Our modern conventions tend to view the realms of fairies and witches separately. Witches have been viewed as evil, while fairies are seen as benevolent, cute, and kind. As scholars reevaluate witch trials and the confessions of those accused, we are coming to new conclusions on accused witches.
Category: Irish Fairies
From high mountain pass, exhaling ice breath, (2).
Comes Cailleach clothed in summers death.
Cold fingers search under starlight’s lantern
Staff cracks dew to frosted mantle, (3).
In the stags hoary frosted bark,
Riding with wolves on the cloak of the dark. (4).
From mountain, hillock, stone and spring (5).
The freshwater Lough Neagh covers an area of 151 square miles and is Northern Ireland’s largest lake. There are a few legends associated with Lough Neagh and its formation. The following account entitled ‘This is the Death of Eochaidh son of Mairid’ is from the Book of the Dun Cow, Translated by Standish Hayes O’Grad (1892).
Hills, mounds and burial sites. Places which have a timeless allure. Such places can be seen and regarded as mythically liminal, a place that it is not a place. A place outside of time. A place where the living freely walk with the dead. Barrows are just such places.
"Why do you call the fairies ‘good people?’" asked I.
"I don’t call them the good people myself," answered Duvane, "but that is what the man called them who told me the story. Some call them the good people to avoid vexing them. I think they are called the good people mostly by pious men and women, who say that they are some of the fallen angels."
Changelings are part of Western Folklore, a child of a fairy type (Elf, Troll etc) which has been secretly swapped for a human baby and left in its place. George Waldron gave the following description of one he saw in the Isle of Man and it was subsequently reprinted in ‘The Science of Fairy Tales’ (1891) by Edwin Sidney Hartland.
There was once a little farmer and his wife living near Coolgarrow. They had three children, and my story happened while the youngest was on the breast.
There lived a woman in Innish Shark — one of the group of islands on the eastern coast — named Biddy Mannion, as handsome and likely a fisherman’s wife as you would meet in a day’s walk. She was tall, and fair in the face, with skin like an egg, and hair that might vie with the gloss of the raven’s wing.
The following story from’ Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry’ by William Butler Yeats (1888) takes place in Fannet, which is now known as Fanad, a peninsular by Lough Swilly. Although the tale includes a trip across the length of Ireland, according to the story the hero states he is nearly home when approaching Tamney, so I have used this village for my map reference below.