The Apparition: A Folktale of Mundrehid, Ireland

General Location: Mundrehid, County Laois / Map data ©2016 Google

This folktale from Mundrehid tells of a recurring apparition, believed by the locals to be that of a druid.   

Ever since the old church of Mundrehid fell into decay, a Druid had been known to haunt the site. Occasionally this druid was seen by the older inhabitants. Before the apparitions occurred, a tremendous roar was heard, so that the earth quaked all around.

Immediately following the earthquake the ground opened, and then a small black man sprang up, covered with armour, and wearing a belt, from which a sword hung. Drawing the sword, and flourishing it over his head, the figure raced three times around the graveyard, and in a short time sunk under the earth’s surface at the exact spot whence he rose.

During the 19th century the landowner cleared the graveyard and levelled the land, but the peasants relate that his desire to open wide pastures as a range for cattle did not prosper according to his wishes, as many of them were carried off by disease, while the herds of other farmers were spared such a visitation.

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  1. I was unable to pinpoint the precise location for this legend. The church in question should be found in the barony of Upper Ossory, within walking distance of the southern slopes of Slieve Bloom, and near a river Men or Mena. Any clarification is more than welcome.

    • The townland of Mundrehid lies in the Barony of Upperwoods and civil parish of Offerlane. Being situated on the north bank of the river Nore, it originally belonged to the territory of Leix, and was not annexed to Ossory till about the 10th century.


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