The Supernatural in Ulster Scots Folklore and Literature Reader

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The aim of ‘The Supernatural in Ulster Scots Literature and Folklore Project’ was to produce this open-access, online resource, ‘The Supernatural in Ulster Scots Folklore and Literature Reader’. The Principal Investigator was Dr Andrew Sneddon and the editing completed by Dr Sneddon and Dr John Privilege of Ulster University. Dr Privilege and Dr Sneddon were assisted in the research stage of the project by Dr David Gray, while Rowan Morrey was responsible for web design and implementation. The Supernatural Reader provides a selection of Ulster Scots literary, historical and folklore sources, from c.1672 until c.1920, relating to various aspects of the supernatural. It demonstrates that in Ulster Scots culture, both rural and urban, there was a range of sincerely held, supernatural beliefs, similar in many ways to those held elsewhere in Ireland. More importantly, the Supernatural Reader facilitates access to resources for community groups, members of the general public, as well as educational (schools, universities, colleges) and governmental institutions, for use in their specific areas of study or educational and outreach programmes. The sources included (contemporary poetry, prose, memoirs, songs, newspapers reports, legal records, and pamphlets) were selected on the basis that they were new to most users, or hard to locate or access. The material has been annotated and thematically arranged in six main sections: witchcraft, fairies, the evil-eye, magical practitioners, ghosts, and the general supernatural (including banshees, omens and fortune-telling). Each section includes clearly marked sub-sections and a short introduction giving some background to the topic.If using, citing or publishing this material, please use the following citation: Andrew Sneddon, John Privilege (eds), ‘The Supernatural in Ulster Scots Folklore and Literature Reader’, Centre for Irish-Scottish Studies, Ulster University.
Original languageEnglish
TypeAn open, web-based source of edited and annotated primary source material
Number of pages119
Publication statusPublished online - 1 Jul 2014


  • Witchcraft
  • supernatural
  • ghosts
  • demonic possession
  • omens
  • fortune-telling
  • fairies
  • fairy
  • belief
  • witch
  • apparition
  • seance
  • devil
  • banshee
  • evil-eye
  • changeling
  • butter-witch
  • poetry
  • prose
  • memoirs
  • songs
  • newspapers reports
  • legal records
  • and contemporary pamphlets.


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