Tomás Ó Cárthaigh

Rookie (22-12-1976 / Beal Atha na Slua, Chontae an Gaillimh, Eire)

Dead Souls And Black Dogs - Poem by Tomás Ó Cárthaigh

Dead Souls And Black Dogs

The little old lady had lived for long,
She was great of age
And the time was coming along
For her to exit life’s stage
But there were those who dwelt beside her
That strange things of her said
She had contact with the other world
And that strange prayers she made
Some they were of her afraid
And were not afraid to say
That when she was dead
It would not be a bad day.
And so the illness struck
And slowly she got more weak
And by her her neighbours stuck
And failed bad of her to speak
For tis bad ill to speak of the dying
And of those that are past and gone
So to pray and think good they were trying
Though they fooled no one.
They were gathered in the bedroom
More in the living room too
There was but two for a broom
For large houses they were few.
And the toilet it was outside
Water was drawn from a well
As was normal for the times standards applied
As many old people will tell.
And the chatter of the neighbours
As the woman drew her last breath
Was silenced as from her room
Came a shout at her moment of death,
And of a sudden, out the door
A big black dog fled
Snarling, racing across the floor
The spirit of the woman, now dead!
“Twas Satan himself” more say
Came to take her soul to Hell
And to their knees to pray
In unison, they fell.
Those near the door outside raced fast
To the yard where the beast had been
And light twas good though evening was past:
There was no dog to be seen.
If this is all true I don’t know
But to tell it I never fail
For when there is conversation in flow
It sure makes a damn good tale!


Ghost story lovers will love this story - its true, honest! - of an old woman who died in Longford some years back, whose soul, or that of the devil formed the form of a black dog on her death... and walked out the door! Hope that sends a chill up your spines...


Comments about Dead Souls And Black Dogs by Tomás Ó Cárthaigh

  • Shaun William Hayes (4/13/2008 7:05:00 AM)


    But your tale does not say if she was a good woman or not, and the black dog is not necessarily a sign of the devil, but perhaps a protector from the devils without, to escort her home.

    Well told for all that.

    Shaun.
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, April 13, 2008



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