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“Cóiste Bodhar” - GHOST STORY
By Brían Hoban
8, Nov 2012 - 18:14

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This information was collected and hand written by local schoolteacher Mr. Galvin for "The Schools Folklore Collection 1938."

The following story was collected from Mrs Evelynn Gillivan, a teacher in Clogher School: "When I came to Clogher I took lodgings in the village of Knockboy with Mrs. Durcan. Coming from the town and hardly knowing anyone in the place I thought it rather lonely at first, and to make the time pleasanter for me Mrs Brennan of Clogher often invited me to spend the evening with them; for which I was very grateful. I never stayed out late: and Mrs.Brennan herself as the saying goes locally would "leave me at home." The distance anyhow was short only some twenty minutes walk.

This night that I am going to tell you about was one of the loveliest nights that come in September. The moon was full and a gentle peace and serenity were over the whole countryside. So beautiful was the night that wishing to linger on the way the more to feel its sweetness. This night I prevailed upon my escort when about half way to return home.

I came on easily past the school where I had spent the day "myself against a host", and how gentle it seemed in the soft moonlight. At the little bridge I paused a while to see the waters under it "glide like happiness away". It must have been later that I imagined for no light gleamed in the Public House at the crossroads and not a mouse stirred. I kept on leisurely until I came to the Carnacon crossroads at the little plantation. My way was to the left.

When I came to the bridge that crosses the stream here again I was startled by the sound of approaching footsteps- Trip-trap! Trip-trap! Trip-trap- many footsteps together and next moment- Sancta Maria! What is this? Five women I counted them are approaching me as plainly as the light of the moon. There was no fancy and no deception. The five were of different sizes- the one in the centre was the tallest- was very tall. They were dressed alike but the colours were different. They wore binoges, check aprons and shawls, very clean- a style of dress not worn in this part of the country for forty years past.

My heart beat a bit quicker surely and I kept well in on the grass. They passed by; they spoke no word and I spoke no word. Their faces were as pale as the moonlight and save for the tip tap of their feet they were as silent as the dead; they looked neither to the right nor to the left. I went my way sacred enough I did not turn my head to gaze after them-Why? I really don't know!

When I came into the house I told of what I had seen. My host and hostess were surprised , but ventured the explanation that it may be a party going to a wake or some such gathering in the neighbourhood- though they could not fit in my description of apparel with anything they knew.

For more on the folklore of Clogher see link.

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