Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/229

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Ghost Lights of the West Highlands. 205

spirits also that appeared in the shape of women, horses, swine, cats, and some like firey balls, which would follow men in the fields ; but there has been few instances of these for forty years past." Martin, we may conclude, had a mind above these particulars, for the skilled inquirer finds them by no means so rare in the belief of the people in 1896.

Martin, however, was apparently convinced of the exist- ence of the corpse-candle. " The corpse-candles or dead- men's lights in Wales, which are certain prognostics of death, are well known and attested."^ In Argyll we find the name " corpse-candle " used in Kintyre, and it is in use in other border districts of the Highlands, e.g. in the north- eastern counties ; but it does not seem to be an original Gaelic idea, the candle with which the light is compared being probably itself an imported invention. But the light itself is too frequently encountered to be anything but native under whatever name. It is called by various names, viz. :

Solus, a light. Solus bais, a death light. Solus taisg, a spectre light. Solus adhlaic, a burial light. Solus biorach, pointed light.

Teine, fire. Teine adhlaic, a burial fire. Teine biorach, pointed fire : — " Fire floating in the air like a bird." Teine Seannachain, T. Seonaid T. Sionnachain. An Teine Mor, the great fire. These last are specially Will o' the wisp.

Manadh, a warning. Manadh bais, a death warning.

Sanas, a warning, a hint.

Sealladh, a vision.

Saohhadh, a superstition, foolishness. A native of Islay is authority for the statement that the distinction between a Saobhadh and a Manadh is, that in the former nothing is seen, a noise may be heard or something felt, such as a puff of wind, a pressure, &c., while in the latter case there is some visible manifestation.

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