aliisaacstoryteller
Mound of hostages, black and white images, people standing on top of it.

Planning Your Visit to Ireland? Tour 4 Strange and Spooky Sites Associated with #Samhain

The old festivals seem to me to fit perfectly into the cycle of seasons and the passing of the year. And also with the ebb and flow of my blood, or the beating of my heart, or my body clock, whatever you want to call that natural instinctual internal part of oneself. You may try and suppress it, but it’s always still there. If you feel the same, here are some places in Ireland that are associated with Samhain which you might like to visit: Tlachtga, the Mound of Hostages at Tara; Magh Slecht, and Oweynagat.

Planning Your Visit to Ireland? Sit in the Witches Chair.

The Witches Throne is a huge kebstone carved with armrests at the base of cairn T at the highest point of Loughcrew. It measuresΒ  3 m (10 ft) across, and 1.8 m (6 ft) high, and is estimated to weigh in the region of 10 tons. From here, according to local legend, a giant witch known as the cailleach sat and surveyed the extent of her domain. If you are brave enough to sit in her seat, she may grant you a single wish!

Planning Your Visit to Ireland? Stay in the Most Haunted Castle in Ireland.

Why not spend the night at Ross Castle, one of Ireland’s most haunted castles this Halloween… if you’re brave enough! Not only does Ross Castle have ghosts, it has a fascinating and mysterious history. Go on… I dare you!

The Peculiar Case of the Burning of Bridget Cleary

In 1895, Bridget Cleary was the last woman in Ireland to be burned as a witch. Although not officially declared or supported by the Catholic church, priests at the time told police they were aware of something untoward, but did not act upon it. Bridget died a violent and agonised death surrounded by friends and family who did nothing to help her.

The #Halloween Legacy of Ireland’s Witches

However, it seems more than likely that witches and witchcraft were a lie originally invented by Christianity to control powerful, knowledgeable women, and have people scurrying to the church for protection. The notion of the witch struck such fear into people’s hearts that they were willing to collude in accusing any woman of the crime. The punishment for women accused as witches was barbaric: burning, or drowning were common as anti-witchcraft fervour swept Europe, usually after torture and humiliation in order to extract a confession. In Ireland, however, common law dictated that women accused of witchcraft should be hanged.

Halloween or Samhain?

I recently watched a video on Youtube where the expert in the film kept pronouncing Samhain as it looks… Sam-hain. An easy mistake to make, you might think, and I would agree. But not if you profess yourself… Read More

The Ancient Babylonians Invented New Year’s Resolutions!

Seeing in the New Year seems to be one of our best loved and most popular public holidays, marked with breath-taking firework displays as the stroke of midnight enters different time zones around the world. It seems the… Read More

Friday FREAKY Flash with Ed Mooney, Geoff le Pard and Jane Dougherty

Last week, it being the season that’s in it, I called for ghost stories. This was your prompt… Give me your greatest, gruesomest, gory, ghoulish ghost story. have you got what it takes to frighten the life out… Read More

Samhain Legends Donn, Lord of the Dead

Halloween is the Christian overlay of a celebration far more ancient, a pagan Celtic festival called Samhain. Halloween is thought to be when the dead and the undead walk the earth, bringing havoc Β and fear to the living. This is how the good Christian people were encouraged to think of the ancient Gods, ancestors, and fairy-folk, or Sidhe, who were originally honoured at Samhain. As far as we can tell, the ancient Irish people never had a God of the Dead, so who was Donn?

A Poem for Samhain Witches Lament

I wrote this poem for Samhain last year, and decided to re-post it, because it fits with the season so well, and also with the atmosphere of last week’s poem, The Princess on the Hill. They hide the… Read More