Merrows

  • “Ben Varrey [is] the Manx name for mermaids, of which many tales are told round the coasts of Man. She bears the same general character as mermaids do everywhere, enchanting and alluring men to their death, but occasionally showing softer traits.” An Encyclopedia of Fairies, 22
  • “In Dora Broome’s Fairy Tales from the Isle of Man, the Mermaid of Purt-le-Murrey sets her love on a man and nearly succeeds in alluring him into the sea, but his boat-mates save him… here she is a siren, but apparently actuated by true love.” same source
  • “Mermaids… date from times of great antiquity and have been retained unaltered almost to the present day… They are beautiful maidens from the waist upwards, but they have the tail of a fish… They allure men to their death and their appearance is ominous of storms and disasters. According to this set of beliefs, mermaids are not only ominous of misfortunes but actually provoke them, and are avid for human lives, either drowning men or devouring them.” An Encyclopedia of Fairies, 287
  • “In Scotland and Ireland the question of the possibility of final salvation for mermaids, as for other fairies, is raised; it is always denied in Scotland.” An Encyclopedia of Fairies, 289
  • “Merrows, the Irish equivalent of mermaids… are beautiful, though with fishes’ tails and little webs between their fingers. They are dreaded because they appear before storms, but they are gentler than most mermaids and often fall in love with mortal fishermen.” An Encyclopedia of Fairies, 290
  • The Soul Cages: Celtic Tales, 75