A witch's revenge when refused passage on a boat; the marria...
Date 22 September 1970
Track ID 68040
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Track Information

Original Track ID

SA1970.246

Original Tape ID

SA1970.246

Summary

A witch's revenge when refused passage on a boat; the marriage of the survivor to a girl who warmed him up.

Witch hills, or gallow hills, where witches were executed, are found all over Shetland. One story concerned two men from Fetlar who went in a new fourareen [four-oared boat] to fetch millstones from Cullivoe in Yell, as Fetlar has no mill groot [type of stone]. A woman asked to be taken back to Fetlar and was willing to pay, but to take a woman in a new boat was the worst of bad luck, so the skipper apologised but had to refuse. The boy said he would have taken her, but the skipper would have none of it. "You an your mills will fare ill," said the woman, making mysterious words and signs.

It was a still, fine day but when they reached the south-west of Lamb Hoga a gale sprang up. They trimmed their sails but the storm got worse and they decided to beach in a geo, but they couldn't pull up and had to run before the wind till they came to the bad tides of The Snap point, and the boat upset. The boy managed to cling to an oar and kick ashore to the cliff. He climbed up and passed out from exhaustion at the top. Next morning a man from the township went to search for a stray beast and saw the upturned boat. He fetched help, and the boy was found and carried to Funzie. A young girl was put to bed with the boy to revive him and next day he was able to tell his story. Justices of the Peace were summoned but the boy was instructed not to tell them anything, because if the witch was burned, she'd return to haunt them all. Later he married the girl who'd warmed him up. The boy was related to Tom Georgeson, a historian and musician in Lerwick.

Recording Location

County - Shetland

Parish - Fetlar

Island - Fetlar

Item Location

County - Shetland

Parish - Fetlar

Island - Fetlar

Language

English

Genre

Story

Collection

SoSS