B is for Buggane

In Manx folklore, the buggane is a fierce creature that is similar to a demon or ogre. Legend says that they cannot cross water nor can they be on sacred grounds. I have already told you about one of the bugganes that haunted St. Trinian’s Church, and today I want to tell you the story of another buggane.

Finn MacCooilley, an Irish giant, is most well known for his battle with a Scottish giant where the result of the battle was the formation of the Isle of Man and the first of the Manx people (a story coming later in the month with the letter I). MacCooilley ended up settling on the Isle of Man near Cregneash. The people of the area talked highly of Finn MacCooilley which made the buggane, who lived in nearby Barulle, jealous. The buggane challenged the Finn MacCooilley to a battle.

Finn’s wife was a smart sort and before the buggane got to their house, she disguised him and had Finn climb into the baby’s crib. When the buggane arrived, she told him that her husband was gone and only she and the baby were home. Looking at the size of the baby frightened the buggane so he left.

The buggane learned of the trickery and not long after, the two met at Kirk Christ Rushen. The battle was fierce lasting all day.  The buggane was in Port Iern and his feet made the wide opening there. Finn had one foot in the Little Sound and the other in the Big Sound each making the channels between the Calf, Kitterland, and the main island.

In the end, the buggane won the battle. MacCooilley tried to escape the Isle of Man over the sea where the buggane could not go. In his rage the buggane ripped a tooth from his own mouth and threw it at Finn trying to stop his escape. It hit Finn in the back of the head. As Finn MacCooilley fell into the sea, he cursed any who passed nearby.

His dead body formed Chicken Rock which, today, is topped with a lighthouse to warn sailors to steer clear.

This story, and many more, can be found in the 1911 book, Manx Fairy Talesby Sophia Morrison.


Today’s post was inspired by: “B”


C — Cat

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