogs breaking cover. They mirrored a human Hunting with the dress clothing etc of the time and year seen in.
Conclusion – What did I come across? I don’t know as it was hidden in cloaking of darkness. The Fenoderee? Or something else you don’t want to meet: a Buggane?
The phenomena that turned me around and prevented my trip up to Snaefell also saved me and my friend from a severe weather storm that moved in over the mountain so maybe it was a friendly warning after all.
My most recent trip to Glen Auldyn was by myself. It was a good day and I experienced no strange encounters.
The area changed a few years back because people had taken over the derelict house right by where I had taken the particular photo (photo 8). They had renovated the house, and moved in as a family residence. The photo is currently published in this books by Janet Bord, ‘The Travellers Guide to Fairy Sites’ and mentioned in two other of her publications.
The whole atmosphere had gone. The refurbishment had spoilt the darkened embankment area. It was all torn up, and the hillside now easily visible!
I wondered if the family knew about the stories of the Glen, and if they would experience the similar things, eg Ghosts, Poltergeist, Wild Hunt, strange lights and the Fair Folk being on a Fairy Path.
If I hadn’t had the strange feeling in that location I would have not taken the photo looking back. The roll of film I used was intact but, although I had taken a least three other shots there, it was as if the film had been rolled back as they were not on the negatives.
More missing time pixy-led confusion and things out of sync!
Had I encounted Pan in the wooded glade? The Fenoderee, with his cloaking device of darkness?
In terms of missing time: the 5-10 min walk from the gate and back took half an hour on the day I took the photo.
John – Liverpool
Next time: We publish the series of photos John took on his fateful walk. Did he capture evidence of the Good People? Take a look at the photos and decide for yourself…