The stories told on these pages are from  a collection of folklore compiled by schoolchildren in Ireland in the 1930s. 
The children recorded (over&nbsp740,000 handwritten pages) of this material from their parents, grandparents and neighbours.

These are their stories in their own words.

Scarriff – A Ghost Story

SCHOOL: An Scairbh | ADDRESS: Scarriff, Co. Clare

Irish Stories - Stealing apples as a child
Stealing Apples

My father went to steal apples from Heberts orchard along with two others. He does not want to tell their names as one of them is dead and the other is gone foreign.

They brought three bags and a rope with them. The wall was ten feet high and there was a tree growing up against the wall on the outside.

They climbed up the tree until they got to a branch of the tree to descend into the garden. It was loaded down with the finest of apples and pears which were very tempting.

They were going to go down one by one by means of the rope, when suddenly a dreadful roar came. It shook the ground all around us and put the terror of God on us. It could be heard a hundred miles away.

They ran with their lives but they were not able to run with the fright. They crossed a little stream at Cloonty. When they got well of the shock they laughed enough and said it was a pity without going back again.

We were in the same position as before when a big thing tumbled within in the garden. It was nearly a square and the make of a cupboard. It appeared to be about four yards high and three yards wide. It was turning up side down with all ease and all the delph and glass of every description jingling in side in it.

We made off in greater terror than before. It was coming slow and yet it was keeping up to us. ’till we came to the stream and we saw it no more.

We rested again and laughted hearty. It was after twelve o’clock then and they said it was a pity without trying again.

My father would not act the coward although he would rather go home. They went back again, and got to the same position when a mighty bull came across the garden with two bars of fire out of his nose that would show light to Co. Clare and a good part of Galway.

We ran with the greatest terror ever came on us. We though we were no more. We left our three bags and rope after us and we crossed the stream and saw him no more.

We came home and never went to steal apples any more.


The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0591, Page 074” by Dúchas © National Folklore Collection, UCD is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

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