The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

County Leitrim



Leitrim weirdness (and some casual destruction of archaeology), collected by the local teacher from Terence Geoghegan, a 55 year old farmer.
In the townland of Mullaghgarve in the year 1936, I was working on a Relief Scheme, and I came on a mound of stones. There were big long limestone flags, standing up on end along the sides of the mound and at both ends. Outside the flags there were piles of stones of various sizes and shapes - some of them would weigh about 2 cwt. Inside the same standing flags there were a number of broken flags which appeared to me to have been a cover that reached from the standing flags on one side to those on the opposite side. Of the standing flags there was one on the western end higher than the others. Outside that flag we got ashes similar to that, that comes from a turf fire.

Between the standing flags or stones were stones of various sizes which we removed for road metal. At a depth of about three or three and a half feet we came on a number of what we thought, in the gathering darkness of the evening, were human bones, and part of a skull. I brought home a number of the bones with me to examine them, as I heard there was a Druid buried there.

This happened in the month of December. Just as we were quitting work a friend invited me to his house to spend a few hours there. I went to it and brought the bag containing the bones with me. The people of the locality saw lights coming from and going to the house while I was in it but I knew nothing of this whatever.

I left the house at 11 or 11.30 p.m. and when I was a short distance from it I saw a number of lights in front of me, and as I was making my way to the road which I was approaching at right angles, I saw more lights farther away from me coming down the road. They were like so many lanterns, and I hurried to overtake those in front of me, as I thought they might be young lads going to a dance, and that their company would help to shorten the road home. I did not succeed as they went off on the bye-road where I was working during the day. I then waited for the other lights that were still coming on, and when they came to the by-road they went down it too. I then thought it strange that I was within 12 feet of each group of lights, and that I heard neither talking nor walking. There were about 7 or 8 lights in all.

I then continued on home, and nothing strange occurred till I was about 400 yards from my home. Suddenly a small light sprang up in front of me, and it was about a foot up from the ground. I first thought it was a glow-worm, and I stood to find out what had it raised so high above the ground. I put my hand under it, and raised it up on my hand. I felt no heat from it, or any kind of feeling of weight or softness. I at once shook it off my hand, and away it sailed through the air, increasing in size, and it went in the direction of the road where I was working, that is, in the direction of the mound. It went as straight as an arrow for there, but as a hill intervened between me and the mound I cannot say where it went when it crossed the hill.

As soon as I got to the house (my home) the roosters started to crow louder than I ever heard them before. I then went out to see was there anything wrong with the cattle in the byre, and to find out what was disturbing the birds, but I noticed nothing unusual. I then returned to the house, and with candle light I examined the bones which I had brought with me, and I concluded they were those of a human being.
As long as I was awake the cocks kept up the crowing, but as I was tired I fell asleep soon after going to bed, but my wife told me they kept up the din till daylight. She did not know that I had any bones home with me till next morning, for if she did I am sure she would make me put them outside the house.
From the Schools Collection, being digitised at Duchas.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
22nd October 2017ce
Edited 28th October 2017ce

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