Ben Bulben

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ben bulben

As the photograph above shows Ben Bulben (aka Ben Bulbin) is an extremely striking mountain and it was inevitable that local lore (fairy and otherwise) would be attracted to the peak there. When Evans-Wentz travelled to Ireland for his fairy research c. 1910:

The Ben Bulbin country in County Sligo is one of those rare places in Ireland where fairies are thought to be visible,  and our first witness from there claims to be able to see the fairies or ‘gentry ‘ and to talk with them. This mortal so favoured lives in the same townland where his fathers  have lived during four hundred years, directly beneath the  shadows of Ben Bulbin, on whose sides Dermot is said to  have been killed while hunting the wild-boar. And this  famous old mountain, honeycombed with curious grottoes  ages ago when the sea beat against its perpendicular flanks, is the very place where the ‘gentry’ have their chief abode.  Even on its broad level summit, for it is a high square table-  land like a mighty cube of rock set down upon the earth  by some antediluvian god, there are treacherous holes,  wherein more than one hunter may have been lost for ever, penetrating to unknown depths; and by listening one can hear  the tides from the ocean three or four miles away surging  in and out through ancient subterranean channels, connected  with these holes. In the neighbouring mountains there are  long caverns which no man has dared to penetrate to the  end, and even dogs, it is said, have been put in them never  to emerge, or else to come out miles away.

Evans-Wentz also described a fairy meeting with a native of the area in great and surprising detail: a fairy woman lusted after the native.

ben bulben fairies

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