Open main menu

Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/267

This page has been validated.
Folk-lore Miscellanea.

with it in this part of the county. I should be glad if any other member can give me any information respecting it.

Blythburgh House, South Town, Great Yarmouth.

W. B. Gerish


The Overflowing of Magic Wells (Folk-Lore, IV, i, 66).—The legends told by Dr. Rhys about the origin of certain lakes in Wales and Ireland remind me of the story in Campbell’s Tales of the West Highlands, of the origin of Loch Ness. This tale, unfortunately, does not explain why the well overflowed.

“Where Loch Ness now is, there was long ago a fine glen. A woman went one day to the well to fetch water, and she found the spring flowing so fast that she got frightened, and left her pitcher, and ran for her life; she never stopped till she got to the top of a high hill: and when there, she turned about and saw the glen filled with water. Not a house or a field was to be seen! ‘Aha!’ said she, ‘tha Loch ann a nis’ (Ha Loch an a neesh)—‘There is a lake in it now’—and so the lake was called Loch Ness (neesh).” (Campbell, Tales, II, xxxiv, 147.)

At p. 145 Campbell speaks of a witches’ well in Islay, and of holy healing wells, such as that on an island in Loch Maree, and the one in the Black Isle of Cromarty. Other magic and sacred Scottish wells are mentioned by Sir F. G. Dalyell in his Darker Superstitions of Scotland, and by Mr. W. G. Black in Folk-Medicine.

Margaret Stuart.

Immuring Alive.—Mr. S. Baring-Gould, in his volume on Strange Survivals, has brought together a very curious and interesting collection of details and observances relative to Folk-lore and Anthropology. In his chapter on Foundations he recounts several instances of the immurement of living persons, always women, in the walls of new buildings to ensure their stability. This belief, involving the idea of sacrifice, prevails in the Eastern as well as in the Western world, and it may be perhaps worth while to relate some instances within my own experience.

Nearly in the centre of the Indian peninsula, but far southward in the Madras Presidency, two great mountain ranges, the Pulneys and the Arnemallies, joining at the centre, run east and west. It is the watershed of the peninsula, for the Ambrawutty river, issuing from the great gorge where the Pulney and Arnemally ranges unite, and fed by torrents from the slopes of both, flows to the Bay of Bengal, and another stream, descending from the mountains a few miles to the west, runs to the Malabar coast and the Indian Ocean. Once, in pur-