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Alluring and magical, May, whispers gentle promises of summer, of the warm halcyon days, yet to come, where the warmth of the sun will lift our spirits and fill our souls with joy.

May has also been a month filled with superstition, where the tradition of ancient customs prevails. Images of fair maidens awakening from their sweet slumbering, upon the first golden rays of the sun. Fleet of foot and silent as a prayer, gathering up the sparkling beads of dew, and splashing this magical elixir upon their luminous faces. Later they are to be imagined, dancing prettily around a beribboned maypole, whilst eager young men look on longingly.

However, amongst the light and frivolous, there is always darkness waiting in the shadows. According to Irish folklore, witches can take on the form of a hare, during the first day of May. Unfortunate individuals, can expect to be cursed if they see one on their travels.

Another, myth relates to the malevolent magical powers of fairies. It is believed that during May, the magical powers of fairy folk are heightened, and many would seek to use their powers to steal away mortal souls. Humans must take care not to lie or take respite within a fairy ring, as they have been enchanted. The poor unsuspecting mortal, will quickly fall into a deep sleep, from which he or she will never awake.

May is time for tales of legends and stories of a mystic nature, it is also the place where ghost stories, of a more unsettling nature dwell. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, records show that May, saw a large increase of women being accused of witchcraft. Over three hundred unfortunate women, faced unmentionable horrors, after being accused of witchcraft…

One such tragic figure, was that of Emily Brockett… To be Continued!

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