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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/238

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214 Ghost Lights of the West Highlands.

This belief in lights at sea as connected with shipwreck is universal round the coast. A native of Sutherland says : " There is a man living near Cape Wrath who saw a strange light out a little from the Cape. He told the minister, who persuaded him not to frighten the fishers from going to sea by mentioning it. A few days after, a foreign vessel came in at the very spot w^here he had seen the light, and was lost with all hands. The man fully believes that the light was a taihhse of the loss of life."

That this sea-light may get the credit of going to the churchyard appears in this story told of the wreck of the Cambria, some thirty years ago, on the north coast of Ireland:

" A young man in Islay was on his way one night to visit his sweetheart. His w^ay led along the shore, and he had not gone far when he saw a light before him. His dog com- ing between it and him seemed to endeavour to prevent him going on, but he proceeded on his way. At that point he w'as very near an old burial-ground, which he had to pass. As he reached it, he saw some men whom he thought he knew carrying a coffin. When he reached the men, they suddenly vanished. He got a great fright, and returned home and told what he had seen. A short time after, the news of the loss of the Cambria reached Islay, and a body was washed ashore just where the lad had seen the light ; and it so happened that the same lad, on the same errand, passed the graveyard while they were burying the shipwrecked body, and saw the real funeral party just where he had seen the spectral party before."

A Ross-shire ghost light as seen by a professed taibJis- dear is : " An old man reported having seen a light as it were leave a widow's house, and travel along the shore until it came to a certain spot, where it disappeared. In a very short time after, two lads were drowned, and their bodies found where the man had seen the light disappear, and were carried home by the way he had seen the light travelling.