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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/230

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2o6 Ghost Lights of the West Highlands.

Samhla, a likeness.

Taibhse, a spectre. A word allied with this is Tatseal, which on the authority of the late Mrs. Mackellar is the "technical term" for the "ghost of the living."^ Arm- strong in his Dictionary derives this from the two words taibhse-amhuil^ spectre-like, ghostly.

Tanas, tannag, tannasg. According to Mr. A. MacBain this, like the word tatseal, is also the equivalent of the lowland " wraith," i.e. the double of the living.

Spiorad, a spirit.

Also where localised an apparition such as those may be called bodach or cailleach, an old man or an old woman, the name of the locality being added.

Dulan, possibly what the theosophist would' call " an elemental," from the Gaelic diiil, an element. This seems to be the same word, however, as the Lowland doolie, a little devil, hobgoblin, scarecrow.


It is an undoubted fact that lire has taken a place in connection with death-ceremonies among the Gael. Logan" tells us that at death " all fires are extinguished." Train, in his History of the Isle of Man, quotes a note from Miss Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent, which says: "When an Irish man or woman of the lower order dies, the straw which composed the bed is immediately taken out of the house and burned before the cabin door, the family at the same time setting up the howl, whereupon the neighbours flock to the house of the deceased, and by their vociferous sympathy excite, and at the same time soothe, the sorrow of the family." ^ Nearer home we find among the more than semi-Celtic inhabitants of Galloway a practice in use in 1822 of the same character. "As soon as ever the dead corpse is taken out of the house in order to its carrying to

' Celtic Magazine, vol. ii. p. 329. * Vol. ii. p. 74.

' Train, vol. ii. p. 137, note.