Manual The West: Stories from Ireland

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Mangan, that I lodged with there, told me of seeing a ship when he was out with two other men, that followed them and vanished. And he said one of the men took to his bed from that time and died. And Doran told me about the horse he saw, that was in every way like a horse you'd see on land. And a man on the south island told me how he saw a calf one morning on the strand, and he thought it belonged to a neighbour, and was going to drive it up to his field, when its mother appeared on the sea, and it went off to her.

They are in the sea as well as on the land. That is well known by those that are out fishing by the coast. When the weather is calm, they can look down sometimes and see cattle and pigs and all such things as we have ourselves.

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And at nights their boats come out and they can be seen fishing, but they never last out after one o'clock. The cock always crows on the first of March every year at one o'clock. And there was a man brought a cock out with him in his boat to try them. And the first time when it crowed they all vanished. That is how they were detected. There are more of them in the sea than on the land, and they sometimes try to come over the side of the boat in the form of fishes, for they can take their choice shape.

There was two fine young women--red-haired women--died in my village about six months ago. And I believe they're living yet. And there are some have seen them appear. All I ever saw myself was one day I was out fishing with two others, and we saw a canoe coming near us, and we were afraid it would come near enough to take away our fish. And as we looked it turned into a three-masted ship, and people in it. I could see them well, dark-coloured and dressed like sailors. But it went away and did us no harm. One night I was going down to the curragh, and it was a night in harvest, and the stars shining, and I saw a ship fully rigged going towards the coast of Clare where no ship could go.

And when I looked again, she was gone. And one morning early, I and other men that were with me, and one of them a friend of the man here, saw a ship coming to the island, and he thought she wanted a pilot, and put out in the curragh. But when we got to where she was, there was no sign of her, but where she was the water was covered with black gulls, and I never saw a black gull before, thousands and crowds of them, and not one white bird among them.

And one of the boys that was with me took a tarpin and threw it at one of the gulls and hit it on the head, and when he did, the curragh went down to the rowlocks in the water-up to that-and it's nothing but a miracle she ever came up again, but we got back to land. I never went to a ship again, for the people said it was on account of me helping in the Preventive Service it happened, and that if I'd hit at one of the gulls myself, there would have been a bad chance for us.

But those were no right gulls, and the ship was no living ship.

West Stories Ireland by Eddie Stack

It's in the middle island the most of them are, and I'll tell you a thing that I know of myself that happened not long ago. There was a young girl, and one evening she was missing, and they made search for her everywhere and they thought that she was drowned or that she had gone away with some man. And in the evening of the next day there was a boy out in a curragh, and as he passed by a rock that is out in the sea there was the girl on it, and he brought her off.

And surely she could not go there by herself. I suppose she wasn't able to give much account of it, and now she's after going to America [6].

And in Aran there were three boys and their uncle went out to a ship they saw coming, to pilot her into the bay. But when they got to where she was, there was no ship, and a sea broke over the canoe, and they were drowned, all fine strong men. But a man they had with them that was no use or of no account, he came safe to land.

The Banshee

And I know a man in this island saw curraghs and curraghs full of people about the island of a Sunday morning early, but I never saw them myself. And one Sunday morning in my time there were scores and scores lying their length by the sea on the sand below, and they saw a woman in the sea, up to her waist, and she racking her hair and settling herself and as clean and as nice as if she was on land. Scores of them saw that. There's a house up there where the family have to leave a plate of potatoes ready every night, and all's gone in the morning [7]. They are said to have all things the same as ourselves under the sea, and one day a cow was seen swimming as if for the headland, but before she got to it she turned another way and went down.

And one time I got a small muc-warra porpoise and I went to cut it up to get what was good of it, for it had about two inches of fat, and when I cut it open the heart and the liver and every bit of it were for all the world like a pig you would cut up on land. There's a house in the village close by this that's haunted. My sister was sitting near it one day, and it empty and locked, and some other little girls, and they heard a noise in it, and at the same time the flags they were sitting on grew red-hot, that they had to leave them.

Halloween Folklore in the Wild West of Ireland – Wild West Irish Tours

And another time the woman of the house was sick, and a little girl that was sitting by the fire in the kitchen saw standing in the door the sister of the woman that was sick, and she a good while dead, and she put up her arm, as if to tell her not to notice her. And the poor woman of that house, she had no luck, nothing but miscarriages or dead babies. And one child lived to be nine months old, and there was less flesh on it at the end of the nine months than there was the day it was born. She has a little girl now that's near a year old, but her arm isn't the size of that, and she's crabbed and not like a child as she should be.

Many a one that's long married without having a child goes to the fortune-teller in Galway, and those that think anything of themselves go to Roundstone. I know a woman was washed and laid out, and it went so far that two half-penny candles were burned over her. And then she sat up, came back again, and spoke to her husband, and told him how to divide his property, and to manage the children well.

And her step-son began to question her, and he might have got a lot out of her but her own son stopped him and said to let her alone. And then she turned over on her side and died. She was not to say an old woman. It's not often the old are taken.

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What use would there be for them? But a woman to be taken young, you know there's demand for her. It's the people in the middle island know about these things. There were three boys from there lost in a curragh at the point near the lighthouse, and for long after their friends were tormented when they came there fishing, and they would see ships there when the people of this island that were out at the same time couldn't see them.

There were three or four out in a curragh near the lighthouse, and a conger-eel came and upset it, and they were all saved but one, but he was brought down and for the whole day they could hear him crying and screeching under the sea. And they were not the only ones, but a fisherman that was there from Galway had to go away and leave it, because of the screeching.

There was a coast-guard's wife there was all but gone, but she was saved after. And there's a boy here now was for a long time that they'd give the world he was gone altogether, with the state he was in, and now he's as strong as any boy in the island; and if ever any one was away and came back again, it was him. Children used often to be taken, but there's a great many charms in use in these days that saves them. A big sewing-needle you'll see the woman looking for to put back again into the world before they die in the place of some young person.

And even a beast of any consequence if anything happens to it, no one in the island would taste it; there might be something in it, some old woman or the like. There were a few young men from here were kept in Galway for a day, and they went to a woman there that works the cards. And she told them of deaths that would come in certain families.

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And it wasn't a fortnight after that five boys were out there, just where you see the curragh now, and they were upset and every one drowned, and they were of the families that she had named on the cards. My uncle told me that one night they were all up at that house up the road, making a match for his sister, and they stopped till near morning, and when they went out, they all had a drop taken. And he was going along home with two or three others and one of them, Michael Flaherty, said he saw people on the shore. And another of them said that there were not, and my uncle said, "If Flaherty said that and it not true, we have a right to bite the ear off him, and it would be no harm.

There were men going to Galway with cattle one morning from the beach down there, and they saw a man up to his middle in the sea-all of them saw it. There was a man was down early for lobsters on the shore at the middle island, and he saw a horse up to its middle in the sea, and bowing its head down as if to drink.

And after he had watched it awhile it disappeared. There was a woman walking over by the north shore-God have mercy on her-she's dead since-and she looked out and saw an island in the sea, and she was a long time looking at it. It's known to be there, and to be enchanted, but only few can see it. There was a man had his horse drawing seaweed up there on the rocks, the way you see them drawing it every day, in a basket on the mare's back. And on this day every time he put the load on, the mare would let its leg slip and it would come down again, and he was vexed and he bad a stick in his hand and he gave the mare a heavy blow.

And that night she had a foal that was dead, not come to its full growth, and it had spots over it, and every spot was of a different colour. And there was no sire on the island at that time, so whatever was the sire must have come up from the sea [8]. There's no doubt at all about the sea-horses. There was a man out at the other side of the island, and he saw one standing on the rocks and he threw a stone at it and it went off in the sea. He said it was grand to see it swimming, and the mane and the tail floating on the top of the water. I was told there was a mare that had a foal, and it had never had a horse.

And one day the mare and foal were down by the sea, and a horse put up its head and neighed, and away went the foal to it and came back no more. Thin Places Mystical Tours does not sell Travel Insurance or represent any travel insurance vendor, though we can make recommendations based on what other guests have used. Guests doing both tours will be responsible overnight accommodations for the two nights between tours but Thin Places Tours will cover the cost of bus transport from Dublin to Shannon and help those guests locate hotel rooms for those nights in between the tours — removing the logistical efforts of getting from one place to another.

This offer can also be combined with alumni discounts. Then a stop at St. Yeats a thin place. Overnight at Mulranney Park Hotel in Westport. On the Island guests will explore the holy well of St. Dymphna, Kildavnet cemetery, Slievemore Deserted Village, the White Cliffs of Ashleam, a megalithic tomb and some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Ireland. This day also includes a private tour from the author, Patricia Byrne, an expert on Achill Island. Then back to the hotel for a group dinner. Overnight and dinner at Mulranney Park Hotel in Westport. Next will be a stop at the Stone of Boheh with ancient carvings that may represent celestial movements.

Overnight at the Clayton Hotel Galway. This restored workhouse interprets the plight of the Irish during and after the Famine of the s. It particulalry details the plight of women. Later hear about St. Brendan the Navigator and educated him as a young boy. Then visit Clonfert Cathedral with its magnificent Romanesque doorway. Brendan is said to be buried there. Overnight at The George Hotel in Limerick. They a visit to Muckross Abbey, built in as a Franciscan Abbey. The Abbey has an ancient yew tree in the cloister garth believed to be planted by the Franciscans years ago, but some historians believe the yew is older than that and the abbey was built around the yew.

Guests will have all day and evening to themselves to explore, shop, or book themselves on an optional day trip to Dingle. Overnight and dinner at the Brook Lane Hotel in Kenmare. Guests will explore several ancient stone circles including Kealkill and Uragh. She is said to have been standing on the hills above Coolagh Bay waiting for her her husband Manannan, the god of the sea to return — but waited so long that she turned to stone. The stone is still there and people pay homage to the Hag of Beara, leaving tokens and gifts at the stone.

Overnight at the Brook Lane Hotel in Kenmare. When the lake was partially drained to allow for more agricultural land, gold implements, weapons and other tokens of devotion that had been cast into the lake were recovered. Moore Hall, Mayo, Ireland. Thinking back of old investigations I have done.

It is a gaunt shell of broken walls, toppled brick and fallen masonry. The gnarled branches of skeletal trees poke from its empty windows, whilst its basement is a sinister labyrinth of arched corridors and dark rooms, their floors carpeted by a mulch of decaying leaves and squelching mud This was one of my more uneasy investigations. At the time I was with Mayo paranormal seekers. Although we had a laugh with great friends I distinctly remember when the clock 12 and deadly silence fell Would love to go back here.

Of course, one of my friends thought it would be a good idea to roar 'boo' just as we were turning into the lake as a brief silence had filled the car. We were going to be easily enough scared that night but we could have done without that. As we turned in, I noticed a pair of old converse lying on the sand. We thought nothing more of it than someone had dumped their old pair of shoes there and rightly so because they were destroyed. One of the lads in the back seat rolled down the window and stuck his head out but it wasn't long coming back in.

He rolled up the window immediately and said that he had heard children laughing in the distance. If it was the same friend who had let the roar go previously, we probably wouldn't have even bothered but it wasn't so we all got out of the car to listen.

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I still don't know and I'm afraid to ever go back there again in the dark but I thought I heard the laughter too, we all did. We went back into the car and drove down as far as the car park to abandon ship and start on foot. Everyone made each other swear on lives of mothers and dogs and their own that there would be no messing walking through the woods. No tapping each other on shoulders or letting out screams 'for the craic', if we wanted to make it through the house, we had to make sure that we hadn't the complete shit scared out of us in the woods. All we had was the shitty light from our Blackberry phones but it was probably even too much because we really didn't want to know if there was something ahead of us.

Each time someone heard something, it was reported back to the group meaning that every minute, there was at least four 'noise complaints'. It's hard to know if these reported noises had a domino effect but I still believe that I heard what I heard. But a part of me wonders if a small portion was my mind wanting to believe.

There was rustling, laughter and whistles and sightings of flashes of light and trees and branches moving as we walked through the woods but thankfully we all held the nerve in order to get to the house.