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Many of the stories traditionally passed on verbally in Ireland in Gaelic were loaded with superstition eg. anyone going anywhere with a purpose such as to a fair to sell farmproduce would be advised to turn back immediately should they meet a red-haired female. Their mission was destined for disaster! Now there was a good population with red hair in this neck of the woods (NW Ireland) and indeed throughout the country so it must have been pretty limiting for those who believed in the superstition. However, the Church frowned on such widely-held beliefs and the folklore was decimated by the arrival of electricity. Faeries seemed to disappear altogether as did regular sightings of ghosts/spirits related to previous unhappy events.However, my son had a weird experience about ten years ago that triggered massive palpitations requiring 2 weeks in hospital and he refused to return to the job he loved in a place he had loved since childhood .He woke up early to see a see a woman shedding a tear and shaking her head at the foot of his bed. Described the person as middleaged with "untidy hair" and poor appearance. As he was in a new apartment and I had remembered a row of old townhouses there previously, I asked a reliable person from the village years later if there was any history associated with those townhouses? Yes, apparently a fishing-boat had sank near the pier and a lady who lived there lost her husband and two sons with it. Coincidence?

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There are still many who not only believe in the Fairies but see them as well. There is a delightful film called The Fairy Faith by filmmaker John Walker. His grandmother was a firm believer in the Faeries and because of her and because he used to "see" them when he was a child, he talked to people and visited Fairy places inIreland, England, Scotland and Cape Breton.
I bought this For my grownup daughter who used to see the fairies when she was little (many in my family have the "sight")
and who allows her children to believe in them as well.
I got into a conversation with a man whose grandmother was a believer and I could tell by the way he talked that he would never admit to believing himself. I asked him, why is it irrational to believe in fairies? People believe in Angels and Aliens from outer space without a shred of evidence and others accept this belief even if they don't agree with it.
Do I believe? You betcha.
True story:
I was out in Missouri visiting my grownup daughter and her family and she asked me to take a picture of her and her husband. She chose a huge elm tree for the photo background and I posed them under the tree. There were no shrubberies and such anywhere near it. Later when I had returned home, she called and said "mom, you photographed a fairy"
Sure 'nuff there on the limb behind her and her man there was what looked like a little figure made of light running along the trunk. In the second photo was the identical figure but now he was further along the trunk. ( I had snapped two photos in rapid succession).
So I printed out copies of the photos and took them to work and with them in hand I made a quick survey of my coworkers. I would ask each person if they believed in fairies and no matter what they said, I would show them the photos. To my great surprise, about 1/3 of the people DID believe in fairies and when seeing the photos would be delighted and beg me for copies. The rest claimed it was a trick of the light or a shrub behind the tree.
All is not lost of the old beliefs. If followed obsessively they are bad. But if acknowledge they add a depth of richness and color to life.
PS> I used to hear the beliefs about magpies only it was for Crows.


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