The Folk-Lore Journal/Volume 5/Donegal Superstitions

938982The Folk-Lore Journal, Volume 5 — Donegal Superstitions


HE following I was told by the daughter of a small farmer, the family evidently being descendants of one of the English settlers. These are only a part of the superstitions still prevalent in the country.


"Miss, there is no doubt the crickets know what you speak. At Moyne Hill, at our house, you know, we were getting a new grate in the kitchen, and all the crickets left. A few days afterwards I saw a big cricket outside the door, and I said, 'You are welcome back, come in,' and the big cricket and five others immediately came in. Some time afterwards my sister Kate killed one of the crickets, and that night when our stockings were drying at the fire the crickets eat hers, but they did not touch mine."

It is a very general belief in Ireland that crickets will destroy clothes of people that injure them, and if those people are married they are especially hard on their baby's clothes.

Wise Women.

Kate, sister of the girl that told about the crickets, was ill, having a faintness and an all-overness, so that she could not do her work. She was therefore sent to the doctor, and allowed to go home for a few days. When she came back she stated, "The doctor's bottle did not do me a heap of good; it was queer he could not tell what was the matter with me: but when I went to Mrs. ———she immediately said I had heart-fever, and she cured me." When questioned as to how she was cured, she mentioned that Mrs.——— was a strong (i.e. rich) woman, great at curing "heart-fever." She had cured hundreds, while her daughter had the power of curing a sprain. The woman did not give the girl any medicine, her modus operandi being to strip her patient and measure her three times round her body over the heart with a green tape. The girl states that immediately after the first measurement she began to feel better.
E. L. G. K.