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




A hunter was pursuing a deer one day. Over hill and dale he chased, never getting any nearer to it, although he repeatedly galloped faster. At last, drawing his bow, he shot an arrow at it, exclaiming, "Should you be the devil himself I will pursue thee till eternity."
The deer struck by the arrow halted at the entrance of the dolmen and turned into a maiden of dazzling beauty.
"Have thee thy wish," she cried. "Thou shalt hunt for ever."
She vanished and the huntsman, it is said, may still be seen careering madly on a white horse, bow in hand, after an invisible quarry.

Another story relates to the days of Druidism.
It was the custom of this particular sect of Druids to offer up to the sun human sacrifices two or three times a year. Usually the victims were criminals or prisoners captured in war.
On one occasion the larder of victims was bare - not a criminal, not a prisoner of war. One of the priestesses who did the butchering was a young and lovely girl.
"No victims," she said. "Then you shall have my youngest brother."
Screaming with horror the boy was placed on a flat altar stone in the mouth of the dolmen and the priestess sharpened her knife in anticipation of the cruel deed entrusted to her.
The boy pleaded in vain for his life.
"Were you God himself I would kill thee," his sister said.
Just as she was about to plunge her knife into his helpless body, he cursed her.
"May your soul be doomed to haunt this spot for ever," he cried.
Quite unmoved, she ripped his stomach open and then calmly and slowly cut his throat.
She did not survive him long. For her impious words and in fulfilment of his curse she was doomed to haunt for ever the Fairy Rock.

Tradition also has it that round the rock, with hands clasped, lovely fairy girls used to dance and sing nightly, when the moon was full and the stars shone brightly. On one occasion a country swain stood watching them and was so enraptured that he knelt down and worshipped them.
"Go home," they cried, "and see what awaits there."
He tore himself reluctantly away, and went home to find to his great surprise, a large box full of gold coins, a gift from the fairies. He was a rich man.
He spent his money quickly and when it was all gone, he visited the Fairy Rock night after night, but he never saw the fairies again.
Certainly not the usual Victorian language, but still revelling in Druidic gruesomeness: The Midnight Hearse and more Ghosts by Elliott O'Donnell (1965).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
5th August 2013ce

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