When Bees Swarm

“It’s a sign of death, mmm…yes it is. For there was three swarms came them three years, one after another, into the chimley of the house, an’ I lost three, one after the other; a big lump of a boy

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The Devil’s Den

About a league and a half from Barrule, there is a hole in the earth, just at the foot of the mountain, which they call “The Devil’s Den.” They tell you that, in the days of enchantment, persons were there

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Deodand

The ancient legal penalty of Deodand, well known in England, by which an animal or object causing a death was confiscated and became the king’s property, was enforced in the Isle of Man so late as the end of the

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The Dooinney Molla – The Man Praiser

This expression is applied to a friendly match-maker, introduced by the young man, to relate to the parents of the girl of his heart – in glowing terms – what a desirable match his friend would make for their daughter.

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Easter Day – Laa Chaisht

Considered an unlucky day. T. Moore who helped Dr. Clague write his book ‘Reminiscenes’ told me that his grandfather would not allow his household to go from home on Easter Day for fear of accidents.   Daffodils were not to

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Purgatory Hammers

It was formerly believed in the Isle of Man that Roman Catholics were buried with a loaf of bread and a hammer. The latter was to be used in knocking at the gates of Purgatory. A Manx clergyman, who told

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The Crosh Vushta (Mustering Cross)

The Crosh Vushta or mustering cross was the means by which the country was raised to defend it and stern were the rules that governed its use. The assembling token was in the form of a wooden cross, and is

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The First Bee

The old fishermen thought it very lucky to catch the first bee they happened to see in April. It was the sign of a good herring season, they said. I have seen men chasing the first bee they saw for

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Yarding

At a certain time of the year, the young men and young women of the Isle of Man were summoned to Castletown and the Governor, deemsters (judges), coroners (who carried out legal functions), and other officers, could choose anyone he

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Manx Dialect Connected with the Fairies

The Isle of man is full of Fairy lore.  A good Manxman does not speak of fairies — the word ‘ferrish’, a corruption of the English, did not exist in the Island 200 years ago. He talks of the Little

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