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Protect your property and yourself - make a Parshell!
Caution: For your Parshell to be effective, it must be made on October 31st - you can' make it ahead of time, nor can you use Irish procrastination as an excuse and make it after Halloween.
Beyond making Parshells, here are some other things you can do to protect yourself on Hallowe'en:
If there are children in the house, they should be sprinkled with holy water; in the old days, a dead ember from the fire was put in the cradle.
To protect against being carried off by the fairies, it was the custom to carry a black handled knife or have a steel needle stuck in a coat collar or sleeve. If by chance, the fairies did lead a person a stray, he or she could confuse them by turning the coat inside out. The fairies would no longer recognize their victim and their attentions would be diverted elsewhere.
Wild fruit, such as blackberries, must never be eaten on Hallowe'en night or after that date because it was believed that the dreaded evil spirit, the Púca, had spat on it.
Should you meet up with the fairies, it is said that if you throw the dust taken from under your feet at them, they will be obliged to release any captive human in their company.
When throwing out water, one must always shout seachain! (beware!) or chughaibh an t-usce! (water towards you!). This warning enables the ghosts and fairies to step aside so they won't be splashed - something that must be avoided at all costs, lest you bring down their wrath upon you and your loved ones.
Finally, before retiring, you must be certain to place a portion of the evening meal outside for the fairy folk. Your hospitality will be duly noted (as will the lack of it!)
So there you have it , a fair flahoolagh of cautionary measures to keep in mind - or drive you out of it - this Hallow's Eve and Samhain. Shona dhuit Samhain - Happy Halloween to you!
Ireland's Most Haunted Castle
South-east of Birr between Kinnity and Roscrea, in Co. Offaly are the remains of Leap Castle. Originally an O'Carroll fortress, it guarded the pass from the Slieve Bloom into Munster. Said to have more than 50 ghosts, its dark and mysterious past includes the murder of a priest by his brother in the "Bloody Chapel" and the slaughter by their Irish employers of more than 50 Scots mercenaries in order to avoid payment. It has always had a reputation of being haunted and locals have described seeing the windows at the top of the castle "light up for a few seconds as if many candles were brought into the room" late at night. For more details read our article Creepy Irish Castles & Houses.
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March 4, 2011
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