Rerrick Poltergeist 1695

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2 Responses

  1. Ian Topham says:

    Re: Rerrick Poltergeist 1695
    The mention of Macknaught and the curse reminded me of the following I found in ‘Transactions and journal of the proceedings of the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society" (1896-1897)’

    Within living memory (so say mid 1800s)  "a stone fire" had been placed in a farmhouse by the tenant who was leaving. It was at one time a common custom for a farmer who was evicted, or who was leaving his farm under a sense of grievance, to fill up the fire-place in every room with broken bottles and small stones and cover them over with larger flat stones, and to lay on his successor a curse which should never be lifted until these fires burned. When the stone fire had been laid and the curse said, the doors were locked and the tenant made his way out by the window, the curse alighting on the first person who entered thereafter. It was a custom also in such cases to sow a part of the farm with sand, and to curse the succeeding tenant until the sand should grow. This form of cursing was carried out in the parish perhaps seventy years ago, and tradition said that the incoming tenant did not thrive ; but this was probably due more to the ill-will of his neighbours than to the curse of his predecessor.

  2. artymcclench says:

    Re: Rerrick Poltergeist 1695
    The Google map is rather innaccurate, since the modern Ring plantation is neither that shape or that extent.

    However, more to the point, the site referred to both in the article and in the map, the lone ‘Ghost Tree’ atop  the ridge of the Ring (Probably Gaelic Roinn ‘promontory’) as marking the traditional site of the house on the  Ringcroft is merely the ‘traditonal’ site of the dwelling. This only ever been described by one man, Alexander Trotter who lived locally as a boy in the 1840s. Although a prolific writer on local lore and cited often, he is not wholly reliable.

    Logic and the evidence of the first OS map ca. 1854 (informed substantially by Trotter’s father, the local physician) indicates the Ring house probably lay a little way south, in a more sheltered position and closer to water. In 1854, overlooking the Hass burn on a site above the small wood at the sharp angle of the stream, there was a ruin called the Ringan (Ring End). This was one of the loose collection of houses that until the late 19th century lay within the former ’20 shillng lands of Stocking,’ which stretched from the ridge-top down to the road running round the head of Auchencairn Bay. These are all now just piles of stones or vanished entirely.

    The apparent ruin atop the Ring is most likely a collection of large field stones removed from the surrounding fields. ‘The Ghost Tree’  is the last vestige of an 18th century plantation. Prior to that period, Galloway was notoriously bare of trees.