Home Manx LifeFolk Tales The Three-headed Giant

The Three-headed Giant

by Bernadette Weyde
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Once upon a time there landed at the Lhane river a number of Danes, who took possession of that part of the Island. Amongst them was a huge monster of a man with three heads, who officiated as their parson, and who was promptly appointed by them to the Rectory of Andreas, which chanced to be vacant at that time.

He soon began to extort all he could from the people, making his bands for the tithe corn three times larger than was customary, and taking the double penny for every thing. For a long time he went on in this fashion till they got used to it and, consequently, did not grumble so much as at first. Indeed they rather began to like him as he often gave them a hand at busy times, when the men were for the most part away at the fishing, and was always ready to do them a good turn.

So things went on till his death, when, in accordance with his wish, he was carried to the top of Karrin, and buried there under a big cairn.

A long time after this, a man who had heard about this three-headed creature from the old people, and who was consumed with a desire to see him, began to open his grave. He had not dug very far, however, when he was seized with a great pain in his back, which compelled him to leave off. He managed to get home but in three days he was dead. Since then no one has ventured to disturb the giant’s remains.

They say that since the days of the giant the parson of Andreas has always had three times more pay than the rest.


(source: Folklore of the Isle of Man, A.W.Moore, (1891); artwork ‘Drink & Draw Three-Headed Giant’ by Artofant)

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