Piercing his skin with a shower of gravel

Wed, 25 Mar 2020


A story from Lord Teignmouth's Sketches of the Coasts and Islands of Scotland & the Isle of Man (1836):

As an instance that fairies will not suffer any abuse without resorting to some mode of punishment, the following occurred some six years ago, and was notorious. A man of Laxey, some what intoxicated, met a party of them, and began forthwith to abuse and curse them as the devil's imps; they wreaked their vengeance on him by piercing his skin with a shower of gravel. My guide, perhaps recollecting that the fairies were within hearing, took their part, and expressed his assurance that they would not have molested him had he not provoked them by his insults. The catastrophe did not terminate here. The offender sickened that night, his favourite horse died next morning, his cows died also, and in six weeks he himself was a corpse!

This story connects to an image in the project, Whispering in the trees: Images of Manx folklore by Mark Kinrade.