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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/237

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Ghost Lights of the West Highlands. 213

General opinion came to the conclusion that it was the saohhadh of some shipwreck that was to take place on the coast. Doubt was soon set at rest by a dead body being washed ashore at the place where the light had been seen. The light after this was seen no more, and the general impression was that the light had been the ghost of the person whose body had come ashore."

Much more recently than the above story — in fact, not long ago — a light was seen on several consecutive nights on Lochandaal, Islay, a little distance from Port Charlotte. Those who had seen it did not know what it was until, a few days after it appeared, a person died ; it was then con- sidered that the light had been his majiadh bais.

So common had this appearance of a light on the shore become in Islay at one time, that J. B. remembers the people speaking of Solus-an-traigh, i.e. the shore-light, and says it was believed to predict either a shipwreck which was to take place there, or a case of drowning.

From Easdale comes another account of a sea light of the nature of a " forego," as they say in the north-east of Scotland :

" says that he has heard his mother tell of how, when

she was a young girl, she and several others were on one occasion at the well, which was a recognised meeting-place for the lads and girls. Standing talking, pretty far on in the evening, they saw a strange light appearing in the har- bour. It seemed to float along till it reached the pier, and then went out of sight. M. F. told her father and mother whenever she reached home, what she had seen, but they advised her not to talk about it for fear of it making a noise in the place. It was, however, not to be long kept quiet, for on the following day one of the slate quarries there fell in, resulting in a considerable loss of life. When the bodies were being removed they were carried in the same direction in which the light had been seen moving the preceding night."