It’s true, some people, and some families, are more open to sensing and seeing The Good People. Michael shares with us 6 short tales of his experience and knowledge of The Good People.
My aunt May from Ireland, as a little girl, was out in the woods in Ireland, and she got lost. She told me that a beautiful lady in white appeared to her. She was radiant. The lady guided her out of the woods.
And then she was gone. Knowing about the Celtic deities, I wondered if it might be a form of one of the Celtic goddesses. But I don’t really know.
Again, my aunt May, but as an adult, was watching over my grandmother’s sister, Ana, who was on her deathbed, not expected to live. She was a gifted lady in that she was known to see the Good People, reluctantly — because she was a good Catholic.
Well, one day, she turned to my aunt May and said, “May, would you tell the little men on my bed to go away.” My aunt May then said, “Okay, you guys, swoosh! Go on now. Be on your way.”
And she swept the bedspread with her hands. She said, “Okay, Ana, there all gone now, see.” Ana, turned to my aunt May and replied, “Oh, thank God! I feel so much better now.”
My aunts and uncles, I was told, on occasions — when they were children — they would look for the Good People. As for myself, I am like my aunt Ana. I have seen the Good People all my life, so I have had many encounters.
When I was a little child, about 5 years old, I was at my other grandmothers sister’s house. She kept a beautiful flower garden. So many beautiful flowers. I left everyone, and went for a walk through her garden.
Suddenly, little balls of light appeared and danced all about me and around me. I remember feeling so happy and giggling, laughing. It was an entirely magical experience.
The Good People were so interested and curious about me. It was an amazing exchange of energy between us. After a while I was being called in to the house, and the Good People retreated away. It looked like they disappeared into the woods behind the house.
When I was in the cub scouts, we went on an outing in the woods in the state park. We were all sitting around a campfire toasting marshmallows. I sensed that there were eyes in the woods watching us.
Later, as the fire was starting to die down, it was getting late and the smoke was in my eyes. It was an almost hypnotic effect.
Then I turned, and I clearly saw a little man standing high on a big, gray rock at the head of our circle. He wore a furry shirt, like a two toned animal skin; and he had a walking stick in hand. He was laughing and dancing around on the rock. He was soooo pleased with himself, because he knew no one could see him.
But I saw him; and I felt that he knew it. After, about several minutes, he disappeared.
When I lived in Colorado, I traveled way up in the Rocky Mountains, right outside Rky. Mnt. Nat. Pk., where I spent the night in a motel. I was relaxing, reading a book, when little beings of light came in and fluttered about my bed.
They were very curious. I said, “Hello, welcome.” I think they were curious about the meditations I had been doing. They stayed for a little while, until their curiosity was completely satisfied. Then they left.
In the morning, before I left, I left some of my food, with some water, by the side of the front door for the Good People.
Well, that is some of my stories. I hope you enjoyed them. I enjoyed sharing them. I don’t always get the chance to share these stories. Thank you for asking me to share them.
Five years ago, I started a tradition of swimming naked at dawn on my birthday. The why and how of this tradition is a story for another time. I have always felt a connection to Ireland and almost from the start, I wanted to perform this ritual there. In June of 2017 I had my chance.
It was a trip of a lifetime; two weeks on my own exploring ancient sites in Ireland with the bonus of celebrating my birthday there as well.
I spent June 28th on Innis Óir, the smallest of the Aran Islands and on the morning of June 29th had booked afternoon passage on the Happy Hooker, a ferry that would take me to Innis Mór, the largest of the Aran Island where I would spend my birthday.
The trip across was uneventful, I walked to Claí Bán (White Fence) my B&B and settled in.
I had some research and I found Kilmurvey beach about three and a half miles from my B&B that seemed suitable.
Because swimming naked on a public beach can sometimes be frowned upon, I always check out the beach the night before, and so I rented a bike and began to peddle.
The road followed the coast past a seal colony, where there were no seals at the time. I was disappointed since I had wanted to see seals in Ireland. Perhaps some other when or where, and I peddled on and ten minutes later I was standing on the beach.
Kilmurvey beach is not as secluded as I had hoped, as it was quite visible from the road with no cover. Still, there were few houses around and I felt there would likely be no people awake and about at 5:00 am that I could swim there the next morning safely enough without later finding myself before an Irish magistrate trying to explain my lack of bathing suit.
I went to dinner and back to my room with the intent of an early bedtime. However, preparing for the next morning and more of my trip kept me up past 11:00 pm. The wind was gusting wildly that night and the weather report for the morning was not promising. The wind would still be up and the temperature down with rain in the forecast.
Nonetheless, I was determined to have my swim and set my alarm for 4:00 am, turned out the light, met Morpheus and went to sleep.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that a 4:00 am alarm is a difficult one to keep. Especially after a late night.
When the alarm went off, I decided that I could afford another fifteen minutes and went back to sleep. When the alarm next went off, I pulled myself out of bed and dressed for the ride, all the time listening to the wind howling outside.
Just as I was ready to walk out the door, a text from my ex Kim, arrived. Even though we were no longer lovers, we were still close and she had helped to make my trip to Ireland a reality. She had stayed up late in the states to be the first to wish me a Happy Birthday. The clock was ticking as we texted back and forth.
Of a sudden I realized that I had to get on my way, and said a very abrupt goodbye to Kim and headed to my bike.
Weather forecasts are notoriously inaccurate, but this time it was post on. When I reached my bike the sky was filled with steel wool clouds, the temperature was a cool 52f (11.1c) degrees with wind 13 mph (20 kph). I looked at my phone for the time and it was already 4:50 and there was twenty minutes to make it to Kilmurvey beach for the dawn.
I am not in the best of shape and in no way did I think I could make the four-mile ride to make the sunrise. I won’t lie, I hesitated and considered not going. I was already going to be late, the weather was unpleasant at best, and I was tired. No one would know I didn’t take this chance, I could tell them anything… except I would know.
I would know that I passed on at least trying to take the opportunity to do my ritual in Ireland. Not at exactly dawn, but close and that would have to do. I mounted the bike and headed to the beach. I would swim in the in the ocean on my birthday at dawn or no.
The wind was not at my back, and the trip seemed even more difficult than the night before. Peddling as fast as I could, I was berating myself for not planning better, for not keeping to schedule, and allowing myself to be distracted. I was going to have settle for almost.
I swerved onto the road that would take me to Kilmurvey beach, and the ocean. The wind was biting my skin and my eyes were tearing from the cold. Ten minutes and 1 mile (1.6 km) into my ride, I looked to my right.
There was a small beach , a beach that was not there the night before. It lay below the road, with a ramp leading down to it. I walked my bike down and stood for a moment. The sun was not yet touching the horizon, but first light had arrived and it was light enough for me to see.
This beach was not large and most certainly was not a beach of white sand where people laid their towels, set up their umbrellas and chairs. People did not slather themselves with SPF 50 sunscreen here and read a book found on a “Summer Must Read” list that appeared as they scrolled through their Facebook news feed.
This beach was primal.
The world was at my back and I looked at a beach that could be millions of years old. It lacked color in the predawn light, but I could see the random carpets of algae on the sand. Rocks covered with shaggy ea weed hair were scattered across the beach and miniature rivers cut small canyons through the sand.
The predawn light revealed one other thing, a path of sand clear of rocks, algae and debris that led to the water.
It was at this moment I noticed the wind had died down, and the air felt warmer. The clouds on the horizon were breaking, and I could see where the sun would be rising. I looked at my phone. I had about 5 minutes before the edge of the sun touched the rim of the earth.
I felt I was given my beach.
I took my clothes off and made my way to the edge of the water. The waters off Ireland are cold, very cold. But the water that washed over my feet, while cold, was not the frigid water I had read about. I moved forward, watching the horizon brighten. I looked down at the water. It was teaming with jelly fish. It was as if I was being asked, “I gave you this beach, took the wind, warmed the air… How much do you want this thing you came here for?”
There was not much time to hesitate or debate. With a deep breath of determination and with the sun coming up I dove naked into the water and swam past the jelly fish into deeper water. The edge of the sun was now just visible, and I had done the thing I had come for. I swam for a short time more, and now with the sun half over the edge of the world it was time to come out.
I did not know when the road would come back to life so I made my way back to my bike and toweled myself off and dressed myself.
I sat and watched the sun light the clouds as it rose above the horizon. Fully risen, fully visible in the breaks of clouds and then hidden with rays of light bursting above and below the clouds that blocked the sun.
When the sun had moved behind clouds that made it clear it would not be visible for a while, it was time to go.
I walked the bike up to the road and the wind came back up to bite me once more.
I rode back to my B&B, to rest before I joined the rest of the day.
The land had one last (or so I thought) surprise for my birthday, to my right was a rainbow.
That morning I was sure I was not going to swim in the dawn light breaking over Ireland, that I had missed what could be my one chance. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Believe what you will, I believe the magic of the land made the impossible possible.
For me, Irishness is climbing a mountain that hasn’t been climbed in years, sitting on its top and hearing nothing but the wind howling.
For me, Irishness is crossing meadows accompanied by nothing but the neverending sheep.
For me, Irishness is to have a bad day, yet to see the smiles and joy upon the people’s faces enough to bring you up again.
For me, Irishness is singing and dancing to the enchanting traditional music with a bunch of strangers you’ve never seen before.
For me, Irishness is to walk in the heavy fog and feel how the tales about leprechauns and faeries come to life around you.
For me, Irishness is the “have a lovely day” or “what’s cracken lad“? by the stranger on the street.
For me, Irishness is the will to help people, and to do it with joy.
No, I’m not Irish, and I will never be Irish. But Irishness is utterly contagious, and oh dear, how infected am I. I’ve come to the realization that no matter where I will drag myself around the globe, I will bring Ireland with me, as by now it’s an inseparable part of who I am.
I have left a piece of my heart in Ireland, but it’s not forgotten, it’s guarded by the sheep, safe and sound, until I’ll be back to take it.
We conclude our special feature from John Hall and his Faerie adventures on the Isle of Man with a series of photos.
John took all these photos himself and has kindly shared them with us here on Faerie of Ireland. Some of these images have been published in Janet Bord’s book ‘The Traveller’s Guide to Fairy Sites’ by Gothic Publications, and are also mentioned in two other of her publications. Hope you enjoy, let me know what you think….
The muddy path looking back down the area of the experience
The actual picture of the Stick Figure in the tree canopy, (top centre) as I was having this weird sensation.
Enlargement close up of Figure.
Further colour filter close ups.
Different colour filter close up.
Another colour filter close up.
Last enlargement with alternative colour filter.
Upper Glen Auldyn looking toward the Slate Quarries where small figures where seen dancing.
This occurred in the summer of the year 2019, in Manorhamilton. County Leitrim, Ireland.
For about a month and a half, I was living in a caravan in the backyard of a man I was working for. Most nights were peaceful and quiet, but some nights I could hear someone, or something, walking around the caravan.
Every time I would look out of the window, I would see nothing, even though I would clearly hear someone walking right beside the caravan. The yard was surrounded by very high walls, so no human could enter the premises.
It could not have been my boss, as the noises happened also at nights when he was away in Dublin. And even if he wasn’t, I don’t know of any man that can circle a caravan yet be invisible, especially since in the beginning of the Irish summer even as late as 11:30 there’s still light outside, so if anything visible was there, I would see it.
I know it could not have been any animal, since the sounds of this “being” walking around the caravan was clearly something which was walking on two legs, one step at a time. The steps were always graceful and gentle, yet too heavy, and two-legged to be any animal that lives in Ireland.
And all of that is without regarding how any human or huge animal could cross the walls surrounding the premises? Or more than that, be invisible? It clearly sounded like as if a grown human was walking there, yet each time I would take a look, nothing was visible. After I established it was no human or animal, I tried to think what could it be, but found no logical explanation.
Most nights it was quiet. But even the nights in which I did hear the noises of something circling the caravan, it was seldom something that went on all night. But things changed towards my last two weeks there.
One night a friend of mine came over to stay at my place. So we both slept in the caravan that night. We were about to fall asleep, but then started hearing noises of something walking around the caravan. That’s when I knew none of it was my imagination playing games on me, it was all real.
My friend got a bit nervous, but I told him to not worry too much and to go to sleep. I was very tired and fell asleep right away. But in the morning, my friend shared with me he experienced several strange things at night after I fell asleep. He said he saw a human size shadow passing by the window, and claims to have heard knocking on the caravan for a long time until he finally fell asleep. When he shared with me what he has heard and seen, I wasn’t surprised at all.
The days went by, and every now and then I would hear the walking noises and soft knocking. And then came my last week in the caravan, after that I was due to leave and move on to my next destination in Ireland.
One night I went to sleep, and the walking noises woke me up for being so strong. It made me feel quite uncomfortable. I stayed up and listened to the eerie noises. Since they were louder than usual, I was now afraid of this unknown being. And even though it never caused me any harm, I started banging on the caravan’s wall, to cast away the being. A side in me wanted to let this being expose itself to me, as it was no ordinary experience. But my biological instincts were too strong, and made me fear the unknown being. Not long after I fell asleep.
Another day has passed, and night came. But no noises were heard that night, as if the being knew it was no longer wanted and welcomed. The night after that was my last night in the caravan before moving on to a new place. I was utterly baffled, I kept telling myself that I still don’t know what that being was, and that it was my last chance to see what it was. But at the same time, I could not forget how fearful I was last time I had heard the being. Right before I went to bed, I circled the caravan to see if I could see or hear anything, but nothing was there.
I went to bed with a strong sour feeling, knowing I won’t have another chance to see the being, all because I couldn’t overcome my natural fear of the unknown. I had a genuine will by then to encounter the being again. And just as I thought that, I heard the being once more. The walking noises around the caravan were now louder than ever. As soon as that happened I was struck with fear and regretted my wish to encounter the being once more. The noises were so much more profound that night, I really couldn’t ignore them and go to sleep. It was as if the being knew it was my last night there and wanted to make contact with me.
Being more afraid than any of the nights before, I banged on the caravan walls as strong as I could, and shouted at the being to leave me alone in every language I can speak. But it was all in vain, the noises kept on going.
As loud as the noises were this time, they were still soft and gentle. Desperate what to do, I rang my mother all the way to the other side of the world for advice. She tried to think of logical explanations, but when all were ruled out, she asked me what did I think it was.
Studying the world of Faerie was something I had done all my life, yet I never heard of such an encounter. Some Faerie beings are tricksters, who like to mess around with people and scare them, but I was certain that wasn’t the case, since the being could scare me way more if it wanted to. It could scream, and bang the caravan with power to achieve “Maximum mischief”, but the noises were always gentle and soft.
Additionally, I could never see the being, when a classic mischiefer would wear a scary appearance to scare you as much as possible, yet I could never see it. After assuming it was no faerie (even though there thousands of types of faeries, and I cannot rule it out completely as we have such little knowledge of all the kinds), I started thinking of a new, different direction. Could it be, well, a ghost?
Reading about ghost encounters in the past, it was indeed similar to what I was experiencing. Still on the phone with my mother, (a complete sceptic regarding such topics) she noted her great aunt always claimed ghosts were usually simply misunderstood. My mother told me “Mai, did this being ever do anything to harm you? Maybe it’s just trying to befriend you.”
After that, since it was late, we ended the call and I had time to think of what my mother had told me. The more I thought about it, and thought of all that happened so far, the more it made sense to me. This ghost never did anything aggressive towards me. I became silent and wanted to see what will happen. But the noises still scared the biological side of me, so I decided to watch a show on my laptop in bed to distract myself from the noises. But I was more receptive to the ghost now.
I said to the being in the night air that I’m sorry for trying to cast it away, and that it is welcomed to stay. I watched my show and still heard the noises in the background. When the episode on my laptop ended, I clearly heard a soft, yet clear feminine voice saying a word which I could not understand. I was astonished, but too scared to keep listening.
I put another episode, and when it ended I heard the exact same soft voice saying that word once more. By now it was very, very late, and I put on another episode and fell asleep.
In the morning, still in awe by the night events, I walked around the caravan to see something that shocked me. A huge hole in the stone wall. I looked inside the hole, and there was an abandoned home. “How didn’t I noticed that before?”, I thought to myself.
Later that day I asked my boss who used to live there, and he said he did not know, but that it’s been abandoned for at least more than 20 years.
And so, me and the ghost parted ways. I often wonder who was the ghost and what did it want from me. Based on all I’ve heard, I think the being was some sort of form of a female ghost. I guess I’ll never know. But I and the being will always have the memories of our time together.
I often wonder what would have happened if I was more brave that night.
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…
This experience shared by Nicole really resonated with me on account of my own inexplicable experiences in the West of Ireland. Experiences which continue to inspire me to this day.
Nicole shares her deeply moving account of feeling a connection to Spirit of Place. Cheers, Kitty.
Your Podcast episode on Spirit of Place spoke to me, and experiences I had on my visit to Ireland two years ago in June of 2017.
I was driving on the Slea Head Drive on Dingle peninsula. The weather on my trip had been for the most part, kind to me. There had been drizzles and a few showers, but generally pleasant weather.
This day it was raining like it meant it, water pouring from the sky with no stopping in sight. As I was driving, I noticed Clogher Head Car Park that looked over a lovely view of the ocean. I pulled over with the intention of sitting in the warm dry car and taking in the scenery and possibly poking my head out to take a few photos.
I was ready to leave, when I noticed what appeared to be a standing stone, off to the right.
I am not one who is afraid of a little rain and while I did not have rain gear, I had purchased a small inexpensive umbrella that I thought would service me well enough for a short exploratory walk.
I stepped out of the car and now realized just how hard it was raining, the west wind blowing it so hard that it made any attempt to stay dry under my poor excuse for an umbrella futile. Still, I was drawn to the stone and pressed on.
When I reached the stone, it stood about six feet tall patches of lichen adorning it. It surrounded by a litter of stones that may have at one time been a circle but now just appeared to be randomly scattered on the land.
As I was about to head back to the dry warmth of my rented car, I noticed a foot warn path leading up a hill, and even though I was already quite wet I decided to see where the path led.
I began my walk up the hill holding my umbrella against the wind and rain with little effect. About half way up the hill, the wind suddenly shifted around and now coming from behind me. It first turned my umbrella inside out and then breaking it making it less than useless to battle the weather. Of course I thought, “Well, that is that, I should go back to the car” but the path continued to call me and I pressed on.
Those who have been on the west coast of Ireland know that the winds can be harsh on even the nicest of days, with rain for them to blow it is absolutely brutal. Small drops of water hitting you propelled by the wind turn into wet pellets shot from a gun.
The thought that I was crazy and should turn back returned to my mind over and over. Still , I kept making my way up the hill, cold and soaked to the skin. The top was in view now, and even with my goal so close, I kept thinking I should turn back.
I passed a pile of stones that I now believe was a cairn. The summit was just a short distance now and any thoughts of returning to my car had vanished. When I reached the top, I looked out over the ocean I could see the curve of the earth and felt as though I could see the whole world before me. I stood there and began to weep. I have no explanation why, nor can I fully describe the feeling that accompanied my tears.
They were not tears of joy, nor is awe, grief as close as I can come to describing what I was feeling. I stayed for a while, crying with the rain, I don’t know how long I stayed, but at some point I went back down, and sat in the car, engine running heat blasting to warm as well as dry me.
To this day I have no idea what drove me to climb that hill in what was the worst weather of my trip. I feel that the tears I shed had something to do with the cairn, and the standing stone.
I have researched the area, written to various people and agencies to find out anything about what that place may have been in the past. I can find no record of the stone or the cairn anywhere. They are not even listed on the National Monuments Service website. After two years of research, no one seems to be able to help me and I still have no idea why I was driven to climb that hill, why I wept there.
I can only guess, it was the spirit of the place.
I would be happy to hear anyone’s thoughts on this experience, if they have had similar experiences in Ireland or elsewhere or even just speculation.
This has ‘haunted’ me since and any thing that might help me understand what happened and why would be welcome.
I have attached the picture of the standing stone I mention in my story.
Grammy Pat and Papa Joe were the Godparents of my grandchildren. They were friends that were as close as blood. We had moved into Grammy Pat and Papa Joe’s house because we had lost our house to a flood and they were moving to Oklahoma.
I like to sit on the porch early in the morning, especially in the fall and drink my coffee with my dog, Tala. This particular morning it was almost Dawn and the light was soft and pink.
We began to hear someone walking through the woods. Then it sounded like a woman wailing and moaning like she was in terrible pain. The sound was coming closer through the woods.
Tala started whining and pacing. Then she headed over to the door, frantically scratching at it to get in. I walked over and let her in.
I stayed because I thought it was a vixen moving through the woods and I might get to see it. When I finally saw it, it white and humanish.
I freaked out because the word Banshee went through my mind. I ran in the house. My husband and son thought I had lost my mind. My husband said the noise was just a vixen.
I knew better.
I had seen it. Grammy Pat was killed in a head on car accident three days later.
And yes, both of our families have Irish and Scottish blood.
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.