Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland

Blacksmiths

I have been told:

   Yes, they say blacksmiths have something about them, and if there's a seventh blacksmith in succession, from generation to generation, he can do many things, and if he gave you his curse you wouldn't be the better of it. There was one near the cliffs, Pat Doherty, but he did no harm to any one, but was as quiet as another. He is dead now and his son is a blacksmith too [46].
   There was a man one time that was a blacksmith, and he used to go every night playing cards, and for all his wife could say he wouldn't leave off doing it. So one night she got a boy to stand m the old churchyard he'd have to pass, and to frighten him. So the boy did so, and began to groan and to try to frighten him when he came near. But it's well known that nothing of that kind can do any harm to a blacksmith. So he went in and got hold of the boy, and told him he had a mind to choke him, and went his way.
   But no sooner was the boy left alone than there came about him something in the shape of a dog, and then a great troop of cats. And they surrounded him and he tried to get away home, but he had no power to go the way he wanted but had to go with them. And at last they came to an old forth and a faery bush, and he knelt down and made the sign of the cross and said a great many "Our Fathers," and after a time they went into the faery bush and left him. And he was going away and a woman came out of the bush, and called to him three times, to make him look back. And he saw that it was a woman that he knew before, that was dead, and so he knew that she was amongst the faeries.
   And she said to him, "It's well for you that I was here, and worked hard for you, or you would have been brought in among them, and be like me." So he got home. And the blacksmith got home too and his wife was surprised to see he was no way frightened. But he said, "You might know that there's nothing of that sort could harm me."
   For a blacksmith is safe from all, and when he goes out in the night he keeps always in his pocket a small bit of wire) and they know him by that. So he went on playing, and they grew very poor after.
   And I knew a woman from the County Limerick had been away, and she could tell you all about the forths in this place and how she was recovered. She met a man she knew on the road) and she out riding with them all on horseback, and told him to bring a bottle of forge-water and to throw it on her, and so he did, and she came back again.
   Blacksmiths surely are safe from these things. And if a black-smith was to turn his anvil upside down and to say malicious words, he could do you great injury.
   There was a child that was changed, and my mother brought it a nice bit of potato cake one time, for tradesmen often have nice things on the table. But the child wouldn't touch it) for they don't like the leavings of a smith.
   Blacksmiths have power, and if you could steal the water from the trough in the forge, it would cure all things.
   And as to forges, there's some can hear working and hammering in them through the night.:

   Yes, they say blacksmiths have something about them, and if there's a seventh blacksmith in succession, from generation to generation, he can do many things, and if he gave you his curse you wouldn't be the better of it. There was one near the cliffs, Pat Doherty, but he did no harm to any one, but was as quiet as another. He is dead now and his son is a blacksmith too [46].
   There was a man one time that was a blacksmith, and he used to go every night playing cards, and for all his wife could say he wouldn't leave off doing it. So one night she got a boy to stand m the old churchyard he'd have to pass, and to frighten him. So the boy did so, and began to groan and to try to frighten him when he came near. But it's well known that nothing of that kind can do any harm to a blacksmith. So he went in and got hold of the boy, and told him he had a mind to choke him, and went his way.
   But no sooner was the boy left alone than there came about him something in the shape of a dog, and then a great troop of cats. And they surrounded him and he tried to get away home, but he had no power to go the way he wanted but had to go with them. And at last they came to an old forth and a faery bush, and he knelt down and made the sign of the cross and said a great many "Our Fathers," and after a time they went into the faery bush and left him. And he was going away and a woman came out of the bush, and called to him three times, to make him look back. And he saw that it was a woman that he knew before, that was dead, and so he knew that she was amongst the faeries.
   And she said to him, "It's well for you that I was here, and worked hard for you, or you would have been brought in among them, and be like me." So he got home. And the blacksmith got home too and his wife was surprised to see he was no way frightened. But he said, "You might know that there's nothing of that sort could harm me."
   For a blacksmith is safe from all, and when he goes out in the night he keeps always in his pocket a small bit of wire) and they know him by that. So he went on playing, and they grew very poor after.
   And I knew a woman from the County Limerick had been away, and she could tell you all about the forths in this place and how she was recovered. She met a man she knew on the road) and she out riding with them all on horseback, and told him to bring a bottle of forge-water and to throw it on her, and so he did, and she came back again.
   Blacksmiths surely are safe from these things. And if a black-smith was to turn his anvil upside down and to say malicious words, he could do you great injury.
   There was a child that was changed, and my mother brought it a nice bit of potato cake one time, for tradesmen often have nice things on the table. But the child wouldn't touch it) for they don't like the leavings of a smith.
   Blacksmiths have power, and if you could steal the water from the trough in the forge, it would cure all things.
   And as to forges, there's some can hear working and hammering in them through the night.