Before electricity became common in the rural parts of County Wexford, stories about men getting ‘lost’ at night were a pretty common thing. Because streetlights didn’t exist and houses weren’t illuminated, the blackness of the night would cause men to lose their sense of direction; leading them in circles around fields or across vast stretches of the countryside.
Back in 1937, a Wexford farmer by the name of Nicholas Fitzgerald spoke of this strange ‘phenomenon’. Fitzgerald, who had experienced the strange anomaly himself, talked about how there had been several cases of men going ‘missing’ in the Foulksmills area of County Wexford.
The farmer proceeded to speak about the story of a man called Lar, who had somehow managed to get himself lost in a field. Despite knowing the layout of this field like the back of his own hand, Lar was unable to find the path that led to the exit. Throughout the night, Lar fumbled around and searched for this pathway. Unfortunately, his efforts to escape the field ended in failure, leaving him with no other option but to sit down and wait for sunrise.
As soon as daylight began to break, Lars realised that he was not in the field that he had gotten lost in. Instead, he found himself sitting on Cloney’s Bridge in Old Ross, which was a number of kilometers away!
Fitzgerald’s neighbour Nicholas Furlong had also experienced a similar event. One night, Furlong decided to go out into his field in order to check on his horses. It was a dry night and the bright light of the moon was being obscured by an overcast sky. As he walked through the field, Furlong said that he began to feel as though there were thousands of people in the field around him. Despite hearing voices all around him, Furlong could not see anything. As he walked around his field ‘one hundred times’, the farmer was unable to find the gate. It was only when he sat down and removed his shoes and socks that the outline of the gate appeared in front of him. Without performing this act, Furllong believed that he would have spent the night outside!
Reference: Nolan, Brendan (2012-10-31). Wexford Folk Tales. The History Press.