Selkie Cove

Around ten years ago, I had been working in the UK and during a break I decided to go on a short tour of the north of Scotland.

I had stayed overnight at Durness (a wonderful little village with some amazingly rustic buildings) and decided to head out early the next morning for some sightseeing.  This was in September, the weather had been much nicer than I expected, with most days warm (although overcast), and little of the rain I feared.

On my drive I happened to arrive at a roadside beach and selected this spot for a walk as the sun was to rise.  I parked on the side of the road in the pre-dawn light and after a few minutes in the car I set out walking to the beach.  The sound of the waves and the smell of the ocean were lovely in the cool morning air.

I walked around 200 yards towards the rocks on the left of the beach and realized that I could hear the soft sound of laughter, singing and playful shouts coming from further around the rocks.  This was a little confusing, as I thought I would be alone at this hour of the morning, and I didn’t see any houses close to this spot.  I also felt a little uneasy about it for some reason not obvious at the time.

I was told that the beaches around here were open to the public, and there were many walking trails, so I was confident that I was not encroaching on a private gathering.  As I grew closer, I was sure the voices were mostly (if not all) female.  I, perhaps naively, doubted I was in any danger as I am a fairly large man.  My only concern was that I may scare the people, yet despite this I wanted to see around the rocks and discover who had gathered so early on the beach.

Strangely, as I drew closer to the large rock outcrop that barred my view of the group around the small cove, the sound of their activity quieted to almost no noise.

The only sound were the waves, the wind, and some splashing of frolicking in the water.

A few seconds later I cleared the rocks and I finally had a view of the small beach.

To my confusion I noticed no people on the sand.  The only company that greeted me were some 15 or so grey seals, of various sizes.  Most were watching me from the safety of the water, while others swam further out into the bay.  While they were a lovely sight to behold in the early morning light, I was more curious as to the location of the people who were here.  I stood and looked about the small cove area and I saw no people or evidence that people had been here.

I decided to walk into the area and I sat down on the rocks to watch the sun rise over the ocean.  As I relaxed there, the seals swam away and I was left to my own thoughts.

It was maybe half an hour later that, in the light of the sun, I noticed the fresh footprints in the sand all around me.  It was the ones in front of me I examined first, they were smaller than my own feet so I believed they were from a young woman.

There were many prints around… some quite small (obviously children) and none appeared to be as large as my own foot prints.  The prints all appeared to come up from the water, and return to the water, with the waves quickly destroying the evidence of their passing.

I thought about it and I am not sure of what I saw… I admit it was still a little dark when I looked at the seals, yet I am sure that they were not people.  They were quiet large and grey, with no human hair or faces.  Yet I could not explain this.  I started to feel a sense of unease and I decided it would be better to go on about my day.  I quickly put it behind me and continued my day tour. 

That night, when I returned to my lodging, I mentioned my morning adventure to the landlady.

She drew quiet on my questions about the disappearing people and advised me not to talk to people about my experience.

She told me that I had encountered a group of Selkies, and that I should count myself lucky no misfortune had occurred to me.

Since then, I have always kept my experience a secret, only now telling you about it as I trust I will not be mocked.  I often wonder why I stopped at that beach and whether I sensed their presence or if it was just a coincidence.

Blair – U.S.

Faerie Shenanigans?

Bob has been a regular contributor here at Encounters with the Good People: generously sharing his own experiences and interaction with the Faerie in several posts, most notably Tommyknockers and Butterflies.

Bob is one of those unique people who have a knack when it comes to Faerie. His mind is open and welcoming to to their presence, but also wise to their unpredictability! Here, Bob shares more strange interactions with the Good People he has experienced over the years, and offers personal insights into what they have taught him about the nature of the Good People. I hope you enjoy reading Bob’s curious experiences as much as I do.

Cheers, Kitty.

***

arthur rackham i think
by Arthur Rackham.

Those of the spirit world, including the Good People,  can and do interact with the physical world and it’s inhabitants, in ways that can be benign or malevolent, helpful or just plain mean spirited.

There are many tales about such incidents, but here are some from personal experience.

A common sort of interaction seems to be pranks done for the amusement of the prankster. For example, have you ever been tripped suddenly, yet could not find anything that may have tripped you?

ida rentoul outhwaite trip
by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite.

Hiding things is a common prank. They seem to enjoy watching a human get frustrated and confused. Have you ever been unable to find something, then eventually discovered that it was in plain sight, in a place you had already searched?

gustaf tenggren kid
by Gustaf Tenggren.

One morning at home (when I was still living in the town where I encountered the Tommyknockers reported earlier), I tried to find a certain pair of work gloves, heavy gauntlets about a foot long. They had last been placed in a box where I kept gloves. But they were nowhere to be found. The box was emptied and every item checked. The entire house was searched, even the bathroom and bedroom. The glove box was searched again. I was going to be late on the job, and was getting more and more frustrated.

daniela drescher blue (2)
by Daniela Drescher.

Then I realized what was going on, and invoked St. Anthony. Bingo! There were the gloves, neatly placed palm to palm, at the top of the glove box. And I sensed vast amusement coming from somewhere.

This sort of prank never seems to grow old for at least some of the Good People. It has happened to tools, eyeglasses, a box of matches, even the toilet plunger when was dealing with a clogged toilet in the middle of the night, which was just plain mean. In every case, the missing item did reappear right where it belonged, when the spell was broken.

Although apportion can explain some such events, in many instances it seems more likely that glamour was being used to obscure the object from sight. Glamour can be achieved as a form of aggressive telepathy used to interfere with how the mind interprets the visual signals collected by the eyes and other senses and processed by the brain. After all, the mind does edit and interpret all sensory input all the time. Glamour interferes. And yes, there are also humans who can do it.

froud weird
by Brian Froud.

Defeating visual glamour can sometimes be done by using a different sense, such as touch, to break the spell.

Invoking St. Anthony by reciting, “Tony, Tony, look around, there’s something lost that must be found,” or a similar rhyme, seems to work well. Sometimes, simply acknowledging that they succeeded in fooling you, then politely asking for the return of the missing object can work. And a few times, I have lost my temper and demanded the return under threat if retribution. It worked, but I don’t recommend it. Politeness is much better.

But at other times, if there was not an immediate need for the item, I would simply ignore the loss, which seemed to take the fun out of it for them, and the missing object would return on its own.

Sometimes, however, hiding things is done for benevolent reasons. For example, you might not be able to find your car keys and you are going to be late for work so you scurry around frantically, then discover that the stove was left on. Once the stove is turned off and safe, you find the keys right where they are supposed to be. This was a fictitious example, but I have had similar events occur.

maggie vandewall man (2)
by Maggie Vandewalle.

Pranks can also occur in a pattern. For a time years ago, it was screws being apported. A screw or two would disappear and not be found, not even by touch or holding a flashlight low to the floor to raise shadows, then a day or two later, they would be back. Other screws would appear in places where I know I did not place them. Once I went on a weekend trip, and when I unpacked at my destination, there were screws in the suitcase, with my clothes. Unpacking after I got home produced more screws. I mentioned this to a friend, and he commented, “They’re screwing with you, Bob.”

In a related incident, while unpacking after that trip, I discovered that a favorite T-shirt captioned, “you’re just jealous that the voices talk to me,” was missing, even though I had worn it on the trip.  Two days later, I found it laundered and neatly folded in a drawer.

On the other hand, more unpleasant events also happen. In the same house where so many of these events occurred I was sitting at the kitchen table when my chair suddenly collapsed beneath me. I was falling. I grabbed the table to save myself, and that broke the spell. The chair had not collapsed and I had not fallen, but as far as I knew, I damned well had fallen. This was probably the most intense episode of sensory glamour I had experienced.

froud not sure (2)

Around Halloween, 2004, I was hospitalized for a few days. Someone unseen kept jarring my bed, really hitting it hard, at irregular intervals. Nearly a year after that and in a different home, I was putting together some anecdotes for a talk about Halloween. I wrote about the incident with the hospital bed, and this reminded me about the incident with the chair at my previous home, when the chair I was actually sitting in while making my notes did collapse, for real, dropping me to the floor and banging me up a bit. I found that the bolts holding the seat to the base of the chair were no longer in place.

A year later, almost to the day, and hundreds of miles away, I was doing a written piece. I was thinking about the bed and the two chair incidents, when the chair I was sitting in totally fell apart, dropping me hard enough that I couldn’t sit at the keyboard for more than a few minutes at a time for days afterward. Was someone upset with me, or did someone not want me telling this story?

Incidents like this make me wonder whether or not some incidents attributed to poltergeist activity may more properly be blamed on the Little People?

ghost fairy

A more amusing incident happened in the same house as the last chair incident. One morning, I walked into my workshop to find a piece of scrap board, standing on end three feet from the place where it had been stored. Showing off, perhaps?

Some apportation events can be quite interesting and even wondrous. For a time back in the haunted town where I used to live, I kept finding quarter dollar coins, simply called quarters, about the house in places where I knew I hadn’t placed them. Then one winter I was working in a retail store. At the end of the day, I totaled the cash, and spied a quarter on the floor. Although the checks and most of the cash went into the night deposit slot of a nearby bank, the coins were simply tallied and left in the till. I added the stray coin to the till and totaled up the coins. Altogether, it came to $6.25. This was so noted and the shop was locked for the night.

That evening, I was invited to go hot-tubbing. I changed into a pair of sweatpants, transferring only my wallet and keys from my work trousers. After the tub time, I was getting dressed in the sweatpants again when a quarter fell to the floor. I knew I had no coins on me, so I suspected shenanigans. When I got back to the store the next morning, the coinage in the till was counted again. It was missing a quarter.

fairy folk

Another day, I was at the grocery. Ahead of me was a local woman, and I greeted her, asking how things were going. She replied that things weren’t going well at all. I simply told her that even on the bad days, something good happens. She seemed skeptical, but apparently someone was listening. When it was time for her to pay for her groceries, she pulled out her wallet, reached in, and came out with a $100 bill. She turned to me in astonishment and said, “I don’t know what you’re doing, but keep it up.”

Another time, I was conducting a weeknight discussion group about psychic matters at a church I attended. It was customary for those attending to make a donation if they could, to help the church. As a leader, I wasn’t expected to donate, but I liked to set an example and usually donated $5.

One evening, I had only three one-dollar bills in my wallet, so before going to the church, I obtained a five dollar bill and added it to my wallet. When the donations were collected, I took out my wallet, extracted the five dollar bill, and put my wallet away. I put the bill in the donations bowl. This was witnessed. After class, I totaled up the cash, which came to $19, including my five dollar bill. The money was sealed in an envelope with the total written outside, and locked away in the church office. The next morning, at home, I looked in my wallet and found three singles, and a five dollar bill.

At that church, the blessing recited during donations was as follows: “Divine Love, through me, blesses and multiplies all that I give and all that I receive, through the bounty of the Creator. Amen.”

Bob, U.S.

jean baptiste monge owl (3)
by Jean Baptiste-Monge.