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Tales of the Fairies and of the Ghost World

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Author Topic: Tales of the Fairies and of the Ghost World  (Read 489 times)
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« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2009, 10:57:42 pm »

    This only convinced the woman more surely. John didn't like to break the door, and as it was strong, it wouldn't be easy for him to break it, so he left the house and went to his uncle's. When he came to the door all the family were on their knees repeating the rosary for the soul of John Connors. He knocked, and the servant girl rose up to see who was outside. She unbolted and unlatched the door, opened it a bit, but seeing Connors, she came near cutting his nose off, she shut it that quickly in his face. She bolted the door then and began to scream: "John Connors' ghost is haunting me! Not another day or night will I stay in the house if I live to see morning!"

    All the family fastened themselves in a room and threw themselves into bed, forgetting to undress or to finish their prayers. John Connors began to kick the door, but nobody would open it; then he tapped at the window and begged the uncle to let him in or put out some clothes to him, but the uncle and children were out of their wits with fear.

    The doctor's house was the next one, and Connors thought to himself, "I might as well go to the doctor and tell all to him; tell him that the village is gone mad." So he made his way to the doctor's, but the servant boy there roared and screeched from terror when he saw him, ran to his master, and said, "John Connors' ghost is below at the door, and not a thing but a sheet on him."
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« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2009, 10:58:02 pm »

    "You were always a fool," said the doctor. "There is never a ghost in this world."

    "God knows, then, the ghost of John Connors is at the door," said the boy.

    To convince the boy, the master raised the upper window. He looked out and saw the ghost sure enough. Down went the window with a slap.

    "Don't open the door!" cried the doctor. "He is below; there is some mystery in this."

    Since the doctor wouldn't let him in any more than the others, John Connors was cursing and swearing terribly.

    "God be good to us," said the doctor. "His soul must be damned, for if his soul was in purgatory it is not cursing and swearing he'd be, but praying. Surely, 'tis damned he is, and the Lord have mercy on the people of this village; but I won't stay another day in it; I'll move to the town to-morrow morning."

    Now John left the doctor's house and went to the priest, thinking that he could make all clear to the priest, for everybody else had gone mad. He knocked at the priest's door and the housekeeper opened it. She screamed and ran away, but left the door open behind her. As she was running towards the stairs she fell, and the priest, hearing the fall, hurried out to see what the matter was.

    "Oh, father," cried the housekeeper, "John Connors' ghost is below in the kitchen, and he with only a sheet on him!"
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« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2009, 10:58:14 pm »

    "Not true," said the priest. "There is never a person seen after parting with this world."

    The words were barely out of his mouth when the ghost was there before him.

    "In the name of God," said the priest, "are you dead or alive? You must be dead, for I said mass in your house, and you a corpse on the table, and I was at your funeral."

    "How can you be foolish like the people of the village? I'm alive. Who would kill me?"

    "God, who kills everybody, and but for your being dead, how was I to be asked to your funeral?"

    "Tis all a mistake," said John. "If it's dead I was it isn't here I'd be talking to you to-night."

    "If you are alive, where are your clothes?"

    "I don't know where they are or how they went from me, but I haven't them, sure enough."

    "Go into the kitchen," said the priest. "I'll bring you clothes, and then you must tell me what happened to you."
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« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2009, 10:58:25 pm »

    When John had the clothes on he told the priest that, the day the child was born, he went to Beaufort for sponsors, and, being late, he met a gentleman, who sent him back and forth on the road and then took him to his house. "I went to bed," said John, "and slept till he waked me. My clothes were gone from me then, and I had nothing to wear but an old sheet. More than this I don't know: but everybody runs from me, and my wife won't let me into the house."

    "Oh, then, it's Daniel O'Donohue, King of Lochlein, that played the trick on you," said the priest. "Why didn't you get sponsors at home in this parish for your son as you did for your daughters? For the remainder of your life show no partiality to son or daughter among your children. It would be a just punishment if more trouble came to you. You were not content with the will of God, though it is the duty of every man to take what God gives him. Three weeks ago your supposed body was buried and all thought you dead through your own pride and wilfulness."

    "That is why my wife wouldn't let me in. Now, your Reverence, come with me and convince my wife, or she will not open the door."

    The priest and John Connors went to the house and knocked, but the answer they got was a prayer for the repose of John Connors' soul. The priest went to the window then and called out to open the door.
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« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2009, 10:58:39 pm »

    Mrs. Connors opened the door, and seeing her husband behind the priest she screamed and fell: a little girl that was with her at the door dropped speechless on the floor. When the woman recovered, the priest began to persuade her that her husband was living, but she wouldn't believe that he was alive till she took hold of his hand: then she felt of his face and hair and was convinced.

    When the priest had explained everything he went away home. No matter how large his family was in after years, John Connors never went from home to find sponsors.
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« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2009, 10:59:30 pm »

Fitzgerald and Daniel O' Donohue

    WHEN the blind man had finished, my host said: "There's many a story about that same Daniel O'Donohue, a fairy chief and King of Lochlein: Lochlein is the old name of the upper lake of Killarney. I used to hear many of those stories when I was young, but not one can I think of now. Sometimes the fairy chief was called O'Donohue of the Glen. There is a Knight of the Glen, too, near Killarney, and maybe he is the O'Donohue, for O'Donohue had a steed of the bells which the Black Thief was striving to steal, and so had the Knight of the Glen; but however that may be, I will tell you this:

    "There was an old man named Fitzgerald, who lived in a neighbouring village. He was very fond of his garden, and spent all his time in it. One summer he had a beautiful field of 'white pink' potatoes. Once he had a fit of sickness, and was three days in bed. While the old man was keeping the bed the blight came on his potatoes and withered them.

    "The saying was at that time that the fairies of Ulster were stronger than the fairies of Munster, and so they drove blight from Ulster to Munster.

    "The fourth night the old man rose from his bed and crept out to take a look at his potato field, for his heart was in it. The night was very bright, the sky clear, and the moon full. He saw, sure enough, that the blight had come on his potatoes and destroyed them. He went into the house, took his blackthorn stick, and sat over the fire, and whittled it here and there. Then he went into the field with his bare head and feet, spat on his hand, took a firm grip on the slick, and, brandishing it, cried out time after time, as loud as he could, rushing the while from one end of the garden to the other: 'Daniel O'Donohue, come and take me with you tonight to the fairies and show me the man among them who destroyed my potatoes. I'll go with you to-night and to-morrow night and every night, if you'll bring me back to this spot again.'
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« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2009, 10:59:48 pm »

    "All the men and boys gathered around outside the ditch and listened to him, and he went on in this way a long while, calling on the chief fairy, Daniel O'Donohue, King of Lochlein, and challenging all the fairies of Ulster, and promising, if he couldn't do for them all himself, he had neighbours who would go with him and help him.

    "At that time," said the host, "there wasn't a man in ten who didn't believe in the fairies and think that it was they who caused the blight, so they listened to the old man as he went on challenging the fairies of the North, offering his help to Daniel O'Donohue."

    "The old man Fitzgerald was a strong believer in O'Donohue and the fairies," said I; "but have you ever known cases where fairies caused profit to one man and loss to another?" "I know just such a case," said he, "and here it is for you:

    "About forty years ago there lived in this very town, and not half a mile from where we are sitting, a man named John Hanifin. He was a strong farmer, and had a large herd of cows; the cows were driven up every morning to the milking ground, a large open space in front of the house. In the centre of this space a large tub was placed, into which each servant girl poured her pail of milk as she filled it. One morning the tub was turned over and the milk spilled: the same thing happened the second morning and the third. No matter how they watched, or how careful they were, the milk was spilled always.
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« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2009, 11:00:08 pm »

    "Hanifin's wife was very angry, and scolded the girls so severely that they were in dread of her, and watched the tub more closely each morning; but if they did, their watching was useless. At the height of the milking the tub was turned over always and the milk lost.

    "One morning, when Hanifin was going to call the herder to drive the cows to be milked he passed near an old fairy fort that was on the road between the house and the pasture, and just as he called to the herder he heard a child crying inside the fort: it was crying for a drink, and the woman said: 'Be quiet a while; Hanifin's cows are going home; we'll soon have milk in plenty'

    "Hanifin listened, but, like a wise man, said nothing. He went home, and while the milking was going on himself watched the tub and never let his eyes off it, and watched all that was going on in the yard. This morning, as a maid was finishing the milking, a cow ran at a heifer that was walking across the yard near the tub, pushed her against the tub, and overturned it. Out came Hanifin's wife, scolding and blaming the girls. But Hanifin stopped her, saying, "Tis no fault of the girls; they can't help it; I'll try and manage this.'

    "He kept his mind to himself, said nothing to any one. The following morning he went as usual to call the herder to drive up the cows, and, hearing the child crying in the fort, he, like the brave man that he was, went inside the fort. He saw no one, but he said:
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« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2009, 11:00:19 pm »

    'A child is crying for milk. A cow of mine will calve to-morrow. I'll let no one milk that cow: you can do what you like with her milk.'

    "The tub was not turned over that morning, and never again was it turned over. When the cow calved Hanifin's wife herself was going to milk her, but Hanifin said, 'Leave her alone, I'll see to that matter.' The woman insisted, and went out to milk. To her amazement she found the cow milked and stripped already.

    "The woman grew angry, thought that some of her neighbours were taking the milk from her; but Hanifin said he knew all about it, and to leave the cow with him.

    "Hanifin was going on well for two years, prospering in every way, and he taking good care of the cow and never letting a girl or a woman milk her. Whenever the wife tried to milk the cow she found her stripped.

    "Hanifin was a very soft-hearted man; some of his neighbours got into trouble, and he went security for them. At last, when they were not able to pay their debts, the creditors came on Hanifin, and there was an order against him for the whole amount.

    "The bailiff came one day to drive off the cattle. Hanifin went to the fairy fort and said: 'I'm going to lose all my cattle, but I'll try to keep the cow I gave you and feed her still, so that the child may have milk.'
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« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2009, 11:00:27 pm »

    "Three bailiffs came and went down to the pasture across the field, but when they drove the cows up as far as the old fairy fort each bailiff was caught and thrown hither and over by people he couldn't see; one minute he was on one side of a ditch and the next minute on the other side. They were so roughly handled and bruised that they were hardly alive, and they not seeing who or what was doing it. The cattle, raising their tails, bawled and ran off to the pasture. The bailiffs, sore and wounded, went home and complained that people had abused and beaten them; 'that Hanifin, of course, put them up to it,' They were so cut and bruised that they had to give some account, and were ashamed to tell the truth.

    "The following morning ten policemen and bailiffs went to take Hanifin's cattle, but when they were driving them up and got as far as the fort they were thrown head over heels, hither and over till they were terribly cut and beaten, and pitched into thorny bushes and holes till they were fools. The cattle, seeing this, took fright, bawled, raised their tails, and ran back to the pasture. The officers were barely able to leave the place. Never again did police or bailiff meddle with Hanifin's cows. The creditors never collected the money."
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« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2009, 11:02:51 pm »

The Fairies of Rahonain and Elizabeth Shea

    WHEN the company came to my room on the following evening the host brought a fourth man, Maurice Lynch, a mason, who knew a good deal about ghosts and fairies.

    When he bade me good-bye the night before, John Malone promised to open the present session with a tale which he knew to be true, for the chief actors in it were friends of his own, "and himself was in it also." The tale was called forth by a question concerning a practice among the fairies (quite common it seems) of carrying away living people and leaving substitutes in place of them. It seems that these substitutes are corpses when the persons borne away are marriageable young women. When a married woman is removed a deceased counterfeit is left to take her place. When an infant is stolen a living imitation of the child is put in the cradle. The substitute seems to the parents their own child, but to any one who has the fairy vision the fraud appears in its true form.

     
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« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2009, 11:03:03 pm »

    About thirty years ago, said the old man, there lived in a village near Rahonain Castle a man named James Kivane, a step-brother of my own, and he married a woman called Elizabeth Shea. Three or four nights after her second child was born Kivane's wife, who was attended by her own mother and her mother-in-law, woke and saw the bed on fire. She called to the mother, who was there at the bedside, but had fallen asleep. The mother sprang up, and, turning towards the hearth, saw a cat with the face of a man on her, and was frightened, but she had no time to look longer at the cat. When she had the fire quenched she looked for the cat, but not a trace of her could they find in the house, and they never caught a sight of her again.

    Two days later the young child died, and three or four days after that the woman had a terrible pain in her foot. It swelled to a great size, and where the swelling was the skin looked like the bark of a tree. The poor woman suffered terribly. They sent for the priest many times, and spent money for masses. They offered one priest twenty pounds to cure her, but he said that if all the money in the kingdom were offered he would have nothing to do with the case. He was afraid of getting a fairy stroke himself.

    The foot was swelling always, and it was that size that a yard of linen was needed to go once around it. The woman was a year and a half in this way, and towards the end she said that horses and carriages were moving around the house every night, but she had no knowledge of why they were in it.

    The mother went to an old woman, an herb doctor, and begged her to come and cure her daughter if she could.

    "I can cure her," said the woman, "but if I do you must let some other one of your family go in place of her."
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« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2009, 11:03:16 pm »

    Now, as all the sons and daughters were married and had families of their own, the mother said she had no one she could put in place of this daughter. Kivane's wife used to raise herself by a rope which was put hanging above the bed. When tired and she could hold no longer, she would lie down again. The woman remained in suffering like this till a week before she died. She told her friends that it was no use to give her remedies or pay money for masses to benefit her; that it wasn't herself that was in it at all.

    On the night that the mother saw the cat with a man's face and she sitting on the hearth, Kivane's real wife was taken by the fairies and put in Rahonain Castle to nurse a young child.

    Nobody could tell who the sick woman was, but whoever she was she died, and the body was so swollen and drawn up that the coffin was like a great box, as broad as 'twas long. About a year after the funeral Pat Mahony, who worked for a hotel-keeper in Dingle, went to a fair at Listowel. At the fair a strange man came up to Mahony. 'Where do you live?" asked the man.

    "In Dingle," said Pat Mahony.

    "Do you know families at Rahonain named Shea and Kivane?"
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« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2009, 11:03:28 pm »

    "I do," said Mahony. "Kivane's wife died about a twelvemonth ago."

    "Well," said the strange man, "I have a message for you to the parents of that woman, Elizabeth Shea. She is coming to my house for the last nine months. She comes always after sunset. She lives in a fairy fort that is on my land. This is the way we discovered the woman: About nine months ago potatoes and milk were put out on the dresser for one of my servants who was away from home, and before the man came this woman was seen going to the dresser and eating the potatoes and drinking the milk. She came every evening after that for about a month before I had courage to speak to her. When I spoke she told me that her father, mother, husband, and child were living near Rahonain Castle, She gave every right token of who she was. 'I spent,' said she, 'three months in Rahonain, at first nursing a child that was in it, but was taken after that to the fort on the place where I am living now, in Lismore. I have not tasted food in the fort yet,' said she, 'but at the end of seven years I'll be forced to eat and drink unless somebody saves me; I cannot escape unassisted."

    When Mahony came home to Dingle he went straight to Rahonain and told the woman's friends all that the strange man had told him. She had told the man, too, how her friends must come with four men and a horse and car; that she would meet them.

    Mrs. Kivane's father and brother, and I and another neighbouring man, offered to go to Lismore, but Kivane wouldn't go, for he had a second wife at this time. The following morning we started, and went to the parish priest to take his advice. He told us not to go, and advised us in every way to stay at home. He was afraid, I suppose, that the woman might give the people too much knowledge of the other world. The other three men were stopped by the priest. Sure there was no use in my going alone, and I didn't.
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« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2009, 11:03:41 pm »

    Kivane's wife knew that her husband was married the second time, for she sent word to him that she didn't care, she would live with her father and her child. Everybody forgot the affair for a couple of years. When a retired policeman named Bat O'Connor was going from Lismore to Dingle, the woman appeared before him, saluted him, and asked was he going to Dingle, and he said he was. She told him then if he wanted to do her any good or service to go to her friends at Rahonain (she gave their names) and tell them that they had plenty of time yet to go and claim her; that she had not eaten fairy food so far. He promised to do as she asked. He reached Dingle soon after, went to Rahonain and told her friends what she had said. O'Connor, however, didn't tell everything in full till they would promise to go. At this the relations of Kivane's second wife went to O'Connor and bribed him to say nothing more. After that he was silent, and people cared no more about the woman.

    The seven years passed, and at the end of that time Elizabeth Shea's father saw her one evening when he was coming home from market and was about a mile beyond Dingle. She walked nearly a mile with him, but didn't talk. At parting she gave him a blow on the face. On the following day he had to take to his bed, and was blind for seven or eight years. He kept the bed most of the time till he died. During the couple of days before he lost his sight Shea saw the daughter come in and give a blow to her child, which died strangely soon after. Neither priest nor doctor could tell what ailment was on the child.

    About the time the child died Shea's second wife got sick, and has not milked a cow nor swept the house since. She has not gone to mass or market these twenty years. She keeps the bed now, and will keep it while she lives. She has no pain and is not suffering in any way, but is dead in herself, as it were. She had a fine young girl of a daughter, but she got a blow and died two days after. She has three sons, but Elizabeth Shea has never done them any harm.
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