Haunted Shores

A Halloween-themed collection of the creepiest and scariest stories in the Ports, Past and Present collection!

Of Mermaids and Fairies | Môr-forynion a’r Tylwyth Teg

In Pembrokeshire, fairies are commonly known as Plant Rhys Ddwfn, the ‘children of Rhys the Deep’, ‘deep’ here referring to depth of character. This particular tribe or type of fairies are of diminutive size like that of a 5- or 6-year old child.…

Fishguarrrd! | Aberrrgwaun!

In 1779, US-born Stephen Manhant attacked Fishguard with his ship Black Prince, sailing under a French flag. Prior to his attack on Fishguard, Manhant had destroyed over 30 ships sailing under a British flag and taken many prisoners with the plan to…

The Cursing of the HMS Caesar

A local story in Pembroke Dock concerns the launch of HMS Caesar, planned for July 21, 1853. The ship was a wooden two decker, screw propelled ship of ninety-one guns. As was the custom on launch days all the residents of Pembroke Dock would flock…

The Haunting of the HMS Asp | Ysbryd yn cerdded HMS Asp

In 1857, Pembroke Dock was the setting for the remarkable climax of the haunting of the HMS Asp which, at the time, was used as a surveying vessel in the Royal Navy under the command of one Captain George Manley Alldridge (1815–1905). Over the…

The Smalls Lighthouse Tragedy | Trasiedi Goleudy’r Smalls

The cluster of rocks known as The Smalls, 20 miles off the coast of south west Wales, was a major shipping hazard, notorious for ferocious rip tides, until 1777 when an unorthodox timber lighthouse structure was erected consisting of nine stout oak…

Tuskar Rock Folklore

The Tuskar Rock Lighthouse stands on a rocky islet 11.3km or 7 miles off the south east corner of the island of Ireland. The lighthouse was constructed to warn ships of what has long been a graveyard of sailors, part of a band of treacherous waters…

Strange Stories in Rosslare

The folklore gathered at the Irish Schools’ Collection contains many tall tales, strange happenings and stories of the supernatural spanning the length and breadth of Ireland. The example below, reported by Lill Dempsey of Ballyboher, County Wexford,…

Lore from the Wexford Coast

The Irish Sea coastline of County Wexford is encrusted with the folklore, knowledges, practices and cultural connections of its people. When the children of the Schools' Collection interviewed elderly relatives and members of the community, they…

Folklore and Music Traditions of Wexford Harbour

Sailing ships needed large crews and a seafarer tradition became an important source of employment in Wexford in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The fishing industry thrived, and with it the prosperity of this coastal community. By 1788…

The Ballad of the Tinnaberna Fishermen

County Wexford is no stranger to the musical tradition of ballads and the county possesses a rich and varied repertoire of verse. Given the long stretch of coastline that runs along Wexford county and the tradition of fishing, especially for herring,…

Folklore of the Alfred D. Snow Wreck

The coastal folklore of County Wexford is punctuated with shipwrecks, stories of assistance rendered and loss of life despite the best efforts of rescuers. The wreck of the Alfred D. Snow stands out across the lore of a wide variety of communities…