; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Sunday, April 02, 2023

STRANGE IRISH TALES: The Lost Soul - The Creature of the Forest - Night of the Dead

My name is Adriano Damaceno, I'm 34 years old and I live in São José, a municipality in the state of Santa Catarina in Brazil. I always liked to travel and on one of these trips, I met my wife who is Irish and has family there to this day. She lived in Joinville for a few years with her family but she always traveled to see her relatives there. They live in a house near County Clare, and I got to know this beautiful place when I traveled with them and stayed there for a week.

It is an incredible place and the landscapes are reminiscent of medieval or horror films, in the style of The Legend of the Headless Horseman. I, as a great lover of the supernatural and its macabre stories, soon wanted to know about unexplained things that should happen there and my father-in-law told me several local legends and things that he himself saw, as he was born and raised in that region and these are some of those stories which I will tell you now:

• The Lost Soul

“I remember that when I was young, there was a lot of talk about an "Alma Penada" that was seen walking on the roads of the village at night. It began with the report of a lady who said she had seen a strange woman walking barefoot on cold nights on the road where the oldest houses were.

The strangest thing about this report was that people often woke up to put more wood in the fireplaces, and thus be warmer, and seeing someone walking outside at these hours was something to draw a lot of attention. One night, early in the morning, they heard screams coming from outside the village, they were terrible screams that made some men leave the house and try to see what it was. The people of the village thought that there was someone in danger and they went to try to save whoever it was.

That's when they saw, coming out of a small forest, a strange woman, and it was she who was screaming, but she wasn't being attacked. The men who went soon saw that it was not a thing of this world and they turned off their lanterns and returned to the village, and since that night, when they heard screams, no one went out because they knew that it was that woman who the cold did not bother. They couldn't tell if it was a spirit or something else and they called it "Woman Without Cold"

• The Creature of the Forest

My father was a businessman and traveled a lot to other places, and he stayed many nights in inns, those very precarious ones, where a room has three or four beds and there are often people who have never seen each other before in their lives. Once my father was in an inn like this one, and almost at the end of the day, a couple arrived asking where a certain town was, and the owner taught them exactly how to get there, but warned that walking at night, and with fog, was not a good thing to do.

But the couple was in a hurry to go, and the owner of the place, together with his wife, who was already elderly, insisted that the couple stay, as the road was very dangerous at night and things could appear in the dark. The couple then decided to stay and the owners calmed down. My curious father went to ask why they were so nervous because he himself had already walked in the mist many times and nothing happened, so the couple replied:

"People here have seen a strange creature in these colder seasons for several years now, it comes with the cold and the mist and many have seen it walking these roads."

"What creature is that?" asked my father, and they continued talking:

"No one can say what it is, they say it's a type of monster that lives hidden in the darkest forests, but at night, and protected by the mist, it sometimes comes down and frightens the residents here. We've seen it, and believe me when we say, the roads at night are not a good place to be."

"And what does this creature look like?", my father asked, more and more curious. "It reminds me of an ogre from the old stories," said the couple. "Much stronger and much bigger than any man who lives here. We hear reports of some shepherds who live in the open fields, at night they would enter their huts and hear roaring coming from the mist, the dogs would not bark until that it was day, and in the morning, they saw the footprints of the thing on the ground. A group once went into the forest after the creature, but the forest was so dense and dark that if they stayed the night there, they feared never returning. In the darkest times hot of the year the thing is never seen, but in the cold, and with fog, it's better to stay at home."

• Night of the Dead

“There was also once, not far from here, the story of a couple who lived in a beautiful house. They never had children, and when the man's wife died it was a heavy blow to him. She was buried far away from here in a cemetery already almost in another city.

But a rumor started that the wife was coming to visit her husband every night, even after she was dead. Residents who live near the former couple's house reported that a terrible stench was felt in the early hours and they heard moans of something that was hiding in the dark and, many times, the thing was seen entering the couple's old house.

Neighbors fearing something worse would happen warned the widower that a strange thing was coming to his house every night, but the old man said that nothing visited him. The residents then began to think that it was the deceased wife and the widower who was trying to hide the macabre relationship. One night, they saw the woman walking near some houses and those who saw her described her as someone rotting but not dead, completely dirty with mud and dressed in rags and heading towards the widower's house.

When the sun rose that morning, some went there and saw mud by the door and dark footprints leading inwards but the widower denied all rumors. No one has ever really been able to prove that she was the late wife who visited her husband, but it is said that it was, for after the master passed away the strange woman was never seen again."

These were some stories I've heard from people who have lived in Ireland for years. and they know what they are talking about. Ireland has a very rich folklore with stories about gnomes, elves, leprechauns, and all these beings that many already know the stories but I want to show that there are many more strange things than we think.”

- Adriano Damaceno - São José - Santa Catarina - SC - Brazil.



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