The Isle of Man is notable for it’s many legends and tales of ghosts, fairies and mythical creatures. It is said that the Isle of Man was first
ruled by the sea god Manannán Mac Lir who wrapped his cloak of mist around the island as a protection from hostile invaders. The island seems to have also inherited a cloak of mystery and superstition. It is a common theory that the Isle of Man is in fact, the location of King Arthur’s Avalon, Camelot, the “grail Castle” and the battle field where Arthur died. This has been a frequent claim by many, notably prominent British historian Sir John Rhys (1840-1915), professor of Celtic studies at Oxford, whose work of translating and studying Celtic texts form the basis of his theory.
Located on St. Patrick’s Isle and reached by a causeway, Peel Castle is perhaps the location most surrounded by ghosts and legends. It’s location was originally a sacred place of worship and then in the 11th century became the fortress of the Viking King Magnus Barefoot. Additionally, it is associated with King Arthur’s Avalon. Books have been written, such as King Arthur by Norma Goodrich and The Road to Avalon by Tony Whiston, supporting the thesis that St. Patrick’s Isle was Avalon and the seat of the Holy Grail.
Another legend about Peel Castle is that of the black dog, or “Moddey Dhoo” that haunts the castle. The story goes that the apparition of a black dog would consistently come sit in front of the fire when the guards would gather at night. At first terrified, the guards eventually became accustomed to his presence. Then, one night, a drunken guard of the castle decided to follow him alone to determine whether the
dog was in fact the devil. Upon his return, he appeared shaken to the point that he could not speak. Three days later he died.
Some say that that was the last time he was seen, and the passage that he would return to each night was sealed up. Some claim sightings of the Moddey Dhoo both at Peel and in other parts of the island.
The Fairy Bridge
One legend is that the original folk of the island were the faeries, or ‘little folk’. They are smaller than ordinary people and appear beautiful from a distance, but sometimes old and haggard when seen up close. They tend to wear blue or green and have little red caps.
Fairies can be benevolent and helpful, or they can be mean enough to steal children or even the occasional adult.
A favorite destination on the Isle of Man is the Fairy Bridge. It is considered bad luck to cross it without acknowledging the fairies by saying “Hello fairies”, or at least “Good day!”- “Laa Mie” in Manx.