New Book – Ghosts, Bugganes & Fairy Pigs

A number of students of Manx language and folklore have travelled to the Island over time to learn more about our unique traditions and native tongue, with some writing up their findings – many of which still survive.

Karl Roeder’s Manx Notes and Queries, reproduced here under the title Ghosts, Bugganes and Fairy Pigs, was first published in book form in 1904, but was also available as a column in the Isle of Man Examiner.

A German national residing in Manchester, Karl Roeder (1848 – 1911) was associated with the local, cultural field worker Sophia Morrison, but gathered much of his work for this book from the Manx poet and fisherman Edward Faragher (Ned Beg Hom Ruy) of Cregneash.

Said to be one of the most important books of Manx folklore ever published, its pages reveal a rich and important collection of tales, predominantly associated with the south of the Island.

There’s a wealth of information from a seemingly limitless supply of local stories, highlighting such characters as bugganes, ghosts, giants, fairies and witches, with some real gems amongst a burgeoning array of folk memory. Herewith you will find the origins of Hunt the Wren, details about the murdered witch of Slieu Whallian and a possible sighting of a UFO. Dig a little deeper and you’ll also discover the Manx Brownie was far from a local afternoon treat

Edited by Stephen Miller and published by Culture Vannin, under the title Ghosts, Bugganes and Fairy Pigs, this volume includes additional details regarding local history, language, literature, miscellaneous information and items of theoretical discussion.

Priced at £12, Ghosts, Bugganes and Fairy Pigs is available from bookshops across the Island, or direct from Culture Vannin.

Valerie Caine

© March 2020

(Courtesy of Manx Life)