Faries in Ireland
The islanders,like all the Irish, believe that the fairies are the fallen angels who
were cast down by the Lord God out of heaven for their sinful pride. And some fell into the
sea, and some on the dry land, and some fell deep down into hell, and the devil gives to
these knowledge and power, and sends them on earth where they work much evil. But the
fairies of the earth and the sea are mostly gentle and beautiful creatures, who will do no harm if they are let
alone, and allowed to dance on the
fairy raths in the moonlight to their own sweet music,undisturbed by the presence of mortals.
As a rule, the people look on fire as the great preservative against witchcraft, for the
devil has no power except in the dark. So they put a live coal under the churn, and they
wave a lighted wisp of straw above the cow's head if the beast seems sickly. But as to the pigs,
they take no trouble, for they say the devil has no power over them now. When they light a candle they cross themselves, because
the evil spirits are then clearing out of the house in fear of the light. Fire and
Holy Water they hold to be sacred, and are powerful; and the best safeguard against all
things evil, and the surest test in case of suspected witchcraft.