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The Devil’s Den

by Bernadette Weyde

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 confined by the magicians, and that it now contains a very great Prince who never knew death, but has for the space of six hundred years been bound by magic spells; but in what manner he lies, or in what form, none had ever courage enough to explore.

They add that if you carry a horse, a dog, or any other animal to the mouth of this hole, its hair will stand on end, its eyes stare, and a damp sweat cover its whole body.

Strange noises are also said to have been heard to issue from this place and I knew a man once, who positively averred that his great-grandfather saw a huge Dragon, with a tail and wings that darkened all the element, and the eyes that seemed two globes of fire, descend swiftly into it, and after that, heard most terrible shrieks and groans from within.

(written originally by Waldron in 1731 but taken from Folklore of the Isle of Man by AW Moore, 1891; artwork)

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