Open main menu

Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/278

This page needs to be proofread.

254 Ghost Lights of the West Highlands.

them was on his way that night when we were coming home, at least that was what we thought at the time when we saw it. There used to be a large light often seen at the Carn Bhan, indeed I think it is not so very long ago since it was seen there. I have often seen it myself there, it was as large as the light of that lamp."

This was told quite recently by an old woman of about seventy. The universal belief that " Will-o'-the-Wisp" and such like are powers for evil, prepare one for the possibility of the impersonation of evil himself appearing as a light. The following, which I translate from the Gaelic, is to that effect: "Before I came here, I myself and L.'s daughter were walking, after it had become dark at night, to her father's house, till we reached the place where the road cuts off to her father's house, when she said to me : ' Ar'n't you getting afraid ? ' 'I wouldn't be afraid,' I answered, ' though I should meet the devil.' The word was not out of my mouth when a large sparkling light came straight at me. About the same time my father came up to see me home. Were it not for that I do not know how I would have got home that night."

The impression made upon a person seeing an aerolite for the first time seems worth noticing in this connection. The following description of one is given in the words of one of the best of folklore collectors :

" My brother and I were coming one evening homewards from a farmer's house, and when close to home we saw the most brilliant ball of light in the sky. Blue and white in colour, it came floating in a westerly direction, and landing in our park it partly broke up into sparks, but the main por- tion struck and bounded down the brae. Next day we examined the place where the ball of fire first struck, and found the grass blackened and burnt up. Then at intervals were burnt places till we came to a rut ploughed by the ball, which we found embedded in the soil. It was a mass of ironstone as big as one's two fists, and the little bits here