Something in the Woods

I believe I’ve had several encounters with the Good People, since I was a small girl.  Too much has happened around me that I can’t really explain for it to be coincidental.

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Most of these have been happy, for the most part, though cautionary.  Even in the event it scared me, I didn’t feel particularly threatened.  I hear a bell quite often, just a soft tinkling sound that my dog seems to key in on, which is usually followed by finding something that I’ve been missing.

I’m careful not to say thank you when this happens, but it’s a strange, comfortable sort of thing.  I don’t really have words to describe it.  I live in a semi rural area, wooded on all sides of the houses.  We have about half an acre of woods on the property, but we also have neighbors across the main road and on either side of my home.

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I like to go out for hours and sit on a swing in my yard, enjoying nature, and occasionally listening to music, sometimes singing, or reading, and the swing faces the woods, so you see darting shadows and animals which occasionally regard you with almost knowing eyes.

Recently, however, I’ve been experiencing things of a nature that has me on edge.

It started about a week before Samhain.  I was spending the weekend alone for the most part, my family was out of town, but I had to work and was unable to take the days off.

My cousin came up and we had a good time, with some comfort food and music, and playing games and just generally talking until early in the morning.

About 1:00 in the morning, my dog decided she had to go out, so I let her out, standing out on my front porch.

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There was a chill in the air, as is typical for a fall in the Mountain State, but there were alot of nightly noises.

My dog stayed close to the house, in the light, straying only to the edge of it and staying there.

I noticed a light then, drifting too high to be someone carrying a flashlight or a phone, which came around the trees from my neighbors home, across the road, around another neighbor’s car and then drifting to the woodline down the road where it disappeared.

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I’ve seen things out of the corner of my eye before, and it startled me to be sure, but I let it go and didn’t think much of it.

I mentioned it to my cousin, as strange as she could see me staring at it from inside the house but hadn’t seen it herself.

This MAY have been my mistake, but I cannot say for certain.

We continued our night as though nothing had happened, and she left about 2:30 in the morning.  I walked her to her car.  It was still a very clear night and fairly noisy.  She drove off, and I went back inside.

My dog was agitated and antsy, so I decided to settle in for a bit to see if this would let her in turn, calm down.   It did not.  So I took it to mean she needed to go outside.

It was now 3:00 in the morning and I stepped out onto the porch I’d just been on not half an hour prior.  It was dead silent and there was a thick fog that had rolled in out of nowhere.  My dog had her hackles raised and darted into the dark out of sight in the fog, definitely not in her nature.

I didn’t want to wake up my neighbors, but I was instantly on edge, peering through the fog trying to discern where she’d gone, hissing her name.  She came back several minutes later, coming just into the light from the porch, stopped and turned her head to look behind her, and wagged her tail, then came trotting back to me.

I was straining my ears, as she was obviously reacting to someone, and hesitantly called out “Brent, is that you?” hoping my neighbor was outside for some unknown reason at three in the morning and I just couldn’t see him.  What met my ears, however, was a scream.

I jumped, but then let out a sigh.

It was bone-chilling and sounded very much like a woman’s scream.  My brain automatically began rationing, as I calmed my hammering heart, that it was a fox.

And then I heard distant laughter.  Males, though I couldn’t make out the conversation.  Again, while it alarmed me, I figured one of the neighbourhood houses were having some sort of party and people were goofing around on a porch and was about to laugh, when I heard a horse.

Now, I should mention, that while I live in a rural area, no one for several miles has horses.  I was quick to head into the house, and was unable to sleep for several hours.  In fact, it was dawn before I was able to settle enough to sleep.

It was several days later and the family was back from their trip.  I was up before any of them, and took the dog outside as part of the morning routine. That thick fog and deep silence was back, and I felt uneasy, but let it go.

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She went out and came back to the porch, calm as calm could be.  And we were about to go back in when there was a low whistling from the dark around the side of my house, in the yard next to the wood.  My dog instantaneously perked her ears up and trotted to the stairs leading to that part of the yard with her tail wagging.

I couldn’t see anyone but I could sense that someone was there, and it unnerved me.  So I called to the dog and we headed back into the house, where I shut and locked the door up tight.

My parents got up and got ready for work, we made breakfast and I didn’t mention this to them, as they tend to make light of things and make me feel like I’ve gone crazy because “these things don’t exist.”

I was in for the shock of a lifetime though.

Because I heard my father swear, which he never does, when he opened up the door to use the remote start on his car and ensured it turned on so the heat would get started, as it was a very chilly morning.

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My mother and I both looked and there, sitting on the porch was my dog, who wagged her tail at us, and then bolted off of the porch into the fog.

Dad started out the door after her, and mom was on his heels, but they both stopped when I, panicked now, shouted for them NOT to go outside.

We’d all seen her, collar and all on my porch, but in the midst of the arguing, I pointed out that our dog was asleep on the floor in the living room, and I didn’t know what was outside but I was very much afraid.

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I have a set of old iron keys that I use for a decoration, which I retrieved from the wall with a look that did not barter room for discussion and I walked my parents to their car.

Nothing has happened since, and the feeling of foreboding is gone now, but I have been carrying these large heavy iron keys to and from my car when I leave the house after dark.

I’m taking every available precaution, paying close attention to my surroundings.  My feelings of peace are restored when i’m outside in the daytime, but I can remember every detail about that encounter and it’s stuck with me and I’m finding myself gazing into the dark expanse between my car and the wood line almost every night as I head out for work.

Jennifer – West Virginia, U.S.

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Encounters with Tommyknockers

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I worked for several years as a guide on an historic silver mine tour during it’s annual 100+ day season. Actually, I worked one off season as a miner in a gold mine, and the following summer was a tour guide there. I also spent several months working on a mine closing project. This was all in Colorado in the 1990s.

I am a clairvoyant and have had many experiences with ghosts, the little people (or the Good People, as you prefer), and a few entities I don’t know how to label. So, here goes about the Tommyknockers.

Tommyknockers are entities who live underground, who can and do interact with humans who are underground. Sometimes they are seen. Belief in them is widespread, and they are known by many names, in many places.

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Calling them Knockers or Tommyknockers comes from the miners in Cornwall, and is the name generally used by hardrock miners in North America, because of the many Cornish miners who worked here in the 1800s.

I’ve been told that in Wales, from where some of my mother’s ancestors came, they were called the Koblinau.

One day at the gold mine, I was telling a tour group about the Tommyknockers, and a lady who was from Czechoslovakia (before it became the Czech Republic), spoke up and said that they had such beings in her old country. She called them the Permonik. (There should be an inverted v symbol over the E but I don’t have that font.)

A week or so later, at the silver mine, there was a lady from the Czech Republic on the tour. When I got to the part about the Tommyknockers, I stopped and asked her if she knew about the Permonik. The question surprised her, but she admitted that she did. I asked her to please tell the group about them. She did, and what she said was almost word for word what I normally told groups about them.

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Like most of the little people, the Tommyknockers can be anything from friendly and helpful, to malicious and vindictive. According to the lore, they might knock on the rock or timbers to warn a miner of danger (and, seriously, rock and timber noise can be a sign of danger), or they might blow out his candle, back in the days when they worked by candlelight.

There are stories of them leading lost miners to safety after they lost their lights, and even of them leading the miners to richer ore. On the other hand, they might also put out a miner’s light maliciously, dump his lunch, hide his tools or drop them down a winze, trip him, and so on.

Because of this, many miners had a habit of leaving a bit of food or tobacco for them, and some mines even had carved images of Tommyknockers at the portals, for the miners to touch for luck going in, or in thanks when coming out safely.

Such heathen practices were undoubtedly preached against on Sunday morning, but then again, the preacher wasn’t the one going underground into the Tommyknocker’s territory the other six days of the week!

When I first started working at the silver mine tour, I wasn’t sure about the Tommyknockers, and didn’t bother bringing them up. Then one day (before I worked at the gold mine) I was visiting the gold mine, and the owner offered me a chance to go down into the older parts of the mine, far below the level where visitors normally were allowed.

With a borrowed helmet and lamp, I descended an old wooden ladder down the winze into the old workings, various levels a hundred feet apart dating back to the 1800s. I was alone, and the only light was the one on my helmet.

It was strange, so quiet and hushed. But I wasn’t alone. I could feel someone with me, showing me around. It wasn’t scary at all. It was a warm feeling. I explored the lower reaches of the mine, then eventually climbed back up to the main level and daylight.

After that, I started noticing things like movement in the corners, and sounds, when underground. I read whatever I could find about the Tommyknockers, and I started telling visitors about them. Perhaps because I was friendly and respectful, I had few problems with them (although that was not the case with some others of the little people, but that’s another story).

Granted, most of the visitors didn’t consider the Tommyknockers as much more than an amusing piece of mining folklore, but with most groups there was usually someone, often a child, who was quite interested.

One one tour, there was a Lakota from Canada who was quiet during the tour, but who got quite interested when I started talking about the Tommyknockers. He listened intently then nudged the person with him. “He’s talking about the Little People!” he exclaimed. I spoke with him for a while after the tour, and he shared some beliefs which were very similar.

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Unfortunately, there were also those, usually adolescent males, who would interrupt me to scoff at such things.

I was willing to overlook such rudeness, but the Tommyknockers weren’t.

Mocking the Tommyknockers when one is underground is very foolish.

When it happened on my tour, someone would get hurt. It was never the rude scoffer, but rather the adult who was with them.

It would be minor things, like bumping one’s head, or tripping and falling, it scraping one’s hand on the rock, but it happened every time.

I have no idea why the escorting adult was targeted rather than the young scoffer, but that is what happened. I decided to take action. One day I went back into the mine by myself, and respectfully told the Tommyknockers that the scoffers were young, stupid and ignorant, but hurting people was not acceptable. I knew I couldn’t force the Tommyknockers to behave, but I pointed out that I was their friend, and asked was I not always respectful?

I told them that I could stop telling people about them, however, and that is what I was going to do, if the retaliation didn’t end. Apparently, they enjoyed being talked about, and so there was no more retaliations, at least not on my tours.

Actually it seemed that at least some of the Tommyknockers enjoyed interacting with the tours. Quite often, when the tales were being told, when the knocking on rocks was mentioned, there would be a knocking on the rocks with uncannily perfect timing, from the closed part of the mine.

One day when I was taking a tour off, another guide came up to me after his tour and told me that I had caused quite a sensation during his tour. I asked him what he was talking about. He replied, “All those Tommyknocker noises.” I assured him that I hadn’t set foot in the mine during that tour, and all the other guides had been busy with their own groups.

One day, I had a new employee going on my tour with me to see how it was done.

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When I mentioned knocking on the rocks, there was very definite knocking on the rocks, which got at least some reaction from the visitors.

Afterword, the new employee asked, “Where’s the button?”.

Puzzled, I asked, “What button?”.

The button you push to make the Tommyknocker noises,” she replied.

No, my dear, there was no such button.

*

Part of the folklore about which I was skeptical were the reports about Tommyknockers celebrating Christmas. Although I was aware that the Little People reportedly like celebrations, I considered that celebrating Yule was much more likely for the Tommyknockers, than Christmas would be.

But be that as it may, I walked up through the snow to the mine one cold December night, and let myself in. I didn’t turn on the electric mains, but used a personal light to go several hundred feet into the mine. I sat down on a bench in the well- timbered area we called the lunchroom, lit a candle, and switched off my light and waited.

After a bit, I asked if the Tommyknockers were there. Immediately, right in front of me, there was the sharp sound of two rocks knocking together, even though no loose moving rocks were to be seen.

I asked if that was the Tommyknockers, and once again, there was an immediate clashing together of two unseen rocks. Well, that was good enough for Galena Bob!

I had hoped to sing for them (Welsh ancestry on my mother’s side, you recall), as I had been told the Good People enjoy music, but I had a sore throat, and had to whistle instead.

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I whistled every holiday tune I knew.

After a time, even that began irritating my throat, and I knew that I was going to have to stop soon.

I wished them a happy holiday, turned on my light, and blew out the candle.

As I walked along the adit, heading back to the portal, I resumed whistling.

And someone began whistling along with me…

One more piece of information. Although this extreme behavior is outside my own experience, MaryJoy Martin in her book ‘Twilight Dwellers of Colorado’, reports that the Martin R. Mine at Cripple Creek, Colorado, had Tommyknockers who were extremely vicious.

They would, she reports, deliberately lead miners into danger. They would break timbers and cut cables, and caused premature blasts.

Galena Bob. U.S.

The Kindly Dwarf

A few years ago while I was living in Maine in the North East of the United States I had a dream/vision encounter with a Dwarf.

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I had come in from working at my Forge and had sat down on the couch after a shower and was thinking about the work I had done that day and all of a sudden I was in a dream, but it was very real and didn’t feel or seem like a dream at the time.

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I saw in my yard, near where the Forge was, a Dwarf with a rich royal blue cloak with a hood on.

The fabric was very sturdy, but soft looking like wool broadcloth but finer, and very saturated with color.

The cloak had a beautiful silver and black geometric border around the edges of the cloak and it was clasped with a gold or brass clasp with a different rune on each side. He had on a medium green belted tunic with brown pants underneath.

He had kind dark shining eyes like polished onyx. He smiled at me as if he knew me well and said “you are doing good work.”

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‘Dwarf’ by Darrel Bevan. www.facebook.com/DarrelBevan

 

It felt for all the world as if this Dwarf were related to me and reminded me very strongly of my paternal grandfather. I felt like I should know him.

He was obviously shorter than me but as he spoke to me it was as if we were both at eye level with me.

I’m not sure if I spoke or not or if he said anything else but I feel as if we are related somehow if that is possible.

One other event took place about a month ago where I live now in Missouri in the central U.S.

tuce-dus_-8CyBJ8-unsplash I was coming home from work after midnight one night and as I pulled into my driveway with my windows down I thought I heard voices talking in whispers on the other side of the house. 

I shut the car off rolled up the windows and opened the door. Out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a small crouched person coming around the car thinking it was one of the kids I looked over but saw nothing.

I heard the voices talking again but could not understand what they were saying.

The words didn’t make sense.

Thinking it was still the kids coming to scare dad I looked around the other side of the house and on the porch.annie-spratt-pQ29Y-o_wPU-unsplash

I heard the voices closer this time but saw nothing, the voices seemed to be mischievously having fun at my expense even though I couldn’t understand them, but in a playful good natured way.

I went inside and my children were all accounted for and hadn’t come outside at all.

Not sure what to make of these but that’s what happened.

John – Missouri, U.S.

The White Light

Many thanks to Abby for sharing her incredible experience. It raises the really interesting question of how we define/categorise/label the ‘things’ we encounter. Faerie, Alien, Ghost: these are only words. Abby’s experience reminds us that no matter what name we place on them, we have much to learn about the ‘beings’ we encounter from time to time.

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When I was pregnant with my son, my boyfriend (now husband) and I were driving behind my mom and siblings. We were moving our house again from Denver to our true hometown of Durango, Colorado.

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We had a late start and had just driven over the last mountain pass to get home. It was about 1 o’clock in the morning and we were exhausted.

I was riding with Matt in order to keep him awake but we were at that point that we were trying everything to keep on the road. abby tale

After we passed the small town of Pagosa Springs, the road were dark super dark with only the stars shining down.

I don’t remember how it happened but I must have drifted off for a moment and bright white light shot through the car.

It was so powerful I could feel it move through my entire body like a jolt of energy.

I gasped awake and looked behind us but there was no passing car.

Matt looked at me and asked: “Did you see that?”.

I nodded my agreement and said: “I didn’t think you did too!”

About a minute later, my mom pulled the U-haul truck over and got out. We pulled in behind her and Matt asked if she had seen the bright light too. She said: “All I saw was you swerving. Are you sure you don’t need a break?”

So not only did Matt and I experience this together, my mom who had been in front of us the whole time did not see it!

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I’ve always believed in the Fae, but growing up in the US I never really felt close to them unless it was one of those places in Nature.

Durango has one or two places that feel “thin” as you described them and Georgia has many.

 

After living in England for a few years I realized that there are different feelings between the two countries.

The Good Folk here, feel different, more wild which might explain all of the UFO sightings that we have.

I have come to believe that “aliens” are the Fae, choosing to show themselves as science fiction depicts them and that is why they tend to show up in the Southwest where the nuclear tests happened.

Abby – U.S.

 

6 Short Tales of Encounters with the Good People

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. 

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One.

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.

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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.

Two.

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.

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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.”

Three.

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.

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Four.

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.

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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.

Five.

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.

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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.

Six.

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.

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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.

Michael.

Voices From Below

Peter, and his elder sister, recall an incredible, and terrifying, tale of hearing inexplicable voices down a narrow mine pit while driving through County Waterford in 1969.

Particularly compelling is that these voices, though not recognizable as a language, sent a clear message. Thanks to Peter for sharing.   Cheers, Kitty.

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 Dublin, Ireland. 1969.

It was 1969.  My dad brought us to Ireland.  The plan was to visit Dublin, and then go to a pig farm, I don’t know where.  The farm belonged to the mother of a priest my dad knew.

My dad was 100% Irish blood— O’Neils and Rooneys from County Louth.  They emigrated during the famine and wound up in California, probably looking for gold.

I was 13.  My sister was about 23.  Her then husband was along— a big guy, maybe 6’1”. One day the two of them decided to rent a car and drive to Cork  and I went with them.

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County Waterford. Image: ireland.com

 

We decided to take a coastal route (through Waterford), and along that route, at some point, we saw a huge bull.  We stopped the car and got out a look.bull (2)

That’s when we saw a sign saying “Danger. Open Mines.”

We found a deep rock pit, almost perfectly square and perfectly vertical, like an elevator shaft through stone, but with a sloped opening so you didn’t dare get close.  It was terrifying, and completely unprotected.

We stood there, amazed and a little thrilled by the danger of it.  We couldn’t get close but we could see it was deep.  And then we heard high pitched sounds from inside the mine shaft.

mine hole (2)For a few seconds we stood there trying to figure out what could be making those sounds.  There were a lot of them.  And here’s the thing— that shaft was a one-way road for anything bigger than an ant or a bird.

If you went down, you weren’t coming back, so we were mystified about what could be down there.  It wasn’t the sound of any birds we knew.

And suddenly, we realized, unspoken, that we were listening to voices in conversation.  And without a word between us we RAN to the car, terrified, even the six-footer, a guy as big as a football player.

We had to drive a pretty good distance before we could stop and laugh and ask ourselves what had just happened, and what or whom we had just heard.

I thought about this story a lot on a recent trip back to Ireland.  I told my son about it and he became intrigued and he worked with me to find the spot.  I researched abandoned mines and found the site pretty quickly.  I won’t advertise the location.  Then my son found the exact spot on Google Earth, and we could actually see the mine.

I wrote an e-mail home about it, and my sister, now in her 70s, responded with the same urgency we’d felt back then.

*

“With a few variants (which I hope to send to Peter and Rafferty), I can confirm this story. 

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As I think I wrote earlier, I remember being drawn, first, towards a high pitched, but not unpleasant or shrill, chorus of sounds.  Especially for Peter and me, I recall that interest and desire to check it out.  

I remember that the sounds were emanating from below, and that we were in taller grasses, looking for the source, and that it was extremely curious, and even musical, in a very strange way, considering where we were– essentially, to me, a small area of shoreline field. 

Then, as we got closer, these somewhat musical sounds either changed (as I experienced it,) or revealed themselves to be what those who use captions know as the generic “indistinct chatter.”  

In this case, high-pitched, and interactive, and certainly not animal, vegetable, or mineral, much less human.  Not directed to us, but possibly related to our presence, with the gist becoming more excitable.  

I remember the second it became “unamusing” and meeting Peter’s eyes, the recognition that this occurrence had the same effect on him — we were fairly near to each other– and the unspoken, unanimous, instinctual response: Not right! Flee! Now! with a strong, shared, also unspoken, undercurrent of Not for Us! (whatever this is…

I guess the thing that feels strongest in my memory is how instant the shift was, from odd and curious, to, as we got closer and the sounds changed, “Hell, No! WRONG! FAST! OUT!””

*

I have no explanation for what happened to us, or for what we heard and felt that day.

I’ve read stories of “fairy” experiences in Ireland, and ours doesn’t seem to jibe with what I’ve read.  But it was a powerful experience that bore no resemblance to “leprechauns” we knew of from cereal boxes.  We had no reason to think of fairies or leprechauns as something that might be frightening.

Peter.

Spirit of Place – Aran Islands

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.  HB4116

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.

Claí Bán (White Fence) b&b (2)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.

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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.

nicole clockNonetheless, 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.

nicole sky

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.

nicole 2

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.

nicole 3

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.

nicole 1I 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.

Nicole.

Spirit of Place – My Ireland

What is Irishness?

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.

mountain kerry (2)

For me, Irishness is crossing meadows accompanied by nothing but
the neverending sheep.

sheep3 (2)

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.

street music

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.

irish man (2)

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.

Mai.

ireland rainbow

Faerie Photos on the Isle of Man – John H.

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….

Cheers, Kitty.

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Pic 06
 The muddy path looking back down the area of the experience 

Pic 07
 The actual picture of the Stick Figure in the tree canopy, (top centre) as I was having this weird sensation. 

Pic 08A filter
 Enlargement close up of Figure. 

Pic 08B filter
 Further colour filter close ups. 

Pic 08C filter
 Different colour filter close up. 

Pic 09
 Another colour filter close up. 

Pic 10
 Last enlargement with alternative colour filter. 

Pic 11
 Upper Glen Auldyn looking toward the Slate Quarries where small figures where seen dancing.

The Midnight Walker

This occurred in the summer of the year 2019, in Manorhamilton. County Leitrim, Ireland.mai caravan (2)

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.

mais wall (2)

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.

mais moon (2)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.

mai shadow (2)

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.”

blur statue (2)

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.

mais ghost (2)

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.

Mai