witch

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Hop tu Naa – At Cooil Road in Douglas.

Do you know the difference between Halloween and Hop Tu Naa? As the rest of the British Isles prepare to celebrate Halloween on 31 October, many Isle of Man residents will instead celebrate Hop tu Naa. Historically Hop tu Naa has been considered to be the Celtic New Year, marking the end of the summer and the beginning of winter.

Hop tu Naa is celebrated with the carving of turnips for lanterns as opposed to the pumpkins that are commonly used for Halloween. Children will then go singing around the houses for hop tu Naa treats, this was once apples, bonnag and herring but as the years have gone by it’s now sweets and pennies.

Children visit the houses in fancy dress costumes and with their spooky turnip lantern. A favourite song of choice and one you still regularly hear amongst the children is the famous ‘Ginnie the Witch’ which is a traditional Manx Gaelic song.

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Hop tu Naa © Peter Killey - www.manxscenes.com

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Before I give you some history into this chained grave, non of this info can be fully supported and maybe the subject of Isle of Man myth!

This rather strange grave brings many visitors to Malew Churchyard and as can be seen by the image it is iron staked at each corner and randomly heavily chained to allegedly keep the vampire in!

The alleged Vampire was a Mr Hassal who died aged 54, when Mr Hassal died the Undertakers were not allowed to bring his body onto the consecrated church grounds so rumour has it that they loaded his body into the grave from behind the wall, it was then covered in a heavy slate slab and staked with iron posts and iron chains.

To add to this conundrum Mr Hassal’s wife Margaret is also buried in this chained grave!

Vampires Grave in Malew Churchyard © Peter Killey - www.manxscenes.com Vampires Grave in Malew Churchyard © Peter Killey - www.manxscenes.com

 

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