Lhiannan Shee, Port St Mary
The following extract is from an Isle of Man Examiner article entitled ‘Port St Mary’s Two Ghosts’ (Published, 21 may 1937). The full article looks at the decline of boat or ship building in Port St Mary and the launch of a new vessel the “Lhiannan Shee”, named after a ‘White Lady’ that was said to haunt a Port St Mary farmhouse thirty years earlier. Lhiannan shee is the Manx form of the Irish leannán sídhe, that were beautiful female fairies that would take human lovers.
‘The name is doubly appropriate for the other ghost, after which the ship was named, is well dead.
Mr. William Clucas, who made the sails — another industry which is going with the first — now lives in the old Farmhouse which has stood for centuries in Port St. Mary.
Mr. William Clague. of Plantation Road, Port St. Mary, who lived there over 30 years ago, will tell of the “Lhiannan Shee” (White Lady) who haunted it.
I have heard many ghost stories and, like most people, receive them with more sceptism than belief, but this tale consists of a series of hard facts which are difficult to explain.
Mr. Clague is a hard-headed tradesman — a butcher, with nothing fanciful about him.
Yet he is absolutely convinced that something not of this world inhabited the Farmhouse, and all the tenants of the house before him were equally convinced. They could all relate experiences similar to his. When he left in 1903, Mr. Clague had farmed the Port St. Mary farm for 30 years, but had actually only lived in the Farmhouse for three years. Every night after midnight, he told me, neither he nor his wife got any peace in the house because of rappings and noises behind the walls. During the whole three years they could not rid themselves of the feeling that there was someone about the house and incidents occurred for which they could not account.
Mrs. Swales, of Port St. Mary, who lived in the house with them will bear witness with Mr. Clague that the front door had been opened in the night on more than one occasion although it had been locked when they went to bed.
At Christmas, 1903, Mr. Herbert Moore, builder, of Port St. Mary, and Mr. Prideaux, of Port Erin, were staying there as guests, Mr. Clague went on, and were sitting in a room adjoining the front door lobby when the door swung open just as if someone had come in.
They closed it again, but a few minutes after it opened and closed again before their eyes—just as if an invisible person had come in or gone out.
Mr. Moore and Mr. Prideaux also, heard the curious ndisei. said Mr. Clague. On another occasion a nurse who was in the house attending to Mrs. Clague brushed past someone on the stairs, although there was no one else in the house and immediately after the door opened and slammed. This sort of thing went on for a long time and on enquiring Mr. Clague found that previous tenants of the houseparticularly Miss Lucy Bridson, who now lives at Kirk Michael had had many similar experiences.
The climax came in 1904, when Mr. Clague was having a drain cut near the house. Two labourers had made a deep trench when they came across a large slab of stone. Lifting this, they found what was appently a rough grave which contained the remains of a skeleton. The labourers climbed out of the trench immediately and would have nothing more to do with the business.
But after the opening of this grave, said Mr. Clague, there were no more disturbing incidents in the house!
Mr. Clague related the story as a simple description of fact. All the persons mentioned are still living, and will bear out the occurrence of the incidents, while many people in Port St. Mary will remember the finding of the grave. Normally, Mr. Clague is not in the least superstitious, but he is absolutely convinced there was something supernatural in the Farmhouse.
This “Lhiannan Shee” has vanished and gone 30 years ago.‘
[Ise of Man Examiner, 21 May 1937]
The location of the farmhouse is undisclosed and the map illustrates a random area in Port St Mary.