Sunday, 3 April 2016

A Very Fortean Obituary

On 21 January 1954, the Belfast Telegraph reported the death of James McAnepsie.
James, from Fintona, County Tyrone, was not well known – not even in Northern Ireland. But a few years earlier, he’d had a very strange experience.
James had gone to collect firewood in Ecclesville Demesne. When he failed to return, his friends contacted the police.
A search was soon underway. Fortunately, James was found quite quickly – safe and sound - in Ecclesville Demesne.
Obviously, the police had a number of questions for James. But their main question was this: why had he not answered the calls of the search party when he could so obviously hear them?
James explained.
Earlier in the day, as he was dragging his bundle of firewood past a recently uprooted fairy thorn, he felt all power drain from him; and he became unable to move. “I couldn’t even let go the rope,” he said. “It was as if I was riveted to the ground.”
While he was “riveted to the ground,” he could hear “fairy bells jingling.” He could also see a light that appeared to be coming from an open doorway. And though he made a number of attempts to get to the doorway, he could not reach it.
It seems James was like this - unable to move and unable to answer the calls of the search party - until the search party found him:
According to the Telegraph, he was “none the worse for the experience,” and it’s not believed that his death was related to his strange experience in Ecclesville Demesne.
Belfast Telegraph, 21 January 1954.

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