Monday, June 22, 2015

Ireland Trip Part 26: Galway - Legend of the Ghostly Hand

St. Nicholas Church - Where hand was severed
This is our Ireland Trip blog, Part 26: Galway - Legend of the Ghostly Hand!  When we visited St. Nicholas Church in downtown Dublin, and our tour guide told of of the theft of a corpse's hand from that church. This gruesome story happened actually because a Protestant man hated the Catholics.

THE STORY BEHIND THE GHOSTLY HAND - As with the British, the Irish are not to be outdone with their gruesome urban legends. In St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church lie the remains of John Bodkins, the last Catholic Warden. Legend has it that before his death, Bodkins decreed that his right arm would not decay until the keys to the church were returned to the catholic diocese. 

THE CORPSE UNEARTHED - Sometime in the early 19th century the body of the last Catholic warden of St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church was dug up during renovations of the church. The 100 year old corpse of the Warden had been uncovered and was found to be uncorrupted; causing immense excitement amongst the Catholics of Galway.

CUTTING OFF THE HAND -   A family of butchers (who were Protestants) who ran the butcher shop located just outside the walls of the church at the head Bowling Green Street broke into the warden's grave. They were so offended by the presence of the Catholic man in the now Protestant church, and resentful of the attention caused by the uncorrupted state of the corpse, hat they cut off the corpse's arm and ground it up - thereby ensuring that catholicism would not return to Ireland. 
Another version of the story is that the stolen hand was later found discarded in a field in the western suburbs of the town where St. Mary's College now stands.That's where the hand "makes the rounds."  
LEGEND OF THE GHOSTLY RED HAND -  Junior boarders of nearby Saint Mary's College lived in fear of the annual appearance of the Red Hand. Junior Dormitory was in the old college chapel which was known to be haunted by a questing severed hand. 


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next