[From Manx Reminiscences, 1911]



VA arran as caashey currit ayns yn phoagey, liorish yn yen va cur lesh yn oikan gys yn cheill, as currit da’n chied phyagh yinnagh ee meeiteil, dy lhiettal yn drogh hooill.

Cha row eh smooinit dy ye red cairagh da pyagh erbee dy ghoaill yn choodagh jeh eddin yn lhiannoo, dy yeeaghyn er.

Va arran as caashey dy mennick currit da yn chied phyagh yinnagh eh meeiteil, liorish fer erbee va freaylt ec y thie voish yn, cheeill liorish chingys, ny oyr erbee elley, tra hie pyagh hug yn cheeill reesht son yn chied cheayrt.

Va sleih credjal dy vod lhiannoo ye caghlaait, dy beagh eh faagit ny-lomarcan ayns y thie.

Va ny ferishyn, as ny drogh spyrrydyn, goaill aggle roish yiarn, as ayns yn voayl va’n lhiannoo faagit ny-lomarcan, va brod greesagh as yn chiouw currit tessen er yn chlean, dy yannoo caslys crosh. Va shoh pooar mooar.



BREAD and cheese were carried in the pocket, by the woman carrying the child to the church, and given to the first person she would meet, to prevent the evil eye.

It was not thought to be a right thing for any person to take the covering off the face of the child to look on it.

Bread and cheese were often given to the first person he would meet, by any one who had been kept at home from church by sickness, or any other cause, when a person went to church again for the first time.

People believed that a child could be changed, if it would be left alone in the house.

The fairies, and the bad spirits, were afraid of iron ; and in the place the child was left alone, the poker and the tongs were placed across the cradle, to make the sign of the cross. This was a great power (protection).

Cha row ny ferishyn son goll trooid ushtey, ny dy gholl harrish, eer yn sprieh sloo dy ushtey yinnagh jannoo. Yinnagh fer fakin eisht yn ymmyd jeh ushtey casherick. V’eh ayns y toshiaght ymmyd jeant jeh, dy reayll ersooyl drogh spyrrydyn. Va feer vennick inneenyn aegey, as guillyn aegey, spreiht lesh ushtey, tra va’d goll thie voish daunsin, dy reayll ad veih drogh spyrrydyn.

Va biljyn tramman gaase mygeayrt thieyn, son dy reayll ersooyl drogh spyrrydyn. Va ben obbee er lheh, as v’ee dy mennick goaill caslys mwaagh, as v’ee enmyssit " mwaagh tramman." Oddagh ee ye goit, lesh lhiggey ass gun lesh meer argid ayn.

The fairies could not go through water, nor go over it : even the least sprinkle of water would do. One could therefore see the use of holy water. It was used at the beginning, to keep away bad spirits. Very often young girls, and young boys, were sprinkled with water, when they were going home from dancing, to keep them from bad spirits.

Elder trees were grown about houses, to keep away bad spirits. There was a special witch, and she often took the form of a hare, and she was called the " elder hare." She could be taken, by letting off (firing) a gun with a piece of silver in it.

Ta cooinaghtyn aym, tra va mee my lhiannoo, er shenn yen ny lhie cummal yn lhiabbee son shiaght bleaney. Va sleih gra dy row ee lhiggit urree, son dy row ee buitch.

Skeabey yn joan jeh kione kiare raaidyn, as cur yn joan harrish dooinney, ny baagh, va smooinit dy ghoaill ersooyl yn drogh hooill. Ta mee er chlashtyn sleih gra mysh shenn yen voish Ballachrink, ren skeabey yn raad ec droghad Colby, as cur eh er yn dooinney eck, son dy row ee smooinaghtyn dy row drogh hodill er ye er. V’ee cliaghtey goll sheese gys y droghad lesh skian yuiy, as skeabey yn joan ayns yn apyrn eck lesh yn skian.

Ta mee er chlashtyn j eh shenn yen elley, ayns C..——. Va’d smooinaghtyn dy row ee buitch, as lurg j'ee er ye ayns thie naboo, va’d skeabey ooilley yn voayl v’ee er ye ny hoie, lesh skian yuiy, as eisht ceau yn joan ass y thie. Va shoh jeant dy reayll ad voish yn drogh hooill eck.

I remember, when I was a child, an old woman lying in bed for seven years. People said that she had been fired at (shot), because she was a witch.

Brushing the dust at the head of four (cross) ways, and putting the dust over man, or beast, was thought to take away the evil eye. I have heard people speak about an old woman from Ballachrink, who swept the road at Colby Bridge, and put it on her man, for she thought an evil eye had been on him. She used to go down to the Bridge with a wing of a goose, and brush the dust into her apron with the wing.

I have heard of another old woman, at C——. They were thinking that she was a witch, and after she had been in the house of a neighbour, they swept every place where she had been sitting, with the wing of a goose, and then threw the dust out of the house. This was done to keep them from her evil eye.

Ta drogh spyrryd fer ta imneagh dy yannoo olk, as te ny smessey tra ta sleih elley smooinaghtyn dy vel eh jargal dy yannoo eh.

T’ad shoh paart jeh ny reddyn ta ny buitchyn, ny mraane-obbee, jannoo ymmyd jeh:

Va cruint jeant er snaie olley, as eisht currit fo yn thoo, fo ny scraaghyn jeh'n thie. Roish cur ad ayns shen, va paart jeh shirveish oanluckee lhaiht, tra v'ad kiangley ny cruint.

Cur lesh thie paart jeh'n arran Chreesteeagh, as jannoo brooillagh jeh, as yinnagh carage dhoo cheet as gee eh.

A bad spirit is one anxious to do evil, and it is worse when other people think he is able to do it.

These are some of the things wizards or witches made use of:

Knots were made on woollen thread, and then put under the thatch, under the sods of the house. Before they put them there, a part of the burial service was read, when they were tying the knots.

Bringing home some of the Sacramental bread, and making crumbs of it, and a black beetle would come and eat it.

Va fuill as meinn corkey mastit ayns claare, as crouw chonnee currit harrish, as eisht cur yn chonney er aile, harragh yn vuitch, as cur yn aile ass.

Veagh meer dy eill oanluckit, as goll mow, dy yannoo assee er dooinney, ny baagh.

V’ad ny keayrtyn goaill cree jeh baagh, ny eean, as cur freenaghyn ayn, as eisht va’n chree goit, as losht, ny currit er yn ghreesagh. Va shen smooinit dy yannoo mooarane assee.

Va paart dy olt jeh oikari noa-ruggit currit ayns billey, as my veagh ny renaigyn currit lesh ersooyl liorish ushag chiaullee dy yarinoo yn edd, veagh yn lhiannoo fer kiaullee.

Veagh meer dy yiarn currit fo yn edd guiy, ny fo’n edd kiark Frangagh, ny jeh eeari erbee elley, tra v’ad dy ghuir, dy lhiettal drogh hooill.

Blood and oatmeal were mixed in a dish, and a bush of gorse put over it, and then putting (setting) the gorse on fire, the witch would come, and put out the fire.

A piece of flesh would be buried, and go rotten, (in order) to do harm to man, or beast.

Sometimes they took the heart of an animal, or bird, and put pins in it, and then the heart was taken and burnt, or put on the ashes. That was thought to do much harm.

Some of the hair of a newly-born child was placed in a tree, and if the hairs were carried away by a singing bird to make her nest, the child would be a musician.

A piece of iron would be put under the nest of a goose, or under a turkey’s nest, or (the nest) of any other bird when they were hatching, to prevent the evil eye.

Oddagh eh y ye dy reayll ny hoohyn cheh, tra va’n eean jeh’n edd.

Cha row lhuss ny ghuiy dy ye currit lesh ayns y thie, choud’s va ny guoiee guirr. Va’d smooinit nagh row ad cur lesh aigh vie.

Ein cheet ass ny hoohyn ec y Chaisht, ye smooinit nagh row eh aigh vie.

Va’n Vible, ny paart jeh’n eaddagh yn dooinney eck currit ayns y lhiabbee tra va ben goll dy lhie hoalley, dy reayll ersooyl drogh spyrrydyn. Va paart elley jeh'n eaddagh echey currit ayns y chlean, dy ghoaill kiarail jeh’n lhiannoo.

Ye ymmyrchagh dy ee arran as caashey, ny dy iu red ennagh, son nagh jinnagh shiu goaill ersooyl aigh vie.

Tra va lhiannoo ruggit, my v’eh guilley, v’eh currit ayns paart jeh eaddagh y dooinney, as my v’ee ‘neen, v’ee myrgeddin currit ayns paart jeh eaddagh y vummig, feer vennick ayns oanrey.

Va’d smooinaghtyn dy row ruggyree as baaseyn dy mennIck taghyrt ec caghlaa tidey.

It might have been to keep the eggs warm, when the bird was off the nest.

Daffodils * were not to be brought into the house as long as the geese were hatching. They were thought not to bring good luck.

Chickens coming out of the eggs at Easter were thought not to be lucky.

The Bible, or part of her husband’s clothes, was placed in the bed when a woman was going to be confined, to keep away bad spirits. An-other portion of his clothing was placed in the cradle, to take care of the child.

It was necessary to eat bread and cheese, or to drink something, that you would not take away good luck.

When the child was born, if it was a boy, he was put into some part of the man’s clothing, and if it was a girl, she was placed in some of the mother’s clothing, very often a petticoat.

They thought that births and deaths frequently happened at the change of tide.

* Lit. " goose-herb."

Tra va dooinney ass e cheeayl, v’eh ny keayrtyn currit lesh magh ayns baatey, as va tedd currit mygeayrt yn wannal echey, as eisht v’eh tilgit magh ayns yn cheayn, as tayrnit geiyrt er yn vaatey, dy yeeaghyn darragh eh hug eh hene. Va’d smooinaghtyn sleih veagh agglit ass nyn geeayl, dy beagh ad agglit ayns nyn geeayl reesht.

Bollagh sleih ass nyn geeayl va freaylt ayns Cashtal Rushen, son nagh row boayl erbee arragh dy chur ad. Va skeeal scruit ec dooinney va enmyssit Peacock, mychione dooinney va ass e cheeayl ec Ballakillowey, as shen va’n oyr dy row yn thie-coadey jeant ayns Marinin.

When a man was out of his senses, he was sometimes carried out in a boat, and a rope was put about his neck, and then he was thrown out into the sea, and drawn after the boat, to see if he would come to himself. They thought that people who would be frightened out of their senses, would be frightened into their senses again.

People out of their wits were kept in Castle Rushen, for there was not any other place to put them in. There was a story written by a man named Peacock, about a man who was out of his mind at Ballakillowey, and that was the reason that the asylum was made in the Isle of Man.

[fpc this would be William F Peacock who wrote a guidebook ('unreliable but useful for folklore' - W. Cubbon) and other Manx related material in the 1850's - the tale might be in the Manx Table Book and Keepsake of c.1863]

Mannagh row aigh vie ec ny eeasteyryn, va crouw chonnee currit ayns aile, as currit lesh gys dy chooilIey ard jeh’n vaatey, dy gheddyn tea rish drogh spyrrydyn.

Veagh ny eeasteyryn cur dooinney gys Gliony-Eiy, gys y fer-lhee buitch, dy gheddyn ny lossereeyn, as eisht dagh dooinney jeh’n cheshaght diu bine y pheesh jeh’n awree, as eisht va’n chooid elley jeh’n awree spreeit er ooilley yn snaie, as trooid y vaatey

If there was not good luck at the fishermen, a bush of gorse would be put on fire, and carried to every part of the boat, to get done with (rid of) bad spirits.

The fishermen would send a man to Gliony-Eiy, to the witch-doctor, to get the herbs, and then each man of the crew drank a drop apiece of the boiling,* and then the remainder of the boiling was sprinkled on all the nets, and throughout the boat.

* I.e. the water in which the herbs had been boiled.


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