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Cornwall - A seaman's testimony from Mousehole



Type of spiritual experience


A description of the experience

The crew of a Mousehole fishing boat at the turn of the century

The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries, by W.Y. Evans-Wentz, [1911]


'Uncle Billy Pender,' as our present witness is familiarly called, is one of the oldest natives of Mousehole, being eighty-five years old; and most of his life has been passed on the ocean, as a fisherman, seaman, and pilot. After having told me the usual things about piskies, fairies, spirits, ghosts, and the devil, Uncle Billy Pender was very soon talking about the dead:--

Cornish Legend of the Dead.--'I was up in bed, and I suppose asleep, and I dreamt that the boy James came to my bedside and woke me up by saying,

"How many lights does Death put up?"

And in the dream there appeared such light as I never saw in my life; and when I woke up another light like it was in the room. Within three months afterwards we buried two grand-daughters out of this house. This was four years ago.'

When this strange tale was finished, Uncle Billy Pender's daughter, who had been listening, added:--

'For three mornings, one after another, there was a robin at our cellar door before the deaths, and my husband said he didn't like that.'

The source of the experience


Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image


References and further reading