Observations placeholder

County Donegal - The testimony of the Lough Derg seer

Identifier

013967

Type of Spiritual Experience

Vision
Hallucination

Number of hallucinations: 1

Background

grianan-aileach

A description of the experience

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

THE TESTIMONY OF A LOUGH DERG SEER

Neil Colton, seventy-three years old, who lives in Tamlach Townland, on the shores of Lough Derg, County Donegal, has a local reputation for having seen the 'gentle folk', and so I called upon him. As we sat round his blazing turf fire, and in the midst of his family of three sturdy boys--for he married late in life--this is what he related:--

A Girl Recovered from Faerie.--'One day, just before sunset in midsummer, and I a boy then, my brother and cousin and myself were gathering bilberries (whortleberries) up by the rocks at the back of here, when all at once we heard music. We hurried round the rocks, and there we were within a few hundred feet of six or eight of the gentle folk, and they dancing. When they saw us, a little woman dressed all in red came running out from them towards us, and she struck my cousin across the face with what seemed to be a green rush. We ran for home as hard as we could, and when my cousin reached the house she fell dead. Father saddled a horse and went for Father Ryan. When Father Ryan arrived, he put a stole about his neck and began praying  over my cousin and reading psalms and striking her with the stole; and in that way brought her back. He said if she had not caught hold of my brother, she would have been taken for ever.'

The 'Gentle Folk'.--'The gentle folk are not earthly people; they are a people with a nature of their own. Even in the water there are men and women of the same character. Others have caves in the rocks, and in them rooms and apartments. These races were terribly plentiful a hundred years ago, and they'll come back again. My father lived two miles from here, where there were plenty of the gentle folk. In olden times they used to take young folks and keep them and draw all the life out of their bodies. Nobody could ever tell their nature exactly.'

The source of the experience

Celtic

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References