Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Irish Ghost Tales: A Book ...

Although I now know that I have some Irish or Scot-Irish ancestors, I cannot report about any family traditions or superstitions from those ancestors since very little was passed in my family. So, in lieu of not having any family tales to share, I'll just write about a book I read several years ago instead.

Several years ago (when I was probably in Middle school), I visited a used bookstore, and bought a book that had caught my eye. The book I bought was True Irish Ghost Stories by St. John D. Seymour, and it was a thick paperback. (I forget what year my version was printed, but it was probably of a reprint of the second edition, since the book included the first ans second edition prefaces in it.) Obviously, one can tell from the title, the book is about Irish ghost stories, and the stories come from different areas of Ireland. As I think about this book, I'm starting to realize that is a really strange book. In the first preface, the author, who turns out to be a Catholic priest, writes that he wrote the book primarily because he could not find any books on Irish ghost stories while he could find books on English ghost stories. I find it highly unusual that a priest would have written this book, let alone have an interest in this subject, and because of that fact, I find the book to be very odd.

As I haven't read this book in several years (probably since I was a freshman in high school), I don't recall all of the stories in this book, but I can still recall some details of some stories. Of course, I really do not like thinking about this book or the stories in it due to the fact that the stories will bother me for some time after I've read them. I do not know what it is, but every time I read this book, I have this creepy feeling that I'm being watched by something, and I don't like the feeling. Since I become frightened every single time that I read the book, I have stopped reading it. (Yes, this type of stuff never fails to scare me.) When I told my dad about how the book scarred me, he mentioned that the Irish were known to be heavy drinkers and that I should keep that in mind when I read the stories. Even though I tried to keep that in mind, I still could not, and can't, keep the book from giving me the creeps. So, as you can imagine, I do not recommend this book for children as it could give children nightmares, and I do not read the book anymore. (I'm not kidding.) So, that's my caveat about this book.

Since I do not have any family tales of Irish ghost stories to tell, this is the best I could do for this topic.


Miriam said...

I had the same creepy feeling about a book of Frisian folklore and ghost tales. As an adult, I finally got rid of the book, even though it had been a childhood gift from my parents. I'm not superstitious in the least, but it did make me feel uncomfortable!

Colleen Johnson, CMJ Office said...

I have a vivid imagination and can't stand reading anything frightening. It will freak me out for a very long time. The Irish are famous storytellers!