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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/232

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2o8 Ghost Lights of the West High la?ids.

light were observed to issue, seemingly, from any house in the surrounding valleys, it was considered a certain indica- tion that some member of that family would soon be married ; but if a dim light were seen, moving slowly in the direction of the parish church, it was then deemed equally certain that a funeral would soon pass that way to the church- yard!"^ Train also quotes Teignmouth's Sketches of the Coasts of Scotland and the Isle of Man as authority for the statement that " a light issuing from a churchyard indi- cated a marriage." ^ This seems peculiar to the Manx, as it does not occur apparently in Scotland.

To give a fair idea of the mind of the West Highlander on the relationship of lights and fatal accidents, I cannot do better than quote D. D., an Islay man : " No matter what happens, or to whom, there is always a light or some- thing else of the kind going before it. People may not always see it, but even if they do not, it is there all the same." This light seems really to be the immaterial remainder of the individual; and as an existence after death is implied, so it is natural we should find that those who have been associated closely here should be credited with continuing their companionship hereafter. And so Logan says : " Par- ticular clans had certain hills to which the spirits of their departed friends had a peculiar attachment. Tom-mhor was that appropriated to the house of Garva, a branch of Clan Macpherson ; and Ore, another hill, was regarded by the house of Crubin, of the same clan, as their place of meeting in a future state, and their summits were preter- naturally illuminated when any member of the families died." 3 Logan does not say that these were old burying places, though one might hazard the opinion, for this if for no other reason, that the spirits of the dead have a duty to perform in these localities. Wakings watching the dead,

' Train's hie of Alan, vol. ii. p. Ii8. '■' Vol. ii. p. 152.

' Logan, vol. ii. p. 374.