me, drinking tea: pls leaf water….sage my body of the demons of my past…steam my colon…let me know peace
me, drinking coffee: I beg of u bean juice….cleanse me of the curse of sleep….make my heart beat like a tribal drum in ceremony….let me conquer this building
i looked up a size chart and apparantly uh
apparantly sizes bigger than .9 exist which is,, fucking cursed
There’s a special sharpener for them too which is horrible and they shouldn’t exist
Irish people; The faeries aren’t real
Irish people; No fucking way will I go in that faerie ring
Look, I don’t believe in God, but I will not disrespect the Good Gentlemen of the Hills. That’s just common sense.
Between this and the Icelanders with their elves I do not understand what is going on above the 50th parallel.
My general rule of thumb: you don’t have to believe in everything, but don’t fuck with it, just in case.
^^^ that part
This is truer than true. Especially the Irish part.
Let me tell you what I know about this after living here for nearly thirty years.
This is a modern European country, the home of hot net startups, of Internet giants and (in some places, some very few places) the fastest broadband on Earth. People here live in this century, HARD.
Yet they get nervous about walking up that one hill close to their home after dark, because, you know… stuff happens there.
I know this because Peter and I live next to One Of Those Hills. There are people in our locality who wouldn’t go up our tiny country road on a dark night for love or money. What they make of us being so close to it for so long without harm coming to us, I have no idea. For all I know, it’s ascribed to us being writers (i.e. sort of bards) or mad folk (also in some kind of positive relationship with the Dangerous Side: don’t forget that the root word of “silly”, which used to be English for “crazy”, is the Old English _saelig_, “holy”…) or otherwise somehow weirdly exempt.
And you know what? I’m never going to ask. Because one does not discuss such things. Lest people from outside get the wrong idea about us, about normal modern Irish people living in normal modern Ireland.
You hear about this in whispers, though, in the pub, late at night, when all the tourists have gone to bed or gone away and no one but the locals are around. That hill. That curve in the road. That cold feeling you get in that one place. There is a deep understanding that there is something here older than us, that doesn’t care about us particularly, that (when we obtrude on it) is as willing to kick us in the slats as to let us pass by unmolested.
So you greet the magpies, singly or otherwise. You let stones in the middle of fields be. You apologize to the hawthorn bush when you’re pruning it. If you see something peculiar that cannot be otherwise explained, you are polite to it and pass onward about your business without further comment. And you don’t go on about it afterwards. Because it’s… unwise. Not that you personally know any examples of people who’ve screwed it up, of course. But you don’t meddle, and you learn when to look the other way, not to see, not to hear. Some things have just been here (for various values of “here” and various values of “been”) a lot longer than you have, and will be here still after you’re gone. That’s the way of it. When you hear the story about the idiots who for a prank chainsawed the centuries-old fairy tree a couple of counties over, you say – if asked by a neighbor – exactly what they’re probably thinking: “Poor fuckers. They’re doomed.” And if asked by anybody else you shake your head and say something anodyne about Kids These Days. (While thinking DOOMED all over again, because there are some particularly self-destructive ways to increase entropy.)
Meanwhile, in Iceland: the county council that carelessly knocked a known elf rock off a hillside when repairing a road has had to go dig the rock up from where it got buried during construction, because that road has had the most impossible damn stuff happen to it since that you ever heard of. Doubtless some nice person (maybe they’ll send out for the Priest of Thor or some such) will come along and do a little propitiatory sacrifice of some kind to the alfar, belatedly begging their pardon for the inconvenience.
They’re building the alfar a new temple, too.
Atlantic islands. Faerie: we haz it.
The Southwest is like this in some ways. You don’t go traveling along the highways at night with an empty car seat. Because an empty car seat is an invitation. You stick your luggage, your laptop bag, whatever you got in that seat. Else something best left undiscussed and unnamed (because to discuss it by name is to go ‘AY WE’RE TALKING BOUT YA WE’RE HERE AND ALSO IGNORANT OF WHAT YOU’RE CAPABLE OF’ at the top of your damn lungs at them) will jump in to the car, after which you’re gonna have a bad time.
If you’re out in the woods, you keep constant, consistent count of your party and make sure you know everyone well enough that you can ID them by face alone, lest something imitating a person get at you. They like to insert themselves in the party and just observe before they strike. It’s a game to them. In general you don’t fuck with the weird, you ignore the lights in the sky (no, this isn’t a god damn night vale reference, yes I’m serious) and the woods, you lock up at night and you don’t answer the door for love or money. Whatever or whoever’s knocking ain’t your buddy.
^ So much good advice in this post right here
I live in the south and… you just… don’t go into the woods or fields at night.
Don’t go near big trees in the night
If you live on a farm, don’t look outside the windows at night
I have broken all these rules.
I’ve seen some shit.
If it sounds like your mom, but you didn’t realize your mom is home…. it’s not your mom. Promise.
One walked onto the porch once. Wasn’t fun. But they’re not super keen on guns. Typically bolt when they see one.
You think it’s the neighbor kids.
It’s not the neighbor kids.
Might sound like coyotes but you never really /see/ the coyotes but then wow that one cow was reaaaaaally fucked up this morning. The next night when you hear another one screaming you just turn the tv up a little more. Maybe fire a gun in the air but you don’t go after it. If it is coyotes then it’s probably a pack and you seriously don’t want to fuck with that and if it’s the other thing you seriously REALLY don’t want to fuck with that.
So in the south, especially near the mountains, you just go straight from your car to inside your house, draw your curtains and watch tv.
If you see lights in the fields just fucking leave it alone.
Eyes forward. Don’t be fucking stupid. Mind your own business. Call your neighbors and tell them to bring the cats in. There’s coyotes out. Some of them know. Most of them don’t.
Other than that everything’s a ghost and they died in the civil war. Literally all of everything else is just the civil war. We used to smell old perfume and pipe tobacco in the weeks leading up to the battle anniversaries.
Shit’s wild and I sound fucking crazy but I swear to god it’s true.
Every time this post comes around, it’s my favorite to open up the notes and read the stories. Probably shouldn’t have since I’m sleeping alone tonight, but you know, it’s fine. 😂
Austrian girl here who has lived in Ireland for 5+ years. This shit is LEGIT. I’ve seen it with my own two Catholic eyes.
Sure, visit during the day. That’s alright as long as you’re respectful. But you couldn’t PAY ME ENOUGH to go there at night. These are also the last places where you wanna start littering.
I grew up in southwest Pennsylvania which is a weird mixture of American cultures and environments. I was in the heavily forested mountains (northern Appalachia) but had lots and lots of corn fields and cow pastures. Like the Smoky Mountains and fields of Kansas combined. And being so cut off from a lot of the world, we had our fair share of ghost stories.
We had ‘witches’ in the mountains (more like ghost-women who will snatch you up by making you wander in a daze around the forest like the Blair Witch before killing you or letting you back out into society but you’re… different). Or devils in springs or abandoned wells (don’t look too long into one or something will follow you).
But we also had the cornfield demons. I’ve witnessed this many times. You’ll be in the passenger seat looking out the window and see red glowing eyes in the cornfield. No light shining in that direction. Just two red dots a few inches apart faintly glowing in a pitch black cornfield. They’re not the glow of deer eyes in the headlights. More like the embers of a dying fire. Sometimes, as you drive away, you’ll look out the back window or side mirror and you can see the eyes have moved to the edge of the corn field, still watching you. If you bring it up with the driver, they’ll call you paranoid, but grip the wheel a bit tighter and driver a little faster.
I was walking to a friend’s house one night. It was about 20 minutes down a dirt road with forest on one side and a cornfield on the other. I’ve walked past it many times and wasn’t really concerned. My main worry was coming across a skunk or porcupine. I didn’t have a flashlight because the moonlight was bright enough and I knew the walk really well. Then I saw the eyes. I immediately averted mine (because for some reason that’s how to not annoy it) but they kept wandering back. They were still there, watching. I heard rustling and saw the eyes come closer and I took off running. I got to my friends without a scratch, but I was terrified. I mentioned it to my friend and that’s when I found out it was A Thing. Her parents agreed and shared their stories. I brought it up more and almost everyone knew what I was talking about. It was a phenomenon a lot of folks around town experienced but never mentioned. To this day, I don’t linger around poorly light cornfields at night.
@thedevilinthealchemy and I are very old friends. I used to live in the same town as her, in Southern California. One night, a few years ago, we were celebrating the end of finals and the start of winter break, and we just hanging out in her car, killing ourselves with late night Taco Bell. Well, we decide we don’t want to go home just yet, so we start driving. We drive up a canyon, near her place. Now, we both had made this trip many, many times, in daylight and dark. A local tourist trap is in that canyon, and there’s a shortcut to a college campus that goes through that canyon. It was a normal winter night in SoCal.
Well, about halfway through I start to get scared. For no reason. Within the span of two heartbeats I grew so terrified that my palms were shaking and my mouth was dry and for some reason I couldn’t take my eyes off the wood to the driver’s side.
“Turn around.” I say, quickly.
“Dude, already on it.” Kama said, doing a quick three point turn. I look in the mirror as she’s pealing away and see the creature. It was vaguely humanoid, and hairless, with elongated limbs and pitch black eyes, on all four limbs, loping after us. Now, if you’re in the know, you might be thinking “hey that’s like the creatures from Until Dawn, I call bullshit on this.” Well, Until Dawn was four years away, and it wasn’t even in development yet, so shush.
I rip my eyes away from it and hold on tight as she drives. Then, at the same time, both of us get this instinct and we speak.
“Don’t look in the backseat.” Needless to say, neither of us did. She drove damn near 90 on a dark canyon until we saw the lights of her complex at the mouth of it.
I haven’t gone back in there since, and that canyon got shut down about a year ago due to a landslide and it hasn’t opened back up. I’m a history major, and research always has been my first love, so I go digging. I visit the local history society, talk about my tale. Turns out the whole valley used to belong to a people called the Tativam. One day, after the Spanish arrived, they vanished. Without a trace. We have a graveyard of theirs that we know of. One of my professors was trying to stop the houses that were being built on it. Spoiler alert: he didn’t, and the houses are hella haunted, and nobody wants to live there.
Personally I do think the creature is a wendigo. That chain of mountains is park of unbroken chain that leads right up the Serra Nevadas and Donner Pass.
THE Donner Pass.
You do the math.
I’m from Northern California myself, state capitol, and while we don’t have much by way of critters (sure, we’ve got Bigfoot up in the redwoods, but those guys are mostly harmless).
Most of what we’ve got is due to the Gold Rush, and not just the hauntings (though there are plenty of those, a great many of them are theatre ghosts, most of whom are harmless, though some are very particular). What we’ve got by way of Things were brought along on the trail from the Old Country to the East Coast and then along thousands of miles of wagon trail.
We’ve got our fair share of phantom hitchhikers and women in white, but mostly what we’ve got are the Things That Survived The Flood. There was a flood in the early 1860s, one that caused the state capitol to actually be relocated for a while, and when it was over and the floodwaters receded, there was enough sediment left behind that what had been the second floor of buildings was now the ground floor.
There are a handful of places in Old Town that you Do Not Go after dark (despite being safe during the day). When I worked in Old Town, giving comedic history tours, we started from and returned to a restaurant that had a club downstairs (in what had been the ground floor before The Flood) and there was a storeroom down there that got locked at sunset and no one questioned it, but the door to that storeroom was pretty much right next to the portable shed we changed clothes in, and I know, more than once, I heard knocking and scratching and one of my very last tours I got a facefull of wet-plant rot smell (not quite mildew, but not stinky like rotting meat gets) so bad I couldn’t breathe.
It’s one of the reasons I stopped doing the tours, really, because I was starting to get the feeling I was being singled out, and I didn’t want to find out what by.
When I was like 17, I lived in the woods on the northwest coast of canada. One day, I decided to go for a walk in a part of the woods I had never been to before. Because sometimes I see weird things out there, I made sure to bring my grandma’s dog with me, just running free and off-leash. These are wild woods, too, not parkland, so the only clear areas are deer trails. I stuck along to those because, you know, I don’t want to get lost, and about an hour in I hear this strange whistling. Just a short call- One long, sharp whistle followed quickly by a short, piping one. Now, I’m in a good mood and I figure it must be some new kind of bird, so I whistle back: long call, short call. It whistles again. I’m amused, so I whistle again. Long call, short call, and then just to be fun, I throw in a little trill at the end. It whistles back. It whistles back the exact same pattern. Now, normally that would freak me out, but I was in a REALLY good mood. A really weirdly good mood. So, I whistled again. And when it whistled back to me, I giggled. I… Don’t giggle. Not alone in the woods over basically nothing. The whistle came again, and there was a rustle in the distance. Seeing a shady outcrop, I ran to hide, feeling like I was playing hide-and-seek with someone. It whistled, I whistled back. Another rustle. Closer. I suddenly realized I hadn’t seen the dog in a while. I looked around, and saw him a few feet away, staring point-blank and totally still into the forest. The whistle came again, closer this time, and suddenly my weirdly bubbly feeling was gone. Instant fear. I got the dog’s attention and we absolutely booked it out of there, all the way back to the eight-foot-high gate that marked the start of the wild land. I locked it behind me, and we never went back. I never really had any idea what was whistling with me in the forest. Maybe some kind of mimic bird that had escaped home, or a squatter hiding out there sewhere messing with this kid and their dog. I only just remembered that when I was a kid, we learned about the Tsonoqua woman. The Tsonoqua woman is supposed to be an old woman who lives in the woods. She carries a basket on her back and has long, tangled hair. When children wander away from camp, it is said that she snatches them up in her basket and steals them away forever. But because she has bad sight, she uses her keen ears to hunt, and calls out with a birdlike whistle.
I have lived in southern California for a lifetime. There are things here that even I don’t understand. Things I can’t describe. If you ever take any advice from my blog, please, please, remember this.
Coyotes don’t hunt in packs.