by Rod C. Mackay

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Published in Canada by The Caledonian First Edition Before Publication

Old fables these and fancies old! But not, with hasty pride Let logic cold and reason bold Cast thes old dreams aside.

In 1836 Catherine Parr Traill was homesteading in Upper Canada when she wrote: We have neither fay nor fairy ghost, nor bogle, satyr nor woodnymph, our very forests disdain to shelter dryad or hamadryad. No naiad haunts the rushy margins of our lakes, or hallows with her presence our forest rills. No druid claims our oaks ... we look upon things with the curious eye of natural philosophy alone.1 In her situation Traill felt the need to think of her surroundings as a place "with no scope for the imagination."2 The lady further said, "The only beings in which I have any interest are the Indians, and even they want the warlike character and intelligence that I pictured they would possess."3 Obviously, Catherine Parr Trail did not really want the Indians to show more Catherine Parr Trail, Roughing It In the Bush, pp. unknown Ibid, pp. unknown Ibid, pp, unknown




aggression and she did not ask them what they thought of her theory that Canada was a new world, "its volume of history as yet blank."4 Had she enquired, Traill would have found a well-developed mythology, a real cause for whistling in the dark. Traill's sister, Mrs. Susanna Moodie made a similar dismissal of the native culture in 1852, when she wrote: The unpeopled wastes of Canada must present the same aspect to the new settler that the world did to our first parents after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden; all the sin which could defile the spot, or haunt it with the association of departed evil, is concentrated in their own persons. Bad spirits cannot be supposed to linger near a place where crime has never been committed. The belief in ghosts (spirits), so prevalent in old countries, must first have had its foundation in the consciousness of guilt. 5 The English poet Rupert Brooke, who was active during the period of the First World War, was on the same wave-length as the Traill sisters: The maple and the birch conceal no dryads and Pan has never been heard among these reed beds. Look as long as you like [He was able to spare a few weeks.] and you shall not see a white arm in the foam. A godless place. And the dead do not return. That is why there is nothing lurking in the heart of the shadows, and no human mystery in the colours, and neither the same joy nor kind of peace in dawn and sunset that older lands know. It is, indeed, a new world. 6 It must be remembered that Brooke represented a fading imperialist empire, but, it is harder to understand the motives of native born men and women who have promoted a similar image of Canada as a grey, unspirited wasteland. In 1948, Douglas Le Pan published a thin book of poems, which

Ibid, pp. unknown Unknown, may be Catherine Parr Trail, Roughing It... Rupert Brooke, unknown



included a poem entitled, "A Country Without Mythology." Hopefully he was decrying our lack of interest in the tales which comprise our myths, legends and history. Perhaps the same may be said for Earle Birney, who suggested in 1962 that, "it's only by our lack of ghosts we're haunted." 7 In the Maritime population it has been estimated that only about eight percent of the original settlers were English. More than half were Scots and the rest German, Irish, and Scot-Irish settlers. These were soon joined by Yorkshire men, who settled the upper Bay of Fundy, by more Scots who were ousted during the Highland Clearances, and by the Irish who had to move because of famine at home. When my great-great grandfather Alexander Mackay came to the Magaguadavic River he probably spoke Gaelic and no English. My great-great-great grandfather Guptill may have spoken some English when he moved to Grand Manan from Maine, but I suspect he knew as much German. My extended family included the "English" Russells, who were originally Scandinavian, and the Gillmors, who probably preferred Irish Gaelic over the language now in use. These people became an integrated population when English was taken up as the common tongue, but even as late as 1941, 10,000 Cape Bretoners still listed Gaelic as their mother tongue. The Celtic peoples had a strong tradition of belief in the supernatural and they brought this belief with them to Canada. Some of this representative group knew of "witches" and "fairies" but most of the Gaels would have spoken of the "boabhe" and the "sidhe" and the Teutons would have spoken of the "hexen" and "albs", which approximate rather than equal one another. This means that the major sources of Maritime folklore are Indian, Gaelic, German, and English. Luckily not all new Canadians were so blind as the Traill sisters or Rupert Brooke to the supernatural world around them. Charles G. Leland, a longtime resident, disagreed with the poet Brooke, saying: The Wabenaki mythology (...) gave a fairy, an elf, a naiad, or a hero to every rock and river and ancient hill.... When the last Indian shall be in his grave, those who come after us will ask in wonder why we had no curiosity as to the romance of our


Earle Birney, unknown

country....8 The French missionary, Abbe Morillot disagreed as well, candidly remarking: "This country is one of the most suggestive of superstition I have seen. Everything here, sea, earth and heaven, is very strange." 9 This “Bestiary” indicates our bias in this matter. It is instructive to note that the word “beast” may still indicate “all living creatures,” including man. Notwithstanding, Christian theology has had an influence on the word, thus we hear of “The Beast,” specifically the Biblical creature of Revelations with the seven heads and ten horns of the Apocalypse, i.e. The Antichrist. Perhaps this connection explains why men who are “beasts” are now regarded as “coarse, brutal, filthy” or “deranged,” or some combination of these characteristics. As for pagan beast-gods or beastmen, they have entered the realm of “beast-fables” or “beast-tales.” There was a time when when they were taken more seriously, being the main-stuff of primitive folklore and early literature. Folklore and literature may be subdivided as myths, legends and fables. Legends tell tales about mortal heroes while myths are concerned with the business of the gods, who may be either mortal or immortal. In days past, these stories were distinguished from fables which were known to be fictions. Both legends and myths were thought of as unverifiable history. In general, legends were more variable and elaborate than myths, the latter being surprisingly consistent worldwide. This “bestiary” draws, as much as possible, on legends and myths and attempts to avoid fables and the restatement of outright frauds. It is in the tradition of “rendering a fantastical 10 mystical zoology,” but stops short of moralizing or creating allegories as was the fashion with such books in the Middle Ages. Following the old notions our bestiary identifies all things as potentially animate whether organic or not.

Charles G. Leland, unknown Abbe Morillot, unknown


term “fantasy” does not necessarily imply an untruth, the original Greek word indicating anything “made visible,” and derived from “images or perceptions” both real and imaged.


The southern limits of this “study” recognize a zoological boundary at Cape Cod. The real and supposed plant and animal life from here north reflects colder air and colder water in both summer and winter. Cape Cod is the beginning of what some refer to as “Down East and Up Along,” the latter extending all the way to the Arctic regions. The kinds of “beasts” known to pagan men were uniformly described in world-mythology as gods, giants, elfs and men. The remaining “beasts of the field” were never clearly distinguished from any of these, since all these humanoids were thought capable of shape-shifting. In point of fact, little difference was made between them and inorganic matter since it was known that gifted magicians took their rest in hills, as rivers, or in the form of standing-stones. Surprisingly almost all mythology indicates the presence of an immortal creator-god who originally lived in chaos, and apparently organized matter and energy as a diversion. Having done this, he quickly stepped back outside of time and space, perhaps to watch the results of his work, but more likely because he had more pressing business. The mortal gods seem to have arise from miscegeneration between themselves and the giants, who may have arise separately, like them, by asexual means. It is said that the “little men.” who some have called fairies, were the first creation of the death-doomed gods. They possessed some of control which the gods had over nature, but lacked a “soul,” the gift bestowed on men, who were the final creation and expected servitors of the gods. There is room for suspicion that the “gods” were self-elevated men, who had a good grasp of magical practises. The “giants” who were physically powerful, but not bright, may have represented inept god-heroes. “Little” originally indicated thin-people, so the “wee-folk” may have represented men subjugated by their “betters.” “Men” were the tribe to which a man had the good, or bad, fortune to belong. At best primitive human kind was harassed by the gods, the giants and the elfs, and completely ignored by the creator-god. As for “whistling down the wind,” this was a small feat of magic, practised by all the “beasts.” It is possible to “whistle up a wind” as well as “whistle down a wind.” This is a fact dependent on sympathetic magic, where “things which seem to be alike are alike.” Try whistling on a ship sailing in our waters and watch the looks you’ll get from the crew, and

watch them scatter to batten down the hatches.

Rod C. Mackay Sussex, N. B. Canada


























ABISTARIAOOCH A nickname for Glooscap’s closest companion. The Micmac “little-god” named Martin was also called Abistariaooch , a word having a peculiarly Gaelic feel. Notice the Gaelic abaisd, a brat, a trifling or impudent person. Martin was a shape changer who appeared variously as a baby, a boy, a youth, or young man. He always ate from the witch-kwed-lakun-cheech, or birchbark dish, which he carried on his person. In times of danger, he dropped the dish and Glooscap

finding it could look into it and determine what had befallen him. One of the mikumwees, or wee-folk, he shared the dwelling of Glooscap and Muinwapskw. It was said that when Glooscap completed the worlds, he made the supernatural elfs and dwarfs first, the wee-folk from the bark of the ash tree. Later he released the spirits of men, by shooting arrows into this same tree, but they came from the pith beneath the bark. The “first-born,” or Mikumewees, were also known as the Oonabgemessûk, which tells us they were the folk born to Oona. This suggests that Marten was a son of Glooscap and Muinwapskw; and there is the further peculiarity that Oona is the phonetic form of the Gaelic ulaidh, indicating a stone tomb, treasure, a death house or the Underworld. Unlike men, the little people had the ability to move instantaneously through space and time and could travel freely between the worlds. In many of the tales these three deities are seen living together in the dead lands, the underworld of natural caverns found in northeastern America. The proper word Ulaidh is, of course Ulster. Glooscap, for his part, always referred to Martin as uch-keen, “my younger brother.” Their relationship was close enough that Glooscap frequently lent the little man his power-belt. AIBHEISTER , ABISTER A pseudonym for the supreme water-spirit. Gaelic. The dweller in the abyss, Manan mac Ler, the collector of souls of the dead; in the latter days, the Devil. Note that the related word aibheis also indicates a braggart or boaster. Men purloined the secret of whisky from the undersea people and found that it led not only to "poetry and inspiration" but to exaggeration of deeds promised or done. Note also: aibhist , an old building, a ruin; and aibhse , a spectre or devil of the Devil. Another form of this word is taibhse (which, see). The prime word is said to be another form of abharsair , which is said related to the Latin, adversarius , our English, adversary . Confers with athair, Davy Jones, Grand Manan, King Tipper, Main John, Old Coot, Old Dick, Old Harry, Old Man, Old Nick. Gaelic, aibheistear from aibheis , the sea, the deep, confers with the English abyss and the Latin abyssus . Compare this word with aibhist , a ruin, and aibhse (or taibhse ), a ghost, spectre or devil. Like the creator-god, the three elemental gods had their own interests and have little history among men. Thus Ler (who corresponds

with the Cymric Llyr and the Old Norse god Hler), is only represented in the person of his son, the mortal sea-god named Manan. Manan mac Ler had holdings on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, but was recognized as lord of all the western seas, his remote base being Tir-nan-Og, the land of perpetual youth, the final residence of heroes and all who were virtuous. The abyss, the residence of the unvirtuous dead, was also his keep. This land was sometimes said to be an independent entity within the deepest part of the ocean. Others claimed it was an underworld located at the roots of Tir-nan-Og. The living were not allowed in either land, and Manan often rode the sea about the island on his ocean-steed Anobar, brandishing the sword known as the "Answerer", which no human armour could resist. The whitecrested waves, "the horses of Manan" also drove off unwelcome visitors. As a sea-spirit, the sea-god could raise all the forces of fog, wind and storm to protect his interests, and when he was especially aroused he even acted against the shores of western Europe. When this happened, shore-dwellers reported seeing huge "tidal-waves" surging out of the west. Although the god was not usually seen in full, some men reported observing his naked legs seemingly rotating in the waves as they rushed ashore, ravaging the coast. It was this illusion that led to the representation of the triad of legs seen on the standard of the Isle of Man. It is generally assumed that this “god” had his residence somewhere in North America. ALP , AILP A mortal underworld-spirit, sometimes identified as the familiar of a human baobh or bodach, sometimes counted as a member of the Daoine sidh. A night-visitor; the causative agent in bad dreams. Gaelic. alp , a high mountain, Ir. Gaelic ailp (m.), ailpean (f. & pl.); any huge mass or nearly immovable lump of material. Confers with obs. Ir. Gaelic ailpin , a cudgel. Also confers with the Latin albe , white, from which the Gaelic Alba , Scotland, and albannach , a Scot. Thus, the suspicion that this creature was, originally, a Gaelic boabh or bodach. This supernatural is related to the Middle English ylp , or elp , from which the English words elf , and elephant , the former a denzin of

darknesss, the latter, an ample mountain-like animal. The Anglo-Saxon aelf confers more directly with the German alp , a nightmare incubus. Also resembles auf , or oaf , a Scandinavian word used to describe a youthful elf , a changeling left to replace a human child; hence a deformed, troublesome, simple or idiotic individual of human or elfen parentage. The characteristics of the Gaelic alp are those attributed to the English hag, the black annis, and night-visting witches and wizards. The sexes are distinguished in Roman mythology where it is said they were offspring of woods-spirits. The males were known as incubii and were routinely accused of forcing themselves upon woman as they slept. Those who raped men were known as succubi. Women who were impregnated, where there was no obvious male partner, sometimes had their condition blamed on a visitation by a god, but in the latter days, the incubi and succubi were implicated. In England, the alp was commonly known as the night-elf or nightmare, the latter from its occasional appearance as a horse, as well as from its habit of sitting upon people while they slept, riding them like horses as they lay dreaming. The alp mounted the chest or back of the sleeper, gripping human hair like reins. These dark creatures were usually invisible, but were shape-changers who could materialize as cats, dogs, mice, snakes, or a less definable species, according to the individual's worst fears. The huge weight of the alp left the victim panting for breath and bathed in a night sweat. People who suffered this imposition said they were sexually assaulted in their dreams and often found their hair lutinized, or pleated, so that it was impossible to comb. The alps also belaboured domestic animals in a similar fashion, and men and animals who were repeatedly "ridden" often fell ill and died. In Petronius' Satyricon, the author said he was uncertain about the size of the the "incubo", but suggested that they wore red caps (precisely like their Gaelic cousins) and watched over treasure. He claimed to knew of one individual who "snatched the cap of an Incubo and found a treasure." Researching Italian folklore in 1880, Thomas Keightley found the species still in evidence but known by other names,it was then called the "monaciello" (little monk): "He appears to people in the dead of night, and beckons them to follow him...he (sometimes) leads them to some place where treasure is concealed. Several are said to have made sudden

fortunes through him." 11 Keightley noticed that this creature was involved in household pranks, particularly the stripping away of quilts and bedclothing. This led him to suppose that "the Monaciello is the same kind of being as the House-spirit of the Gotho-German nations. He seems to belong peculiarly to Naples, for we have not heard of him in any other part of Italy. Now we are to recollect that this was the very place in whicch the Normans (i.e Old Norse) settled, and so he may be their Nis or Kobold..."12 There is no certainty that this sidh-creature was not borrowed from the far north, for he is certainly a cousin of the Scandinavian alfar (see elf). Keightley thinks that the word "alfar" might have had an original meaning close to that of the Annglo-Saxon "ghost" and the Anglo-Norman "spirit". It may be noted that the alfar were of two kinds; the liosalfar, or light elfs being allied with Odin's mortal-gods, and the svatraflar who were Loki's dubious helpmates. In the prose Edda, it was said that some of the elfs lived at the base of Yggdrasil (the world-tree) near Urdar (earth) fountain. "There are many fair cities there. There is a city which is called Alf-heim (elf-home) where dwelleth that people that is called Liosalfar (light elfs). But the Doockalfar (dark elfs,i.e svartalfar) dwell below under ground, and are unlike them in appearance and still more in actions. The Liosalfar are whiter than the sun...but the Dockalfar are blacker than pitch." 13 The Acadians called the alp the cauchemar (pro. kuj-mar), The word made reference to a "mare", a pond or pool spirit, who could cause men to "coucher", or sleep. In Holland this alp was known as the "maere"; in Russia, the "mora". She was also the Gaelic "morag", the water-horse of Irish and Scottish bogs, who has her earliest configuration in the goddess Mhorrigan or Morgan. Here is what Keightley says of the species as found in Brittany, France: "The Bretons also believe in Mermaids, they call them Morgan (sea-women) and Morverc'h (sea-maids), and say that they draw men down to their palaces of gold and crystal at the bottom of the sea or
11Keightley, 12eightley,

Thomas, World Mythology, London (1880), p. 440.

Thomas, World Mythology, London (1880), p. 450.

Thomas, World Mythology, London (1880), p. 64. quoting Har as he responds to Ganglar in the prose Edda.


ponds..." These were the creatures sometimes referred to as the korrigans or korreds in other parts of France, who residents of Cornwall called the korridgwens or horridgwens. There are similar names in Old Gaelic, especially "moruach" or "murivgach (sea-maids),” which Crofton Croker claims confers with the modern Irish "merrow". 14 The korrigans and morgans, like the Scandinavian nornir, were residents of the underground, who spent most of their waking hours at nearby springs and fountains. The first of these have been related to the historic Gallicenae, nine druid virgin priestessses of ancient Gaul, who lived on an island in the English Channel (see Fairy). The Celts are just as confident that their Mhorrigan was stationed in northern Ireland, where she supervised a similar pagan cult known as the befind. The Nornir have the same character and appearance, but were located on Odesoe, or Odin's Island, in the Kattegut, due east of Denmark It was said that all of these female "night-mares" were diminutive, but with "well-proportioned bodies." Wherever they were found, they dressed in the unisexul "albus", a high-necked, long-sleeved, white linen kilt. Beneath the water their long hair was seen to be blonde, but when they emerged, it was observed as having the colour of seaweed or crowfeathers. At night, theese ladies seemed to possess hair that radiated an inner light, but by day their hair became white and dead-looking. Their beauty and their voices were an irresistable attraction to men. Males who saw the korrigans at their bath had to marry them within three days or die for their failure. Those that did were often disappointed as the seawomen were seen to as less than beautiful by the light of day. All showed their sea-heritage in slightly webbed fingers and toes, but their eyes gleamed with the red fires of slowly burning coals and their skin was terribly wrinkled as all were of advanced age.

In Atlantic Canada, humans and animals that suffered from the attention of the alpe were referred to as alp-, witch-, or hag-ridden. Helen Creighton described a typical incident at Preston, near Dartmouth, Nova Scotia: "(The man) went in his barn and found his horse wet and foaming at the mouth as though it had been ridden hard. He decided it had been witch-ridden, so he went to the store and got ten new needles and

Crofton, Irische Elfenmaarchen, Frankfurt (1966).

ten new pins and put them in a bottle. Then he went to a lake, filled the bottle with water, so it would sink, and then dropped the bottle in the lake. After that the horse was not ridden by witches any more." 15 The protective device mentioned above was a "witch-bottle". A step seems to have been omitted from this "counter-charm", since it was usual to include urine, hair or fecal matter from the afflicted animal in the bottle. It was assumed that the alp-spirit supplanted that of the horsespirit, perhaps chasing it from the body of the animal. Any part being representative of the whole, "drowning" a portion of the body of the horse was expected to reflect upon the resident familiar-spirit, and from it upon the prime soul, located at a distance. in the body of the witch. She was expected to drown in fact, as her spirit went to the bottom by proxy. Once this invading spirit was destroyed the animal-spirit could return, or regain control over its legal body. As a rule most of these night-visitors remained invisible, only appearing to individuals in their dreams, but an exception was noted at East Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, where Mr and Mrs Jim B. were visited by the “alp” of Mrs. L., "who was supposed to be a witch." Jim was in the habit of getting breakfasts for himself and his wife, and usually cut the meat needed for that meal before going to bed. One night he he concluded this operation by driving his "sheathing-knife" into a back-board above the pantry shelf. He then joined his wife in bed, and the two lay awake talking, and finally rested quietly in the darkness although neither was asleep. The door-latch lifted and footsteps sounded across the floor. The couple did not move, but both watched in amazement as an ethereal figure, which had the appearance of a young girl, climbed onto the foot of their bed. At first Jim made no moves against her but when she was close, he reached out and grasped her by one arm. While he struggled with her, he cried out to his wife to get the knife. He suspected he was dealing with a witch-familiar, and intended to cut of the night-visitor's arm thus injuring the distant alpean through her cowalker. While Mrs. Jim sought the knife, the little girl struggled so hard she twisted her arm off in the man's hands; after that the visitor dematerialized along with its separated arm. The pair searched the house in vain for any remnant of the familiar or the knife. They had no further dealings with Mrs. L., and the


Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1968), p. 27.

knife was back in the wood-work when the couple awoke in the morning. 16 This story is interesting in the fact that Mrs. L. was described as "a tall thin woman" rather than as a dimnutive girl. While cowalkers frequently took the form of adults, they did not age after the fashion of humans, and frequently showed themselves in the adolescent form of the individual who was their host and double. The alpean had the ability to sense the intent of those who opposed them, and to cast spells that made objects temporarily invisible to men. Any damage done to a familiar was bound to reflect upon the boabh, or witch, by the next rising of the sun. Mr. Richard Hartlin occupied a house at South-East Passage, Nova Scotia, a place constructed from the wood of wrecks washed up on the nearby beach. The spirits of these unhappy ships became those of the house, and the inhabitants were finally forced to abandon it for a number of smaller outbuildings. Before that happened Richard had a meeting with one of the alpean. Harltin said: "The only time I actually saw anything was one Sunday afternoon. After I ate my dinner I lay down and fell into a doze of sleep (or so) I thought. After I got to sleep there was somethin' pressing me and I couldn't wake or couldn't turn over about half an hour and, when I woke, I seen this person go from me to the windy and she was a woman with a black and white spotted dress on and I was a lather of sweat with the water pouring off me as big as marbles. Whatever it was, a witch or not, God knows." 17 Consulting with his relatives Hartlin came to the conclusion that this was a visiting witch rather than one of the resident spirits. They exorcized it by taking nine letters randomly selected from a Bible, reversing these, and printing them on a pine board. This was placed over the entryway to the house where it blocked further "troubling". The Bible was considered the prime source of Christian "God spells", just as the various grimoires were thought to embody the "gisreags", or "fire-spells" of the alpean. Even those who could not release spells from the printed pages, through the magic of reading, could employ the letters, which were elements of these spells, as countercharms. Witches were
16Creighton, 17Creighton,

Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1968), p. 53. Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, Toronto (1976) p. 275.

known to reverse the language of the Bible in their sabattical rites, thus the letters were reversed to have their most potent influence on those they were directed against. At Oven Head, in 1965, Helen Creighton interviewed Alma J. who told her, "About three years ago I went to bed one night and lay with my face to the wall and after the light was out I turned around and when I did, there was a cat jumped right up on the pillow and acme down here on my right shoulder, and when it got on my chest I grabbed it and threw it back on the bed. The witch fell the next day and cracked three of her ribs. If you hurt a witch at night, whatever happens to them will come in the daylight. That is why she didn't fall at night." 18 Occasionally men got the better of these night-travellers by sheer force of will. At East River Point, Nova Scotia, "There was a woman who used to come to a man at night and turn him into a horse and ride him. The next morning he would be tired out, so a friend offered to take his place. When the witch took him out to put the bridle on, he put it on her instead, and she never came back there again."19 In this case the hag-rider may be thought to represent sexual ascendancy, events in a dream, real happenings, or some combination thereof. Again, the alpean might be thought of as familiars, independent evil-spirits, or spiritual projections upon completely innocent animals. This last possibility explains why Maritimers are still loathe to allow cats to sleep in the same room with an infant. It was a general fear that children exposed to spiritual invasions by proxy might become permanently "spell-bound", or die from "crib-death". The latter was most often credited to the smothering actions of the alpean. In the Victorian era, men could not explain instances of "infantile paralysis" and sudden death, but they thought to better it by naming the condition "narcolepsy". A medical "magician" of that age declared that this was "a benumbed state, stupor or torpor, very like that induced by a narcotic, characterized by brief eliptiform attacks of deep sleeep." It
18Creighton, 19Creighton,

Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1968), p. 52. Helen, Folklore of Lunenburg County, Toronto (1956), p.


might have been just as effective to know the true name of the offending night mare, for it was once confidently said that "the only way to scare the Night-Elf away is to pronounce his real name aloud." Spontaneous black-outs of the breathing centres of the lower-brain, followed by oxygen starvation, are now known to produce "narcolepsy", but the root cause of these interactions is still unclear. Before any medical intervention was possible, the first line of defense was prevention: In the middle ages the century plant, St. John's wort, verbena, and the Palma Christi were hung about as prophylactics against night-visitors. In this century, these have been abandoned, but we are only moderately enlightened, substituting the local rowan and its berries for the plants mentioned above. Admittedly, few local sleepers have attempteed to escape notice by wearing amulets consisting of spirited-stones or dried wolf's hide, but there are still those who tie a red cloth or thread about the throats of animals or people thought to be at hazard. This is undoubtedly an attempt at sympathetic magic. According to Scottish legend, red was the colour of the gods and the sidh, and red berries were the "fruit of the gods" once guarded by the dragon of Loch Awe. Odin's folk depended on the Idun's apples for their extended lifespan, just as the sidh resorted to eating the "feis goibniu" or "feast against aging". A Scottish mortal purloined this fruit for his mother, but it poisoned her, thus our ancestors became suspicious of red berries, equating it with debunked, but still powerful, god-spirits. Hanging these branches was spiritually harmless to men, but it did confuse night mares, who interpreted this as evidence that a god-spirit or some allied sidh lived within. Idun's apples are still represented in crab-apples, which until recently were left standing about to disuade night-elfs Similar results could be obtained by inscribing a pentagram or an image of a pig's head on the door, but it was generally agreed that this might be misunderstood by neighbours. It was usually considered more discrete to hang mistletoe, or hop-vine complete with leaves, over one's bed, both plants being associated with the elder gods. Flax, or hemp, used in the weaving of linen cloth, had certain psychedelic properties when smoked and was thought useful in confusing the sidh. When it was strewn before the door, or in a room, it was said that the night-elf would spend the entire evening gathering the individual kernals. Any of the actions usually taken to subvert witchcraft functioned

against the alpean, thus our immediate ancestors used to drive a knife, or a nail, or a fish-hook into each window ledge and door-jamb, knowing that the sidh and unbound human-spirits were turned aside by steel and iron, metals anciently used in the defeat of the old gods of Europe. An iron horseshoe inverted above a doorway always caught the gaze, and spirit, of the alpean who supposedly bounced back and forth between the tines until released at the first light of day. To deter this kind, a Blandford, Nova Scotia, woman suggested: "Sleep with a prayer book under the pillow for a witch charm. I knew a woman who couldn't sleep and she would see a black cat come into her room and she would get nightmares. She used to put the prayer book under her pillows and sleep with her legs crossed."20 Some men suggest crossing the arms as well as the legs before going to sleep while others claimed it was imperative to erect rowan-crosses before the doors and windows of the house. Still others said that a few sprigs pulled from a broom placed under the pillow, or an entire broom laid across and entryway, kept these evil-spirits confused and at a distance. Where practical, these remedies were extended to animals, thus a Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, horse-owner put a bag of salt about his animal's neck explaining, "If I didn't put that bag of salt there the witches would ride that horse so hard tonight that tomorrow I wouldn't be able to get any further than Dartmouth, it'd be that tired out." If all these attempts at sympathetic magic failed, rites of expulsion were sometimes effective. Catholics declared that the alpean were scared off if Jesus' name, or the names of the Trinity, happened to be declared in a loud voice. The outward sign of the cross cancelled their power, but if a man lay frozen in a nightmare, it could be broken by signalling this same cross with the tongue. The alpean dematerialized to enter rooms through minute cracks and crevices, so if all but one entry was barred, it was possible to contain one of them by driving a pre-prepared cork or wooden bung into the remaining opening while the spirit was within the room. This done, they would typically pass through a number of shape-changes to escape capture, but could be cornered if wounded or seized by the hair of the head. In some families alp-gloves were actually passed down from one generation to the

Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1968), p. 38.

next, and these were invariable magic against the spells of the shapeshifters. A curious method of containing the alp was to pound a cork very ostentatiously into the neck of a bottle. Showing some cupidity, and not a little stupidity, the night mare was seen to unstopper and enter the bottle, where he paused to urinate. At this, a wise man would quickly drive the stopper back into place, afterwards sinking the bottled spirit in the deepest sink-hole, or lake, of the land. At this writing I have been widowed from my wife of nearly four decades for a period of six months. Soon after she died I made unverbalized complaints to the empty air that I had no idea how I should remember her. It was not long before she made her appearance in a dream in the form of a beautiful young girl with dark curly hair. She cocked her head in a characteristic manner and said: “This isn’t easy to do, I hope you’re satisfied!” Much later, we had visitors in the house in connection with mmy youngest’s daughter’s wedding. There were enough beds to accomodate everyone but finding myself short a pillow, I applied a pillowcase to a square feather-filled Edwardian cushion which had been in my wife’s family for many years. It had an Art-Nouveux pattern on one side, encorporating sweet clover. I might not have used it if I had recalled that Anne had used it to support herself in her last days. As she was slowly suffocating from pulmonory edema she found that standard pillows would not raise her head high enough for her to get breath so that she could sleep. In any instance I was very tired and so placed this on my own bed and went to sleep in an unusual face-up position. Near dawn I was pulled into a dream by feelings of suffocation and sexual arousal. In the dream I opened my eyes and found my “wife” lying upon me. My comment was, “This is impossible, you’re dead!” Her smiling reponse was: “I don’t think so!” Shortly, I was fully awake in the pale dawn and there have been no dreams of her since. - R. Mackay. AMADAN-NA-BRIONA A mortal underworld-spirit of the Gaelic-speaking Celts, possibly an adherent of Aod, the ancient sun or fire-god. ment , not + with a mind. Similar to the Latin mentis , mind.

; am +

Scot. Gaelic omadhaun , Ir.Gaelic, amadan (eme-da-n) m. pl. amadid , a fool; na , the one which is; briona , fiery. Amadan is derived

from am + ment , without a mind. Described by Nancy Arrowsmith as one of the sidh, "the most dreaded individual in faerie". Represented as Jack in the tale "Jack And His Master." 21 Lady Gregory said that those who encountered the Amadan became perpetual prisoners of their own fear. The word survives in Atlantic Canada as amadon, amaden or omaden, omadawn, omadhawn, omidown or omigon (ah-me-dahn), a fool or simpleton, an individual given to the constant recall of past glories. 22 One of the Tuatha daoine, or warrior-gods, reduced by the Milesians and forced to retreat to the hollow hills. All of the fire-spirits had their origin in the elemental known as Aod (pronounced qY), who was given charge of all forms of fire by the creator-god. The anglicized Kay had a small part in the medieval romances, where he served as seneschal to King Arthur. It was said that his heated character melted snow for a foot about his body and that rain boiled away from his person. Sea-water reacted in a similar way, and he was observed to be able to spend a week beneath the tide-line, breathing the oxygen which his body created by hydrolysis. Kay was one of the first said gifted with the "sealladh cliar", or telescopic sight, which enabled him to spy on distant happenings. The ancient version of this seneschal had control over all events attending fire-festivals, including the selection of sacrificial victims, another reason he had to be treated with respect. The amadan travelled as a corpse-candle or gopher-light, an ill-omened fireball, whose touch meant death. This side-hill dweller may be equated with the death-god Aog, or Bis, the taker of souls at the Nollaig, or Yule. Yule festivities, among men, used to include the appointment of a amadan, whose duties included the organization of entertainments and food for the Yule-tide. His position was often awarded as the result of a draw in which he was "black-balled." During the twelve days of this festival, the human amadan (assumed to be a reincarnate Amadan na briona) took the responsibilities and liberties of kingship, and for a brief spell had the powers of life and death over his "subjects." When his term was up, the amadan was summarily killed, and burned, and his ashed spread on the fields to inspire the crops with his
21Jacobs, 22Pratt,

Joseph, Celtic Fairy Tales (NY) 1968, pp.182-191.

T.K., Dictionary of Prince Edward Island English (Toronto), p. 105. Pratt suggests that the usual local form is omadan. He says the word confers with gommie, kittardy, nosic, oshick and stouk, and defines the type as "one who is always lamenting."

"firey-spirit" in the coming growing season. ANGEL A Christian elemental-spirit, corresponding in every respect with the pagan flygiar, befind, runner, cowalker or second-soul. Old French, angele from the Latin angelus , a messenger; confers with the Anglo-Saxon angel or engel , probably relating to their mortal sun-god Engvi-Frey . From him we have England and the Germanic tribe known to history as the English . In Jewish, Christian and Muslim theology the messenger of God, corresponding with the various imps of the Devil. These are the pagan spirits, which some called alpean, and others, the bad-luck johnnys, befind, corpse-candles, cowalkers, doppelgangers, doubles, fetches, fylgiar, gophers, hoodoos, jinxers, nornir, or runners (all of which, see). Their conversion to Christianity is shown in the name changes that accompanied missionary activity in northern Europe. The family once known as Alprich (rich elfs) became Engelrich (rich angels) and the Alpharts, the Engelharts . In Christian mythology, the angel became a replacement for the nornir, or flygiar, which the English called the cowalker or runner. As such, this spirit was given as to humans as a protector at birth. Surprisingly, more Maritimers have seen the Devil, or his devils, than God and his angels. Being benign, angelic visitations have lacked dramatic appeal and have never been newsworthy. A man at Parkers Cove, Nova Scotia, said that his sister heard a "heavenly choir" perform "A Perfect Day from the corner of her bedroom, just as her brother was departing his life, the angels taking the part of forerunners. At Sambro, the "birds" sung a dirge for a family member who was "passing the bar." At Middleton, the entire couuntryside was entertained with holy song at the death of a staid Christian elder. At Sambro Head, angel bands played "Softly Fades the Twilight Ray of the Holy Sabbath Day" on a celestial piano. Again, an angel warned a Tancook man that his death was at hand. He thanked the messenger, set his affairs in order and was in his grave within the week. At Karsdale, New Brunswick, three knocks at the door were answered to find a woman dressed in white, bearing a cross of white lilies. Before she could think of the significance of this offering Mrs. A.B. Thorne accepted the condolances, and the next day, received word that her

brother had died at precisely that time. At Grand Anse, Nova Scootia, a trucker travelled three miles of pulp-wood roads in a condition of semiconsciousness. When he came around he found a traditional angel hovering five feet from his hood, “and knew that it had been his guide areound the bends and curves...”23 Captain William Hatfield was aboard a ship that grounded and broke apart in a heavy storm off the coast of Nova Scotia: "A funny thing happened to me the night the "Zebenia" went ashore. I started out of the cabin when something went flying by me and it seemed like an angel. It was a very dark night but I could see it plainly. It all happened quickly, but I could see it come right down through the galley doors. I thought it was coming for me and I put my hands up to stop it, for it had slanted right down towards me. An hour afterwards the other three fellows were dead." Angels have acted as protectors as well as forerunners. Many years ago two children were lost in a wooded area outside Sambro. The woods were close to the shore and the land very deep cut with high cliffs above a pounding surf. Parents and friends felt that the worst had happened but searchers combed the area and were surprised to find the children looking happy and untroubled. When they questioned them the two delinquents seemed surprised that they had been considered in danger. An angel, they explained, had ssat with them through the night. 24 Again, Rosella Sampson of Grand Anse, Nova Scotia, told of a cousin who was driving his last load of pulp to a mill when he fell asleep at the wheel. When he suddenly became conscious of his surroundings he had no memory of the last three miles of road which he had traversed. What jolted him awake was "a vision of a beutiful angel, dressed in a white robe, and moving its wings as slowly as a butterfly resting on a flower. The angel appeared to hover over the hood of the truck's engine, four or five feet away, and facing the driver." ANU DUBH


David Lloyd,Island of Ghosts (1992) p. 65. Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, Toronto (1976), pp 112-117.


A mortal earth-spirit of the Gaels, probably correpondent with the matriarchal-goddess Aoine, Anu, Danu or Dana, the mate of Dagda. Ir. Gaelic, anuas (enu-es), one down from above; dubh (duv) black. The black annis or black anne of southern England. She was an earthgoddess, recognized as the mate of the god Dagda and the ancestress of the Tuatha daoine later known as the sidh (which, see). Anu was thought of as a protector of this race, a spirit of light and and wisdom, who helped her people overcome the Fomorian giants. In later mythology, she was considered a minor spirit of the fenns and bogs, a boogie-woman with cannibalistic tastes. The word which is modified corresponds with anam , soul and with anasta , stormy, and ancachd, adversary. Note also annrath , distress, and annrach , a wandering stranger. Confers with the English spirit termed the Black Anus . See Aoine , which is another equivalent. AOG An underworld spirit, the familiar of the Gaelic death-god Bas, a creature characterized as the collector of the souls of dead men and animals. Scot. Gaelic, from the earlier form eug , death. Confers with the Welsh angeu , the Cornish and Brythonic ancou and the Latin nex , from the Sankrist, nac , to perish. This death-spirit corresponds with the Scottish Nathir (the one who is not father-like), the evil alter-ego of the Oolathir (Allfather), sometimes called King Arthur. His female equivalent was his half-sister, the witch named Morgan, who bears a relationship with the Mhorrigan of ancient Ireland. She was termed the Samh in her gentler incarnations and the Cailleach Bheur, when she appeared as the soul-seeking goddess of the winter season. These male and female personifications of death appear in Scandinavia as Odin and Frigga; in Germany as Wuotan and Frau Gode; and in Anglo-Saxon England as Irmin (iron man) and Irenasaxa (iron sword). They are similar to the the Irish spirit named Bile, a Celtic chief lost in the Milesian invasion of Ireland, later identified as their death-god. The Cymric equivalent was Wynn ab Nudd (wind of night), sometimes identified as the chief of the Welsh Tylwyth Teg (white piglets, or little people), the equivalent of the sidh. On the continent, the Celtic death-god was Dis,

who the Romans identified as Dispater (father Dis) the equivalent of Pluto, god of their underworld. In Anglo Saxon myth, it was sometimes suggested that the death-god was Herla, whose troops comprised the Herlathing. Herla or Haarla (the hard one) probably relates to the Teutonic twin-kings known as the Harlungen. The Middle-English word "harlot" derived from this source and originally identified a "churl, rogue, rascal, a low and loose individual, of either sex." Haarla almost certainly relates to the goddess Hel, the daughter of the fire-god Loki and the giantess Angurboda (perpetual anger). He is similar in character to the Old French harlequin and the feminine harlequina. It is noteworthy that the Middle English "harlot" is derived from an old French model, the earliest definition being, "a male mercenary or servant, a juggler, buffon, fool or entertainer." In ancient France, it was suggested that men yielded their final breath of life to Mesnee d'Hellequin (the harlequin or overlord of the Hel-queen). By the middle ages, the old pagan Hunt was described as Cain's Hunt or Herod's Hunt, further defaming the character of these Biblical villains. In Central France, the Wild Huntsman came to be called "le Grand Veneur de Fontainebleau" (the Great Hunter of Fontainbleu) in memory of another noted bad-guy. It was claimed that his cries were heard all over France just before the outbreak of the French Revolution. The Micmac Indians claimed that their guardian of the dead lands was Paapkutparut, an individual who had once been a man. He was known to the white-men of Maritime Canada as the woods-whooper (which, see), a spirit-name most likely derived from that of the British hooter. In highland Scotland, the Hunt was entitled the "sluag sidh" (the sidh thing), suggesting that Aog was one of the "side-hill" folk. While he was mortal, this creature was periodically reincarnated to lead the Hunt, a motley crew of living and dead spirits, who lowlanders termed the "unsely (unsilly or serious) court". The sluagh sidh travelled counter-clockwise on the northern winds, particularly during the "daft days" (Yuletide). The thunder and lightning of that season were taken as signs of its flight and Christian men crossed themselves to prevent their souls from joining the assembly. They were careful not to "sain" the sky, or mock the sounds that they heard, for fear the Host would carry them bodily into the sky. Those who directed words of the encouragement at the passing army of the dead, or who left fodder in the fields for this army, were sometimes rewarded with a haunch of meat thrown down from the storm clouds. They

were advised not to look too closely at the species being offered, but to keep it until dawn, at which it would appear converted into gold. Men who chanced to annoy the sidh-travellers were gifted with a tiny whining black dog, which refused to leave their hearth for a full year. The spirits who commanded the dead usually carried a magic spear, wand or staff, which shed snow and cold wherever it travelled, and was the source of searing-energies which could turn men into burnt toast. Mary L. Fraser says that the pioneers of Atlantic Canadqa kept close watch following a death, "Lest a little white animal resembling a weasel might get into the house without their knowledge. This creature is surpassingly like the local Indian mischief-maker named Lox whose totem form was the wolverine, or “Indian devil.” This little animal was a warning that the Aog - a spirit of evil attendant at wakes - had come to the house. If it came, they would take a piece of steel and pass it through the flour, meal, and all the food that was in the pantry. If this precaution was neglected, these materials would become useless; yeast would have no effect on the flour, etc. This would surely be a great misfortune at a funeral, for all the time the corpse was in the house the table was kept set and meals were served to everybody who came...While the coffin was being made...the body was laid on a funeral couch made of boards and draped with white sheets. A tiny plate containing salt was placed on the chest of the corpse and the blinds closely drawn. This may have been done to exclude the Aog."25 Speaking of the dead, Mrs. William Deveaux of Belle Marche, Cape Breton, added further details: "(The body) would be in the front room. There'd be nothing else, no furniture, maybe a table to put a lamp on...They used to keep the corpse two days...they used to keep them one day like to give people time to make the coffin...they used to put a piece of cloth, like a large handkerchief on their face. And whoever wanted to see them used to lift the handkerchief...And people would come to visit. A full house every night. We used to stay up day and night. You wouldn't leave the body alone. It was the style then; never to leave the corpse alone...After midnight maybe a dozen would stay...The coffin would all be black, except


Mary L., Folklore of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 51.

the children's. Children's coffins were always covered with white. 26 The rites of death in old Gaelic Nova Scotia were invariable: The immediate family went immediately into black clothes and mourning, leaving physical details to their nearest and dearest neighbours. The rarely used "living-room" of the house was opened, aired-out, and heated for all great ceremonies, including the wake. The "boards", long, true, heavy and free from knots, were brought out of storage at this time. They were placed upon saw-horses and draped with sheets, which extended up the adjoining wall. The windows were either draped with sheets or the blinds pulled. Mirrors and pictures were usually removed from the room, but if they were left they were masked with sheets. As Mrs. Devereaux has noted, coffins could not be purchased from an undertaker's show-room, so the body was dressed and placed directly on the boards, the face being covered as noted above. The body was then given its plate of salt and the mourners began their visitations. Where the relatives were widely separated, the wake extended from two to three days and nights. All the members of the community made brief appearances at the wake, the closest relatives staying the longest time. Some attention had to be given the matter of feeding large numbers of people who were away from their homes. Fraser explained: "All during the day lunch was served to everyone who went to the house. It would be discourteous for anyone to leave without eating. In fact, one trusty friend was charged with the office of seeing that no one was overlooked...for it was believed that every bite served during the wake went towards the release of the soul if it were suffering in purgatory..."27 The "lunch" consisted of pre-prepared cold cuts and oatmeal "nibblers", sometimes offered on a self-serve basis. Through the day, several neighbourhood women laboured over wood-stoves in the kitchen, preparing a "suipeir" which was offered to those still on the premises at eight o'clock. "The best that could be procured was set before the company. The guests succeeded one another at table after table until all were served." 28 We Buried Our Dead", from Down North, ed. Ronald Caplan, Toronto, (1980) p. 232.
27raser, 26"How

Mary L., Folklore of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 151. Mary L., Folklore of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 111.


The men and boys were not totally inactive during wakes, but they contributed little to the initial rites beyond erection of the boards. Once they had given some attention to the corpse, most of them assembled outof-doors where the "better-disposed" amused themselves by playing quoits or games of horseshoes. Cape Breton historian A.A. Mackenzie has confided that, "Wakes were on the face of it, rather sober, sedate affairs in comparison to the noisy pagan rituals that shook the roofs of the wakehouses of old Ireland." Nevertheless,he admitted, "the "great time" of many wakes was the clandestine gathering of menfolk around a keg o' rum out in the barn..."29 All were called to the supper-table at eight, and required to appear afterwards for the recitation of prayers in the death-chamber. Summarizing that rite, Mackenzie said: "In Cape Breton there was plenty of grub, lashins of tay (tea), Irish twist tobacco and clay pipes for the men. The priest led the company in saying the beads and the litany, and neighbours would stay the night with the corpse."30 Although the prayers were "quite lengthy" this was partially offset by the pleasanter rite of smoke-making. By the time the prayers had concluded most people were content to take their leave, the corpse being left in the company of "chosen friends of the family, mostly men...They spent the time telling fables (myths and legends). If a song or tune came into any of these...they did not hesitate to sing it." 31 When twoi or three nights had passed, the day came for committal and burial. In the earliest times the coffin was placed "on the shoulders of six able-bodied men. It was considered a sign of disrespect to have a horse convey the remains to their last resting place. If the distance to the graveyard was considerable, these men were relieved by others along the route. A piper went in advance, playing a lament; appointed wailers followed. wailing out the praises of the dead. Behind these came a man carrying a jar of liquor; then the rest of the procession. Before they left

A.A., The Irish In Cape Breton, Antigonish (1979), pp.


Mackenzie, A.A., The Irish in Cape Breton, Antigonish (1979), p. 60. Mary L., Folklore of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 111.


the graveyard, food and liquor were passed to all present." 32 Unfortunately the route to the graveyard was literally "a rocky road to hell" for some funeral parties. Since everyone attended the wakes, this drew together quarreling, if not warring, clans. When they met, under the influence of alcohol, they invariably took "chips" off one another, and shouting matches occasionally led to fistcuffs, which culminated in lawsuits and murder. In the best situations, the path to the graveyard was short, in the worst, the corpse was sometimes forgotten, or joined by others, as Aog found his way among men. In Cape Breton, the presence of this "evil-one" was seen in supernatural events that dogged funeral parties. Men attempting to transport a corpse from Kilkenny Lake to the "shore road" in Cape Breton were fortunate in having some assistance from "angels". While the dark forces gathered in a stream of scudding wind, the party passed through it "with never a blessed candle blowing out in that terrible gale of wind."33 A.A. Mackenzie thought that this description "strained credulity", but noted it was "an extreme manifestation of the old belief that God controls the power of nature (to further) His own ends." He added that this was another attempt to compromise the old rites by attaching them to similar "Christian myths". The medieval Church made little fuss over pantheism where it did not offend doctrines of morality. Hearses finally took up the burden and fewer quarrels had time to mature as transportation became quicker. "Corpse wagons", or undertaker's vans, were, nevertheless, regarded with some fear: "Indeed a part-time undertaker near Lingan kept the hearse in a barn with other wagons, carts and slovens. After some years of use the hearse had ghosts clustered so thick that he had to shove them aside to get near the other vehicles!" 34 In the last years of the 1970's, Mrs. William Deveau told an interviewer that, "We've only had the funeral home since a few years. Even some today, when they die, they say don't put me in the funeral home. Still, there they get embalmed...When your embalmed you're sure then. But

Mary L, Follore of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 112. A.A., The Irish In Cape Breton, Antigonish (1976), p. 61. The Irish In Cape Breton, Antigonish (1976), p. 60.

33Mackenzie, 34Mackenzie,

it's not necessary. If you see something change (evidence of decay), you know very well that he's dead...My mother-in-law, my father-in-law and my husband weren't embalmed. They were right here in the front room." 35 The idea that men might be long absent from their bodies without marked deterioration of their shell was basic to the old beliefs. The wake was extended over three days to allow wandering-spirits to return, to give those who had decided to remain dead time for mature consideration as they wandered in the spirit-world. The restlesss spirits that clustered about hearses were the "bochdan", those unable to retire to the earth because of a death trauma and the need for revenge. Some were thought to remain undead, and even capable of materialization, if they had a need to complete unfinished business such as the repayment of a debt or completion of an unfulfilled oath or promise. As for the Aog, his presence was detected behind the surface of mirrors and reflective surfaces. The folklorist, Sir James George Fraser, thought that mirrors were covered after a death because the spirits of the living were at hazard from those of the dead. He said, "It is feared that the soul, projected out of the person in the shaper of his reflection in tyhe mirror, may be carried off by the ghost of the departed, which was commpnly thought to linger about the house till the burial." That last part was correct, but friends and relatives of the deceased could hardly be at hazard. The truth is, mirror surfaces were seen as doors to the "lefthanded world". New-born children were kept from mirrors because it was known that their weak primary soul-spirits could stolen into the alternate world. One name given the soul-thief was Aog, and the reason that mirrors were removed or covered at wakes was to prevent his entry into the wakehouse. Once within, he could seize the vulnerable soul-spirit of one newly-dead, and make a retreat into mirror-land. The unmoving eyes of a corpse were themselves reflective surfaces, which explains why they were covered unless the face was being viewed. It was generally held that the Aog could only make entry into a room when humans were inattentive. There is a side issue here in the fact that forerunners of death often appeared in mirrors, and were possibly sympathetically attracted by prior deaths. Mirrors left unguarded by cloth might give an unwanted premature glimpse of the next person destined to die. The belief We Buried Our Dead", as quoted in Down North, ed. Ronald Capalan, Toronto (1980), p. 232.

in a soul-thief also explains why men stayed constantly awake guarding the spirit of the dead. This has a parallel in an old superstition that sick people needed to be guarded against the intrusion of some evil spirit. It was once widely held that sick-room mirrors neeeded to be covered since the soul might be abducted into it. It was also suggested that the very ill should be prevented from sleeping, since the soul was known to wander in that state, and might decide to remain absent from an unwell body. The placing of the corpse upon "planks", "poles". or "boards" relates to the fact that men were anciently considered the kin of tree-spirits. These planks housed spiritual helpers, who might assist the dead if they came into conflict with the unsely court. Salt was considered to have similar protective value, it being noted that the hearts of men pumped a saline fluid. The furniture was cleared from a death-room to give good spirits more freedom of movement in case they happened to materialize. The creation of smoke was a thoroughly pagan means of choking and confusing evil spirits abroad in the air. It was thought probable that there would be a struggle for the soul of a dead man, with ghosts of the living as well as ancestoral spirits, animate and inanimate, on one side, and the allies of the Aog on the other. It used to be the habit for men to lay hands on the body of the corpse, sometimes touching the breast, the former dwelling-place of the heart; and sometimes the head, the ex-residence of the soul. This was a means of swearing unity with the departed in his struggle to be reincarnated (or resurrected in a Christian paradise). If a man was touched by his murderer, it was confidently believed that blood would flow from any wound on the he had received in the fatal struggle. It has also been suggested that it was good luck to touch a dead man because his spirit might afterwards serve as an ally at the time of one's own death. At the least, this act was considered an expression of the idea that those who performed the rite bore no ill will to the departed individual in either life or death. The touching ceremony was considered essential for family members: "When a person dies, other members of the family must touch the corpse with the tips of the fingers (some said the backs of the hands), or kiss it, lest there be another death in the family or other bad luck."36

Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978), p. 150.

In those days, clan unity was seen as a necessity in both life and death, the Aog having the edge where men failed in matters of the spirit. AOINE A mortal passions. love-goddes who inspired men to unfortunate

Scot. Gaelic aoiine , fast; Ir. Gaelic, aine , perhaps from Latin, jejunium . a fasting-day. As seen in Di-haoine , Friday, a pagan fast-day, hence an "unlucky" day by Christian standards. This lady was patroness of Munster, Ireland, the daughter of a Tuathan named Owel, himself the foster-son of the famed sea-god Manan mac Ler. She was raped by King Ailill Olum who she killed using her magical arts. She later favoured a human lover named Fitzgerald and gave birth to the wizrd known as Earl Gerald, the fouth of the line of Desmond.37 Many of the aristocratic families of Munster claim descent from this union and she is remembered in the Hill of Aine (Knockainey). She is prominent in folklore and Rolleston suspected she was still worshipped by the peasantry (1917) at Midsummer's Eve. Usually the pagan religious practises centered on fertility rites starting with a procession bearing torches through fields and orchards. Once when this was not done in one part of Munster (due to a death in the community) citizens neverthlesss observed more lights on the hills than usual. In another year a number of girls who had stayed late on the hill watching the cliars (torches) burn low were met by Aine, who appeared in person thanking them for the honour they hand shown her. At the same time she made it plain that they should leave the hill as "the people (Daoine sidh) wish this place to themselves. In explanation she had each girl, in turn, peer through a golden ring, and beyond it they saw the hill" crowded with people who had been invisible." After this they departed.

disappeared from the world of men in 1398, but it is rumoured that he continues to live beneath the waters of Loch Gur. He has been seen riding his white steed about this body of water once in seven years. He was nicknamed "Gerald the Poet" from the "ingenious" verses he composed in Gaelic.


In our country Aoine is not greatly remembered on St. John's Night or at any other time but some Scots still speak of "a mysterious entity who they call Aoine." There is a proverb still current concerning her: "When the Aoine has got it in her mouth the raven may as well retreat to the hills." Some experts have suggested this merely means that both creatures were talkative "birds" Others suggest that that Aoine remains offended by boorish men and will act against them, her thirst for blood being greater than that of the raven-queen named Morrigan. I have heard it claimed that it is unfortunate to recite the "Ranns (Rhymes) of Aoine" within sight of water, for those who bathe there will drown. Once the ballad is known it comes unwillingly to the minds of those who observe bathers, so that they must fall contrite upon the ground to avoid uttering the fatal words. AONBARR The Gaelic sea-serpent. (ain-barr), aon + barr , the one that is pointed (a reference to the sea-serpent form); the magical "sea-horse" of Manan mac Ler, loaned by him to Lugh to forward the cause of the Tuatha daoine against the Fomorian sea-giants. In Norse mythology it was said that the sea god Hler had nine beautiful daughters, sometimes entitled "the billow maidens" all clad "in transparent blue, white or green veils." These were "the horses of Manan" in Gaelic tales; white steeds, that were a geis, or tabu, of the sun-gods Aod, Lugh and Cu Chullain. At each sunset it was noted that the sun "died" in the western ocean and it was supposed that these horses carried him into the dark realms of the undersea kingdom known as An Domhain. The stallion among the waves was Aonbarr, corresponding with the incarnate Manann mac Ler, a spirit of the sea who could travel as easily upon land as on water. The mythic sea serpents are often described as sheep-, or horseheaded creatures. At Bon Portage Island, Nova Scotia, Helen Creighton interviewed a man who noted, “No sailor wants to dream of horses because they signify high seas.” (BM, p. 127). In a similar vein, she was told, “There is an old whim that if you see something on the water, you musn’t go near it; some fishermen are afraid of it and are too scared to investigate (BM, p. 122).

AOUTMOIN A class of mortal magicians northeastern coast of America when arrived there in 1604. found occupying the the French explorers

Old French, aouguste , one honoured through the presentation of offerings; moine (pronounced mwan), a monk, friar, wonder- worker. As an adverb, moin indicated a person of lesser authority, thus inferior to the main gods of the countryside. This was not a native term for their magicians but one coined by Marc Lescarbot in his History of Acadia. The Wabenaki equivalent wasouahich. The art of these magicians is remembered in the atookwaykun or “wonder tale.” In the Micmac society there were three classes of magician: the kinapamaq, noted for their physical powers; the mentouk, possessors of psychic powers; and the puoinaq, the healers or medicine men of the tribe. The mentouk, who the Ojibwa called the manitouk, produced the most spectacular results, and were often improperly equated with the creatorgod, Kji-kinap (great power). The arts of magic were never severely specialized, but most men mere more advanced in one are than the others. Great magicians, such as the god-giant Glooscap, had great abilities in all kinds of magic. Lescarbot made the first detailed report of the religious beliefs of the Micmacs, whose lands lay east of the Saint John River in what is now New Brunswick Canada: "Our savages have, time out of mind, the use of dances for the purpose of pleasing their gods... In all their dances they sing; some of their dances and songs are to the honour of the devil, which sheweth them their game. They dance also when they feast anybody as a thanks-offering." When Abbe Maillard preached among the Lnuk (Micmac people) in the mid-1700's he noted the natural cadence of their speech and said, "I affect, above all, to rhime as they do..." As a Roman Catholic priest, the Abbe had an understanding of the magic of charms, or the chanting of words. Working with people of this same Algonquin confederacy in 1634, Father Paul Le Jeune discovered that their "superstitious songs were used for "a thousand purposes." Speaking with a magician he learned that men

in want of food were advised to sing, "for when they had sung, they found something to eat." In their song they addressed not only gods, but powerful magicians and other spirits of animals and the land. Lescarbot found that they, "do generally believe in the immortality of the soul and say that after death, good men are at rest, and the wicked in pain (a result of the fact that they were forced to dance without ceasing)." Their beliefs were not Christian since they defined "good men" as those who "have well defended their country taking many of their enemies with them to the death-huts." Further, their belief was in reincarnation, rather than in the ressurection of the body. In the former, spiritual compounds are formed from the recombination of ghosts released to the earth; in ressurection, the body is reformed as a spiritual whole, inviolate, the processes of decay reversed. Lescarbot met with Membertou, "a soothsayer, magician and medicine man", signalling him as chief of all the arts. He was identified as carrying the "mark of his trade, hanging at his neck". This was described as "a purse, triangular in shape, covered with embroidery work, which they termed matachias. What was contained in this I know not, but it was of the bigness of a small nut, and he said this was his "devil" or "aoutim". Six hundred years earlier, a Norse man named Thorstein had visited this same portion of the coast, and in return for a favour, was gifted with one of these triangular badges, which he discovered could be use to influence the weather (see dverge). Thorstein's badge of magic was a stone, but Membertou carried a leather pouch decorated with porcupine quills. Both were triangular and may have symbolized the three aspects of magical power. John Robert Columbo touches on this in writing about the Ojibwa "Manitou": "The Algonkian word for "spirit" is "Manitou" defined in Handbook of Indians of Canada (1912) as "the mysterious unknown potencies and powers of life and of the universe." "Gitchi Manitou" means "great spirit", and "Mitchi Manitou" means "evil spirit." The home of the Manitou is held to be Manitoulin Island, and certainly that island in Georgian Bay has an eerie landscape. Homage was paid to the Manitou by the Algonkian-speaking Ojibway of that region. Not much is known of the nature of the Manitou. In this regard it rather resembles the Third Person of the Christian

Trinity, God the Holy Ghost..."38 We emphasize that the mentouk are not gods, but they are god-like. Ruth Holmes Whitehead has noted their ability to travel between the six worlds: that beneath earth, that beneath the water, that in the sky, that above the sky, ghost world, and the earth known to most men. She says "Mn'tu'k are Persons, entities who do not necessarily need to take form, although they can and do, as it pleases them." Membertou was one of these, but he was also puoinag, one with the power to heal. Those who could heal could also curse and bring down enemies. Thus, the old tales speak of magicians who were abandoned, driven out, or killed by rivals, from a combination of fear and jealousy often coupled withn a desire for revenge. Whitehead has said, "Puoinaq are shape-changers capable of handling enormous Power, well past the domestic magics of the ordinary People. They excel at manipulating reality." The triangle magicians carried was their puoin (sometimes written as buoin), the focal point for their psychic powers. We can guess, from later descriptions, that Membertou's consisted of moosehide patterned with porcupine quills, and that it contained small bits of hide, sticks, stones and bones and a few healing herbs and possibly a variety of poisons. While the pouch contained the ingredients of magic, it was in itself Membertou's "oracle", a physical representation of his cowalker, or external soul. If he wished, he could remove a small portion of animal hide and animate it, projecting the cowalker upon it so that it could gain information in the past, present or future. Lescarbot watched this procedure and reported as follows: "If any be sick, Membertou is sent for. He maketh invocations on his devil (the puoin). They he bloweth on the part which is damaged, maketh incisions and sucketh the bad blood from the place. If there is an open wound he healeth it by applying a round slice of the beaver's stones." This procedure was followed for the following four hundred years, as witness this much later description: "The ordinary procedure of the medicine man was about as follows. He inquired into the symptoms,

John Robert, Columbo's Book of Marvels, Toronto (1979),

p. 111.

dreams and transgressions of tabooo of the patient, whom he examined, and then pronounced his opinion as to the nature (generally mythical) of the ailment. He then prayed, exhorted, or sang, the last. perhaps, to the accompaniment of a rattle; made passes with his hand, sometimes moisted with saliva, over the part affercted; and finally placed his mouth over the most painful part amd sucked hard to extract the immediate principle of the illness. This result was apparently accomplished, often by means of sleight-of-hand, producing the offending cause in the shape of a thorn, pebble, hair, or other object, which was thrown away or destroyed...For these services the healer was usuallly well 39 compensated." If other matters were at hand, Membertou still consulted "his spirit", afterwards rendering "oracles", which Lescarbot observed to be "commonly doubtful, very often false." Nevertheless, the Frenchman admitted that some of the observations on the future were true, "as when he was asked whether Penoniac were dead. He said unless the man rteturned within fifteen days they could count him dead but killed by the Armouchiquois (Iroquois). The savage Membertou also rendered a true account of our coming to Monsieur du Pont...he did affirm that there should come a ship and that his devil had told him." "When the savages be hungered they also go to him and he saith unto them, "Go to such-and-such a place to find game." Sometimes they do so and find some and sometimes not. If none is found, he gives the excuse that the spirit of the beast wanders. More often they find food as promised and this makes them believe that his devil is indeed a god; and they yield no service or adoration to any but Membertou and his devil. This is not to say that there were not other spirits abroad, and in cases of deep trouble they were sometimes consulted for news of what was happening in remote regions. To do this Lescarbot noted that they dug a pit, fixing a staff in the middle of it to which they tied a leather thong. Membertou then put his head at the edge invoking the underworld spirits "in a langauage unknown to the others." "When this devil is come the master Aoutmoin makes them believe that he holdeth him in check by the for Indians of Canada (1913). Published as an Appendix to the Tenth Report of the Geographical Board of Canada. As quoted by John Robert Columbo, Columbo's Book of Marvels, Toronto (1979), p. 115.

cord, which he holdeth fast against his (invisible) body. Thus he forces him to give answers before he will be released. This done, he beginneth to sing (I think) something of praise to this devil, and the savages do answer his chant making concordance and dancing, with songs I understood not." "After their songs," continued Lescarbot, "our savages make a fire and leap over it; but are not detestible as they do not sacrificer men to the devil through it." Lescarbot observed that most of the Micmacs lived to an advanced age, "but Membertou was well over one hundred years, and had not one grey hair. They all have their teeth, and go bareheaded, not caring the least to make hats as do our countrymen when they live in this part of the world." He attributed their good health, not to magic, but to a healthy life style. "Although they sometimes exceed in their "tabagies", or feasts, they diet afterwards, living very often eight days upon the smoke of tobacco. Also, they want no exercise one way or another." Like magicians who lived in Europe, the aoutmoins did not work without recompense. A person cured of disease was expected to give the magician venison or hides. Lescarbot commented that all "questions of the spirit" resulted in the presentation of gifts. "For there is, among these, as with the Greeks, an opinion that, "without money Phoebus, oracles are dumb!"40 The Medea Chant of the Algonquins asked, “Who is mento? Who has Power?” The proper response was always, “He who walketh with a serpent, following it on the ground; he is manito.” Lewis Spence admitted puzzlement at this charm, and left it nboting that the sensuous movements of the snake were wind or water-like, and that winding rivers were termed kennebec or “snake.” He supposed that this identified the snake as a water-deity. This reference is easily understood in terms of shape-changing and the jipjakamaq, “the horned-serpent people (which see).The mentouk were obviously those who could become horned-serpents and regain their human shape at will. The process of shape-change only required that a man lie within the the land print of this sea-serpent, but the reverse process required strong magic.

Marc, History of Acadia, Paris. As quoted by George Frederick Clarke in Someone Before Us, Fredericton (1970), pp. 219-236.


ARQUARHARSEEDEK An enspirited rock-face reserved for inscribing messages. Penobscot. The Earth World itself was influenced by the spirits of air, fire and water. Thus places which were otherwise flat and innocuous had reputations as healing places or places of evil. In the Penobscot world the Arquarharseedek, or “stepping ashore place,” was considered to lie between these extremes: “In the olden times when members of the tribe visited here, they only stopped long enough to make the sign of their visit, showing in which direction they were going (for the information of friends and the distress of enemies), the number of their party and canoes etc. On account of its being a marking place no one was ever allowed to mar or deface its outline by using it for a camping ground. The reason for selecting this place was because it was always the last prominent place, from entering a river from the bay (Fundy), or going out into the bay from the river, Coming and going all stopped here and made their marks. Some were represented by animals, fish and reptiles, and others by well-known implements, the moon, sun, etc. Each mark showed the number of the family and the direction taken.” As noted elsewhere, men imparted some of their spirit to magical totems, thus these places were reservoirs of a great combined power which had to be feared (Joseph Nicolar, 1887). ATHACH The shape-changing the abyss. sea-giants whose original home was

Ir. fathach from the root pat , to extend. The lowland fachan , described as a costal creature with a single eye, hand and leg; apparently a survival of the old Fomorian sea-giants. ATHAIR , ATHAR , ATHRAICHEAN , The Gaelic creator-god(s). Gaelic (ah-ayr), m., SIr.& OIr. athir (ahir) father ; cf. Anglo-Saxon, faeder ; Latin, pater ; Skr. pitar , all designating the male parent. An-tathair . the one god; now applied to the Christain God, formerly designating the pagan creator-god, who was never precisely named, it

having been considered bad taste (and even dangerous) to attract his attention through "the naming of names." The latter god was sometimes distinguished from the Christian God as, an-ol-athair, literally the father of ol, drink or ale , but figuratively the father of a l l things. As such, this immortal god-of-gods corresponds with the Norse Alfadir , the Middle English, Allfather , lately known as the Yulefather , Father Yule , or as the unlikely pagan/Christian character designated as Father Christmas. The pagan father-god was thought to exist when there was nothing beyond elemental chaos. Perhaps out of boredom, this "one-god" was thought to have created the raw matter and energies of the universe as well as the three immortal elemental gods of fire, water and air. He invested each of these with the spirit, or ghost, that allows the sensations collectively termed life, started the universal clock ticking, and withdrew to watch the result, or to take up some other arcane interest. Because of this, the an-t-athair was considered a remote deity with no history among men, but our ancestors thought he might dwell beyond the north, or pole, star since it was observed that the other constellations rotated abjectly about this central source of light.

BEFIND The sidh-guardian born to each child, "those who predict its future and endow it with good or doubtful gifts." Gaelic, bas , death, finne , white, a “death-maiden, a banshee. The first of this kind was the goddess Befind , married to the mortal Idath and the mother of Fraech (from which our word freak). She was a sister to Badb (sometimes given as Mebd or Boann), Macha (sometimes identified as Nemain) and Mhorrigan (which, see), and corresponds exactly with the Old Norse goddess Norn, whose cult-followers were the nornir, valkyra or fylgiar, those who guided the fate of men and the mortal-gods. Confers with biwalker, cowalker, doppelganger, double, gopher, guardian angel, runner. The Nova Scotian folklorist, Helen Creighton, was conscious of her befind saying: "It was during my twenties that I became aware of a guiding spirit, a hunch if you like, and surely everyone experiences

hunches? One day in Halifax I knew I should cross to the other side of the street. Therewas no apprent reason and the side I was on was more pleasant and less congested. Nevertheless, the urge was strong, and for curiosity's sake more than anything else, I obneyed. The reason was given immediately when a friend got off the tram and upon seeing me looked greatly relieved and said, "I've been trying all day to get you on the telephone." The message was important." "Ever since then I have listened when this advice has come. It is not a voice that I hear nor a vision that I see, but a knowing that a certain thing is advisable. If I heed it, the reason is soon apparent. If I decide to go my own stubborn way I soon see my mistake. This gift I believe may be encouraged and developed. Or it may be confused with wishful thinking, and that can be dangerous. But when it comes in the manner I so often experience, and usually when least expected, it is something to be treasured and respected."41 ). BELSNICKER A disguiser, a Quarter-Day spirit. Germanic, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. Sometimes called a Santa Clawer. In the oldest configuration, one of a roving band of extortionists abroad at the Yuletide. Confers with Horrible, Calithumpian, Calluinn Man etc. BEN DODIE A legendary cave-dweller who supposedly lived near the beach at Clam Point, Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia. Noted for his abilities at finding free meals and for his eating prowess. Anglo-Saxon binnan , a compound word considting of by , two + innan , two rooms; having two compartments. Possibly from the Gaelic ben , a mountain hill or peak. Thus, a very fat person or one who lives in a cave; in this case, both. The Middle English verb dodden , confers with the obsolete English dod , to cut off the limbs (of a plant or person). Doddered is to be deprived of branches or limbs, thus shattered and

Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, Toronto (1976) prologue p. ix.

infirm. Dodder means to shake and tremble and is associated with daddle and totter . A dodie was, by extension, a hornless cow or bull, a castrated or sexually neutered animal. Dodder grass was beach-grass and a doddypoll was understood to be a blockhead or simpleton. Men who appeared to possess two "food bins" or "bens" were more common in the days before fat was considered a health hazard. In the old Gaelic lands over-consumption was regarded as a mark of god-hood, since food was not generally available. It was observed that eating was a means of replenishing the god-spirit, and those who ate most were thought most enspirited. The prime example was the Celtic god Dagda, the father of the gods, who was characterized as a musician, heroic womanizer and eater of porridge: "They filled the king's cauldron five fists deep with four-score gallons of new milk and a like quantity of meal and raw fat. Goats and sheep and swine were then put in and all boiled together with the pordge. Then the Dagda took the ladle (big enough to contain a man and a woman) and ate...Biggere than a house cauldron was his belly and not easy was it for him to move owing to its size..." 42 Ben Dodie was of this mould. When people overate on Cape Sable Island they were were teased by those who said, "You eat like Ben Dodie." This legendary character was reported to have lived in a "cave-like spot" between two rocks, his "home" waterproofed by a canvas sail stretched over them. He had little access to good food and when he was invited out to dinner, lunch or supper he ate in heroic fashion. This is the spirit that inspires successful hermits, the rare men who are able to find ease and even luxury where opthers might starve. BIGFOOT A legendary ape-like creature having a body covered with hair. A mortal-spirit of the deep forest. entirely

The northeastern bigfoot has been described as a giant ape-like creature whose body is entirely covered with dark brown or black hair. This animal-spirit is the sasquatch of western Canada, who the Kwakiutl Indians call D'Sonoqua, or Tsonoquoa. She has a blood-curdling cry, and

Katherine, The Flowering of Ireland, Toronto (1981), p.


wanders the woods abducting children, carring them away in a wicker basket. Her eastern counterpart is the Indian gou-gou or wendigou, all being similar in some respects to the slue, the woods-whooper (which, see) and the blagard (see next entry). Woodwoses, or wild men of the woods, are said to have inhabited England in the medieval period, when the island's forests were more extensive than is now the case. The current version of bigfoot has left foot-prints nearly double that of an ordinary men and what reports there are suggest that the animal averaged six to seven feet in height. Occasionally much smaller or larger examples have supposedly been seen, and one fifteen foot sasquatch was reported in Montana in 1977. A revolting smell typifies the species; a witness said, "It was like the stink of a dead person. It stayed in the air for maybe ten to fifteen minutes afterwards." Other notable feature of the bigfoot include his abnormally broad shoulders (up to four feet in width), exceptionally large glowing eyes and apparent invulnerability to bullets. In February 1974, a Pennsylvania woman shot one from a distance of six feet and watched as it vanish in a flash of light! Dr. Warren Cook, a proferssor of history and anthropology at Castleton State University in Vermont has collected plaster-casts of the footprints left by this monster, and has collected numerous tales of their interactions with men. In nineteen eighty-five, he interviewed Al Davis, who had encountered a bigfoot at the edge of West Rutford, Vermont: "I heard something big coming my way...There was a valley type wind that night and this sickening smell came up through. When I saw this thing, I was petrified. It was like something pulled the trigger of a gun and pointed it at me. It was that kind of fear. I watched it for thirty yards or so. More or less what it looked like was thesilhouette under the strretlight there. It looked like a gorilla. It walked like a man, one two feet, had a distinct swaying motion of the shoulders, and had real long arms." Dr. Cook, a one-time Pulitzer Prize nomineee, tried to found seven other people who had smelled the bad odour on that same night. Four of these said they had also glimpsed the passage of some giant animal. The professor noted that the species has been found in all of the New England states, excepting Rhode Island, and that it is known in all of the Canadian provinces that border these states. In 1913, the village of Traverspine, located on Lake Melville,

Newfoundland, was visited by at least two of these creatures who left 12 inch long footprints in soft soil. Where they had travelled men found uprooted stumps where the creatures appear to have been foraging for insects. They were occasionally seen and described as “great hairy men about seven feet tall.” More often they ran on all fours very like a gorilla. One was perceived as female and the othger male, and there poresence was resented when a number of husky dogs followed them into woods and did not return.. After that attempts were made to trap them but without success. When Mrtts. Michelin’s daughter was chased by one, she confronted it with a shotgun and confirmed earlier ape-like descriptions but added that it had”a white ruff across the top of its head.” She did not hestitate but fired at it, and then rushed her daughter into their home where she bolted the door. Coming out later when her husband had returned from work at the saw-mill she noticed blood on the ground “where it had stood.” The sawmill persopnnel turned out in force to track this bigfoot but without result. The last report from this area was made in 1940. Mrs. Michelin was interviewed by Bruce Wright, a Fredericton naturalist-writer, and she said, “It was no bear Mr. Wright. I have killed twelve bears on my husband’s trap-line and I know their tracks well. I saw enough opf this thing to be sure of that. I fired a shotgun at it and I heard the shot hit.” 43 BLACK CAT A water-spirit of the coasts and estuaries. English, cat , probably from Early Irish catt . Similar to the W. cath , Cor. kat , and the Germ. katze . The word was applied originally to wild cats and then to the tame Egyptian cats introduced during the Christian era. The word may thus confer with cath , a wild thing, a battle.+ blaec , black. Alexander Macbain thinks that the word is "possibly of Celtic origin and applied first to the native wild cat, then to the tame Eqyptian cat introduced in the early centuries of the Christian era." The Dictionary of Prince Edward Island draws attention to the phrase cat of gin , formerly identifying a quart container for this liquid. There is also catawumpus , a humourous aside indicating something

Bruce, Wildlifer Sketches Near And Far, Fredericton


slightly askew or out of order; and cat ice . a thin layer of ice, uner which the water has retreated, and thus incapable of supporting weight. The South Shore Phrase Book adds cat spruce , a short scrub evergreen (properly called the white spruce), which makes an attractive, but skunkysmelling Christmas tree. These are related to our local dialectic words kippy and kittardy . See Old Tibb for a lengthy explanation. The original sea-cat was probably Ran, the wife the Norse immortal Hler, the god-giant of the open ocean. Her Celtic equivalent was Mhorrigan, the daughter of Dagda, who was given care of the mythic cauldron of the deep. These ladies were the death-goddesses for men who died at sea, and were avaricious demanding tribute (in rare metals) from all who came into their realm. This is why mariners in Atlantic Canada still, ocassionally, place a coin beneath the main mast of a vessel just before it is set. Like the Indians, certain Fundy fishermen return the bones of fish to the sea without being quite certain what they are about. I've heard my relatives say, "Here's a bit for the old cat", without any intention of propitiating anyone or anything. English folklorist Ruth L. Tongue has managed to find an old tale that may be apropos: "There was a gentleman had a beautiful daughter who was bad at heart, and knew more than a Christain should. The villages wanted to swim her (put her to trial for witchcraft), but no one dared because of her father. She drew down a spell on a poor fisherman, and he followed her for love wherever she went. He deserted his own troth-plighted maid, though he was to be married in a week, and he ran away with this other, who he took to sea unbeknowns't to the rest (of the fishing fleet). A storm blew up from her presence and all was lost for having a woman on board, though none knew it. It was she that had whistled up the storm that drowned even her own lover, for she had no good for anyone. (A magician tracked her and) turned her into a four-eyed cat, and ever after she haunted the fishing fleet. That is why still men will not cast their nets until half-past three (cock-crow time) my uncles won't -and why they always throw a bit back into the sea for the cat." Ran and Mhorrigan were the prototypes for this creature being beautiful woman who were shape-shifters. The trouble with all of the mermaids was the fact that they changed their minds as often as the shape of their bodies. Thus they experienced little domestic bliss and

spent most of their time pursuing unfulfilling relationships with human sailors. Hler, the god of the sea, could control all of his element excepting his wife, and he and his Celtic counterpart Ler, were constantly involved with trying to cope with the difficulties that naturally arose from the cat-like conduct of their wives. The mermaids of Somersetshire, England, were termed sea-morgans after the matriarch. Their songs were irrestistable to men, and their only failure, on that coast involved a deaf youngster, who had psychic abilities. One of their kind sought to divert this youngster into quicksand; but he, while admiring her face and figure, was repulsed by her seaweed-green hair and could not hear her voice, and so was able to drive her off. Our skippers are loathe to transport lawyers, tailors, dressmakers and clergymen, just like their European cousins. Most interesting of all is the universal fear of letting a representative of Rann on board before a ship sails. In some of our own coast villages, men would actually return home if they met a woman on the way to a proposed sailing. Helen Creighton found that this superstition was still widespread at the middle of this century, and one master-mariner went further: "A woman is considered bad luck, even to christen a boat. Once a boat was being launched (and) a woman wished to christen it. She came to the launchung but the owner wouldn't allow it. Nevertheless, the vessel turned over when it was launched and it always had bad luck." A Scotsburn, Nova Scotia, man even warned men against wearing woman's hats at sea, apparently concluding that some of the female spirit of wantoness (and storm) would thus attach to the men and through them infect the ship. Cats are clearly equated with women for another fisherman said, "If a cat passed a fisherman's path, he would go home." There was a particular passion against black cats, and another respondent explained that "other cats are taken on board as mascots, but never a black one." Notice the hair of mermaids was said to be golden near the surface, but when they passed in the deep, it was always seen to be coal-black like the hide of some cats. It is a law of sympathetic magic that "like attracts like", thus female witches were thought to prefer the these cats as familiars. Black cats, in turn, were seen as magnets for black clouds, a black sea and stormy weather. And remember, "It's bad luck to throw a cat overboard; the one who does will not live to make home." BLACK DOG

A mortal sea-spirit, sometimes thought to be a familiar of the Devil, but with closer attachments to the old mortal-gods. Anglo-Saxon, docga . dog, canis familiaris. Also, a mean or worthless individual; any male animal when used in combining form, e.g. dog-ape, dog-fox, dog-wolf, largely obsolete. Blaec , black; a word once indistinguishable from bale , blue. Black dogs were the boon companions of Odin and of the Celtic death-god Crom the Crooked. In addition, the Atlantic Indian culture-hero named Glooscap travelled in the company of two wolf-dogs. This creature, like the black cat, may be traced to Scandinavian myth, but is well known on the English shore-line. In East Anglia it is called the galleytrot. Elsewhere it may be known as the black shuck, the hellblast, shug monkey, padfoot, trash, shreiker, hooter, barguest (barnghost) or as old snarleyow. According to Raymond Lamont Brown this species is found "from Devon to Yorkshire as well as from Cambridge to the Lake District." It will be noted that Glooscap had two wolves as his companions, one white in colour, the other black. The god Odin had similar pet-familiars, supposedly symbolizing day and night, but perhaps, also, representing his ambivalent character. These dogs were no phantoms when they rode the viking dragon-ships down the sea-lanes into Britain. In later days the Irish claimed that the wild dogs that ravished their countryside were an interbreed of native wolves and dogs freed by the vikings when the finally retreated before King Brian Boru. All of these real wolf-dogs were hunted down in historic times. The same may be said for the eastern wolf of North America, the last being seen in Atlantic Canada about the middle of the last century. Like many warrior-folk Odin had a personality that was part beneficent and part berserker; his latter personality appears at times in the ocean-serpent named Nikkur, at other times as the winter-god Uller. Uller, was sometimes said to be the son of Sif and the stepson of Thor, and indeed Odin supplanted Thor in northern mythology. Uller or Oller, whose name is, literally, Winter was thought of as a frost-giant, and these were known descendants of the sea-people. Thus, the black dogs of Uller were thought of as sea- rather than land-dogs.

"As winter god, Uller was considered second only to Odin, whose place he usurped duringh his abscence in the winter months of the year. During this period, he exercised full sway over Asgard and Midgard, and even, according to some authorities, took possession of FRigga, Odin's wife. But as Uller was parsimonious, never bestowing any gifts on men, they gladly hailed the return of Odin, who drove his supplanter away, forcing him to take refuge at the ends of the earth (persumably Nifhelheim)." Uller/Odin was in charge of soul-gathering as leader of the Wild Hunt, and the two wolves were always at his side. Uller's attachment to the sea is shown in his magic snowshoes made of bone "and turned up in front like the prows of a ship." It was also reported that he carried a magic bone, over which he recited runes. This bone then expanded into a vessel "which bore him over land and sea with equal ease." It is easy to see how the bareness of the open ocean deeps could be equated with the dead-world of winter; in fact, winter was seen as an expansion of these dead lands into those given to men. Surprisingly, numerous temples used to be erected to the huntergod, and this was because he was thought to control the depth of snow. During the months of November and December, people approached him asking that the land receive a good covering to protect the plants and the land against the touch of death. In Christain times, Uller was supplanted in popular worship by St. Hubert, the hunter, who became patron of the first month of the winter (and the year) just as Uller had been. In those days that date was November 22 and was counted when the sun passed through the constellation of the hunter, or bowman, now known as Sagittarius. The hounds of Winter must include Skoll (repulsion) and Hati (hatred) who from the first have hated the snow-melting propensities of Odin's sun. They have been the hunters of the sun since the first days attempting to swallow this disc so that the world might be returned to primal chaos. At times of the eclipse it used to be said that the dogs in the sky were near their objective, but the terrile on earth always responded by raising a terrible noise. This always frightened the sun-dogs so that they invariably dropped the sun and were forced to try again. In the last days, Norse mythology insists that the final loss of the sun will mark the days followed by an outpouring of fire on the earth, and the end of all things.

The dogs in the sky are, surprisingly, not unknown in Atlantic Canada. Although we no longer blame them for eclipses of the sun, we do see these followers in the sky. Some of us call "sun-dogs," although we know them to be caused, like rainbows, by the refraction of sunlight, through moisture in the air. In earlier days, they would have been regarded as manifestations of the spirits of Skoll and Hati. Mariners sometimes talk of these luminous spots, seen in fog seen near the horizon, as "fog-dogs" or "sea-dogs", although the latter is a more common designation for the dogfish shark or the harbour seal. It stands to reason they have to have some sustenance, so men have said that they cosumed fog. When the the the fog is seen to disperse and the light of the sun dominates, the fading fog-dogs are referred to as "fog-eaters." The most common form from the black dog is something resembling a black Newfoundlander. The Provincetown, Rhode Island, trawlermen were once entirely familiar with this beast (ca. 1937). “Cheeny” Marshall, one of their kind, is supposed to have beenfishing off Newfoundland when the head of a great black dog popped to the surface near the mother ship. Surprisngly, Marshall lifted him in over the siderail and let him attempt to reagin some semblance of life. The older, wiser, crew members advised that he be returned to the oceam. In spite of the animal’s webbed feet “Cheeny” pleaded to be allowed to keep the animal and it was, in fact, lodged in his own bunk. Eventually “thick o’ fog” arrived and the animal was seen to position itself at the bow. Soon it was barking loudly and following a premonition, “Cheeny,” who was the helmsman of the hour, steered her hard over and narrowly missed collision with a steaming which came bearing down out of the mist. (NEF, pp. 323324) Almost every part of Atlantic Canada has reported malevolent black or white dogs, ranging from terrier size to that of a small horse. Partridge Island which guards the western approach to Saint John Harbour had a black dog which Stuart Trueman described as"a great beast reported running up and down the island upsetting people, for over a century." A lightkeeper who had a closer look at this beast judged it to be "about as big as a calf, with eyes like bicycle lamps." Six foot high dogs haunted the Hartlan family homestead at South East Passage in Nova Scotia. Angelo Dornan of Elgin, New Brunswick, also

claimed to have lived in a house with a phantom dog: "It would go up the stairs every night and go through the rooms, but the moment the lamp was lit, it would disappear." Mr. George Perry of Ingomar, Nova Scotia, saw another of these elusive animals while he was working at the Ragged Islands Inn. Locally it was referred to as "a gopher" and people avoided the place where it made an appearance. Perry noted that one courageous woman had faced it. "It was a pretty moonless night, and when she got that far, she looked across and there it stood a big yellowish coloured dog with a handsome dark (spot) on it. She thought, "that's funny", and went on a little way and then came back and the dog was still there, but headed in the opposite direction. So she went up to it again and patted him and said, "There, there little dog." and it wasn't there. She said, "I was just as sure it was a dog as I am a woman." Perry was not sure she had seen the gopher, but commented that "It died away after awhile, but not before frightening a lot of people." At Scotsburn there was another phantom called dog whose presence set mortal dogs to barking, but could never be seen by men. Parr's Hill at Victoria Beach also has one of these spirits and Port Wade had one that followed people so closely, and seemed so real, they kicked at to drive it off but their bootys always pass through it. One man who saw it said that it had, "a harsh black coat, rough and uncared for in overall appearance. Its body seem to stretch out forever and its huge tongue looked like a triangle of bright red raw meat." Obediah Smith of Glen Haven told Creighton that his ghost-dog had eyes "as big as two fists. I went to fire at him and the rock (salt) went right through him. I threw another one then and it disappeared altogether. By this time, I was pretty scared and I was only young anyhhow so I took to me heels and ran...Lots of people saw it seventy-five or eighty years ago (1880)." A fisherman at Seafoam, New Brunswick, arrived home to find a devil-dog taking up most of the room in the kitchen. The other members of the family were terrified and had had no luck coaxing him or threatenening him out of his place behind the stove. The man of the house finally gave up as well and took up his horsewhip. At that, the black dog vanished in a flash of light leaving a tell-tale odour of brimstone. For further accounts of this phenomenon we recommend you to the

historian John Stow (c1525-1605) who gives some of the earliest reports of this phantom in the English-speaking world. His Annals suggest that Suffolk was once over-run with black dogs. In recent times, folks in England have reported seeing the sea-dogs in Leiston churchyard, at Bungay and at Blythburgh. In our country it was once the policy to proscribe all dogs from passing over church lands, for fear one might prove to be a creatrure capable of mystically polluting consecrated ground. Holy Trinty Church at Blythburgh has taken exactly that approach to the problem of its mythic black dog. BLAGARD A mortal earth-spirit said to possess a single eye, arm and leg. The legendary unipod, found almost everywhere in the ancient world. Anglo-Saxon, blaec , black + geard , an enclosed place. One who works with black things (iron pots and pans) in a dwelling, a scullion or kitchen worker. The latter word confers with the Old French guarder a form of the Old Saxon wardoon , our warder or guard . In medieval times this job was given to men who lost limbs in battle, thus a blackguard , any menial of a great household, the servant of an army, a criminal, vagabond, scoundrel, vagrant or ruffian. Similar to the sea-going fachan (which, see). When Maeco Polo returned from his eastern travels he described the Merkriti tribe of Siberia as a savage race who hunted and rode reindeer. This was nothing new but the illustrations for his book showed a man with the head of a wolf, another with a single eye, a third with no head on his shoulders but a face centred on his chest. Another oddity was a unipod, a man with a single muscular leg. In northern India, Polo located similar peoples, who differed from the first tribe in having bodies that were completely covered with hair, looking not unlike the abominable snowman that we call the Yeti. These descriptions are consistent with those given for the Celtic Fomors, the undersea people of the mid-Atlantic. The Cailleach Bheur is often described as a unipod as are the fachan (false hands) sea-trows (trolls) said to haunt the coast of northwestern Scotland. While North America lay undiscovered, the native population may

have had some commerce with these very strangly constructed beings. Myths of the barren country of Canada invariably invoke "Paija", "an immense female devil". She has been described as a giantess with a single leg, arising from her vagina, clothed only in flowing black hair. Paija preferred the nights of the winter moon for stalking the souls of men, and her single track was once the fear and bane of lonely travellers. "No man can tell you much of Paija, except from hearsay, for to see Paija is to die..." The sighting of a unipod on a cliff within Atlantic Canada is candidly reported by the Norse in The Greenlander's Saga. This uncanny spirit later killed one of the intending colonists with a spear thrust. The Norse, who were themselves exceptional athletes were no match for this bunny-hopping monster. Jacques Cartier and Marc Lescarbot both referred to unipods in their travel guides, the first addressing them as a reality, the other laughing at Cartier for his naievity. The Celtic fachan is a unipodal monster, as is the northern English killmoulis (killer of the mill). The latter has a single nostril and no mouth, hence the expression, "Stuff it up your nose!" BLAHMILLER A mortal earth-spirit possessing a single nostril, eye, hand and foot. Exactly like the blagard but the haunt of a mill. Anglo-Saxon, blaaw , blue-black, lead-coloured + myler , a miller. The word myle , or mill, confers with the English mell , a name gieven the harvest festival known as harvest-home. The word is also seen in p e l l mell , which describes a hurly-burly way of doing things. Our suburban malls get their name from this thir busy aspect. The obsolete AngloSaxon myell conrresponds with the English word wild so we have something like wild miller in the full word. These are the ghosts which the lowland Scotts called the killmoulis (killers of the mill). It was claimed that they were spirits of the grain, imported from the fields at the harvest. In continetal mythology these were the field-goats (see belsnicker), supposedly killed by the scythes of the reapers. Death was no assurance that they would not materialize since their spirits were reincarnate even if their bodies were not. They were the equivalent of the human spirits known as hoodoos or jinxers (which, see). Although they meant well, spending the nights performing small labours about the mill, they were awkward and inept and often

hung-over, for they were addicted to consumming alcohol-contaminated grains (hence their lead-like complexions). Peculiar beasts they had no mouths, so they did all their eating and drinking by way of their single nostril, thus the expression, "stuff it up your nose." In their drunken state, they were liable to rapacious activity or brawling, and often damaged the mill be setting fires or causing misfunctions of the mill equipment. They also "contaminated" (i.e. shit on) the products of the mill causing people who ate the grain to dance without ceasing or show symptoms of insanity. This is a clear example of the personification of disease, this variety being termed ergotism. It was once believed that all diseases were caused by the invasion of the human body by evil-spirits such as the blahmiller. The theory is not entirely incorrect if the malignant "spirit in the grain" is known to be ergot. This is a fungus, parasitic upon the heads of rye and other grain-crops. Diseased cereals have their kernals replaced by black or dark-purple coloured club-shaped "fruiting-heads", the reproductive bodies of the fungus. This structure releases several poisonous compounds into bread, or other foods, made from the grain. They act to contract the arterioles of the bloodcirculatory stystem and react upon unstriped muscle fibre causing it to spontaneously contract and expand. The first symptom causes hallucinations and the latter may lead to the syndrome which used to be termed "choromania", the dancing mania, or dancing disease. The most notable outbreak was in Germany in 1374. It spread from here throughout Europe and was characterized by religious exultations, dancing to exhaustion and fatal convulsions. BOABH A mortal earth-spirit, sometimes regarded as human, but often identified with the sidh. The Gaelic equivalent of the English hag or witch. The mate of the bodach. Gaelic, bo (pronounced buh), cow + abaich , ripe, aged; an old cow. The former confers with bog , a soft place, and bochda , a poor person, especially one inadequately dressed. The latter word confers with abhainn , a river-home. She is also termed the cailleach (old kaill or girl), her mate being the bodach . The word boabd , sometimes written bhoabh , or as boaibh (pronounced bhuv), now identifies, the European carrion-crow as well as magic-working crones, including the nuns of the Christain church. Both sexes take their name from Bobd Derg (the red

wizard), who lead the Daoine sidh into the "hollow hills" after their defeat by the Milesians. His female counterpart is the goddess Boann (cow-fire) who gave her name to the Irish river Boyne . Ultimately these may be traced to the earlier warrior-goddess Badb , also remembered as Mebd , or Maeve (literally, May Eve). She was one of the triad goddesses known as the Befind , those of the sidh who gave birth-guardians to men and the gods.

According to Thomas Keightley the "fayres" of the medieval romances were "human beings endowed with superior powers." 44 In Brittany, he says the faries were termed the korrids or korrigans. the equivalent of the Anglo-Saxon elfs. The former were noted by the Roamn writer Pomponius Mela: "Sena, in the British Sea, opposite the Ofisician (French) coast is remarkable for an oracle of the Gallic (Celtic) god. Its priestesses, holy in perpetual virginity, are said to be nine in number. They are called Gallicenae, and are thought to be endowed with singular powers, so as to raise by their charms the winds and seas, to turn themselves into what animals they will, to cure wounds and disases incurable by others, to know and predict the future; but this they will only do for navigators who go purposely thither to consult them!" Sena is generally supposed to be L'isle des Saintes just off-shore from Brest. The boabhs were inheritors of the magic of these druidic women but there is no evidence that they were "perpetual virgins". The parallel between the boabhean and the korridgwens can be taken futher, since the latter are the korridgwens, or horridgwens, of Cornwall and the mhorrigans of Ireland. Mhorrigan was the covering name for the triad of goddessses that included Mhorrigan proper, the befind of youth; Badb, the warrior goddess of middle age; and Macha, the crone. Through an axiom of simple geometry, the gallicenae equal the baobhean. Speaking of local practises, Mary L. Fraser said, "Witches (boabhs) were believed to have communication with a spirit of evil from which they received the power to change themselves into any form they pleased. Thomas, Worlf Mythology, London (1880), p. 420. He adds: "The Bas-Breton (i.e. Celtic) Korrigan or Korrigwen differ little from Gallican. Strabo says the goddesses Demeter and Kora were worshipped on an island in these parts.

When they took the shape of animals, they were thought to have some evil design in view, and it was dangerous to meet them. They were supposed to have the power to take away the dairy products, and, indeed, those of the whole farm. The druids led their followers to believe they had charms to prevent the witches from doing harm, and these charms they gave on receipt of payment. Sir Lawrence Gomme in his "Ethnology of Folklore" traces witchcraft back to the aboriginal inhabitants of Britain...The aboriginals believed in their own demoniacal powers and passed on these beliefs to their Celtic conquerors. The Scottish witch was considered as the successor to the druid priestess in her capacity for animal transformations and her power over wind and waves." 45 The above statement draws a line between the druids and the boabhs, but this is artificial since druidheachd, or magical ability, was a common possession of both groups. Rather, it might be said that there were craftsmen and master-craftsmen, witches and witch-masters, the latter having advanced knowledge and the capacity to check those of the lower order. The bohabs of North America concentrated most of their energies on theft. They had the advanatge of invisibilty, or could delegate an animal familiar to invade the barn to milk a neighbour's cows or steal his grains. Less risky were feats of sympathetic magic in which the spirit of the boabh was simply projected upon the udder of the cow, and the milk metaphysically relayed to her own animal or an artificial uddder in the form of a glove or piece of unravelled rope. Where the tabihs, or familiars, were used, rabbits and black cats seem to have been preferred, possibly because of their speed and agility at escaping men. Rabbit paws were coveted because it was felt that they might contain remnant powers of a boabh. Right hand paws from white rabbits were preferred in polite circles, while law-breakers took the left foot from a black animal. Having a black cat cross one's path is still considered bad luck; while the passage of a white cat was once considered a good omen. The reverse held true for men who had alliances with the nathir and his kind. Mary L. Fraser has noted several instances where boabhs were

Mary L., Folklore of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 63.

cornered while travelling with their familiar-spirit: "A trustworthy woman in Inverness County (Cape Breton) knew of a certain farm where, at the milking hour, a rabbit used to come and run in and out among the cows. The day following..there would be no cream or milk. As this state of affairs continued, the woman of the house asked her husband to take his guun and shoot the animal...Accordingly, the man went out prepared to put an end to the animal. Just as he raised his gun and took aim, he heard a child's voice warn: "Granny, Granny, hurry, they're after you!" and he saw a small boy peering through the pilings. He lowered the gun, picked up a stone, and threw it at the rabbit, hitting it on the leg. It scampered off as fast as three legs could go. The next day it was discovered that an old woman of the neighbourhood had her leg broken in some mysterious manner." 46 Undoubtedly there are still active boabhe, but few will admit their presence in any present-day community. Malcolm Campbell of Glenyer, Cape Breton did recall that his family contained one of this kind (1980): "Sadie there had the charm, and our neighbour had a cow...two or three cows. But our cow would be producing more milk than all those three because we'd be getting the milk from our neighbour's cows. They used to tie a red string to the cow's tail to combat this..." 47 Sadie's habits created some ill-feeling in the village and the local merchant sometimes refused to buy her butter, noting that the quantity was in excess of what the single family cow could naturally produce. One man who agreed to take butter to market for this boabh, placed her parcels on the left of his horse and balanced them with his own on the right. As he roide towards town, he became aware that she was "charming" the butter away from his side, because the containers became unbalanced. To balance the butter on the horse he had to stop and add stones to his own side. 48 A Marble Mountain, Cape Breton resident told Helen Creighton how the Widow McNeil took advantage of her neighbours by sucking the milk
46Fraser, 47Caplan, 48Caplan,

Mary L., Folklore of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 64. Ronald, editor, Down East, Toronto (1980), p. 28. Ronald, editor, Down North, Toronto (1980), p. 29.

from their cows through straws: "Grandfather's cows were being milked, so he decided witchery was being used. The widow McNeil had only one cow, (and she) was taking more milk to the store than he did, so he went to Arichat to (consulte) the witch-doctor. The doctor told him to stick a sod (from the cow's pasture) full of needles and pins and put it into an iron pot with a cover on it (and boil it)." After the pot was at the boil and grandfather was satisfied that she was "feeling the pins", he took the pot from the stove. "When Mrs. McNeil heard of it she stopped milking the cows..."49 The virulence of these Celtic magicians went beyond simple theft, their power over men being expressed as, "eadar a' baobh 's a' bhuarach", caught between a boabh and a wild cow. This is reminiscent of the English "caught between a rock and a hard place", or "between the devil and the deep blue sea." Residents of Mull River, in colonial Cape Breton must have felt this way about their resident magician. The Boabh of Mull River took her art beyond open theft. She was never seen near the barns of her neighbours, but it was observed that her cow sometimes gave double portions of milk where neighbouring farmers were left with a dry animal. She never threatened her neighbours in an open manner, but made periodic "house-visits" up and down the bye-way carrying "a large ironclad canvas bag", which she used for her "collections". She was usually explicit about her needs, reminding people that it was better to give than receive, and bad luck followed fast on the heels of those who refused her "reasonable requests." It was noted that she had the use of the "evil-eye" and guessed that she used some terrible incantation against those who "crossed" her. Through this industry, she remained alive to the age of one hundred. In recognition of her centenary, she was "gifted" with two horns, which sprouted from her forehead, and these increased in length by a quarter inch per year, until she died aged one hundred and eighteen. This pioneer boabh lived alone in a windowless log shanty, one fitted with "a queer old flue known as a witch's chimney." This was a chimney made of cross-piled logs, periodically fireproofed with mud. When it was seen that the "witch" of Mull River was on her last legs, a few charitable people brought her tallow candles so that she would not be in complete darknesss. She thanked them but never burned one. Instead, she melted

Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1968), p. 28.

them down and mixed the tallow with meal which she ate. digestive powers were unimpaired by her final illness.

Apparently her

When she finally died, those at the death-watch heard stones falling from the roof. When they went outside to see what was happening, there was nothing to be viewed although the sounds continued. Within the hut, there were sounds of chanted spells bouncing from the four walls, although the boabh was incapable of muttering anything. The community was glad to have her dead, and considering the sounds that persisted about the shanty, decided to burn it to the ground. Two courageous fellows entered the hut, piled the woman's furniture in the centre of the room and started a blaze. As they were about to leave, they noticed the iron-bound pouch in a corner and threw it into the flames. There followed a terrible explosion which helped their exit, and blasted the bag up through the chimney into the woods. It descended untouched by fire, so they were forced to bury it. 50 Michael MacLean of Cape Breton told the story of a local boabh who "could practise witchcraft and sink a ship." Apparently his father had asked her to prove her power, "So she asked for an egg, and put the egg into a shoe and kept rocking the shoe back and forth. And there was a ship out on the ocean and when they looked the ship, it seems was rocking back and forth in the waves just as she was working the shoe. And they made her stop." 51 Roland Sherwood says that sympathetic magic has been used to sink ships, one of these being the "Favourite" which brought Scottish settlers to Pictou township from the port of Ullapool in 1803. As the "Favourite" stood loaded, ready to sail, a herdsman spotted a small hare-like animal moving from cow to cow, suckling away the milk. He attempted to shoot at it but was prevented from doing so by a spell which immobilzed him. Knowing that he dealt with a boabh, the man shaved silver from a sixpence and placed this as shot in his gun. The next time he spotted the familiar he was able to blaze away at it, and it limped off leaving a trail of blood.
50Fraser, 51as

Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, np, nd, pp. 65-66.

told to Joe Neil McNeil, Tales Told Until Dawn, Toronto (1987) p.


Inquires made about the parish on the following morning found an old lady, supected of druidheachd, laid up with a damaged leg. When this old crone became aware that her nemesis intended to sail on the "Favourite" she openly declared that the ship would never reach the New World. Fearing the boabh might take some physical act against the seaworthiness of the vessel, the owners had her arrested and placed under guard until the ship was at sea. The craft sailed without incident carrying her passengers to port on the third day of August. Interestingly, she made the crossing in five weeks and three days, a record which stood for many years. The five hundred passengers embarked in perfect safety and the cargo was removed. Suddenly, and swiftly, without rational cause, it sank to the bottom of Pictou Harbour. The witch had been released from behind iron bars at exactly that time. Mother Mac, who lived near Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, was another boabh of this century: "One day in spring she visited her neighbour Mrs. M... for the purpose of purchasing two spring pigs, but they had all been sold and Mrs. M. was unable to promise her any. This displeased Mrs. Mac...That night when Mrs. M. went to milk her cow, she found the creature had suddenly fallen away in its milk and though several times through the next few days she endeavoured to milk the cow she did not succeed in obtaining more than half a cupful. Mrs. M. at once knew that this was the result of Mrs. Mac's witchcraft, who, to show her displeasure, had wished this spell upon the cow. But fortunately a spell which can be wished can be broken...Mrs. M. was equal to the occasion. Next morning early she turned her cow out and watching where the animal took the first bite of grass, she removed the soil, took it into the house and boiled it with a little milk which the cow had given on the previous day. While it was boiling she continued to stir it with pins, several of which she stuck in the sod. This proved an effective remedy and that evening the cow gave her accustomed flow of milk. Mrs. M. saved the pins and for atime kept several in the cuff of her sleeve. With them about her poerson she felt no fear and her one desire was to meet the witch face to face and this wish was not gratified. Several days afterwards other neighbours visited Mrs. Mac. She stated that she had accidently burned her feet, which were all blistered. But such an improbable story found little credance in the doubting minds of the honest neighbours. They had heard not only of her spell on the cow, but as well of the triumph of Mrs. M. which had been told and retold in every home in the community. They

"allowed" that her story was a mere fabrication and that the blisters were caused by the evil wish which when forced to leave the cow and find another resting place, finally settled in the feet of the witch herself. After this, Mrs. Mac's reputation as a witch suffered a great loss of prestige and soon the wicked "ceased from troubling"... 52 A later Nova Scotia boabh was Mother Ryan of Margaree, Cape Breton, a practitioner in a time when "the only vocational requirements were a cross, mean look and a tongue fluent in profanity." This witch who gloried in her witchhood "was unwelcome in many houses; not the least of her faults being the telling of horrendous ghost stories in front of the children." Flora MacRitchie of Margaree had the "evil eye" as her chief weapon, but she also kept her community in turmoil by travelling "from house to house leaving a curse or a blessing on those who offended or pleased her." Mother Coo was a traditional boabh, chiefly remembered for correctly predicting future events in the coal mines of Nova Scotia. Miss Lillian Fox of Bedford, Nova Scotia said that this boabh was feared but often consulted: "...she foretold that a certain mine called the "Foord Pit" would have a serious explosion, and she named the day and month on which it would happen. The Foord was believed to be in excellent condition and all safety precautions were being observed, so the miners talked and joked about the silly tales of the "old hag". But their wives were afraid. They coaxed and begged and thricked their menfolk to stay above the ground, but the men wouldn't listen; and almost to the hour, the mine blew up and the loss of life was appalling." 53 The Foord Pit was not mythological, but situated in Stellarton, Nova Scotia and successfully operated for twenty years before the "bump" which occurred on Friday, November 12, 1880 at half-past six in the morning. A reporter said that "There were over fifty miners on the south side (of the pit) when the explosion took place and only two men and four

Frank H., History of Tatamagouche, Halifax (1917)

pp.55-57. Herbert, A Folklore Sampler, Saint John's, 1982, p. 10. This elderly raconteur heard the story from her father, a Nova Scotia school principal and apprently did not know the locvation of the coal-mine.

boys were rescued alive. As the pit took fire after the explosion, and burned with awful violence, none of the dead bodies could be recovered. In order to save the mine the waters of the East River were let into it." 54 Miss Fox also recounted Mother Coo's prediction of the Springhill mine disaster eleven years later. This event is on record in New Glasgow newspapers for 1891 and has been recorded as history: At the investigation of this collapse pit-manager Conway revealled that, the general manager had told him that Mother Coo had predicted an explosion in May. He said that Mr. Swift had recommended that a workman's committee examine the workings for unsafe practises and conditions. Historian R.A.H. Morrow added: "It is true that in some bosoms there was a foreboding apprehension that some dire calamity should happen in the mines. This fear was engendered by a current report that an old woman named "Mrs. Coo" had suggested that something would happen about the mines during the coming month of May. As a consequence of this report, a committee was appointed to examine the mine, which they did, and found no visible cause for alarm...Notwithsatnding the result of this examination, a few of the miners still retained a germ of their former timidity, on the plea that "Mother Coo" was generally known to tell the truth..."55 Once again, she was correct. The happening took place on the eastern slope, February 21, 1891 at 1 p.m. One hundred and twenty-one miners were instantly killed and seventeen were injured, some fatally. Much of what used to be termed magic is now seen to be the result of careful observation, and this may have been Mother Coo's secret. In the winter of 1910, James Connolly flooded a huge area above the Stellarton mines, and found much of the ice unusable because it was filled with bubbles of gas released from the underground. These were the gases which caused explosions, and Mother Coo may simply have observed their collection and escape more carefully than otherrs. Most local boabhean were involved with soothsaying and the sale of

R.A.H., Story of the Springhill Disaster, Saint John,

(1891), p. 160.

R.A.H., History of the Springhill Mine Disaster, Saint John

(1891), p. 102.

herbal medicines, but there have been cases of wonder-working. A farmer at Port Mouton suspected his team and wagon were leviated from the ground by an antagonistic boabh.56 This was never proven, but residents at Big Intervale did see Mother MacKinnon cross the Margaree River, at the height of the spring freshest, on two barrel staves which she had strapped to her feet.57 It was usual for boabhean to project their souls upon their taibhean, or familiars, but when the process was reversed men fell under the influence of the "evil eye". This style of wonder-working was attributed to Flora McRitchie of Portree, Cape Breton. A.N. Chisholm of nearby Maragree Forks explained that this unmarried boabh "travelled from house to house," leaving "a curse or blessing on those who offended or pleased her." In one instance the witch was offended when a busy house-wife failed to offer her usual round of tea. After six hours of contant labour she found that her butter had not solidified, while her cream was "turned to a sour mess". Follwing this, the lady of the house attempted to bake bread with equally bad results. When she told her neighbours of these misfortunes they asked if Flora had "been about". To undo continuing bad luck, this woman had to completely pacify the boabh, a process that took two weeks. Flora's "evil eye" became such a nusiance that several people cooperated in paying for the services of a witch-master. This individual advised them to take water from a local spring and pronounce a spell over it while stirring in a clockwise direction. As this was done, a silver coin was dropped to the bottom and the liquid bottled to be sprinkled on any animal, person or thing afflicted by witchcraft. To the surprise of all 58 concerned this counter-charm worked! Those who possessed the "evil eye" were sometimes noted as having "eyes as sharp as needles." In other instances, the person who "overlooked" her neighbours was not physically conspicuous. To be on the
56Creighton, 57Halpert, 58Halpert,

Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1968), p. 60.

Herbert, A Folklore Sampler, Saint John's (1982), p. 20. Herbert, editor, A Folklore Sampler, Saint John's (1982),

p. 15.

safe side, most Gaels refused to allow anyone to examine newly born animals or children. A Glen Haven, Nova Scotia, a resident commented that "old Mother W (who lived) here (was) supposed to be a witch. She had full and plenty of everything. She'd come and look at your pig and it would be sick the next day."59 Further to this, a resident of Moser's River noted, "It was believed if a witch admired an animal you might as well let her have it. You'd never have any luck with it. My father had that happen to him with neighbours who admired his Jersey cow. It died. He was Irish." 60 This is not to suggest that our ancestors were without resources of their own, it being understood that blights and curses could not permanently affect a blameless person. In such cases, the evil entity, had to settle on another target, and counter-charms were fashioned to be certain that the secondary victim was the boabh. Where animals were killed by a spell they could sometimes be revived by burning a bit of wearing apparel, taken from the witch, under its nostrils.61 Some individuals suggested filling the corpse of a dead animal with pins, thus "pricking" the boabh where it did not reinvigorate the animal.62 A farmer at Scotsburn thought it advisable to haul the corpse uphill and then down again to discourage further activity. 63 As a last resort a dead animal was sometimes buried,standing upright, at the entrance to the barn door, it being supposed that his spirit would prevent any further visits by the boabh. Prophylactic measures were preferred over outright confrontation, so farmers sometimes erected anti-boabh devices at the first hint of trouble. Countermeasures included burning hair from a horse or a dog in

59Creighton, 60Creighton, 61Creighton, 62Creighton, 63Creighton,

Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978), p. 54. Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978), p. 55. Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978), p. 27. Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978), p. 27. Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978), p. 50.

places where druidheachd was expected to occur. Men sometimes went through elaborate rituals which ended with embedding silver, quicksilver (mercury) or iron in especially drilled holes in door and window casements. Letter-boards were and horseshoes were put up above doors, care being taken to have the tines upright "lest the witch fall out." Red rowanberries and wooden crosses were put to the same use, and flying witches were disuaded by discharging firearms up the flue. For additional counter-measures see entries under alp, bodach, hag, witch and wizard. BOCAN A mortal-earth spirit bound to low-lying swampy regions. Commonly known as a bog-man or boogey-man. Gaelic, bocan , a hearth- or hob-golbin, confering with the AngloSaxon, bucca , a he-goat, perhaps confering with buugan , one who bows and pays homage to a higher authority. Similar to the the Gaelic boc , a he-goat, the Scottish bogle and the Cymric bwgwl . Confers with the Middle English bug , a hobgoblin, and the English boy , any member of the servant class, a churl, knave or varlet. The root-word for buck , any sexually active animal, especially sheep and goats. The Early Irish form was boccanach , which confers with bodach (which, see). The form bocsithe is also seen, denoting a apparition or ghost; one of the daoine sidh, or little people. This is the boggart ,the high boogey-man of Yorkshire, England, a creature correponding exactly with the pucca, or puck, and the pixies and hobgoblins of other shires. These were also called the ambulones, those "that walk about midnights on heaths and desert places, which draw men ouut of the way and lead them all night a by-ways, or quite barre them of their way..."64 This night-walker survives in Atlantic Canada in several dialectic forms: bocan, bauken, bawker, bawken, bocain and boccan. T.K. Pratt says that the title is now applied to children, presumably those of an evil


as quoted by Keightley, Thomas, World Mythology, London

(1880), p. 291.

nature.65 Even in this country it was originally "a sort of ghost", particularly one used to threaten small children. Sir Andrew MacPhail guessed that "Witches, ghosts and fairies were so common they excited little interest. Bocans were a more serious menace. A bocan might leap upon a boy in the dark at any moment."66 Hubert Macdonald said that the Scots pioneers also had "weird stories about ghosts and hobgoblins and bocain and what not from the old country. Hair-raising stories of the antics of an unearthly bocain called "Colunn gun ch'eann'", held the young breathless and often caused uncomfortable shifting of chairs nearer to the company on the part of their elders too." 67

BOCHDAN A mortal earth-spirit, especially one bound to the fields, herds and the herdsmen of highland Scotland. Gaelic bochd, poor + aon , person. Pronounced bhoch-done. A solitary spirit affecting an appearance of great poverty. Perhaps based on boc , a he-goat + dona , bad. The former word confers with the Cymric forms bwch and byk and are resemble the Anglo-Saxon bucca and the German bock , all he-goats. The latter is the source of the English word butcher . These Gaelic spirits were degraded descendants of the earth-spirit Kernow or Cernu, whose name was given to Cornwall. In this region they were called the kernowbyke (cornbucks). These horned-gods were central to left-handed circle-dances of the Celtic religion. It was claimed that the bochdan lived in the fields being responsible for enspiriting the grain. An irascible bunch, they served as boogey-men for parents who wished to dissuade children from wandering into the distant woods or fields. The T.K., Dictionary of Prince Edward Island English, Toronto (1988), pp. 20-21.
66MacPhail, 65Pratt,

Sir Andrew, The Master's Wife (1939), p. 108. Hubert, The Lords of the Isles and their Descendants


(1944) p. 97.

Irish phooka, the Scandanavian julbuk and the German juudel and the Gaelic urisk are related to the bochdan and all have been accused of henious crimes, ranging from child molestation, through kidnapping and murder. The bochdan was often invisible but could appear in any animal form, his size and power increasing with that of the corn. In the fall, these creatures were cut down by reapers, only one sheaf being over-wintered to reinvigorate the crops in the spring.

The unemployed befind of a man or woman who had been murdered. Separated from the primary soul by trauma, the bochdan became committed to seeking vengeance. A typical boogie-man he was incapable of doing the person he pursued any physical harm, but his constant presence was unnerving and drew unpleasant questions from the neighbours. This was particularly so since the bochdan always carried the death injury on his ghostly, or ghastly, form. If his human had died by having his throat cut, the bochdan showed a neck wound. A bochdan of a man who was strangled would show bruises, while one who died of a gunshot wound might display a gaping tear in the chest cavity. Those afflicted by such a haunt usually fled from its presence, but this was was not usually a succesful manoeuvre as something in the job-description allowed bochdans to cross running water, a prohibition that usually halted run-of-the-mill bogeymen. A typical case was that of the "Bochdan Greve", which follwed a murderer from lowland Scotland to the docks of Halifax. Having outrun a charge of murder, the assasin was distressed when he came ashore and spotted a shadowy figure in a grey cloak waiting for him. The bochdan stood with a dog hollowed in against his leg, and said nothing, not surprising since his throat was cut. Although the face was in darkness, the murderer recognized his victim in the stance of the bochdan. Taking the first coach, the man fled to Mull River, Inverness County, Cape Breton, but his follower was as attached to him as any homing pigeon. The new neighbours of this Scot observed that he kept very peculiar company, although the bochdan never came nearer than an apple tree nearest the house. There he stood, facing the front door at dusk and dawn. Every so often the bochdan must have taken a lunch break as the dog alone remained visible. Over many years hundreds of passers-by saw the vision, which entered popular folklore as "The Bochdan Greve." The follower continued active as long as this gentleman lived, and failing to get justice, he

remained as an ancestral haunt to other members of the family after the murderer died. 68 The bochdan that appeared at Margaree troubled the neighbourhood because the befind felt his host had been ill-treated by the Christian church. The evolution of this spirit was traced to a suicide that took place in the early years of this century. A drunkard was found dead in a field and was buried on an island in unconsecrated ground, since the clergy regarded his passing as a suicide. Not long after "ugly noises" began to be heard from the cburial site. It was known that spirits were at large during the Yule, and one Christmas Eve a priest was crossing a small brook on a road adjacent to the island when he was attacked by the materialized bochdan;"...they wrestled until morning, the man losing one of his braces in the encounter. But all this time he refrained from speaking to his assailant, for the Bochdan could not speak unless addressed." Luckily, the clergyman had heard that the voice of the bochdan could kill. When dawn came this ghost dematerialized, but the priest was determined to eradicate the presence and went to the island. The priest blesssed the grave of the poor outcast man, and arranged that the body be transferred to a church cemetary. "After this, the noises ceased; nor was anything more seen or heard at Bochdan Brook, which still bears this sinister name."69 Although "bochdan" was originally used to describe befinds, especially those with a mission, it was finally extended to any dangerous apparition, thus Mrs. O.N. MacPherson of Margaree Forks defined "bodchan" more loosely as "an off-shoot of Satan."70 Mary L. Fraser confused them with run-of-the-mill sidh-folk, and with forerunners, as the following story reveals: "One evening about fifty-one years ago a young man...was going on a message to a neighbour's house, when he saw it before him on the road, a very terrifying object. It was large and black and had a red light in the middle of its back. A stream of light came from the front of it, so bright he could see the shingles on the house to which he was going. It went up to the house, passed around it, and then came down the road so
68Fraser, 69Fraser,

Mary L., Folklore of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 83. Mary L., Folklore of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 89. Herbert, A Folklore Sampler, St. John's (1982) p. 14.


swiftly that he jumped aside to let it pass. Terrified he made the sign of the cross, then looked to see the terrible bochdan. The bright front lights had turned once more to red. He heard no sound."71 BODACH A mortal earth spirit, often regarded as human but sometimes identified as one of the sidh. The mate of the boabh. Gaelic, bo ,cow + achdch , field; thus a herdsman, a rustic carl. Pronounced bawd-uch. This is the Cymric bwciod . The first part of this word confers with the English exclamation booh and the word moo . In addition, it is confluent with the Gaelic bog , a soft place, and bochda , poor (see bochdan ). Related to the lowland Scottish bogle , bugill ,or boggle , the Cymric bwg or bwgll , and the English bog-man , bug-man , booh-man , boo-beggar , bull-beggar or boogey-man , all bog-dwellers. The bodachs lived in diverse places, underground clansmen being termed bodaich na min (mine bodachs). Those at home in elderly trees were bodaich na croibhe moire (tree bodachs) while others were bodaich sabhaill (barn bodachs). All were described as poorly clothed and completely covered with hair. The brownie had nostril slits rather than a nose, while the highland bodach was noteworthy for webbed fingers and toes, a feature it shared with the species of banshee known as the morrigan (which, see). The bodachs were more servile than the female of their species often entering contracts with men. King James VI said: "The spirit appeared like a rough man, and haunted divers houses without doing any evill, but doing, as it were, necessarie turns (chores) up and down the house; yet some were so blinded as to believe that the house was all the sonsier (luckier), as they called it, that such spirits resorted there." The bodachs did this work in return for a small allowance of food and clothing and a permanent place in the chimney corner. They were usually invisible but sometimes took the shape of farm animals. The bodach corresponds with the brownie of northern England and Mary L., Folklore of Nova Scotia, np, nd, pp. 46-47. Twentyfive years later railway tracks were run through this region and the "bochdan" was seen to be the forerunner of a locomotive and train.

lowland Scotland, with the English hobgoblin, the German kobold and the Scandinavian nis. According to tradition, he presented himself to the patriarch of a family when he went looking for work. If accepted, he put on his cloak of invisibility and never reappeared except to reintroduce himself to some new master upon the death of the lord of the household. After dark, the bodach performed all of the usual farm chores in exchange for board and a small food and clothing allowance. The food would have been a small portion of bread and honey and a bit of milk, or a sample of homebrew placed near the fireplace in a hollowed stone bowl. It was though absolutely necessary to bring samples of ale and newly formed butter to the bodach "for the luck of the house." Bodachs were usually given a single stook of grain which stood unprotected in the frame yard. In spite of its exposed location this haystack was never disturbed by the wind. Bodachs were more serious minded than brownies and reacted badly when offended. Like the Scots, with whom they boarded, they bristled at anything resembling charity, and given foood that seemed to fine for their palate, or clothing that seemed excessive to their sense of fashion, they would leave the farm taking the luck of the farm with them. The name survives in Atlantic Canada, but the original meaning is largely lost: "Used in a derogatory fashion to describe an old man; an old fella who's past it. A churl, a boor, a niggardly fellow, a mutchkin." 72 My great-grandfather, Thomas Alexander Mackay, lived at Bonny River, New Brunswick, after his family emigrated there from Glasgow in 1828. Like all his Scottish neighbours, he was accompanied by a hearthspirit, which some suspected projected itself into the family cat. In any event, the brownie bowl was dutifully filled at night and always found empty by dawn. His wife, Priscilla Williamson, recognized the perogatives of the bodach, which explains why she would never shake the crumbs from a table-cloth or sweep the floor after the setting of the sun. These were then the duties of the bodach and he was angered when men or women suggested that he was inacapable or inefficient. There were tales of farmers who had crossed their bodach by such simple acts: Once a young girl responsible for replenishing the brownie stone filled it first

Dictionary opf Prince Edward Island English, Toronto

(1988) p. 210.

with honey and then with oatmeal and a spot of cream. Thinking the usual sweet stuff had been omitted, the bodach flew into a rage and rushed to the barn where he broke the neck of a prized cow. In a more reflective mood, he went back to his oatmeal and discovered his mistake. At that he compensated the farmer by leaving a pile of woodchips on the table. These turned to gold with the rising of the sun. The bodach may have been the befind, or familiar, of a human magician, but no distinction was made between bodachs belonging to the sidh and those of human clans. The bodachs described by Mary L. Fraser were certainly well versed in the druidheachd. We are not told how many there were, but all were fisherman on the Cape Breton shore. They were also bachelors as they were in the habit of making full use of their weekends: "On Saturday might they would jump, each one into a bailing can and would sail away to parts unknown. On Monday morning they would all come back, each one with a clean "shift" (shirt)." 73 A little more credible is the following account given by the Pictou County historian Frank H. Patterson: "...there lived at Tatamagouche (Nova Scotia) an old sea captain who sailed his little shallop between here and "the Island" (Prince Edward Island). One day he was sailing there under a steady and favorable breeze when suddenly in the Strait, far from land and in deep water, his vessel, without any reason wahatever suddenly stopped. An ordinary mariner would have been at a loss to understand so strange a phenomenon but this old salt was not only a masterof the waters...he was a master of witchcraft as well. He knew his plight had been wished on him (by an enemy)...His fingers ran through his long grisly beard, and across his weather-beaten features came a cunning, confident smile. He lashed the wheel and then disappeared in the cabin. In a moment he reappeared, carrying in one hand an old musket...in the other a rough slab (of wood) on which he had sketched the likeness of his enemy...Placing the slab by the mast he shot at it...Scarcely had the report died away when the vessel began to move and the spray was flying from beneath her clumsy bow and at the stern a happy sea captain wore a smile that would not wear off..."74

Mary L., Folklore of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 65. Frank H., A History of Tatamagouche, Halifax (1917), p.



One of Helen Creighton respondants at Allandale, Nova Scotia, has explained the intention of this counter-charm: "Fishermen here used to make a drawing of the person they thought responsible for bad luck and they would put it (the image) up on the mast. Then they would shoot at the hand or some part that would bbe mutilated, believing that in whatever place the image was pierced, the witch would suffer. The young men knew about this and sometimes made images for fun, but they noticed when they did this something always happened (to the person who was represented).75 Daddy Red Cap was the nickname of a bodach who plagued Allandale. The fact that he was given this name suggests he was considered a dangerous creature, for the redcaps were evil goblins who inhabited the wastelands at the border of England with Scotland. They occupied ruined towers and castles and waylaid travellers, re-dying their cylindrical, flat-topped hats in human blood after each night of mayhem. It was said that the bodach had once bargained to buy a cow, but the owner refused to sell. Shortly after, a snow-white bumblebee appeared on the rump of the animal and it lost the ability to give milk. Citizens of Allandale were sure this was the befind of Old Daddy Red Cap, who had also cast spells against people he disliked. Unfortunately for him, it is simply not true that "the Devil looks after his own!" His first set-back came when his wife agreed to apprentice a visitor from the neighbouring village of Black Point. The woman was made aware of the initiation rites of the sgoil dubh, or black arts, being told she would have to curse her father and mother, sign a "lease of her soul" contracting in blood. She had arrived at the point in the ritual where she was required to say aloud, "I sell my soul to the devil'," when she had second thoughts. Instead she said, "I sell my soul to the Lord!" A terrible commotion followed, and the Mrs. Daddy Red Cap cowered before a gathering cloud of darkmesss crying, "You've ruined me, you've ruined me!" The accolate retreated so that she did not see what followed, but the disappearance of the boabh from the community was noted shortly afterwards.


Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978), p. 41.

Fanny W. had no quarrel with Daddy Red Cap, but hearing that nine new needles boiled in human or animal urine was a countermeasure against the craft, tried it while concentrating her attention on the old man. To her surprise, this act called him to her doorstep, and she noted with horror that a sharp stick protruded from his arm. "Pull it out, pull it out!" he demanded, and she complied breaking the spell against him. He recovered from this, but it did not disuade him from turning his craft against a number of local fishermen. At sea in the waters off Cape Breton they were without fish, decided that, "old Daddy Red Cap has bewitched us." They drew an effigy of the fish-robber, hammered it to the mast of their ship, and ground up a silver dime to make appropriate shot. They put this in their shot gun, and fired away, hitting the image in the eye. After that, the fishing improved so that they forgot about the old bodach. Back at the wharf they enquired after the news of the day, and were told that little had transpired, but that Daddy Red Cap had fallen on his picket fence and damaged his right eye. While this did not dispose of him, he suffered a long recuperation and died of a heart attack. During his wake, relatives were gathered in one room, and acquaintances in another. His befind signalled his leaving with a number of terrific crashing sounds. Both groups rushed to the opposite room, supposing the supernatural noises to have come from there, but there was no visible explanation for the sound in either place. 76 The chief blighting-power of the bodach was the evil-eye. Nova Scotian writer, Neil MacNeil saw this magic in operation in the 1920's: "Grandfather and I were riding in our buggy...We stopped to pass the time of day with a neighbour. Grandfather and the neighbourt asked about each other's families and about the crops, and made small talk about other matters. In the course of conversation I noticed the neighbour looking intently at Old Maud, Grandfather's mare, which was standing relaxed and glad of the chance to rest. "That's a fine animal you have, Michael Eoin," remarked the neighbour. "Indeed she is, and may Saint Columba bless her," replied Grandfather. Shortly after this we were on our way; but something happened to Old Maud. The mare limped badly in her hind right foot...I was doing the driving. I thought she had picked up a stone in her shoe, or that a nail or stone had injured her hoof. I got out and examined the hoof and

Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978), p. 41.

found nothing wrong with it. We drove on and Old Maud was as lame as ever. Grandfather, who was watching the performance in silence, finally spoke. "that neighbour has the eveil eye," he said. "That is why I asked for St. Columba's blessing on the poor creature. I was trying to save her. Water off silver will cure the spell. So let her move along gently until we reach some water." This we did. When we reached a small brook I stopped the horse and Grandfather lent me a silver coin. Under his instructions I held it in my cupped hand and dipped some water from the stream. I rubbed the water first and then the coin on Old Maud's leg and hoof. After some of this Grandfather remarked: "That will do." I got back in the buggy and we drove off. Old Maud's limp was gone, in fact I never saw her more happy or more sprightly."77 When the Reverand James MacGregor came out to Pictou township in the 1780's it was said that he was "beset on all sides with the superstitious beliefs of the settlere. While he did his best to overcome their fear of witches, fairies and beasties, he was to contend with this problem until his death." Some of the settlers were certain that he was a Christian bodach, and one elderly lady insisted that he lay hands on their sick cow to drive off the evil spirit that was causing it to be ill. Pushed to his limit, he at last gave in, and laying a stick on the animals rump, declared, "If you live you live, and if you die you die." Fortunately for his reputation as a magician the animal recovered. There was a sequel. The minister was afterwards forced to bed with an abcess in his throat which nearly blocked his breathing. This same old lady approached his bed-side and reiterated MacGregor's "god-spell": "If you live you live, if you die you die." This teased the clerics funny-bone and he laughed aloud in spite of his discomfort. At that the tumour burst, he regained his breath, and was soon up and about. This reinforced his reputation, and not long after a farmer arrived saying his horse had wandered and could Dr. MacGregor please locate the animal? The minister protested that he had no supernatural powers but he did recollect seeing a stray animal earlier in the day. He mentioned this to the man saying, "Perhaps it is yours." As this was the case, word spread that the "Spirit of God" enabled Jam,es MacGregor to perform


Neil, The Highland Heart In Nova Scotia, New York (1948),

pp. 82-83.

miracles equal to that of any pagan bodach. 78 BODACH NA CROIBHE MOIRR Gaelic, see bodach . A sub-species: na croibhe moirr , of the great and ancient oak tree. Great may also be translated as large. Croibhe resembles croich , a gallow tree, and also cro , blood, raw flesh or death. This bodach is pictured as a strong, wirey little man as gnarled and stout as his parent oak. The oak-tree man was actually one with the spirit of his tree and when it fell, he died. He was therefore obsessively protective of his home, his liveliheed and his second soul. The oak was the preferred resting-place of the spirits of the pagan thunder-gods, so these creatures can be seen as demoted gods, quite possibly the spirits consulted by the ancient "draoi" or druids, whose religion centered on the worship of this species of tree. In the past ancient trees were reserved to the crown, and the peasent was only allowed deadwood, that which he could pull away from the living tree "by hook or by crook". At that, it was always considered good manners to ask a tree permission where wood was to be removed. A typical charm had to be repeated three times: "Great oak-man, give of your wood, and when my spirit has gone to earth and tree, then I will give thee of mine!" This was made a firm contract by spitting three times against the roots. Those who cut without formalities often lost their eyesight or their health when a limb fell on them. More often, the adventurer was not stricken but his wife, children or cattle were destroyed by the oak-tree man. If this danger was noted, the wounded tree was sometimes diverted from antagonistic action after being offered a libation of milk or ale. The village of Tusket, Nova Scotia, lies ten miles away from the larger town of Yarmouth. It was once noted for "a large, rather ungainly, oak tree growing on the bank of an ocean inlet beside the village's main road. The branches are gnarled and crooked and the tree has a rather ominous aura surrounding it. It is said that it was from this tree that the early settlers of the area hanged condemned criminals or victims of lynching gangs. The tree was not removed when the road was made...because an axe would not scar it nor could oxen pull it from the


Roland H., Pictou Pioneers, Windsor (1973), pp. 72-73.

ground.79 Our ancestors might have argued that the spirits of hard men were added to that of the tree, giving it unusual physical strength. It was wellknown that oaks were slow to die. When they fell, the stump typically became the root for a coppice haunted by the spirits of many bodachs. These sidh-folk were distressed at the loss of the tree and often blamed men for the damage. They therefore offered dfood to passing mortals, and the dainties were tempting, but had to be refused as they were fungal growths disguised by magic. Wood taken from fallen oaks, hanging trees, or the remains of a shipwreck carried spirits with them which were not always comfortable in the homes of the living. At Victoria Beach, Nova Scotia, Joseph Casey told of a cradle fashioned from such wood by his great grandfather: "(He) had started out to be a priest but he changed to become a Baptist minister and was married three times. He made a cradle that was as long as a cot and pretty soon they noticed that the cradle rocked whether the baby was in it or not...Some people who used it said that hymn music would come from it." Casey's mother confirmed her son's story adding that she had seen the cradle rock by itself but had not heard the music. The cradle was eventually loaned to a friend, but she found its actions so uncanny she returned it. "The cradle now belongs to people who keep it in their 80 attic." BODACH SABHAL Gaelic, see bodach , above. Another sub-species identified by sabhal as resident in the barn. The noun confers with the English word stable through a Brythonic root word. This creature corresponds exactly with the English barguest or barn-ghost. Thomas Keightley speaks of the boggart and barguest of Yorkshire, noting that the former "is the same as the brownie or kobold (of Germany); the latter, whose proper name is barn-ghaist, or barn-spirit, keeps without, and usually takes the form of some domestic animal." An earlier

Herbert, A Folklore Sampler, St. John's (1982), p. 7. Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, Toronto (1976), p. 164.


account says that, "The barguest used also to appear in the form of a great mastiff-dog, and terrify people with his skrikes (shrieks) There was a barguest named the pick-tree-brag whose usual form was that of a little galloway (horse) in which shape a farmer, still or lately living, reported that it had come to him one night as he was going home; that he got upon it and rode very quietly till it came to a pond, to which it ran and threw him in, and went laughing away." The highland barn brownies had a great love of horses which they often rode as well as emulated. Where they were exuberant the horse was sometimes left panting and exhausted by morning. In a foul mood, they sometimes lutinized the tails or manes of animals, giving the herdsman and impossible job for the daylight hours. They were usually propitiated with a stack of straw, which was never disturbed, even by winds of hurricane force. Bodachs sometimes consented to mow and thresh the grain crop, but were hot-tempered and if criticized might respond by taking the harvest and dumping it in a remote location. BOGEYMAN A mortal swamps. water-spirit, usually restricted to bogs and

Gaelic, bog , a low area partially floooded with water, from which the Lowland Scots bogle , literally a little bog man or bogger , a scarecrow or bodach. Note also boban and bobug Gaelic words sometimes applied affectionately to small boys. The source here is taken as the Middle Irish boban , a calf, from bo , a cow. These confer with the bocan , or hobgoblin of Gaelic myth. The bogeymen are characterized in several obsolte expressions, notably: bog , a surly person; boggard , a latrine; bogger , one who works at the home of his employer, especially a shoe-maker or repairer; bogging , peddling or hawking from door-to-door; boggish , a boorish person given to bragging and cursing, especially a person who drank excessively. Until recently a bug was known to be a vain, conceited, boastful individual. ; boggle-de-botch , a total screwup; bogus , watered-down rum; bogie , a low solidly built mechanism, especially an early railway cart. Bogan is the Anglo-Saxon descriptive for a boastful person. The word bogie was the base for our word buggy , a high-wheeled vehicle which would keep the peddlar's goods clear of water and mud. Confers with bodach and the various English species, namely, boggle , bogy , boogy-boo , bogie , bug-a-booh , bugill ,

boggart , bogan , booman , boogeyman , bugleman , bullerman , bullbeggar . bugman , bug , bugbear , bugaboo , buck , pug , puck , or puck-hairy . Related Celtic species include the Cymric pwcca which is the Gaelic pooka . In tracking related names, Sir Francis Palgrave has helped to characterize the bogle: The Anglo-Saxon poecan means to deceive, or seduce; and the Low Saxon picken to gambol; pickeln , to play the fool; the Icelandic pukra , to steal secretly; and the Danish pukke , to scold. Bogeyman was the common form in Atlantic Canada, while booman or boo-beggar seems to be have been preferred in Newfoundland. Notice that the bogeymen frequently carried their goods in bags, sacks or pouches, and that poca is still the Gaelic word for a sack. Our word pocket may come from this source and is related to the Anglo-Saxon words pucca and bucca , a pocket and a he-goat, respectively. It is suspected that all of these correponded with the Old German, tanherabogus , a goblin or devil. One man described an encounter with a bogey who was "as tall as a tree with arms like logs, speckled all over (freckled?)" A resident of South River Lake, Nova Scotia, insisted he was assaulted by "a blanket" which transformed itself into "a fleece of wool" and finally reconstituted itself as "a round black ball." A traveller at East River Point, in that same province, was less certain what opposed him but found the road blocked by "a black thing." Returning home he took down his shotgun and returned to the wayside intending to blast this bogeyman into the beyond. His family members, remembering other incidents where bullets had ricocheted from such creatures killing the marksman, blocked him from this effort. A Rothesay, New Brunswick man on the road to his weekly hand of fortyfives at the village fire hall was driven to the pavement by a stunning blow to his right shoulder. He could see nothing in the darkness but later said that the blow came as, "a great thudding whack, like that given by the flat of a hand." His wind knocked from him, he looked up and thought he saw "an enormous black man wearing a derby." Another memorable attack took place in the Dagger Woods of Nova Scotia where a farmer was driving his team and wagon through the darkened forest. Suddenly the horses refused to move and the farmer got down to assess the difficulty. In midstep he was swept away on a whirlwind and recovering, found himself seated on the ground, facing backwards, between his two sweating completely immobilized animals. He immediately turned the team about

and had no difficulty retreating back down the road. Bougies were known in the Acadian countryside, where they were seen travelling as a single ball of cold light. "Bougie" is retained in the French language as a measure of light intensity, one unit equalling a candlepower. The bogeymen attempted to terrify, or mislead, men. Failing this they sometimes assaulted people at night and Robert Lowe of Moser's River, Nova Scotia, was one of their victims. He noted that the thing that struck him in the dark "was pretty powerful to be a person, but it was too dark to see anything. It was raining, so not very likely any normal person would be hiding in the bushes." Feeling outmatched Lowe took the sensible route of running for his own doorstep, and inside equipped himself with a lantern and a gun. In the best tradition of men who return again and again to haunted houses to face a virulent monster, Lowe went back to the scene of the attack. Something came running at him out of the the pitchblackness and he fled without firing a shot. The next night he heard the bug-man rustling the leaves in the woods close to his house. The morning after both incidents he emerged at dawn to look for prints or some signs of damaged trees or brush, but there was never anything to be seen in the damp soil except the prints of his own boots. BOG TROTTER A bogeyman; see entry above. Middle English, trotten , the gait of a horse where the paired legs move in diagonals. From Teutonic models, similar to the English word tread . The pace of servants Note also trot , a toddler, an old woman, or a fishing line fitted with hooks at intervals. BOOBAGGER A mortal-earth spirit restricted to the outback. Middle English, boo or booh , interjection, imitative of the low of a cow or the hoot of an owl + bagge , a sack purse or pouch; a container for loot. Boo, probably derived from the Gaelic bo , a cow. was originally an expression of contempt, aversion or hostility directed against enemies in order to stratle or frighten them. It was sometimes used as a means of maintaining contact betweeen members of a host who lay in ambush. The

word bag may be from the Old French bague , ultimately based on classical models. In addition to the usual meanings it was a name applied to the bagpipes played by rustics and the udder of a cow. In Europe, when children expressed a desire to go into the distant fields to pick the blue cornflowers or the red poppies, adults used to warn them that the Corn-mother was in the corn and would catch them. There were also Pea-mothers, Rye-mothers, Wheat-mothers, Oat-mothers and Barley-mothers in various regions depending on the dominant crop. These were the spirits entrapped in the last sheath of harvest as the harvest doll, sometimes entitled the Old Woman, Old Grandmother, Great Mother, wrach, hag, or cailleach. Less often the last sheaf of the grain-crop was the Old Man or field buck. This character was thought a hazard to adult reapers, who seeing one of their number trip in the field might say, "the Harvest-goat has pushed him," or "The Rye-wolf has him by the throat." In Mecklenberg, the last of the grain was called the Wolf and it was said that the man or woman who reaped it "had the Wolf". Moreover that person was afterwards identified as the Wolf and was expected to return to the farm where he symbolically "bit" the hand of the lady of house being given a cut of meat for this "service." In other places, a wolf-figure was fashioned from the grain and paraded before the homecoming harvesters. J.G. Fraser says that the Wolf was often dressed in human clothing exactly like our local mummers. In some traditions, the corn-buck, boarded through the winter in the farmhouse, ready to reinvigorate the crops when he was returned to the fields in the spring. Elsewhere, the last sheaf was left standing in the fields as a treat for Odin's horse at the time of Mother Night (Dec. 23). Whether they were hausbockes (house bucks) or kornbockes (field bucks) the boo-baggers had access to men's homes at the Yule and being "irascible" were particularly useful in cowering disobedient children at any season of the year. In German areas of Maritime Canada, children were told to expect Knecht Ruprecht as the companion of Kris Kringle or Santa Claus. Both carried sacks, but Kris Kringle gave gifts from his, while Ruprecht used his to carry bad children away. The Irish pooka, the German juudel and the klausbauf "have all been accused of the most heinous crimes, from child-molesting to kidnapping, and murder." The boobagger is the Newfoundland version of this of the field buck or bogeyman. Folklorist John D.A. Widdowson says that these "powerful and mysterious beings" are found in four locales: 1. Places of potential

danger, e.g., harbours, rivers, ponds, brooks and wells; wharfs and stages, cliffs, rocks and caves; marshes, barrens and woods; old dilapitated buildings; root cellars. 2. Places where human beings often felt afraid or apprehensive. e.g., dark places, narrow lanes asnd paths, bridges, lonely places, graveyards, hollows, places shaded by trees. 3. Places from which children are forbidden, to prevent them from causing damage or otherwise interfering with adult activities, e.g., vegetabler gardens and fields of growing crops; barns and other buildings where animals are kept; workshops, storage sheds and various rooms, closets and cupboards inside the house itself. 4. Places associated with some unpleasant or frightening event, e.g., localities where a murder or suicide has been committed, where unexplained noises have been heard, or lights or other manifestations seen." While it was thought inadvisible for children to go into such places, some of these were avoided by adults, especially if they happened to be travelling alone. "Danger might threaten there in many forms, whether from the natural hazards of the environment, or from robbery or the attack of some person or animal." Widdowson says that "One of the most common functions of threats in Nerwfoundland is to get children indoors before dark and to prevent them from going out after dusk. Children are told to be in by a ceratin hour, or to be home before dark, and they are also told to come home early if it is foggy or stormy. Once indoors they are warned not to go out in the darkness for fear of various nocturanl figures which are said to be llurking outside. These same figures, especially those in the boo/bogey group are used to encourage children to go to sleep...In addition threats are used to encourage children to co-operate...Threats are used mostly for the good of the child...and sometimes for the peace of mind (of the adult or as) and outlet for their aggression and hostility. Much depends on the mood of the adult, who may threaten the child either playfully or seriously...Although the child eventually realizes that the verbal controls are merely a device to encorage accepable behaviour, the more serious threats, especially in his early years, may induce him to believe in the existence of threatening figures..." BOO-OINAK An Indian magician.

Wabenaki, Passamaquoddy, represented pouin . Confers with the Innu angakok. Noter personalities as listed above. The abilities of maya or “illusion.” It is said that storms raised worst of all.” BRIDDEG

elsewhere as bouin or the resemblance to Gaelic these people centred on by these people are “the

The mortal wind-spirit which serves as the banshee of the Fergussons of Glenshellish in Scotland and abroad. Gaelic, bridd , bride+ eag , eagid , fear, both feminine. Confers with brigh , the essence, substance or essential meaning of a thing, and briagha , adj. fine or beautiful. Confers with brideach , a dwraf. The root word may be brg , high, after Brighde , whose name translates as Brigit , Brigte , Brigtae , Brgnti , or Bride , after the old Gaelic goddess of married and filial love, poetry, the heath, andhome. Her tribe was the Brigantes , who supposedly came to Ireland from Belgium by way of Britain. Her name was diminished as "bridey ", a working woman and she was the keeper of perpetual fires used in the smelting of metals. Her day was known as Brighdfeas , or Brigit's festival, also called Imbolc, celebrated on the eve of February 2. She was acquisitioned and became the best known female saint of the Celtic Church. Confers with the AngloSaxon, bridd , a young bird or chick and with the German berg . a hill. Confluent with Bragi , the Old Norse god of poetry and drink. Her Teutonic name was Bertha . Brigit may have become a saint, but Sir George James Fraser has correctly identified her as "an old heathen goddess of fertility, disguised in a threadbare Christian cloak." The older Brigit gave her name to a tribe of Brigantines who settled northern England and southern Scotland as well as parts of northern Ireland. She was said to be the daughter of Dagda and Boann, a sister to Ogma, Lugh and Midir, all gods of the sidh-underworld. She was the goddess of household arts and crafts, a guardian of the hearth, and the patron of married love. At birth her deity was noticed in a corona or holy flame that passed from her head into the heavens. Her first accolates captured this fire and used it to create a perpetual forge-flame. In her first human incarnation, Brigit created a religious cult which guarded her sacred-flame for many centuries. The virgins of the flame

probably took part in the annual "rites of spring" which involved a ritual pairing of some maiden with a god-king. Brigit supported hostels at various places in Britain, and the craftsmen who assembled there specialized in the forging of metal tools and weapons. Others in these saintly communities were skilled in the use of herbs, thus the shrines became known for the practise of medicine. When the Christian missionaries arrived and converted the people, they did not at first extinguish the "sacred-fires" but gave them to the keeping of "cailleachs", or nuns of their church. They were finally put out, but the church fathers built their sanctuaries over the dead embers. One of these still stands at Abernathy, Scotland where Columbian monks deliberately sited their church on "the most sacred place of the (pagan) Picts, one dedicated to the goddess-spirit Brigid." Clan Macduff were hereditary abbotts at this place. We know little of the rites of Imbolc, but can guess that they were bloody since this Celtic word corresponds with the obsolete English word "imbolish", which approximates "abolish". In parts of Atlantic Canada a little of the old rites survived as they did in Scotland: On Bride's Eve, the mistress of each household used to fashion a "bride doll" from a local grain, or grains, dressing it women's apparel. The doll was placed in wicker basket and a wooden thorn-stick placed at its side. As dusk fell the mistress and any of her servants stood at the door shouting, "Bride is welcome!" three times over. When they rose in the morning, all the members of the family went immediately to the open hearth, looking for signs that the spirit of Bride had animated the doll during the night. If the ashes there were undisturbed this was taken as a bad omen, but numerous scratchings on the hearth were supposed to signify prosperity in the year ahead. It is very likely that there were once ritual marriages of the Bridd and Bridd-groom and fires like those of the English Whitsuntide. Bruide was represented in the form of a beast-man known locally as the the slue (which, see). This is the Lunenburg spirit known as the zwoog or swoog. While the slue was active on Briid's Day, the zwoog saw action on Dak's Day, both celebrated on the second day of February. In Atlantic Canada, Groundhog Day is an unassuming festival, but remember that the bear can be a "groundhogge", the "hogge" being a sexually active yearling of any mammalian species. In Scotland the "groundhog" was the bear, and it is this animal that shuffled forth from its cave to see whether the sun was up in the sky or not. If the bear saw his shadow, this was taken as an

omen of misfortune, and in our country that mishap involves six additional weeks of winter. The German "dak" or "dach" had a meaning very close to the Anglo-Saxon "hogge", but it is identified as the badger. The second day of February was entitled Saint Brigit's Day in old Scotland, and in Ireland. In the latter country, she was sometimes identified as Sheelagh (a sidh maiden), the companion of Saint Patrick. As the briddeag, Brigit acts as a banshee, a female mourner for the dead, or near dead. It is not uncommon for tombstones to bear a disembodied head supported by a pair of wings, a symbol of the guardian angel of each soul. The clan Fergusson insists that those on their memorials depict the briddeag, "a bat with a human face that flutters eerily at the window when a Fergusson of Glenshellish is about to die, thus warning him of his impending doom." Iain Moncrieffe confirms that "This spook's name is interesting because the Fergussons link their "brideag" to the spirit of St. Brigid and thence to the pagan goddess Brigid. The present writer believes the Pictish royal throne-name of Bruide...represented the male manifestation of this mighty British goddess."81 The briddeag may have been a bat, but the photographs of stones we have seen are more suggestive of an owl with a human face, certainly the wings are feathered. Our local candidate for this spirit is the common barn owl. This bird has been described as "highly nocturnal." It spends the daylight hours "well concealed, often in a hay-loft in a barn, where it sometimes makes its nest." Robie Tufts has said that, "Because its facial expression is thought by some to resemble that of a monkey, it is locally called the monkey-faced owl." One may presume that these birds are sometimes activated by the projected spirits of dying men but thir limited eyesight may be enough to cause collisions with window-panes. BROWNIE A mortal earth spirit inhabiting households. Anglo-Saxon, bruun . A direct reference to skin colour, a dusky colour, anadmixture of red, yellow and black with the first colours

Iain, The Highland Clans, New York (1967), p. 103.

predominatining. Confers with brown , bruin , beaver , brunette . Confers with the Gaelic bruinidh from the lowland Scottish tongue. Little men, typically invisible, about twenty inches in height, covered from head to foot with shaggy brown hair, poorly dressed. Comparable with the bodach (which,see) of highland Scotland, the goodfellows of England and the nisses of Scandinavia and the kobolds of Germany. Like the bodachs, the brownies exchanged manual labour for a place in the homes of men. In Scotland, each home had an individual spirit, who was propitiated by placing a bit of milk or pap (bread and milk) in a holed stone. At beer-brewing time the farmer added a little malt to this brownie stone in the hope that the creature would "bless" the brew. If treated well, the brownie was an unfailing friend who would milk the cows, churn the butter, mow hay. pasture the animals and even go for a doctor if anyone needed medical help. In general, brownie made everything about the farm run smoothly, the "luck of the house" depending on his satisfaction. He was attached to particular families, with whom he had been known to reside for centuries, but his company was not always appreciated. The "cauld lad" of Hilton Hall, Wear, England "worked" each night in the kitchen "knocking things about if they had been set in order, arranging them if otherwise...The servants resorted to the usual mode of banishing a brownie: they left him a green cloke and hood..." Brownie always reacted against anything resembling overpayment or criticism of his person. BUGGERLUG The mortal earth spirit first incarnated as the Celtic god Lugh. Gaelic, bog , a damp place + luig , a liar. The former word confers with boga , or boca , any young but sexually active animal, particularly the he-goat. Similar to the Anglo-Saxon bucca and our own word buck . The buggerlug was a leader among the bog-men , boogey men , or boobaggers , and there is every possibility that these side-hill men once existed as outlaws and subsistence farmer-cattle herders. Bug-juice was formerly any low-grade alcoholic drink, while bugword was threatening language. At least one Scottish community is represented as


, the place of the god Lugh (pronounced Lookha).

T.K. Pratt contends that the derived word buggerlug is a dialectic insult, sometimes intended affectionately but more often as a mark of contempt. In earlier times the word identified a lazy lay-about, a person of little status and when it was meant affectionately it was usually modified as "little buggerlug". 82 The Gaelic god Lugh is usually represented as the son of Dagda and Danu, but they were foster-parents, his actual father being Kian mac Contje. When Balor Beimann, the Fomorian giant with the evil-eye was constructing his palace on Tory Island, off the northwest coast of Ireland, he hired Gavidjeen Go as a smith "to make irons for his doors". He paid the smith with a valuable cow but failed to provide the magical "byre-rope" to keep it from wandering. Noticing the cow's tendancy to return to the island Go hired Kian to guard the animal but it got away. On pain of death he set out to bring it back to the mainland. Having no way across the waters of the Atlantic he bargained with Manaun MacLer to take him across in a coracle, or hide-boat. Manaun gave KIan a quick-course in lock-picking so that he could seek out the lost cow. The Tuathan was quickly accepted into Balor's household as he was an expert story-teller and knew the secret of improving food by cooking it over fire. In a year of residence on the island Kian accidently came upon the cloistered daughter of Balor, who was shut away because of a druidic prophecy that a grandson of Balor would bring about his death. On friendly terms with this lonesome girl soon found himself involved in "accident". He fled with his son, who was named Lugh, the byre-rope, and the cow he had been sent to recover. Demanding recompense for a second trip across the water, Manaun agreed to take Lugh as his foster-son, which explains how he came to be raised in the undersea kingdom off the Isle of Man. As a young man, Lugh was needed by his father's race, the Tutha daoine, to repulse the Fomorian invaders of Ireland. Given a "flesh-seeking spear" and a horse that rode the sea-surface, Lugh sought out his grandfather's fleet, and without knowledge of the relationship, killed the "Old Man" by casting a dart directly into his death-dealing single eye. Lugh became the master of all arts at the court in Tara, and afterwards ruled as "ard-righ",

T.K., Dictionary of Prince Edward Island English, Toronto

(1988) p. 25.

or high-king. At his death, Lugh of the Long arm was succeeded by his "father" Dagda, who ruled for eighty years, and sat on the throne when the Milesians finally conquered the island kingdom. While Saint Patrick took full credit for subjugating Crom the Crooked, one of the vilest gods of the underworld, it now seems that the Christian saint actually claimed a victory the belonged to Lugh. Lugh had the same relationship toward his grandfather, Balor (Crom) as Odin did with Uller, god of winter. In times gone by the Celtic midsummer was devoted to Lugh and hence called the Lugnasad (August 2). Religious ceremonies reinacted the seasonal victory of the sun god over the god of the "cold-eye". CAILLEACH BHEUR A mortal sea-spirit often thought to personify winter. Gaelic, cailleach (pronounced caylick) the hag of a bodach (male witch), an elderly human woman or a Christian nun, "the veiled one." Bheur (pronounced burr) sharp, pointed, clear, cold. Also seen entitled An Cailleach Beara , the Bear-Woman. Some consider her to have been the mate of the "lord of the northern mountains," who has been variously identified as the Anglo-Saxon Balkin (kin of god), the or the Norse, Uller/Odin, who confers with the Celtic king named Ard Bheur , or High Cold One, the mythic King Arthur of the medieval romances. See entry titled Sheila; also Mhorga and Samh.

The Cailleach Bheur is sometimes credited with the creation of Scotland. According to this myth, she was originally located in Lochlann or Norway, where she had charge of a large number of wild and domesticated animals. In a move to expand her game farm, this one-eyed giantess filled several wickers full of soil and waded the North Sea channel. Her spillage of earth, as she passed, inadvertently created the Western Isles. Some tales claim that she made the mistake of transporting a few of the troublesome humans in one of these loads. Celtic tribesmen claimed that she had her home in the whirlpool of Coary-vrechen near the islands of Jura and Scorva, but the people of western Kerry identified her with Dirri or Digdi, "the old woman of Dingle.

Still others said that she occupied the Island of Beare in Bantry Bay. The Scots thought she was always on the move jumping between their highland mountains in the form of a gray mare. Wherever she travelled she carried a magic staff that spread snow in about her. This snow-queen also used the rod to blast her enemies with lightning. She was often seen gathering sea-grasses for her wild herds and in hard winters raked the beaches for seaweeds in order to sustain them. Men considered her a goddess of death, the one who travelled the December winds seeking the souls of the dead to ride after her in the Wild Hunt. Elsewhere this duty was given to Hel, Odin, King Arthur, or Frau Wode or Gode, the female equivalent of Odin. The Cailleach carried away any of the living who were disbelievers, but sometimes rewarded her friends among men by throwing them a haunch of meat from the body of an animal killed in the hunt. Like the goddess Macha, the Cailleach sometimes took horse-form and jumped from mountain-top to mountain-top above the Scottish glens. At other times, she was seen foraging for seaweeds to feed her animals during the winter. She carried a power-stick wherever she travelled; it leaked snow, but could be used to blast lighting at those who attempted to steal it. The Cailleach controlled the Gaelic winter, which commenced Nov. 1 and terminated April 31. Her power was greatest at mid-winter when she gathered the souls of the dead. The word cailleach survives in Atlantic Canada under the original Gaelic spelling and meaning but is pronounced kal-eck. Mary L. Fraser has said that the gathering of cailleachs, or women, was a sign that a storm was at hand. She also noted that "The Highland pioneers brought with them to Nova Scotia all the weather lore of this myth; for example (the period) from the middle of January to the middle of February was the wolf month (am Faoilteach) when the Cailleach, alarmed at the signs of the revival of nature, summoned to her aid wolflings, or wolf-storms. The first three days of the first week of February were called "shark-toothed, "bitter, stinging east winds; then followed three days of "plover winged (days), swift, fitful blasts of rain- bring winds that killed sheep and lambs; and so on through March. Great was their joy at the vernal equinox that the vicious Cailleach had at last "thrown her mallet under the

holly." 83 Actually her season did not officially end until the last day of April, but the "line storm" was regarded as her last major exercise of power. Confering with Shelagh's storm, Brigit's storm or the Saint Patrick's Day storm, the line storm was a final snow-storm that coincided with the time when the sun appeared to cross the equatorial "line" at the spring equinox. In many places, the line storm followed the equinox by a few days, occupying the last three days of April. In Scotland and Nova Scotia it was noticed that the most severe snowfall of winter often started on the 29th day of that month. The last three days of March were said to have been borrowed by the Cailleach from April in order that the goddesss might extend her power over the land. An old rhyme puts her proposition as follows: March said to Aperill, "I saw three hoggs (sheep) on yonder hill, And if you'll lend me dayis three, I'll find some way to gar them dee (kill them dead). The first of them (the borrowing days) was wind and weet, the next o' them was snaw and sleet. The third o' thew was sic (such) a freeze, it froze the bird's feet till (to) the trees. And when the three days were past and gane. The silly puir (poor) hoggies cam hirplin (hurtling) hame (home).

CALLITHUMP A mortal earth spirit reincarnate annually during the "daft days". which some call Yule. Middle English, callan , or callant , a stripling, a young animal just entering its sexual phase + thump , imitative of the sound of a blow. Callan corresponds with the Gaelic calluinn , a young buck (see entry below). Confluent with c a l l , to shout in a loud voice; caller , cool and refreshing; and callet , a loose woman, a trull or trow. Callithumpian

Mary L., Folklore of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 108.

identifies a party of young noise-makers following a callithump-leader. Confers with the Gaelic callan , a noise and with Calluinn , New Year's Day. All similar to calendar from the Latin columa and calandae etc. See next entry. Like the omadons, the callithumpians were spiritual projections of an ancient mortal-god. They were second-cousins of the janeys, or mummers, of Newfoundland, and corresponded with the belsnickers of Nova Scotia, the horribles of Prince Edward Island and the duan na calluinn (calf-man) of Cape Breton Island. The similarity that exists between the Gaelic calluinn and the New Brunswick callithump is worth noting. Both pagan "god-men" were maskers or disguisers, the original covering having been a a bull-skin complete with head horns and tail. In his last appearance calluinn-man Roderick MacLeod of Wreck Cove, Nova Scotia, said that he was wrapped in "a dried sheepskin pulled up to shield the face." The followers of the "duan na calluinn" were his unsely court, while the callithumpians trailed after their callithumpian-beast. Since medieval times, similar trains of disguised young men have emptied upon the countryside to trouble the Yule. They went "house-visiting" or "firstfooting",and as they passed from one place to another, the lads beat at the hide of the leader, hence the designation "callithumpian parade" which for a while described any uproarious source of noise. If the chief callithump represented the old god of the underworld, he and his courtiers were seen as dangerous customers, and Helen Lochhead of Frederivton, New Brunswick reembers being totally cowed when they made a visit to her home about the year nineteen hundred. "When I was a little girl it was very frightening. On New Year's Day boys, dressed in old clothing, would come knocking on people's doors. I was frightened and we kept the doors locked." There was justification for this for two decades earlier a group of disgusisers had entered government house on the occasion of a Christmas party tendered by the Lieutenant Governor. This gang made off with stolen kisses from the ladies, bits and pieces of official silverware and even the roast turkey, which had been intended as the festive centrepiece. There is record of "kallathumpian" activity in York County, Pennsylvania, where a boyhood observer said that the practise included "going around to neighbour's houses on New Year's Eve and firing guns." In an earlier day this act was understood to send all stray evil-spirits scurrying to join the master kallithump, who carried them to earth with him when he was finally burned to ashes. CBC

interviewer Thea Borlase (1980) heard the callithumpians described as "a horde of masked hell-raisers who roamed the streets of Fredericton in search of festivities to interrupt with a lot of commotion." They were decidedly, " a noisy, unmannerly group, whose aggressive actions frightened children and frequently the adults..." The callithumpians were of the lower classes, the true heirs of the original outsider, whose "pride" led to his fall from grace. No matter how many rears, or bottles of liquor, they pinched in their travels, these mummers had to remain well disguised or be prepared to be contrite by Boxing Day. CALLUINN Gaelic, calluin , young buck; confers with ceilim (pronounced k-elim) I conceal; one with a hidden identity. Similar to the Scottish callan , or callant , a youngster or stripling. Roderick MacLeod, of Wreck Cove, Cape Breton represented himself as the last man to wear the calluinn-skin on Oidhche na Calluinn: (night of the young buck or stripling). Oidhche na Calluinn is a nelogism for New Year's Eve, now celebrated on Dec. 31, but formerly on the last day of October. According to MacLeod, the rites were common until the time of the Second World War. In his village, two groups of "young bucks" started out at dusk to cover opposite ends of the community. The leader, referred to as duan na calluinn, or the young buck man, was clearly a representative of a nature-god as he was "wrapped in a dried sheepskin pulled up around his head." His retinue included the young men of the district who were dressed in their usual clothes but sometimes had their faces blackened or were modestly disguised. Since they celebrated in the winter season they often made their house-visits by sleigh or on snowshoes. "The occupants of each house would see their lanterns and hear them but they would not open the door. For they would hear strange sounds and see from the window a strange, strange sight. (The leader) would be running with others running behind him, beating on the skin and sending up a horrible rattling sound as they ciircled the house three times. Then they would come to the door, and the leader would yell out (the Calluuinn Rhyme in Gaelic). When he came to the last line the door would be opened and people would give something, potatoes, motton, beef, and it would go in a bag brought to handle these goods. Finally they would all go to one house. It was usually a home less fortunate (than others). They would get pots boiling and take food from the bag and cook up a terrific feast. And there

would be singing, perhaps a story, and tables would be pushed aside and a fiddler would set the whole room dancing...And it would be the wee hours (before) leaving behind what was left of the food, often a supply for a long, long time." The Calluinn Rhyme, as preserved in Cape Breton, reveals some of the forgotten ritual. In summary, it says: "I come to present the Calluinn (new beginnings). I come from time long past, and now go sunwise about this house. I'll descend to the door, calluinn-skin in hand, and hold this to the nose of all within. None that smell it will escape a healthy life. The man of the house must take it in his hands and put it's head in the fireplace . He must pass sunwise around the children; but must bless the woman by passing over and above her. She will get the skin in full measure and well deserve it...Those that come with the Calluinn expect no drink for this blessing because of the drought in the countryside, but we take the cheese, but no scabby potatoes, and no bread without butter. We'll not go empty- handed, so do not detain us, but open the door." Almost the only concession to Christian ritual in the above rhyme was the adoption of a sun-wise path instead of the traditional counterclockwise dance of pagan times. The reference to "descent to the door" comes from the fact that the old Scottish buildings had a thatching ridge, which the Calluinn-man used to run , pursued by young villagers. This ritual has been described by Sir James George Fraser as "a disorderly procession" in which the party struck the walls with sticks or flails. After admission the "minister" of the party pronounced a blessing on the house: "May god bless this house and all that belongs to it. In plenty of meat, bed and body clothes, and health of men may it abound!" After that the "devil" passed his calluinn-skin, a strip of leather sometimes fastened to a staff, to the oldest male in the house who touched it to a newly-laid fire and applied a smudge of soot to the nose of every person and animal within the farm. "This was imagined to secure them from diseases and other misfortunes, particularly from witchcraft, throughout the ensuing year. The calluinn seems to have survived well into the nineteenth century." Their is no question that the calluinn-skin is a phallic symbol, the touching to flame renewing its spiritual energy for procreation. While this magic-device creates a protective circle for the children, the man of the house is advised to pass "over and above" is wife that she may take "full measure". Here is a direct statement of one of the magical functions of the Calluinn, the reinvigoration of the sexual powers of man and beast,

the spirit being passed to them directly from a pagan nature-spirit. 84 Fraser has noted that the Isle of Man, "one of the fortresses of Celtic language and lore" was a late hold-out against Anglo-Saxon practises, celebrating New Year's Day on November 1 until recent times. "Thus Manx mummers used to go about on Hallowe'en singing a Hogmanay song which began, "Tonight is New Year's Eve, Hogunnaa!" In the northern part of Wales it used to be customary for each family to fuel a great bonfire on Hallowe'en... men still living remember how the people who assisted at the bonfires would wait until the last spark was out and then would take to heels, shouting..."The cropped black sow seize the hindmost!"85 In Scotland this fire was named the samhnagan, and there is little doubt that it formerly claimed a victim, who might have been chosen by exactly this means. The hog-man was a god-spirit, as mortal as the men he served, in spite of his devillish appearance. Men who used magic to raise themselves to god-hood, and the kingship of a tribe, were always in danger when crops or animal-husbandry failed. Plague, faminine and loss were never seen as signs of his humanity, but as omens of his failing power. It was universal belief that pagan god-kings had to be killed as soon as they began to show signs of mental or physical decay. This was not considered a sacrilege, but a practical necessity, involving the survival of the land, and the release of a the god-spirit to reinvigorate the earth and be reborn in a more virile form. Since the god had to be periodically put down, it was assumed that he could hardly object to taking some of the evil-spirits at large in the community to earth with him, and rituals were performed to this end. In some cases, the reign of a king was fixed to a certain number of years, after which he was reduced to ashes. Regicide was sometimes modified, the king abdicating for a brief period, annually or semi-annually, his part being played by a mock-king, who went to death in his stead. This seems to have been the part played by the central figures in the Beltane and Samhain fires, who were selected as "kings-for-a-day" and were treated with deference until their death. In more humane times, sacrificial victims were simply ostracized until a new "carline" was
84Caplan, 85Fraser,

Ronald, editor, Down North, Toronto (1980), pp. 64-66. Sir James George, The Golden Bough, New York (1951), p.


selected. Even more recently a play was made of throwing the victim into the samhnagan, or lookers-on were satisfied to have the god-beast jump three times through the smoke. The calluinn was expected to exemplyfy procreation in an act of ritual sex with the samh, just before his death. There is a suggestion that she also went to earth, for an alternate Calluinn Rhyme reads: "This is the New Year of the yellow bag. Strike the skin to the wall. And old wife in the graveyard, one in the corner, another beside the fire. Put forked stick to her eyes, to her belly..." Even where the full ritual was forgotten it was remembered that: "Good luck for the whole year was brought to the house by a man coming as first visitor on New Year's Day. A woman would bring only bad luck."86 Similar considerations attached to May Day. The visitor had to be fed if good luck was to be confirmed. Malcom MacQueen noted that, "the early settlers had few holidays...New Year's day was the great day of the year. On the Eve of that day "striking parties" co,posed of young folk of that district, armed with sticks, marched through the settlement. When they arrived at a house they suurounded it and to the accompaniement of music from the sticks beating the log walls vigorously sang a Gaelic refrain..."Get up and gie us our hogmanay." If as happened but rarely, there was no "Scotch" on hand, they were given cakes...When log houses were replaced by shingled ones, these parties were discouraged and finally abandoned. CHABI , CHIBAI A disembodied spirit. Penobscot, Genius Astral, a ghost, the act of being startled. CHANDELEUR A mortal earth-spirit, the leader of mid-lenten festivities in the French-speaking regions of Atlantic Canada.


Mary L., Follore of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 29.

Acadian French, chandeleur (masculine) a candlestick, a holder for the chandelle (femenine), candle; the candle-stick man of pagan and Christian times. His adherents were referred to as le gens (folk) de la Chandeleur , the name given the festival-feast celebrated annually on the second day of Februrary. In the Christian liturgy this was the day called Candlemas, because of the candles consecrated to the altar or other sacred uses on that day. In Scotland, this was one of the quarter-days, or rent-paying days, originally known as the pagan Imbolc or Imbolg and later as Bridd's Day or Saint Brigit's Day. Le chant de la Chandeleur , or Chandeleur song, makes reference to principal characters of this festival: "monsieur l'marie et madam' marie...Qu'ont pas encoure soupe..." (Mr. and Mrs Bride, who haven't had supper yet.) Brigit has been described as "an old heathen goddess of fetility, disguised in a threadbare Christian cloak" and it seems that the Chandeleur ritual was originally an attempt to inspire fertility in the land, animals and people by ritually mating human representative of local god-spirits. Father Ansleme Chaisson contends that the Acadians had few pagan Christmas traditions and no Pere Noel. "The custom of the children hanging up their stocking or placing their shoes by the fireplace to receive presents from the Baby Jesus or Santa Claus did not appear until the nineteenth century..." On the other hand, they did retain Candlemas Day, or Le Chandeleur. This hoiday featured a "devil" and his host were "les gens de Chandeleur". He was the equal of King Arthur, or the Old Boy himself, when it came to sartotorial excellence. Marguerite Gallant of La Pointe, Cape Breton, recalled that he carried "le cane de la Chandeleur", a pastoral crook, fully eight feet in length. This magic-wand had tiny loops carved into it and numerous ribbons hung from them. The Old Boy was dressed in a split-tailed coat and wore "a lovely handmade shirt". Gallant remembered that he also wore boots made of a soft chamois-like leather; these were red topped and decorated with hearts." Like the belsnicklers, the folk of the Candleman trailed after him through the village and Chaisson says they were "sometimes in masks and costumes." "The canvassers travelled by sled. They would knock at doors and ask "Will you contribute to the Candlemas?" If the family were willing, they would be invited in to sing and dance...On Candlemas Day itself, women went to the house chosen for the feast to prepare a

repast...In addition to various dishes there were always "les cepes de la Chandeleur" (The Candleman's pancakes)...In New Brunswick each guest was required to flip the pancake in the pan...if it fell on the floor, the clumsy guest had to eat it there..."87 Remembering a Chandeleur on Cape Breton in 1934, Joe Delancy said that participants did a "bunny-hop" at each home, circular dancing all about the kitchen, each mummer with his hands on the shoulders of the person in front. At that time a feast was gathered for more than a hundred people, fiddle music continuing through the entire evening of February second. Teenagers danced while their elders sat at the first courses. The musicians were excused to eat at seven o'clock but were only allowed a half-hour of respite. At eleven-thirty, the youngest participants were fed and sent home, and the home-brew was placed on the boards. Music, dancing, and eating were broken by periodic collections of money from the floor, and by this means seven dollars and twenty cents were raised to compensate the musicians for nineteen hours of work. At one o'clock some of the "elderlies" left to get sleep, but most of them were back by five thirty when breakfast was served. Speaking as a musician Delancy remembered having to pace himself after sixteen hours of "moonshine and home brew". "And after breakfast again the dance until eleven-thirty, then everyone would head home." The chief figure of the Chandeleur was "le cane de la Chandeleur", an eight foot crooked staff equipped with "eyes", into which were threaded "numerous ribbons and trailings of lace." This rod was, anciently, the incarnate god of the season, the spiritual resting place of some deity such as Donar (Thor). Wuotan or Bolg. This "cane" was not unlike the May-trees which the "maillotins" of France used to distribute at each household in return for money or an alcoholic drink. In addition to a major may-pole, thousands of smaller replicas used to be fashioned from branches of the parent tree and some were described as decorated "with leaves, slips of coloured paper, egg-shells, hoops and bows of ribbon." The man who carried the staff wore an split-tailed evening coat long after that style was passe. He also affected a beautifully made linen shirt and a hand-made red surround to top his highly poilshed boots. These Father Anselme, "Traditions and Oral Literature in Acadia". pp. 291-292.

chamois-like addition to his boots were red in colour and featured interwoven hearts. The followers of the candle-man gave a mummer's performance at each house in the village, soliciting food and drink in exchange for their singing and dancing. "It was the general custom to make Candlemas rounds several days before the holiday. Groups of about ten men per township, sometimes in masks and costumes...would go from house to house to collect the food required for a community supper which would take place on the evening of February 2 at a previously chosen home. Only those who contributed food were invited to the candlemas feast." Mister bride and madam bride Have yet to eat. Go to your barrel And fetch me some pork. Go to your keg And bring back some flour. Thank you good people For having supported Canlemas A day will come When God will repay.

"And then they'd take the offerings to...a big house. And they'd cook it there. And as long as there was food they'd eat and drink and dance." 88 Those abroad on Candlemas once performed ritual magic employing lighted candles, but these functions were given over to Christian priests. In Acadia, candles were blessed by this functionary, and after the usual mass, two of them were ignited and brought before the thriats of parishoners suffering from coughs, colds and throat infections. "La blaize" was sometimes used as a home remedy and the "blessed candles" were lit periodically to ward off effects of southeasterly storms, to protect against lightning strikes and the dangers of forest fires and to give light to travelling spirits of the dead. All church goers were given two candles as they left the church. CAOINEAG


Ronald, ed., Down North, Toronto (1980), pp. 60-64.

A mortal spirit attached to certain Celtic families as a forerunner of death or disaster. Alternately, caney-caller from the Gaelic, caoine , to wail + eug , death. Correponds with the English wailster as well as the beansith, or banshee. Forms are the briddeag, aoibhill and the morrigan (which, see). This spirit is usually invisible but may take the form of an animal, in particular a black bird. This creature is also known as the cro, a word which, in context, may mean either death or blood. Alexander Macbain explains that this spirit is "the weregild of the various individuals in the Scoto=Celtic kingdom from the king on down." The interrelations of the fay-spirits are seen in this creature which the Welsh called the korid-gwen (sea-woman). They assigned her nine virgin attendants exactly like the Gallacinae of Mela, who were identified as progenitors of the Gaelic boaibh. According to the poet Taliesin, the korid-woamn was given a magic vase, the edges adorned with pearls. Like Ler's cauldron of the deep this was the source of the "waters" (read "ale") that made men knowledgeable and full of "bardic genius". The caoineag was said to be about two feet in height, with long flowing hair. Their only dress was a long white cutty-sark, or shift. Seen at night or dusk they appeared beautiful. but in daylight their bodies were seen to be wrinkled with age and their eyes centered with red pupils. It was said that their breath was poisonous but they usually kept their distance appearing as omens of death before humans related to them by blood. Their keening was itself an announcement of bad fortune. One of their kind was the English grant, "a yearling foal, erect on its hind legs with sparkling eyes. This kind of demon appears in the streets about sunset (and) warns inhabitants to beware of fire, and thus puts the ignorant on their guard."

CHANGELING Mortal earth spirits left in place of humans and animals kidnapped or killed by the fay-people. Middle-English, change , from the French changer , from the Low Latin cambriare , to exchange or barter + Anglo-Saxon ling , a noun suffix having diminutive force; thus an uimprtant changer. These spirits were the corpan-sidh (dead sidh) of Gaelic myth. Changelings were left behind

when the sidh or the fay kidnapped women, children or animals. The replacements were elderly fairies nearing death, whose true identity was masked by magic. The black arts were not usually effective since the sidh were unable to cover deformities, and the bad temper or evil behaviour of the substitute. Changelings were all given to "Antick practises" and were seen to be "half out of their wits." When the ancient bodach died that usually ended any difficulty. Where no volunteeer was available, the faypeople substituted a block of wood for the kidnapped individual or animal, but it was very hard to hold this illusion and the changelings often displayed a "wooden" arm or leg or an inability to move. Similar conditions in actual men were sometimes attributed to "elf-arrows", which the little people shot at those they disliked. These triangles of stone were invisible, but poisoned the wound which they made and created similarly afflicted limbs. Cerebral thrombosis, still commonly called a "stroke" was originally known as the disease of "elf-stroke" and was attributed to this cause. Since witches and the little people were not always distinguisable, effects of this kind were also said due to witchcraft. One changeling at Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, was recognized because the child was seen to sleep all day and cry all night. The original child was cured by placing a few hastily scrawled phrases from the Bible on the body of the changeling, which had a severe allergic reaction to this "Christian" relic. Holy water had a similar effect, remembering that no action could be taken on a Friday (the witch's day, and not surprisngly, the day named after Odin's wife Frigga). Where animals were afflicted, a Mahone Bay farmer recommended using a witch-like counter-charm, namely a willow rod with mercury sealed into it: "Go around the barn and hit the creetur over the rump three times (with the rod), and that will chase the devils out of the cattle. Then go around the barn and wave the wand about. When the devils are out, cut a hole in the sill of the barn door at the entrance. Put mercury in the hole and plug it and the evil spirits can't come back." It was noticed that changelings had eyes "as red as glowing coals" and were extremely virile for all they might be dying bodachs. Michael Collins was incarcarated at Saint John in nineteen ten as, "a mental wreck...a victim of the cigarette habit." "He demonstrated the power of a demonaic. Constable Doyle had a hard time avoiding being throttled or bitten by him." At Moncton. in eighteen eight, another "posessed"

individual was found wandering on High Street, "entirely naked with the exception of a sheep skin girdle, in which is fixed a knife. He is said to live in the woods. One night last week two ladies were attacked by him and one of them gave him a sound slap with a sunshade before he would leave." CHEPICHEALM A creature also known as the jipjakimaq. Wabenaki, Micmac dialect, the horned or wingless “dragon” said identical to wiwillmekq’. A singular “horned worm found on trees or within water.” Capable of assuming a vast size and gifted with supernatural powers. CLEASAI A mortal earth spirit known as the source of trickery. Gaelic, plural, cleaithe (pronounced cla-see), a trickster, As in cleas , a play, trick or feat, a wile. Similar to cluich , to play from the Early Irish cluche , a game Correponds with the German word lachen and the English laugh . A person who deceived through artifice or cunning, using word-magic alone or in combination with jugglery and slight-ofhand. Also called the gille-nan-car, the servant of one who twists, an artful dodger, a fraud. See also the entries under trickster and Lox. The penultimate European trickster was the Norse god Loki, who acted so badly he was hunted down by his fellow gods and chained within a remote part of Nifhelheim, the preserve of his daughter Hel. Loki corresponds with the Teutonic god Laugar and the less-spirited English lubber-fiend. Another relation is the giant known as Lob Lie-By-Fire, not to mention the hobgoblins known variously as the lob, lobby, lobbard or lubber, the smallest being the lubberkin. It is no great jump from the lubberkin to the the Gaelic "lobaircin" better known as the Leprachaun. The Ulster Luchraman is probably intermediate with Lugh (Lookh) the old Gaelic god of wild fire. While he was never the equal of Loki, the Great Lug was either very skilled or very tricky. When he was spent to spy upon the Firbolgs he looked for work in the court of King Eochaid. He was turned down because they already had a harper, a smith, a champion, a

magician, a druid, a cupbearer, a physician and a goldsmith. But Lugh modestly admitted that he was the expert in all these crafts: "Go to your king and ask him if he has any my equal. If he has, then I shall no longer trouble the gates of Tara." He afterwards became a presence at the court where he served as an undercover agent for the Tuatha daoine, who eventually defeated the Firbolgs. Maritime tricksters are legion and as Joe Neil MacNeil says, "The fox has no tricks unknown to the hunter." Crazy Archie was one of these hunters, "a notorious character who was not wholly to be trusted..." After one long bout of wandering, Archie arrived at a Cape Breton homestead to find the woman of the house preparing soup for her husband, who was ill in bed. Pretending that was a medical doctor, Archie examined the patient and advised against giving him chicken soup. So that there would be no waste he drank the bowl to the bottom. Afterwards he recommended that the man be wrapped in the skin of a newborn calf as a cure for his illness, and the woman became awre that she had been duped. Again, Archie approached the local minister when he was in need of shoes. The Reverand Sutar scribbled him a credit note to present to the local cobbler, but the trickster suggested (somewhat unsubtly) that promissory notes were of little value. When the cleric went to feltch a few shilllings for the shoes, Archie pocketed the note. When Mr. Sutar returned he also took the money, noting that "the letter will get me the shoes and the money whisky a drink." Later, Crazy Archie returned looking for a place to stay the night. Being unimpressed with the man's impositions, Sutar decided to house him in a barn loft, telling his "guest" the accomodations were of a high order. As bedtime drew near Archie insisted that his host show him to his room. The minister entered the barn and climbed up ladder to lead Archie to his bed. At that the trickster snatched away the latter and cried out, "Since the bed is as good as you say it is, shouldn't you be the one to sleep in it? I will sleep in your bed." 89

Joe Neil, Tales Until Dawn, Kingston (1987), pp. 170-172. See also the traditional tale starting on page 173.


COCK ROBIN A mortal earth spirit bound to the deep woods. Anglo-Saxon coc , confering with the Low Latin coccus , perhaps imitative of the sound made by a crowing male barnyard fowl. Confluent with chicken and coquette . By extention the male of any species, particularly a "strutting rooster", a leader, master or chief among men. Robin is a diminished form of Robert from the German Ruprecht , the latter being the he-goat spirit of the fields, a diminished form of their god Wuotan (see Belsnicker). Similar diminuitives of Robert include Bob , Bobby , Dob , Dobby , Rob , Robbin , Hob , Hobbin , Pop and Poppin . The word is similar to the German rauben , to seize through force, to take booty or steal. A noted mythological Robin was Robert le Diablo (the Devil), whose adventures were recounted in French romances of the 13th century. He is represented as a son of the Duke of Normandy, who through his cruelty gained the reputation of being the son of a devil. He travelled to Rome, repented of his evil ways, and donned a beggar's clothes for seven years of penance. Commanded by an angel to take up a knight's armour he fought successfully against the Saracens. The French king offered him the hand of a princess in marriage, but he refused, donned his old clothes, and took to the woods where he lived out the remainder of his life as a holy hermit. This character is allied with the English Robin Goodfellow, a domestic spirit also known as the hobgoblin. Keightley says that "Robin Hood...must also have been an appellation of this spirit...The hood is the usual appendage of this domestic spirit." 90 Keightley thinks another guise was Hob wi' Lanthorn (lantern) an English name for the spirit we call the Will O' The Wisp. This character does not appear in Maritime mytholgy in his own right but is combined with the Christian deity to produce the Lunenburg exclamation, "Lordy ole cock-robin Christ."91 This was probably, at first, a "swear-word" which devolved into a mild expression of surprise or
90Keightley, 91Poteet,

Thomas, World Mythology, London (1880), p. 318.

Lewis J., South Shore Phrase Book, Hansport (1988), p. 72.

distaste. COCKERWITT Sea-spirit bound to the hulk of a derelict ship. Anglo-Saxon, cocer , to quiver + w i c , a dweller at the sea-side. Confluent with the Middle English cockeren , to imitate the sounds and actions of a cock-bird , to fondle, to run after the girls. Similar to the English cockney and the obsolete words cockery , tottering, likely to fall, drunken; cocket , brisk, saucy in manners; and cockwold , the source of cuckhold . Notice that wic is confluent with the English witch and that cock formerly defined a hulk, empty shell or husk. A cocker was a a person who husked the harvest, and by extension, a harvester, or reaper. In Maritime Canada there is a Cockerwitt Passage in Shelburne County, Nova Scotia. The residents of nearby Woods Harbour and Shag Harbour are referred to as cockerwitts , a designation originally meant as an insult but now accepted "with some pride." The spirit of the cockerwitt must have been akin to that of the clod-hopper, or dirt-farmer, the waddle "like that of a duck" being perhaps inspired by alcohol. Interestingly, this land-based spirit became attached to seamen who appeared drunken when they first came ashore. CONDEAU WEEGAN An enspirited river cavern. River caverns are associated with soft rock. Thus the Miramichi River between Chatham and Bushville is noted for rocks which have been sculpted in cave-like undercuts by the passing water. The most remarkable of these is on the northwestern branch of this river, at a place formerly known as the Big Hole. The Mimacs recognized the identity of this place in the word Condeau-weegan, the “Stone Wigwam.” Its only entrance was from the water beneath an overhanging cliff. In 1840, the floor of this cavern was located 10 inches above the average water-level. The height of the most inner plateau was seventeen feet above the floor of the cave, and the width of the entrance to it was estimated at seventy feet. When Moses Perley noted that the Hole had an interior spring and a smoke hole, “whether natural or artificial I cannot say.” The ricks in this

place were sandstone of a coarse grit studded with angular pebbles of rose and white quartz, giving the appearance of a fairy grotto. Perley noted that the Indians stood within the cavern and speared Salmon as they passed the entrance. These they placed in the hollow basin of the spring where “the coldness of the water keeps them for two or three days.” The Sheriff of Northumberland county, Colonel Robert Call, said that he went fishing regularly at the Hole in a decade thirty years later. He said he was told that an Indian woman gave birth there during the great Miramichi Fire of 1825. In 1903, George Brown, the owner of a hunting lodge in the area, said the Big Hole was much smaller than that described by Perley, which is quite likely considering the fact that sixty years of erosion had intervened. Dr. Nicholson of Chatham, on the other hand, wrote Dr. Ganong saying that the earlier measurements were absolutely accurate. COOLIGAN A mortal earth spirit reincarnated as a mummer. Anglo-Saxon, cuhle, Middle English, cool , an obselete version of the word cowl + gan , those born to the; the hooded spirits, disguisers or mummers. Cowls were monkish hoods typically attached to a coat-like garmet. As a verb, the word cowl meant to strike so as to raise a bruise or lump. We suspect that cooligan , sometimes used as a definition for elfs, fairies, the sidh, or little people, confers with hooligan . One source has Hooligan as a a family name, perhaps derived from the Old Norse hooligar , describing a wary, soft-mannered, somewhat slow individual. Modern variants of the name include Howley and Holey . Hooly is an obsolete form of holy , holly and wholly , also reflected in heel , hole and hell . The hooligans have thus been described as loafers, idlers, ruffians or larrikins, hoodlums who neeeded to keep their cowls in place to escape detection in crime.

In Europe the hooded spirits included the goodfellow, Robin Hood and Knecht Ruprecht. The word is preserved in Atlantic Canada as skooligan , a half-teasing description for a naughty child. It is most completely used in describing the act of mummering, a cooligan being represented in local legend as "a striking party". It has been said that the act of "cooliganing" took place on New Year's Eve. If the walls were not actually struck with sticks or branches to drive off evil spirits, the cooligans knocked their

fists beneath the windows as they made house visits. Sometimes they notched a threaded spool and mounted it on a spindle. They then pulled the thread with the spool pressed to the window, thus producing an eerie sound.92 Men who retained the name to describe their family often proved uncanny in their own right. At Seabright, Nova Scotia, one of Helen Creighton's respondents noted that, "A man name Hooligan had died. A few days later some of the fishermen were out in a boat and they got joking among themseleves, and just for fun, one of them started to call him. They all heard him answer, but it came from a distance. They hollered agian and he came closer. They got frightened then and put for shore, and they'll never try that trick again." 93 COOLPUJOT The Wabenaki giant of the seasons, whose name indicates. “he who must be turned using handspikes.” This creature was sometimes charged with creating the winds of Indian Summer and the January thaw by farting. It was claimed that this man-god was so slothful his bones dissolved thus the need to turn him on “handspikes.” It was noted that he kept his gaze “steadfastly fixed on the north. “When he sighs, we have those balmy southern airs, which communicate warmth and delight over the northern hemisphere.” He compares with a southern Indian god named Shawandasee and is very similar to the eddaic Svasud. CORBY A mortal earth spirit, a common familiar of the witch. T.K., Dictionary of Prince Edward Island English, Toronto (1988), p. 38. Pratt defines cooligan as an intransitive verb, "To scrape the outside walls or windows of a house as a prank in order to startle those inside." He hints at its meaning as a noun where he notes: "On New Year's Eve people came in the house in St. Peters (P.E.I.) to colligan - the real object was to get invited in for lunnch."
93Creighton, 92Pratt,

Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, Toronto (1978), p. 149.

Anmglo-Saxon, craawe , imitative of the sound made by a crow; Middle English, chough confering with the Old french corbel (currently corbeaux ) from the Latin corvus , a crow or raven. Note: corbey messenger , an obsolete description of a person long upon a mission, like the raven sent out from the Noah's Ark, which never returned. The clough is a third member of the European crow family, a medium size bird having red legs and blue-black plumage. The Cornish clough has a red bill and is almost extinct in Britain, while the European clough, having a yellow bill, is less rare. The English word crow derives from the Anglo-Saxon craawe, imitative of the sound the bird makes. Similar to the Gaelic corr , bird with a large beak, for example the heron or crane; thus, excess in anything. Tindall has said that the crow was a preferred familiar of the boabh or witch because it was traditionally a creature of death and augury and in addition was "very easy to tame". It was also the preferred familiar, or runner, of the goddess triad of Morrigan, Mebd and Macha. The raven banner was closely associated with the Scandinavian invaders of Britain because they were the fylgie, or runners, of the god Odin. He kept two battle-wolves at his feet, the equivalents of the sidh-warriors who often assisted the Gaelic hero Cuchullain, but two ravens were equal partners, often seen perched on his shoulders. These were Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory), sent each day into the world of men to bring back espionage. Every night they returned to his shoulders and whispered secrets in his ears. It is little wonder this animal was taken as the familiar of boabhs and witches, a little "imp" gifted upon them by their "devil". The myths surrounding corbies have been exported intact to North America. The corvidae of eastern North America fall into four species: The Canada jay, often termed the gray jay; the blue jay; the raven and the crow. The firts of these has been characterized as "bold" and impudent": "It is common practise for it to enter a camp to steal food when the camper's back is turned. The fur-trapper hates it whole-heartedly, for the very good reason that it steals the bait from his trap lines..." The blue jay has been described as "noisy and conspicuous... behaving in much the same manner as do their cousins the Gray Jays." Ravens have been declared to possess, "uncanny powers, not only in the matter of detecting food, but in being able to passs the word along to others of their tribe." The crow plagues the farmer by uprooting newly seeded crops "and has even been

found guilty of picking holes in ripening pears and apples." 94 These witchlike animals are the clan known locally as the corbys, or gorbys. The Old Corby of ancient times was the god Odin, who may be the nathir of Celtic mythology. Black birds were the familiars of the goddess Morrigan and augury has always been a potent magical art. The augur of ancient Rome was a member of the highest class of official diviners. He ranked second in the college of pagan clergymen and had the sole duty of interpreting portents and omens. His observations were made from a rectangular space, termed the tempelum, a rectangular space which had no physical being but was marked off, as required, by the chief augur. The chief means of soothsaying was the auspice, the observation of birds in flight. Auspices were distinguished as the augurata imperativa, omens on demand, and the augurata oblative, or uinintended observations. The former were gatherered by noting the size of flocks of birds and the quarters from which they flew. The latter might involve the unexpected behaviour of flocks or individual birds and had to be interpreted in terms of general accumulated lore. Interestingly, this bodach was identified by the lituus, or staff, which he always carried. His position belonged to the haggedisces, or witches, in the northern lands. Locally, bird familiars were lumped by the Micmacs, among other animal familiars, as the puhigan or buhigan (which, see). Some claim that the wisk-i-djak is their equivalent of the gray jay, the term being descriptive of "a mighty power that lived inside the bird." 95 Whisky Jack, or Whisky John, seems to have a more lilkely association with lumbering myths (see Main John). In those quarters, it was noticed that the gray jays were attracted to beers, ales and other alcoholic drinks. They were alternately known as carrying jacks, or carrying jays, from their habit of flying off with objects or food pirated from the lumber camps. For this same reason, they were termed camp robbers or carrion jays.96 Because they stole meat they were also known

Robie W., The Birds of Nova Scotia, Halifax (1962)pp. 306-


Carole, Will O' The Wisp, Fredericton (19882), p.. 34. Lewis J., South Shore Phrase Book, Hantsport (1988), p. 27.


as caribou birds, moose birds, meat birds, grease birds or venison hawks. More anciently, they were termed Hudson Bay birds since they dogged the trade routes of the trapper-traders. While they were not usually admired they were some company to wood's travellers and were occasionally termed the woodsman's friends. 97 In lumbering camps, garby, gorby, or gorbey, was a name particularly applied to the gray jay, a bird sometimes described as "a magnified chickadee". This animal is roughly a foot in length having plumage of a soft neutral gray colour. It has a dark crown on its head, while its throat and face are white. Its tail is slightly tipped with light gray. This distinction appears in the ballad of "Tom Cray": He started for the landing, one morning quite late, But littlle aware of his terrible fate. When down came two bluejays, a garby and took The miserable soul of the cook of Back Brook. Now its travellers take warning, of fowls be aware, Of the bluejays and garbys that swarm in the air. When you go out a-walking, be armed and keep look, That you lose not your soul from the bank of the brook. In agricultural communities, and towns, this separation was not always made, "gorby" being recognized as any bird of ill-omen. In Albert County, New Brunswick and in southern Maine, folklorist Harold Ives found that gorbys were not known, but their function was taken over by robins, chickadees and juncos. In my home community the largest "gorbys" were sometimes referred to as "black johns", the devil incarnate being identified as the "Black John". Speaking of lapses in Christian ethics, oldtimers used to say: "When Black John rises up, the minister lies down." Sea-going communities had their own version of the gorby in the seagulls and petrels, the latter referred to as Mother Cary's chickens (which, see). The nature of these birds was never clearly stated but the Indians, and others, implied that powerful spirits occasionally governed their actions. Harold Ives was sometimes told that these birds housed the souls of dead woodsmen but found most of his respondents unwilling to admit

Harold D., "The Man Who Pliucked the Gorbey" (1961), p. 175.

this or explain why they feared the species. Carole Spray noticed that the native hunters considered the wisk-i-djak a spiritual guide, listening for his voice as they went into the woods. They knew that the bird hungered after moose meat, and lacking this had to settle for a poorer meal of ticks and fleas taken from the animal's hide. The Indians considered the bird the "hunter's friend" and were certain it screeched to lead them to their quarry. When the moose had been felled, quartered and cut, the jay would stand by shrieking "gee! gee!" and "hunng-ry!", until it was allowed to take its portion. Wild Bill Lolar, "The Wizard of the Miramichi" admitted having conversations with a gorby. His bunkmates in a lumbercamp on the Southwest Miramichi asked, "...what was it saying to you Will? Was it a crow?" "No," replied the soothsayer, "it wasn't a crow. Too big for a crow. Nor t'wasn't a raven either...He'd fly around and light on a tree and he'd say, "beware the night of the nineteenth." Then bye and bye he'd land some place else and he'd say it again..." The other men laughed off this espionage concerning the future but on the appointed day of March they were stricken by a mysterious illness, which caused the abandonment and burning of their camp. 98 Normal men regarded the large gorbys as the equivalent of black cats, thus men who set out hunting or fishing would return home if a crow flew across their path as they set out towards field or stream. My Grand Manan ancestors were return to harbour if a crow flew across the bow of their fishing boat as they left harbour. From these examples it is clear that most men considered gorbys to be the embodiment of dangerous magicians. This explains why Ives was told that woodsmen avoided offending or damaging members of the crow family. One of these men told thim that "Anything that happens to a gorby will happen to you...A woodsman kicked at one which was stealing his lunch and broke its leg. A day or two after that , the man got his foot caught in the trace chain of a scoot and suffered a fractured leg. Another man threw a stick at one and broke its wing, and that afternoon broke his arm..." 99 Joe Neil MacNeil had this to say concerning witch-birds:

98Spray, 99Ives,

Carole, Will O' The Wisp, Fredericton (1985), pp. 59-65.

Edward D., "The Man Who Plucked The Gorbey (1961), p. 176.

"People would talk about birds, particularly when a small bird entered a house. It was a bd sign for a small bird, such as a robin, to enter a house. And if any of these entered using only one foot, it was a very bad sign indeed. People were always extremely frightened if the man of the house was on a journey or anybody belonging to the household was away on a journey and a bird came inside. They would be very, very concerned until he reached home for fear that bad news was going to arrive about him...And if they had a chance at all, they would catch the bird to see if it had two feet." 100 In the above case, the damaged bird represented physical or psychological damage done to the magic-worker, who invariably reacted against the tormenter. The gorbys were also totem animals and might appear as banshees or forerunners of disaster. In Bluenose Ghosts, Helen Creighton mentioned two personal instances where birds may have foreshadowed death: "Many people think that birds are forerunners of death and if one beats against window panes or comes into the house they are sure that bad news will follow. I would have thought so too if my father had died on that day when he was stricken, but the swooping of a bird against our window seemed to startle him so that his weary heart revived...and he lived until the following October. It could have been a forerunner although death was delayed. A friend of mine had a similar experience before her husband died..."101 At Whynacht's Settlement, Creighton interviewed an individual who was frightened by birds that entered his home: "I was sitting in a chair one day when the swallows came in the entry. I was afraid they were going to come on my head and I put my hands up to keep them away. I was the only one that saw them. A few weeks later my brother's wife died." 102 Almost every species of bird has been implicated as a forerunner and these have been termed "gorbys" in spite of the fact that they are not members of the crow family. From Middle Musquodobit, Nova Scotia, we have the following: "One time when dad was awy from home a dove

Joe Neil, Tales Until Dawn, Kingston (1987), p. 210. Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, Toronto (1976), p. 25. Helen, Folklore of Lunenburg County, Toronto, p. 26.

101Creighton, 102Creighton,

(pigeon) came into the house and flew around it. My mother said, "Someone is going to die," and my father had no sooner come back than a call came to tell him his mother had died." Again, at Ship Harbour, "two young men were returning home one cold icy night. After the driver let his friend out he drove on alone and must have gone off the road. At that time his mother was walking down (another part of)the road when a huge bird that was more like an owl than anything else swooped down out of a tree and nearly knocked her down. It was an odd time of the year for a strange bird to appear, so this was supposed to be a forerunner." 103 Folklorist "Ted" R. Hennigar has expressed a personal belief in bird forerunners: "Abouty five years ago a bird flew against my bathroom window and began picking around the frame. I knew something was going to happen, and right after I got word that my son-in-law had been in a car accident. The same thing happened before my mother died."104 Again, on a road at Martin's River, Hennigarand his brother encountered, "a bird that looked like a bantam rooster (which) came from the sky...and landed in front of us. The bird began to walk towards my sister's house and we followed about thirty feet behind it. Just before we got to her place, the bird completely disappeared. It didn't fly away, but just disappeared. About an hour later my sister died." Hennigar sighted this same bird prior to the death of his father and his younger sister. 105 While foreunners are ghost of the living just prior to death, certain "ghost" birds are more certainly the familiar-spirits of living witches. An witch at French Village, Nova Scotia, "was supposed to turn herself into a big owl. Some old feller cut up silver and put it in his gun and he fired at the owl and the next morning the woman was all cut up with flesh wounds." 106 Another kind of materialized ghost was once found at Five Points, in
103Creighton, 104Hennigar, 105Hennigar,

Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, Toronto (1976), p. 25.

"Ted" R., Scotian Spooks, Hantsport (1990), p. 169. R. "Ted", Scotian Spooks, Hantsport (1990), p. 167. Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978), p. 42.


New Brunswick, along that long stretch of lonely woods between Penobsquis and Anagance. A dying wonder-worker was once doubly beset with her failing mortality and the fact that her husband's attentions appeared centred on a younger girl. He disclaimed any interest, but she promised to return to haunt him if he lied. Soon after she died. the man remarried and was afterwards pursued everywhere he went by a strange white owl. Perceiving this, the new wife became alarmed, certain of the identity of the creature. To relieve the fright which they both felt, the colonial loaded his musket with silver shot and blasted the bird into oblivion. Unfortunately, his wife lapsed into insanity and he afterwards hung himself. In most cases it was the spirit of a living witch that took offense in tales about the gorbys. One such story comes from Blue Mountain, near Andover, Maine: "There was a bad fella, wicked sort of fella, and he caught one of the birds. He picked the feathers off him and let him go in the cold of the winter. And he said..."Let the old son of a bitch (the Devil) that put them on you grow them on you again. He woke up in the morning baldheaded as could be."107 "It happened om the Tobique River in Northern N.B. The bird was called a gorby. An old woodsman wouldn't hurt one. Sometimes play tricks on them by tossing out a piece of hot bun toasted over the fire and the first bird that got it got a hot beak and then would fly up in a tree and scold, and it sounded as if they were saying, "Jesus Jesus." This man thinking he was doing something smart held one and picked all the feathers off but the wing feathers and tail feathers and tossed it into the air, and said, "Now fly to your Jesus (the Devil) bare-assed." The others (workmates) predicted something drastic wopuld happen to him and the next morning he lifted up his head all his hair was left on his turkey (bag of clothes used as a pilow). He left the crew soon after." 108 This story has been repeated in endless variations, the bird sometimes having its legs cut off or being roasted alive, in which case his tormenter was said to suffer a similar fate. Retribution is always

Edwarde D., "the Man That Plucked The Gorbey". (1961), p.


Edward,D., "The Man Who Plucked The Gorbey", (1961), p. 182.

appropriate to the crime, but in some of the tales is delayed until the spring break-up or visited upon a subsequent generation, who are born with missing limbs or hairless from birth. Finally, it is interesting to take note of "crow piss time" a phrase used to describe men who were up and active during the earliest hours of the morning. Our ancestors also referred to human gorbys, or known thieves as "tame crows." CORPAN-SIGH A mortal earth spirit, a changeling; one of the sigh left as a replacement for kidnapped humans or their animals. Gaelic, corpan , twisted one, soulless + sidh , side-hill dweller. Corpan is similar to the English corpse , one without animation; a dead sidh. Known in English mythology as a changeling (which, see). Changelings were counterfeits left behind when the sidh kidnapped children, women or animals. The replacements were elderly sidh nearing death, whose identity was hidden through magic. Nevertheless, they rarely escaped recognition since they were noted through some physical deformity, bad temper or evil behaviour. The corpan-sidh were all "given to Antick practices" and "commonly half out of their wits" and usually died soon after the substitution. In some instances the sidh shot down a cow with their elf-arrows and quietly replaced the animal with an ancient bodach, who soon died taking the fake animal to earth. The Gaels were naturally suspicious and would not usually eat the flesh of animals that died without apparent cause. When they did, the meat was found to be unpalatable and to lack nourishment. Where a volunteer sidh was unavailable the clan sometimes placed glamour on an old log but the illusion was harder to hold for lengthy periods. Occasionally, the sidhean punished their human enemies by shooting elf arrows at them. If one struck it created an invisble wound that poisoned a portion of the body. Blood clots in the head were once interpreted as sidh-strokes and the latter word lingers to describe this disease. Arms or legs that becam "wooden" were suspected of being replaced by tree limbs held in a state of glamour.

CORPSE CANDLE A fire-ball which presages death. English, corposant, which derives from the Latin corpo santos, a “holy body.” As for St. Elmo, he was perhaps originally St. Erasmus, the patron of Neapolitan sailors, and a fourth century Italian bishop. According to legend he was once rescued from drowning and promised to, thereafter, supply a warning to all mariners of potential storm at sea. It has been guessed that St. Elmo might equally well be a corruption of the name of St. Anselem of Lucca. Alternately, Elmo may be a masculinization of Helena. She was the sister to the twins Castor and Pollux, who also give their names to the phenomena. A Helena is the appearance of single lights at different positions on a ship, and it thought to signal that storm warnings are lifted. The appearance of double lights is a Castor and Pollux and suggests that the worst lies ahead. The fires are now known to be discharges of static electricity between the air and pointed parts of a ship. The discharge is insufficient to cause electrocution but the streaming of light is very real and is not confined to old-time sailing ships. These jets of fire have been seen streaking outward from the wings and antennae of aircraft, from church steeples, from blades of grass, from the horns of cattle, and infrequently as a corona of light about the heads of people. The fires have even developed about hordes of night-flying insects with fear-evoking effect on observers. Columbus was among those who observed St. Elmo’s fire. His men spotted “seven lighted candles in the round top (or basket) and there followed mighty rain and frightful thunder.” As these were single manifestations the seaman “sang litanies and prayers,” and felt themselves to be in little danger. On his voyage aboard the “Beagle,” Charles Darwin saw these blue and blue-white lights, flashing red and purple as they danced from spar to spar. Today some of the best turnedout yachts and siling vessels carry a St. Elmo’s medallion somewhere near the instrument panel. COWALKER A mortal earth spirit given guardianship of a human

individual from birth. Middle English from the Latin com , with, together with, in conjunction with, jointly + the Anglo-Saxon, geweale , a rolling motion, locomotion without running. The cowalker, also known as the flygiar, nornir, runner, secondary soul, doppelganger, guardian, or taibh, was gifted upon men by the gods at birth and served as forerunners and as hindrunner, collecting information concerning the future and the past. As farrunners they penetrated the present, bring back information from distant places about current events. These spirits were frequently identified as shadow-men or shadowwomen and our ancestors considered that the cowalker was active when a person's shadow could not be seen. They were notably nervous when people stood on their own shadows and knew that they could plunge a knife into a shadow and harm the individual with whom the cowalker was associated. While most men did not have the "second-sight", that is active use of their forerunner, all men were believed capable of projection and had to exercise care in making "wishes", particularly after dark. Mary L. Fraser described the effect of unintentional projections as "apparitions due to strong wishing." She said that "If you wished yourself anywhere at night you were sure to appear there." The projection of an astral-body had dangers: "If harm befell these apparitions the rash wisher was also harmed." The cowalker could be aborted from doing as he, or she, was directed by saying, "I wish from the bottom of my soul I was there but not with this night's wish." At Judique, in Cape Breton, at the turn of this century, an engaged couple were attending a dance. They quarrelled and he left for home. At his own gate, the man heard a cry and turned to meet his engraged fiancee flying at his throat. He tried to ward her off but she was supernaturally strong and was getting the better of him. In desparation he struck her a solid blow to the head and she fell, groaning and saying, "Im dying! I'm dying!" As she fell he reached to pick her up but there was nothing on the ground. At the same time the real girl fell suddenly to the floor of the dance hall saying "I'm dying! and she passed away. The body was noted to have a massive bruise on the head although no one had seen her struck. Although no one could accuse the man of murder the community was firm in believing he had caused the death and he was finally forced to leave his home-village. A similar story came from Antigonish village where two

children, Malcolm and Mary, had once lived on adjoining farms. Mary's family moved to Montreal and shortly after Malcolm awakened in the night after feeling a weight on his chest. To his amazement the lad saw Mary sitting upon him abusing him with an umbrella. The next morning he was too ill, and black and blue, to do much work. He wrote Mary asking her what she had been doing on the night in question, and she responded that she had been walking the streets in the rain beneath an umbrella. She said she blamed Malcolm for allowing her to leave Nova Scotia and wished she could get to him to vent her displeasure. Another young woman "belonging to Antigonish" was visiting a married sister on Cape Breton Island. Ill and homesick she wished to be home, and actually prayed to be there. At home, at this exact time, her three sisters were surprised to see her phantom materialize, kneel at a bed, commence to pray and then vanish. 109 The cowalker as a hindrunner has been documented by Sharon Jarvis. The incident she recounted supposedly took place at Saint John, N.B., at mid-century: Events centered on an unidentified teenaged girl who she identified using the pseudonym Carol Johnson. Carol was a resident of a small farming community further up the Saint John River but in the summer of 1954 was sent to visit with her aunt who lived in the city. Early in her visit, Carol was sent to shop at a nearby grocery store. The walk to the shop involved a number of direction cghanges over six or seven blocks but the girl was fairly certain of her way. When she arrived at the location she saw nothing of the street names she had been given, but did find two groicvery stores located diagonally across an intersection as her aunt had promised. The letters on the window identified Alfred Tonney as the proprietor, and the place did not look like the that which had been described to her. As she entered the doorway two glaring circles of light appeared and vanished before her eyes and there was a strange crackling sound like that static electricity discharging. The interior was like no grocery store Carol had ever seen, but she found Saint John quite alien and contained her surprise. The entire length of the store was traversed by two long wooden counters and the floors smelled of oil. In a centre aisle she saw dozens of oaken barrels, their contents identified with hand-printed signs. The counter to the right was heavy with fabrics and the main counter, on her left, overflowing with penny candies in boxes and jars. The keeper of these goods was a middle109Fraser,

Mary L., Folklore of Nova Scotia, np, nd, pp. 52-56.

aged man with thinning sandy hair, a handlebar mustache, his eyes shaded by a green visor. He wore a long cotton apron, splotlessly white, and had pants made from a blue checkered material. Armbands made of metal held his shirtsleeves in place. The keeper first served a lady dressed in a fllor-length gray skirt and then turned to Carol. Completely unnerved she simply passed him the grocery list her aunt had written and took delivery of a paper wrapped wedge of cheese, a glass bottle of milk sealed with waxed paper and rolled oats supplied in a brown paper bag. The price was forty cents. Carol's aunt had provided her with two dollars and twenty-five cents, which she had reckoned would be close to the value of the groceries. Wordlessly, Carol handed the proprietor one of the two silver dollars she had been given and departed. At the door the electrical displayts reversed themselves and Carol found herself out-of-doors in what seemed a totally new neighbourhood. In this new place Alfred Tonney's window sign was replaced by a painted sign above the door which read Herbert Daly's General Store. Carol walked home and found her aunt in a bad mood. It appeared she had been shopping the better part of the afternoon although it seemed to her to have taken no more than a half hour. The aunt was a little surprised at the wrappings of the groceries, but completely dumbfounded when she was given the change, a fifty-cent piece and a dime, both dated 1845. The hindrunner had formed a physical bond with Carol and transported her through time. 110 CRUMMOCK A mortal earth spirit anciently identified as the day-god Crom or Chrom. Northern English, crummock or cummock ; crum , twisted + hocker or hooker , a shepherd's staff; a cudgel or crooked staff, especially that used in the Irish game of camon which the English sometimes termed hocky . Confers with crummie , a cow with twisted horns and crumb , a portion with little food value. Similar to the Gaelic cruman , the hip-bone, a crooked surgical instrument. Cruim , a worm.


Sharon, Dead Zones NY (1992) pp. 32-37.

The old day-god, nick-named Crom "the crooked", was a power in Ireland in the decades following the defeat of the Tuatha daoine (circa 1000 B.C.). The first Milesian ruler of the north was King Eremon and the seventh, King Tighermas, who came to power in 900 B.C. His druids erected a huge standing stone at Mag Slecht (the Plain of Prostations) covering it with bronze and silver to catch the rays of the sun. In a circle about it they placed twelve lesser stones decorated with brass and bronze. Men believed this was the seat of Crom and entitled it Crom cruach , Crom's rick or rise. To this fierce symbol they offered "the firstlings of every issue (man and animal) and the chief scions of every clan. The king and his people would prostrate themselves before it so that the tops of their foreheads and the gristle of their noses and the caps of their knees and their elbows broke."111 Unfortunately, this did not impress Crom, who is said to have struck down Tighernmas and two-thirds of the worshippers as they knelt before him. Hearing this tale several centuries later, Saint patrick reacted by levelling his pastoral staff against the main figure, shattering it into thousands of fragments. At the same time, the surrounding "idols" sank almost out of sighht in the earth, their coverings of metal blasted into a black coating of carbon. The crummy lord has survived crannock , which has been defined as This material is usually driftwood, having little heat value. These slim god. CULLOO A monster bird, the Wabenaki master-magicians. shape-changed form of certain locally in the word crunnock or "a dry, weathered stick of wood."112 thoroughly soaked with sea-salt, remains characterize an evil pagan

Corresponds with the thunderbird in every particular except that the impelling spirit is human.


Kathleen, The Flowering Of Ireland, Toronto (1981), p.


T.K., Dictionary of Prtince Edward Island English, Toronto

(1988). p. 42.

DAK The spirit of quarter-day in Germanic-based communities. German, dasch ; English, dash ; Middle-English, daschen ; Danish & Swedish, dask , all to strike a blow. Refers to the act of beating out evil. In Lunenburg County the Groundhog Day is entitled Dak’s Day . Some reference is made to this invisible beast as being the mode of transport used by the hagges or witches. See Groundhog. DAVY JONES An immortal sea spirit, the chief god of the Atlantic Ocean. Also seen as Davy Jona, Old Jonah or Old Davy , and antiquely as Old Daw or Old Dawy . Perhaps from the Welsh, who termed themselves the folk of their patriarch Dyffyd . One of this kind was Madawag ap Owain Gwynedd, "the first to discover Tir y Gorllewin, or America." In1862 Mr. Hughes, a resident of Wales told the writer George Borrow that, "Not many years ago his tomb was discovered in America with an inscription in old Welsh, saying: Here after sailing far, I Madoc lie, of Owain Gwynedd lawful progeny; The verdant land had little charm for me; From earliest youth I loved none save the dark-blue sea." If Dyffyd map Owain was the discoverer of the New World, he was also a typical jonah, for he received few material rewards and is virtually unremembered in the history of explorations. Confers with the Gaelic daibhir , poor + each , horse; similar to the Anglo-Saxon adjective daeg , one who burns while working by day, from the noun daeg or daw , day + eoh , horse, one who works like a horse. The latter confers with the masculine proper names Iain , Iona , Owen, Jonah , John , Jack , Jacob , Jock and the feminine Joan. Davy Jones corresponds somewhat with the West Indian sea-spirit referred to as Taffy or Duffy . Words derived from daw include dew , daub , daunt , dawn, dawdle and dowdy . Obsolete forms are: daw , a lazy menial; dawfish , the dogfish; dawk , to gash with a sharp object; dawkin , a rustic, blockhead or simpleton; dawther , to dither or engage in unproductive work; daver , to stagger or wander in the mind. Also, dawk , to gash or slash.

In the mythology of the sea a jonah is an unlucky individual, one without true ties to the spirits of the sea. This idea may reflect upon the story of the Hebrew prophet Jonah, who was commanded by God to go to Ninevah. He reacted by boarding a ship and fleeing through the Mediterranean in the opposite direction. During a tempest, Jonah convinced the sailors that they should throw him overboard to lighten the load and this quelled the storm. He was afterwards swalled by a large fish (sometimes identified as a whale) and was only disgourged after the Lord gave him three days and nights of great discomfort. Hence, any person dogged by bad luck at sea. The pagan Anglo-Saxons had no knowledge of this Christian prophet, but they were familiar with the sea-god named Eohgor , Eagor , or Aegir , who had a similar run of bad luck. The name of this god is compounded from eoh , the horse + gor , which gores or maims; the mythological "horse from the sea". His kingdom stood upon the remote bottom of the open sea, which the Celts called An Domhain (The Deep) and the Old Norse, Vanaheim (Home of the Vanas or sea-giants). This place was later named Davy Jone's Locker . The immortal sea-god, known to the Celts as Ler, appeared above the waves to, "pursue and overturn vessels, and drag them to the bottom of the sea, a vocation in which he took delight." If Eagor was avaricious, or at least indifferent to the fates of men, it has to be remembered that his race of sea-giants ruled the lands of the north when Odin and his Aesir came there out of the east. "In early times, before the golden palaces of Asgard were built, a dispute arose between the Aesir and the Vanas, and the two races resorted to arms, using rocks, mountains, and icebergs as missles in the fray. But discovering that in unity lay stength (neither was able to get the upper hand) they composed their differences and made peace, and to ratify their treaty exchanged hostages." 113 In the Celtic version of this myth, the sea-giants were completely defeated by the gods and men. Afterwards they were exiled to islands beyond the horizon, to the icy realms of the north and their original kingdom of Magh Mell (The Great Plain of the Sea). According to Celtic myth the famous "cauldron of the deep", which brewed the first ale, a drink which was "the source of all poetry and inspiration", was purloined from the sea giants. It was said to have been

H.A., The Norsemen, Edinburgh (1986), p. 15.

taken from The Deep by Dagda, the father of the gods (corresponding with Odin), or by the nathair (the serpent), sometimes identified as King Arthur. From these land- gods, the secret of brewing passed into the hands of men, thus the antagonism of the spirits of the sea toward the gods and men. Jona is an obsolete verb meaning to cause, or have, bad luck. In Atlantic Canada, skippers of ocean-going craft tried to avoid hiring men who were known to be jonahs, but some master-mariners were themselves jinxers, or bad-luck johnnies , who had little control over their jinxed ships. Invariably, the spirit of a jonah contaminated the vessel on which he travelled, often excluding or negating the power of the guardian spirit that occupied the figure-head. These men were thought to possess a maliganat befind or to have been robbed of their guardian-spirit through an accident of birth or witchcraft. They never experienced personal luck in anything they attempted. Their bad luck also extended to associates, and this was the situation with Auld Davy, who never prospered spiritually in spite of the loot which he gathered at the expense of men. Locally, Davy Jones is still remembered as the sea-going equivalent of the winter-death god Uller. "To come a Davy on it", is an expression meaning, "to apply great physical or psychological pressure to a task." This is similar to other local expressions, notably, "To come a horn on it" or "To give it the Devil!" DEMON, DAEMON An evil earth spirit. French and Anglo-Norman, from Latin daemonium , based on a Greek model, a divinity. A spiritual or supernatural regarded as having powers falling between those of men and the gods or God. In Greek mythology the demons have little personal character, but were originally tutelar or guardian divinities of places and things, hence a familiar spirit, norn, fylgiar or genius. Thus ancient writeers spoke of the “demon of Socrates,” or the “demon of Athens.” In these latter cases we sometimes revert to the older Greek spellings to avoid the suggestion of an evil presence, thus: daimon (plural daimones ). It was once thought that men were provided from birth with two familiar spirits, a demon and a daimon, but there was no universal agreement on this point. Some philosophers

noted that good and evil seemed to issue randomly from the same familiar spirit, and they said that men had only a single familiar spirit as a birthright. The evolution of the Latin form of the word led to the current meaning of a detatched evil spirit. The word daemonium (which is neuter in gender) has been applied to humans possessessed by evil and is used to personify “base” passions. Hence, a familiar, genius, fiend, devil or imp. A demon called the Gou gou had control of the island of Miscou in northern New Brunswick, while the woods-whoopers patrolled the interior of the province. In fact, this glossary is a virtual catalogue of demons. Notwithstanding, the most noteworthy collection of demons, per se, has to have been those that occupied Les Isle des Demons a place charted off the eastern coast of Labrador, just north of Labrador. In the sixteenth century it was often shown as an island (or two islands) one of which was at least the size of Newfoundland itself. This island is not Belle Isle which is invariably shown and mapped further south. There is no support for Columbo’s idea that these are the Harrington Isles, as these islands do not stand in the Atlantic. This lost island was definitely visited in historic timesand has now been “misplaced” or swept away by the actions of wind and water. There is a seamount in roughly that place, the area is much smaller than Newfoundland, but the depth of water only about fifty feet. The Norse and Celtic explorers who stumbled upon their equivalent of Hell while cruising our waters were certainly at the “Isle of Demons.” From the earliest times it was understood that “griffins” inhabited the mountains of Labrador. These were probably human inhabitants dressed in skins and possibly wearing masks, but what are we to make of “the two islands north of Newfoundland, given over to the fiends?” One old map pictures the residents “devils rammpant, with wings, horn and tail.” Passing voyagers said they heard the din of their continuous orgies, “and woe to the sailor or fisherman who ventured alone in these haunted woods.” “true it is, “ insists the cosmographer Thuvet, “I have heard these tales not from one, but from a huge number of sailors and pilots. Some said, when they passed by the Isles, that they heard voicesin the air. Nothing normal, but sounds that clustered on the tops of the masts; a great clamour of men’s voices, all confused and inarticulate, such as one might hear at a fair or in a market-place, whenceforth they well knew that the Isle of Demons was not far astern.” Thuvet went on to say that

while he had never been on the islands, he had lived among the Indians of adjacent lands and had seen the work of these demons: “tormented by these infernal persecutors, they fell into my hands for relief; on repeating the Gospel of Saint John these vile things were driven off into the darkness.” At that, the visitor admitted that the residents were shapechangers, “sometimes comely to look upon; yet, by reason of their malice, that island is of late abandoned, and all men who once dwelt there have since fled to the refuge of the main.” When the Vicerory Roberval sailed with intending colonists from St. Malo, France, in 1542, the expedition passed near “the deaded Isle of the Demons,” and here Roberval paused to unload his niece Marguerite and her handmaiden, an old Norman nursemaid named Bastienne. Marguerite had been pursued “by a youing gentleman who had embarked for the love of her.” The affair had been a little too much above board, and the Vicerory was scandalized, shamed, angered and desparate. He blamed the woman, but as his ship pulled away the gallant threw himself into the surf to join her. By making this desparate effort, the young man added two guns and a suipply of ammunition to the supplies allotted the women. From the first Marguerite said they were “beset by the demon lords,” who raged both day and nightabout their hut, their invisible presence being made known by “a confused and hungry sounding medley of voices.” The lovers stood firm and the “offended Virgin Mary, relenting, held them behind her shield.” At that, the forms of beasts were seen prowling nearby, some “with shapes abominably and utterly horrible.” They passed close to the hut the three people assembled and “howling in frustrated fury, tore at the branches of the dwelling; but the celestial hand was interposed and there was an invisible barrier thety could not pass. The lovers had repented their “sin” but did not abandon their acts of love, thus Marguerite became prergnant. Sensing the presence of a new soul, the fiends bacame more frantic for blood, amidst these horrors her lover sickened and died and the child was misdelivered. The old nourse soon found her own place in the unhallowed soil and the woman was left alone. Her stuff was sterner andwhen the demons assailed her she shot at them with a gun, but they only laughed in merrriment. After that she left the gun alone trusting in Heaven alone to guard her. She did take up the weapon against bears, and brought down three of them all, “as white as an egg.” Two years and five months after her stranding her fires were seen by a fishing craft, whose crew restored her to her relatives in France. A

few years later she met the “all believing” Thuvet at Netron in Perigord, and heard this remarkable tale direct from her lips.

DEUCE A mortal earth spirit, a reincarnate pagan god of northern Europe now identified with the Devil. Anglo-Saxon, T i w , the Teutonic god of war. Middle English Tew from which the English Tuesday . These confer with the Old High German Zio , the Old Norse Tyrr and the Old French Deus . Deu or Deuce is a dialectic spelling confering with the English deity , a god or goddess, and with di , a prefix indicating anything having two parts. See also Devil . In the past, playing cards were referred to as the Deuce's prayer book, the Devil's playthings, or Old Scratch's picture book, gambling being considered to have a sin-index greater to that of dancing. At Back Bay, New Brunswick, a now-abandoned shore-building was once a "gambling den". Here a number of local ne'er-do-wells assembled on Saturday night for poker, forty-fives, cribbage and a bit of drinking. This was bad enough, but their bouts of betting extended into Sunday and sometimes overlapped Monday morning. One night, when the shack was completely filled with players, smoke and gin, a finely dressed, pleasant-looking stranger came to the door. He asked to sit in, and although some of the locals were a little put off by his dress, his money was accepted at the nearest table. Before the game had much momentum the dealer lost his playing cards to double vision and went beneath the table to get them back. There he noted that the stranger had the feet of a horse except that the hoves were attached in reverse. He sounded and immediate alarm and the building emptied through every window and door. Afterwards, a party returned and fired the shanty using gasoline. When Father Dougall Cameron of Antigonish Parish was called to the bedside of a dying man, he encountered a dark-faced stranger, who told him his journey was futile since the man had already died. He encountered this same stranger with the same message a little further along the road, but kept moving to the sick man's house, where he found him failing but still alive. He gave his parishoner the last rites and then told his story to the relatives who were convinced that the "Father of Lies" had attempted

to keep the priest from his duty. Father Alex MacLeod, of that same district, had a similar call but did not arrive in time. When men were sent out from the death-watch to locate him they found the priest and his horse rooted in fright on the roadway. Both were eventually moved, but the priest never recovered from seeing the Devil, and it was said that this led to his affliction with the shaking-disease known as St. Vitus' Dance. On the road to Mabou Mountain another priest of God was troubled on the path by an invisible spirit that had to be laid with a whip and the words, "Begone, Satan!" Two common expressions heard in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia at the middle of this century were "The Deuce take you!" and "The Deuce you say!" The first was a mild profanity and the other an expression of disbelief. DEVIL An earth spirit patterned after Tiw, the reincarnate god of war. Anglo-Saxon, deoful , full of deo or god-spirit. The latter a dialectic form of Deu or T i w . the name given the Anglo-Saxon war-god. See entry above under Deuce . This was the Scandinavian god Tyrr , the close companion of Thor who lost his right arm while binding the Fenris wolf in Nifhelheim. Probably connected with the Gaelic dia (jee-uh), god, and perhaps with the Brythonic death-god named Dis . Certainly related to the Gothic diabaulus and the Latin diabolus , a slanderer. Perhaps originating in the Sankrist gal , to let fall, one who disappoints. In Atlantic Canada, devil was a synonym for a sloven, a long horse-drawn wagon with a platform below the level of the wheel axles, a device used in the transport of very heavy or awkward loads. It also described a drag for clearing minor obstructions from ploughed land, or an instrument used to harrow limestone into the soil. The go-devil was a primitive, rather unreliable means of colonial transport, a simple box with four wooden wheels pegged in place, two to a side. The devil's egg is still polite parlance for the whore's egg , descriptive of Echinarachnius parma, also known as the sea urchin. This is an ovoid slightly flattened echinoderm having a body entirely covered with

sharp spines. Broken off within the human body, these spines become a locus of infection and sometimes wander through the tissues for several years before emerging. The devil's matches or bear's matches , identifies the bright red nodules of Cladonia cristatella, a lichen that grows on rotting logs and decaying stumps. The devil's matches are said to be phosphorescent at certain phases of the moon, when they may be approached to foretell the future. The devil's paint brush is the hawkweed, Hieracium aurantiacum, an undersirable weed which can chokes out hay. It has a bright orange flower and has been termed the devil's carpet where i appears in quantity.

Devil-catching described a child's mischief, while the devil's f i r e was seen in phosphorescent diatoms which sometimes caused the sea to glow with an eerie green light. The devil in a gale of wind described a person outlandishly dressed. The devil's darning-needle is the dragonfly. It was once held that those who fell asleep within its reach might awake to find their lips sewn together, or their fingers or toes magically bound. The devil's prayer book , devil's playthings , devil's gallery , or devil's picture-book , refers to playing cards. Our self-disciplined ancestors had little room for "useless" activities especially where they were accompanied by gambling. Sunday "going's on" were tightly controlled by the older generations, who allowed the reading of reading of religious tracts and very little more. In the first English versions of the Bible, the Devil (as opposed to devils of the Devil) was represented using the Greek word "Satan", which has the meaning of "the adversary". This Biblical name for the most important opponent of God passed into poetry and popular myth. Satan is represented in the Jewish Talmund as a former angel of Jehovah cast out of a high post because of his pride and disobedience. In later versions of the Bible "Devil" was substituted for Satan, the latter being cited as a synonym for "slanderer". This spirit was represented as ruler of an

underground place of punishment sometimes given as Hades and in other places as Hell (after the Norse goddess of death). The adversary was said to be subordinate to God and only able to operate through his sufferance. Devil was the general name used to describe local pagan gods after their partial subjugation to the Christian God. This is a synonym for a much broader group of destroyer-gods including the Roman Janus, the Norse god Loki, the Hebrew Satan, the eastern djinn and the Indian Siva. His reduced forms include all the various horned-war-sun-agricultural deities of European mythology. It was from them that he inherited most of his physical characteristics: He was black or very heavily tanned, he had horns, his skin was leathery and hairy, his feet cloven hoofs, his ears pig or goat-like. He possessed a tail, fiery eyes, a sulphurous smell and a large, cold, permanently erect penis. He was reincarnate. In ancient times he must have been as busy as Santa Claus, whipping from one fire festival to another where he served as the central celebrant in fertility rites. In practice he was undoubtedly numerous ordinary men dressed in an animal pelts, magically transformed for their night as a god-king. In the medieval period, these "devils" were the leaders of collections of boabhs or witches. While the Devil was a shape-changer, he usually made house-calls in human form. Mary L. Fraser noted that, "The old people believed that the devil, often assumed the shape of a man, oftener that of an animal..."114 Helen Creighton suggested that it was dangerous to treat with him: "It is a risky business to challenge the devil or call upon him in time of trouble. It would seem that he is always close at hand, ready to appear at your side to carry out your slightest wish...but at a horrible price." 115 When "Telegraph Journal" reporter Mike Mullin was a child he lived on Wood Island, south of Grand Manan in the Bay of Fundy. He noted that impressionable youngsters found the ghost tales of their elders "downright frightening," especially since, "The devil was always party to these stories." He supposed that this the locals honestly thought they saw him from time-to-time, "But they knew how to deal with the old boy. Adherents of the nearby Reformed Baptist Church found an uttered "Get

Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 94. Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, Toronto (1976) p. 91.


thee behind me Satan", did the trick."


The usual form taken by the Devil was that of a tall dark man, dressed in black, wearing a split-coat, cape, and a stove-pipe hat or a bowler. Occasionally, the Old Boy was sighted by more than one individual, thus: "Ten people saw the devil when the "Mary B. Grier" was tied up on year at the Commercial Wharf...It was a cold frosty night and, if there had been anyone coming a foot, they would have heard him. Three times he came and peered around the foremast, and twice he went away without making any sound. The third time a bean crock was thrown at him. He had red eyes like a blaze of fire..." 117 Several men, who claimed to have seen him on the highway at Rothesay, New Brunswick sometime during the 1930's, contended he was "a big black man in a derby", somewhat like the rum-runners of that era. At Buchtouche, in the north of the province Jim Parry met a similar "dark stranger dressed all in black." He thought that "He was eight feet tall...his eyes blazing with fire. He jumped sideways over a picket fence about six feet high, and I swear he cleared it by at laest two feet." 118 The Devil was also at hand to collect the soul of a man nicknamed Dumpy who once lived near Earltown, Nova Scotia. Two observers saw him lurking in an attic window while the man lay dying. He had "streaks of fire coming from his eyes and mouth. It was a dark night but he himself clearly provided enough light for them to see him clearly." 119 He was was less spectacularly appointed when he appeared before the members of the Kirk in the Clyburn Valley of Cape Breton. Six men, and an equal number of women, were meeting to talk about constructing an enlarged church. Three of the board-members were in favour, but the others wanted to pass their surplus revenues on to overseas missions. As Mike, Saint John, Dec. 31 (1987). The island was reduced to two inhabitants at this writing. Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, Toronto (1976), p. 107. As told by Edward Gallagher of Chebucto Head, Nova Scotia.
118Spray, 117Creighton, 116Mullen,

Caroile, Will O' The Wisp, Fredericton (1985) pp. 55-56. Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, Toronto (1976), p. 101.


they argued, there was a flash of lightning and amidst wind and rain, the double doors of the meeting-house opened and a tall man stepped in, shaking water from his cap and coat. He made no move to remove his "close cap" (tam o'shanter pulled down close to the head) nor lay aside his coat, but he did introduce himself as "Elder Gerrity." of "the Old Kirk." The other elders should have been put on guard for the word "geaara" indicates "The Old One" while the notation about "the old church" was an obvious reference to the pagan religion of earlier days. They were, however, diverted by their internecine warfare and actually called upon this stranger to give his opinion concerning the use to which the money should be put. The Devil spoke for a full half hour against building a new church. Thus the "odd-man out" convinced the board to give the money to the missions, afterwards disappearing into the rain never to be seen again. 120 It is well known that the Devil creates a good deal of dissention through the printed word, thus his interest in bookstores and magazine shops. Ten tears ago, there was an upset among students on the campus of the Wesleyan College at Susseex, New Brunswick, when one of their number reported seeing the Devil examining the girlie publications in a periodical shop at one of the local malls. I might have rejected this sighting as an effect or religious fervour, but the gentleman later visited out own antiquarian bookstore. He was not eight feet tall, but he was certainly thin, saturnine, and of dark complexion, perhaps thirty years of age and dressed entirely in black. He was hatless but did affect a redlined cape and was accompanied by a little man, whose physical deformities classed him as a dwarf rather than an elf or fairy. The taller man was well-spoken and seemed genteel while the little man moved in "hop-toad" fashion and said nothing which did not reinforce the statements and attitudes of his big companion. They were looking for books having to do with the occult. This material was uncommon in our town (population 4,200) but by strange chance I had just purchased books from the estate of a prominent Mason and these included an early work on the subject of seances. This I sold to a happy customer for forty dollars. One might think it dangerous to view the Devil incarnate, but there is a saying, "See the Devil in this world and you'll miss him in the next!" Those who wish to make his acquaintence are advised to look in a mirror


Highways And Byways, Fredericton (1986), pp. 35-37.

aimed over the left shoulder at midnight on Christmas Eve.121 He is, of course, an illusive individual as a number of men who spotted him on Clay Hill, at Chebucto Head, Nova Scotia, discovered. They heard "the devil's chains" and then saw him as a conventional man in black." When he moved off the road into the woods they noted that, "We could hear him but we couldn't see him. I said, "Let's go and find him,: but the other fellows wouldn't go. Next day it blew a gale...and I was curious about what we'd seen...I knew excatly where he'd turned in from the road, there wasn't a footmark. Another time I saw a light on the top of Clay Hill like a candle, but when I went up to investigate there was nothing there." 122 It is also difficult to predict what shape the Devil may assume. Three men who went fishing off the coast near Grand Harbour, Grand Manan were having limited luck at long-lining and one of them said something to the efect that since they were having "the devil's luck" they should perhaps give the catch to him, "if we happen to meet him!" It is always unfortuante to make mock-oaths, or promises, in the Devils name! THe road home was blocked by an indiscribable beast "bigger than a dog and uglier than a bear in heat." All the men agreed that this was the worst apparition they had seen but the refused to surrender their fish. After a run through the woods they were more caution in "speaking up the devil." This incident reminds one of the final fling of Caspar Henneberry of Devil's Island in Halifax Harbour. There was formerly a small community on the island. "One night there was drinkin' and dancin'...About one a.m. he went outside and when he came back he was all white and shakin'. "Boys," he says, "my time is finished." "Why?" they asked. "How do you know?" "I know because I seen the devil on the 'bankin' (seaweed insulation covering the foundation of the house) and he come in the form of a halibut." The next day Henneberry was found drowned and the island got the name it bears to this day. 123 The Devil has appeared routinely as a dog or a horse, but Old Scratch has also materialized as serpent: "Another time there was a masquerade
121Creighton, 122Creighton, 123Creighton,

Helen, Folklore of Lunenburg County, p. 19. Bluenose Ghosts, Toronto (1987), p. 222. Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, Toronto (1987), pp. 110-111.

ball at Antigonish. A young girl who was present saw a big serpent wheeling around the room with the dancers. She got such a fright she fainted. Ever afterwards masquerade balls were forbidden there." 124 There is at least one inmstance on record where the Devil approached men within a cold ball of fire.125 At Cregnish, Nova Scotia, the Devil once left a gaming-house as a flaming ball.126 More interesting incarnations have been seen at South River Lake, Nova Scotia where Amos McDonald was on the road after playing cards on Sunday: "...when I was coming home a thing like a grey blanket came down from above me and knocked me down, and when I got to my feet and untangled from it, the blanket changed into a fleece of wool...I kicked it and it disappeared...Three or four years later I saw it again, but it was a round ball this time and black... I hadn't played cards on Sunday since the time it appeared until that night, so I thought it was time to take the warning, and I've never touched cards since."127 We have separate entries on devil-dogs and devil-horse (which, see) but can find only one tale where the Devil is represented as a cat. At the Hawk, a village on Cape Sable Island villagers were at the business of committing a rather evil man to burial when a black cat was seen running toward them: "There were about twelve people standing beside the grave. The minister men on (with the commital rites) and the cat made its way between them and ran right over the casket. They brushed it hastily away, but afterwards none of them could tell where it went (and a few were certain it had dematerialized, presumably taking the soul of the dead man with it)." 128 A man named Riley came out from Ireland to Cape Breton. Resident


Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 94. Helen, Folklore of Lunenburg County, pp. 130-131.

125Creighton, 126Fraser,

Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, p. 98. Helen, Bluenose Magic, pp. 9-10. Bluenose Ghosts, p. 104.

127Creighton, 128Creighton,

at St. Peter's, he confessed to Father Henry McKeagney that he had sold his soul to the Devil. Unfortunately the Old Boy had followed him to the New World and reapproached him reminding him that their contract was still valid. The priest took this matter very seriously and accompanied by an accolate carrying a holy candle, he went to perform a rite of exorcism at Riley's home. On their way they were met by "a great squall of wind" which failed to extinguish the Christian candles, but the Devil did come down off the mountain in the form of "a great black bull." The priest was worried, but uncowed, and commanded the Devil to release the Irishman from his oath of allegiance. At this the Devil turned into "a great longeared black dog" which argued the case with the cleric. Finally, the Devildog gave way to the arguments of the priest and vanished in a great clap of thunder. "Riley lived for some years after, probably more choosy of his creditors." 129 The chief sins of our ancestors revolved around drinking, dancing, illicit sex, and swearing and one, or more, of these elements was usually involved in the damnation of men and women. In the sexual department, the Devil was said to be "abler than any man" but those who lay with him noted that he was, "a meikle (large), black, rough man, very cold...very cold, as ice." He sometimes took the form of a woman to seduce men and "some authorities held that he could alter the sexual part of himself at will to cater to either sex." 130 It was not without reason that Old Nick was nicknamed "the twisty lad"; he was traditionally a great dancer as well as an accomplished fiddler. When a Waweig, New Brunswick, girl was stood up by her usual Saturday night dance-partner, she threw a tantrum and declared, " I couldn't care less about Dan! If the Devil called, I'd go to the Green Lantern with him rather than than that lay-about!" To her surprise a fine looking stranger approached on the road to her home and suggested they take in the evening's entertainment at the dance-hall. She quickly accepted, without her parent's knowledge, and was very pleased at the admiring glances that other girls directed at her new dance-partner. Late
129Mackenzie, 130Tindall,

A.A., The Irish In Cape Breton, p. 81.

Gillian, A Handbook Of Witchcraft, New York (1965) pp.


in the evening, she dropped her handbag and leaning over chanced to notice that her twisty lad had cloven feet rather than shoes. She screamed, fainted, and regained conciousness to find herself left without an escort. Others could not help noticing the Devil's handprint burned into her flesh through the back of her dress. She was considerably disturbed by the cost to her reputation and afterwards died of a wasting disease. In similar cases, the Devil was reported to have exited through a hole blown of the roof of the dance-hall. or the girl was later found dead with a horse hoofprint on her forehead. There are numerous variants of the above tale: "A young woman in a part of Cape Breton was anxious to go to a dance, but she did not consider that the shoes she had were suitable. She kept wishing that she might get a new pair, but did not see how she was going to manage it. One day, a fine-looking young man came to the door and handed the girl a parcel, telling her it contained dancing shoes. She remained talking to him for some time, and found him very much to her taste. In the course of her conversation she let her handkerchief drop, and as she stooped to pick it up she fainted dead away, horror-stricken to see hoofs on her charming benefactor. When she came to herself he had disappeared. She lost no time in committing the parcel containing the shoes to the flames." 131 Carole Spray found two instances of girls who "cozied up" to "the dancing-fool": "At Chaleur Bay I heard about a girl who went dancing against her mother's wishes and found herself dancing with a man whose hand was a cloven hoof. Another story (was about) a former dance hall near Shediac called "The Blue Circle" where the absence of a fiddler caused someone to say "I'll get a fiddler if I have to bring the devil himself," and of course the fiddler left his mark behind in the form of hoof prints on the floor." 132 Helen Creighton has assembled the largest collection of myths about the "twisty lad". In each version the female dancer appears to suffer in proportion to the intamacy she allows the Old Fellow. At a Sydney, Cape Breton, dance-hall she repulsed him as soon as she saw his peculiar foot, and he vanished without harming her. At Diligent River, she cuddled up to
131Fraser, 132Spray,

Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, pp. 98-99. Carol, Will O' The Wisp. p. 55.

him, and ended the evening with a hoofprint burned into her forehead, a hole blasted in the roof of her parents home and her soul forfeited to the dark lands. At Shelburne, another compliant lass was physically removed from the dance-place when the Devil took his leave through a hole blasted through the floor. 133 Speaking on behalf of traditional sexual morality, the local Scots used to say: "That woman (or woman) dances to the twisty-lad's tune!" This was another way of saying that people who were always seeking novelty might expect to come to harm. The Devil was addicted to drinking and gambling as much as to fiddling and frolicing. At Port Wade men told the tale of Captain Gosse, who had wagered his ship, "The Lively Nan", against the Devil's purse. When he and his ship were lost at sea, it was confidently stated that, "the man he played cards with had won his bet and that man was the devil." Another sea captain, addicted to card-playing, thought of taking on this same stranger until he chanced to notice his cloven hoofs. At this, "He screamed and the stranger disappeared, and that was why he would have nothing more to do with playing cards." 134 Creighton collected almost identical tales from Mahone Bay, Blanford, Dover, Lunenburg and East River Point.135 At Buctouche, New Brunswick Spray was told about a group of Sunday gamblers "who used to gather in a back room behind the bar in the old hotel." "One night," the story goes, "this stranger walked in. He was tall and thin and he was dressed in black. He looked sort of familiar, but he was a stranger all right, because nobody knew who he was. He talked to them awhile about gambling and eventually someone asked him to join the game...And so, he sat in. Immediately their luck turned sour and the stranger won quite a lot. He didn't take the money from anyone in particular, but apprently won from each man in turn. At tghe end of it, somebody protested and the game broke up. The stranger told them that if they wanted to gamble some more he would come back to visit them again. He got up and walked out the
133Creighton, 134Creighton, 135Creighton,

Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, p. 93. Bluenose Ghosts, see 91-117 for additional accounts. Folklore Of Lunenburg County, p. 130.

door, and after he left, the men discovered the marks of a cloven hoof burned all across the floor."136 Events such as this usually spoiled "the luck of the house" which invariably fell into ruin, or was torched to avoid further visitations. Gamblers were not the only Sunday violators, and men who cut wood on the Lord's Day were often taken away on the "devil's wind". At Sackville, Nova Scotia, men who went into the woods to jack deer on a Sunday were disuaded after they saw the ghost of an earlier transgressor felling and hauling trees, and logging the entire day. "That was his punishment for working on Sunday. He had to keep it up long after he died." Other Sabbath-breakers were seen cutting wood or shingling their roofs through eternity. Profanity and cursing led to similar trouble. At Mud Cove, Nova Scotia it was reported that, "There was a man and he used to swear dreadfully. He went out one night and got carried away. When he was found his clothes were torn and he was frightened and it cured him, but right after that he disappeared and was heard hollering down by the lily pond. We think it was somthing from the bad land that got him." 137 Ike Foley was another "awful man to swear." Working as a driver on the Musquodobit River, he raged against a large "hummock" (lichen and moss encrusted rock) that traditionally interfereed with the river-drive. In a particularly colourful burst of language, he said that he would be indebted if the Devil would help him in removing the obstruction. That night the Old Fellow came round, demanding that Ike come out to help him. Three times he called, but the woodsman was petrified with fear and remained in the shanty. In the morning, the stone was gone and Ike was claimed not long after. Crossing on thin spring ice, he fell through into the river and was drowned. Afterwards, the "devil's chain was heard rattling at that place. The Scots suggested that. "those who sup with the De'il should hae a long spoon." It was never wise to seek his help as did Tom McDonald, who once lived at Moser's River. A fisherman, and a bachelor, he was known to

Carole, Will O' The Wisp, p. 55. Helen, Folklore Of Lunenburg County, p. 44.


fish alone. Nevertheless, he always took enough for two men and those who spotted his dory from a distance thought there were two men on board. When they came close the second fellow was never seen, so it was assumed he must be the Devil. Another mariner from St. Margaret's Bay profited from his experience with the supernatural: " (He) used to pilot ships to the wharf to load lumber. He was a wicked man and cursed and swore. He would go off in his boat and a man (the Devil) would sit in the stern of his boat. He turned over and led a good life after that and he never saw the man again." 138 McDonald did not appear to suffer from having this work-mate but a man named Bramber, who lived at Tiverton, Digby County, was differently used, although he did live to be a "very old and very bad man." He went out of his house one night and never returned, his shoes, left neatly on his doorstep being the only evidence of his passage. "People used to say that the devil had got him."139 It is said that "the Devil looks after his own." This can hardly be true since he has a powerful antagonist. When Mr. Swim, a cook on a boat working out of Clarke's Harbour worked, he cursed both God and the Devil. It is uncertain which deity was most offended but one afternoon his bean pot refused to stay in the oven. After three spillages, he threatened God and wired the oven door shut. Out the beans came again. Thoroughly angered, he went on deck and challenged God to meet him in combat half way down the main-mast of the siling ship. God was unrepentant, and whatever Swan attempted, the beans remained uncooked. 140 It was not necessary to be a skilled oath-maker to find a way to hell. Occasionally men slipped into the pit following an unintended slip of the tongue. Lazy Lew contracted with the Devil to help him mine coal (see Tommy Knocker) but at Dead Man Camp, at Burnt Hill, New Brunswick, a teamster lost his load of logs, and his life, after he promised to get them
138Creighton, 139Creighton, 140Creighton,

Helen, Folklore Of Lunenburg County, p. 44. Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, p. 105. Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, p. 109.

to the unloading ramp "or eat my supper in hell." 141 Stuart Tueman told a similar tale of the Devil's Dell, at Tetagouche Falls, near Bthurst, New Brunswick: He claimed that two lumbermen became lost in a snowstorm in that aptly named valley. "By great good fortune they came upon an empty camp. "I'm going to feed my horse, " said the first man after they got settled in - this of course, being the unwritten law of the deep woods (the Devil was the Horse-lord). The other grumped, "I'm going to eat now myself, or I'll eat in hell" -and he ate. Finally he went out, but didn't return: a log had fallen off the old shack and killed him." 142 At places where men were taken in this fashion, the woods were often haunted by the sound of the "devil's chain". Remember that the mythic Irish pooka was often described as a horse-spirit draped with chains, a symbol of its bondage to the dark lands. The Devil was also pictured as carrying chains that clattered at his passage. Local woodscutters were very superstitious about chains and would leave their job rather than suffer the bad luck that followed inadvertently knotting one. The Devil's chain was not made of iron, but of silver143 and it was often said that it had the sound of a light metal being dragged over frozen ground. Like lesser members of his covens, the Devil sometimes acted as a forerunner. When the Mac...'s migrated from Uist, Scotland to Inverness County, their colonial neighbours observed that they were no better workers than they needed to be. In addition they were heavy supporters of taverns and places of disrepute. One Samhuin Eve (October 31), two Scots were walking near their homestead when they were joined by a man wearing a long blue cloak. The stranger walked between them,keeping perfect face but saying little. As they came abrest of the Mac...'s house they saw that all the doors and windows were open and a great celebration was taking place. "They appearing to be having a grand time," said one man. "Aye," the stranger hazarded, "but at the expense of many others. However, the day will dawn when not one of this clan will remain to bear

Carole, Will O' The Wisp, p. 4. Ghosts, Pirates And Treasure Trove , p. 154.

142Trueman, 143Trueman,

Stuart, Ghosts, Pirates And Treasure Trove, p. 113.

the name. Indeed, the grass will grow to their doorsteps and the crows feed on their souls." The trio had now passed the house, and reaching a spring fed brook, were forced to jump across it. The blue-coated man went first, and as he sprung his cloak flared, showing that he was a skeleton aglow in lambent light. Like a candle wick, he was immediately extinguished and disappeared. As this Devil had promised, the Mac...'s no longer live at Mabou or anywhere else in Cape Breton. The idea that the Devil promoted, as well as reported, the failure of men was once a tenant of popular belief. Thus a newpaper at Lancaster New Brunswick reported the death of Archibald Cooper in 1831, a man who, "being seduced by the devil, did in a certain Barn, take and and drink a large quantity of Rum, or ardent spirits, for the purpose of destroying his life..." Priests and ministers of the Christian churches often fought against the Devil incarnate. Father Dougall Cameron, of Antigonish, was one of these. Called to the bedside of a dying man he was met on the way by a tall saturninne presence, who assured him he was too late to render last rites since the sick man had already died. As he was unfamiliar with this stranger, Cameron pressed on and encountered the same person a second and a third time. In each case he continued and arrived to find his parishoner expiring but still alive. He became convinced that "the Father of Lies" had attempted to prevent him from doing his duty. When Hugh N..., a long time resident of Mabou Mountain died another priest attempted to bring him final solace. On the road, his horses were rendered immobile by an invisible presence that blocked the road. The priest prayed for divine assistance and then lashed the empty road with his horse-whip, shouting, "Begone, Satan. Off you dirty beast. Do you presume to keep me from that soul?" At that there was a terrible explosion leaving a powerful odour of sulpher. There was no further trouble with the horses and the rites were administered without difficulty. 144 Events sometimes favoured the Old Son. When Father Alexander MacLeod attempted a similar death-call he was also blocked by the black forces. His horse trembled in abject terror and refused to move. At last, men sent out from the homestaed to see what delayed the priest led the

Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, pp. 97-98.

animal past the invisible presence. The priest, who was unequal to the fright, never recovered and lapsed into the disease that used to be called St. Vitus' dance. The countercharms used against witchcraft had some usefulness, but the chief remedy of the last century was Asafoetida rubbed on door "to keep the devil out."145 This compound is no longer widely known, or used, but its derivation says something about its spiritual intent. The word "Asa" is a Low Latin for anything which is plastic or pliable, and was anciently used as a nickname for the god Odin. We see it in Asa-gaard, or Asgard (asa's garden), the name given the home of the northern gods. The word may arise originally from the Persian "aza". "Foetidia" is from the Latin "foetidus", decayed, rotten or fetid. the whole word described the fetid tear-shaped drops of gum resin taken from eastern plants of the genus Ferula. The dark-coloured derivative was used in medicines as an anti-sposmadic and had the same strong taste and odour as garlic. The entry way to the land of the dead may have been (or may be) close to Alma, New Brunswick, in Fundy Park, at the place known as “The Devil’s Half-Acre.” This stretch of land is immediately west of the seawater swimming pool and may be the place of the Acadian Caverns, which are said to occur in block-faulted rock. A system of block faults lies at the north boundary of this region where Precambrian and Mississippian rocks are in contact. Park propoganda tells the following story: “Many years ago, a settler from Yorkshire decided to explore this coastline, before choosing a homesite. He slept on the cold stony beach, and scrambled painfully to the top of the cliff the next morning. But, before he had a chance to explore, a horrible scream issued from the bowels of the earth and the Yorkie found himself facing the Devil. Unflinching, the settler stared at the terrible apparition. “Art thou not afraid of me?,” demanded the DEvil. Yorkie answered, “Nay!” Goaded, the Devil challenged Yorkie, “If I can’st make thou afraid, wilt thou leave?” “Aye,” answered Yorkie, “but if thou fails, this coast is mine!” The Devil did everything in his power to frighten the Yorkshireman. He conjured a monstrous imp, but Yorkie sprinkled holy water on the demon and it disappeared in a hiss of steam. To trap the Debvil, Yorkie then sprinkled holy water on the half acre of land. When the Devil realized he’d been tyricked, he destroyed the land in his fury. He ripped huge trees from the ground, and tore yawning

Helen, Bluenose Magic, p. 50.

pits and crevasses in the rocky soil. Then with a roar, the Devil tunnelled beneathg the holy water emerging near Dickson Falls at a location now called Hell’s Kitchen. The Devil’s damage can still be seen here. So tread carefully...you never know who you might meet. 146 DEVIL-HORSE A mortal earth spirit, one of the familiars of the Devil. Anglo-Saxon, deoful, devil + hors , horse; confering with the old Norse hross , and thus the family name Ross and place-names such as Rosshire , Scotland. Mary MacInnis of East Bay, Cape Breton Island, told a tale that makes it clear that wishful thinking can be as dangerous as direct request where the Devil is involved. She claimed that an island man was walking to his home several miles distant and was very tired of the road. Using a few Anglo-Saxon four-letter words, he made a strong request for the services of a horse. He should have been worried when a fine white horse stood in the path at the next turn in the road, but in an unrepentant mood he broke a switch from a bush at the side of the road and mounted it. At first the animal trotted away toward home at a respectable speed but it slowed and the farmer hit it with his stick. The blow did not sound as it it had hit horse-flesh but rang hollowly as it it had been brought up hard against an iron-boiler. As this vast sound reverbrated the horse jumped into the sky and the terrified man jumped to the ground. As the horse vanished in a surround of smoke and flames the man climbed slowly to his feet nursing several broken ribs and a twisted ankle. The Old Man with hoofs was a skilled shape-changer and as folklorist Mary L. Fraser has noted, one of his favourite shapes was very much like that of the Scottish kelpy. Joe Neil MacNeil was of the opinion that a farm horse would side with its human against most spirits, but thought there was a great possibilty that a mare would support a dangerous evil spirit. "It was said that if a rope were put about her neck, even if it were nothing more than a thread, then she would fight with you against any spectre."


a sign on the premises.

Devil-horses were not always visible and when they were, their existence could not always be proven. At French River, Nova Scotia, there was a phantom horse who only revealled himself through heavy breathing. At Upper Falmouth there was a "horse" whose hoofs were heard coming up a driveway, but nothing was ever seen. On the other hand, Mr. Bond, of East Chester, saw a huge stallion rear and place his forefeet on an orchard fence. Three people who were stealing apples at the time heard his fierce neighing and snorting, and ripped boards from another part of the fence squeezed through with the animal close behind. The next day these three came back expecting to see the turf disturbed where the animal had charged after them, but there were no signs that it had ever had any existence. In a nearby location, people reported being overtaken by a galloping horse as they rode about in their wagons. This beast passed them and was clearly seen by day and night until it faded away a few feet beyond them. Thorne's Cove, near Victoria Beach had a similar phantom horse, which might have been a kelpy or the Devil. Men sometimes tried to race against it with their horses but no one ever succeeded in outpacing this spirit-steed. Mr. John Obediah Smith of Glen Haven was one of Helen Creighton's respondents who swore to having an experience of this kind. DEVIL'S FIRE A ocean. sea-spirit responsible for the phosphoresence of the

Middle English, deoful , from the Anglo-Saxon, tuuful , full of or enspirited by the god Tuu , or Tues , whose name is embodied in Tuesday . This is the Old Norse god Tyrr , once pre-eminent in the north, a god of the sun, agriculture and war.+ fyre , fire. This name is somewhat inappropriate since Tyrr was a land-god. The phenomena is related to the fetch, which sometimes springs from fires beneath the water. Some sailors of earlier days correctly identified these cold fires as "Rann's silver", Rann being the wife of Hler, the prime god of the ocean. Rann was referred to as "the flame of the sea" from her interest in precious minerals, and her presence was seen in the phosphoresecent effect of moving water, now attributed to the presence of energy emitting diatoms. DIABLE

Acadian French, Diable , the Devil, Satan. myth.

The adversary of Hebrew

Father Anselme Chaisson said that, "The devil...acted only to cause souls to be lost or to prevent them from being saved. For instance, "the devil at the dance" carries off to hell the disobedient daughter who goes to the ball against her parent's wishes; "the devil fisherman" fills a schooner with fish in order to win the owner's soul. A priest on his way to assist a dying person is interfered with by the devil, who creates a thousand obstacles; he frightens the horse, unhitches it or breaks the harness. Finally, some people were thought to be possessed by the devil, as this seemed to be the only explanation for their strange behaviour." DRAGON A fire-breathing mortal earth spirit capable of flight. Anglo-Saxon, draca and sae draca (sea-dragon), Similar to the Middle English draggen , which resembles or derives from the Old Norse, dragga , which is the same as the English word to draw , or haul slowly across the land, ponderously and by brute force. Any very large serpent, for example a python; the mythic monster, a winged and scaly serpent or saurian, with crested head, formidible claws, fiery halitosis and an untrustworthy temper; in English heraldry, the griffon; luminous marsh gas; a meteor. Confers exactly with drake or firedrake, which has the same origin. Similar to the Gaelic fear dearg (red man, firey man). Also known to Anglo-Saxons as the wyrm (worm). The dragon is the complete underworld creature, essentially a seaserpent with legs rather than flippers. European models seemed to have been modelled after Loki's Nidhug, whose persistant gnawing at the WorldTree is destined to kill it bringing down the Norse worlds of the north. When it was not about this business the "deepe-garth wurm" consumed the bones of the less than virtuous dead. His descendants occupied the Ironwood in Nifhelheim where the giantess patron of the Anglo-Saxons, Iarnsaxa (also known as Angurboda) fed them. They were given the bone marrow (which was thought to contain the spirit) of murderers and adulterers, "and such was the prevalence of these vile crimes that the monsters were never stinted for food. They daily gained strength to

pursue Sol (the moon) and Mani (the sun) and will finally overtake and devour them, deluging the earth with blood from their dripping jaws." Dragon is a word with several meanings. Aside from the more obvious one, it was applied to the dragon-ships of the Old Norse, which carried carved dragon-heads as their figureheads. Fires in the sky were taken to be the exhalations of flying dragons and thus meteor flashes and the more sustained light from comets were termed "draccons" or dragons. The Celtic Scots had wide-ranging intercourse with the Norse vikings, which explains how Cape Bretoners come to know something of the "dreag" or "dreag on". Joe Neil MacNeil explained that this was what the English would term "a shooting star", but somewhat different in the fact that it passed "very low in the sky". This was taken as a death omen for men, the tail indicating by its length the relative importance of the person destined to die. On the oldest maps of our region, before names were given to landforms, it was cryptically noted, "Here there bee dragonnes". A little later Dragon Island was located southeast of New France near the Saint Lawrence Channel. This could very well have been meant to indicate the northernmost peninsula of Newfoundland where the Norse beached their dragon boats. On the other hand, there was a report of a Norse visitor shooting a dragon from the sky about the year one thousand A.D. Glooscap had difficulties eliminating a very similar beast (see Jipjakamaq) and they were known to exist in all of eastern North America. DROCH-CHROMHALAICHEAN A changeling among men. spirit the cause of continous ill-fortune

Gaelic, droch + Chrom + aichean (pronounced droh-crum-uluckan), the agents of Crom. Droch , evil or bad comparable with the Sankrist druh , to injure, similar to the English word dry . Crom , bent, twisted. Confers with the Anglo-Saxon crumb , also, crooked and the English crumple although Macbain says the similarities are a coincidence. Aicheamhail , reprisal, the act of taking revenge. Also know as jinxers, hoodie, hoodoos and jonahs, jonars or freds. Those lacking an effective "taibh" or guardian. People who have consistent bad luck.

There is no question concerning the master of these people, whose numbers included the "baobhs" or witches. Some say they were thanes of the devil, but the word "chromhalaichean" allies them with the Gaelic god Chrom or Crom (crooked). Crom demanded as sacrifices, "the firstlings of every issue including the chief scions of every clan." He was sometimes associated with Lugh and his centre of operations was Crom Cruaich (cf. Eng. rick, a hill shaped like a pile of straw) in Mag Slecht (the plain of prostrations), County Cavan, Ireland. Among his early devotees was Tighernmas, the seventh Milesian king, the first to smelt gold and create woven tartaned cloth. Two-thirds of his people were stricken with a strange illness while bowing to the gold and silver idol that symbolized their god. The centre-piece was surrounded by twelve lesser wooden figures covered with brass and bronze. When Saint Patrick discovered this unholy gang "he lifted against it the staff of Jesus. Suddenly by the power of the Almighty the idol fell on its side, and the gold and silver flaked from the stone and powdered into dust. The mark of the staff stands still burnt upon the rock, while the inferior gods were swallowed to their necks in the earth." Ironically, "An Tighernmas" (The Lord) is the word now used to identifies the Christian God. Joe Neil MacNeil has noted that Cape Bretoners "used to talk of unlucky people...If they were working with tools of any kind...they would order a certain man in the neighbourhood to journey over (leave). They believed that everything would be in order again (after he left). But they took it as a very bad sign if that same man met them when they were starting a journey...The first person to meet on a journey they thought to bring them luck or not."147 In other days particular attention was paid to bad-luck creatures met on the road, especially black cats, witches, crows and the bad luck janes and johnnies. They were all seen as inauspicious when men started on long journeys or new enterprises and people would turn back upon encountering one on a simple hunting or fishing trip or on a journey to the nearest market. Following through meant that extreme difficulties would ensue. If the trip was absolutely essential it was managed by taking an entirely different route. MacNeil tells of a widower who remarried, thus gaining a stepmother for his only daughter. The two did not interact very well although the stepmother made efforts to get along. Once she

Joe Neil, Tales Until Dawn, p. 211.

encountered the girl just as she was leaving the house and commented, "I shall surely have good luck since you are the first person met on the way." To her surprise the girl was not complimented but commented that, "People do not consider me well met. I am unlucky!" "Indeed," rejoined the stepmother, "you have little reason to say that." "Oh yes," said the daughter "I was, after all, the first person my father met, the day he went to marry you!" The sympathetic magic used against the Devil and witches was thought useful against the bad-luck people. At Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, the man known as Johnny Bad Luck was met by a population of men and women who turned their hats and bonnets three times when they met him on the road. No one wished to become a "rent-payer to Hell", but our Gaelic ancestors had no desire to be insufferably lucky. They understood that the spiritual world was a place of checks and balances and that " people gifted with exceptional good luck were easy targets for an evil spell." DRUIDH A Gaelic magician. Gaelic, druidh (droo-id), druids, singular, draoi , from a root-word druit , one who is close, firm or trustworthy. Possibly from the Cymric drws , a door. Perhaps the same as the English trust. Certainly similar to dorus , our English word door and the Latin fores . The chief work of the druids was termed druidheachd , druid-wonders. The druids compare with the Anglo-Saxon wits, who practised witchcraft, and the AngloNorman magiciens, whose art was magic. Among the Abenaki the "virtues of the craft" were summed up in the word aoutmoin. The druid proper had control of the public and private aspects of the religion known as druidism. The essential features of this magic-religion was a belief that all matter is a reservoir for a portion of the spirit of the creator-god. Things which were animated were considered highly spirited, while trees and stones were seen as less so. It was believed that men could gain or lose spirit through acts of ritual magic and that the land and cattle could be empowered through the sacrifice of plants, men and beasts, whose spirits were added to the soil at the annual firefestivals. The Celts had little fear of death since their theology held they would be reincarnated in one form or another. Further all men were said

to be "born above their station" and capable of becoming mortal gods through the accumulation of power. The magic of the druids found specialties in the bards, who influenced men with their "honeyed-tongues". The vates, on the other hand, were soothsayers and prophets. General practitioners combined the careers of historian, wonder-worker, priest and physician. DRYFOOT A sea-spirit bound to the land. Anglo-Saxon, dryge , dry, dry land + foot , to step, to find one's way. A creature similar to the rowing-man (which, see). Similar to the Newfoundland "hangashore"; an individual enspirited by a desire to fish who, nevertheless, remains always on the shore. Here it may be noted that the ancient Celts ate no fish since many of them claimed descent from the sea-people, who often travelled in the form of fish. Some of these individuals were jonahs, or bad-luck johnnies, and therefore unwelcome aboard ships. In any event, the dryfoot was exceptional in villages where virtually all men went to the sea for their livlihood, and was thus considered a man possessed by an uncanny spirit. THe dryfoot was considered as one apart "His had a bit grasping whenever he sold; a little slow to open when he bought..." DUIN MARA Little man, or woman, of the sea. Gaelic, daoine (pronounced donnu), people; duin , singular, a person + mara (mare) of the ocean. Confers with mor , of great expanse, size or importance; moran , many; Morag , a proper name, born of the sea. Descendants of the Fomors or undersea people. These were the people known in Brittany as the groac'h vor, morrigans , korrigans or korrids, the korid-gwen of Cornwall, and the morgans of Scotland and Wales. These were called the ben-varrey on the Isle of Man, and merrows or mara-warra in Ireland. Some of them worked as banshees (see bean sidh). The females were more generally known in the Gaelic world as the maighdean mara , a word that interprets as sea-maiden or mermaid.

The males of the species were hairy, bearded, had large fish-like mouths, flat noses, long arms and a yellow-tinted skin. Their Irish counterparts were more obviously fish-like, having green teeth , hair and skin and short finned arms. The latter had pig-like eyes and noses made red by an addiction to whisky. Their presence on land was usually taken as an omen of good luck but the opposite was true for females. The women were attractive and sexually active. They have been known to kidnap young men, later returning them to the land bearing fine giftts. Feeble performers were held in perpetual bondage. The woman were particularly responsible for the moodiness of the ocean and controlled sea-storms and the process of weather-making. In all cases the sea-travelling form was recognized as transitory, being that of a fish or a half-fish. On land this sea-suit was laid aside for a human form, but the merpeople could also shape-change into horses, dogs, hares or any other land animal. A portion of the Nova Scotian shore immediately east of Antigonish township is called Merland. Not far from this location, a "mermaid was reported to have remained three days off the Cape Breton coast, a short distance from the shore.148 Roland Sherwood said it was generally held that, "mysterious sprites of the sea came up at night to tap on the window panes or whisper at the doors." When curtains moved without "a wind to stir them" seamen knew that the sea spirits were reporting that a relative had died at sea. Neil MacNeil recounted an experince his great-grandfather had with a maghdean mara while he was ferrying products between the Island of Barra and the port of Glasgow, Scotland: "One night he was sailing along alone through the seas of the North Atlantic on his way back to Barra, for he had no passengers. he got so tired in the long dreary night that he fell asleep with the tiller in his hands. He was awakened by the sweet voice of a woman, only to find his boat headed straight for the rocks of Staffa. He quickly turned his boat, headed it in the right direction, and then looked about him for the source of the voice. He saw a mermaid, swimming along easily and gracefully in the wake of the boat. She was beautiful beyond the beauty of earthly women, with long golden hair, limpid sparkling blue eyes, and full rounded white breasts. Grandfather's grandfather thanked her for her kindness and thereupon they had a long talk together over the water. It was in Gaelic, to be sure, for that is the language of nature and

Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 92.

the one that its unspoiled creatures understand. Grandfather's grandfather plied the creature with questions all of which were answered with open frankness. as dawn neared, she suddenly said: "you have asked me everything except about egg-water." With that she dived into the depths of the sea, and he never saw her again." Neil MacNeil had no understanding of "egg-water" supposing it had some obscure relation with cooking eggs. He concluded: "As the mermaid did not explain the riddle, it probably remains just that to this day." This is not an insoluble enigma, but reference to recipe used to banish the sidh: A Welsh woman troubled by little people whose dancing sifted dust between floorboards into her evening meal consulted a witch-woman and was advised "to ask six reapers to dinner in the hearing of the fay, and only to make as much pudding as cpould be boiled in an egg-shell. She did as directed and when the fairies saw that a dinner for six men was put down in an egg-shell, there was great stir and commotion in the cowhouse, and at length one angry voice was heard to say, "We have lived long in this world; we were born just after the earth was made, and before the acorn was planted, and yet we have never seen a whole harvest-dinner dressed in an egg-shell. There must be something wrong in this house and we will stop here no longer." They went away and never returned." It is apparent that the mermaid expected MacNeil to ask why this ruse was always effective against the twylwyth teg and the sidhean. The following was a Cape Breton sighting: "An elderly man was one day walking on the beach near his home when he saw a mermaid arise from the water, holding in her hand a very beautiful shell. He kept beckoning her to come nearer, until she came right up on the shore. He asked her for the shell she was carrying, but she refused, saying she could not go back in the water without it. With that he seized the shell and set out for his hgouse. She followed pleading piteously for her treasure, but he would not give it to her. When they reached the house she had to stay there, for he took the precaution of burying the shell in a secret place. Some time afterward she married the old man's son. Although she tried to be happy, she always longed for her home under the sea. To her children she told all about its beauties and its wonders. One day the children were playing in the hay mow. They dug their way down to the bottom, and there they discovered something very beautiful. They went to the house and fairly dragged their mother to the barn to see their find. She recognized her shell and told them she could stay with them no longer, for she was going

to her beautiful home under the sea...She covered her face with her hair so as not to see their tears, told them to tell their father and grandfather, who were away fishing thast she had gone home and they would never see her again, and then plunged into the sea and joined her companions..." 149 DUIN SIGH The side-hill or “little people” of Gaelic myth. Gaelic, duin , person; sidh , side-hill; plural daoine sidh (pronounced donnu shay or shaw in the Scottish dialect; dannan shee in Irish vernacular); people of the mounds, little people, corresponding with the elfs and fairies of England. The remnants of the Tuatha daoine, who took refuge in the natural caverns and souterrains of Britain following their defeat by the Milesians. Sidh confers with sigh , the wee folk; sith , weather, and sid , peace. As an adjective sidh is currently used to describe things that are fairy-like or supernatural, thus eun-sidh , a fairy bird, a mysterious or enchanted creature and the neologism labhransidh , a radio receiver. In the last battle, The Dagda, patriarch and king of the Tuatha daoine, was killed and the remains of the Tuathan forces met at the mouth of the River Boyne. There, they elected Bodb Derg high-king and swore allegiance to the Fomorian gods, in exchange for the right to move to Tir-nan-Og, the Fomorian island of perpetual youth. Those that decided to remain in Ireland were given red caps of invisibility to shield them from the oppressors, and were gifted with the arts of healing, which made them virtual immortals. Prevented from taking any part in the new order, they became legally bound to their hills except for a few days following the quarter, or rent-paying days; the first of these being November 1. The sidh were suspected of travelling at night and became nearly invisible in their attempts to avoid the tax men. Although they did not resist the Milesians they were mildly hostile and created "ceo sidh", or magic mists, to lead their enemies astray. Their "ceol sidh", or sidh music, and the "seidean sidh", or fairy wind served the same purpose. One expert has supposed that the English fairies were banished from that land by "the reign of Elizabeth (the first) "or her father at the

Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotria, np, nd, pp 92-93.

furtherest." By 1827 the people of Wales spoke of their Tylwyth Teg (who are also wee folk) in the past tense: "An old lady assured (us) that she at one time, many years before, saw the fairies to the number of some hundreds...Another old woman said that her father had often seen the fairies riding the air on their little white horses..." Fifty tears after a resident noted wistfully, "we hear not of brownies or kobolds in the Welsh houses now..." The Scottish fairies seem to have been harried out of their countryside in the same interval, a time corresponmding with the Highland Clearnces (ca 1770-1830). Hugh Miller reported the departure of the sidh from one hamlet, "a long cavalcade acending out of a ravine through a wooded hollow." It was observed, on a Sunday morning, by a herd-boy and his sister, who had somehow escaped attendance at Church: "The horses were shaggy and diminutive things, speckled dun and grey; the riders stunted, misgrown ugly creatures, attired in antique jerkins of plaid, long grey clokes, and little red caps..." The boy questioned the last of this kind: "What are ye little manie?" and was told "I am not of the race of Adam but one of the people of peace, who shall never more be seen in Scotland. The novelist Ellen Ross said that Peterstown, one hundred miles from Glasgow, on the German (North) Sea, was the location of the Elfin Kirk, "which tradition had pointed to as the last place in Scotland where the fairies (i.e the sidh) held their yearly meetings on All Souls's Eve." This "church" was actually "two immense rocks several hundred feet in height, joined together at the back, the hollow inside of which presents the appearance of a gigantic chancel." Traditionally the Sidhallion Mor, or Great Hall of the Sidh, was located on the seaward side of the Island of Handa in Sutherlandshire, northwestern Scotland. There were numerous underground palaces in Ireland, that of King Boabd Derg (Red Witch) being under Sliab-na-mban (the white clay mountain) His chief lieutenant lived under Cruachan in Roscommon while the reincarnate Lugh ruled over Brugh-na-Boyne, located north of Tara. In comparing the sidh with the English elfs and fairies Keightley noticed that they were, like them divided into rural and domestic types, but not distinguished as popular and poetic varieties since "The Scottish fairies have never been taken by the poets for their heroes or machinery..." It would appear they were a more organized race, "more attached than their neighbours to the monarchial form of government." The fairy kings of England were a poetic fiction but the sidh monarchs were "recognized by law in Caledonia." The folklorist said, "They would appear also to be more mischevously inclined than the Southrons but less addicted to the

practise of dancing." 150 They were never said to be dwarfs or of reduced stature: "The Sidhe are thin, up to six feet in height, handsome and young-looking despite their great age. Their skin is soft, their hair long and flowing, their clothes blindingly white; their voices sweet and seductive and their bagpiping unrivalled." 151

While they still moved among men, the sidhean were seen in parade between Sliab-na-mban and Cruachan: "There was no person among them who was not the son of a king and a queen. They all wore green cloaks with four crimson pendants to each; and silver cloak-brooches held them in place; and they wore kilts with red interweavings, and borders or fringes of gold thread was upon them, and pendants of white bronze thread upon their leggings. Their shoes had clasps of red bronze in them. Their helmets were ornamented with crystal and with white bronze. Each of them had a collar of twisted gold with a gem the worth of a newly calved cow set in it. They wore gold rings that assayed at thirty ounces each. All of them had white-faced shields ornamented with gold and silver. They carried flesh-seeking spears ribbed with gold and silver and bronze. They had gold-hilted swords with the forms of serpents of gold embossed on them and set with carbuncles. They astonished all who saw them by the lavishnesss of their wealth." 152 Their underground retreats were no less wonderful. That of the goddess Morrigan, who was also called Queen Mebd, was at Rath-Cruchan in western Ireland: "There were seven compartments from the fire to the outer wall, each having a front of bronze. The whole was composed of beautifully carved red yew...Ailill and Mebd's compartment was made altogether of bronze and was situated in the middle of the house with a front of silver and gold all around it. A silver band on one side of it rose

Thomas, World Mythology, London (1880), p. 350. Nancy, A Field Guide To The Little People, New York


(1977), p. 21.

Seumas, The Story Of The Irish Race, Old Grennwich,

Conn. (1983) p. 11.

to the top of the place and reach all about it from one door to the other." The historian Seumas MacManus says that this rath was circular, constructed essentially of stones set as dry masonry, "with walls thirteen feet thick at the base. This particular western palace had an oak shingled roof and five concentric ramparts "three of which are still to be seen", but most of the sidh-residences were entirely hidden under artificial hills or within natural caverns. 153 Cape Breton historian A.A. Mackenzie was convinced that the "supersitions" of Ireland were spoiled in the passage of people to eastern Canada: "Nevertheless," he admitted, "a few fairies apprently made the voyage with the Irish. At Low Point im the Irish Grant, the "little people" were blamed for turning stooks of grain upside down. And on an island, near the south end of the Strait of Canso. lived McNamaras who firmly believed in the "little people." These McNamaras had come to their island home after sojurns in Massachusetts and on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia; the last of them to live on their island left about 1930, driven to move by the isolation and -so some people sa - because of the ghosts and fairies which they saw so often in the woods." 154 Mary L. Fraser thought otherwise noting that, "The early settlers of Nova Scotia brought with them from the old lands a belief in the existence of fairies. The whole district which the town of Inverness now covers was formerly called the Shean. (properly Schiehallion or Sidh-challinn, the Sidh Hall of the Caledonians, like one found in Perthshire, Scotland) In this district there was a small hill, shaped something like a large haystack, where the old people used to see the "little people" in thousands." 155 Another well known Nova Scotian sidh hill was located at Upper South River in Antigonish County. This place is mentioned in the literature by both Mary L. Fraser and Helen Creighton. Fraser says the underground cavern was at Beech Hill, "the scene of many preternatural Seumas, The Story Of The Irish Race, Greenwich, Conn. (1988), p. 57. Quotation is slightly paraphrased.
154Mackenzie, 153MacManus,

A.A., The Irish In Cape Breton, Antigonish (1979), p.


Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 69.

manifestations". Among them, she mentions the encounter of Mr. and Mrs. Cameron and another unnamed pair of Scots: The four were travelling by horseback through these woods during the Yule. At dusk they were at Beech Hill proper: "All at once a most extraordinary company came in sight. A huge pair of oxen yoked, with heaps of non descripot (trade goods) piled on their backs. (They) were headed by a shrivellled old man of very small stature (the sidh were said to shrink as they shape-changed and aged), with a rope over his shoulder tied to the middle of the yoke. More extraordinary still, four ordinary-sized women were following behind wearing a peculiar headgear, very high and unusual. Their dresses made a strange rustling noise that frightened the horses. Cameron had a quiet animal, so he succeeded, although with difficulty, in getting by; but the other horse bolted into the woods. Only the strength of MacDonald, the brother-in-law, prevented himself and his sister from being thrown." 156 After this happening Cameron made inquiries up and down the road concerning the identity of these travellers, but they had not been seen in any other place. As for the headresses of the women, it is well known that the source of the sidhean powers of invisibility was the "faet fiada", a charm invested in the red sugar-loaf shaped hats that they wore. Frequent reference is made to the fine cloth woven by the sidh which was sometimes described as issuing a sound like that of dried grasses or leaves rubbing together. At this same location, a famous local strong-man, named Donald, came upon "the man in gray." Seeking company, he hastened his pace so that he might join him, but this attempt failed as the man in homespun walked more rapidly. Noticing a loop in the road Donald decided to cut him off and had nearly succeeded when the stranger took to the woods. Made curious by this action, the Scot pursued and ran the sidh to ground. Approaching him through an opening in the forest he found the "man" panting and moaning under a tree. Approaching, he saw "a face so horrible he took to his heels and never stopped running till the woods were far behind. Again, two woodsmen, also named MacDo0nald, went into these woods to cut. Fraser says they were not overly imaginative or credulous Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 85. As recounted by Cameron's grandson.

people: "They had not been working too long when they heard a noise like that of chains rattling, and perceived a dreadful odour. Then something they likened to a coffin -bigger at one end than the other-rose before them and sailed through the air. At this time these hardy men got so frightened that they left their work and made for home." 157 Father John Grant's troubles with the sidh are mentioned in passing by Creighton and Joe Neil McNeil, but are most completely recounted by Fraser. "Father John" was holding Saint Andrew's Day masses in a number of small parish churches near Antigonish and on a Saturday evening found himself in residence with Bishop Fraser at Antigonish village. As it was near dusk, and the Bishop knew that Grant would have to pass near Beech Hill to get to his next charge, the older cleric suggersted he might stay the night considering that the road was considered "haunted". The priest felt that his courage was being questioned and refused. Some hours later he returned to the parish-house at the full gallop, his head hatless and his horse mud-spattered and looking hag-ridden. Fraser said it was "presumed that Father Grant had had an interview with the Bochdan (sidh)." Curious villagers followed this road in the light of morning and found a spot where the earth was torn up and criss-crossed with the marks of a startled and frightened horse. When Creighton interviewed a Scot from this region she was told: "There was a hill near my mother's (house) and there was supposed to be fairies there. It was a round hill in the middle of a broad plain at Upper South River. It was called Fairy Hill. There were certain stories concerned with it. If you'd go inside you'd be entertained by the fairies for seven years (without a proportionate passage of real time) and then you'd be returned in good condition. The round hills is still there." 158 The rounded hills of Gaelic lands were known as "cnocs" (pronounced knocks). Those that stood in the sea were called "stacs" while those that were slightly flattened at the summit were named "laws". The latter were used as assembly points for conducting clan business and carrying out judicial functions. The English Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, np, nd, pp. 85-86. Recounted to Fraser by a niece of the two MacDonald men.
158Creighton, 157Fraser,

Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978), p. 104.

decriptive for a "law" is "sugar loaf", this being the form into which sugar was pressed for the retail trade. Traditionally the sidh wore red sugarloaf hats, mainly cylindrical, slightly tapering and terminating in a flattened top. These had their counterpart in the "cohuleen druith" of the daoine mara, the red caps, without which these sea people could not respire the waters of the open ocean. There are numerous hills in Atlantic Canada that bear the name Sugar Loaf and all are suspect as housing a population of elfs, faries or sidhean. The Sugar Loaf that stands due south of St. Margaret village on Cape Breton Island is a known sidh habitation. This landform is off the Cape Breton Trail, west of the road to Meat Cove, which stands at land's end. It is thirteen hundred and fifty feet in height and overlooks North Pond and Aspy Bay. It was here that two woodsmen found "hills among the woods". These seem to have been "souterrains" rather than the the sugar loaf proper, for they were described as being "built of clay." The cutters were not certain whether these rises were artificial or not, but they suspected their was some artifice involved since smake was seen issuing from them. They could not believe these were the homes of the sidhean so they commenced to fell trees, one of which crunched into the top of one of the clay mounds. Instantly, they heard voices from beneath the ground complaining, :My hedge is hurt...my hedge is hurt!" (Hedge is an obsiolete descriptive for a home in the woods). After this, the men moved out of the immediate area apologizing to the earth for the damage they had done. Later that afternoon they were cutting in an adjacent woodlot, and one thirsty woodsman said aloud, "I wish I had a drink of buttermilk." A sidh approached bearing a wooden bowl filled with with this very liquid noting, "Here's the buttermilk!" The individual who had voiced the wish was too frightened to take the drink but his partner downed it with profuse thanks. In years after, the man who accepted the hospitality of the people at the Sugar Loaf thrived and had "luck so long's he lived". but the second man became one of the "drochchromhalaichean", or rent-payers to hell, those dogged by bad-luck and illfortune.159 Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978), pp. 102-103. A slightly different version is recounted above.

Creighton was told a similar story by Mr. MacKinnon, who lived in the shadow of Sugar Loaf. When she asked him if anyone in the district had seen the sidh he responded: "They say they used to see them here maybe a hundred years ago (circa 1850). You don't see them now. My father said he seen them on Black Point (within two miles of Meat Cove). Some of them had green clothes on them, right short little people. They'll give you luck you know...That's what they said long ago, they'd give you luck." 160 Marble Mountain is another active region. The community and the seven hundred foot hill (which actually consists of limestone) is located on Little Bras D'or Lake on the island of Cape Breton. Specifically it is on the western bank on the branch of the lake called West Bay. Approximately four miles south of this location is the small land mark called Morrison: "There is a beach on the lower part of Morrison's land covered with beach grass (circa 1950). The first settler here was an Irishman and he made a clearing. He had a boy who was planting potatoes in May and one of the little people came out of the beach grass on the the beach and offered him a pitcher of buttermilk and offered him a drink and he didn't take it. He was supposed to have offended the fairy and he took sick in a couple of days and he died." 161 Across the Lake in a northeasternly direction is Piper's Cove, named after the pipers of Clan MacNeil. Neil Campbell married into this group and moved with his wife to Hay Cove, "out in the rear". He said that the Campbells had no native talent for music but "got their gift from the fairy hill". According to his account, an unnamed Campbell of colonial times had been hired to play the pipes at a wedding and was returning home when he was stopped near the sidh-hill by the sight of a tiny woman milking a cow. He approached and spoke with her and they exchanged notions about music. When she heard that he was unable to play the "devil's reed", or "fiddle" she offered to give him the gift for fiddling if he would respect her by keeping secret the place where she milked her cow. Accordingly, he received an ancient bow from the side-hill and afterwards played with skill and aclarity. The bow was passed to his son and grandson, "and it

160Creighton, 161Creighton,

Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978), p. 104. Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978) p. 103.

would never be taken from them no matter where they played." 162 Another human who profited from an association with the sidhean was a widow-woman who lived near the Sevogle River in northern New Brunswick. She had had a full complement of children, and so was fortunate to have the rent of a house belonging to a rich man who lived in the "Boston States." He had given it to her at a modest rate so that there would be a care-taker until it could be sold. She very much wanted the place as a permanent residence but the price placed it outside her means. There was a fairy hill nearby, and a dancing ring just beyond her kitchen door, although she had no knowledge of either. She was in the habit of throwing her dirty dish and laundry water directly on the ring, frequently drenching invisible dancers. Finally the sidhean revolted and one came to the door complaining, "Look-it. You go and cut a door at the other end of the house and throw your slops and dirty water there. We want no more dumping on us." Surprised at this, and seeing the justice of the demand, the woman tentatively agreed but noted she had no way of paying for renovations to the house. The sidh dismissed this saying she should go to the basement and lift the flat stone found there. "There's gold there. Lift it and take what you need. Then put the stone back but don't say where you got the money." The woman did as instructed, made the change, and used some of the gold to purchase the house.163 Ray Estey told folkorist Carole Spray that he had seen fairy-rings at Belldune, New Brunswick, and that his family used to have a summerverandah within range of a fairy colony: "There used to be a fairy plot right out here and my grandparents would sit out on the verandah listening to them. Talk about nice music! They would sit there for hgours and hours listening to the dancing and fiddling and it was the lovliest music you ever heard!"164 Pursuing the subject Spray was told of an Irishman who lived at New Mills in Restigouche County. According to local lore he lived alone, but always set his table for six individuals. When he opened the door to the
162MacNeil, 163Spray, 164Spray,

Joe Neil, Tales Until Dawn, Toronto (1987), p. 220.

Carole, Will O' The Wisp, Fredericton (1985), pp. 53-54. Carole, Will O' The Wisp, Fredericton (1985), p. 54.

cellar five of the sidhean tropped up to eat with him. It is a matter of record that the sidhean were of the same species as men, and in ancient times the two "races" often cohabited and co-operated in producing children. The name sidh has almost endlesss dialectic variations, for example shia, shifra, shicare, she, sheee and sheeidh, some of which are reflected in human family names; for example, Sheehan, Shay, Shaw, Ay (an aspirated form of Shaw), Fayden, Fee and MacFee. The Gaels have sometimes benefited from their relations with the sidh, and Helen Creighton met an elderly Irishman who told her, unabashedly, that he had been imprisoned in Ireland and might have remained there except that, "the fairies took him out of gaol and carried him over here..." 165 Thomas Shaw must certainly have had the blood of the sidh. An immigrant from Ireland, he came to Charlotte County, New Brunswick in 1934 and settled in a pine grove near Back Beach. He soon became enamoured of the local wild flowers and urged them to more spectacular bloom in his cultivated gardens. Soon much of the nearby woods became a spectacular park and gardens. Thomas died at the age of forty-eight and his wife laid him to rest amongst his pine trees, fashioning a memorial from clay and cement. She died and joined him shortly after, and it was soon noticed that that all plant life within two hundred feet of the graves had lost the will to live. The tall trees were soon reduced to gray rotted stumps and nothing but raw clay remained where there had once been flourishing wild flowers and fauna. 166 This tale should be compared with "Pixy Gratitude", recounted in Keightley's World Mythology: "An old woman who lived near Tavistock had in her garden a splendid bed of tulips. To these the Pixies loved to resort...But at length the old woman died; the tulips were taken up and the place converted into a parsley bed. Over this, the Pixies showed their power; the parsley withered and nothing would grow even in the other beds of the garden. On the other hand they tended diligently the grave of the old woman around which they were heard lamenting and singing dirges. They suffered not a weed to grow on it; they kept it always green, and evermore

165Creighton, 166Charlotte

Folklore Of Lunenburg County, Toronto (1958), p. 155.

County Community Future, Fog's Inn, St. Andrews

(1990), p. 70.

in spring-time spangled with flowers." 167 As Joe Neil MacNeil has said, "There are two doors to every hill", and relations between men and the sidhean were not always smooth. In Pictou Pioneers, Roland Sherwood has noted that the first Presbyterian minister to Pictou township, the Reverand James MacGregor, was "beset on all sides with the superstitious beliefs of the settlers...Mothers of small children were in constant dread that the fairies in the surrounding woods were ever on the watch to carry off children. Even the hoot of an owl...was believed to be the call of one fairy to another as they prepared for some mischief to bedevil the settlers." 168 Writing about the Little Bras D'Or region of Caper Breton, Neil MacNeil noted that, "Good spirits were also about, but one heard so little about them that I got the distinct impression they were in the minority." Sheila's storm remembers the sidh as storm-brewers, this midMarch snowstorm being expected sometime after Sheila's Day, or Saint Patrick's Day (March 17). Also known as the line-storm, this equinoxial gale is still expected to be one of the worst of the winter. Sheila, or Shelagh, is a dialectic feminine form of sidh. She was anciently identified with the goddess Brigit and with Mhorrigan and was thought to be the equivalent of the Scottish Cailleach Bheur (which, see). It is still a closely held "fairy", or local belief, that where cailleachean (old women) gather, foul weather or disaster is at hand. The "seidean side", or sidh-storms, might bring out the "sluag side", or fairy host, which rode the north wind, seeking the souls of those newly dead. The "aes side", or earth people, were particularly feared on the quarter-days and during the Nollaig, or Yule as well as at the time of the line-storm. Those captured by the sidh became perpetual slaves, tending their underworld herds and gardens and riding with them as members of the dark host. Because the sidhean were a small genetic pool they had a need for new blood, which explains why they adbducted living women and children. To lure people into the underground, they produced "ceol side", or sidh-music, which had the power to lull people into the "suan side", or fairy sleep. In this hypnotized state they could be carried off to the
167Keightley, 168Sherwood,

Yhomas, World Mythology, London (1880), p. 306. Roland, Pictou Pioneers, Windsor (1973) p. 72.

nether world. Where they were not susceptible to hypnotism, people were sometimes subjected to the "ceo side" or sidh-mist, which confused and tricked them into following ghost-lights or illusions of people known to them. Occasionally, the sidh-men propositioned human females in a direct manner. Michael MacLean, of Cape Breton, said he was present in a home where the Scottish engagement rite known as "reitach" was being followed. This espousal was held before the bans of marriage were proclaimed, and Joe Neil MacNeil explained that the "retach" was a settling of claims, " something like the clearing out of obstacles, trees and stumps, making the ground tillable." The last reitach supposedly took place at Wreck Cove, Cape Breton, in 1923. The procedure never took place on Friday (the sidh holiday), and the bargaining for the bride typically took place through an intermediate, the questions of dowry being settled with oblique talk and double entendre. The family was unhappy with this particular attempt at espousal as the man in question represented himself, rather than sending a village elder or a close friend. Further, he was a stranger to the parents as well as the girl. Feeling the need for advice the parents approached a bodach, a tinker travelling through the area, who directed them to a boabh, or witch-woman. She suspected the suitor was a man from "the mounds" and advised them that he would attempt to gain magical control over their daughter by asking for a lock of her hair. Using this artifact, the sidh could direct his ceol side, or calling-magic, through it, leading her to his hill. They were told to make a substitute for the hair, so they went home and removed part of the black tail from a cowhide that hung on the kitchen wall. When the suitor next called, he asked for some momento and was given a small curl of black hair tied up in a white ribbon. That night the family was seated together in the kitchen when they became aware of mysterious flute-music. They saw the hide waver on the wall, unhook itself and float off through the air in the direction of the sound. It penetrated the wall, and moved away from the house never to be seen again. Michael MacLean supposed that if the young girl had surrendered a lock of her own hair, she rather than the cowhide, would have been irrevocably drawn to the hill of the sidhean. 169

Joe Neil, Tales Told Until Dawn, Toronto (1987), p. 87.

Joe MacNeil tells another story that reveals the the reactive nature of the sidhean. He claims that two men once lived on opposite faces of a local glen. One was a delightful person full of fun and games and good cheer, while the other was a ill-disposed crumudgeon. The first man chanced to climb a sidh-hill and while he was there a door opened into the inside of the mountain. Inside he could detect the sidhean playing a tune on their pipes. They were singing: "Monday, Tuesday...," over and over to the music, but seemed unable to complete the run. Laughing at their trouble he stuck his head in through the opening and sang the word "wednesday", to complete the triad. They were very pleased and decided to reward him, but he wanted no gold or silver, but said it might be nice if they could take away his hunched back. this they did, and he went home where he happily explained the source of his good fortune. The grumpy neighbour, who was also a hunch-back, decided to approach the sidh to remedy his handicap. When he arrived at the hill, he found the little people trying to name the other days of the week, but being an unhappy fellow he stood wordless and tuneless before them. This angered them and they "gifted" him with the hump which they had removed from the first individual. 170 This tale belongs to Celtic peoples in general, and has been told in Brittany, one version differing in the fact that the first hunchback provided the words "Thursday, Friday and Saturday," to help the korreds complete their triad of "Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday..." At "Saturday...", the little people were still without a complete litany of the days of the week, and in this version, the first farmer returned to the hill with the words, "With Sunday, all is meet, and now the week's complete." Having this in their repetoire, "the korred were able to stop dancing. They presented the farmer with one of their purses filled with horse hairs, leaves and sand, which changed to gold and precious jewels when sprinkled with (Christian) holy water."171 The Irish version of this tale may be read in Keightley's World Mythology.172

Joe Neil, Tales Until Dawn, Toronto (1987) pp. 113-115. Nancy, Field Guide To The Little People, New York


(1977), pp. 68-69.

his World Mythology, pp. 264-265.

Whether the sidhean remain among us is in question. Their familiars were the crows and ravens, the birds of the goddess Mhorrigan, but their animal familiar was the wolf, a creature destroyed by our European ancestors. In an aside concerning Clan Shaw (the prototypical side-hill people), Iain Moncrieffe says that, "Shaw is derived from the Old Gaelic (i.e Irish Gaelic) "sithech," meaning wolf..."173 Again, the wolf was the familiar hunting form of both the Cailleach Bheur (Winter Hag) and Mhorrigan, one-time leaders of the Daoine sidh. In 1844, local newspapers described a winter in which wolves were "very destructive in Sussex and Musquah (New Brunswick)." By 1902, when a pair were reported seen at the Public Landing in Fredericton, they were headed for certain extinction, and the individual sidh may have passed with them. On the other hand, an account dated 1992 tells of the little people seen by the grandmother of Rosella Sampson of Grand Anse, ands this sighting would be within the current century: She was on the road home one night when she became aware of a horse being fiercely ridden by "a miniscule little man...his fingers tangled fast in the horse's mane. The horse was lathered and straining to breathe, as if he had been ridden that way for a long time." Rosella's grandmother remembered that the sidh were like the Acadian "lutins" in their interest in horses. In former times she said that men braided the manes and tails of their horses to prevent them from being "hag-ridden." To trap the tiny men, farmers sometimes balanced a bucket of oats on a half-opened door. If the intruder happened to spill the oats he would remain to pick them up one-by-one as the sidh made a fetish of neatnesss. Rosella was told that the "fairies" were regarded as demons of the Devil. "Since they were lost souls, not to be saved on the day of judgement, they made everyone's life miserable, since they had nothing to lose." The description of the sidh as "demons" is common in local folklore and suggests some earlier knowledge of the constitution of this spirit. The Greecian "daemons" corresponded best with the creature which the Gaels knew as the "befind" and which the English called the "cowalker", the spirit finally converted into the Christian "guardian angel." It is known that the befind were conscripted to serve men from the ranks of the Daoine sidh. As for demons, they were defined as "guardian divinities

Iain, The Highland Clans, Nerw York (1967), p. 128.

of men, holding a place between men and the gods." It was once held (although not universally) that men were born with two daemons, one evil and one good. Others believed that the daemon was at once good and evil, the two forces emerging variously according to the will of the human. Thus ancient literature speaks of the "daemon of Socrates" as being a directing force in his life.

While they still moved among men, the sidhean were seen in parade between Sliab-na-mban and Cruachan: "There was no person among them who was not the son of a king and a queen. They all wore green cloaks with four crimson pendants to each; and silver cloak-brooches held them in place; and they wore kilts with red interweavings, and borders or fringes of gold thread was upon them, and pendants of white bronze thread upon their leggings. Their shoes had clasps of red bronze in them. Their helmets were ornamented with crystal and with white bronze. Each of them had a collar of twisted gold with a gem the worth of a newly calved cow set in it. They wore gold rings that assayed at thirty ounces each. All of them had white-faced shields ornamented with gold and silver. They carried flesh-seeking spears ribbed with gold and silver and bronze. They had gold-hilted swords with the forms of serpents of gold embossed on them and set with carbuncles. They astonished all who saw them by the lavishnesss of their wealth." 174 Their underground retreats were no less wonderful. That of the goddess Morrigan, who was also called Queen Mebd, was at Rath-Cruchan in western Ireland: "There were seven compartments from the fire to the outer wall, each having a front of bronze. The whole was composed of beautifully carved red yew...Ailill and Mebd's compartment was made altogether of bronze and was situated in the middle of the house with a front of silver and gold all around it. A silver band on one side of it rose to the top of the place and reach all about it from one door to the other." The historian Seumas MacManus says that this rath was circular, constructed essentially of stones set as dry masonry, "with walls thirteen feet thick at the base. This particular western palace had an oak shingled roof and five concentric ramparts "three of which are still to be seen", but most of the sidh-residences were entirely hidden under artificial hills or

Seumas, The Story Of The Irish Race, Old Grennwich,

Conn. (1983) p. 11.

within natural caverns. 175 Cape Breton historian A.A. Mackenzie was convinced that the "supersitions" of Ireland were spoiled in the passage of people to eastern Canada: "Nevertheless," he admitted, "a few fairies apprently made the voyage with the Irish. At Low Point im the Irish Grant, the "little people" were blamed for turning stooks of grain upside down. And on an island, near the south end of the Strait of Canso. lived McNamaras who firmly believed in the "little people." These McNamaras had come to their island home after sojurns in Massachusetts and on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia; the last of them to live on their island left about 1930, driven to move by the isolation and -so some people sa - because of the ghosts and fairies which they saw so often in the woods." 176 Mary L. Fraser thought otherwise noting that, "The early settlers of Nova Scotia brought with them from the old lands a belief in the existence of fairies. The whole district which the town of Inverness now covers was formerly called the Shean. (properly Schiehallion or Sidh-challinn, the Sidh Hall of the Caledonians, like one found in Perthshire, Scotland) In this district there was a small hill, shaped something like a large haystack, where the old people used to see the "little people" in thousands." 177 Another well known Nova Scotian sidh hill was located at Upper South River in Antigonish County. This place is mentioned in the literature by both Mary L. Fraser and Helen Creighton. Fraser says the underground cavern was at Beech Hill, "the scene of many preternatural manifestations". Among them, she mentions the encounter of Mr. and Mrs. Cameron and another unnamed pair of Scots: The four were travelling by horseback through these woods during the Yule. At dusk they were at Beech Hill proper: "All at once a most extraordinary company came in sight. A huge pair of oxen yoked, with heaps of non descripot (trade goods) piled on their backs. (They) were headed by a shrivellled old man of very Seumas, The Story Of The Irish Race, Greenwich, Conn. (1988), p. 57. Quotation is slightly paraphrased.
176Mackenzie, 175MacManus,

A.A., The Irish In Cape Breton, Antigonish (1979), p.


Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 69.

small stature (the sidh were said to shrink as they shape-changed and aged), with a rope over his shoulder tied to the middle of the yoke. More extraordinary still, four ordinary-sized women were following behind wearing a peculiar headgear, very high and unusual. Their dresses made a strange rustling noise that frightened the horses. Cameron had a quiet animal, so he succeeded, although with difficulty, in getting by; but the other horse bolted into the woods. Only the strength of MacDonald, the brother-in-law, prevented himself and his sister from being thrown." 178 After this happening Cameron made inquiries up and down the road concerning the identity of these travellers, but they had not been seen in any other place. As for the headresses of the women, it is well known that the source of the sidhean powers of invisibility was the "faet fiada", a charm invested in the red sugar-loaf shaped hats that they wore. Frequent reference is made to the fine cloth woven by the sidh which was sometimes described as issuing a sound like that of dried grasses or leaves rubbing together. At this same location, a famous local strong-man, named Donald, came upon "the man in gray." Seeking company, he hastened his pace so that he might join him, but this attempt failed as the man in homespun walked more rapidly. Noticing a loop in the road Donald decided to cut him off and had nearly succeeded when the stranger took to the woods. Made curious by this action, the Scot pursued and ran the sidh to ground. Approaching him through an opening in the forest he found the "man" panting and moaning under a tree. Approaching, he saw "a face so horrible he took to his heels and never stopped running till the woods were far behind. Again, two woodsmen, also named MacDo0nald, went into these woods to cut. Fraser says they were not overly imaginative or credulous people: "They had not been working too long when they heard a noise like that of chains rattling, and perceived a dreadful odour. Then something they likened to a coffin -bigger at one end than the other-rose before them and sailed through the air. At this time these hardy men got so frightened

Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, np, nd, p. 85. As recounted by Cameron's grandson.


that they left their work and made for home." 179 Father John Grant's troubles with the sidh are mentioned in passing by Creighton and Joe Neil McNeil, but are most completely recounted by Fraser. "Father John" was holding Saint Andrew's Day masses in a number of small parish churches near Antigonish and on a Saturday evening found himself in residence with Bishop Fraser at Antigonish village. As it was near dusk, and the Bishop knew that Grant would have to pass near Beech Hill to get to his next charge, the older cleric suggersted he might stay the night considering that the road was considered "haunted". The priest felt that his courage was being questioned and refused. Some hours later he returned to the parish-house at the full gallop, his head hatless and his horse mud-spattered and looking hag-ridden. Fraser said it was "presumed that Father Grant had had an interview with the Bochdan (sidh)." Curious villagers followed this road in the light of morning and found a spot where the earth was torn up and criss-crossed with the marks of a startled and frightened horse. When Creighton interviewed a Scot from this region she was told: "There was a hill near my mother's (house) and there was supposed to be fairies there. It was a round hill in the middle of a broad plain at Upper South River. It was called Fairy Hill. There were certain stories concerned with it. If you'd go inside you'd be entertained by the fairies for seven years (without a proportionate passage of real time) and then you'd be returned in good condition. The round hills is still there." 180 The rounded hills of Gaelic lands were known as "cnocs" (pronounced knocks). Those that stood in the sea were called "stacs" while those that were slightly flattened at the summit were named "laws". The latter were used as assembly points for conducting clan business and carrying out judicial functions. The English decriptive for a "law" is "sugar loaf", this being the form into which sugar was pressed for the retail trade. Traditionally the sidh wore red sugarloaf hats, mainly cylindrical, slightly tapering and terminating in a flattened top. These had their counterpart in the "cohuleen druith" of the Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, np, nd, pp. 85-86. Recounted to Fraser by a niece of the two MacDonald men.
180Creighton, 179Fraser,

Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978), p. 104.

daoine mara, the red caps, without which these sea people could not respire the waters of the open ocean. There are numerous hills in Atlantic Canada that bear the name Sugar Loaf and all are suspect as housing a population of elfs, faries or sidhean. The Sugar Loaf that stands due south of St. Margaret village on Cape Breton Island is a known sidh habitation. This landform is off the Cape Breton Trail, west of the road to Meat Cove, which stands at land's end. It is thirteen hundred and fifty feet in height and overlooks North Pond and Aspy Bay. It was here that two woodsmen found "hills among the woods". These seem to have been "souterrains" rather than the the sugar loaf proper, for they were described as being "built of clay." The cutters were not certain whether these rises were artificial or not, but they suspected their was some artifice involved since smake was seen issuing from them. They could not believe these were the homes of the sidhean so they commenced to fell trees, one of which crunched into the top of one of the clay mounds. Instantly, they heard voices from beneath the ground complaining, :My hedge is hurt...my hedge is hurt!" (Hedge is an obsiolete descriptive for a home in the woods). After this, the men moved out of the immediate area apologizing to the earth for the damage they had done. Later that afternoon they were cutting in an adjacent woodlot, and one thirsty woodsman said aloud, "I wish I had a drink of buttermilk." A sidh approached bearing a wooden bowl filled with with this very liquid noting, "Here's the buttermilk!" The individual who had voiced the wish was too frightened to take the drink but his partner downed it with profuse thanks. In years after, the man who accepted the hospitality of the people at the Sugar Loaf thrived and had "luck so long's he lived". but the second man became one of the "drochchromhalaichean", or rent-payers to hell, those dogged by bad-luck and illfortune.181 Creighton was told a similar story by Mr. MacKinnon, who lived in the shadow of Sugar Loaf. When she asked him if anyone in the district had seen the sidh he responded: "They say they used to see them here maybe a Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978), pp. 102-103. A slightly different version is recounted above.

hundred years ago (circa 1850). You don't see them now. My father said he seen them on Black Point (within two miles of Meat Cove). Some of them had green clothes on them, right short little people. They'll give you luck you know...That's what they said long ago, they'd give you luck." 182 Marble Mountain is another active region. The community and the seven hundred foot hill (which actually consists of limestone) is located on Little Bras D'or Lake on the island of Cape Breton. Specifically it is on the western bank on the branch of the lake called West Bay. Approximately four miles south of this location is the small land mark called Morrison: "There is a beach on the lower part of Morrison's land covered with beach grass (circa 1950). The first settler here was an Irishman and he made a clearing. He had a boy who was planting potatoes in May and one of the little people came out of the beach grass on the the beach and offered him a pitcher of buttermilk and offered him a drink and he didn't take it. He was supposed to have offended the fairy and he took sick in a couple of days and he died." 183 Across the Lake in a northeasternly direction is Piper's Cove, named after the pipers of Clan MacNeil. Neil Campbell married into this group and moved with his wife to Hay Cove, "out in the rear". He said that the Campbells had no native talent for music but "got their gift from the fairy hill". According to his account, an unnamed Campbell of colonial times had been hired to play the pipes at a wedding and was returning home when he was stopped near the sidh-hill by the sight of a tiny woman milking a cow. He approached and spoke with her and they exchanged notions about music. When she heard that he was unable to play the "devil's reed", or "fiddle" she offered to give him the gift for fiddling if he would respect her by keeping secret the place where she milked her cow. Accordingly, he received an ancient bow from the side-hill and afterwards played with skill and aclarity. The bow was passed to his son and grandson, "and it would never be taken from them no matter where they played." 184 Another human who profited from an association with the sidhean
182Creighton, 183Creighton, 184MacNeil,

Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978), p. 104. Helen, Bluenose Magic, Toronto (1978) p. 103.

Joe Neil, Tales Until Dawn, Toronto (1987), p. 220.

was a widow-woman who lived near the Sevogle River in northern New Brunswick. She had had a full complement of children, and so was fortunate to have the rent of a house belonging to a rich man who lived in the "Boston States." He had given it to her at a modest rate so that there would be a care-taker until it could be sold. She very much wanted the place as a permanent residence but the price placed it outside her means. There was a fairy hill nearby, and a dancing ring just beyond her kitchen door, although she had no knowledge of either. She was in the habit of throwing her dirty dish and laundry water directly on the ring, frequently drenching invisible dancers. Finally the sidhean revolted and one came to the door complaining, "Look-it. You go and cut a door at the other end of the house and throw your slops and dirty water there. We want no more dumping on us." Surprised at this, and seeing the justice of the demand, the woman tentatively agreed but noted she had no way of paying for renovations to the house. The sidh dismissed this saying she should go to the basement and lift the flat stone found there. "There's gold there. Lift it and take what you need. Then put the stone back but don't say where you got the money." The woman did as instructed, made the change, and used some of the gold to purchase the house.185 Ray Estey told folkorist Carole Spray that he had seen fairy-rings at Belldune, New Brunswick, and that his family used to have a summerverandah within range of a fairy colony: "There used to be a fairy plot right out here and my grandparents would sit out on the verandah listening to them. Talk about nice music! They would sit there for hgours and hours listening to the dancing and fiddling and it was the lovliest music you ever heard!"186 Pursuing the subject Spray was told of an Irishman who lived at New Mills in Restigouche County. According to local lore he lived alone, but always set his table for six individuals. When he opened the door to the cellar five of the sidhean tropped up to eat with him. It is a matter of record that the sidhean were of the same species as men, and in ancient times the two "races" often cohabited and co-operated in producing children. The name sidh has almost endlesss dialectic variations, for example shia, shifra, shicare, she, sheee and sheeidh, some of which are
185Spray, 186Spray,

Carole, Will O' The Wisp, Fredericton (1985), pp. 53-54. Carole, Will O' The Wisp, Fredericton (1985), p. 54.

reflected in human family names; for example, Sheehan, Shay, Shaw, Ay (an aspirated form of Shaw), Fayden, Fee and MacFee. The Gaels have sometimes benefited from their relations with the sidh, and Helen Creighton met an elderly Irishman who told her, unabashedly, that he had been imprisoned in Ireland and might have remained there except that, "the fairies took him out of gaol and carried him over here..." 187 Thomas Shaw must certainly have had the blood of the sidh. An immigrant from Ireland, he came to Charlotte County, New Brunswick in 1934 and settled in a pine grove near Back Beach. He soon became enamoured of the local wild flowers and urged them to more spectacular bloom in his cultivated gardens. Soon much of the nearby woods became a spectacular park and gardens. Thomas died at the age of forty-eight and his wife laid him to rest amongst his pine trees, fashioning a memorial from clay and cement. She died and joined him shortly after, and it was soon noticed that that all plant life within two hundred feet of the graves had lost the will to live. The tall trees were soon reduced to gray rotted stumps and nothing but raw clay remained where there had once been flourishing wild flowers and fauna. 188 This tale should be compared with "Pixy Gratitude", recounted in Keightley's World Mythology: "An old woman who lived near Tavistock had in her garden a splendid bed of tulips. To these the Pixies loved to resort...But at length the old woman died; the tulips were taken up and the place converted into a parsley bed. Over this, the Pixies showed their power; the parsley withered and nothing would grow even in the other beds of the garden. On the other hand they tended diligently the grave of the old woman around which they were heard lamenting and singing dirges. They suffered not a weed to grow on it; they kept it always green, and evermore in spring-time spangled with flowers." 189 As Joe Neil MacNeil has said, "There are two doors to every hill", and relations between men and the sidhean were not always smooth. In Pictou
187Creighton, 188Charlotte

Folklore Of Lunenburg County, Toronto (1958), p. 155.

County Community Future, Fog's Inn, St. Andrews

(1990), p. 70.

Yhomas, World Mythology, London (1880), p. 306.

Pioneers, Roland Sherwood has noted that the first Presbyterian minister to Pictou township, the Reverand James MacGregor, was "beset on all sides with the superstitious beliefs of the settlers...Mothers of small children were in constant dread that the fairies in the surrounding woods were ever on the watch to carry off children. Even the hoot of an owl...was believed to be the call of one fairy to another as they prepared for some mischief to bedevil the settlers." 190 Writing about the Little Bras D'Or region of Caper Breton, Neil MacNeil noted that, "Good spirits were also about, but one heard so little about them that I got the distinct impression they were in the minority." Sheila's storm remembers the sidh as storm-brewers, this midMarch snowstorm being expected sometime after Sheila's Day, or Saint Patrick's Day (March 17). Also known as the line-storm, this equinoxial gale is still expected to be one of the worst of the winter. Sheila, or Shelagh, is a dialectic feminine form of sidh. She was anciently identified with the goddess Brigit and with Mhorrigan and was thought to be the equivalent of the Scottish Cailleach Bheur (which, see). It is still a closely held "fairy", or local belief, that where cailleachean (old women) gather, foul weather or disaster is at hand. The "seidean side", or sidh-storms, might bring out the "sluag side", or fairy host, which rode the north wind, seeking the souls of those newly dead. The "aes side", or earth people, were particularly feared on the quarter-days and during the Nollaig, or Yule as well as at the time of the line-storm. Those captured by the sidh became perpetual slaves, tending their underworld herds and gardens and riding with them as members of the dark host. Because the sidhean were a small genetic pool they had a need for new blood, which explains why they adbducted living women and children. To lure people into the underground, they produced "ceol side", or sidh-music, which had the power to lull people into the "suan side", or fairy sleep. In this hypnotized state they could be carried off to the nether world. Where they were not susceptible to hypnotism, people were sometimes subjected to the "ceo side" or sidh-mist, which confused and tricked them into following ghost-lights or illusions of people known to them. Occasionally, the sidh-men propositioned human females in a direct

Roland, Pictou Pioneers, Windsor (1973) p. 72.

manner. Michael MacLean, of Cape Breton, said he was present in a home where the Scottish engagement rite known as "reitach" was being followed. This espousal was held before the bans of marriage were proclaimed, and Joe Neil MacNeil explained that the "retach" was a settling of claims, " something like the clearing out of obstacles, trees and stumps, making the ground tillable." The last reitach supposedly took place at Wreck Cove, Cape Breton, in 1923. The procedure never took place on Friday (the sidh holiday), and the bargaining for the bride typically took place through an intermediate, the questions of dowry being settled with oblique talk and double entendre. The family was unhappy with this particular attempt at espousal as the man in question represented himself, rather than sending a village elder or a close friend. Further, he was a stranger to the parents as well as the girl. Feeling the need for advice the parents approached a bodach, a tinker travelling through the area, who directed them to a boabh, or witch-woman. She suspected the suitor was a man from "the mounds" and advised them that he would attempt to gain magical control over their daughter by asking for a lock of her hair. Using this artifact, the sidh could direct his ceol side, or calling-magic, through it, leading her to his hill. They were told to make a substitute for the hair, so they went home and removed part of the black tail from a cowhide that hung on the kitchen wall. When the suitor next called, he asked for some momento and was given a small curl of black hair tied up in a white ribbon. That night the family was seated together in the kitchen when they became aware of mysterious flute-music. They saw the hide waver on the wall, unhook itself and float off through the air in the direction of the sound. It penetrated the wall, and moved away from the house never to be seen again. Michael MacLean supposed that if the young girl had surrendered a lock of her own hair, she rather than the cowhide, would have been irrevocably drawn to the hill of the sidhean. 191 Joe MacNeil tells another story that reveals the the reactive nature of the sidhean. He claims that two men once lived on opposite faces of a local glen. One was a delightful person full of fun and games and good cheer, while the other was a ill-disposed crumudgeon. The first man chanced to climb a sidh-hill and while he was there a door opened into the

Joe Neil, Tales Told Until Dawn, Toronto (1987), p. 87.

inside of the mountain. Inside he could detect the sidhean playing a tune on their pipes. They were singing: "Monday, Tuesday...," over and over to the music, but seemed unable to complete the run. Laughing at their trouble he stuck his head in through the opening and sang the word "wednesday", to complete the triad. They were very pleased and decided to reward him, but he wanted no gold or silver, but said it might be nice if they could take away his hunched back. this they did, and he went home where he happily explained the source of his good fortune. The grumpy neighbour, who was also a hunch-back, decided to approach the sidh to remedy his handicap. When he arrived at the hill, he found the little people trying to name the other days of the week, but being an unhappy fellow he stood wordless and tuneless before them. This angered them and they "gifted" him with the hump which they had removed from the first individual. 192 This tale belongs to Celtic peoples in general, and has been told in Brittany, one version differing in the fact that the first hunchback provided the words "Thursday, Friday and Saturday," to help the korreds complete their triad of "Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday..." At "Saturday...", the little people were still without a complete litany of the days of the week, and in this version, the first farmer returned to the hill with the words, "With Sunday, all is meet, and now the week's complete." Having this in their repetoire, "the korred were able to stop dancing. They presented the farmer with one of their purses filled with horse hairs, leaves and sand, which changed to gold and precious jewels when sprinkled with (Christian) holy water."193 The Irish version of this tale may be read in Keightley's World Mythology.194 Whether the sidhean remain among us is in question. Their familiars were the crows and ravens, the birds of the goddess Mhorrigan, but their animal familiar was the wolf, a creature destroyed by our European ancestors. In an aside concerning Clan Shaw (the prototypical side-hill people), Iain Moncrieffe says that, "Shaw is derived from the Old Gaelic

Joe Neil, Tales Until Dawn, Toronto (1987) pp. 113-115. Nancy, Field Guide To The Little People, New York


(1977), pp. 68-69.

his World Mythology, pp. 264-265.

(i.e Irish Gaelic) "sithech," meaning wolf..."195 Again, the wolf was the familiar hunting form of both the Cailleach Bheur (Winter Hag) and Mhorrigan, one-time leaders of the Daoine sidh. In 1844, local newspapers described a winter in which wolves were "very destructive in Sussex and Musquah (New Brunswick)." By 1902, when a pair were reported seen at the Public Landing in Fredericton, they were headed for certain extinction, and the individual sidh may have passed with them. On the other hand, an account dated 1992 tells of the little people seen by the grandmother of Rosella Sampson of Grand Anse, ands this sighting would be within the current century: She was on the road home one night when she became aware of a horse being fiercely ridden by "a miniscule little man...his fingers tangled fast in the horse's mane. The horse was lathered and straining to breathe, as if he had been ridden that way for a long time." Rosella's grandmother remembered that the sidh were like the Acadian "lutins" in their interest in horses. In former times she said that men braided the manes and tails of their horses to prevent them from being "hag-ridden." To trap the tiny men, farmers sometimes balanced a bucket of oats on a half-opened door. If the intruder happened to spill the oats he would remain to pick them up one-by-one as the sidh made a fetish of neatnesss. Rosella was told that the "fairies" were regarded as demons of the Devil. "Since they were lost souls, not to be saved on the day of judgement, they made everyone's life miserable, since they had nothing to lose." The description of the sidh as "demons" is common in local folklore and suggests some earlier knowledge of the constitution of this spirit. The Greecian "daemons" corresponded best with the creature which the Gaels knew as the "befind" and which the English called the "cowalker", the spirit finally converted into the Christian "guardian angel." It is known that the befind were conscripted to serve men from the ranks of the Daoine sidh. As for demons, they were defined as "guardian divinities of men, holding a place between men and the gods." It was once held (although not universally) that men were born with two daemons, one evil and one good. Others believed that the daemon was at once good and evil, the two forces emerging variously according to the will of the human. Thus ancient literature speaks of the "daemon of Socrates" as being a directing force in his life.

Iain, The Highland Clans, Nerw York (1967), p. 128.

DVERGR A mortal physical deformity. earth spirit marked by small size and

Anglo-Saxon dwerg from the Old Norse dvergr . the source of our word dwarf . Confers with the Swedish dverg , a spider or a weaver of cloth. In Teutonic myth, skilled artificers, miners and treasurers to the gods. The are distinguished from the svartaflar or dark elfs, who also inhabited the underground, by their malformed bodies, which frequently rested on reversed feet, or those that were crow-like, horse-like or cloven. Thomas Keightley has noted that the Germans "have dwerg and we dwarf, which, however is never synonymous with fairy, as elf is...Some have thought that by dwarfs were to be understood the Finns...who were driven to the mountains by the Scandinavians, and who probably excelled the newcomers in the art of working the mines..." The Scandanavians referrred to the evil members of this tribe as the trolds, or trolls, who Shetlanders call the trow. In Germany the elfs are extinct although "the dwarfs still retain their former dominion. The dwarfs had a particular knowledge of stone-magic, understanding that "some stones give great strength; while some make those who carry them about invisible, these being called the nebelkap (mist cap)... Seeing that the mountains were altogether waste and uncultivated and that they contained much store of silver and gold and precious stones and pearls, God made the dwarfs artful and wise...Therefore they built handsome hollow hills and God gave them riches etc." 196 This name was once applied to the Gothic nation in what is now Germany. Some folklorist have identified the trolls as the "svartalfar" (dark eleves) but they are properly the "dverge" (dwarf) race. Keightley notes that the prose Edda distinguishes between "ghosts, dwarfs and the dark-elfs." The trolls or dwarfs have also been called the "bjergvolk" (hillfolk). They lived in the undergorund as individual familes or in communities. Of personal beauty, "they had not much to boast," having "immoderate humps" on their backs and long crooked noses. They could shape-change as they wished and could divine the future, poerform physical feats beyond that of most men, and could convey good luck or bad

Thomas, World Mythology, p. 215.

to humans they loved or hated. They were extremely rich, a fact noted on the infrequent occasions when they raised their hills upon nine golden pillars for the nine-year airings of the interiors. While the svartalfar had a nasty reputation, the dverge were not innately evil, although original meanings of the word identified "an evil spirit, a giant, or a human magician." The trolls were the trow of Scotland and, like the stillevolk of Germany, preferred quiet. Two centuries ago a resident of Zealand admitted, "There are now very few trolls in this country, for the ringing of church-bells has driven them away." Apparently some emigrated to North America for Captain Thorston met one when his ship visited Vinland sometime about the year one thousand. In the spring of the year, Thorston went ashore alone since his crew had taken charge of unloading and stocking the settlement. In an open part of a wood he came upon "a great rock", and a little apart from it, a very agitated little man, described as having a mouth that slashed his face "from ear to ear" and a lower jaw that "approached his knees." The viking knew this kind and asked the source of his trouble. The dverge replied "Do you not see yonder dragon. He has flown off with my son. Possibly Odin himself has sent this monster to do me harm?" Thorston though otherwise, but said nothing and shot at the dragon with an arrow, wounding him under one wing. The beast fell dead, and the viking was agile enough to catch the son of the dwrf as he was released from the monster's claws. The dwarf insisted on rewards and gave Thorstona a shirt to be worn while swimming which he claimed would prevent drowning. This life-jacket also incorporated a coat-of-mail since the dverge assured him he would suffer no wounds in battle as long as it was worn. The next gift was a ring which had the ability to call gold and silver on demand. Then the creature gave Thortson what seemed to be a simple black stone saying, "If you hide this stone in your hand no one will see you." Finally he gave a triangular stone, white on one side, red on the other with a border of yellow separating the two colours. The little man demonstrated its properties by striking the white-side with a flint, thus raising a snowstorm. Pricking the yellow part created sunshine which dissolved the clouds, while scratching the red side created a heat that warded off enemies. It was said that Thorston "returned to his men, and it

was better for him that he made this voyage." DYHINKER


A Lunenburg, Nova Scotian, descriptive for the Devil. German, teufel , Teu or Tyr, the ancient god of war; hingle , a hook for hanging things, carcasses of animals; thus hinker, a hangman. See the English Devil , which confers in all respects. Poteet says that this name is the focus of mild oaths in Lunenburg County. The nick-name "Hink" has been noticed applied to individuals of appropriate character, reputation and actions. DYLUINN The owl-spirit. Gaelic, di + luan . Di , day from the Sankrist dyaus , the sky, allied to dia , god and the Early Irish domnach , lord, from which the English Donald . A related form is diabhol , which is out word devil . Luan, moon , also Monday . Thought borrowed from the Latin luna . The moon-devil, also entitled Old Donald Which, see). Perhaps named after its moon-like eyes. The Celtic people claimed that the owl-spirit was the oldest and wisest in the universe. Boabhs and witches were often gifted with familiars which were owls. As J.G. Fraser has noted, "In every case the beast or bird with which the witch or wizard has contracted a mystic alliance is an individual, never a species; and when the individual animal dies the alliance is naturally at an end, since the death of the animal is supposed to entail the death of the man." Where men did not possess an owl as a familiar they sometimes ate his eyeballs. In Norse legend Ingvi, son of King Aumund was timid in his youth, but his family remediesd this by making him eat the heart of the wolf. With the wolf-spirit in him he became very bold. Again, Hialto gained strenth and courage by eating the Thomas, World Mythology, pp. 70-71. Quoting from Thorston's Saga, chapter 3, in the Kamper Data (Camp Notes) of the Old Norseman.

heart of a bear and drinking its blood. The advantage in eating an owl's eyeballs seems obvious, the Celtic word "dyluinn" having reference to its two oversized "moon eyes". Only one local species has any day-vision worthy of mention and that is the Snowy Owl, which is able to see very well in bright sunshine, although it does most of its hunting at dawn and twilight. This owl has a close attachment with the world of shadows because it is an infrequent visitor to the area. its presence indicating a lack of food in the northlands of Canada. The bird shows a marked preference for open costal meadows and is ghost-like in its sudden appearances and disappearances. In parts of the Maritime Provinces owls are all placed among the corbies and are labelled as harbingers of bad luck. Creighton has recorded the following tale: "In Ship Harbour twoi young men were returning home one cold icy night. After the driver let his friend out he drove on alone and must have gone off the road. At that time his mother was walking down the road when a huge bird that was more like an owl than anything else swooped out of a tree and nearly knocked her down. It was an odd time of year for a strange bird to appear, so this was supposed to have been a forerunner." At Five Points, near Sussex, New Brunswick a tale has been told that clarifies the nature of the owl as a forerunner. In colonial times a woman who lay dying promised she would come back to haunt her husband if he decided to marry a neighbouring woman named Jennie. The man denied any matrimonial interests but remarried as soon as his wife had gone to earth. Afterwards he found himself shadowed by an owl and suspected this was the runner of his departed wife. Harassed by the bird, he shot it, and threw the corpse at Jennie's feet saying, "There's that damned owl!" To his surprise, Jennie fainted and when she recovered was found to be confused state, even suggesting that he had shot his former wife. She recovered, but he was so disraught he hanged himself from the timbers of a nearby bridge. Considering the implications and the fact that the man was a suicide, he was buried at the crossroads at midnight. EACH UISGE A mortal water-spirit which materialized in the form of a horse.

Gaelic, each , plural eich , horse + uisge , water, (pronounced iax isg-i). The latter confers with whisky, "the water of life." The Gaelic name for spirits otherwise known as galoshans, shopiltees, kelpies or tangies; giant sea-horses, which only differ in their preferred habitat. Although the horse-like grant is found in England, and the puck regularly took this form, they are essentially land-dwellers like the Irish phooka. Keightley noted that "there is no being in Irish rivers answering to the Nix (which is Scandinavian water-horse) or the Kelpie (the lowland Scots form of this beast)..." In his book Sketches of Perthshire, Graham said that "every lake has also its water-sprite, who in some respects corresponds with the neck of the northern nations. It is often seen by the shepherd, as he sat in the summer's evening upon the brow of a rock, dashjing along the surface of the deep, or browsing on the pasture-green at its verge. Often did this malignant genius of the waters allure women and children to his subaqueous haunts, there to be immediately devoured. Often did he also swell the torrent or lake beyond its usual limits, to overwhelm the hapless traveller in the flood." This is a fair assessment of his powers but an unfair reputation. The water-horses were often friendly, especially towards men known to possess sea-blood, and for these they often served as banshees, setting up a wail when they perceived danger in or upon the water. They also lit corpse-lights to the same purpose. Those who failed to take these warnings, were considered intent on suicide, so the seahorses pulled them down, consuming all but their livers. These conferred with the Acadian "lutins" or "fe armoreaux", sometimes referred to as "le cheval Bayyard" after a famed steed mentioned in the medieval romances. The water-horses were all indistinguishable from the real thing at a distance, but being shapechangers they had the capacity to become totally believable as a horse. It has been noted that the niccors different from ordinarly breeds in having their hooves reversed. When he shape-changed into a human this French water-horse was addressed as "le bon garcon" and entitlement that recognized his dangerous character. The Scottish version was a wild horse, but the lutin always appeared bridled and saddled. Pity the poor farmer who attempted to mount either "horse" for both had changeable tempraments. Out of sight of water the water-horse was entirely docile, but in view of water he might buck, plunge and rear or take off in a mad

charge that left his rider suddenly dumped in a conveient ditch filled with muddy water. The salt-water breeds often carried their rider into the waves where they ate all but the liver. The females mated with men and one writer has noted that, "we have heard of some who were lovers of such spirits, and when they married human women, they died before consummating the marriage." On the other hand some lived with them "in great temporal felicity, but withdrawing from them lost all their wealth as well as their lives." One Shediac man whose wife was pursued by a amorous fay, changed clothing with her, surprising the lutin with an apparent loss of good looks. The visitor to this Acadian householdd was finally discouraged when he was invited to sit and found himself on a heated griddle. Water horses have been seen galloping across Lake Oromcto and nibbling at the grasses fringing Harvey Lake, in New Brunswick. They have also frequented Baker Lake, in the north of the province, not far from the Quebec boundary. This location is close by Lake Pohenegmacook, the lair of an infamous "dragonlike" serpent, "as long as three canoes, entirely black in colour, fast as a motor-boat, yet as quiet as a midnight breeze." Abbe Leopold Plante said that sightings were common in the mid-1950's and that he had observed it as being scaly and black, with "a head like a cow" and a body resembling that on a giant iguana. In 1957 Dr. Vadim Vladikov wanted to net the creature but failed to raise three thousand dollars necessary for the project. ELDRITCH A mortal earth-spirit bound to a tree. Anglo-Saxon eld , old + ritch , rich, wealthy and powerful, confers with Ir. Gaelic r i , a king. Eld confers with elf , weird, unearthly, uncanny, thus: "eldritch squeel", "eldritch croon", "eldritch laugh", "eldritch skriech", "eldritch stoor"(a hoarse voice). Also, fearsome or haunted as, "eldritch tower". The tree people are of the elf tribe, descended from the liosalfar (light elfs) of northern Europe, little men who had their capital at Upsala in Sweden and were first ruled by Frey, son of Niord. Frey was given the land of the elfs as a teething-gift by the god Odin. Eldritch , Elberich , or Oberon , was one of the most celebrated little men. According to the old tales, the Anglo-Saxon Oberon was the ruler of all the goodfellows, his personal jester and son being Robin Hood, sometimes

called Robin Goodfellow. When eldritch travelled as men they left their second souls within their trees and were, naturally, protective of these alter-egos. Men once considered it proper to request permission before taking elderberries and those who cut wood in the forest were advised to say: "Mother ellhorn, give please of your wood, and I will give you of mine when my soul has returned to the forest." The consequences of abusing a tree were once very serious, the flesh of men being flayed from them to replace damaged bark. In this country it was once thought that the trees might blight the crops, or destroy the health of anyone who offended them. If the child of a colonial was seen to be in "decline", the trees were sometimes blamed at which a man might take them an offering of wool and bread saying, "Take this to eat and to spin and forget my child!" In the seventeenth century a resident at Maugerville, New Brunswick yold his neighbours that his property was "in the hands of the three green ladies", three ancient trees that stood on his property. At midsummer eve (June 21) he honoured these protectors by tying ribbons to their branches. When he died, his two older sons dismissed their father's eccentricity although the youngest son continued this tradition. This persistant "anti-Christian" stupidity angered the oldest brother who chopped down one of the "ladies" just before midsummer. Soon after his axe slipped as he was cutting firewood and he died of blood-poisoning. The middle brother went to earth after a similar act about a year later. The young man who remained kept up a good attendance at church but also "gifted" the remaining tree, and one behaviour or the other may have helped in bringing him wealth and a long life. It was once common practise to plant trees to commemorate a birth, and it was suspected that the souls of dead children retired to this birthtree. At death our woodsmen would sometimes break a pine twig and thrust it into the ground over a fresh grave, it being being believed that the growth of a tree from this sprout symbolized a happy afterlife for the dead.. It was considered bad protocol for a woods-cutter to go to bed leaving his axe embedded in wood, and our men were against using poplar wood to build a cross because it had supposedly been used in Christ's cross. The pick-tree brag is one of the eldritch clan, its tree being the prick or pick-tree, commonly called the hawthorne. The brags were the

guardians of the passageways to elf land, but these were easily located in the fact that they were marked by the growth of three hawthorne trees from a single root. The pick-tree had many uses being used as the equivalent of a steel pin in earlier days. It was also a favourite of witches who were into the art of poisoning, for the tip could be dipped in a virulent solution and used to prick a victim. Brag remembers the old Anglo-Saxon god named Bragi who was remembered as the god of poetry and rhetoric. When Odin purloined ail from the giants he seduced Gunlod and Bragi was the result of that union. In Scandinavia, the scalds or poets were designated the bagi-men and bragi-women. When this god was toasted his ale was served in cups shaped like a viking ship, a vessel known as the bragaful. At the Yule the heads of families used this measure to pledge their New Years' resolutions, and unlike modern men they were expected to honour these promises. Since many vows were taken and each involved a drink of ale, the last men on the roll-call often expressed their intentions in a boastful manner, giving rise to the English verb "to brag". The beast itself usually took the form of a small but sprightly horse (typically a galloway) when its spirit came down from its tree. This animal seemed compliant and would take anyone for a ride, which invariably ended with a buckminto a mud slough. The pick tree brag and certain other tree-spirits (notably those inhabiting the alder, poplar, apple and hazel trees) have traditionally assisted men in the art of water-witching. My grandfather was involved in this craft, and said that the "gift" could be determined by examining the upturned palms of the hand. On each hand there is a line just below the small finger. If the hands are placed together with the thumbs outward and these deep creases seem continuous from one hand to the other then natural ability exists. The "devil's stick" was first used as a tool in prospecting, but later employed to locate stolen goods, detect murder victims, find buried treasure and suggest a location for wells. To create a witching-rod a Y-shaped segment is cut from the tree, the smaller "handles" are cut about a foot in length while the free tip is cut off at about two inches. My grandfather peeled the bark from the two handles but this was not always done. In use the the free end was held vertically between the hands, the handles held between hands which had the fingers curled inwards toward the body with the thumbs pointing away. If metals were sought a sample coin was placed in a notch cut in the free end. Since the rod contained water no special addition was made to find this liquid. The water-witcher proceeded by walking slowly over the ground and

directed people to dig where the free end turned downward of its own accord. In recent times this reaction has been attributed to "electricity or something of that sort," but our ancestors knew that the spirits of the trees were at work. Dr. Ed Wagner attempted to quantify this force when he was a teacher At California State Polytechnic University in 1989. In an abstract piublished in "Northwest Science Magazine" he stated that he had found that damaged trees let out "a tremendous cry of alarm". "If you chop into a tree," he note, "you can see that adjacent trees put out an electrical pulse. This indicates that they communicate directly...People have known there was communication between trees for several years, but they've explained it by the chemicals trees produce. I think the real communication is quicker and more dramatic than that. These trees know within a few seconds what is happening. This is an automatic reponse." Wagner measured the effects, which he referred to as W-waves, at about one metre per second through trees and at about five metres per second through air. "They travel much too slowly for electrical waves," he noted. "They don't seem to bne electro-magnetix waves. They seem to be an altogether different entity." 198 ELF A mortal earth spirit, the first creation of Odin. Anglo-Saxon, y l f , plural ylfs ; the German alp , the nightmare creature and the Gaelic ailp (which, see). Confluent with auf and oaf (a young elf). From the Sankrist rbhu , artful or skillful. In Scandanavian tales, the elfs were represented as diminutive and frail, the elf-maidens being creatures of dangerous beauty. They anciently haunted the remote lands, where they lead an abandoned life of sex, drink and song. All were said to differ from mankind in lacking souls. This is the lowland version of the Gaelic sidh. The elfs were ruled by King Frey, whose capital was at Uppsala, Sweden. His rule was gifted on him by Odin, who created the species. After the Anglo-Saxon gods destroyed

Press, "Doomed Trees Cry...", The Telegraph-Journal.

Feb. 7, 1989, p. 5.

Ymir, the first frost-giant they salvaged his body parts to create Middle Earth, the planet we now occupy. Before this process was completed Odin noticed maggots crawling through the decaying corpse. He interviewed a few of these and finding them intelligent gifted them with human form, long lives and a superior intellect. He found some of them politically unreliable, and these "dark elfs" were banished to the underworld, being warned from the surface by a curse that they would be changed to stone if they appeared in daylight. The "light elfs" were given to Frey as a toothing-gift. These are to be distinguished from the northern "dverg" or dwarfs which were physically malformed. One writer said they were "of a small stature but finely proportioned with shoulder-length yellow hair, often tied up with golden combs. They wear a mantle of green cloth, inlaid with wild flowers, green pantaloons, buttoned with bobs of silk; and silver shoon (shoes). They carry quivers of adder-slough (snakesskin) and bows made of the ribs of men buried where three lors lands meet; their arrows are made of bog-reed tipped with white flints, and dipped in the dew of (poison) hemlock; they ride on steeds with hoofs that would not dash the dew from the cup of a harebell. With their arrows they would shoot the cattle of those who offend them; the wound is invisible to common eyes, but there are certain gifted personages who can discern and cure them." These were the creatures the Irish of Cape Breton distinguished from the sidh, as mickeleens. Creighton interviewed Mr. Charles Turner, in Sydney, in 1956 and he said, "When we were children we lived in a house at Point Edward. There were six of us sleeping upstairs. The upper part of the house wasn't finished off and there were rafters above that that could be seen from both of the bedrooms where we were sleeping. This morning we were lying in bed and we looked up and we could see the little people like pixies or elves with brownish bodies jumping back and forth on the beams, carrying on and having a high time of it. I can't remember their clothes but they were about a foot high and wore high pointed caps and shoes. I called my sisters and they were watching the same thing. It happened only once and it lasted for about ten minutes. Then they vanished and were never seen again. With all their jumping round they never made a sound." In an attempt to confirm this Creighton visited one of Mr. Turner's sisters but she had been subjected to "glamour" as she could remember nothing of the incident. She did say that her brother had always insisted on the veracity of his story which he told repeatedly. A pl;umber's helper in Dartmouth told Mrs. Creighton that he thought he had

seen fairies, but his Irish mother insisted they were leprachauns. "They were eighteen inches long, and they wore tight-fitting suits and different coloured caps, and we watched them swinging back and forth on a tree." Creighton concluded that the species was "not completely foreign to our soil." EPUKUNIKEK Spirits incarnate as land-forms standing in the sea. An adjunct to the manitous or “devils,” were the epukunikeks, the various “things one ought to go around.” The menahol, or “islands,” usually posed fewer problems that the moniecooks, “things joined together.” This latter Penobscot word could identify an island attached to the mainland by a bar, or two isolated joined to one another in a similar manner. Usually these were places where the connecting neck of land was only visible at low tide, and a danger to sea-going canoes at other times. Examples of landforms, which used to be so namedhave included Barter’s Island, in the St. George River, Maine, and Van Horne’s, or Minister’s Island, near St. Andrews, New Brunswick. Worse than these bar-islands were the sobaquarscooks, or “sea rocks,” which were thought to represent real spiritual presences within the Bay. This last word indicates “a waterfall in salt water,” the first part of the word being derived from soubekou, “salt water” and the latter from kapskwak, a word indicating something placed in a variable tidal current, or tidal rip. Here is what Nicholas Tracy has to say about one of the largest collection of sea rocks within the Bay: “The area of tide races and ledges 5 miles south of Grand Manan and east of Machias Seal Island, is a challenge most yachtsmen with their heads screwed down will find it possible to resist, unless, of course, they make the mistake of letting the set of the tide drive them there.” They might well be warned off by the Indian name of that island, which Eckstrom interprets as “the place of the bad little falls.” Sometimes written Mecheyisk, the word may also be given as meche, “rough;” yisk, “run of water.” Nicholas Denys identified the machias as a magical pouch worn at the neck, said to contain the individual totem-spirit of the wearer. Tracy thinks that the sea in this district has “some of the worst rocks and rips in the Bay of Fundy.” Notable among these are those

charted as the Black Rocks, the Brazil Shoal and Tinker Shoal. He says that “Clarks Ground produces exceptional rips on a southwest ebb tide.” He also cautions against approaching the Old Proprietor Shoal and an area not far distance known as the Devils Half Acre: “It is certainly a devilishly large half acre, and the tide behaves very badly in its precinct. The whole area must be treated with circumspection. a word with Latin roots meaning, “looking about for a better way.” The power of the sea is 800 times that of the air due to the greater density of sea water when compared with air. Hurricanes have been known to sweep the area clean, but the damage that the tide does it often underestimated. In most regions of the Bay of Fundy the shoreline is not what it was at the time of Champlain’s explorations, the landfalls of the French now being little more than mud or sand on the bottom of the Bay or the Gulf of Maine. A case in point is Boot Island at the mouth of the Avon River in Nova Scotia. When the earliest map-makers were at work, there was no such place amidst the waters of the Minas Basin. It is certainly not marked on J.F.W DesBarre’s, “Atlantic Neptune,” (1762 - 1775). None of the less formal maps of the region, dating back to Acadian times show anything more than a peninsula of land in this location. The French called this headland which became an island “le Bout,” (presumably because it had a look something like that of the present Italian peninsula). At first the English sea-charts retained this spelling, naming the new island “Bout Island.” Men who have owned the island say that their records show that it originally measured close to 1,000 acres. Today it occupies less than 100. On the Minas Basin side, the effects of the passing tides into and out of the river are dramatic, but on both sides the red soil is being dragged away at a rate that will soon number this as one of the “disappearing” islands of the Atlantic (perhaps this was the fate of Brendan’s Isle?) The channel between the landward side and the island is still called the “guzzle,” because of the peculiar noise the fast past tides make in passing, but the sucking noise has become much reduced over the years past. Today this opening is a half mile wide, but when the tides first cut this place off from the land (about 150 years ago), it was said to be so narrow that people routinely walked out to the new island at low tide. In the Indian world this place was once a monacook, “an island tenuously

joined to land.” The loss of so much soil had one good effect and this was the creation of the tidal flats which the Indians called kadebungedek, “the place where one takes clams.” Chignecto Bay has a similar place known as Grindstone Island, a feature cut out of this Bay by the tidal run in the Petitcodiac River. This island is now less than a mile in width and is a mere six hundred years at its widest. It has been reduced to about 30 acres from the 113 acres when it was granted to the Anglican Church in 1823. In this case the natural business of weathering and erosion has been hurried by the fact that building stones were quarried here. In spite of the name, few grindstones were actually cut from the island, these being taken from the shore near the low tide line. EPTIDUK A woman. pillar-stone considered to encompass the soul of a

Passamaquoddy, epti, “woman.” Dr. Ganong has renamed one of these natural standing-stones on Grand Manan Island as “Old Maid Rock.” ESKWIDEWID Wabenaki, fires of the dead; the will-o'-the-wisp. In their mythology, fire-balls were seen as the wandering spirits of magicians, or those of dead souls, and were considered a dangerous omen. A man who was followed by one of these used the weapon of cold steel (well-known in European mythology) against it: Plunging his knife into a tree he faced the spirit commanding that it pass benmeath the blade. Unable to resist, it did so, exploding and discharging in a a burst of colour and smoke. At Indian Beach, Grand Manan, New Brunswick, a spirit of this kind was created at the death of a native woman named Lemushahindu, who burned in a wigwam fire. Her cowaker materializes once in seven years appearing as a woman entirely encircled by flame. An observer said, "I've heard the old squaw myself, at least the old folks say it was her; (she made) a loud gurgling sound. But I've never seen her, not in thirty years of

fishing on the back of the island..." EUN GLAS A mortal spirit of the air, sometimes spoken of as Eun Glas na Ceapaich, the beansith of families originally resident in the western portions of Scotland. Gaelic eun , a bird, from a root word meaning to fly; glas , grey; capaich , a tillage plot, garden, land holding, thus Clan Keppoch . As Dr. Keith Macdonald has noted forerunners of death in animal or bird form were not confined to the Keppoch family: "The Macleods of Gesto, in Skye, dreaded the apperance of their black cat, when a death was to appear in the family, and such is the force of inheritance that it is dread by some of the descendants of that family down to the present day; and some of the Mackinnons of Strath, in Skye, had such a horror of cats that they could tell when a cat was in a room, or house, without seeing it." As to the Grey Bird, Macdonald says it "had been seen for many generations before a death took place in the family (of Keppoch). It was a small grey bird...that came and sat on the windowsill and tapped at the window (thus the superstition relating bad luck with any bird seeking entry). After the death it disappeared and was not seen again until another death was going to happen. Tradition does not recoird the first date when it appeared, but its existence has long been known in the Braes of Lochaber." Macdonald guessed that this taibhs may have been activated by a dead Keppoch to warn the living against continued evil as "some of the Keppoch chiefs and Brae people had a good deal to account for..." The Eun Glas was seen most prominently before and after the death of Major Alexander Macdonnell, the youngest son of a Keppock killed at Culloden: "The bird appeared before his death, and when the coffin was taken out of the house it stood on it all the way to the churchyard which was more than a mile away, until the body was being lowered into the grave, and then it flew upwards into the sky till it disappeared from sight. This was in the presence of several hundreds of people, the funeral being the largest ever seen in Canada. The circumstance was written home at the time by several eye-witnesses. This is corroborated by Mr. Alexander of Upper South River, who writes me that, "at the time of the funeral Am Maidsair Mor, who died in Prince Edward Island in 1815, the bird stood on

the coffin in the pr4esence of the whole crowd, and a letter from Bishop MacEachern, then of Prince Edward Island, to the Rev. Alexander Macdonald of Judique, Cape Breton, bears witness to this statement. Finlay Macdonald, son of Catriona nighean Dughaill, remembers of having heard Father Alexander relating this story to his mother. Finlay still lives in Cape Breton." The bird also came looking for Angus Macdonell who seemed to be suffering from little more than a chest cold. AS he sat in his bed chatting with an elderly servant the Grey Bird appeared in a pane of the window. Coming donstairs, the servant insisted that a prioest be sought, "fopr the captain has not long to live." The family thought that the alarm was premature but went along with the warning that death waqs immenent and brought in Father Forbes. To their surprise the elderly patient took a very bad turn during the night and was dead by dawn. It was supposedly last seen at the death of Ranald Macdonnell, uncle to our writer: "It was seen every day when he was dying. His sister Barbara came to see him at the time, and the "grey bird" took to tapping at her window also, and disappeared the day she left Keppoch. She died very shortly after, and the "Eun Glas" has not been seen since...199 FACHAN A sea-spirit bound to remote coastal lands, characterized by possession of a single hand, eye and foot. Anglo-Saxon, facen, treachery, crime; facenful, treacherous + han , cock, by extension a promiscous male animal. May confer with fecchan , to seek, fetch, gain, take by force or cunning, bring back. See fetch , immediately below. Note also the Lunenburg dialectic form, fachent , withered. According to Gaelic myth, the island now called Ireland was first inhabited by Fomorians, who came from the west "out of the sea." Some of these were very credible humanoids, but others had the heads of beasts or were mis-shappen in some part. When Partholan's race fought aginst them, they were descibed as man-like but "with one foot, one hand, and John, editor, The Celtic Monthly (Edinburgh) 1901, February, pp. 86-87.

one eye." Irish historian Katherine Scherman thinks they represented a memory "of mesolithic man, who crept round the edges of the country catching what food he could with his rude stone weapons...offering paltry resistance to more progressive successors." If so, they must have show considerable damage from their battles with the "men" who pursued them. Thousands of years after their domination of the British Isles failed, their descendants inhabited the north-western coasts where they lived through thievry. When Europeans began to explore the sea-routes around Africa to India and China they brought back reports of similar creatures. Marco Polo heard that they existed in northern China and reported coming close to a colony of them in India. They were routinely illustrated on the margains of maps, where they were sometimes seen using their single huge foot as an sun-shade. The Greenlander's Saga mentioned the fact that the Norse explorers put a "one-legger" to flight somewhere in the vicinity of Vinland the Good. The natives convinced Jacques Cartier that unipeds existed in parts of the New World and he sought them out. His countyryman, Marc Lescarbot, was incredulous: "(Cartier) says that he chased a two-footed beast, and that in the land called Saguenay, found men dressed like us in woollen cloth, as well as others of a kind who eat no food because they have no rectum. This is no more likely than his one-legged men or the pygmies who supposedly live further west, or the great fesh-water sea which he thinks lies in the interior of this land." While the Wabenaki do not appear to have made mention of this singular character, the Ihalmuit, or people of the Barrens have Paija: "Of those evil spirits, the foremost is Paija, an immense female devil. She is a giantess who has but a single leg, springing from her generative organs, and who is clothed only in flowing black hair, Paija stalks abroad in the winter nights, and her single track is sometimes found in the new snow, an immense twisted impresssion of a human foot. No man can tell you much about her, except from hearsay, for to see Paija is to die with the sight of her frozen in the mind..." FAMHAIR A giant of the deep ocean. The myths suggest that the beginning place was first filled with a

spiritual presence, or immortal creator-god. The Greeks called this world outside of our universe Chaos; the Old Norse, the Ginnungugap (Beginning Gap); the Gaels, An Domhain (The First Home). Apparently tiring of total anarchy, the god of this space created matter and energy and commenced the motion of the spheres. As a diversion, he also organized the worlds as we know them, bringing order out of chaos. At the beginning of time, he raised the first humanoid life form, which is usually identified as a seagiant. In western European myths this first trial life form was entitled Don (Gaelic, don, evil, defective), and the not-quite-human sea-folk were his progeny. These first models were a bit unstable and of uncertain form, shape-shifters, who possessed the ability to reproduce asexually, and later sexually. The prime life force was incarnate within the ocean as the Cauldron of the Deep, or the Fountain of Regeneration, an artifact placed at the centre of the Beginning Place. The concept of a water world at the beginning of time is central to all myth and confers with the scientific idea that all the lands of the planet earth were once part of a giant supercontinent which was largely flooded. As the Biblical account says: “In the beginning the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep...” These were the days of which Job spoke saying, “Behold the giants groan from under the waters.” Not much is said of the Norse proto-world known as the Ginnungugap, but it was clearly regarded as a place active with the sounds of calving glacial ice. In the medieval period, northern map makers routinely charted it in the northwestern Atlantic in the wastes beyond the Davis Strait, which separates Greenland from Baffin Island. The Celtic An Domhain was never so neatly related to the world of men but the sennachies did say that it was a circular revolving island within magh mell, or the open-sea. The infrequent human visitors who returned from this place said that the fortress walls of this keep were magnetic and exercised a force strong enough to pull iron fittings from their ships. This uncanny place moved in a counterclockwise direction and was a “floating island,” often shrouded in fog, never susceptible to the navigational devices of men. It was rumoured that the island surfaced briefly once in seven years for “a washing of rain” but essentially, it was an undersea island of uncertain mid-Atlantic location. It is a tenant of magic that “the part encapsulates the whole,” thus every island was seen as related to the Beginning Island, and men often found routes to the undersea kingdom on islands which were close at hand. For the Micmacs of Atlantic Canada Newfoundland was considered the ultimate source of ancient life, but it could be psychically accessed by passing through the Hole-In-The-Wall on Grand Manan Island, which is

much closer the mainland. FAMILIAR The cowalker or shadow of a witch. FAIRY A sea, or land spirit, characterized by diminutive size and the propensity to meddle, for good or evil, in the affairs of men. Middle English, faee , from the Old French fee , witch-women of the ancient Gauls, supposedly located on L'Isle des Saints, off the French coast near Brest. Notice that the ending "ry" diminishes the significance, and power, of this spirit; thus, the "fairies" are adherents of original "fee." Writing of them Pomponius Mela said they were nine in "having singular powers to raise by their charms the wind and the turn themselves into what animals they will, to cure wounds and incurable by others, to know and predict the future; but this they for navigators who go to their island to consult them." number seas, to diseases do only

Helen Creighton noticed a survival of this tribe in the expression "That was the fairy (belief) of the time." In Lunenburg County, Poteet was told "fairies painted the water", when seamen wished to express the idea of a colourful sunrise or sunset over the ocean. These are the whitewomen, or witch-women, described elsewhere. Anglo-Norman, faee , from the Old French verb, feer , to enchant; a back formation from faiere , a fairy, one of the little people. Confers with fay , of a spiritual or ethereal disposition, flighty, difficult to pin down. A creature similar to the Anglo-Saxon elf, the Gaelic sidhean, the Cymric tylwth teg and the mikumwees of the Abenaki-speakers of America. Thomas Keightley says that the fayres or fairies were the Brythonic Gallicinae, the virgin oracles of the Gallic people of ancient France. They lived on Sena (The Isle of Saints) off the French coast, near Brest, and were the equivalent of the koridgwen of Cornwall and the cult of Mhorrigan in ancient Ireland. These prophetic females had the ability to

shape-change, control the weather surrounding their island and predict the future, but were otherwise normal human beings. In folklore, the fairies were reduced to a very small size, proportionate to their power to control the lives of men. In the medieval romances they became prototypes for witch-women, capable of magically benefiting their friends and cursing their enemies. The English fairies were described as "of a small stature, but finely proportioned; of a fair complexion, with long yellow hair hanging over their shoulders, and gathered above their heads with combs of gold. They wear a mantle of green cloth, inlaid with wild flowers; green pantaloons, buttoned with bobs of silk; and silver shoon. They carry quivers of "adder-slough" (snake skin) and bows made of the ribs of a man buried where three laird's lands meet; their arrows are made of bog-reed, tipped with white flints, and dipped in the dew of (poison) hemlock; they ride on steeds whose hoofs would not dash the dew from the cup of a harebell. With arrows they shoot the cattle of those who offend them; the wound is impercepitable to common eyes, but there are great persoanages who can discern and cure it...they are frequently kind and generous...they lend and borrow and it is counted uncanny (unwise) to refuse them..."200 These were the people described by King James VI of England and Scotland as acting and reacting "lyke natural men and women" except that they practised magic and insisted on living within hollow hills. James admited a suspicion that they were "nor anything that ought to be believed by Christians," but he did support laws that sent a number of unfortunate men and women to their death for witchcraft on the evidence that they had been "transported with the Pharie to such and such a hill, which opening, they went in and there saw the farie queen, who gave them a stone that had sundry virtues." 201 It is a popular tradition that the fees vanished from France in the nineteenth century. "Their absence was strongly felt in Brittany where the peasants said their departure was coincident with the advent of the "invisible" century and that they would return in that following. In
200Keightley, 201Keightley,

Thomas. World Mythology, pp. 350-353.

World Mythology, p. 351, quoting both James and a critic of his policies.

southern England they did not survive long after the first Elizabethean age, when they are said to have migrated westward, paying men for their passage of the Atlantic. David Fergus has guessed that the fairy folk may have begun to desert the border country between England and Scotland "when the first train went snorting along the Waverley Route in the 1840's" He adds that, "Whatever the reason for their disappearance, there are few eye-witnesss accounts of the wee folk on the borders after the middle of Queen Victoria's reign." Hugh Miller reported that their final exodus was seen by two children who had been allowed to skip church services to stand herd on the animals of a small southern hamlet. They watched the last cavalcade "ascending out of a ravine, through a wooded hollow." When the last rider of a tiny steed lingered, the herd-boy asked, "What are ye little manie? and where be ye going?" "Not of the race of Adam, "said the creature,"and the people of peace shall be seen no more in Scotland. In 1823, Sir John Franklin reported sighting the first of these folk seen in what is now Canada. He noted that, "The...fairies are six inches high, lead a life similar to the Indians, and are excellent hunters. Thoswe who have had the good fortune to fall in with their tiny encampments have been kindly treated, and regaled on venison. We did not learn with certainty whether the existence of these delightful creatures is known from Indian tradition, or whether the Indians owe their knowledge of them to their intercourse with the traders, but we think the former probable."202 The size is diminutive for European fairies, so Franklin is probably correct in thinking they were aboriginals. Catherine Parr Traill was sure that Canada had "neither fay nor fairy" (1833) but her imagination was limited by a need to survive the Upper Canadian wilderness. John HunterDuval, a poet who lived near Summerside, Prince Edward Island maintained that the entire "fairy population" of Ireland had moved to his island. He devoted an epic poem to this thesis, entitling it The Emigration of The Fairies (1888). Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had an interest in the folk and included a photograph of "a Canadian fairy" in his book, The Coming Of The Fairies (second edition, 1928). Sir John, arrative Of A Journey To The Shores Of The Polar Seas... as recoreded at Fairy Lake River in the Canadian northwest, July 6, 1821. Quoted from Columbo, Columbo's Book Of Marvels, p. 55.

When Helen Creighton started her research into the supernatural she was convinced that Maritime witches and fairies were equally fabulous. Ten years into such matters she conceded that, "Stories of the little people are told very seldom these days, but the few instances we have prove that belief in their presence is not altogether foreign to our soil. As a child I had often heard of fairy rings and sometimes in our play would say, "Look, there's a fairy ring." We would view it curiously and then pass on...To us fairies were happy and brought good gifts and it was a shock in later life to learn that in some countries they were considered evil." 203 Creighton consulted with Dartmouth historian J.P. Martin, who told her of a local fairy spring where the folk were supposed to have held their revels. A plumber's helper who came to her home added that he had seen fairies within the bounds of the city: "They were about eighteen inches long and they all wore tight-fitting suits and ddifferent coloured caps, and they were swinging back and forth on a tree." Creighton's best interview concerning the fay came while she was having her car serviced at Sydney, Cape Breton, in 1956. The mechanic, Mr. Charles Turner, told her his family had once lived at Point Edward: "There were six of us (children) sleeping upstairs. The upper part of the house wasn't finished off and there were rafters abvove that could bee seen from both the bedrooms where we were sleeping. This morning we were lying in bed and looked up and we could see a dozen little people like pixies or elves with brownish bodies jumping back and forth on the beams, carrying on and having a high time of it. I can't remember their clothes, but they were about a foot high and wore pointed caps and shoes. I called my sisters and they were watching the same thing. It happened only once, and it lasted for about ten minutes. Then they vanished and were never seen again. With all their jumping round they didn't make a sound." 204 The size of these creatures and their complexions distinguish them from the Gaelic sidh. The former were usually no less than a foot and a half, and no more than three feet in height, while the latter ranged from about four to six feet. When Jenny Rogers, wife of the coachman at Yair,
203Creighton, 204Creighton,

Helen, Bluenose Magic, p. 102. Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, pp. 238-239.

Scotland, saw the fairies she reported that they had, "black faces and wee green coaties..." The sidh were sometimes weather-tanned but generally shared the complexions of their Irish and Scottish neighbours. The sidh settled in parts of the countryside preferred by their Gaelic speaking cousins, so it is reasonable to assume that other regions hosted the fairies or an equivalent race. FATHER CHRISTMAS A mortal spirit of the air, probably the reincarnate Alfadr (Allfather) descendant through the god Odin or Woden. Greek, Christ + Anglo-Saxon, maesse . The former derived through French and Latin, having the meaning to anoint. Among the Jews, any devinely appointed ruler; among Christiand, Jesus Christ; one anointed to represent God. The latter word is similar to the Anglo-Saxon verb maessian , to say; specifically, to give words of dismissal at the end of a religious ceremony; the Eucharist or Lord's Supper. Christmas was instituted to displace the pagan Yule, a holiday that took place about midwinter. Father Christmas is the renamed Father Yule and this spirit is almost certainly the Allfather, whose translated name correponds with Alefather, Eggfather, Yulefather and Wheelfather. The mortal-god Odin confiscated all of these names for himself when he invaded the northern lands and usurped a throne that had once belonged to the thunder god Thor, or Donar. When Odin died, his crown was passed first to King Niord of the Vanir and then to his son Frey. As Thor pre-dated the others the Juul, was known as Thor's month, although ale-glasses were eventually raised "To Odin, Thor and Frey" during the twelve days of Yule. The Yule festival commenced with Mother Night, or midwinter night, the longest of the year. From this point on it was noticed that the days lengthened, the "wheel" that was the sun staying longer in the sky. To celebrate this, and encourage the sun through sympathetic magic, men created firey wheels which they rolled down mountainsides into fjords. Writing of this custom Naogeorgus said: "A strange and monstrous sight it seemes, and fearful to them all; But they suppose their mischiefs (evil spirits) are all likewise thrown to hell." The first missionaries to the north noticed the popularity of this festival which included dancing, eating and drinking. The latter tended to be excessive since each the patriarch of each family had to

renew his obligations to the tribe and his closest relatives by swearing solemn oaths on the "boar of atonement" (the boar's head of English medieval feasts). This would have been a straightforward ceremony except for the fact that oaths were made binding by a toast to one, or more, of the numerous northern gods. Suspecting they might be unable to stamp out this practise the newly-arrived Christians altered the ceremony suggesting that the northerners should only drink single toasts to Christ the Lord and his twelve apostles. This explains why Father Christmas has a boozey personality and is always pictured as the superintendent of the wassail bowl. He was clearly the first Yuletide Fool, the Lord of Misrule, who led the "December liberties". John Hadman was crowned King of Christmas at Norfolk in the fifteenth century: "He rode in state through the city, dressed forth in silks and tinsel, and prededed by twelve persons who were the months of the year...they rode accompanied by numbers in grotesque dresses making disport and merriment; some wore skins counterfeiting animals. While Herbert Halpert was assembling material for his book A Folklore Sampler From the Maritimes a correspondent asked if Santa Claus had completely subjugated the earlier Father Christmas. Two Newfoundlanders told him that Father Christmas was still (1982) seen as the prime Yultide spirit "for the older generation and for many people in the middle generation." Halperts secretary reminded him that many English war-brides came to Newfoundland after the Second World War, thus assuring Father Christmas some part in seasonal festivities. The same must surely hold for Maritime Canada although informal surveys have shown he is no longer well known. FATHER YULE An older form of Father Christmas. Middle English, yul , derived from the Anglo-Saxon geol , or geohhol . Confers with geola , a former name for a winter month that commenced following "modranecht", or mother night, the eve of mid-winter. Geola is represented in the Old Norse language as Jool , which approximates the Gaelic nuall and the French noel . The twelve days of Christmas, which end on the fifth of January constitute the former Yuletide . Since Christian times, Father Yule has been referred to, in Britain, as Father Christmas, giving him a veneer of respectability. The Gaelic nuall,

sometimes written nuallian , may be translated as "a howling or a cry." It resembles the Sankrist nu , having the same meaning as well as the Old High German niumo , praise and rejoicing. There are a number of diminished forms of this once powerful godspirit, notable the yulbuck , or juulbuck , an elf who "lives in the woods during the summer, in the fields in autum and then inches closer to the house, day by day, until 23 December when he comes indoors. If he is plentifully fed, he leaves promptly without mischief. If he finds his reception lacking in any way, he will spill the beer in the cellar, throw weevils into the flour and make the grain rot. His German counterpart is Knecht Ruprecht, "a German house buck, who also comes indoors at Christmas time..." The identity of Father Yule is made easier by the fact that Wuotan, or Woden, surnamed himself "Allfather" in a deliberate attempt to confound himself with the creator-god. The season known as the Yule was especially dedicated to the worship of Woden, who appeared at that time in the guise of the Wild Huntsman, the collector of the souls of the dead, the bringer of winter storms. While he often "gifted" men with death, Odin, offered his favourites Yuletide presents: a magic sword, a spear, a horse, food, or invincibilty in battle. Another surname which Odin preferred was Nicholas, and he was "nicknamed" Old Saint Nick (which, see). Good Saint Nick, or Santa Claus, represents his gift-giving side, while Knecht Ruprecht, sometimes referred to as Black Peter, represented the surly part of his character. Nowlan, p. 21: warrior who fought winter.

FEAR DEARG A mortal spirit, the personification of all forms of fire. Gaelic, fear (f-ar), pl. f i r , a man; Confers with the Cymric gwr , super, or above normal, and the Anglo-Saxon wer . dearg (d-areg), red, a red-man, probably referring originally to his hair and skin colour. The Anglo-Saxon deorc , from which the English dark . The Gaelic "fire-man," the Scottish equivalent of the Anglo-Saxon

"dracan", and a cousin of the Atlantic Canadian "gopher." The "dearg" in his name may hve referred to the red colour of his hair and skin. Probably related to various northern fire-gods, for example the Norse, Loki; the Gaelic, Aod; the Cymric, Hu. Here is a verbatim description from the last century: "It came one night, during a storm of wind and rain, knocking at the door of her father's cabin, a voice like that of a feeble old man craving admission. On the door's being opened, there came in alittle old man, about two feet and a half high, with a red sugar-loaf hat and along scarlet coat, reaching down nearly to the ground, his hair was long and grey, and his face yellow and wrinkled. He sat over to the fire (which the family had quitted in their apprehension), sat down and dried his clothes and began smoking a pipe which he found there. The family went to bed and iin the morning he was gone. About a month after he began to appear regularly at eleven o'clock. The signal which he gave was a thrusting of his hairy arm through a hole in the door, which he opened, and the family retired to bed, leaving him the room to himself. If they did not open the door, some accident was sure to happen the next day, to themselves or the cattle. On the whole, however, his visits brought good luck, and the family prospered, till the landlord put them out of their farm, and they never saw the fear dearg more."205 This fellow is reminiscent of Washington Irving's, "King of the Golden River". In the Kilmarnock woods of New Brunswick, they still tell tales about Smokey Joe, a little one-eyed man who wandered in from the forest looking for work. Men who spoke with him learned that he claimed to have fought in an English battle under the command of Oliver Cromwell. While he worked in the camp unfortunate happenings occured almost daily: horses halter ropes were found untied from hitching posts, and these animals frequently stepped free of harnesses which had been carefully secured. It was seen that this new workman could do the labour of four ordinary individuals which would seem to have made him an asset, on the other hand it was rumoured that he talked with the crows, ravens and jays, and he was seen to generate fire by rubbing his fingertips. When he was in camp, spontaneous fires erupted in remote lean-tos and "accidents" plagued the cook-house and the cookie. Finally the little man saw a lightning bolt take down a tree and predicted that would mean the loss of life. The next day a co-worker struck his leg with an axe and bled to death

Yhom,as, World Mythology, p. 369.

before he could get help. After this, the attitude of the workers shifted aginst the fear dreag and the men went to the "main john" insisting that he be fired. The boss of the woods was loathe to part with such a good worker and refused the request but, sensing hostility, the fear dreag left by himself. He departed the camp on a snowy moonlit night but no one saw him leave and in the morning there were no footprints in the snow. Some Mirimichi woodsmen afterwards saw his "light" in the forest and a lesser number said they saw him sitting on a log by a lumber-road, pointing to his empty pipe. No one dared refuse him a plug of tobacco. The fear dearg was frequently considered a death omen, and as such, appeared carrying the "copse-candle", "death-light" or "gopher light". As the fear dearg could be invisible, those who obeserved the phenomena (often termed the will o' the wisp) usually saw nothing more than a sphere of "cold light". Hugh MacKinnon of Glendyer Mills, Cape Breton, said that one had come for a neighbour he identified as "Old McLean": "(He was) haymaking on this dasy and (his wife) seen this ball of light coming, fell right beside the door, right alonside of him...He died ahead of her yes. But it was a forerunner. It dropped right near the man's toe...It's opnly light you know... This light would go in the direction of the graveyard or come from that direction and stop at this man's house. One ball of light and a bit of a tail on it (evidenced as it moved)." 206 Mary L. Fraser has said that, "The appearance of mysterious lights was looked upon as a warning of death...A light seen going towards the graveyard was regarded as a sure sign of death. A clear round light indicated the death of a man; a light with little rays or sparks after it was that of a woman. If you could see thae house it started from, you would know where the victim was." 207 Joe Neil McNeil characterized the fear dearg as follows: "It seems it was like stars, as they say a shooting star, except that it passed very low. They would see the light going past and it would look as if there were sparks or a tail of light following in its trail. The longer it was, the more light there was behind it, that would be a teacher or that would be a clergyman...It would be drawn out longer in the firmament or the sky than
206Caplan, 207Fraser,

Ronald, ed., Down North, p. 30. Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, p.50.

that of a lay person. I never saw the fear dreag but I have heard it described quite often."208 Sadie Campbell added that the dearg might drop to the ground in which case its light expanded to cover a very wide area, sometimes becoming attached to physical objects: "It's an eerie light. You know it's not a natural thing. I have seen one in a house. It was about midnight I guess. It was in the wintertime. We had a horse and sleight. And this was a house where after nine o'clock you'd never see a light, they'd gone to bed. We stopped at the brook to water the mare. I looked up at the house and just joking to my sister, I said, "This old lady" - he name was Ann "she must have a bridge club or something tonight. The house is all lit up." The house was lighted upstairs and down...And you couldn't see anybody moving in the house. Not a shadow in the windows." Sadie's husband, Malcolm Campbell added that, "A very short time after that the old lady died and it came a snowstorm. She had a son away and a daughter and they waked the body four or five nights -maybe they were a whole week, waked the body. And that was a very unusual thing for because it was two nights usually...and there were lights on every night, all this time. People congregating at the wake. The house was lighted up every night."209 FETCH A mortal mariners. sea-spirit, the guardian and death-ward of

Anglo-Saxon, gefetigan , feccan , probably same as fetian , to seek, gain or take objects or information. Similar to fet , to journey; especially to go to a distant place with the intention of bringing something back; obsolete meanings include to steal and to strike. The Middle English equivalent is feechan, to seek , from which perhaps fachan (see entry under this name,) Especially, to voyage with the intention of looting. Nautical phrases based on the word include fetch proper, to hold to an undeviating course or to go about; to fetch and
208MacNeil, 209Caplan,

Joe Neil, Tales Until Dawn, p. 210.

Ronald, editor, Down North, pp. 30-31.

carry , to serve obsequeously as a tendering boat; to fetch away , to break loose, roll or slide to the leeway; to fetch up , to come to a sudden halt while sailing; and to fetch up all standing , to come to a precipitous halt as upon hitting an unseen sea-wall or an underwater reef. The fetch ocassionally carried a visible lantern, which explains why it was sometimes referred to as the fetch-candle . In the Miramichi region of northern New Brunswick, the light is called "John Craig's Light" after one of the earliest fetches seen on those waters. In Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, the travelling light is "Jacob's Fireball". This spirit was the Gaelic befind, who the English called the cowalker, follower, or runner, a protector of humans who were related to the seapeople. In Scandinavia this spirit was known as the fylgiar or nornir. A relationship was thought to exist wwith people who were born with a "devil's-peak or hair coming to a point between the eyes. Men possessing a single eyebrow, after the fashion of the single-eyed Fomorian sea-giants, were suspected of belonging to this clan, as were men and women possessing an abnormally large number of fingers or toes, or a slight webbing of these members. Those born with their head in the birth-caul, or "bag of waters" were considered to have sea-blood. The fetch is the equivalent of the land-travelling guardian, runner or gopher (see our companion volume dealing with land creatures). This was the spirit assigned to men at birth by the pagan gods of the sea. It was expected to protect their interests by seeking espionage of events which might harm them in the present and the future. It also attemmpted to fetch useful information from the past. Those closely related to the seapeople could make contact with their fetch through all of the human senses, for example observing distant events through the eyes of their guardian. Those who had an inferior fetch, or lacked any particular sensory "gift", received vague hunches instead of outright input into their lives. The fetch had the capacity to phyically transport a physical image of sailors at sea to a land location when they wished it, and this frequently happened just before a death at sea. Typically, the fetch was invisible to ordinary men, and its face-to-face materialization was taken as a sign of absolute invariable doom. Sometimes these lights were considered to represent the external souls of the dead, in particular those that had been unable to unite with the primary soul and move on to reincarnation. At Conquerall Banks, one

respondent told of lights seen moving along the wharf "at the McKeen's place." "We could only see them on dark nights. We lived on the other side of the river and we often watched them come down. Lawless people had lived there and it was said that the lights were their spirits coming back." The contract between a fetch and its human required that the runner remain unobtrusive, but with approaching death of its host, it was expected to take the role of a banshee, approaching its him or her with the bad news. An Acadian forerunner appeared to one man as he was escorting a lady friend near West Pubnico in the 1940's. Both walkers saw a light over the water and the woman immediately knew her fate for she said, "That light is for me!" She appeared perfectly healthy at the time but within three weeks, was dead. Fetches were also general omens of death, forerunners to the community at large or to a relative of the deceased. Helen Creighton thought that lights seen over water were innocuous but Mary L. Fraser disagreed, saying that these were invariably "a warning of death". She reported the sighting of a fetch over the Antigonish Harbour. A small discreet light travelled in from the deep water and disappeared close to the shore. Shortly after, a lad was drowned where the light first appeared and his body drifted ashore where the light finally settled. Occasionally, the light grew in size to reveal "a man carrying a lantern", and sometimes the light settled at the doorstep of a sailor who had died at sea. In other cases it traced the path of a funeral cortege, sometimes long before the event. In a few cases the fetch has been seen at the point of origin. In “Nature” magazine for December 1887, a report was made of “a rare and inexplicable case of globular lightning: On November 12, at midnight, near Cape Race (Newfoundland), a large ball of fire seemed to rise out of the sea to a height of about 50 feet, coming against the wind close up to the ship, and then running south-east, lasting altogether aabout five minutes.” Like the gopher, the fetch frequently carried a light, known as the fetch-light, and this was frequently seen in our maritime communities just after a death. This light was not the animating spirit, which remainined invisible, but a physical manifestation of its presence. The fetch also travelled in animal familiars such as the crow, the seagull and petrel, and it was sometimes held that spirits of the dead united with

their fetch in this form following death. After a resting phase in this form, or as a disembodied spirit, it was believed that sailors were reincarnated in their own family lines. Here again, it was the duty of the fetch to approach each expectant mother in a dream, imparting to her the name of the reincarnate ancestor. Cleve Townsend of Louisbourg, Cape Breton, could not see the gopher-spirits but claimed to hear "the thoughts of their minds." the exception was his own runner which he encountered while a child: "I used to take boats out on the harbour, rowing and fishing. I went to the end of the wharf one day - nice day to go fishing - and a little boy came up through the planks of the wharf and warned me. I heard every word. "You go back. You better go back. Or you may never come back this way again as you are." Meaning the physical body would stay in the ocean and harbour. I didn't take any notice of that warning. I went out fishing just the same. And when I was out there, the anchor was quite a good size, heavy anchor, and plenty of rope on it. I'll be damned, I dumped the anchor overboard. I wasa standing on the rope. I fell overboard and had a heck of a time getting that rope off my ankle. And then I saw him under the water. "I warned you." Forever after that I never went against them (failed to heed advice from the invisible world). I saw him again. I don't think he had a name. In my home my father had what we would call a basement, well I would call it a cellar. A grand cellar. Nothing would freeze there. And my uncle, he had nothing. The house was on the ground. He had nowhere to put his apples so he brought them here and put them in our cellar. My sister I think it was, said, "Why don't you go down and get a couple of apples." Steal them, see? "Yes, I will." I went down and got a coup[le of apples. The boy stood up in front of me. "Back," (he said). I put the apples back damn quick too. I came up. "Where's the apples?" (my sister asked) I said the boy came and told me to put them back and that's where I put them. She said I was crazy. I said, "Maybe, but if you want the apples you go get them yourself." I don't think I saw much of him after that."210 At Rose Bay, Nova Scotia a fetch materialized as a man: "When I was a boy we used to go out lobster fishing and sometimes would see a light at night. We used to go handlining with hand traps. Out at Zinck's Point there Ronald, editor, Down North, quoting Townsend, a well known seaman and sometime psychic, p. 162.

was a vacant house and at night there was a light came down to the shore and it was like a man carrying a lantern. It came down to the beach and then went up to the height of two vessel spars (as if climbing the rigging of a ship). It jumped around, came down and took a short cut back to the house (presumably that of the recently departed). It looked just like a man."211 Normally, the light would travel from the point of death at sea, to the home of the deceased, but occasionally, the spirit travelled in both directions and became a persistant phenomenon seen before bad storms. At Blandford, one man told Creighton that the gopher light of one old man who had died in that community persisted as long as his family remained resident in the village. Again, "At the McKeen's place at Conquerall Banks we used to see lights coming down on the wharf. We could only see them on dark nights. We lived on the other side of the river and we often watched them come down. Lawless people (who generated restless spirits) lived there and it was said the lights might be their spirits coming back."212 The most persistant fetch on record followed Michael Lauchling, a seaman on the "Mary Ellen", sailing to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland out of a Cape Breton port. Called to duty by the captain of that ship, Glen left his family at Big Cove and began the walk over Barrachois and Morrison mountains on his way to the port. He walked all night and at dawn found himself in a thin ground fog with not a breath of wind. He was humming a Gaelic song when he felt a hand on his shoulder and a voice said, quite distinctly, "Michael, turn back to the forks and take the long road (home)." This seemed a foolish suggestion for that route meant he would almost certainly miss his sailing time. Jumping clear of the path to get a clear view of the speaker he shouted, "I will not go back!" He immediately realized he was completely alone, and after a moment's pause continued on his way. Soon the whole scenario was repeated except that the suggestion had become a demand. Again, the speaker was invisible. This time, the badly frightened seaman hid in the bushes for ten minutes, but in the end, continued his journey. This time he took greater notice of the woods and the fields, but had proceeded only a hundred yards when he was seized by
211Creighton, 212Creighton,

Helen, Folklore of Lunenburg County, pp. 35-36. Helen, Folklore Of Lunenburg County, p. 36.

the shoulder and spun about like a child's top. When he regained some of his balance a disembodied voice asked: "Michael Laughling, will you not take my advice and and the long road?" "I will not," answered Michael facing an empty landscape. In that moment he was lifted bodily into the air and was haeved at the ground, where he was left in an almost senseless state. Now the voice insisted, "Michael, will you not return as you have come." Michael nodded assent and retraced his steps. The "Mary Ellen" sailed without him that fine spring morning, and close on the south shore of Cape Breton, ran into a unlikely storm and was splintered on the rocks. The captain and crew of seventeen were all lost to the spirits of the sea.213 Fetches have been seen as persistent residents, sometimes existing in specific locales for centuries. An example is the Palatine Light seen off Block Island, Rhhode Island, “sometimes off-shore, where it lights up the walls of gentlemen’s rooms through the windows. The people here are so familiarized with the sight they never think of giving notice...or even menytioning it afterwards...It beams with various magnitudes. Sometimes it is small, resembling the light through a distant window, at others expanding to the brightness of a ship with all her canvas spread. the blaze actually emits luminous rays...” FEU DE FOLLET Acadian French, feu , m. fire, flame, flash, light and figuratively, hearth, home; follet , playful creature or spirit; little fool. Corresponds with the English Will O' The Wisp, Hobany's Lanthorn, Joan In The Wad, Hob With Lanthorn or Jack O' Lantern. Father Chaisson says they were "tiny fires or flames which flitted about at night (strictly, they were the lights carried by these spirits) a few metres above the ground, usually in marshes or swampy areas, attempting to lure passers-by into them where they would be lost. The will o' the wisps tried to blind their victims by passing in front of their eyes to terrify them and by emitting a kind of cry which resembled mocking laughter."


Michael, Waves of Recollection (Grand Falls, NFLD)

1987, pp. 181-184.

It may be remembered that the bogeyman named Robin Goodfellow "took the form of a walking flame" in order to mislead people. In addition. the English had a spirit known as the grant, "a certain kind of demon like a yearling foul, erect on its hind legs, with sparkling eyes. This kind of demon often appears in the streets in the heat of day, or about sunset. If there is any danger impending on the following day or night, it runs about the streets provoking the dogs to bark, and by feigning fight, draws the dogs after it, in the vain hope of catching it. This illusion warns the inhabitants to beware of fire..." The "feu de follett" was something like this, being identified with "le lutin"or "gobelin" of Normandy. It was always said that the lutin was "fond of children and horses; and if the proverbs lie not, of young maidens also." Nevertheless mothers threatened their children using his name, because he was known to whip, punch and pinch those who were naughty. He was less patient with adults "lutinizing" the manes of their horses, riding farm animals until they were in a lather, and allowing himself to be ridden for the purpose of dumping his rider into a marsh or ditch filled with water. He was characterized as "le bon garcon" from the fact that he sometimes took human form. As such he was also "le fe amoureux" and courted the young "paysanne" of Acadia. Carrying a vial of holy water preserved people from being "picked up" by descendants of "Le Cheval Bayard" and women who wanted to rid themseles of the "feu follett" could do so by scattering flax seed all through the house. Like many of the little people this spirit was fastidious to a fault, and would go about picking the seeds from the floor until he finally realized he had been tricked at which he would leave the household. For the most part these flame-carriers kept their own company showing themselves in the late summer, autumn and winter, prefering swamps, moors and graveyards to the homes of men. They were rarely seen on sunny days but were occasionally observed moving through the fog or travelling the swamplands on an overcast day. On the whole they were not virulent, for all of them had had intimate relationships with a man or woman, and thus knew compassion for the inhabitants of our world. Unfortunately, the lighhts which they carried had a hypnotic effect on most human beings, leading them into bogs, marshes and over cliffs.

FEU DE MAUVAIS TEMPS A sea-spirit seen embodied in a firey globe or as a fireship. An omen of ill-will and disaster.

Acadian French, feu , fire; mauvais temps , evil or bad times. See fire-ship. Notice that "fires" seen clinging to the masts and cross pieces of Acadian ships were termed "le jacques-des-lanternes." See will-o'-the-wisp. FIRE SHIP Mortal spirits of dead men embodied and bound within the ghost of a sailing ship. Anglo-Saxon, fyr , cf. Eng., pyre , possibly from a Sankrist model + Anglo-Saxon, scip , any large sea-going vessel; of unknown origin but cf. equip , s k i f f , skipper . Fire ships figure prominently in north-European folklore: One of particular note is "squabadh nan tuinn", "the death-dealing witch-broom," euphamistically entitled, "Wave-Sweeper," the blazing ship of Manan mac Ler. It is believed to be a galley that passes once in seven years between the Isle of Man and the Hebrides. Some say that these tours represent Manan's inspection of his land realms, but others insist that he gathers the souls of dead men for transport to Tir nan Og or An Domhain. This is the "teine-thall", "tall-fire" or the "Long Theine;" literally, whose pilot is never specifically named. She sweeps the seas between the Isle of Eigg (which itself is never mentioned by name among sailors of the region) and the Hebrides. In Norse mythology, the winter god Uller had control of a similar mythic ship as did his alter-ego, Odin, whose name is given in some of the Eddas as Ygg or Eigg. According to mythological notions that ship was Skidbladnir, crafted by the dwarfs so that it could be folded to such small dimensions it would fit a pocket. Opened it was light enough to sail the air before any favourable wind. It could also sail the oceans and was large enough to contain all two dozen gods and their steeds. In released Many of children external ancient Norse mythology it was said that people were spirits from trees, the man from the ash, the woman from the elder. the relatives of men remained as bound tree-spirits, and new-born often had a birth-tree planted as a resting place for their souls. If a child died in infancy it was theorized that his primary

soul went into the tree for the remainder of its existence. Trees of this sort were purposely selected as figureheads for ships, it being supposed that the pagan gods gave particular protection to children, and by extention, to the ship into which the child-spirit was incorporated. Ships which met disaster at sea, particularly those that burned with a great loss of life, persisted in the spirit world and often reappeared as flame ships to mark the anniversaries of the original loss. There are so many fire-ships within Atlantic waters a simple catalogue runs to several pages. The first of this line may have been inspired by the loss of the English colonial man-of-war entitled "Saint George." She was attacked in the Northumberland Strait by a boat-load of pirates who forced her into the land near the place now called Havre Boucher (pronounced Harbour Bouchie). The enemy managed to set fire to her, but the English fought on as the ship went down and only abandoned her when it was clear that the pirates were left without booty. Most of the crew found refuge among settlers in surrounding Antigonish County, and their captain named the bay where they had stood down "Bay Saint George" in honour of the patron saint of England. Residents of this shore have, ever since, seen a ship moving across the waters under full sail, all aflame above the water line, sailing always out of the north towards some uncanny southern port exactly like the "Long Theine." Port Hood is on the western coast of Cape Breton, at the northeastern limit of St. Georges Bay and here an observer described the ship as he saw it in the month of November, 1929: "As I watched I saw the flaming sails drop from the ropes, and then the ropes themselves part from the fiery spars. Soon the masts too, went down in a shower of sparks, and the lonely fire-filled hull drifted into the night and disappeared." A similar ship was seen for many years off Pictou Island in the Northumberland Strait between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. This island is four and a half miles wide and about a quarter mile wide and was settled by Scots and Irish emigrants shortly after 1814. By 1858 it reached a peak population of 158 individuals in 25 families and has since been in decline. A former resident, and island historian, Mr. Eric Ross, says that "Many islanders had witnessed the phantom ship which appeared from time to time sailing eastward between the Island and the Mainland. It was an old fashioned sailing ship (that is, square-rigged in the pre-

1850's style) with its rigging and sails on fire. It would stay in view for an hour or so before seemingly drifting off with the tide. As it went away, it seemed to retain the same shape and size. There were several versions of the origin of the phantom: one that ity was an old pirate ship whose crew had mutinied and set it on fire; another said that it was a ship bound for Cape Horn which had burned off the southeast end of the island." 214 Some have said that the phenomenon started with a woman dressed in white, who walked from this tip of the island out across the ocean. On the Strait she suddenly burst into flameWoman in white eastern tip of island. Walks toward fiore ball and the fire-ball turned into a ship. The ship seemed at last to sink into the ocean. It was last seen in 1930's, but vanished after telephone lines to the mainland were installed. Reports of a similar kind have come from the community now called Westerly (formerly Cape John). This is located on the "The Cape" west of John Bay, its seaward side facing the Northumberland Strait and overlooking Pictou Island. Just after the last World War Mrs. Charles A. Dwyer was visiting there with Mrs. Ann Heighton, when the fire ship burst up near the horizon. Mrs. Dwyer was excited about this seeming disaster at sea, but her host assured that it was "only the Phantom Ship", an commonplace sighting in these waters. "We will now have a a bad Easterly storm," she announced, "that is always the case!" Mrs. Dwyer told Pictou historian Roland H. Sherwood that "the ship was large, seemed to have three masts and had all sails set. We could see the fire running up the rigging and over the sails, which seemed to be filled with wind (in spite of the calmness of the sea). The deck was red like fire, but not blazing up...no person could be seen there (upon it), As we stood and watched, the ship sailed slowly Easterly, but it never seemed to burn down and the mast and sails could be seen as long as we watched it. The night was pitch black, yet the fire was so bright we could see every bit of the ship. As predicted...three days after...we had a dreadful storm, winds, rain and high tides..."215 Mrs. Fred MacKay, of nearby Bay View (near Caribou Island) added the following to this tale: "The Phantom Ship appeared in the Gulf east of Pictou Island as a glowing light like fire, about two hundred feet long and

Eric, Pictou Island Nova Scotia (Victoria, B.C.) 1987, p. 15. Roland H., Pictou Parade, Sackville, N.B. (1945) p. 72.


thirty or forty feet high. It seemed to drift a little faster than the tide and did not remain in sight very long. In 1927 it appearedfor a shot time. According to the stories it caused the most excitement sixty-five years ago (ca. 1890). A barque had left Pictou (township) bound for overseas and was seen sometime later becalmed off the east end of Pictou Island. No further thought was given to it, until that evening when a three masted square-rigged vessel, apparently on fire, was seen in the vicinity. The people naturally thought of the departed barque, and Captain Adam Graham, who owned a tug-boat in Pictou, accompanied by other anxious people, set out toward the glowing vessel, but it disappeared before they got near it. Relief was felt the next day when word was received thatthe ocean-bound vessel had passed the Strait of Canso. So, of course, the burning boat was the "Phantom Ship."216 William Benson Sr of this same village was in the company of Mr. and Mrs. William MacDonald when she spotted the ship off Powell's Point. This place is located on Little Harbour almost precisely due south of Pictou Island. These observers noted that the ship ended its act "by gradually disappearing as it it went under water, bow first." Folks at Brule Point, which is north of all these locations, said that the Northumberland Phantom had been seen from their vantage point in both summer and winter, and that in all cases, it had the appearance of a vessel afire. Wesley Roberts told Roiland Sherwood that he had seen the ship about the year 1925 at a location he estimated as seven miles beyond Caribou Island. Thomas MacKay, a former mayor of Pictou passed on the information that his father, and a number of others, had seen the ship "in the sky during the month of February. All were agreed that it was off Brule Point that the spectre was seen and all said it was on fire." The most famous and durable of this species has sailed the northern reaches of the Northumberland Strait, where it merges with Chaleur Bay. This is the famous Phantom Ship, which the French called "Le Feu de Mauvais Temps" ,a portent of bad weather (an loss of life) in northeastern New Brunswick. From his locomotive cab on the mainland, fireman Richard Jeffers reported seeing this flame-ship in 1892: "Smoke was billowing up through the rigging. Figures were rushing to and fro on the deck. I called out in panic to the engineer, and he looked an said, "Hell, that's nothing more than the Burning Ship"".

Roland H., Pictou Parade, p. 73.

W.F. Ganong treated this phenomena as he had the Utopia Monster, saying that it was "merely an electrical disturbance, probably related to "St. Elmo's Fire." Skeptic though he was, he could not entirely dismiss the fire-ship, and noted that it sometimes took the form of a rising and falling curtain of light, or that of isolated individual lights which vibrated or danced over the waters. Inhabitants closer the source of this psychic happening observed it twice off the island of Miscou, New Brunswick on the night of June 5, 1914. They reported that a sphere of light appeared initially at the horizon and that this grew and consolidated itself into a fiery ship. An unseasonal hail-storm followed and, the following morning, it was found that twenty fishermen had perished. The fire-ship was also seen by the Bert Wood family of Stonehaven just prior to the strike of Hurricane Gerda in 1969. He said, "It was abrilliant spectacular sight, more like a building on fire than a ship. It would flare up and then die down to a glimmer. But it was travelling very fast, perhaps sixty miles an hour." Within a few years of this date, the ghost-ship was seen by Frank Hornibrook, also of Stonehaven in the company of Mr. and Mrs. William Smith of Bandon. "It wasn't far from shore, a mile or two...a ball of yellow fire. When it finally started to fade, it vanished as fast as it appeared." Mrs. Smith added that it was "a moving light, a glow, not more than a few fathoms out in the bay." From Miscou to Havre Boucher in Nova Scotia, the fires ship is sometimes related to the disappearance of Jacques Cartier, the intrepid explorer who discovered the Saint Lawrence River in 1535 but disappeared on a subsequent voyage. There is absolutely no evidence that his ship succumbed to fire but residents of Miscou Island have said that a fireblackened hulk of a 1600's sailing vessel was beached, within living memory, at Green Point where it was presumed driven by storm. Carole Spray has a more colourful candidate for the prototype of the fire-ship in the brothers Miguel and Gaspard Cortes-Real, who we have already mentioned as legendary explorers of this coast. After discovering lands in the western ocean, the brothers supposedly returned to Portugal

and Gaspard mounted a new expedition which sailed westward in 1501. When he failed to return his brother set out to find him, but he also vanished. In her book, In Quest of the Quaint, Ella B. Chase suggested that Gaspard became rich through the enslavement of North American Indians. He invited the local tribesmen to a feast aboard ship and treated them with an extra dose of alcoholic beverages. When they awoke, the natives discovered themselves deep at sea and enslaved. The profits from this venture caused the Portuguese to attempt to repeat their success, but in 1501, Gaspard by-passed the Gaspe for regions further up Chaleur Bay, where he thought himself, as yet, unknown to the locals. Although this new groupo seemed friendly, and agreeable to trade, they actually heard of the fate of other men further north and determined to have retribution. One night thye natives boarded Corte-Real's ship and quietly killed all of the sailors and tradesmen excepting Gaspard. They bound him to a rock in the intertiodal zone and let the tide end his miserable life. Two years later, Miguel sailed into the Chaleur Bay and found the hulk of his brother's ship. While examining this ship, the Portuguese found themselves surrounded by hostile Indians, and the only ones that escaped death were a few who followed Miguel in barricading himself in a cabin below deck. Whether the Indians or the Portuguese set fire to the ship is not known, but tthe effects were predictable. Some of the embattled men sought sanctuary in the rigging but the flames followed them there and in the end the rope moorings burned away and the ship drifted on its deathtide. One Indian is supposed to have escaped the sudden inferno by clinging to a barrel that washed on shore. The Indians afterwards abandoned Heron Island which had been the anchorage of this unfortunate vessel, which then became the "Phantom of Chaleur Bay." Other folk prefer to think that the fire-ship came about following the misfortunes of Captain John Craig, but this appears to be a similar rather than the same phenomenon: According to Mitcham, Captain Craig was an unregenerate nineteenth century profeteer, but Stuart Trueman has claimed the name was actually attached to a ship "wrecked in a gale in the 1700s." One legend claims that the captain arrived on the New Brunswick coast where he employed Alexander (Sandy) Campell as a pilot. On shore he traded with the Indians and left them in a drunken stupor. Back aboard the ship, the

strait-laced pilot found two Indian girls hidden with the trade goods and demanded their release. Craig was not agreeable. but Campbell guided the ship directly across Miscou shoals and escaped a sticky situation by swimming to the shore. The crewmen and the maidens were not so lucky, but since that time it is said that "a red light often detaches from Misco Rock and skims Bay, sometimes turning into a fire ship disappears within few hundred feet of shore." In the north of the province this fetch is routinely called "John Craig's Light." Those who have seen it at close quarters say it has the appearance of an old-time sea-lantern "swinging on a visible mast and yard, a cautionary beacon to seafarers to stay ashore as violent weather is brewing." Not all the action is restricted to the Northumberland Strait, a fireship of secondary fame being seen on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia. This is the "Teaser Light" sometimes called "Jacob's Light" which seems to ride chiefly off the shores of Lunenburg County. Helen Creighton made the earliest study of this fire-ship, interviewing one woman who claimed that it had been observed by men "who had heard the crew singing chanties, and... (heard) the unmistakable rattling of chains." This same respondent told the folklorist that "every seven years fire ships come up to Dublin Beach (west of the LaHave River estuary) and (re)bury their treasure." At Middle River, Nova Scotia, Creighton was assured that it was a bad omen to see the Teaser fire-ship since the death of the individual would follow within a year. Like the Northumberland ghost, this fire-ship was seen throughout the year: "Some see it in June, others in December." One of Creighton's people at Lunenburg township said that he had "seen the Teazer light as often as I have fingers and toes...It came before a storm...We could (always) see a blaze of fire and we could almost see her yards and sail. She was about five miles away so we couldn't hear any voices. The old folks, however, told tales of how she would sail along within a couple of yards of them. She used to catch up with their boats and they'd be in dread, not knowing what would happen to them. When I saw her she was always in the shape of a ship and was seen back in Mahone Bay on the other side of Heckman's Island (due east of Lunenburg. between the islands known as Hell Rackets and Eastern Points). Not all Lunenburgers saw the "Young Teaser". Some men who moved about on the water in fog, or after dark, reported hearing ship-board

sounds, anchors dropping, people talking, the shipping and dipping of oars, oarlock noises, and the sound of chains running out. The voices were never comprehensible and the ghost ship although approachable but ultimately elusive. A number of mariners from Rose Bay out fishing at night, looked for matches to rekindle their bow-fire. Finding none, they noticed a ship close at hand and decided to go there in order to borrow a light. "We got the ship clear in above us, when it burst into flame and then disappeared. We were sure it was the "Teazer"." Those who observed the full development of this phantom usually saw it first as a spherical light, "about the size of the top of a hogshead barrel." As it sailed very slowly across the waters it first materialized as a three-master complete with sound effects. The ship then burst into flame and, after a time, exploded carrying fragments of wood high into the sky. An East River Point man said that he reckoned himself to be three or four miles from the place where the original "Teazer" had gone down when he saw its phantom burning "like powder. For an hour or so it kept burning up and down." He did not observe the finale, but back in 1938 two brothers rowing home from Martin's Point to Indian Point encountered the Teazer in full flame. Seeing that she was about to drift behind an island, they beached their dory on Kaulback Island and raced to the top of a hill for a better look. From there, they watched the fire-ship moving slowly across the water until it exploded skyward with a terrific roar. Once it had blown up there was not the least sign of the wood. which had been hurled skyward, floating as refuse on the moonlit ocean. The prototype of this spirit was the ship called the "Young Teazer", a U.S. privateer named after the "Old Teazer" which was captured and burned by the British navy in December, 1812. The replacement merchantman/pirate ship went into service in May of 1813 and did British shipping interests a great deal of damage, before she was chased into Lunenburg Harbour by the frigate "Orpheus" in June of the following year. There are three hundred and sixty fdive islands and a great deal of shallow water in that place, so the "Teazer" was well on her way to escaping from the British ship which needed deeper waters in order to manouvre. The Americans were emerging from Indian Point Harbour when they ran up

against the British warship "La Hogue". Boxed in, they might still have escaped by making a run through the Eastern Chops, but Captain Frederick Johnson hesitated and the British launched longships in his direction. What happened next is not accurately known, but some of the locals say that a British soldier, captive on board the "Teazer" got loose and fired the powder kegs. Others say that Captain Johnson, contemplating death by hanging, scuttled his own craft. An explosion followed which burst windows of the homes on nearby islands and rattled dishes in Lunenburg township. Afterwards the ghost of the "Teazer" appeared and continued to haunt the people of Lunenbrg and East River Point as far into this century as the year 1935. In those communities, sightings were thought to forecast storm within the week, but there was also an element of personal fear since it was noticed that a death frequently followed the materialization. Those who were on the sea, at the time fled quickly to the land, and skating parties disassembled for fear that a death by drowning was in the cards. At Upper Kingsburg sightings were so common a more relaxed attitude was taken towards them, although here it was also agreed that the fire-ship presages a spell of very bad weather. A less well publicized burning ship sailed the waters just outside Beaver Harbour in the Bay of Fundy. Those who observed it claimed that this ship was an entirely conventional Victorian schooner, its decks and masts completely ablaze. From the shore observers said they could make out the faces of passengers and crew as they paused before jumping into the frigid waters. One group of mariners thought that a ship was actually burning and they dragged a dory to the shore and pushed off to the rescue. They rowed for many long minutes but the ship did not appear to loom larger and when they gave up rowing, the ship vanished from the horizon. It is claimed that a ship once anchored in approximately this location at the beginnings of a terrible sea-storm. Just as the crew though themselves safe, the main-mast was blasted by lightning and the shipped burned to the water-line with all hands lost. The Saint Martin's Fire Ship appeared to Mrs. Eldon Jackson of West Quaco, New Brunswick, in 1963: "I watched it for five minutes. It looked like a ship on fire...the black figures of people running around the deck, but the fire was mostly in the rigging." Creighton also mentioned "a river in New Brunswick where there is supposed to be a burning ship." According

to her several failed attempts to track it were made by a local tugboat. In this century tugboats have been largely restricted to the Miramichi or the Saint John River system, so we suspect this incident took place on one of these rivers. tributaries. FLAMER The earth-spirit responsible for bad temper in men and animals. The Devil or one of his devils incarnate. Middle English, flammen , from the Old French, flamer , to burn or to burst into fire with unexpected suddennesss. Flamer , a person of sudden passions. DPEI: "A rough tempered person, usually a woman; a high-strung or wild-acting person or domestic animal...A regular outlaw whether man or woman. FOG FOLK Mortal spirits personified in sea-vapours. Middle English fogge , possibly from the Old Norse fok , blowing; originally seen in words such as sneefok , blowing snow and fokspray , blowing spray. Vapour condensed upon particles suspended in the atmosphere. Locally: fog dog , a luminous spot seen in the fog near the horizon; fog-eater , the sun. In the summer months the Bay of Fundy is bedevilled with fog, a condition created when the warm waters from the southwest pass above the cold waters which the Bay receives from the Labrador Stream. In traditional European stories these were a dwarf-people, most about the size of a seven-year-old child. Their skin was blue-grey in colour and they wore hooded cloaks over blue or grey smocks. The latterly were unusually long to cove the fact that they had malformed feet, which some said resembled those found on a goose or duck. A few had animal-like ears. Like other water-people they had freedom of movement within or or on the water. They had general control of the weather particularly in the vicinity of marine islands, being able to generate lightning, thunder and sea-storms as well as fog. Notwithstanding, the fog-people were welcomed after a harsh

winter for it is still said that "fog eats ice, burns snow, and breaks the back of old man winter." In fact, the regular appearance of fog in May or June does signal the end of the cold season. Among the Indians it was suggested that certain of the sea-islands were the power-places of inhuman magicians, who may have been members of this clan. It was said that all islands in their control were colourful beyond reason, beautiful in terms of plant and animal life and attractive for the bright metals and gems that flashed from their cliffs. Hunters were draw to the shores of these places by the smells of delicious fruits and the songs of plaintive birds, but as they neared the strands, the quixotic guardians would throw out a fog and shut them from sight and discovery. Some said that no hunter ever made a landing on the islands of the fog people no matter how great the effort. Isle Haute (High Island) in the upper reaches of the Bay of Fundy is not completely inaccessible but it has been touched by the fog men. Unlike Hy-Breas-il, this island is high and dry, but like that fay place it breaks away from its sea-roots once in seven years. At midnight on the day before the Celtic New Year (October 31), this island changes its position in the stream. Sacrifice Island, one of the Ragged Island group, in Mahone Bay, on the southern shore of Nova Scotia, also has the name of being haunted. At mid-century four men went there in June on a fishing trip out of Mader's Cove. They intended to travel to the fishing grounds which were ten miles seaward but were stopped by an unnaturally dense fog and a heavy wind from the southwest. They anchored in the lee of Sacrifice Island and after dark saw a small light on shore. It grew to the size of a puncheon and then contracted to a pin-point on two occasions. After that the men aboard ship heard oars and the other sounds of a boat being rowed just off Honson's Nose LIght. From the increase in the volume of sound it seemed a longboat was moving east of them and coming directly at them from the open sea. Soon after they saw an unwavering light and in its midst eight oarsmen, "two athwart, two officers behind, one steering, and one or two men at the bow. This "fire-ship" passed in front of them at 150 yards. One seaman made an attempt to hail them but was drawn down and muzzled by a more knowing older man. FREAK A mortal earth spirit, the reincarnate god Frey.

Anglo-Saxon frea , lord, king. god, and laterally Christ the Lord. Confers with freca ,warrior and freccian , bold, agile, war-like; a person likely to act precipitously or on a whim; an emotionally exuberant individual. This word evolved into the Middle English frek , which had more of the sense of an individual gifted with powers due to an unusual physique or mentality. Later, freaks were thought of as physical or mental monsters. After the Old Norse deities Frey and Freya . Excepting God and his angels, all of the creatures discussed in this book can be termed "freaks". Freaks are, sadly, what we have made them. The word has come to us from Anglo-Saxon models and derives ultimately from the god Frey, a sun deity, the patron of northern agriculture and king of the elfs. Frey protected men against the yearly ravages of the storm and the frost giants, and loaned mankind his sun-boar which taught them how to plough by furrowing the earth with his tusks. No weapons of war were alklowed in Frey's temples, the most celebrated being sanctuaries at Throndhjeim in Norway and at Thvera in Iceland. Here oxen and horses were killed representing in his name, his spirit going under the mound for the winter months. Besides being the prime god of asunshine, fruitfulness, peace and productivity, Frey was considered the patron of all horses and horsemen and the deliverer of men and women who were in bondage. His sister Freya appears to have been an invention of the scalds, but she became a very popular goddess and her wooden statues stood beside those of Frey throughout the northern lands. As we have noted elsewhere Frey was reincarnated and reappeared on earth in many centuries. In one incarnation he was King Ingvi-Frey of Sweden, who goverened the Danes under the throne-name Fridleef (free leaf). His son was Frodi, who ruled Denmark in times when there was (1 A.D.) He was known among his people as Frey Frodi, "frey" having become a synonym for "peace" as well as "freedom". Descendants of the "peace kings" established the Saxon race and when they invaded Britannia, the name Ingvi, or Engvi was applied to England. To be a freak or "freca" was a relatively good thing in the old Anglo-Saxon kingdom, this being the name given a "warrior". "Frea", was the name given the king or any mighty lord, and after the Christian "invasion", "Frea" was the name used to describe "God". "Freo" meant "free"; "freols-tid" a holiday or "festival"; "freomaeg", a kinsman, and "freond" a "friend".

The Gaels saw the people of Frey in a different light and their word "frid", which was borrowed from the Saxons, recognized a more freakish person, "a gnome, pygmy or elf; ioiomatically, an itch, a pimple, a tetter, or any other small annoyance." The Normans, who conquered the AngloSaxons in 1066 were of a similar mind, and the new Anglo-Norman word "frick" was used to identify individuals who were out of the mainstream of human looks, intellect or accomplishments. The freaks are no longer loved deities but the very short, the very tall, the fat, the thin, and feared individuals of great strength or intellect. Freaks include men who are feeble, grotesque and eccentric. We have exhibited these men and women, sometimes loved and applauded them, often laughed at them, frequently exploited them, and at worst locked them away "for their own good" because they repelled our sense of normalcy. If the freaks had their day, it was "Freogedaeg" (free-day or Frigga's day), and a number of local superstitions crowd about it: On Grand Manan Island we were told that it was unlucky to build a weir on Friday. Carole Spray was told that lumbermen hired on Friday would prove unreliable and "freakish" and would never stay through a winter of wood's work. In Nova Scotia Creighton learned that it was bad luck to fish on Friday or to set sail on that day. It was also considered a bad policy to start ship construction or reopen a mine on Frigga's day. It has to have been chance but the worst day in Maritime history has been recorded as "Cold Friday", February eighth, 1861. In her diary, Janet MacDonald noted: "N.W. clear and the coldest morning that was ever seen in New Brunswick. It is beyond description, the intense cold, the dreadful cold. N.W. wind. People could not go out any time without freezing. The cattle and horses in their stables were so cold and trembled so, some had to cover their horses with skins besides their blankets they was covered with in common. They are not doing anything today only keeping on fires and seeing to the cattle..." To all of this we can only say that this day was particularly favoured as a starting time by Odin and his Aesir. Further, his viking descendants thought it auspicious to set sail on Frigga's day. For others Friday was not a day for making plans or travel; there might be unexpected interruptions. Christians said that Good Friday (God's Friday) was inauspicious and in the Roman Church it was a day of fasting and

abstinence. In most of Christian Europe it became Hangman's Day, with executions taking place on a day that already had a bad reputation. Men who disliked the north men refrained from painting their boats blue, after the viking fashion, but those of Scandinavian background saw nothing untoward in using this colour. Whether Good Friday gained in reputation from Christian associations, or whether some local customs are associated with Woden's kind, we know not, but in a few places it was suggested that people bake bread on Good Friday and keep it through the year as a protective charm against fire in ship or home. At Whynacht's Settlement, which has Teutonic roots, the Good Friday customs are more complex than elsewhere: Residents said that this date was that used to pick teaberry leaves. "The stalks were washed and dried and put in a bag for making tea...At Blockhouse they had a ball game on Good Friday and at Clearland Lake they played baseball on the ice. They would build a bonfire (in approved pagan style) and skate around it, everyone joining in...and they would eat colcannon (a cabbage salad). At Blandford baseball was also played on Easter Monday and at Tancook old and young gathered on the beach to play ball."

FRED A mortal earth spirit, the embodiment of bad luck. Maritime dialect, from the French personal name Frederic , derived from the German Frederick , i.e. fridu + rihht, peacful + powerful, rich. Diminished to Freddie and further to just plain Fred. Since a fred has no wealth he is assumed impotent in all respects. Confers with the AngloSaxon fredoner , a verb meaning to hum or quaver; a slightly off-centre individual. The word persists in the Gaelic fride , an annoying itch, a pimple, a tetter, a gnome, pygmy, elf, or unimportant and awkward human. The word fred is currently used to describe a bicycling "klutz", one equipped with neither the physical nor mental gear needed for the circuit. The mythic fred obviously has human counterparts, and the word resembles the Anglo-Saxon frick , to dance about, as well as the English words freak (which see) and fright , whose meanings help to characterize this spirit of the raceways. Fred may be categorized with the Gaelic droch-chromhalaichean, the hoodoo, the jinxer and the jonah (all of which,

see). The original spirit hidden behind the current name was the Germanic god-king Frey, a Vanir or sea-giant, the patron of human, plant and animal fertility, prosperity, love and peace. His emblem was a male phallus and accounts of his union with the giantess Gertha (earth) symbolize the seasonal rebirth of our planet after winter. Following the war between the sea-giants and the gods, Frey's father, Niord, was part of an exchange of hostages, thus Frey and his sister Freya were born in the domain of Wuotan rather than in the undersea kingdom. Frey was granted rule of the kingdom of Alfheim (elf-home) but had an earthly capitol at Upsalla, Sweden, and became high-king of the north after Wuotan and his father "passed on" to Asgard (the home of the gods). Considering the reduced status of the "fred" it is interesting to note that this "god of the summer" is recorded as an historical personage in the chronicles of the kings of Norway. His former rank was such he was named in all solemn oaths, thus: "This I pledge, so help me Frey, Niord and the mighty Asa (Wuotan)." When Ingvi Frey died, the priests of his religion were extremely loath to admit his passing. They continued to invoke him, but hid the body away in a great earth and stone mound rather than cremating it in the usual fashion. People continued to pay their taxes by sluicing gold, silver and copper coins into Frey's hill, but some were suspicious that Frey had become a frey. After three years, the priests of Frey admitted that their master had gone a little deeper into the earth than their mound. After that the expressions "gone to earth" or "gone into the mound" became the northern expressions for "dead as a doornail." Fred was dead, but a mound near Gamla, Upsala, Sweden still bears his name and his wooden statues stood for many centuries. His ancestors populated northern Germany and his name was reembered in the royal line. Eventually his tribe became known as the Inglo-Saxons or the Anglo-Saxons, and they invaded the Celtic islands which the Romans called Britannicus. After they had been there for some time the largest island became known as Inglund. Anglund or England. Thus, our inept fred. GADFLY A mortal earth spirit implicated in discord. Anglo-Saxon, gad , Gaelic, gad , originally a verb, "to drive from place to place, as one hounded by insects." Perhaps from the Old Norse,

gaddr , to goad or sting. A stinging fly; the horse- or deer-fly of Atlantic Canada. Note the related German word, gerte , a withe or switch, the pointed string of an insect. GALLOWS A mortal earth spirit identified mummer's-king known as Galoshans. with the lowland

Middle English, galwes ; Anglo-Saxon, galga . a cross, especially one constructed for the purpose of hanging miscreants. The gallows was actually a doubled cross consisting of two upright poles and a single cross bar from which the hanging rope was suspended. From this gallows bird , a person deserving of death by hanging. May confer with the Latin, Gallus , a Gaul, an enemy deserving death by hanging. The Old French galouche , from which we have the English galosh , a wooden shoe, may confer. The god-king Galoshan may have his name from Gallus + shan , the latter from the Old Norse tongue, describing a hard cruel, uemotional person. Thus, a Gaullish king whose enemies considered him worthy of hanging. The name appears in Gaelic as gall , a foreigner, a lowlander, a stranger, from Gallus , a Gaul (from France or Britain), the first people to visit Ireland and Scotland in pre-Roman times. Confers with the Cymric gal , a foe or enemy and with the English word guest , a hostage. T.K. Pratt says this spirit persists in Atlantic Canada as an adjective, "often applied to children." In use it has the traditional meaning, "wicked, villainous, born to be hanged...someone with a devilish or guilty look...who needs to be watched... evil-looking, jealous sneaky, conniving."Alternate local spellings include gallous and gallus . In earlier days, the galoshans were mummers who ranged lowland Scotland and northern England playing the same role as the Gaelic duin calluinn (which, see). Originally, these disguisers were at large on Samhainn eve (Hallowe'en) but with changes in the calendar their festival was sometimes moved to the Yuletide. In Galloway the guisers became known as the Yule Boys and performed on Christmas Eve, but in most ditricts their activities were at Hogmanay Old Style (October 31) or Hogmanany New Style (January 1). When Thomas Wilkie saw the galoshans, or galoshons, at

Roxburghshire, he described them as "always dressed in white. They appear like so many dead persons robed in their shrouds, who have risen from their narrow homes; and the similie is improved from their faces being painted all dark blue. Their mutches (linen headpieces) are sometimes adorned with ribbons of diverse colours, but these seldom enter into their dresss."217 David Fergus explains that mutches were "like dunces caps". Another observer said they were "casques, shaped like a mitre", similar to the hoods worn by the American Klu Klux Klan. These house-visitors were very like the belsnickers of Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, and shared their requirement that their faces had to be shielded it being "bad luck" to be recognized. While there might be a long following of galoshans , goloshins , galatians , gallashens , or gallashuns , there was invariably a leader entitled The Galoshan , who was somtimes identified as King Galgacus (literally the gallows king). His immediate court consisted of five or six people who provided entertainment. These were identified by the gear they carried as Sir Alexander (sometimes termed the Black Knight), the King of Macedon, the Farmer's Son, the Admiral and the Doctor. There was frequently a minor character attached to this group, variously called the Devil, Judas, or Beelzebub. When the guisers arrived at a door, they announced themselves with the equivalent of the calluinn rhyme: Rise up guyidwife, and shak your feathers, Dinna think you chase off beggars; We're only bairns come out to play, So rise up and gie us Hogamanay. In the older versions of this visit a playlet was enacted accompanied by doggerel verse. The first character to introduce himself was the Black Knight, who made it clear that he intended extortion: Five of us come to visit, five merrry boys are we, And know we come a rambling your house for to see. Your house for to see sirs, and pleasure here we seek; quoted by David Fergus in "here Come The Goloshans", The Scots Magazine, Jan. (1982), pp. 421-422.

And what you freely give sirs, we hardly will bespeak. The Black Knight introduced the Farmer's Son and "The Admiral of the Fleet" describing the last as "Admiral of the hairy caps and all his men are mine!" David Fergus thought this reference to hairy caps "rather puzzling" but one has to recall that the first mummers did themselves up in animal hides. The original King Galgacus is suposed to have been the leader of the Gaelic Caledonii who fought successfully against Agricola's Roman's at Mons Grapius. It is, therefore, no surprise to find him entering the play in support of the householder. Adressing The Admiral he said: My head is made of iron, my body's made of steel, I'll draw my bloody weapon and slay you on this field. At this a mock battle, using wooden swords took place, but Galoshans was not as invulnerable as he had said. After he was killed, The Doctor was called, and he assured all present: I can cure the rout, the gout, the ringworm, colic and scurvy, And make old women react as sixteen: full graceful and curvey. There was much more in the way of doggeral, The Doctor haggling over his fee, but finally using a medicine to revive The King who was reincarnated as "Jack". There is certainly sexual symbolism here as the words "jack," and "jock" once competed with "dick, percy and peter" as common descriptives of the male penis.218 Here we have another case of the king going down to ritual death to be reincarnated in a more powerful form. The business of the galoshans complete, the character known as Judas, or beelzebub, now made rounds of the household members, his words making it clear that he was the company's treasurer: Here come I, Old Beelzebub, Over my shoulder I carry a club; And in my hand a dripping pan,

Bill, The Mother Tongue, New York (1990), p. 216.

I think myself a jolly old man. This little box speaks without tongue. If ye ha'e any coppers, pop in one. As a rule countryfolk were quite willing to recompense the mummers for their entertainment, which finally devolved into stepdancing, singing and simple pantomine skits. If the galoshans were a welcome diversion in the pre-television era, there were always a few sour-faced guizards who beat them out of the house without a penny. Although the galoshans were originally acted by young bucks, who were sexually able, their chores were eventually handed over to much less mature lads, versions being enacted in Canada and Scotland until the end of the First World War. One reporter to The Scots Magazine, stated that "Biggar was probably the last localkity in Scotland where the traditional Goloshans play was regularly performed. For hundreds of years teams of children used to tour the town and the villages in the neighbourhhood, performing a version of the play and collecting money to buy fuel for the massive bonfire that was lit every Hogamanay in the middle of the burgh's main street. The black-out during Hilter's War put an end to the bonfire, and when the bonfire went, the play also died out." 219 Compare the above with the actions of the Newfoundland mummers; the New Brunswick callithumpians; the Prince Edward Island horribles and the belsnickers, santa clawers, guisers, calluinn men, and first-footers of Nova Scotia. All involve the ritual death and and reincarnation of a godking. GENIE The befind or cowalker of an individual. Largely Acadian individual at birth. GENIUS ASTRAL French, the individual guardian gifted on an

the column, "A Quick Look Around Scotland", The Scots Magazine, pp. 534-535.


English, from Latin genius , a tutelary deity, the genius, or spirit, of a person or place, from genere , to beget. Originally conceived as a masculine entity. In times past many Roman households had their individual genius, worshipped along with the lares and penates. In time this primary idea was lost and this spirit was considered to be a disembodied guardian of a land, a town or an island. In this last case, where the island was isolated and unimportant, the genius was often illtempered. These spirits were often thought to represent the collective soul of men lost in the nearby sea. There are two islands North American islands that deserve special consideration as a possible western terminus for ships of the dead: The first is anciently charted as Isle Sablon, or “Sable Island,” which is “the island of sand.” It is far out in the Atlantic southeast of Nova Scotia, and on early maps is shown across the Cabot Channel from the mythic isles of St. Croix and Arrendonda (St. Brendon’s Isle). No other spot on earth has claimed the bones of as many ships as this “Graveyard of the Atlantic” (200 are on record for the nineteenth century alone). In the eighteenth century this crescent-shaped mass of sand had a few trees and was forty miles in length. The island is surrounded by the sand bars stretching for miles in every direction, and the water is so shoal that there is sometimes a continuous line of breaking waves over a distance of fifty miles, In addition to these bars there are rocky projections at the two end of the island. The Gulf Stream, the Labrador Current and a the Cabot Stream from the St. Lawrence River all intersect here, and the currents are erratic. Like the tail of the Newfoundland Banks this is a place of fogs and storm. Captain Darby, a former superintendent of the island wrote that: “The most wrecks occurring here take place from error in longitude. I have known vessels from Europe that had not made an error of one half degree till the came to the banks of Newfoundland, and from there, in moderate weather and light winds, have made errors of from sixty to one hundred miles.” This was partly attributed to compass abberations but also thought to be a function of the south westerly currents in that area of the ocean. Projecting the loss of land mass back into the past, one researcher guessed that the island might have been 200 miles long when Champlain visited Acadia, and that the hills that stood upon it were as much as 800 feet high. Weathering and erosion by water and wind has reduced the width to about a quarter mile and has diminished the length to one mile. The trees and other features which once characterized its landscape are now almost eradicated, and this is

another Atlantic island well on its way to become a lost isle. Writer Bill Crowell has equated Sable Island with St. Brendan’s Isle, but this is unlikely since the latter is usually shown along with Sable but a little more to the north-east. Before this century there were few saintly men living on Sable, the only residents being “mooncussers and wrackers,” pirates of the worst kind. Seal Island, fifteen miles off Nova Scotia’s Cape Sable at the southernmost extremity also counts as a marine hazard and has its counterpart in Scatarie which is at the opposite extreme, about two miles from southeastern Cape Breton. In 1716 this desolate place was home to 400 fisher folk and served as an outpost to the French fortress at Louisbourg. As census taker Sieur de Rique said, “the island is a mere rock, the soil being either wet or marl-like and it is by no means wooded. Notwithstanding, the English levelled the settlement before they took over Caper Breton in 1758. According to residents in this century the spirit of the past is heavy on this island. At Powers Pond there are supposed to be guardians of buried treasure. And this is not the end of it. Locals have said, “there’s gold on the island all right, lots of it...but no one on Scatarie ever got any of it. No one dared to dig it up...” In addition there are ghosts of marine disasters and those that are revenants left from the French occupation. Former resident Abbie Spenser has said: “There was a French burying ground under our house. When we’d wake in the morning the bed would be shaking for no reason. Be going to talk on the telephone..the telephone be shaking in your hand. Then we’d hear the oil barrels roll.” After the barrel-rolling Abbie’s husband Edgar would check out the upstairs room where this knocky-booh was active but could never find as much as a kitten of dust stirred from place. When the ship “Ringhorn was lost during August 1926 forerunners turned up at a shore building as “eight or nine men in oilcloths.” They walked in and gathered around the fire at 2 o’clock in the morning. But when the sleepy observer rubbed his eyes and had a closer look they were gone. Since then these shades have been seen individually and in groups and the bells of the ship have been heard ringing disaster over a vacant landscape. Saint Paul’s Island which stands off the north-western coast of Cape Breton lays claim to being the “Graveyard of the Gulf (of Saint Lawrence).” It is little more than 3 square miles of solid rock and is only

rivalled by Seal, Scatari and Cape Sable Islands in the danger of its undersea geography. This dome-shaped island, fourteen miles from the mainland has great sea-cliffs that rise straight up from the water. Half a mile from shore, the passage is deep and safe, but closer than that a ship is likely to flounder on sharp-edges rocks which are only a few feet below the surface. There are only two relatively safe landing places, one on the north-east coast, the other on the south-west. At that every nearby headland, and almost every shoal is named after a ship lost there. Oddly, jurisdiction over the island was denied by both neighbouring provinces until 1882, when New Brunswick and Nova Scotia simultaneously erected life-saving stations without informing one another. This move was prompted by the annual recovery of human bones from the island. The remains were always found huddled in protective stances in the lee of headlands suggesting that many people survived shipwreck but not the harshness of St. Pauls Island. Another contender for the title “Graveyard of the Gulf,” is Ile d’ Anticosti. The site of four hundred shipwrecks in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, this island is about one-third larger than Prince Edward Island, and stands directly at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. Because of the problems with shipwreck cabins were erected here to house castaways. They were apparently not always well provisioned. In 1828 a timber ship named the “Granicus,” floundered on Anticosti and in the spring a passing schooner took shelter there and found the butchered and cooked remains of twenty people and one large, well fed man, swinging in his hammock, but as dead as the others. Reginald Scott, an eccentric writer and the debunker of witchcraft during the time of King James I of England, claimed that he interviewed the spirit of the largest Hebridean Island. According to him the “genius astral” of that place embodied itself as a little man, or brownie. This creature explained that he had served several similar tenures in other parts of the world, being bound to each successive place for a set time. The Indians regarded some of the Atlantic islands as pervaded by similar spirits which might show themselves as balls of light, as ghost-figures, as animals, as humanoids. The wolf-dogs of the Fundy Isles would be one example of Otherworld creatures made incarnate among men. Toby Island is situated at the mouth of Medway Harbour, Nova Scotia, a little southwest of Hell Bay. Here men have encountered the “seaweed man,” “all covered with eel grass.” This spirit of the island was not very

powerful being nothing more than a construct which quickly dissolved “into a pool of water and salt-water plants.” Sometimes island spirits are observed as the wraith-like chabi , “a ghost, or spirit separated from its body.” This word relates to the Penobscot tchibatigosak, “to cause surprise, and to chibi. startle. In the most extreme situation the genius of an island was completely invisible, its presence detected only in its movements from place to place. Where islands were named for animals, or parts of animals, it used to be understood that this was not a metaphor, but recognition of the fact that this animal had its spirit embedded in the land. Thus we note the Penobscot Mandawessoe, “Groundhog Island;” Awasoos, “Bear Island; Pikshimmenahan, “Pig Island, all in Maine; and Ednkimnineck, “Island of the Deer,” east of Passamaquoddy Bay in New Brunswick. The latter continues to be identified as Deer Island in English. A similar remnant of the past is found in Partridge Island at the mouth of the Saint John River. In a fair number of cases the islands of this type were recognized as shape- changed creatures hunted down by Glooscap. In a few situations islands have been named after a dominant plant-spirit; thus, Atehebemenok, “Cherry Island,” and Skukoal, “Grass Island.” We do not know what name the Indians gave McNutt’s Island, which stands at the mouth of Shelburne Harbour, but the French termed it Ile Rasoir, “The Razor,” and the adjacent harbour was known as PortRaisor until the year 1755. The name has been suggested as referring to the shape of some part of the harbour but is more likely related to the presence of razor- or jackknife-clams (Ensis directus) in the tidal flats. Clarence d’Entremont thought that the English name “Roseneath” (neath: low) which was visited on the island and “Roseway,” for the harbour, were corruptions of the older French name but these seems highly unlikely. The island may have had very early visitors if the scratchings discovered on a rock near the former light-station can be believed. Dr. Barry Fell, a one-time lecturer at Harvard, translated the words as: “inscribed and left behind as a memorial to Chief Kese.” His people did not populate the island, leaving that to Alexander MacNutt who formed an association to sub-divide the island during the sixteenth century. A contemporary said that the island was “a very wild place,” and wondered why others might want to settle there. Lieutenant-Governor Johnathan Belcher guessed that MacNutt was at least, “an erratic individual whose

proposals need to be watched.” Nevertheless, MacNutt was able to persuade thirty-five men to take deeds to fifty acre lots “many of which were inaccessible.” Fortunately most of the grantees had sober second thoughts, but MacNutt and his brother Benjamin settled themselves on a 250-acre facing the only accessible harbour on the island. “Colonel” MacNutt removed himself to the American colonies at the time of the Revolutionary war, and since neither he nor his brother had offspring the property passed to a nephew and was settled by strangers. In 1942, the government built a fort there, but today it is uninhabited, even the lighthouse being automated and devoid of people. Allison Mitcham has suggested that the desolation of ruined houses has given rise to an uneasiness about the island, but one mainlander put the trouble this way: “There are snakes there and toads. ..so big you wouldn’t believe your eyes. I touched what I thought was a big stone with the tip of my foot. It turned out to be a toad, but it was ten times normal size. And the snakes!...There black...I used to think of building a cottage on the island, but I feel kind of strange there. There are others things I could tell but no one would believe...” As we’ve said, the islands have their spirits. The most rudimentary form of spirit for any object was considered to be a sphere of light. When Indian magicians wished to travel as forerunners, they entered a trance state in which their soul was seen to leave the body as a glowing ball of light. The genius of an island was a spirit in its own right and might appear in this same form. Cape Sable Island, not to be confused with the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” is located off the south-western edge of Nova Scotia. It is nearly two islands joined by a central isthmus and a baymouth bar. The highest land on the more northern coast is the wooded, appropriately named Spirit Hill which looks out on Ghost Rock. Lights of indefinite shape and origin have been seen there. At the south, a ball of fire is seen on a regular schedule “at two o’clock in the morning,” once each year. In historic times men have been paced by this moving sphere of light and one island tried to destroy it with his shotgun. When he fired there was a backward discharge of energy and the barrel of his gun exploded with influencing the light in any way. It has been noted here, as elsewhere, that these balls of light often appear before a storm, becoming agitated in proportion to the severity of the coming upheaval. Dark Harbour, on Grand Manan Island, has a similar haunt, but here the light typically consolidates into the form of a woman

dressed in Indian garb whose body seems entirely enveloped in flame. A variant is the Tracadie Light which appears over the Northumberland Strait in northern New Brunswick.. It is not bound to any island and has been known to serve as a beacon for fishermen trying to escape storms. A little west of Cape Sable is La Have Bay, which stands before the La Have River, the site of a famed “lost” French fur-trading outpost. When Nicholas Deny and his contemporary Commander de Razilly were here in 1634, they took on an Indian guides and explored the coast as far as Baie Mirligaiche (Mahone Bay), “a place about three leagues in depth filled with numerous islands.” Among these their interpreter pointed out one which was “a quarter of a league in circuit, a bare rock covered with scrub trees looking like heather.” This man said that the Indians never landed there. “We asked him the reason,” said Denys, “and he replied that if a man ever set foot on this island a fire would seize upon and destroy his privy parts. This afforded us matter for laughter. However when de Razilly attempted to get a priest to go there and exorcise the spirit, the man emphatically refused.” The problem with shape-changers is their tendency to change their minds, thus island spirits can pass through many configurations. Duck Island is too small to appear on regularly scaled maps, being only 200 yards long and 100 yards wide, but it tits in the ocean, off the south coast of Nova Scotia, a few miles east of Halifax. The island is flat and almost inaccessible because of the cliffs that surround it. In this place men have heard the “rowing man,” an invisible creature pulling at the oars of an unseen boat. Mr. Isaac Doyle who attempted to camp there had his cap ripped from his head by invisible hands and returned to his head with “a weight like that of lead.” Afterwards he heard a sound he described as like that “of fifty wine bottles being broken against a cliff.” Still later he heard sounds of something being buried. On another occasion a group of men observed three birds of some unknown species perched on the only three spruce trees growing upon the island. One was coloured blood red, another black, and the third, white. The names of islands are often strong clues to their nature. There are two places named Devils Island in Nova Scotia, the most notorious being that which stands at the eastern edge of the mouth of Halifax Harbour. Here. when the place was a community of fifty inhabitants, the Henneberry House used to show periodic outbursts of cold fire: “You could

put your hand on the shingles and they would not be hot even though you could see them burning.” There were sometimes five or six of these “blue blazes” attached to the home at one time. The owners tried moving the house to a new foundation supposing that its location offended the spirit of the island but that brought no relief. Sometimes the place was pervaded by a foul odour. The wraith of a dead infant appeared a highchair when just after the parents returned from its funeral, and forerunners of men at sea were often observed. Yielding to this supernatural pressure the family locked the house and left it for nine months. When Dave Henneberry reoccupied the place it was haunted by the sound of falling lumber but he managed to stay on for three years. His brother John then moved in with his family and immediately heard ghost furniture being shifted in vacant rooms. Ghostly knocks at the door were left unanswered, for in this community the human inhabitants never knocked but walked straight in. The children saw a ghostly seaman dressed in oilskins, and one young son awoke to find the wraith of a child crying in bed beside him. One group of residents claimed that the house collapsed about them during the night. When they fled to the yard and said their rosaries, the house reassembled itself board by board. After this the house was demolished but short-sighted neighbours used some of the wood in their own construction projects. Almost immediately they had bad luck. Eccentricity is a mark of island spirits. Mr. Stanislas Pothier of Pubnico, Nova Scotia, has recounted two stories which amplify this point: L’ile Frisee is “Frost Island, just east of the Tusket. For a time a lobster factory was located here, and once the captain of a ship went exploring while his men were unloading their catch. He came, at last, to a place clear of grass and trees, but set with flowers in the midst of a clearing. Since it was early winter he was surprised to find flowers growing so freely without the look of having been touched by frost. He went immediately back to his crew and suggested they come back with him to look at this remarkable place. Unfortunately he could not find the place, which was unknown to other men either before or since. Mr. Pothier also told of two fishermen who saw a pot full of flowers on the shore of nearby Spectacle Island, which is both uninhabited and out-of-the-way. The men rowed on to their work that day, planning to pick the display up on the inward journey, but when they came to this same shore later in the day there was nothing of the sort to be seen.

GEOWLUDMOSISEG A mortal earth spirit of the Maliseets characterized by small stature. Abenaki, simliar to the mikumwees of the Micmac tribes. Pat Paul of the Tobique Reserve has said that these little people were “often seen beside or near water places... river banks, marshy grounds, brooksides or lakeshores.” Like their European counterparts they were often seen to be tricksters. They exercised an attractive force over domestic animals who came to their water-side and they often travelled to farms and stables. In these places they would create annoyance for the keepers of animals by braiding the hair of their head and tails. Paul says that elders at Tobique speak of the place named Muskumodeak, which consists of a rock located on a flat ledge. In the middle of the rock there is an 18” x 18” section which looks as if it were mechanically removed. This has left a seat-like formation in the rock. Beneath this there is “a tunnel-like opening” where entrance is tabooed. It has been suggested that this is the haunt of a obodumkin, a legendary water-creature, or perhaps the lair of the geowludmosiseg. It has even been suggested that the steps and the tunnel are the work of these folk in distant times. These structures can no longer be seen as two hydroelectric dams, built in the years between 1953 and 1959, flooded the location. An elder once observed the “fires” of these people burning in an area near his home. The peculiarity in this was the fact that the flames burned high unimpeded by tons of water that fell upon it from a summer thunderstorm. At this same residence the lady of the house saw four of the little folk passing by. She observed that they were three youngsters, three boys and a girl, the latter dressed “ever so neatly in a yellow blouse.” They came walking up the driveway toward the house and then passed toward the back yard. Since the normal entry was by way of the back door, she presumed they might be coming to visit, and went to that door as they disappeared around a corner of the house. When whe opened that door she saw the starngers “jumping for joy, with their arms just a flying and a swinging.” Because she was deaf the observer could not tell if they made any sounds. As she turned to call her husband’s attention to this peculiarity the folk vanished. She did, however, see them again as they crosssed a road and disappered into a hollow near the river. This was later taken as a death-omen, as several youngsters from the reserve died soon afterward. The geowludmosiseg were sometimes classified as tricksters and healers and their sighting was not invariably taken as a

sign of danger. In either case it was thought wise to propitiate them with gifts of tobacco. The healers among the folk were said to be capable of quickly curing flesh wounds, skin disorders and other less visible malfunctions. The tricksters “would do their little tricks in the middle of the night...Little tricks like thumping on the side of your camp or canoe, braiding horses manes, tying up clothes on the clothes line, or a stone thrown into the still waters where you are quietly fishing...” They could be coerced and “The tricks would immediately stop after the giving of the tobacco.” Pat Paul says these folk were a mixed blessing to men: their good spirit falling upon men of balanced humour; their ill will on those who feared them. At the Passamaquoody (Sebayik) Reserve it was claimed that the tiny stone beads found there were made by the “little People.” The beads were described as ranging in size from a millimetre to perhaps two centimetres in length. “Despite the tiny and random configuration of each stone bead, a hole to allow a thread is available in each, although not straight in some cases. The beads seem compased of some shale-like material...” Information is from the Maliseet Nation WWW Home Page, 1996. GHOST A mortal earth spirit, usually a materialization of a dead human. Anglo-Saxon. gast , life-force, comparable to the Anglo-Norman, spirit. Once used to identify a demon or the Halig Gast (Holy Ghost) of Christian theology. Formerly considered the source of the power that caused objects to locomote, grow and reproduce themselves. Ghosts of the living and God's ghost , or the Holy Spirit, used to be cited, but the meaning has narrowed to spirits of dead men, whether denizens of an unseen world or seen as apparitions, spectres or spooks. Confers with the Gothic verb usgaisjan , to terrify. In entitling her book Bluenose Ghosts , Helen Creighton uses the word in the older, looser sense of any diembodied spirit. The word ghost was formerly used to identify a corpse and is still employed to distinguish false images and things having a foggy appearance. Pratt has noted that ghost bread is one of several expressions used to describe commercially produced white bread. Ghosts are occasionally distinguished as runners and revanters, the former being the haunts of the living; the latter, those of the dead. Ghosts

have been known to materialize in the form which they had while alive; on the other hand, they may appear as globes of energy or as totem animals. In all instances, they are properly associated with a deceased individual. It used to be supposed that the internal soul of a man united with his external soul after death, afterwards moving on to reincarnation, purgatory, heaven or hell, depending on individual belief. Ghosts sometimes become bound to an earthly place through the trauma of death by accident or suicide. Infrequently, they agree (often uniuntentionally) to this binding in the interest of guarding a treasure (see guardian). Sometimes this visual remnant of the dead remains to communicate incomplete business or to give a living individual a glimpse of the afterlife. King Seaman was a wealthy ship builder, living at Minudie, on the Fundy shore of Nova Scotia in the mid 1800's. He once hosted several young medical students from Harvard University, leaving them at his home when he went to attend his business in nearby Amherst. At the latter centre, he witnessed the hanging of John Doyle and noted the problem that arose over disposal of the body. When the locals refused to bury it in their cemetary, he agreed to take it home to Minudie for a private burial on his own land. He did as promised, but the medical students dug it up in the dead of the night and secretly carried the head back to the Boston States. "After that, many folk in the area met the headless, John Doyle, on foggy nights, (always) looking for his head." 220 A well known Prince Edward Island ghost is supposed to be that of Artie Webster, an itinerant preacher who fell from the back of the sway-backed white horse on which he travelled. White horses are always suspect as fay-creatures and Artie should not have been at large on Hallowe’en. At any rate, he was killed beyond New Haven Corner, and on the anniversary of his death, a figure jogging along on a phantom horse has been seen at exactly this place. Joseph Devereau says that another haunt was settled two hundred yards west of the New Haven School, “directly across from my old home.” Here there was a cellar-hole, all the remained of some long decayed tavern. At Christmas Eve, in the remote past, a peddlar was killed in a fight with a local resident. One a year, ever since, people have seen the form of a man bearing a gunny sack, containing abody, on his shoulders at the spot where the altercation took place. Closer home Deverau says

Herbert, A Folklore Sampler, p. 9.

that his family routinely observed a little old lady “moving slowly back and forth across our front lawn” on moon-lit night. It was generally believed that this was his great-grandmother, who had lived in that place all her life. She had been a a lover of flowers and the out-of-doors, so it was assumed that she had “returned to tend her flowers.” Devereux’s aunt “a strictly truthful and level-headed person” claimed to have seen the apparition manny times. A little further on is the Old Stewart House at Strathgartney. Here, on overcast winter nights, a womanwas seen in the act of hurrying toward the gateway, but never actually made progress toward it. It was claimed that this shade was that of a girl who perished at that place in the blizzard of 1888. Joseph Devereux says he had an uncle who was opposed to the idea of supernatural phenomena until one night, while visiting in St. Catherines he saw the ghost of a departed friend standing behind the chair of his son. The figure finally became indistinct and faded into the shadows outside the raech of the kerosene lamps. When Joseph mentionmed this sighting, the son said that several members of the family had seen this shadow since the death.221 The Ghost at Mount Allison University was supposedly generated at the death of Miss Ethel Peake, who died by suicide in the piano practiserooms on the fourth floor of Hart Hall in 1954. In life, she had been a specialist in German lieder singing and a teacher of music in a nearby building known as Beethoven Hall. 222 These two buildings were joined to one another by a girl's residence known as Allison Hall. Allison Hall and the "conservatory" were both wooden buildings of Victorian age and were disassembled to make way for the university library. Hartt Hall was a brick building, and thus escaped high insurance costs and the wreckers ball. The latter building went through various stages of use, most recently as a residence for female Joseph, “Of Haunts and Spectres,” Weekend Guardian Patriot, Sat. Dec. 17, 1994, p. 5C. her not entirely candid "In Memorian" see the Yearbook, Mount Alliosn, Twenty-Fifth Edition, 1955, p. 10 (unnumvered pp).
222For 221Devereux,

students and afterwards as quarters for various university clubs. either lived or had studio space on the fourth floor of Hartt.


From her death, strange happenings began to trouble that part of the university. Ethel was in no position to sing the requiem at her funeral in Beethoven Hall, but it was observed that the person who did was somehow able to voice notes which were beyond her usual range. Further, it was noticed that they she sounded uncannily like the departed teacher. Ethel's studio space in Hartt Hall afterwards displayed an errie periodic purple light which could be sen through a east-facing window, but quickly flickered out when people went to investigate. Students who came to live on the lower levels reported detecting singing, the sound or a piano, footsteps on the old oiled floors, and threatening cries from the top-most window. Ironically, the haunt became installed in rooms eventually given to the Psychology Department. In the 1970's new co-educational residences were erected on the campus and Hartt became a place for faculty offices and study rooms. In the 1980's Nancy Mortimer noted: "People have been studying on the second floor in Hartt Hall and have heard the sound of someone walking down the stairs and they've looked at the stairway and there was no one there. But the sound of the footsteps has continued on past them and down to the first floor." 223 The purple light continued to shine and noises were still heard and, according to Diane Ross, "a guy (and his associates) went up there at night ... They started to climb the stairs...and a window blew in and a great gut of wind blew all the papers off the walls and around the floor. And (the visitor) said this all happened at midnight...They immediately walked quickly down all the stairs and left the building." Another student remembered the retreat as less controlled, noting that the "football player" had actually seen Ethel and afterwards "left in a panic and fell down the stairs and broke both legs." 224 Herbert Halpert thought this was the first "college ghost" reported within Canada, but this is not the case. The University of New Brunswick
223Halpert, 224Halpert,

Herbert, A Folklore Sampler, p. 4. Herbert, A Folklore Sampler, pp. 3-4.

at Fredericton predates Mount Allison by a few years, and had a similar ghost in the Lady Jean Chestnut residence on Charlotte Street. There is also the shade of Mr. Buckle, who haunted King's Collegiate School in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Buckle and Hebb were headmasters at this boy's school in the years prior to the Second World War, "Pa" Buckle being the senior of the two. In those days, the teachers worked shifts as floor monitors, checking the romms and the grounds at lights-out. Strangley Mr. Buckle always drew duty on nights when the weather was blustry, while young Hebb made his way about on fine nights. As a result of this strange conincidence, settled moonlit nights came to be known among the boys as "Hebb night." Hebb took part in the Second World War, afterwards returning to King's as headmaster. On his first night in residence the Colonel arrived at the headmaster's "cottage" on a "Buckle night." Within its halls he was surprised to hear "Pa's" familiar step since the older man had died a few months before his return from overseas. When he attempted to throw the light switch, it blinked on and off at him, suggesting someone had set him up for a little joke. He suspected his daughter, but she was completely baffled by this happening, and his footsteps were later heard in residences where she could not be accused of complicity. Ghosts bound to public buildings are common in the region, another example being that of Dean Llwyd of All Saints Cathedral in Halifax. Two weeks after he died his apparition was seen moving into the pulpit at an appropriate point in the Sunday service. A fellow clergyman thought that his senses had been twisted by the loss of his old friends, so he made no mention of this appearance to others in the congregation. His experience was afterwards cooborated by that of two ladies who saw the ghost at exactly the same time and place. Although these ghosts have been recurrent, some have made only one appearance and have been obvious about their intentions: Two farmers named Rossier and Briden lived at Newcastle and had been fishing partners all their lives. While the latter was fishing alone on the Miramichi, his old friend materialized before him. "Don't be scared," he said, "You remember we said that the first one who died, we'd come and tell the other one what it was like in the other world? You live the same as you've ever lived and you'll go to heaven...I had to stay for a time because I was

not fit to go." Following this the ghost vanished. 225 Mary L. Fraser was familiar with ghosts that returned to fulfil a promise. She also thought that "the dead cannot rest easily if they have left debts unpaid, or wrongs done and not righted." In the first category was the story of "poor Bill" a Cape Breton fisherman who was drowned in a squall. When one of his friends put in to shore that same day, he was greeted by an apparition. The villagers what the dead might want of the living: "Not a big thing," admitted the person who had been approached, "He asked me to go to his house and ask for $4.00 to pay a bill he owed at the store." "And did he tell you anything about the other world," they wanted to know? "Well, I asked him if it were as hard as we were thinking, and he said, "No not nearly; there is unlimited wisdom and limited justice." No one was surprised when it was found that the amount owing was exactly four dollars.226 An Antigonish ghost had no interest in money, but appeared before his brother conselling him to remove a log the two had felled to prevent a neighbour from crossing their property. While these encounters went well, living men and women did not always understand that ghosts cannot speak until spoken to. This created a problem for the shade of Ewan Mor, who had been a respectable thrifty old Scot with a comfortable home and a fat back account. When he found his sons making withdrawls on his behalf, he took all of his earnings and his them in a box in the barn. Unfortunately, he failed to tell his heirs where the cash had been hidden and soon after died. During his lifetime he had been a congenial host whose home was filled with friends and wayfarrers. In death, his shade appeared frequently within his former residence and people were disuadded from staying there by poltergeistic disturbancers and the constant sound of footsteps. Finally a passerby found himself sleeping in the house and was awakened by the ghost. Sitting bolt upright he blurted out: "In God's name, what do you want?" Obviously relieved Ewan Mor's shade told him to take up the threshing floor in barn and look for a strong box, in which there was money and other valuables which should be distributed to the family." In the morning, the stranger told one of the old man's sons of his encounter. The valuables were found and the uncanny supernatural happenings ceased.
225Creighton, 226Fraser,

Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, p. 160.

Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, p. 52-53.

GHOST SHIP The ghost of a ship lost at sea, often materialized along with its original crew-members. Anglo-Saxon, gast , ghost, spirit, demon. + scip , any large seagoinmg vessel. Gast , the Holy Spirit or Ghost of God. See above entry treating fire-ships. These are of the same class but without the pyrotechnics. For some people the history of New England commenced with the landing of the Pilgrims in 1639. These men and women were Puritan dissenters from the Church of England, who joined sympathizers in the New World and then negotiated with the Indians for land on Long Island Sound during the next spring. Paying no heed to international treaties these men took delivery of land claimed by the Dutch and the Swedes. The latter group invaded their colony and forced repatriations but the town thrived and was eventually named New Haven in 1650. Four years prior to that date the “Fellowship,” sometimes entitled “The Great Shippe,” plowed and chopped its way out of New Haven Harbour in mid-January in a desparate attempt to gain some sort of trade with the mother country. On her mmaiden voyage to England she had 70 prominent citizens on board along with a local cargo valued at $15,000, a substantial amount for those days. Her captain, George Lambert, admitted she was “ill-built and walt-sided (overbalanced on one side), and as she left port the Revcerennd Davenport prayed: “Lord if it chances to be thy pleasure to bury these our friends at the bottom of the sea, thy will be done. Neverthelesss...” As expected the winter passed with no word of the “Fellowship” or any notice that she had been sighted by any other ship. Another winter past but in June 1647, a waterfront observer ran into town shouting that the long absent ship was sailing into the harbour “all against the wind.” To see this miracle, others clusterred at the shore, and saw her sailing, not on the water, but in the sky. Those who were present saw that she was indeed making way against the wind and sailing at about the height of her own mainmast. At first she was as expected, Campatin Lamberton being seen sword in hand standing on the quarterdeck. However, as they

watched the ship broke apart in the sky as if battered by waves. BNoiselessly whe disassembled into fragments of wooden and cloth, and the battered sail-less hulk sank into an adjacent cloud bank. Everyone present agreed that they had seen a hindrunner of the actual sinkinmg somewherre at sea. The Reverend Davenport’s successor said: “A ship of like dimensions with her canvas and colours aboard (although the wind was northernly)) appeared in the air coming up from the harbours mouth west from the town, seemingly with her sails filled under a fresh gale, holding her course north and continuing under observation, sailing against the wind for the space of an half hour. Coming close, her main seemed to blow off but was left handing in the shrouds; then her missen top, then all her masting seemed blown away. Quickly after the hulk brought to a careen, She vanished quickly into a smoky cloud.” Edward Hopkins added that the great smoke into which this death-ship vanished came from the landward side. “But some saw her sink in the water...” The ghost ship of Port Mouton appears following an eleven year cycle, always at the same time of year and always in thick o' fog. The harbour there is nearly land-locked byt this huge square-rigged ship never has difficulty making entry and goes through all the procedures of landing including the sounds, and sights, of running chains and the splash of an iron anchor. A longboat is lowered and heads for shore, its oar-locks muffled, an officer steering at the stern. The longboat heads for an inlet and rows toward a tree on the riverbank. Here the mother ship and all the attendant shades vanish. This ship might be counted as a treasure guardian, although nothing has ever been recovered from the riverbank. GIANT A mortal earth spirit marked by a huge physique. Anglo-Saxon, ge , + ent , often seen without the prefix; thus, ent . The Anglo-Saxon prefix ge corresponds with y and is thought to have the same sense as the Latin word con , together. Ent , or ant , confers with emmet , the archaic word for an insect thought to have characteristics in common with the "big people" of the elder world. The word resembles the Old French jaiant and the modern French, geant , and both may relate to the Low Latin gagas , of huge size. This last word is the root for gigantic . Similar to the Cornish muryan , from mury , in counless numbers (as insects) + an , the old ones. From the former we have the

family name Murray , while the latter resembles the Gaelic annrath , stranger or wanderer.


As noted elsewhere, the giants were considered the first creation of the immortal gods and it is suspected that their home was originally beneath the western ocean (the Atlantic) or on "islands" far out on this salt-water sea. The giants were known in classical and Norse mythology, but the English giant seems to have been borrowed from Celtic traditional lore. It is certainly the Fomorian sea-giants that survive in the medieval romances and in the nursery tales, where they are represented as unsociable but somewhat bumbling adversaries of the heroes. In the elder days, the "little people" were said to be about two-and-a-half feet in height; the race of men, averaged a little over five feet, while the gods measured around eight feet. The giants topped all of these beings at twelve feet. The giants may have been identified with ants as a means of diminishing their stature (and their power) after they were defeated by the forces of men allied with the gods. It is, however, more likely that they were seen as "one with the ants" from the fact that they lived in underground digs, and were seen as insect-like in their social organization, specialization of labours, and lack of individual initiative. There is another matter: a suggestion that shape-changing (which was the chief magic of the Fomors) involved a mass-energy loss each time it was accomplished. Thus, it is recorded that the god-like Tuatha daoine were "originally gigantic in size but, with the enroachment of Christianity, as they diminished in importance, they correspondingly dwindled in size." It would appear that the matter was more complex than this, for it may be noted that the korridgwens, who are the little people of Cornwall, were tied to a life-cycle that demanded a loss of size: "the shape-shifting operation leads to a miniscule reduction in normal size. This species diminishes in size gradually until the last stage is reached and the fairies end their days as ants, or muryans as they are called in Cornwall." It is obvious why it is considered unlucky to kill ants in that part of the world! The giants that were defeated on the western shores of Europe were saved from the fate of joining the ants since they were magically bound to the land by the druids of the Tuatha daoine and the scalds of Odin. Those not eliminated at that time were chased to ground by the Christian saints. A particularly memorable giant-killer was Saint Olaf, or Olave, who sailed

out of Britain tracking these unfortunate people to the islands of the Northern Sea. Gurn used her powers of fore-telling to spot Olaf's ship on its way to her island of Kunnan. She sent her giant-husband Andfind to the beach where, "he blew his breath against the saint with all his strength. But Olaf was more mighty than he; his ship flew unchecked through the billows like an arrow from the bow. He steered direct for our island. When the ship was near Andfind thought he might crush it in his hands and drag it to the bottom as he had often done with other ships. But Olaf, the terrible, stepped forward, and crossing his hands over each other, he cried out in a loud voice, "Stand therre as stone, till the last day," and at that instant my unhappy husband became a mass of rock...On Yule-night alone can petrified Giants receive back their life for the space of seven hours... but seldom does any Giant do that." In any case this option was not open to Gurn since the enraged Saint had driven his ship against the congealing mountain that had been Andfind, cutting through it so that it was divided into two parts. Notice that the local god-giant named Glooscap was involved in a similar act of magic: Mary L. Fraser has noted that "The Micmacs of Cape Breton also have their legends of Glooscap. Here his chief place of abode was at St. Anne's, situated on a bay of the same name a short distance north of Sydney Harbour. At the entrance of this bay are two small islands marked "Hiboux" on the map, but to the Indians they were always "Glooscap's Ogotol" or Glooscap's Canoe. A giant canoe it is, like the mysterious being it served. The story briefly is this: Once Glooscap on his return from an expedition, perceived on either side of his cabin two girls, giants like himself, who looked at him with mocking eyes. (Actually they went a bit further than this but Fraser's modesty seems to have prevented her from delineating their exact acts.) He became enraged, and laying his giant hands on the sides of the canoe leaped to shore...Glooscap looked fixedly at the two dring damsels then shouted at them, "Very well (if you will not move from this place), remain where you are." And there they remain transformed into stone. With a little Micmac imagination you can see at least one of them fairly well in outline, but her companion has been worn away by time." The local Indians considered stones to be the "bones of the earth" and said that any being might become reincarnate as long as these remains

survived. The gigantic horned-serpent people could "swim" through the rocks of the earth as easily as through the waters of the ocean, and these beings were known to rest for long spells incarnated within mountains. Here, as elsewhere, it was often claimed that giants were a race unrelated to men, but this is contrary to the fact that the giants often lived with humans and produced or bore their children. By this definition alone the two groups were a species, and if the giants are gone, their genes persist. Although no twelve-foot men have been born in recent centuries, there have been several throw-backs born in Maritime Canada: One of these was Anthony Joshua Cooling born at Flatlands, New Brunswick in 1857. As an adult "Josh" was six feet six inches tall and weighed 385 pounds. It was claimed that he routinely juggled barrels containing 3oo pounds of pork or beef and that "he used to pack food in a sugar barrel strapped to his back", a load usually restricted to a packhorse. This "giant" followed the life of a woodsman in Wisconisn where he died in 1922. It was men of this physique who gave edge to the mythic Paul Bunyan (which, see). Then there was Farquhar Falconer of Hopewell, Nova Scotia, who was two inches shorter than Josh Cooling, weighing in at a mere 270 lbs. He lived in colonial times and contemporary accounts say that his hands were powerful enough to twist the bark from a tree with a single wrench. One night while he sat at supper he heard a commotion in the yard, and came out to see a bear worrying one of his pigs. He straddled the big animal and pulled it off by the ears. Furious, the bear dropped the pig and struggled wildly trying to get his teeth at this unexpected attacker. Unfortunately for the bear, Farquhar never loosened his grasp, and brother Alec arrived to kill the wild animal with a pitchfork. Another of this breed was Alexander Mackay, who homesteaded in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. As a boy he used to outdo trapeze-artists as he moved aloft through ship's riggings. At home in the New World he once startled a young caribou, ran the animal to earth, and arranged shipment to a London zoo which had a reward out for this species. Later, when a neighbourhood bull turned suddenly vicious Alex called to duty. Facing off with the animal, he waited for its charge, side-stepped it, caught it by the horns and threw it to the ground. He held it down by sheer strength of will and finally left the animal subdued and ready to be penned. When Mackay

was more than eighty years of age he travelled with other men into the harvest fields where he worked all day without let-up or sign of fatigue. He lived to the age of ninety-seven. In days gone by, there were regular picnics at Advocate, Nova Scotia, and the sports played there included the game of "pulling the lazy stick," a kind of tug-of-war played by men who set toe-to-toe on the ground. The winner was the individual who was able to raise his opponent's body from the ground. The champion for several seasons was a black man who weighed in at 300 pounds and was able to wrench the ground from under all his opponents. His first real opponent was John Kent of Amherst, six foot four, weight 268 pounds. After the bets were placed, Kent surprised the assembly by throwing the larger man three times in succession. Of a similar stuff was John Mosher of Newport, another 300 pounder who once picked up an five hundred pound anchor and carried it thirty feet to win a bet. It is said that the seams of Mosher's boots burst from the increased blood pressure brought to his feet from the effort of carrying this weight. One day at a Halifax holiday-outing this lad pulled the lazy stick from under every man in the place. Again, in Pictou County, there once lived Donald MacDonald, six foot five in height, 290 pounds. He had never met the man he could not wrestle to the ground and with one exception was never beaten at "lifting the stick." Feats of deering-do were never limited to men. Mary Cameron, of Gabarus Bay was over six feet in height and weighed somewhat more than 200 pounds but was nevertheless "as quick as a cat." There were some rough men in Mary's neighbourhood but no one molested any friend of Mary's. At school she had grown enough by the age of twelve to hold her own against any boy at her school. By the time she was sixteen there were no young men able to face her, and those that tried swore she had the strength of two men. In her Gaelic community, Mary's strength was regarded as a "gift", in the same sense as "the two sights", an ability in the crafts, or control over music. Mary Cameron made no unusual efforts to develop muscle tone but by the age of fifteen she was able to pick up a wooden barrel filled with flour and carry it a hundred yards, unaided, from the road to the kitchen of her home. She once came to the assistance of a neighbour cornered in a field by a hostile bull. When the bull turned against her she knocked it over the nose with a pole and when it continued against her, caught its horns and wrestled it to the ground. Unnerved, the animal retreated to the barn bleating like a calf as it fled.

A better-known Nova Scotian giantess was Annie Hansen Swan born at Millbrook, Nova Scotia during the last century. Annie's mother was a Graham and she was a woman of very ordinary size ansd proportions. Annie was five feet tall at the age of four years. By the time she was ready for school in New Annan she was unable to fit the standfard schooldesk and one was especially built for her. Word of her size reached P.T. Barnum, the circus entrepreneur at his quarters in New York, and he sent out an agent to put her under contract. By the age of fourteen she was seven feet tall and she only stopped growing at eight feet one inch, when her weight was 350 pounds. Her shoes were size thirteen and her formal skirt had to be decorated with 50 yards of trim. On tour in Europe she met Captain Martin Van Buren, another touring "giant" who was one inch shorter, but much broader and heavier than she. The two married in London and travelled in her home province in 1882. She died shortly after at the age of theirty-four. Her male equivalent was, undoubtedly, Angus MacAskill, a Scot who came to Cape Breton as a youth. He was shorter than Annie Swan by a full five inches, but impressive enough at that. His hand was once measured at 12 by 6 inches. His boots were eighteen inches long, and his clothing a fit for any two good-sized men. He was never fat but weighed more than 500 pounds and was, fortunately, even-tempered. Like Annie Swan, Angus was persuaded to become an entertainer after he was approached by an agent in 1849. In New York he was paired with a little man named Colonel Tom Thumb. "Tom Thumb was a fair dancer, and MacAskill would hold out his right hand and with the other hoist Tom Thumb to the palm of his hand. Here Tom Thumb would dance merrily. Thereupon MacAskill would sometimes throw him in his pocket." MacAskill's greatest feat of strength was an impromtu performance on a New York wharf. On an outing he took up a two thousand seven hundred pound anchor and walked it easily down the length of a pier. He then tossed it away as easily as if it were a small stick. Unfortuneately one of the flukes caught his shoulder and knocked him to the ground, and afterwards he was unable to stand entirely erect. As a result he retired, with a modest fortune, to his Cape Breton home at St. Ann's. There he seemed to recover from the worst of the damage but in 1863 ghe was stricken with "brain fever." On the eight of August he fell into a coma and died. His burial=stone at the east of St. Ann's Bay is inscribed: "To...a dutiful son, a kind brother. Just in all his dealings. Universally respected by friends and acquaintences. Mark the perfect man

and behold the upright, the end of man is peace." GILLOC A mortal earth spirit derived from the Gaelic "gillie dhu." Gaelic, g i l l i e , pl. gillean , boy, lad; dhu , black, referring to his subbrowned skin and perhaps his disposition. Confers with the Anglo-Saxon cild from which we have child . May be borrowed from the Old Norse gildr , stout, brawny, full of merit. Also note the similar Anglo-Saxon gild , from which guild , a payment in kind or money, and gilda , one who pays, a common fellow. The lowland fairies are always described as having black complexions, while the Gaelic sidh were described as white-faced. Correponds with the English spirit known as the brown man of the moors, a protector of birds and small animals. In English "gill" is taken as an abbreviation of gillian, a girl or wench of uncertain reputation, thus a wanton person as well as malt liquor medicated with ground ivy. The soapwort plant of England had a habit of growing without bounds and was called gill-run-by-the-street, a nice expression of the contemptuous slant given this Gaelic word. The black lad is precisely the equal of the brownie or bodach, a menial spirit who served households in return for a modest keep. He was like the hobgoblins and goodfellows of southern England, "those that would grind corn for a mess of milk, cut wood, or do any manner of drudgery work." Some were engaged in "sweeping houses, in exchange for setting of a pail of good water, victuals, and the like, following which they (the householders) should not be pinched, but find money in their shoes, and be fortunate in their enterprises." Those unassociated with men walked, "about midnight, on heaths and desert places, and draw men out of their way and lead them all night a by-way, or quite barre them of their way..." According to Keightley all of this breed were cleared from England about the reign of Elizabeth I, "or that of her father at the furtherest." The gillie dubh is partially remembered in our provinces as the gilloc, jillick, jillock or jullic, 227 phoenetic spellings for a word that used to be used to describe a quantity of alcohol, or its container, the measure

Dictionary Of Prince Edward Island English, p. 65,

being related to the Scottish gill, which is less than a quarter pint. Also recalled in the lumbering expression "jill-poke", "Any log or tree that interfered with the movement of timber while yarding on sleds or in the drive."228 The local tales of this creature are very traditional: Sutherland Hall at Bonny River were reasonably large for the year seventeen eighty-three, when they were built by a gentleman who had been a major in the Queen's Rangers. This former soldier was one of the Scots who fought as mercenaries for the British in the Revolutionary War. A one time resident of Virginia, he lost his estates there and was in "reduced circumstances" when his regiment was disbanded in New Brunswick. His "growthpotential" was sufficient for a "gillie dubh" to move with him to British North America. Nicknamed the "cold lad" for the breeze that he carried about him, the gillie was a peculiar house-servant. Every night, the regular staff heard him disassembling the kitchen, and knocking things about if they were left too neatly. The workers soon saw the advantage of leaving a bit of work to be done, for gillie was an efficient arranger where there was disorder. Unfortunately, the local Anglican priest was convinced of the necessity of banishing this brownie, and tried a number of exorcisms, which were met with a hollow ringing laughter. The clerics own human gillie remembered that this clan was invariably offended by pretensions, so they laid out new clothing and a vast feast for the spirit. The gillie responded with a couplet: What have we here? Hemten, hemten. Here will I no more tread or stampen." He vanished in a whirl of wind that extinguished the candles and took the luck of Sutherland Hall with him. Although Colonel Hugh of the newly-organized militia did manage to prosper without brownie, Sutherland Hall was soon lost to fire. GISHAGEN One of the Gaelic fairy-folk. Probably from the Gaelic, geas , a bond, spell, charm or prohibiton; added to aigeann , the deep, our English word ocean . Spell-caster of the Daoine mara , “people of the sea.” Mentioned briefly in a local C.B.C. radio phone-in from a respondent at Fredericton, N.B., 1995.


George, Timber, p. 25.

GLAISTIG A mortal highland moors. water-spirit of the female sex inhabiting

Gaelic, glais , grey-green (water) + teaghlach , family. The Manx form is known as the glashtyn . This female sidh approaches descriptions of the classic vampire except that her lower extermnities were described as those of a goat. These identify her as the mate of the pocan, or phooka, the he goat of Gaelic mythology. The cornbucks, or goat-people had charge of the growth of field crops, and actually dwelt within the grain, being cut down at the harvest. One of their kind, the "corn-mother" was overwintered and returned to the field to enspirit it in the summer. The glaistig was benign and gentle towards women, children and the elderly, and was even observed herding cattle for senior citizens. On the other hand, she often took a position near a ford and stopped younger men who tried to pass. Her goat-like attributes were hidden beneath a long flowing green gown, so most men were less suspicion than they should have been when she invited them to dance. Once this seductress held them in "glamour" they were unable to break away as she fed vampire-fashion on their life-blood. These are not unlike the white women and the green women of English myth, creatures equated with the korid-gwen and the morrigan. The dames vertes, who seem to have been Anglo-Norman spirits led men astray, "destroying them with the violence of their emotions and the exuberance of their lovemaking." The Occult Reader (p. 152) has said...dogs hold in greatest terror certain spots in Skye...rumoured to be haunted by the glaistigs, local spirits, once popularly held responsible for the deaths and mutilation of members of the canine race." Only one Scottish clan benefitted materially from an association with the glaistig, and this was the Kennedys of Lianachan, who lived on the moor at the foot of Aonach Mor in Lochabar. The family had fled to these wilds pursued by hostile neighbours. This branch of the family known as Clann Ualraig (the descendants of Walrick) fought under the Macdonells of Keppoch and finally became a military power in their own right. According to legend, the Kennedys, at first, had little wealth and no possessions. Walrick Kennedy was often tempted into the fens by will o' the wisp lights but he took the precaution opf having his coal-black horse

shod with iron, and always wore a powerful belt as protection against the Daoine sidh. He was riding this steed when he came up[on the river Curr. There he found an elderly woman, who unable to cross the river unaided (or so she claimed) asked Kennedy for help. Kennedy agreed but became suspicious when she attempted to mount behind him. "I'll take you over safe," he noted, "but I'd much prefer to have you in front." When she shifted places he seized her hands and using his magic belt tied them to the saddle. She immediately began to bargain for her release but he turned down a number of tempting propositions util she promised to build him, "in one night and one day" a moated castle which no element could breach. When she further promised to remove herself and all of her subjects from the fenns, Mac Cuaraig agreed: "Before dawn the roof was on the finished building, fire on the hearth and blue smoke from every chimney. Meantime Mac Curaig kept a ploughshare in the fire to defend himself from her witcheries as he well knew what ricks fairies play. Afterwards he loosened the girdle that bound the hag, but kept her outside the window, and when she bid him goodbye with the intention of carrying himself and the castle into fairyland he gave her the hot ploughshare, Mad with pain and fury she leapt away from him and taking up her position on the grey stone of Foich, she hurled at him the curse which has become a household word in Lochebar with reference to the Kennedys: "Grow as the rashes, And with as the bracken. Turn grey in childhood, And die in your strength." This was a prediction as well as a curse for the Kennedys of LIanachan are no more. Quotes are from Celtic Monthly, 1901. GLOOSCAP , GLUSGABHE , KLUSCAP A mortal earth spirit, northeast woodland Indians. the culture-hero-god of the

The earliest written description of Glooscap came from the pen of Silas Rand, a baptist minister who worked among the Micmacs. He translated portions of the Bible into their script and compiled a Micmac grammer and dictionary. His information was obtained from a Miucmac tribeman named Stephen Hood in 1869. In this version of Glooscap's origin, this "divine being", who had the form of a man, came across the sea from the east. Although later writers, such as Frederick Pohl, attempted to relate him to an early European explorer, Hood said "He was not far from any of the Indians." This may

mean that he understood their ways of doing things, but it is more probable that they meant that he resembled them in physique and colouration. If Joseph Nicolar is correct in saying that "he came into the world when the world contained no other men than himself," it is difficult to be certain from what quarter he came. Some tribesmen claimed that he descended from "mother-moon" in his stone canoe. Others said that their ancestors remember him arising from a cave, or first saw him striding out of the deepest woods in the land. Nicolar said that Glooscap existed before time as a sentient but unmoving man-like hill. When he first became aware of his senses he opened his eyes and found his head pointed east and his feet west. His right hand was outspread to the north and his left to the south. At first he had no sense of direction for the sun and the moon stood static, standing side-by-side in a noon-day position. He could see the stars fixed in the sky, mountains, lakes and rivers and the nearby ocean, but was without the spirit needed to raise any part of his gigantic body. As he lay motionless a sphere of light flew across the sky and approached his face. When it was almost within touching distance Glooscap felt a flood of warmth coming into his flesh and fell into a deep sleep. When he awakened a soft breeze fanned his brow, and the light had been replaced by "a person not unlike himself." This creature passed his right hand from east to west, and then from north to south. At each pass lightning split the clouds. "Then the Great Spiritanswered Glooscap's thoughts aying: "Now, man of the dust, stand on thy feet. Let the dust be beneath thee. As thou believest, so shall thou gain the spirit to stand and walk." Immediately strength came into the "ketuk" (enspirited-god) and he found himself able to perform as instructed. This done the Kjikinap, or creator-god, turned to the unmmoving sun and moon, commanding them, "Go thy way!" At this, the sun glided away to the west followed twelve hours later by the moon and stars. With time in motion, the Great Spirit turned to Glooscap and said, "Now we will make men in our own image." The first of these were two an one half foot experiments, the mikumwess "dwellers in rocks". After that, Kjikinap enspirited the trees and instructed Glooscap to liberate some of them from bondage to the ground by shooting magic arrows into their bark. This done the People, emerged from within, sometimes splitting their spirit,

leaving second souls within the trees. Because the mikumwess observed that men were the reformed spirits of the ash tree, they suggested naming them Lnuk, or Tree-men. 229 When all this work was complete, Glooscap and Kjikinap had a long conversation concerning the fate of the new world, which the creator-god explained was formed "by the wish of my mind." He taught some of the secrets of life to the man-god and contested with him to see which could bring the most interesting creature into existance. With a tendancy to overstatement, Glooscap animated a moose as tall as himself and much larger than the mikumwees and men. His first squirrel was so large it was capable of tearing down trees while the prototype for the white bear was so strong none could resist it. After questioning the beasts and determining their attitudfes toward men he reduced some in size through a slight pressure applied to his magic belt. At first Glooscap took the loon as his familiar spirit, but this animal absented himself so often he chose instead two wolves (as did the god Odin) one black and one white, representing the good and evil aspects of his character. A member of the Micmac tribe at Port Hood, Nova Scotia, categorized Glooscap as "a wonder-worker... Not Nikskam, Father Of Us All. nor Kesoolkw (Knijinap), Our Maker, nor Espaae Sakumow, The Great Chief, but he was par-excellence, the Micmac."230 He was, obviously, more than this, being a spiritual personification of the earth itself. Stephen Hood also told Rand that Glooscap was "the friend and teacher of all Indians; all he knew of the arts he taught them. He taught them the names of the constellations and stars; he taught them how to hunt and fish, and cure what they took; how to cultivate the ground..."231 This may sound altruistic but it has to be noted that, "The Master Joseph, The Life And Traditions Of The Red Man, Old Town, Maine (1893), privately printed. As retold by Peter Anastas, Glooscap's Children, Boston (1973), pp. 8-10. Both writers were members of the Passamaquoddy band.
230Creighton, 229Nicolar,

Helen, Bluenose Magic, p. 86. Quoting REv. D.


p. 32.

retained the monopoly in stoneware, the toboggans, knowledge of good and evil, pyrotechinics (including control of fire and weather) and all other commodities until the time when the plentious others (the bulk of the native population) had arrived. He shaved the stones into axes, spear points and other forms, but the braves preferred plucking the beard to scraping with one of his razors. He got fire by rubbing togerther for, well, perhaps two weeks. Knowledge of all sorts was his. He towered over the animals and the elements...After a rest of about seven moons Glooscap got busy clearing the rivers and lakes for navigation..." 232 Men may appreciate what is done for them, but fear the power and distrust the man-god who is the power-broker. Behind his back, it was said that some of Glooscap's claims were fictions, thus his name became a synonym for "liar" just as Odin was understood to imply one who was an "oath-breaker." Those who doubted his part in the origin of men said that Glooscap was certainly coexistant with creation but that he was for many years a lonesome man in an empty landscape. "After seventy-seven days and seventy-seven nights that were appointed, there came to him (as promised by Kjikinap) a bent old woman...She was Nogami (an general epitah for an elderly woman), who owed her existance to the dew of the rock (a metaphor for semen and the male penis). Glooscap thanked the Great Spirit for fulfilling his promise to him."233 Rand was told that "Naogumich" was "not his wife, nor did he ever have a wife. He was 234 This has to be taken in view of the fact always sober, grave and good..." that the Micmac who relayed this information was speaking to a Christian cleric and wished to represented Glooscap in the best light. In certain other tales, Nogami is described as Muiniskwa, or Bear Woman, a shapechanger, who could be human or beast, aged or full of youth through acts of will. In our view she is not necessarily aged, but rather, "the woman of long, long ago, whose first home was a tree, and whose clothing was leaves," the one who "walked through the woods, singing all the time, "I


Helen, Bluenose Magic, quoting Rev. D. Macpherson, p.

233Creighton, 234Fowke,

Helen, Bluenose Magic, pp. 86-87.

Edith, Folklore Of Canada, p. 32.

want company; I'm lonesome!" From far away a wild man heard her..." 235 On the noon following the coming of Nagomi "a young man came unto Nogami and Glooscap." Fully grown he claimed to have been "born of the foam of the waters. (semen?)" "The waves," he explained, "quickened the foam, and the sun shone on the foam and warmed it, and the warmth made life, and that life is I, See, I am young and swift, and I have come to abide with you and be your help in all things." 236 Glooscap is said to have named this newcomer Nataoa-nsem, my siter's son, but there is reason to suspect his "sister" was Nagomi, and this lad his own son. On the following "noon", their arrived a maiden who "stood before the two (men) and said, "I have come to abide with you and I have brought with me mmy love. I will give it to you and if you will love me all the world will love me well...Strength is mine and I will give it to whoever may get me; comforts also, for though I am young my strength shall be felt over the earth. I was born of the beautiful plant of the earth; for the dew fell on the leaf, and the sun warmed the dew, and the warmth was life, and that life is I." 237 Nataoa-nsem was youth and age and completely reincarnate, like many of the deities of Europe (most noteably Mhorrigan). As the population of Abenaki-speaking Indians increased, a faminine fell on the land "and the first mother grew more and more sorrowful" At last she came to her husband inssiting that she must be killed so that her spirit could be returned to the earth to rejuvenate the soil. He husband at first refused, but consulting with Glooscap, he at last agreed to honour her strange request. The woman seemed happy at this and went on to say, "When you have slain me, let two men lay hold of my hair and draw my body all around a field, and when they have come to the middle of the field, there let them bury my bones. Then they must come away, but when the seven moons have passed let them come again into the field and gather all that they may find and eat it. It is my flesh, but you must save a part of it to put in the ground again. My bones you cannot eat, but you may burn

Charles, The Algonquin Legends Of New England, Boston

(1968) p. 309.
236Anastas, 237Anastas,

Peter, Glooscap's Children, pp. 12-13. Peter, Glooscap's Children, pp. 12-13.

them, and the smoke will bring peace to you and to your children."238 After these riotuals were complete men came into the first harvest field from which they took Indian corn and the leaves of the plant now called tobacco. At the introduction of the young earth-goddess Glooscap praised the Great Spirit for the benefit of her company and afterwards married the young woman to the young man, "and she became the first mother of the tribes." This is not to say that Glooscap rejected the "strengths and comfort" offered by the earth-mother, although the Indians were careful to point out that Glooscap never had children of his own. We know he was not immune to sexual advances for he once encountered "the witch of the ocean", who seemed comely and submissive enough when she asked Glooscap for passage in his canoe. However, "She proved to be a very bad girl; and this was manifested by the troubles that ensued. A storm arose and the waves dashed wildly over the canoe; he accused her of being the cause, through her evil deeds (wanton sex), and so he determined to rid himself of her."239 Glooscap accomplished this, by paddling to shore pushing the canoe oceanward and maintaining it at a decent distance through magic. His former partner became alarmed and enquired how she was to reach shore, but Glooscap was only concerned enough to say that would never happen. He did, however, give her the option of taking whatever fish-form took her fancy and she finally opted for that of the "keeganibe", or fish with a "back-sail", which is known to white men as the dog-fish shark. If this seems shoddy treatment of a "friend" remember that Glooscap was as as perverse as any European culture-hero. While he benefited mankind, his occasional reaction to Power was sufficiently ill-advised for some to suggest that he had an evil twin-brother. Those who advanced this theory claimed that Glooscap's "twin" was the one named Malsum. While Glooscap had been born of mother-earth in normal fashion, Malsum had been so avaricious he had torn himself from her womb "killing her" in the process. Malsum's deep introspection made him at once jealous and suspicious of his brother and this intensified as he watched Glooscap creating life. Malsum tried to duplicate Glooscap's magic, but was unable
238Anastas, 239Fowke,

Peter, Glooscap's Children, p. 13.

Edith, Folklore Of Canada, pp. 32-33.

to invigorate the earth with anything more spirited that the evil creature known as Lox (the wolverine). Glooscap was at first content to leave his alter-ego in peace, but his brother used Lox to institute a whispering campaign against him, suggesting, among other things, that he was a liar. The forces of chaos finally rose to the point of battle, and at that Glooscap let it be known that he would confront Malsum. At this time the two brothers donned "power-belts", rather like the one Thor used to intensify his energies. This super-weapon appears to have been a device for converting the will of the gods into laser-like destructive beams, which they directed at one another. It is said that this battle of the minds was almost totally runinous of the environment, finally ending when Glooscap holed his twin and Perce Rock with a blast of pure hell-fire. This accomplished Glooscap's purpose, but had the unexpected result of tearing a hole in the time-space fabric, releasing a host of hitherto unseen spirits through this gate to the other worlds. The new arrivals included hairy cannibalistic giants, witches and magicians, shape-changing bird people, earthquake men, and men without bones. Glooscap had intended to move from the land after "killing" his brother but could see that these new arrivals would subjugate his People. He therefore remained within the land until all of these undesirables were either destroyed or became his allies. Peter Anastas says that a time came when "Glooscap had conquered all his enemies (within and without), even the Kewahqu' (who some called the kukwess or canoose), who were giants and sorcerers, the m'teoulin, who were magicians, and the Pamola, who is the evil spirit of the night air, and all manner of ghosts, witches, devils, cannibals, and goblins..."240 He at first employed the Kulu, or thunderbird people, to transport ordinary birds from Sky World to Earth World, later breaking their "wings" so that they might not unleash thunderbolts against men. He befriended two of the giants, Coolpujot the Boneless (who is sometimes said to personify the seasons) and Kuhkw (whose name is a synonym for Earthquake), a human inadvertently turned into a powerful magical entity when he passed through the underworld. Chief William Paul of Shubenacadie said that Glooscap left Atlantic Canada because the land had become "distroubled.": "Well now then," he is

Peter, Glooscap's Children, p. 14.

supposed to have explained, "I am going to leave after I've show you everything I want to show you (the once monopolized arts of canoemaking, pottery and snow-shoe construction). Your province will soon be taken by those people which you are going to live with them. But I am going to build your home away up north where nobody else can come...And your home (after death)...it'll be mountains of gold...In years to come you (the living) will think our province is all taken by these palefaces, but that will not be so. I will (return and) see the fair play (in the end) you will hold your home and province." 241 Having said this, Glooscap "made a rich feast" near the Fairy Hole in northern Cape Breton (some say it was held on the shores of Minas Basin). "All the beasts came to it, and when the feast was over he got into his great canoe and sailed off to the northwest. Until then the men and beasts had spoken but one language, but were now no longer able to understand each other, and they fled, each in his own way, never again to meet in council until the day when Glooscap shall return and make all dwell once more in amity and peace..."242 As to the fate of the whites, it is rumoured that the great Sagmo sits each day in a longhouse: "He is always making arrows. One side of the lodge is full of arrows now...and when it is full he will come forth and make war...He will make war on all white people. He will expel them from this country. He will make war on all, kill all." 243 GOD The immortal Hebrew Jehovah. Christian creator-god, derived from the

Anglo-Saxon god , masculine, the word was never confined to the Christian God but originally identified heathen gods, men of high rank, goodness, and anything benefitting men, including the aquisition of property. The gospels were originally god-spells and persistent
241Creighton, 242Anastas, 243Anastas,

Helen, Bluenose Magic, pp. 88-89.

Peter, Glooscap's Children, p. 124. Peter, Gl;ooscap's Children, p. 154.

evangelists were termed god-spellers . The French understood Jehovah to be something like "Tieu", the Teutonic war-god, and in French he is still called "le bon Tieu" or "Dieu". In Gaelic parts he was "Dia" folowing continental models, but he was also called "An Tighearnas" (The Lord) after a Celtic ruler who had particular difficulties with the old pagan day-god named Crom. Jehovah is not a reincarnate god , but has promised resurrection at the end of time. C.S. Lewis characterizes Him as "Like the Corn-God because the Corn-God is a portrait of Him...The Corn-God is derived from the facts of Nature, and the facts of Nature from her Creator; the Death and Re-birth pattern is in her because it was first in Him." The Holy Trinity is just as confusing , especially as it looks suspiciously like several pagan triads, but there is no doubt that this "jealous God" beat back, or assimilated, every competitor in the European world. When Thomas B. Coburn was blasted by lightning at Sheffield, New Brunswick, in 1829, his death was described publically as "the visitation of Divine Providence." His obituary read in part: "..the deceased was seen retreating from the fury of a remarkably severe shower, to the covert of a large elm tree (they have a repoutation for attracting lightning) - and that next instant a flash of lightening struck the tree, the fluid descended, left the tree, came in contact with his head, and awful to relate, instantaneous death was the consequence. The effects of the electric matter extended to his feet, as his boots were torn and rent in a manner almost incredible." Obviously the Devil does not look after his own! Men who implored his assistance rather than demanding it sometimes had their prayers answered. Thus at Tignish, on Prince Edward Island, the Christian God is credited with having benefitted a church-building fund. "On the designated day the small boats struggled home with a record catch for one day's fishing, and the Church of St. Simon and St. Jude was begun, apparently with divine blessing." At Kildare, on this same Island, the Anglican church, built in eighteen fifty-one was in danger of being torn down and rebuilt because it was slightly off the east-west orientation which was then required by church-law. "The parish elders were in a quandry; they did not want to tear down the building, yet they could think of no way of conveniently turning it." While they were deliberating, a vicious storm arose. One giant wave washed up over the nearby beach, striking the small church with such force it was shifted on its foundation yp the proper alignment! All they had to do was propit up...and paint it." Again, Bishop

Medley of Fredericton prayed for the Cathedral's building fund with excellent result. At least three general judgements have gone against Maritimers: Dark Sunday, in eighteen nineteen, the Miramichi Fire, eighteen twenty-five, and the Saxby Gale, eighteen sixty-one. On a more personal level: "A fearful judgement befell a disolute master lumberer at one of the brows. He called his gang to work on Sunday (1849) and cut down the brow to let the logs into the river; they refused and he swore he would continue though the Almighty stood on the brow and forbade him; going into a rage he cut a stake away incautiously when the whole mass rolled over him, crushing him in a moment." GOLDWITHY A spirit of the barren lands. English, gold + withy , the “withes” (valkyra) of the god Odin. Seen particularly in Newfoundland. Note also the alternates: goold and gould, having reference to sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia). This plant has also been termed goldleaf or gool or bog-myrtle, and its leaves and flowers are steeped to create an Indian “tea.” This brew is supposed to be an effective remedy against the “mange” in dogs but is fatal when eaten in quantity by domesticated animals, hence the alternate name “lambskilll.” The term is more generally applied to any shrubby plant that occurs in barren-land. Much of Newfoundland, central New Brunswick and southwestern Nova Scotia is geologically cursed with acidic Devonian granites. These have weathered slowly creating shallow, coarse, stony soils which are entitled podzols after their prototype in Russia. These soils are the product of places where the rain is heavy, the winters cold, the summers short and the soil low in plant nutrients. In winter the cold shortens the work of decay-causing bacteria. The rainfall carries off much of the nutrients in the summer season, and that leaves a layer of underlying clay hardened by the irons present in the soil, a very poor medium for growth. In a few regions such as the Caledonian Mountains and the Cobequids, the bad spirit of granite is attenuated by a mix of other rocks that are more resistant to leaching, have a better balance of nutrients and weather to a better soil. The barrens of Newfoundland are largely a product of fire, but those on the mainland have been created by an acid soil which is abetted by the recent coming of acid rain and acid fog to the region from the industrail

southwest.In the barrens blueberries are almosst the only crop, their shallow, dense but superficial roots forming a mat that keeps out all but the most stubborn plants. The Maritime Provinces have nothing better than grade two agriculture soil and at that is based on a pozolic base that has low fertility and will only sustain certain crops. In the case of the St. John River and the Annapolis Valley the soils will only grow apples, potatoes and strawberries. Even the famed red soils of Prince Edward Islanmd are somewhat hostile and again are best suited to these specialty crops. The glaciers left the barrens devoid of topsoil and frequently heaped these treeless places with massive boulders and rocks which give it a contrary beauty, whose spirtit is still noticed. Writing of this part of the Atlantic coast Franklin Russell put it this way: “The barrens are strange places for human beings, and they do affect people the way the desert and 244 the Arctic do.” Other have been more direct saying that Henry Gouldwoody awaits those who stray unbidden in those lands. The Indians have noted that a former campsite at Little Narrows, Cape Breton, a place inhabited since the eighteenth century, “became uninhabitable about forty years ago (1952) because of ghosts...Googoo told me there were no oysters to be found there any mmore. A friend suggested, “Let’s take the oysters out of the bay.” So they hung oysters on grasses from the gunwales of the boat and trailed them in the water out towards the Narrows. The oysterrrs took the hint, and now they have all moved out there.” Because the barrens are often burned-over land they are frequently termed the “blacklands,” although there are sometimes deeper associations, hinted at, but not openly stated in the name. One well known Blackland lies northeast of Fredericton and another north of Saint Stepehn, but the most malignant is “The Black Ground,” which lies along the Grandique Road, not far from Grand Anse, Richmond County, Cape Breton. This is a huge waste, surrounded by tallspruce trees and bisected by a dirt road. At its highest point an old foundation may still be seen in an overgrown which is a mix of brush and small trees. A lake is situated

Franklin, The Atlantic Coast Toronto (1970), see pp. 46-


just below the Black Ground. A number of families have tried to occupy this place, but no one has remained for more than a few months. Neighbours to the Black Ground insist that they have seen human figures materialize from nothing, and have heard the sounds of strange birds and beasts in the night. Even unbelievers have been subject to the apparitions that haunt the region. In the last decade two blackberry pickers arose from their work to see three ladies dressed in Victorian black, wearing antique shawls over their heads, walking hunchbacked through the fields, ocassionally pausing to pick and eat their own berries. The boys yelled and whistled to catch the attention of these strangelooking visitors, but they even ignored stones which were thrown at, and through them. At home the frightened lads were told: “Others have seen that trio. There have been strange events in that field and some say money is buried there. A man purchased the land when the house was still up and about, and he and his family often heard lumber falling although therte was never anything to be seen. Afterwards a boy raised in that house tried to open the door when it was deserted, but could not move the door although nothing bared the way. Still another occupant saw the ghost of a man with an extremely small head and later he saw the face alone, floating just above the ground.” Rosella Clory Sampson, whose family was the last to pay taxes on the property said that a cousin had been the last to try the restless spirit of the Black Ground. One night that family heard “the most horrifying sound anyone could imagine,” and they quickly moved their house-trailer to a less troubled location. Not all men are repulsed by these spirits of the earth. Laurey Lacey who explored the barrens near Bridgewater commented on the “great boulders split open by the action of natural forces, (which) lie like guardians over the landscape.” He claimed to feel the presence of these entities and admitted being drawn by their collective spirit. The Bridgewater barrens are almost atypical except that they have sprouted pioneering pines, “which are plentiful near the lakes and contrast (in their straightness) with other trees there, some of which are peculiar shapes.” GOMMIE An earth-spirit; a lord of the quarter; a fool.

Anglo-Saxon, guna , akin to the Latin homo , a man; particularly a bridgegroom. DPEI: Comparable with kittardy, nosic, omadan, shick and stouk; "a foolish or silly person (or spirit), a simpleton. OED: from the Scottish, gomach , "a simpleton." Probably related to the Gaelic goimbh , anguish, pain due to compression and gomag , a nip or pinch GOPHER A mortal earth spirit of the air. a light-carrying, landtravelling forerunner or hindrunner of death and ill omen. Dialectic English, gofer or goofer , from the French gaffe , a bungler, clown, a foolish fellow, an ill-made individual. Confers with goffer , to crimp cloth creating a honeycomb pattern, the kind preferred as ruffles for the costumes of medieval clowns. Related to the German words wafer and waffle . The spelling gopher is preferred to designate small rodents which tunnel the earth in seemingly random, clown-like fashion. Related to the Gaelic gobhar , a goat, the root being gab , take, as in the Lat. caper . The Gaelic root is sometimes given as gam-ro , encorporating the same gam as that seen in geamhradh , winter The gopher proper is an invisible entity carrying what appears to be a sphere of lambent light, the latter called the gopher-light , corpsecandle, fox-fire, or dead-light. This spirit is known as the fetch (which, see) when it travels over water and is the close kin of the will o' the wisp. except that the latter is not an inevitable omen of disaster. Gophers are termed runners when they act on behalf of men not destined for death, thus the modern use of the word to describe one who performs errands for the boss. This is the Gaelic fear dearg (firey man) and the French feu follet (firey-fool). The gopher may goof-off while his host lives, but is absolutely committed to communicating warnings of death; first to the person he serves, and later to the community at large. The forerunner may materialize as the double of the man or woman in question, or as a totem animal, 245 but may be perceived as a flaming ball of fire that approaches and falls to earth. The speed of approach is said related to the nearness that Creighton describes a ghost-dog as a gopher on page 229 of Bluenose Ghosts.

of death, and there are instances where men or women lived many years after their warning. More often, death after a few days, or weeks, is anticipated. At the time of death, the gopher is aroused for one last duty signalling the passage of the primary soul by lighting the exact future route from the home of the dead person to the final resting place in the cemetary. Less frequently, where death occurs away from home, the light may move from the body to the residence of the dead person, signalling his living relatives that he has "passed over." Whatever the purpose of the light, men are warned against standing in its path, since those touched by it suffered electrocution whether the light was meant for them or some other person in the community. A gopher haunted the village of Cape Negro, Nova Scotia. Two brothers saw one "blazing up right in the middle of the medder (meadow). By the by we could see the "man" who was swinging the lantern. We rushed home and told mother and she ran out and saw it too. After that it came down toward the harbour and then diddled up and down and went back." In most cases the gopher light could be connected with a death, or deaths, in the village. Again, at Cape Negro. two boys managed to kill themselves while hunting birds and afterwards, for several years at the turn of the century a gopher light was seen just before storms at sea: "It would start in the place where the boys shot themselves and would go back (to) the same place. It would start small and would get big as a washtub, and there was a man in the light swinging a lantern. One time, three men went out in a dory after it to see if they could find out what it was. They took a gun and started to row and they got just so nigh and the light would diddle up and down and it took down the harbour and they couldn't catch it. They shot at it and gave it up. People got scared of it cause after a while it began to move around the shore. It would go down and come up and you could see this man swinging his lantern. When you saw it you always knew there would be a storm..." 246 Sometimes gopher lights merely served to announce a passing, but they could become attached to residences where a traumatic death had occured, thus evidencing themselves as a ghost of the dead. This seems to have been the case on Spiddle Hill, in Colchester County, Nova Scotia,

Heleb, Bluenose Ghosts, p. 230.

which was once haunted by a ball of fire. Since it floated over the Ross farm, it came to be called Ross's Torch. "It was a round bright light and lighted the whole place but, when (the family left), it left." No one knew the name of the instigating spirit and it was of such common occurence that most people ignored it in spite of its reputation as a dangerous omen. One exception was a farmer named Murray, who was a stranger to the region: "He saw the light and was watching it so closely that (his horse and wagon) went off course." He saw something in the light not previously observed and, at home, "collpased and, although he lived for a while, never got out of bed again."247 At Ingomar people also gave this name to the spirit-light: "The gopher was something that appeared at Ingomar and people wouldn't go near the place where it was seen... Nothing had ever happened there to account for it as far as anyone knew, but they dassn't pass it. It died away after a while but not before frightening a lot of people."248 At Clyde River, Prince Edward Island, the haunt appeared as “ dim wavering light.”Joseph Devereux says he thinks it became particularly active in 1910: “It was reported almost nightly at the western end of the bridge. It would drift slowly up the hill past the Presbyterian church, to a point near the Bannockburn Road where, after a pause, it would fade from view.” At first nothing of any consequence took place but toward the end of that year “an old couple, Paul macPhail and his wife, died in a fire that destroyed their home at the spot where the light was said to have lingered.” This same writer said that similar lights were seen “on a lowlying stretch of land farther west.” 249 At Spirit Hill, Cape Sable Island a man tried to shoot one of this firey spheres but the shot rebounded and exploded the barrel of his shotgun. Sometimes the lights were accompanied by full poltergeistic effects, as at Seabright, where aprons appeared strangely pleated on the clothesline, lumber was heard falling where no piles existed. Here one resident saw a fire-ball moving paralklel to a line fence: "It kept the
247Creighton, 248Creighton, 249DEVEREUX,

Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, p. 235. Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, p. 229.

JOSEPH, “Of Haunts and Spectres,” Weekend Guardian Patriot, Sat. Dec. 17, 1994.

form of a ball till it reached the woodpile, and then the light disappeared, but not the sound that went with it (a piercing howl). That followed him as far as the door, but not into the house (spirits were sometimes halted by the iron nails and screws that were a part of doors and entrances)." 250 Most men could not identify their mirror image, or doppelganger. The exact identity of the gopher-spirit only became obvious to men at the pre-death meeting. This was the spirit that Christian's sometimes identified as their conscience, sometimes seen materialized as a "guardian angel". When Townsend was an adult, working as a plumber on the Ford office tower in Detroit, he had another encounter with the gopher, this time as a light. Townsend was working overtime on a Saturday and had been sent by his boss to the top floor with orders to install radiators: "All right. I went up there. I didn't install much. Eleven o'clock (p.m.) came around. I was the only one at the top of the building. All the others were down below. The boss says, "How's about all going home at eleven o'clock? All satisfied?" Yes. But I didn't know anything about it. Eleven o'clock came they switched all the lights off. I was left up there. A great large room. And a place for a freight elevator right in the middle. You go in there, there's nothing to keep you from going down fifty stories. A hole for a passenger elevator was also there. A hole through every floor. I got to thinking, By gosh, I can't move, I wouldn't dare move. So I doubled my coat into one corner and made a pillow of my lunchbox. I didn't go to sleep. I didn't have time to go to sleep. When a great mighty light came up in front of me. Oh, no light, no electric light was as bright. Come over close to me. Then it started tro move away. Nothing said,. I knew what it meant: for me to follow the light. I got my coat on, the lunchboxand went over to the ladder. And that tremendous light stayed with me almost all the way down fifty floors..." 251 Gopher lights are now termed considered forerunners, but they have reportage. In Science, September 26, house was struck by lightning which
250Creighton, 251Caplan,

“ball lightning, and are no longer beome a persitent part of scientific 1924, JohnKaiser reported that his spawned a ball of fire, “seemingly

Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, p. 237.

Ronald, editor, Down North, p. 164.

about nine inches in diameter which was thrown into the cnetre of my bedroom and exploded with a terrific noise.” In that same magazine, for September 10, 1937, Mary Hunneman, told of a similar encounter at Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire. While watching a storm she saw it emerge “out of space” falling through a cellar window into the basement of her house. “It was a round ball, bronze, glistening with gleaming rays shooting out from the top and sides; by its beauty and brilliance reminding one of a Christmas tree ornament...Probably at this same instant, all the electric fuses in the house blew out with unusual vilence.” Note also that occasionally on clear moonlit nights, when a front is moving in, reports are made concerning goof lights . These spots of light moving across the sky with an undulatory motion, are considered to be mirage reflections from a wavy inversion layer, or scattered in passing through ground mist. GOUGOU A mortal sea-spirit of the Wabenaki Indians, particularly characterized by its death-dealing shrieks and known as a collector of souls of the living and the dead. Wabenaki, Micmac dialect, gou , forest, primal time or place; perhaps related to the obsolete English goul , a shout or yell. This word is synonymous with Geol , an Anglo-Saxon winter month better known as the Yule , a time when the winter-god's shouts froze the souls of the living and the dead. All the above confer with our word yell . Gou Gou or Goo Goo remains a family name among the Micmacs. We think it may correspond with Ku Ku , kukwees and canoose , the last two being dialectic names given the hairy, cannibalistic giants that invaded the Atlantic Provinces after Glooscap inadvertently blasted a "gate" between their world and that of men (see Glooscap). John Robert Columbo says that the linguistic scholar John Steckley has noted that Gougou is "etymologically related to the Micmac word for earthquake, as are the given names of three other beings: Kuhkw , a powerful warrior and companion of Glooscap (who could "pass along under the surface of the ground, making all things shake and tremble by his power"); Kukwes cold hazy now light

(meaning "little Gougou"), a cannibalistic (giant) that produces an incredibly loud whoop or call when about to pounce on its victim; and Kukuwes , the Great Horned Owl, a name imitative of its cry."252 This beast was first described by Samuel de Champlain, an French cartographer, who came to the region with DeMont's expedition in 1604: "There is another strange thing worthy of narration, which many savages have assured me was true; this is, that near Chaleur Bay (Bay of Heat) towards the south, lies an island, (Miscou) where makes his abode a dreadful monster, which the savages call "Gougou". They told me it had the form of a woman, but most hideous, and of such size that according to them the tops of the masts of our vessel would not reach her waist, so big did they represent her. And they say that she often devoured and still eats many savages; these she puts, when she can catch them, intp a great pocket, and afterwards consumes. Those who have escaped the danger of this ill-omened beast say that her pocket was so large that she might put our vessel into it." The monster...makes horrible noises (from the interior of) that island, and when they speak of her it is with unutterably strange terror, and many assured me they have sighted her. The aforementioned Sieur de Prevert told me that, while going in search of mines, he passed near the haunt of this fearful beast, and he and all on board heard strange hissings from the noise it made, and the savages with him assured him this was the beast, and were so afraid they hid themselves whereever they could, for fear it would come and carry them off. And what makes me believe this tale, is the fact that all the savages fear it...If I were to record all I have been told of the Gougou it would be considered untrue, but I hold that this place house some great devil that torments the people in the manner described..."253 In the myths, it was contended that Glooscap bragged of his defeat of all the Powers on earth, but was remined "by a certain old woman" that "there remains one who has never been laid low and will never be bested to the end of time." Glooscap asked, "Who is this?" and was informed "The
252Columbo, 253Biggar,

John Robert, Columbo's Book Of Marvels, p. 71.

H.P., The Works Of Samuel de Champlain (1922-26), Volume I, loosely paraphrased.

mighty Wasis, the Gou Gou of the world! I warn and implore you not to meddle with him, for you cannot defeat him!" Glooscap was, of course, immediately drawn into a contest of wills. Meeting the creature, who sat in the middle of a tent "sucking a piece of maple sugar", Glooscap attempted to overcome him with friendship. He smiled at Wasis and invited him to talk. The creature smiled back but made no effort to do as he was instructed. At this, the Master summoned his best thunder-and-lightning voice and demanded compliance, but Wasis only shrieked terribly and would not move. The master then called upon his most terrible spells, sangs the songs that raised the dead and expelled devils and called forth wonderful monsters. At this, Wasis looked on admiringly, and with interest, but did not budge an inch. Glooscap surrendered in despair and the tiny baby said "Gou! Gou!" Thus, the primal cry of nature was always seen as more powerful than the gods of earth. Gougou is an able personification of the screech of moving earth as well as that of a child. Northern New Brunswick, the former seat of the Gougou is a zone of "only moderate earthquake activity, and is not in a high risk area such as the west coast of North America." This may not always have been the case as it is noted that local earthquakes are related to "movements on pre-existing geological faults, possibly a delayed response to the unloading of the crust due to the melting ice sheet (of the last continental glacier) about 13,000 years ago." If this is the case, then the surface may have been more active at times closer the thermal maximum (about 8,000 years ago) when unloading of the crust was rapid. According to our best reports Kukwu, the earthquake giant, became allied with Glooscap and sometimes assisted him in his projects. When three men came to Glooscap's underground "wigwam" seeking favours, he found that the first wished to be the tallest Indian in the land; another wished that his nature-worship should go on indefinitely, while a third wanted a long life and good health. Hearing this, Glooscap took the men to the surface and called upon Kukhw to open a crack in the earth. This was done, and the three men fell in, at which the earth closed rooting them to the spot. Afterwards, Glooscap invoked his magic causing the supplicants to become pine trees thus fulfilling their needs in an all too-literal fashion. Some white "experts" have claimed that Glooscap was not a trickster but he did possess a unique sense of humour.

When Glooscap withdrew from Atlantic Canda, it was claimed that Kukhw went with him to the north-west, where earthquakes are still virulent. Occasionally he has returned to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to remind folk of his power over men. The 1982 Miramichi earthquake, the most powerful recorded by seismogrph, occured at 8:53 a.m. (AST) registering 5.7 on the Richter Scale. This was sufficient to have created widespread destruction except for the fact that it took place in an entirely uninhabited region of New Brunswick. GOULDWOODY, HENRY A mortal earth spirit bound to the barren lands of Atlantic Canada.

Anglo-Saxon, heann, mean abject, poor; also lofty, above the common-folk from Henry , a personal name derived from the German Heinreich , literally rich Hans , the head of a clan or household Diminished forms in English include: Hal , Harry , Hen and Hawkins . Gould is a a variant spelling of the Anglo-Saon gold and confers with goul , to howl, from which the family name Gowland. + the Anglo-Saxon wudu , a wood or forest; like the Middle English wood both from Woden . All confer with the Old High German witu and with the Old Gaelic fid and the Welsh gwydd , a copse of trees. See also witch . The woods howler, confering with the gou-gou and the woods whooper or hooter (which, see). This spirit is identified with the gouldwith , goodwid or goldwood of Newfoundland. Fires have ravaged the island since the coming of white men and increased population densities. Since the soil there was largely carried away by glaciation, repeated fires have made it impossible for trees to root let alone grow and vast regions have been transformed into barren-lands. The growth in the barrens, aside from mosses and lichens is a copse, locally called the goodwiddy or goldwithy , a dwarfed mixture of laurels, Labrador tea and blueberry plants. This mere mention of the name of this incarnate spirit of the barrens has helped to disuade children from wandering in that dangerous territory. 254 Edith, Folklore of Canada, See "The Functions of Threat In Newfoundland Folklore", p. 287.

GRAND MANAN An important mortal Gaelic god-spirit of the sea the son of Ler often entitled Manan mac Ler. French grand from Olf French grant from Latin grandis , similar to the English word grand in meaning, viz, a great person, one having high rank; of large size (as Grand Manan Island); imposing in appearance (as is also the case for this island). Manan is perhaps derived from manth , the English “mantle,” the cowl of one belonging to a religious brotherhood. Since the cowl hides the identity of the wearer, the word may be used as a verb to mean cloaked or hidden from view, thus a foggy island. The word resembles the Anglo-Saxon munuc from which we have the English monk and these words confer with the Gaelic manach , “a solitary person or hermit,” and manachainn , “a monastery.” The monks were originally involved with making predictions hence the Old Gaelic mana , “an omen.” The casting of future and past events was traditionally the role of the sea-giants of Scandanavia and Britain and a chief among them was Manan mac Ler whose eastern land outpost was the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. The name is also written Manann and Manaun. This word also comes close to the Old French menthane , “cloaked,” or “hidden.” Oddly enough we find munanook in the Maliseet, munego , in Micmac and menahan in Penobscot, all indicating “a solitary thing (as an island) standing by itself.” According to Ganong the first syllable of the word indicates an island, the remainder of the word being descriptive: The ending syllable an , aan or ahan , taken alone, indicates “the sea” or “out at sea,” and is considereed to be an abbreviation of the Micmac word uktan , “the open sea.” It has been guessed that this was modified to agon or egon , in the various dialects, the consants ultimately being dropped. Manan , “the isolated sea-island,” has counterparts in the nearby islands of Menanouze (somethimes called Petit Manan) and Monhegan , these names being variants of Menahan. Amazingly the Gaelic Manaun is also a two part word, the man or mam portion indicating “a large round hill” or “handfull of anything” standing in isolation (as the mammary glands or human breasts). In a supplimentary way it indicates a pair of things, and indeed there was, from earliest times a Petit Manan as well as a Grand Manan. Because of the swellings there, the groin was referred to as manachan . The latter part of the word equates with uaine . “green,” which has its root in uag , “wet,” thus again “an isolated

sea-island. This island-spirit was actually referred to as ktanagook, “the most important island,” in the tongue of the closest Indian inhabitants. It was Etienne Belanger who first recorded the name Menane . Halkyut followed this lead extending the name to the body of water now called the Bay of Fundy.Northern Forests.” Samuel de Champlain’s rendering was Manthane , probably having reference to persistent summer fogs. It should be noted that these islands were anciently considered to be the god in incarnate, if inactive, form. Grand Manan was, and is, sheathed in "magic mist" through much of the summer sailing season, to the extent that the entire Bay of Fundy was missed by the men who drew the first charts of the northeast coast of the United States and Canada. While the waters south of Cape Cod are largely influenced by the warm Gulf Stream, the Bay receives only twenty percent of its tidal waters from this source, getting the rest from the frigid Labrador Current. This means that the waters of the Bay are close to the freezing point at mid-summer. Since the air temperature is much warmer, the dew point of water is easily reached and fog generated on an almost constant basis. It will be remembered that monks went to lonely islands to "commune with God," which is the polite way of saying they hoped to obtain additional god-spirit and thus secular power over their dangerous world. In doing this, they had the example of Jesus Christ who spent time in a desert-wilderness. The druid priests and the scalds, who had come before them, had similar examples of men who had attained full god-hood through isolation and contemplation. The most noteable of these was King Odin, a capable magician, but not a fully realized talent until he turned to what we would now call "a wilderness experience." There, Odin hung himself for nine days and nights from the Norse world-tree, "selfwounding himself with his own spear, ere he won the knowledge he sought." When he emerged from this experience it was noted that he had a new "magic" which enabled him to place the spoken word upon wood and other materials, recalling its sounds at will. It was said that these "runes" gave him "power over all things." The Glooscap, the prime god of the Abenakis underwent a similar although unintended experience and his wilderness seems to have been

Grand Manan Island. According to some Glooscap lived in those days at what is now Liverpool, Nova Scotia; others were sure that his base was on an island near Saint John, New Brunswick. Most agreed that he was born a member of the Black Cat tribe on his mothers side and one of the Bear people by his father. As a youth he caught the eye of a mature witchwoman named Pook-jin-skwess, one of the Cat people. All of this race could take the form of their totem animals but this "lady" could take many forms "for she could be man or woman, or many (of either sex) when she willed it. Glooscap had not yet attained the powers of magic he possessed as an adult so he was forced to flee her unrequited love. According to a Passamaquoddy tale he leaped from the coast of Maine to take refuge on the island of Grand Manan. In doing so he is supposed to have left his snowshoe prints on both sides of the water, deeply embedded in the rocks of the land. Others explained his coming to the island without resorting to a supernatural happening, claiming that the witch woman tired of Glooscap's advoidance-reactions and finally sought revenge. Taking the form of a man she invited the young chief to go collecting bird's eggs on this off-shore island. Having stranded him there she paddled away singing, "I have left the Black cat on the island; Now surely I shall be chief of the People." Fortunately Glooscap was able to telepathically warm his immediate family (Grandmother and a mikumwees named Marten) of her intentions so that the entire tribe was able to flee into the woods. The length of Glooscap's isolation is given as something between thirteen days and seven months. His introspection ended when he recalled a Fox ally who had telepathy and magical powers. "And he sang a song and Fox heard it although he was many miles away..." The fox came to him on the island and offered him his tail in order that both might attain the mainland. What magic Glooscap possessed was severely drained for he found the return trip troublesome and long and thought "We shall never get to land." But the Fox-man responded, "Do not believe it, the winds are high and the waters wild at the command of the witch-woman, but she will not overcome us." In one day and one night they reached land where Glooscap was ritually reborn as a magician his powers now extending over death itself. It must be recalled that Manan mac Ler was the soul-gatherer of the dead, the god who transported men to An Domhain, the Deep beneath Tir nan Og, an island which stood in the western sea. His outward voyage seemed to take an hour of time but actually required one day and night of

voyaging. With his spirit recharged, Glooscap followed the witch to Newfoundland and utterly destroyed her. In some versions of this myth Isle Haut at the head of the Bay is given as Glooscap's monastic retreat, and at least one version insists he attained godhood not with the crossing of Grand Manan Channel but after the defeat of the witch, when he canoed home through the underworld. Grand Manan Island was probably not thought of as an embodiment of Glooscap, but it did have “The Hole In The Wall,” an entrance to the Otherworld on its northern coast at Whale Cove. It may be significant that the island was alluded too obliquely as “The Sentinel,” when it was not called simply, “The Island In The Sea.” The former name carried the implication of “the most important island.” From this we can guess that the island was the quietly brooding death-god Papkutparut (see separate entry), a gigantic shape-changer who had once been human. Those who approached him came by way of Water World and found him “as a mountain among mountains, as a terrible storm and as wind.” Those who drew his attention by uttering his name were advised to bare their stomach for his death axe and give themselves to his justice. Those who returned from death world, by his leave, were further cautioned to “chant and dance in his honour.” If our guess is correct then Grand Manan may very well be An Domhain, the western terminus for Manan mac Ler’s death-ship, for Papkutparut and Manan are one of a kind. It is noteworthy that men came to Grand Manan but made no permanent residences there until after the American Revolutionary War. The island was in a war zone through much of its early colonial history. Its southern coast was dangerous, its western coast inhospitable because of high cliffs (excepting perhaps Dark Harbour and Indian Point), and its easily accessed eastern coast was often in fog. It was also too large to be defended and may have been a place of now forgotten taboos. GREGORY An earth spirit reincarnate as a mummer or disguiser. Middle English, gregory , any partial disguise especially one word to an evening masquerade. A gregory was also the disguise itself, a coarsely

woven short jacket with an attached hood (compare with cooligan). The nature of the gregorians is preserved in gregarious , those who like moving in a crowd; those who enjoy parties. Lady Hunter was not one of these. The wife of the commander-inchief of British forces at Fredericton, New Brunswick, in eighteen two, she wrote home saying: "Our season does not commence until after Christmas when the river (Saint John) gets quite frozen over, and then everybody is flying about in sleighs in the morning and going to gregories and dances in the evenings. I have been at one or two gregories, stupid card parties (and obviously a pale imitation of what they must have been) where you are crammed with tea, coffee, cakes, and then in an hour or two, (with) cold turkey. ham and a profusion of tarts, pies and sweetmeats; punch, wine, porter, liquers and all sorts of drink, so you can see these parties are no joke." Tristam Coffin explains that such feasts were once expected to have useful results: "General inebriation, with resultant gluttony and orgiastic behaviour - activities to make the tables and the women groan - were fostered. Sex death, and rebirth were danced and mimed. Anything that related to fertility, to transformation, to "evergreen" took on significance." GREYBACK A spirit of the sea incarnate in a destructive ocean wave. line storm. living gale, Sheilah's storm, back storm, smelt storm storm, round gale, sheep



A spirit of the air which causes severe storms. Anglo-Saxon, graedig , greedy + grindaner , grinder. Latin, gryphus , hooked, curved. The eagle-faced, lion-bodied flying monster of Grecian legends, said to guard the treasures of the Scythians. From the earliest times gryffons have been reported sighted among the mountains of Labrador. What they guard, or guarded, is uncertain. DPEI: "A bad storm

that made you scared and sounded like a grinder. also grundelmeyer.

It's old fashioned."


Note that the Algonquins believed that thunderbirds caused wind and water-spouts, and that clouds developed as moisture precipitated from the beating of their wings.

GRUNDELMEYER A sea-spirit found on cobbled beaches at the highest pitch of waves and tide. Middle English, grind, to pulverize from the Anglo-Saxon grund , earth, plain, ground, bottom, depth, foundation place; grundleas , bottomless; grund-wiergan or grund miergen (the same as morgan), the grinder sea-woman, a female monster of the deep. See mhorga . Sometimes referred to in local mythology as he back-wave grinder or undertow grinder . See also grundelmyer , a thoroughfare between dangerous rocks. This creature is heard "working" at the time of the highest winds, waves tides, and only on cobbled beaches where the rocks literally grind against one another under these extreme conditions. The grinders may ocassionally be heard at Fundy Park and Cape Enrage, in New Brunswick and at places such as Port Shoreham, Canso and Hubbards in Nova Scotia. GROUNDHOG The male spirit of hogamany or New Years; also identified with the Gaelic festival of Imbolg (Feb. 2), locally entitled Groundhog Day. Anglo-Saxon, grund , ground, bottomless, depths, water, plain +hogg , any animal at sexual maturity. Domesticated animals were once identified as yearlings through the use of a suffix, thus: calf-hog, bullhog, swine-hog, or sheep-hog. Wild animals were similarly described, thus: wart-hog, bear-hog and ground-hog, the last identifying any hiberanating species including the bear. See grundelmeyer . The haugmanday is still known in Celtic parts although the rites are

decadent. The word haugmandie is understood to indicate “fornication,” which used to be a favourite sport at this time of year. Festivities were led by a hog-man dressed in the head and skin of a beast. He had complete liberty during his tenure but was “sent to earth,” immediately after. The word is known to correpond with the Gaelic og, , “young” and is derived from the god Ogma mac Elathu , ruler of the western isle of perpetual youth, a place called Tir nan Og . Corresponds as well with ogluidh , “gloomy, awful, bashful, ugly, which may represent the Christian view of the associated god Lugh , who was the brother of Ogma . These names correspond phoenetically with with aithir , the “father”and through the Norse word uggligy , “ugly,” with Uigg or Ygg one of the three hundred or so names fancied by the god known as Odin. As mentioned elsewhere the name haugmany was used in the New Brunswick Legislature to characterize a “go-preacher,” of the last century who was notorious for his sexual adventures and warped version of Christianity. GRUNDELMYER A mortal sea-spirit personified as a giant and perceived within a natural race of water. Anglo-Saxon, grund , the deep, especially the depths of water + maegde , strong kinswoman. The Teutonic equivalent of the Celtic goddess Mhorrigan; a sea-dwelling bloodthirsty monster of the female sex. Confers with grundleas , bottomless pit and grund-wiergen , female monster of the deep. Confers with the English ground and with the Gaelic grunnd , the bottom of the sea or a river. Hence also the Gaelic grunndail , steadfast, solid, sensible. The grundels were obviously allied with the northern tribesmen.

Grand Mananers and residents of Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, used to identify stretches of clear water as "thoroughfares" and spoke of any region where the water was disturbed as a "grundel ". The spirit of a dangerous whirlpool; a bogeywoman used to warn children from unsafe sea-side places. Perhaps similar to the Lunenburg grunts , said derived from the German grunzen , to complain.255 Grund has the same roots as the modern English verb to grind ; thus one who pulverizes her opponents.

Murray B., Canadian English, Toronto (1975).

The Maelstromm is the world's most powerful "grinder" the Old Sough (which, see) taking second place to it as a destroyer. Interestingly this Norwegian costal spirit figures in the voyage of the Celtic hero Maelduin (Bag man). The Gaelic "maileid" means bag, and the Maelstromm, or Mailstromm, was seen to be a pouch or bag that dipped down into the sea. Maelduin was probably the son of a Norse settler in Ireland as his father was Ailill Edgebattle, the latter a peculiarly non-Celtic name. His father was slain by "plunderers from over the sea," thus he was fostered to the King of Arran. As an adult he made many trips into the Glacial Ocean (the Atlantic), and on one of these met a peculiar but powerful spirit: "...they came at length to an island upon which dwelt a miller, vast of bulk and hideous of aspect; and if he was hideous, still more hideous was his "mill". Asked the purpose of this mill the miller responded: "whatever is not given cheerfully and with a willing heart is surely ground here. And I truly tell you that half the corn of Erin (Ireland) passes through my mill." "Even as the spiritspoke the crew saw countless laden horses and human beings bending under the weight of heavy sacks going to and from the mill. And ever the unground corn came from the east, and ever the ground corn was carried westward." This last comment noted counterclockwise rotation of all whirlpools in the northern hemisphere. Maelduin's ship fled from the Maelstromm when they realized they were looking upon the mills of Hel, whose "stones" are still known to grind "exceedingly fine." Our local version of Hel's mills is personified in the Grundelmyer, who appears as the sea-dragon cornered and killed by Beowulf (Bee-wolf) in the Anglo-Saxon poem of the same name. This bear-like man-god cornered Grendel , the main villain of this epic ,and tore off his arm. He thought his troubles over, but his Ring-Danes were tracked by the monster's mother, and one of them was carried off to her "fen" beneath the sea. In his final battle with this "mere-woman" Beowulf lost his own sword and was about to be killed when he spotted "an old sword made by the giants" among a pile of bones and spent armour. With this he cut down Grendelmeyer although here poisonous spirit was so heated it melted all but the hilt of this sword. Beowulf brought the gigantic head back to land as a trophy of victory. Here it was reported that "four men had trouble carrying the head on spear shafts as far as their gold-hall." 256

E. Talbot, Beowulf, New York (1966), p. 29.

GUARDIAN A mortal sea-spirit deliberately created by the gods, or men, to act as the warden of a treasure-trove. Middle English, from the Old French, garder or warder , one who keeps watch; similar to the Anglo-SAxon gar , a spear, and the Scottish verb, gar , to compel others to obey. Also known as the guardian-spirit, a tutelary or genius in the old sense of the word (ie. the attendant godspirit of a place). Sometimes considered to be an earth-bound tannas or ghost of a dead human. A spirit assigned to a countryside was described by Reginald Scot (1665), who supposedly interviewed him while touring the Orkney Islands, immediately north of Scotland: "Luridan a familiar of this kind did for many years inhabit the island of Pomonia, the largest of the Orkades in Scotland, supplying the place of man-servant and maid-servant with wonderful diligence to those families he did haunt...This Lauridan did affirm that he was the genius Astral of that island; that his place of residence in the days of Solomon and David was at Jerusalem; that then he was called by the Jews Belelah; after that, he remained long in the dominion of Wales, instructing their bards in British poesy and prophecies, being called Wrthin, Wadd Elgin (or Merlin), "and now," said he, "I have removed hither, and alas! my continuance is but short, for in seventy years, I must resign my place to Balkin, lord of the Northern Mountains." Guardians who were given less scope are also mentioned: "The northern nations believed that the tombs of their heroes emiited a lambent blue flame, always visible at night, (a spirit) that guarded the ashes of the dead. This they called "haunga elldr" (elf fire). It was supposed more particularly to surround such tombs as contained hidden treasure." It was this "divine fire" which Grettir the Strong saw surrounding the head of the dead Anglo-Saxon hero, Heward the Wake as he lay entombed. He knew immediately that there was buried treasure in the vicinity. Norse marauders were reputedly led to the crypt of Maes Howe, in the Hebrides, by the "death-light", but some of them were misled by its

guardian, who generated a magical snow-storm and later blighted the viking-captain with madness. Guardians were, more typically, runners or befinds forced to become treasure-warders. When pirates buried their loot they deliberately killed an unimportant member of the crew, being sure to ask him if he was willing to take temporary custody of the booty. If they got his agreement, they plied him with drink, butchered him as painlessly as possible and dumped his body into the pit on top of the treasure chest. Having contracted to protect the treasure in life, the spirit of the dead man was compelled to remain as a guardian until released by the pirate captain. Since pirate gold was blood money, and one spirit could only be released by substituting another, additional blood flow was required to quiet a guardian. Some men thought that human blood was needed, but animal blood was used with less fuss and equal results. It was also protocol that the chest had to be opened within the pit and a few coins removed or added to the horde before a treasure could be claimed. If anyone spoke while digging or if any other requirement was overlooked the treasure might sink into the ground where it would remain inaccesible for seven years. Alternately, the guardian was unbound and able to take physical action against the diggers. The guardian at Curries Mountain, on the Saint John River just above Fredericton was typical in his reaction: Three men tried to recover a pirate lode from that site but overlooked the business of opening the chest while it remained in the pit. While they were hoisting the container with block and tackle, the chain parted, and at that one of the men swore aloud. This released a bearded guardian , who was seen to have a cutlass embedded in his chest. He lunged at the treasure-hunters who fled for their lives. Chased to the river bank they were met with the sight of a ghostly sailing ship ablaze in a cold light. As they watched, a crew member fired a ghostly volley at the shore and the phantom ship dissolved into the surrounding fog. Gathering courage, the three went back to the money pit but the guardian and the chest were gone. The spirits of the dead were always torn between duty and a desire to move on to some other incarnation, thus on Red Island, near Chezzetcook. Nova Scotia, Mr. Roast was pursued by a ghostly woman "who chased him around the island three or four times." When he stopped for breath, she sang a song, the gist of which was "There's money here and I want you to take it." Unfortunately he had no notion of proper procedures and no pirate gold was ever

recovered. Mary L. Fraser noted that "(pirates) drew lots among themselves to determine which should be killed and buried near the gold. The spirit of this unfortunate...was to guard the treasure. Woe betide the intruder who should rashly tred that soil, or try to dig for the wealth. Hence it became necessary for the treasure-seekers to take every precaution in prosecuting their search. For the locating of the treasure they used a curiously constructed rod. A small sealed bottle containing a liquid of which mercury was one of the ingredients, was flanked on either side by long strips of whale-bone attached to it by leather thongs. The free ends of the whale-bone were curved outward so as to fit on the thumbs of the the person who carried the rod. Only a person whose thumb-prints were perfectly circular could use it effectively. The rod was carried in absolute silence, with the bottle upwards. The bearer knew he was near the treasure when the bottle of its own accord, swung down to the earth. There is no (local) tradition of treasure having been found in this way; but there is one well-authenticated instance where a very valuable watch that was lost in a field was located by means of the (divining) rod." 257 We suspect that few men willingly submitted to death, most being tricked into taking on the role of guardianship. Guardians came into being where the invisible second soul was prevented from uniting with the primary soul because of death-trauma. The soul-runneer, flygiar, or cowalker made every possible effort to warn men (or women) against those who plotted the death, so an incredibly stupid or besotted individual was needed, it being a requirement of binding that the person selected had to agree to his own death. Pirates sometimes selected valueless hostages for the purpose, although an inexperienced, new crewman was sometimes willing to do duty. Enos Hartlan told Helen Creighton that, "When the man volunteered to stay with the treasure, "they had a party and soused him and buried him alive with the treasure." 258 In other cases they wanted to be certain that the newly-created guardian spirit did not worm his way up out of the ground. When a pirate-captain was about to bury treasure on a Nova

Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, p. 78. Helen, Bluenose Ghost, p. 47.


Scotian beach he called for anyone willing "to stay with this treasure for a little bit." A young man named Stingles, a later resident of East Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, was about to volunteer when a black man gave consent. As the lad watched in horror, they sliced the head from the quicker speaker and "fired him down the hole."259 The virtue in being a strong silent person is clear, and the tradition against volunteering for any military duty is seen as sensible in view of this tradition. As the local Micmac Indians were sometimes conned into serving as guardians, some of them developed a taboo against coming near "the white man's metal." A resident of Scatarie Island, Nova Scotia, suggested that pirates were not the only ones familiar with the means of creating guardians: "...there's gold on the island alright...been there from the time when the French were having problems with the English here at Louisbourg...no one on Scatarie ever got any of it. No one dared to dig it up. This was because they buried the gold each with a corpse on top, so that before you'd get to the gold you'd be face to face with a skeleton...They didn't think it worth the risk." 260 Some pirates maintained that it was necessary to bury a man alive to produce a satisfactory guardian, others held that the victim might be beheaded, the headless body or the disembodied head making a perfectly satisfactory spook. At Wayerton, New Brunswick a treasure seeker who followed his dream started a pit near Waye's Bridge but was not far into the ground when he encountered a skull which dissauded him from going further. At Stillwater, Nova scotia, diggers were faced with the vision of six headless men. At Birch Cove, near Apple River, Nova Scotia, used to go regularly to a field to allow his team of horses to feed on the grass. While he was there, a stranger approached him in the darkness; but even in the reduced light he could see that this person had no head. Rooted in fear, he listened as the apparition advised, "Don't be afraid, I mean you no harm. Come with me and I'll show you where there is lots of money." When the man shook his head the ghost rolled itself into a vast ball of ffire and rolled away into the distance. For three days after, this unfortunate
259Creighton, 260Mitcham,

Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, p. 47. A similar story on p. 46.

The Outer Islands, p. 81, quoting Scatarie resident John


dreamed of his headless man, who insisted that he should return to the field to an old pole fence, following it to a treasure buried in a great stone pile somewhere along its length. Two years passed before the individual gathered the courage to do as he had been told and he did locate the stone pile, but on it sat a huge black snake, unlike anything he had thought to see in eastern Canada. Sometimes the instructions left with a guardian were explicit; thus, at Rose Bay, Nova Scotia a pirate-captain is said to have delivered this eulogy-cum-demand over a fresh grave: "You're to guard this spot for one hundred and fifty years. Now hear you devil, you take up the keys (to the strong-box) until such time as a rooster will plough and a hen will harrow. Then deliver up the keys to those who do so."261 As Creighton has said the guardian was always torn between a deesire to end its binding and the necessity of keeping the terms of its contract. On one hand, the spirit sometimes made extraordinary attempts to inform men of the treasure, for its recovery meant that the haunt was relieved of duty. Not infrequently it appeared to people in dreams laying out in great detail how the treasure might be gained. At other times it created lights over the treasure-pit or left physical clues to the place where the valuables lay buried. Some of these ghosts even pleaded their case complaining that they should be exempted from further work because of long service. Some whined over their confinement and on an island near French village, Nova Scotia, a female of this kind demanded that a passing boater should, "take me off this island." Her hoped-for saviour fled in abject terror because she was not entirely materialized. No matter how helpful guardians were at pointing out the treasure, they were forced to take up another mask when men actually started to dig for it. In the protective mode, the ghost was apt to materialize and in any of a number of terrifying ways. Usually guardians have appeared bound to a small stretch of shore-line or an island, and it is generally said that spooks cannot cross water. An exception to this was an island-guardian at Salmon River, Nova Scotia, who pursued treasure-seekers into the water, where she attempted to wrestle oars out of their hands. The Oak Island treasure-pit off the south shore of Nova Scotia is the

Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, p. 50.

most worked over site in Atlantic Canada and it had a well-known guardian who is a case in point: This island was rumoured to house a "money-pit" long before an actual depression was discovered in 1795 but men avoided the place because it was said to be haunted. During that summer three young men from the nearby mainland examined a dying tree that stood over what looked like a filled in well. One sawed-ff limb that stretched over the "pit" showed signs of having been worn by the efeects of a block-and-tackle. They commenced to dig and kept at it until 1804 when they discovered a flat stone at the 95 foot level. The stone had markings in an unknown language which no one seemed able to decipher. Whatever it said, the message was lost after the 14x36" slab was moved to Halifax, displayed, and relagated to use as a surface on which to pound leather. At the 100 foot level the lads found a layer of planking and were confident that the treasure lay directly beneath. They never did find out, for overnight the shaft flooded up to the 30 foot level and could not be freed of water. In 1805 another group managed to get a parallel pit down as far as the 110 foot level, but it gushered water barely allowing them to escape with their lives. The attempts that followed were legion, the most concerted effort being made by a U.S. based incorporation in 1899. They drilled to 153-feet, finding oak and loose metal there along with eight inches of cement. Beyond that, at 171 feet, they augered into iron plate. In that effort the drill picked up a bit of parchament bearing quill pen writing, again in an indeciperable language or cipher. None of these individuals, groups, or formal companies ever managed to dig a pit that would stay free of water. While all this was taking place, reports started of men who had seen ghost pirates burying the elusive treasure. A tall white pillar of light was also noticed foraging across the island, and gopher-lights, or fetches, were seen, apparently trying to lead men to the treasure. By the 1930's it was established that the leading guardian was a "man" wearing a scarlet coat of antique style. This red-coated guardian was seen first by the lighthouse keeper's daughter and later by a lad from Chester. In 1931 a mineral-rod dowser looking for new digs met face-to-face with the ghost and was told, "You're in the wrong place." The spook then drifted to another spot and pointed downward, afterwards disappearing into the earth, passing downward amidst sounds similar to those made by "a fence mallet driving stakes into the ground." That night the treasure-seekers said they were pursued to the edge of the island by what appeared to be "a four-footed animal apparently covered by a sheet." Led by William

Chappell, who had been on hand at the dig of 1897, another company sank a shaft to 163 feet and although convinced they had by-passed the treasure, did find, deep in the ground, a pick, an anchor fluke, a miner's seal oil lamp and an old used axe head. Not much was seen of the guardian after that time, but the pillar of light, frtequently seen by members of the Chappell expedition was seen again in 1950 when John W. Lewis made his attempt at fame and fortune. In 1966, the Triton Alliance took over the search which is syill going on. Their most spectacular report to date was the sigthing of "a chest and a floating hand" viewed on the monitor for a remote camera lowered into a new eighteen-inch diameter passageway. Unfortunately, this was another dead end, for when expedition leader attempted to have himself lowered into this tube it began to collapse and he escaped with only seconds to spare. The fellow who guarded Oak Island reminds one of the spirit at Old Pokiok Falls, near Woodstock, New Brunswick. There men were using a divining rod of witch-hazel to locate hidden wealth when they were joined by "a gaunt stranger clad in a mildewed red jacket, knickerbockers, a sou'wester, and bearing a sheathed sword at his side." This guardian appeared unable to speak (a prohibition placed on all such spirits until they have, themselves, been addressed, but he was capable of a cackling laugh which was enough to scare off the humans in his presence. Similarly, at Port Royal men sought treasure in the old foundations of the French fort. In one dig, an iron cook-pot was found beneath a flat rock at the three foot level. Engrossed in their digging, the men of this company were at first unaware of "a big hound of a man with black scraggly whiskers on him and he had a handkerchief knotted in four corners and a big loose shirt and a belt and a candle. He was holding a candle against the rock that held the rope up and the rope was burning. The three of us...we skedaddled." Returning to the scene at a later date, the men observed that there was no sign the ground had ever been broken by a spade. The treasure on Oak Island has been attributed to Captain Kidd, not only because the age of the money-pit seems appropriate to his time, but also because a rock installed on the island was supposed to have been engraved with the words "200 Kidd." There is no dearth of these enigmatic inscriptions on our beaches and shorelines. Some were undoubtly cut by praksters, but a few may be credited to the hands of pirates and some may

have been the busy-work of guardians. At Glen Margaret, BG, in Cape Breton there was a rock marked simply enough with three lines and the words, "Kapt Kit". A few hundred miles away at Marion Bridge, near Fortress Lunenburg, is another tombstone shaped rock bearing the legend "Captain Kidd died without mercy." Unfortunately no vital statistics appear with this message and there is no evidence that the great villain was buried in Nova Scotia. At White Island, in this same province, there is another rock bearing hand-chiselled letters, but it is even less informative being worn beyond comprehension. The protocol for recovering treasure is not fully laid out, the steps varying with local folklore. In a few places, it was felt that the ceremony should start with a repettion of the three "Holiest Words in the Bible" viz., "Father, Son and Holy Ghost, but others were sure this litany had liitle effect on pagan water-spirits. It was generally supposed that since, "blood was shed in the burial of a treasure," it would have to be "shed to again get the treasure out." Some guardians were quite explicit that this was a prerequisite. A female-guardian offered the way to treasure at West Chezzicut, but explained that it could only be taken after "you've drawn blood from two twins." This generous offer was not taken up because those who were informed were not aware that human blood was not required, the blood from a a rooster, or from twin lambs being sufficient. At Ship Harbour a guardian asked that blood be spilt for blood but had the sense to add that animal blood was a viable substitute, and she escaped from her bondage. It is thought that tracing a circle about the site will bind an evilspirit on the spot , but it is by less certain that a treasure can be stabilized in time and space by discharging firearms three times over the place. The business of casting a coat over a treasure-chest will not work, the authentic formula calling for "a turned-coat" like those worn by the fay-people of ancient times. It is still thought necessary for treasureseekers to place money within the horde once the treasure chest is opened. Failing that, it is necessary that a sample be removed, before full retrieval is guaranteed. Some men were of the opinion that a rock needed to be hung from a wooden tripod directly above the treasure to stabilize its position. At Cow Bay, a gentleman with knowledge of such matters noted that, "treasure comes up every seven years for a bath," but he could not recommend going after it since, "pirates' money is bad money, and no good can come of possessing it." The notion that buried treasure needs to

"recharge its batteries"is widespread. In most places the period between appearences is three, seven or nine years but in parts of eastern Europe it is held that treasure only emerges once in each century. This has not stopped Maritimers from trying. In 1928. "The Fredericton Gleaner" reported: "Newcastle Men Looking For Capt. Kidd's Treasure...The arrest of George Bulgar, Cornelius Durant, Randolph E. Doucette, Moise Durant, and Charles Peters by Provincial Policemen Pettigrew and Faulds on the tarvia road between Newcastle and Chatham at two o'clock this morning solved the mystery which has been attached to the strange activities, the blinking lights and ghostly noises which have been prevalent in that vicinity. George Butler, captain of the mystery crew...claims to have been within six inches of Capt. Kidd's treasure chest when the arm of the law reached out and probably saved unsuspecting motorists from serious injury, had the diggers continued in undermining the road. Bulger claims that the location of the treasure was revealled to him in a dream. He gathered the other four members of his band and the work was being carried out through the stillness of the night...Officers Pettigrew and Faulds placed the men under arrest in Chatham where they were allowed their liberty this morning after promising to refill the tunnel which they had dug beneath the road and to refrain from further treasure hunts."262 The guardians of treasure have taken many forms including an ghosts of the deceased, spirit-lights, and totem animals. The best special effects have included hindrunners of groups of individuals along with ghost ships of an earlier age. When a company went to retrieve a a buried fortune from Margareee Island, in Inverness County, Cape Breton, they seemed destined to succeed. Unfortunately a shovel resounded loudly against the iron-bound chest they had unearthed and this was enough to loosen certain bound spirits. As the diggers watched, a ghostly ship sailed into a nearby swamp and men attired in the loose clothing of ancient mariners marched toward the opened pit. The treasure-seekers rushed to the safety of a nearby hunter's cabin, but the white-faced crewmen followed them to the very windows, crowding their glowing faces against the panes. The refugees were thoroughly cowed, but at the stroke of midnight, the wraiths disassembled into strips of ectoplasm


B.F., Fit To Print, p. 117.

that filtered back into the other world. 263 At Mabou, in Inverness County, Cape Breton, two men expecting to gain from digging in the banks of a little stream were not noticeably bothered by a flock of black birds that careeened overhead. They were a little unnerved to see the birs slowly vanish, while black clothed men gathered up stream to stand watching their progress as they dug by moonlight. At first there were only three men, but as the birds disassembled the crowd of men grew to hundreds. At last the terrorstricken men had the sense to bolt, and ran across several fields in an attempt to escape the host that followed. When they arrived at their aunt's house, she was sure they suffered a delusion and was solicitous, promising them fresh milk from the cow in the barn. As she entered that place, she found the interior filled, shoulder-to-shoulder, with close packed guardians of the treasure. She quickly dropped her milk pail and retreated to the house, completely forgetting her former derisive attitude. 264 Again, on the south coast of Nova Scotia, an iron-bound chest was well known to several decades of seamen. Its outline was always distinctly seen and when boats gathered, bad-luck johnnies, black birds, which might have been crows or ravens gathered. Once a group tried to raise the chest and the birds, led by a headless animal, swarmed so tightly about them they had to leave the operation.265 If individual guardians are less awe-inspiring, they too can be frightful, or eccentric enough, to prevent most lost wealth from being taken from its resting place. At Ingonish Beach, treasure-seekers were working in the pit when they looked up to find themselves beneath a millstone, suspended from a flimsy rope, and rotating "at a rate of a thousand turns a minute." If that was not enough the devil appeared on horseback, brandishing a sword, with which he promised to cut the support. Absolutely terrified but unable to act, one of them shouted out "God save us!" This was sufficient to "do in" the apparition, but it also
263Fraser, 264Fraser, 265Fraser,

Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, p. 80. Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, p. 86. Mary L., Folklore of Nova Scotia, p. 89.

caused the treasure to sink magically into the earth, so that it became imposiible to relocate.266 It is a tenant of the trade that treasure seekers cannot speak of the Christian deity or have anything blessed by a priest on their persons. In point of fact all noise-making puts the project at risk: "Many a time a group of men have got as far as finding the chest, and one of them has spoken, thus breaking an invoilable rule. Without waiting to see what would happen they simply dropped their shovels and fled, confident that the whole expedition was ruined by this indiscretion...For with human speech the guardian ghost was given power which, until then, it could not use..."267 At Glen Haven, Nova Scotia, Helen Creighton found a gentleman who indicated a possible result: "If you talked while you were digging for treasure, the money would sink down, or the devil would come with his head bare, or the man buried with the treasure would come with his sword in hand to kill you." 268 Elsewhere the folklorist was told that, "Once it goes back to the earth it stays there, as a rule, for seven years, and it is useless digging (to retrieve it) before that time. 269 In spite of the supernatural effects of guardians, men have had notable successes at recovering treasure. Some of these finds have been totally pedestrian although no less welcome than money received after great effort. A couple at Clarke's Harbour supposedly went from poverty to riches after finding paper bills widely spread in the upper tide-line. At this same place, another man saw a bag half buried in sand amidst eel grass. Kicking at it, he spread paper money to the wind before realizing his good fortune. In New Brunswick, treasure may still be buried beneath "The Bar". a long gravel beach that stretches from French's Point to the mouth of Belding's Creek in Saint John County. The northern part of the bar is desolate but the south is partly covered with spruce trees and here

Mary L., Folklore Of Nova Scotia, p. 81. Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, p. 48. Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, p. 49.

267Creighton. 268Creighton, 269reighton,

Helen, Bluenose Ghosts, p. 57.

is a small graveyard where the earliest settlers were buried, starting in the year 1795. An isolated spruce tree standing well out on the bar is locally known as the "Money Tree." This is not the original tree bearing this name, but it does stand at the site of one given this name by the first inhabitants. It is guessed that the earlier tree must have been used as the support for block-and-tackle to lower a treasure into the earth and certainly coins have been found scattered in the sand. The list of successful finds is very long: In 1883, Cabel Stokes is supposed to have retrieved $13,000 gold from Long Island on the Kennebecais River, and at St. Martins, in 1894, The Saint John Telegraph reported $8,000 in gold coins found at West Quaco along with,"two iron bread knives with oak handles initialled GKP." The lands around Fort Beausejour have supposedly yielded $30,000 in gold while nearby Tantramar marshes are reported having given up at least one sock filled with gold. Still in New Brunswick, traces of gold. silver and oak and twenty-five 25 French antique silver plates have ben taken from the ground at Jollicure. At the Neck of the Hammond River, Henry Prince located and took away "a chest of Mexican silver." "Money Island," on the Miscou shore takes its name from a find of eleven ancient coins which were once found amidst coal that had washed ashore. The most intriguing tales are those where the ending is enigmatic: Campobello Island was once the "feudal fiefdom" of its grantee, Captain William Owens. It was always rumoured that there was ahorde on that island, possibly somewhere along Herring Cove, where men of the past could routinely view the remains of the 30- or 40-ton vessel supposed to have some part in the burial. Those who spoke about this wreck marvelled at it its all-wood construction, noting that iron was entirely absent from the hulk. Here men, who openly claimed to be the descendants of bucaneers, camped each summer through the years at the turn of the 1800's. At the first they approached Captain Roibinson Owen, the last of his colourful line, promising him a one-third cut for permission to dig up the thousands of dubloons which they contended were there for the digging. One day, Owen was surprised to find that the diggers had folded camp, leaving him nothing more than a money pit with the outlines of a chest impressed into the soil at the bottom. A bit northeast of this location is the Plumper Hole, lying within a small cove surrounded by the steep cliffs that stretch between Point Lepreau and Dipper Harbour. This place is named for the British brig

"Plumper" which ran ashore here during a storm on November 5, 1812 at about 4 o'clock in the morning. The Plumper was on its way from Halifax to Saint John with 75 persons on board and a cargo that included 1,300,000 pounds in coin, all intyended to pay the military men at Saint John. Of those aboard only 30 were saved so it is obvious that no one aboard gave much thought to the pay-load. The survivors found themseleves on an unsettled shore and had to hike through the winterwoods for 2 miles to the nearest settlement at Dipper Harbour. Unfortunately, the money sank with the ship into Plumper Hole, which is about 75 feet deep. At the time there was no diving-gear that could penetrate the wreck so everything was presumably intact when Alexander Gibson, engaged at lumbering on the Lepreau River, bought the rights to salvage and hired men to undertake hard-hat dives. According to local tradition they were very successful at bringing the fortune back to the surface but "Boss" Gibson was always non-commital on the subject. It might appear that his fortune was partly based on Plumper gold for extensive dives in this century have brought back "a cannon, 3 anchors, sheets of copper and lead and a number of bronze nails and fastenings." Even more enigmatic were the results of treasure-hunting at the mouth of Tynemouth Creek, further up the Bay of Fundy near St, Martins. Here five Americans arrived by schooner in 1908. They let it be known that they carried a chart that was more than a century old and that they were looking for two local stone markers, one showing a lion's head and three arrows, another lying in the direction of the arrows. The first stone was easily uncovered being a local source of argument and conversation, but the second marker was known to have been removed by a farmer named Andrew Lochley at least twenty-five years before. The Americans left, saying they had found nothing, but the locals were not as sure. During the 1950's a man is supposed to have recovered coins from two powder-horns hidden in a Yarmouth quarry. When the refinery named Imperoyl was built near Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, old coins were recovered from a chest hidden within an old line fence. All of the above examples might be happenstance, but at Clam Harbour, Nova Scotia, a woman dreamed of buried treasure and persuaded a friend to search her dreamscape by light of day with "a mineral rod." This pair unearthed a copper baking pan filled with English sovereigns and concluded they had been helped by a guardian.

At Apohaqui, New Brunswick, Major Studholm's grave was seen in a dream and this was taken as a clue to the presence of buried treasure on his Loyalist grant. The treasure seekers used a type of divining-rod which they referred to as "a mineral rod " "a short hollow device" which an observer said was "wrapped in whalebone." He went on to note that it had "two pliable handles attached to one end by which the operator held it." The contents of the rod were unknown, although this individual thought that it might contain "quicksilver", or mercury. In any event, the seekers found the stone seen in a guardian-generated dream and bound the treasure by drawing a circle about it with a steel sword. According to most accounts the treasure was recovered and removed. Two residents of Indian Cove, Nova Scotia, went after treasure revealled in a dream, but as they approached the place a wraith-like longboat rowed by ten men cut in on the beach and they retreated. After a decent spell in hiding, they went back to the beach but there was nothing there but a hole in the ground at the place where they had been instructed to dig. More interestingly, there were skid marks in the sand all the way to the water's edge, as if a heavy chest had been hauled to sea. At East Chezzetcook, Nova Scotia, another set of adventurers were kept from their prize by a similar apparition. This is very like an adventure faced a group of Bristol, New Brunswick men. They had gathered at the mouth of the Shiktahawk River at the point where it is tributary to the Saint John. They were digging on ariver-plateau and had just hit wood with their shovels when they heard the sound oars turning in locks from far up the river. The sound increased in intensity and to their surprise there appeared on the river a viking long-ship complete with dragon figurehead. A crew appeared slouched behind ranks of round shields, their grim eyes staring at the shoreline. But the seekers eyes went particularly to a huge guardian who stood at the prow, golden hair streaming out in an unnatural wind. In a loud voice he directed a battle song towards the shore, and those standing there in incredulity, scattered. Often the dream-maker was very persuasive being intent on the business of escaping from the guardian-ship of wealth. Mr. Enos Hartlan of South East Passage, Nova Scotia, said that his mother had been plagued by the same dream "three nights runnin' and this was that there was treasure in back of Cow Bay. Yes she dreamed this dream three nights. The next night she had her work done she took her hoe and shovel and walked off through the woods. She found the spot all right and then she

started digging, and had just dug a little bit of a hole when a groan came up out of it. She skept digging and soon there was annuder groan, and then she got timid, Her little dog ahd come with her and after a third groan my mother stopped. She told the dog to keep away and then she heard a jingling in the hole. She remembered then that she had spoken and that the ghost could no anything it wanted to her now. She was almost too frightened to run, but she did run...all the way home." Later she returned with help but nothing was found of her work and it was assumed that the treasure had "gone to earth". In seven years they came back looking for it but the locvation was now entirely lost the area having grown up in alder brush. At Parker's Cove, on the Fundy shore, another dreamer was advised to "drain Big Pond" if he wished to become wealthy. He made the attempt but was put off by the fact that the pond was located in a public place "too near to the road." This fellow missed his promise of "gold enough to make a chain that would go clear round the Province" but he was not the last to respond to a guardian. Very infrequently, guardian-spirits appear to have managed a full materialization; thus Mrs. Albert Foley met a substantial enough looking man who approached her three times telling her where to find wealth buried on an island near Salmon River: "There will be enough to make you and all this place rich, but you must follow instructions. You have to go at night on the second Tuesday of the month and there must be two people (with you). (You will be met by) a woman in white come with no head. She will try to get in the boat, but the other man must push the boat away and not let her in. She would try three times, and the third time it would be all right to take her in and then she will lead you to the treasure." After each appearance of this haunt, the Foleys decided against seeking the horde but "corpse candle" were often observed lighting that very isalnd and it was thought likely that treasure remained beneath the surface of the ground. The appearance of "dead lights", "gophers", "jonahs", "jinxers", "jacko'-lanterns", "jacks-at-sea", "St. Elmo's fire", "fire-runners", or "fetches" was more usual than the temporary rejuvenation of dead men. In Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, Helen Creighton interviewed a man who said, "We used to see a bright light towards Tancook before a storm. There is supposed to be a treasure there." At Mahone Bay others noted

seeing "fiery clam shells that turned to silver dubloons" which were taken as a similar omen. Again at First South it was said, "At Christmas we used to see a big light. It was round and would go and splash all about. There used to be money in the Narrows, but since people got the money the light hasn't been seen."; From Port Medway: "There had been a light above the place where treasure was found." At Rose Bay: "Captain Kidd goes up the La Have River every seven years after his treasure. I met the ship in the river once...The light was down low. It was coming to meet us and when we got abreast of her she was all lit up. We couldn't see the ship, just the lights." From Lunenburg: "people were always seeing fires. Treasure was supposed to be buried here and there..."270 It has been noticed that gopher lights resemble leprachaun gold tending to disappear when the observer turns away. At Cow Bay an observer saw one which he guessed to be, "about the size of my radio (round and now obsolete radio)loud-speaker and it looked like a full moon dancing along a fence. There's treasure beneath that tree, that's why it lived, after all the others died." (Note that the spirit of those buried alive was often considered to take the form of a tree.) A privateer named Captain Hall once operated from the Fundy community now called Hall's Harbour, and his treasure was generally supposed to lie "on a bluff east of the wharf, about a half mile from the Harbour, on the side of a little brook, Sydney Brook its called." An individiual who pursued this legendary horde watched as a stone levitated itself through the air and fall approximately where the treasure was supposed to be hidden. Later, two of his sons were chopping the slopes there when "a tree blowed down right on top of the hill, but when I went up there was no tree anywhere in sight. Then the boys seen a strange light and all at the same place; these things mean treasure!" This treasure was said partially recovered by a "man who got rich quick with no other way of accounting for it." Sometimes the lights chased seekers from the treasure pit. Thus, at a place two miles north of Dark Harbour, Grand Manan, a trio stood dumbfounded as "a shining object like a star shot over their heads and went down into the dig hole, frightening them away." The same thing is said to have happened to treasure seekers on the notorious Isle Haute:

Helen, Folklore of Lunenburg County, p. 5.

"The reason no one ever recovers it is that it's so hard to resist exclaiming out in shock, and disqualifying yourself, when a blinding flash of light emerges from the pit, and a headless pirate follows." A young farmer named Charles Enfield and A Micmac companion, rowed there hoping to get rich. The two were followed by Enfield's fiancee and her young brother. The seekers were on the island at midnight, on that one year in seven when the island moves to a new location. When this happens, it is said that the treasure rises for water, and may be taken from the unseen forces that guard it. It was noted that there were deafening local thunderstorms on the island on that occasion, and the young woman arrived to find her intended partly comatose and so badly frightened he died in her arms. The Indian was never seen again and even her brother disappeared while on the island. The next day he was found wandering a neighbouring shore and was seen to be completely robbed of his sanity. Thunder and lighting are both traditionally tied to this kind of apparition and it is said that "in Mahone Bay, when they dig for treasure in a certain place it thunders, no matter how fine the day." Near Hudson's Point, at Port Wade, Nova Scotia, there were extra effects it being noticed that, "the ground trembled and the rocks shook." Just a liitle afterr this it was noticed that unexpected company stood among onlookers at the pit. All but one stubborn digger bolted, and he was transported directly into the waters of Annapolis Basin. At Victoria Beach a digger who heard thunder and felt the ground move soon found himself standing in a cavity up to his neck in water. At Clam Island, Nova scotia, an adventurer was not assailed but found himself suddenly paralyzed from the neck down. At Shad Bay another disconcerted worker watched in horrible facination as his spoked pry-bar was swallowed by a vortex of earth. Other phenomena have included the snake-like issue of a winding-sheet, or death-wrap, from out of the ground; "a great white thing" hanging in the air; unexpected cold winds from inappropriate quarters, and the vision of money turned to feathers or stones. GUISER A disguiser, a spirit of the Quarter Day. GUYS BUCK A mortal spirit of the air, the familiar of Germanic hagges

or hexen. Dialectic English, a corruption of the German geis boche , ghost buck, a spirit very like the English slue (which, see). It was the familiar of a hagge, or witch. Witches, being human, were never capable of flight and had to call upon the guys bucks for transportation to and from their sabats and other points of interest. One Nova Scotian lad who watched the local hags prepare for flight said that they stripped themselves of clothing and lathered themselves from "a bottle of grease". This was the traditional "flying oinment", which is mentioned again and again in acoounts of European witchcraft. Some of the coven-members were convincted on little more than possession of a bottle of grease. It was suspected that the preparation contained "the fat of yoong children" but it would appear that the active ingredients may have been belladonna, aconite and an extract of deadly hemlock. All the ingredients are still available from wild plants found in our region, and the combination may well have created a sensation of flying. It has been suggested that some of the witches may have gone running through the woods empowered by the spirit of their ointment, but Creighton's research suggests that some of the hags appeared "under the influence" when they were visited by other people in their village. The boy from Boutlier's Point who observed the witches in flight saw things differently: "I watched through the crack and they greased themselves all over, and then they said, "Here go we, I and you and you and I", and away they went (up the chimney)...I jumped out of bed and found the bottle. I greased myself and said these same words and away I went." In this tale the lad met with the three witches on the ridgepole of the house and they gave him a red cap which allowed him to fly through the air. The four invaded a local store through the keyhole and did a great deal of damage to the stock, but when the youth tried to fly away he found that his companions had left with his flight-helmet. Left naked in the mercantile, he was found in the morning by the store owner and was arrested and sentenced to be hung. As he stood on the gallows an elderly woman arrived saying, "You're not going to hang that poor lad without his cap are you?" Recognizing it, the boy was quick to pull it on over his ears and intone the magic words that crried him off into the sky. Lunenburgers knew that the cap was a symbol of control and not the means of propulsion. The actual carrier was an invisible zwoog or guys-

buck, one of the hairy-breed, usually invisble but sometimes represented in medieval illustrations of witchcraft. The broomstick was capable of taking the witch from ground level to the rooftop and back but was useless for long-range transportation, which was the business of the this he-goat of the air. Again, this creature will be recognized as a cousin of the Balkin, the satyr of the Scottish air lines. KESKAMZIT A spirit encompassed in stone. Penobscot. Of the various things in earth-world, the stones are considered the most elemental, being referred to in all mythology as "the bones of the earth." Throughout the region, the Indians noticed that "living stones" betrayed their presence at dusk and dawn, by showing the same peculiar light as that which surrounded the bodies of men, other living animals and certain plants (including most trees). When shamans were tracked they often hid themselves within stones, and were often brought down from careless shape-shifting. If an arm or leg happened to be left unreformed, it could be struck off with a spear creating a trauma that entrapped the magician for a long time within his rock. Particularly large, overbalanced, or peculiarly striated or coloured stones were regarded with great suspicion, and men formerly collected bits of such stones, reasoning that possession of a fragment gave them control of the spirit of the whole. Among the Indians there were those who persistently looked down hoping to see and recover a keskamzit or “magical” stone. They believed that power was likely to reside in “stones shaped like birds or animals.” One of these spirited stones was raised by Glooscap at Rocky Point, near the present city of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. In the days before this island had become Isle Royale, an Micmac chief lost his daughter Mineota to a river-manitou he had offended. Although Glooscap could not restore the woman to life he raised a stone at a spring which the French later named Le Grand Source. This stone had the form of the maiden and became a place of healing. After the French gazed upon this stone it was said to have become magically reduced in size and sank to the bottom of the spring. After that time the Micmacs resorted to bringing it up from the bottom for healing purposes sinking it when it was not in use. In line with a promise made by Glooscap this stone crumbled to dust when it was placed beneath the head of an ailing white girl named Marie

Granville. Marie recovered but her own people regarded her as a witch and burned her alive at the place once called Point de la Flamme. The Stone Cross at Bay du Nord, Newfoundland, has similar prehistoric connections with the tribes of the region. When Dawn French went there in 1972 she found it located on a towering cliff overlooking the Devil’s Dancing Table. Apparently this figure is in outline on the stone of the barrens, and measures about thirty feet in its north-to-south dimension, slightly less in the remaining one. Its position is emphasized by a ring of white boulders. It appears guarded by cairns of rock, and there are two indentations in the rock, one now used for holy water the other for coins, some of which have remained there since 1865. “Micmacs and liveyeres (residents of the Labrador coast) say that each rock has the power to heal, and can be removed as long as another is put back in its place.” 271

KJOOLPUT A spirit of the four seasons. If there are supernatural forces at work in this region, one is certainly the winter-giant, who was Glooscap’s companion, and the lazy god of the seasons. This fat giant was moved four times each year on his handspikes, and his farts were seen as the winds of the world. In the north, a little ice age drove the Norse out of Greenland by the year 1300. This situation continued in most places until about 1850. The alteration in the longterm plan for weather, which we term climate, was noted by our earliest historian, a man named Peter Fisher: “the changes in weather here are frequently very sudden. Often in the space of two hours (in fall and spring) there is an alteration from the mild temmperature of September to the rigor of winter...(When the wind) blows from any of the points from the S.W. to the N.E. the air is mild; but when it veers N.E. top N.W. it becomes clear and cold; and it frequently shifts very suddenly... The coldest month is on or near the full moon in January...the greatest heat in summer being in July, after the sun has, to some extent, exerted its influence on the earth...From observations by several persons, it is well understood that a gradual change has been taking place in the climate of

the American continent within a century past. The change in the province since 1783 has been very great - the summers having abated much of their former heat, and the winters grown proportionately milder. Neither are there such excessive droughts in summer, as formerly; the seasons being cooler, with more rain; neither does the snow accumulate to such depth on the earth. Frequent thaws now take place in the winter season. For several years prior to 1816, the seasons had been growing gradually cooler - less warmth being felt on the mean in each succeeding year till 1816, when the cold appeared to have arrived at its acme; for in that year it appeared to predominate; for whatever cause has not yet been acertained... Whatever...it is certain the genial warmth of the sun appeared nearly lost; for when shining in meridian splendour in the month of June and July, a rigorous cold was felt. There was a fall of snow, which was general over the province...on June 7th, to the depth of three or four inches...There followed severe frosts in every month in that year. The crops were very light...Even the never failing potatoes were chilled and did not yield half a crop. After this the seasons began to improve; but the failure of crops brought great distress to the poor.” This was certainly “a wind to stir them,” living and dead alike, but fortunately Fisher reported that, “the extremes of heat and cold in winter are (now) not so great, and the rains are more generally diffused through the year.”