Who doesn't love a good ghost story? Steeped in a history of famine, war and oppression Ireland has created an abundance of myths and legends that have become part of our cultural heritage. Superstition and tradition have left a profound mark on our storytelling abilities. Here are some of the most memorable figures from ghost stories in our childhood.
The Clown in the Bedroom
The most urban legend of all the stories in the list. My best friend told me this story one night as we were about to fall asleep. Needless to say I didn't sleep that night - thanks Gemma! It has never left me and I've never been able to discover if it's actually true. I've heard it in several different forms since then. The story usually takes place in an estate in Kildare or in midlands Ireland. The babysitter is downstairs and she hears the baby crying on the baby monitor. She goes upstairs and checks the baby, calms the baby down and leaves the room. As she leaves the room she notices the oversized clown teddy sitting in the corner of the room. The baby cries several times until the babysitter takes the baby downstairs and rings the parents. The babysitter mentions that the clown teddy might be scaring the young child. The parents, in a panic, tell the babysitter the child doesn't have such a teddy - heart in your mouth, I know! The babysitter, holding the baby, runs outsides and calls the guards. The clown, it turns out, is a child predator.
The figure of the Banshee still gives me nightmares. The Banshee was usually depicted as a hag or a woman who died during childbirth who had long hair and wore a large cloak. The name can be found in Irish mythology with the Banshee having the Irish name Bean Sí. The story goes that when someone close to you was going to die the Banshee would sit outside your window and brush her long hair - queue people leaving combs outside other peoples' windows and general pranks with wigs. Her cry would be deafening and it would be mean death. The cries of a group of cats during mating season or a fox is often mistaken for the sound of the Banshee. Don't panic when you see a giant black bag stuck in a tree, even when it's dark - people will laugh. Run if you're on your own!
Does anyone else remember standing in their bathroom reciting "Blood Mary" 3 times? The crux of the story was that if you said the name 3 times a demonic figure would appear behind you. FAB! It had to be done in dimmed light, usually with a candle, so that Bloody Mary would appear to you and cause serious harm like choking you, scratching you or sucking your blood. It has since been discovered that the candlelight causes the hallucinations - Interesting!
The Black Dog
No it's not Sirius Black! Known in Irish and Scottish folklore as Cù Sìth the black dog is a dog the size of a wolf with giant paws. If you heard its bark you had to run to safety or you would freeze with terror and die after hearing the third bark. The dog is now famous in tales such as The Hound of the Baskervilles.
I have goosebumps. Comment below if you guys can remember any others!
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