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  • Irish Ghost with Erection September 23, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern , trackback


    There is a minority tradition about obscene ghosts: ghosts that stalk the living for sexual favours; or that even invade their beds. It is very difficult to know how common these ghosts were because prior to about 1970 it would have been just too much to write about them: paradoxically the source-starved middle ages and early modern period is better for sexually-aroused undead, because authors, back then, felt no reticence about talking of succubi and other paranormal bed hoppers. Every so often, though, some clues come floating down to us from more modern times. The following fell out of the archives of the Irish Folklore Commission and is quoted in Séamas Mac Philib’s ‘Ius Primae Noctis’, 125-6.* Beach has missed the Gaelic (apologies) and just given the summary:

    In a rare tradition from Valentia Island, Co. Kerry, akin to the generally non-Irish tradition of the vampire, Sigerson,** a landlord in Ballinkskelligs was notable for lust in life. After death and burial his tomb would supposedly be found open every morning and it was believed he would be… out about the roads up to his old craft… One night some drunken men entered the tomb and they are said to have seen him with a full erection.

    Unfortunately no date is given.

    It is remarkable that a story like this would be told; and pretty incredible that it was recorded. Perhaps the fact that it was in Irish helped and gave an extra buffer? As to the question… Well, hell, why not. Any other ghostly erections out there? Drbeachcombing At yahoo DOT com

    Of course, there may be dozens from the nineteenth century but it is very unlikely that any European writer, save the odd dyspeptic Flemish nationalist or a Basque scribbler recorded such tales. We have a challenge like that with Victorian sexual urban legends: there is no doubt that they existed, but how can we get at them given that they were not actually recorded?

    *Béaloideas 56 (1988), 97-140.

    **From the seventeenth century the Sigerson family was resident in the area. Not worked out yet when they disappeared.