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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 #150 on: September 03, 2009, 07:01:15 pm »

The Blood-Drawing Ghost
     

    THERE was a young man in the parish of Drimalegue, county Cork, who was courting three girls at one time, and he didn't know which of them would he take; they had equal fortunes, and any of the three was as pleasing to him as any other. One day when he was coming home from the fair with his two sisters, the sisters began:

    'Well, John," said one of them, "why don't you get married. Why don't you take either Mary, or Peggy, or Kate?"

    "I can't tell you that," said John, "till I find which of them has the best wish for me."

    "How will you know?" asked the other.

    "I will tell you that as soon as any person will die in the parish." In three weeks' time from that day an old man died. John went to the wake and then to the funeral. While they were burying the corpse in the graveyard John stood near a tomb which was next to the grave, and when all were going away, after burying the old man, he remained standing a while by himself, as if thinking of something; then he put his blackthorn stick on top of the tomb, stood a while longer, and on going from the graveyard left the stick behind him. He went home and ate his supper. After supper John went to a neighbour's house where young people used to meet of an evening, and the three girls happened to be there that time. John was very quiet, so that every one noticed him.
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« Reply #151 on: September 03, 2009, 07:02:06 pm »

    "What is troubling you this evening, John?" asked one of the girls.

    "Oh, I am sorry for my beautiful blackthorn," said he.

    "Did you lose it?"

    "I did not," said John; "but I left it on the top of the tomb next to the grave of the man who was buried to-day, and whichever of you three will go for it is the woman I'll marry. Well, Mary will you go for my stick?" asked he.

    "Faith, then, I will not," said Mary.

    "Well, Peggy, will you go?"

    "If I were without a man for ever," said Peggy, "I wouldn't go."

    "Well, Kate," said he to the third, "will you go for my stick? If you go I'll marry you."

    "Stand to your word," said Kate, "and I'll bring the stick."

    "Believe me, that I will," said John.

    Kate left the company behind her, and went for the stick. The graveyard was three miles away and the walk was a long one. Kate came to the place at last and made out the tomb by the fresh grave. When she had her hand on the blackthorn a voice called from the tomb:

    "Leave the stick where it is and open this tomb for me."

    Kate began to tremble and was greatly in dread, but something was forcing her to open the tomb--she couldn't help herself.

    "Take the lid off now," said the dead man when Kate had the door open and was inside in the tomb, "and take me out of this--take me on your back."
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« Reply #152 on: September 03, 2009, 07:02:22 pm »

    Afraid to refuse, she took the lid from the coffin, raised the dead man on her back, and walked on in the way he directed. She walked about the distance of a mile. The load, being very heavy, was near breaking her back and killing her. She walked half a mile farther and came to a village; the houses were at the side of the road.

    "Take me to the first house," said the dead man.

    She took him.

    "Oh, we cannot go in here," said he, when they came near. "The people have clean water inside, and they have holy water, too. Take me to the next house."

    She went to the next house.

    "We cannot go in there," said he, when she stopped in front of the door. "They have clean water, and there is holy water as well."

    She went to the third house.

    "Go in here," said the dead man. "There is neither clean water nor holy water in this place; we can stop in it."

    They went in.

    "Bring a chair now and put me sitting at the side of the fire. Then find me something to eat and to drink."
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« Reply #153 on: September 03, 2009, 07:02:41 pm »

    She placed him in a chair by the hearth, searched the house, found a dish of oatmeal and brought it. "I have nothing to give you to drink but dirty water," said she.

    "Bring me a dish and a razor."

    She brought the dish and the razor.

    "Come, now," said he, "to the room above."

    They went up to the room, where three young men, sons of the man of the house, were sleeping in bed, and Kate had to hold the dish while the dead man was drawing their blood.

    "Let the father and mother have that," said he, "in return for the dirty water"; meaning that if there was clean water in the house he wouldn't have taken the blood of the young men. He closed their wounds in the way that there was no sign of a cut on them. "Mix this now with the meal, get a dish of it for yourself and another for me."

    She got two plates and put the oatmeal in it after mixing it, and brought two spoons. Kate wore a handkerchief on her head; she put this under her neck and tied it; she was pretending to eat, but she was putting the food to hide in the handkerchief till her plate was empty.

    "Have you your share eaten?" asked the dead man.

    "I have," answered Kate.

    "I'll have mine finished this minute," said he, and soon after he gave her the empty dish. She put the dishes back in the dresser, and didn't mind washing them. "Come, now," said he, "and take me back to the place where you found me."

    "Oh, how can I take you back; you are too great a load; 'twas killing me you were when I brought you." She was in dread of going from the house again.
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« Reply #154 on: September 03, 2009, 07:02:58 pm »

    "You are stronger after that food than what you were in coming; take me back to my grave."

    She went against her will. She rolled up the food inside the handkerchief. There was a deep hole in the wall of the kitchen by the door, where the bar was slipped in when they barred the door; into this hole she put the handkerchief. In going back she shortened the road by going through a big field at command of the dead man. When they were at the top of the field she asked, was there any cure for those young men whose blood was drawn?

    "There is no cure," said he, "except one. If any of that food had been spared, three bits of it in each young man's mouth would bring them to life again, and they'd never know of their death."

    "Then," said Kate in her own mind, "that cure is to be had."

    "Do you see this field?" asked the dead man.

    "I do."
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« Reply #155 on: September 03, 2009, 07:03:14 pm »

    "Well, there is as much gold buried in it as would make rich people of all who belong to you. Do you see the three leachtans [piles of small stones]? Underneath each of them is a pot of gold."

    The dead man looked around for a while; then Kate went on, without stopping, till she came to the wall of the graveyard, and just then they heard the **** crow.

    "The **** is crowing," said Kate; "it's time for me to be going home."

    "It is not time yet," said the dead man; "that is a bastard ****." A moment after that another **** crowed. "There the cocks are crowing a second time," said she. "No," said the dead man, "that is a bastard **** again; that's no right bird." They came to the mouth of the tomb and a **** crowed the third time.

    "Well," said the girl, "that must be the right ****."

    "Ah, my girl, that **** has saved your life for you. But for him I would have you with me in the grave for evermore, and if I knew this **** would crow before I was in the grave you wouldn't have the knowledge you have now of the field and the gold. Put me into the coffin where you found me. Take your time and settle me well. I cannot meddle with you now, and 'tis sorry I am to part with you."

    "Will you tell me who you are?" asked Kate.
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« Reply #156 on: September 03, 2009, 07:03:24 pm »

    "Have you ever heard your father or mother mention a man called Edward Derrihy or his son Michael?"

    "It's often I heard tell of them," replied the girl.

    "Well, Edward Derrihy was my father; I am Michael. That blackthorn that you came for to-night to this graveyard was the lucky stick for you, but if you had any thought of the danger that was before you, you wouldn't be here. Settle me carefully and close the tomb well behind you."

    She placed him in the coffin carefully, closed the door behind her, took the blackthorn stick, and away home with Kate. The night was far spent when she came. She was tired, and it's good reason the girl had. She thrust the stick into the thatch above the door of the house and rapped. Her sister rose up and opened the door.

    "Where did you spend the night?" asked the sister. "Mother will kill you in the morning for spending the whole night from home."

    "Go to bed," answered Kate, "and never mind me."

    They went to bed, and Kate fell asleep the minute she touched the bed, she was that tired after the night.

    When the father and mother of the three young men rose next morning, and there was no sign of their sons, the mother went to the room to call them, and there she found the three dead. She began to screech and wring her hands. She ran to the road screaming and wailing. All the neighbours crowded around to know what trouble was on her. She told them her three sons were lying dead in their bed after the night. Very soon the report spread in every direction. When Kate's father and mother heard it they hurried off to the house of the dead men. When they came home Kate was still in bed; the mother took a stick and began to beat the girl for being out all the night and in bed all the day.

    "Get up now, you lazy stump of a girl," said she, "and go to the wake house; your neighbour's three sons are dead."
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« Reply #157 on: September 03, 2009, 07:03:36 pm »

    Kate took no notice of this. "I am very tired and sick," said she. "You'd better spare me and give me a drink."

    The mother gave her a drink of milk and a bite to eat, and in the middle of the day she rose up.

    "Tis a shame for you not to be at the wake house yet," said the mother; "hurry over now."

    When Kate reached the house there was a great crowd of people before her and great wailing. She did not cry, but was looking on. The father was as if wild, going up and down the house wringing his hands.

    "Be quiet," said Kate. "Control yourself."

    "How can I do that, my dear girl, and my three fine sons lying dead in the house?"

    "What would you give," asked Kate, "to the person who would bring life to them again?"

    "Don't be vexing me," said the father.

    "It's neither vexing you I am nor trifling," said Kate. "I can put the life in them again."

    "If it was true that you could do that, I would give you all that I have inside the house and outside as well."

    "All I want from you," said Kate, "is the eldest son to marry and Gort na Leachtan [the field of the stone heaps] as fortune."
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« Reply #158 on: September 03, 2009, 07:03:48 pm »

    "My dear, you will have that from me with the greatest blessing.

    "Give me the field in writing from yourself, whether the son will marry me or not."

    He gave her the field in his handwriting. She told all who were inside in the wake-house to go outside the door, every man and woman of them. Some were laughing at her and more were crying, thinking it was mad she was. She bolted the door inside, and went to the place where she left the handkerchief, found it, and put three bites of the oatmeal and the blood in the mouth of each young man, and as soon as she did that the three got their natural colour, and they looked like men sleeping. She opened the door, then called on all to come inside, and told the father to go and wake his sons.

    He called each one by name, and as they woke they seemed very tired after their night's rest; they put on their clothes, and were greatly surprised to see all the people around. "How is this?" asked the eldest brother.

    "Don't you know of anything that came over you in the night?" asked the father.

    "We do not," said the sons. "We remember nothing at all since we fell asleep last evening."

    The father then told them everything, but they could not believe it. Kate went away home and told her father and mother of her night's journey to and from the graveyard, and said that she would soon tell them more.

    That day she met John.

    "Did you bring the stick?" asked he.

    "Find your own stick," said she, "and never speak to me again in your life."

    In a week's time she went to the house of the three young men, and said to the father, "I have come for what you promised me."
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« Reply #159 on: September 03, 2009, 07:04:01 pm »

    "You'll get that with my blessing," said the father. He called the eldest son aside then and asked would he marry Kate, their neighbour's daughter. "I will," said the son. Three days after that the two were married and had a fine wedding. For three weeks they enjoyed a pleasant life without toil or trouble; then Kate said, "This will not do for us; we must be working. Come with me to-morrow and I'll give yourself and brothers plenty to do, and my own father and brothers as well."

    She took them next day to one of the stone heaps in Gort na Leachtan. "Throw these stones to one side," said she.

    They thought that she was losing her senses, but she told them that they'd soon see for themselves what she was doing. They went to work and kept at it till they had six feet deep of a hole dug; then they met with a flat stone three feet square and an iron hook in the middle of it.

    "Sure there must be something underneath this," said the men. They lifted the flag, and under it was a pot of gold. All were very happy then. "There is more gold yet in the place," said Kate. "Come, now, to the other heap." They removed that heap, dug down, and found another pot of gold. They removed the third pile and found a third pot full of gold. On the side of the third pot was an inscription, and they could not make out what it was. After emptying it they placed the pot by the side of the door.

    About a month later a poor scholar walked the way, and as he was going in at the door he saw the old pot and the letters on the side of it. He began to study the letters.

    "You must be a good scholar if you can read what's on that pot," said the young man.

    "I can," said the poor scholar, "and here it is for you. 'There is a deal more at the south side of each pot."

    The young man said nothing, but putting his hand in his pocket, gave the poor scholar a good day's hire. When he was gone they went to work and found a deal more of gold at the south side of each stone heap. They were very happy then and very rich, and bought several farms and built fine houses, and it was supposed by all of them in the latter end that it was Derrihy's money that was buried under the Ieachtans, but they could give no correct account of that, and sure why need they care? When they died they left property to make their children rich to the seventh generation.

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« Reply #160 on: September 03, 2009, 07:04:25 pm »

Murderous Ghosts

     

    THE following things happened about sixty years ago. In those times people used to go nine and ten miles to mass, especially of a Christmas Day. Four men in the parish of Drummond went to Cahirdonnefl to mass on Christmas and didn't start for home till after nightfall. The four were a young master with his servant-boy, and two married men, small farmers. When they came to a certain side path the young master with his servant-boy turned in there to go home, and the two others followed the main road. The men on the road were not far away when they heard a wild screech in the field.

    "What can that be?" asked one. "Something must be happening; the night is dark."

    They heard a second screech, but went on without stopping.

    Next morning a messenger came to inquire where did they leave the young master and the servant-boy, and the men said, 'We left them when they turned from the main road to go home through the field."

    "They didn't come," said the messenger, "and I'm in dread they are killed."

    All the neighbours went to search for the two, and found the young man dead, a long distance out from the path, and he black and blue, as people are always when killed by ghosts or fairies. They couldn't find the servant-boy high or low.

    The father of the young man sat up waiting all the night before for his son. About midnight he heard a terrible wind blowing around the house outside. He rose, bolted the door, and sat down by the fire again. A few minutes later there was a great struggle in front of the house and a noise as of some one making a kick at the door to open it. This was the servant-boy, who came to the house before the ghost and tried to break in. When he couldn't move the door he ran to the hag-gait, where there were two stacks of hay. He sprang to one of the stacks to climb up and defend himself from the top of the stack. The ghost pulled him down, but he brought his two fists full of dry hay with him. The ghost drove him out of the hag-gait and hunted him through seven fields to a river. Next day he was found on the bank dead, and he all black and blue. His suspenders broke, and he would never have been killed but that they broke: the cross on his back made by the suspenders would have saved him. His two fists were still grasping the hay.
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« Reply #161 on: September 03, 2009, 07:04:37 pm »

    About ten years later this very same ghost, a woman, attacked a man who was out late and was coming home with a hatchet on his shoulder and a saw in his hand. The man used the saw well, striking her with it, and she couldn't get at him through the steel. She knocked three or four falls out of him, but he rose each time; she struck one of his eyes and he lost the use of it. At last, after a great struggle, he came to a place where a stream of water was running across the road, and she couldn't follow him through that, for no ghost can follow a person through water. When he reached the other side he stood and looked at her. "You have yourself saved; you are a strong man: the best that came before me since I killed such and such a man ten years ago," said she, mentioning the servant-boy and the master, "but if I haven't the better of you yet, you have a keepsake from me that will stay with you."

    The man went home, took to the bed, and didn't live six months. He was pining away every day till he died.

    Some time later a man was drowned in Waterville, and he was one of the two farmers who came on Christmas night from mass at Cahirdonnell with the master and servant-boy that were killed. Three months after this man's death his wife went with her brother matchmaking in the town. The brother settled a match between herself and a man living in Drummond parish, which is over the mountains from Cahirciveen. She got marriage quittance from the priest in Cahirciveen, paid ten shillings for it, and put it in her pocket.
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« Reply #162 on: September 03, 2009, 07:04:56 pm »

    That evening she and the brother started to go to the house of a friend who lived next door to the man she was going to marry, for it's there the wedding was to be. She kept the marriage quittance in her pocket. When they were about half-way it commenced to snow, and when they were half a mile from the house she began to fall every minute.

    "Yerra, what is the matter?" asked the brother.

    "My first husband is killing me!" said she.

    The brother tried his best to save her, but no use; he got blows enough himself and saw nobody. At last he took off his coat. He had a stick in his hand; he stuck the stick down in the ground and hung the coat on it to mark the place, for the land all around was white from snow. He left his sister there and ran to the friend's house (the house was no more than a quarter of a mile away) to bring help and save the sister. When the two came with a few neighbours the woman was dead, and the place for ten perches around was torn up as with a horse and plough.

    All the people said, and the priest himself agreed with them, that it was against the rules for the woman to carry the marriage quittance, and if the brother had carried it the ghost would have spared them both.
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« Reply #163 on: September 03, 2009, 07:05:07 pm »

    I knew a man named Tom Moran who lived a few miles from Cahirciveen. I knew Tom and his wife very well, but at the time my story begins Tom wasn't married.

    One time he was kept late in town by the shoemaker, and on the road home he met a strange priest on horseback. The priest stopped him. "Why are you out so late, my good man?" asked the priest; "tis in your bed you should be. The night outside belongs to the dead and the house to the living."

    "Why are you outside yourself?" asked Tom.

    "Tis my business to be out at all times," said the priest. "Is it often you are out at night?"

    "It is then," said Tom.

    "Go home, now," said the priest, "the night is no time for travelling."

    When Tom came home he put his white horse outside in a little field so as to be able to put his hands on him easily and have no delay in the morning, for he was to go to the strand very early for seaweed. He wasn't long in bed when he heard the horse galloping around the house and making a great noise. Tom ran out in his shirt to see what the trouble was, but if he did he couldn't come near the horse.

    Out on to the road with the horse and Tom after him, in shirt and bare feet. Tom followed till he came to a very lonesome place at the side of a graveyard, about two miles from his own house. The horse turned in there, and Tom followed closely till they came to a field, where the horse disappeared; and no wonder, for the field was full up of men and horses. Tom stepped aside into a corner. All the crowd moved from the field and went past him towards the road. When they went out the road was covered with people and horses moving towards Cahirciveen. All at once they shot away quickly and Tom came home alone. He found his horse in the field where he put him at first. It was a fairy horse that gave him the turn to the graveyard.

    Some time after this Tom Moran married in this parish and his wife died in twelve months after the marriage. Nine or ten months after her death Tom was going home one night from Cahirciveen. He was matchmaking all day to know could he find a new wife, and he wasn't above a quarter of a mile from the town when he met the dead woman.

    "You are here, you ruffian," said she. "Isn't it soon for you to be marrying again? You didn't give time to my footprints to leave the puddle in the yard or the hair to fall from my head in the grave before you are looking for a second wife, but I'll pay you well to-night for your conduct."
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« Reply #164 on: September 03, 2009, 07:05:17 pm »

    She went at him then and knocked him, but he rose up and walked on. She made after him and took another fall out of him.

    "Now," said she, "if I don't take a third fall out of you before you go to Needham's gate you will be saved; but if I do you are done for."

    Just at the gate she knocked him a third time and left him. Tom made his way home and sent for the priest and told him everything, he told the neighbours as well. He didn't live more than three or four days. [Needham's gate is about half a mile from Cahirciveen.]

     
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