Strange Red Lights

Strange Red Lights

In the 1920s a number of strange reddish lights were reported, two and sometimes three at once, moving about a man’s garden adjoining the Claddagh, “as big as the rear lamp of a trap.”

They caused a good deal of uneasiness to the people living there, and were anxiously discussed in the village. Sometimes they floated up over the roofs of the row of houses.

On making enquiries, I found that someone had been moving stones out of the bed of the river, which at that point is rather shallow and sluggish, and is bordered with gravelly soil. Such “lights” are believed to be omens of death, except when they are attributed to those who are already dead.

A woman in Kirk Patrick village looked out of her “skylid” one moonlight night and saw three lights like little stars go up in succession out of the ground of the old churchyard. Next morning she heard of the death of a young child in a house close by, who was afterwards buried at the exact spot from which the “stars ” had risen.


(source: A Manx Scrapbook by W Walter Gill (1929); photo is a composite of the oldest cottage at Sulby Claddagh courtesy of the imuseum http://bit.ly/2jx9yFb and a moonlit sky (wallpaper))

Bernadette Weyde

Bernadette Weyde

I'm a web designer, amateur historian and keen gardener and I enjoy bringing Manx history, folklore and poetry to a modern audience.


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