[Christine’s Halloween Monster and Faery List]

Shapeshifters 3

[Gort Ogham]Fear Gort (Ivy Man) Far Gorta (Man of Hunger) Féar Gortha (The Hungry Grass)

We’d heard the previous day a tale from Charlie about the hungry grass, magic grass that enshrouds with a mantle of instant sleep, leaving the sleeper afterwards, hungry. - Hungry for what? - Food, they’d say. - What sort of food? - We don’t know. ... I was dimly aware of slipping into a deep pool of sleep. As I closed my eyes an afterimage of the Stones endured. But it was also as if I was seeing underground, down into the mantle of the Earth. It seemed as if all the Stones were connected: as if they were fixed shoots from a common root; a grounding in some sort of magmatic flux circumferencing the planet.

Something unusual was happening. But by now I was too nearly asleep to question it. Again, the silver jaw opened. Words rang in the last glimmer of consciousness. This is the deep energy of the Earth. These stones connect it. That is what such places are about. Then I am inside the stone circle where Sarah had been. There is no sign of her or Jerry.

From the ground around each stone, golden fire is blazing. Flames several feet high flare out and trail off into smoke. I step out of the circle. What might be behind the stones?

- Ahh! Found it! A shepherd is there. A farmer, collie dog beside him. So that’s it. He’s burning off gorse - the fool. Doesn’t he realise fire will crack the stones?

The man is large bodied, maybe thirtyish. Perfectly ordinary looking, except that he has a strangely perfect complexion. His face positively shines. He sits with his back against one of the stones.

I walk in front. Stand and stare. He seems not to see me. Flames and smoke billow all around. He is totally tranquil. Utterly unperturbed.

I wake up. Only a few minutes have passed. – Alastair Macintosh at Ardgroom, Beara Pennninsula

Tall emaciated faery man who traveled the countryside begging for food during the Famine. Legend says he will return at the next famine and whoever gives him food will be blessed. Certain patches of land are bewitched. If a traveler passes over them he will suffer uncontrollable pangs of hunger and if assistance is not given he will die right there on the ground.

A hill in County Cork known as Cnoc Daod: Hungry Hill 2000 feet above sea-level with a waterfall rises over the estuary of Bantry Bay. Locals say many patches of Féar Gortha grow on it.

Gort an Leasa: Field of the enclosure (pron. Gortalassa), An Goirtín: Small Field (pron. Gorteen), An Gort Mór: The Great Hunger (pron. Gortmore), Gort na gCloigeann: Field of Skulls (pron. Gortnagluggin) (97)

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