The 'Spooked Ireland' Team Hunt Fairy Shapeshifters In Animal Form At Aillwee Cave

November 04, 2023 1:00 AM ‐ TelevisionParanormal
Spooked Ireland At Aillwee Cave
Photo: © Discovery+
In the sixth episode of Discovery+'s 'Spooked Ireland', the investigative team delved into the subterranean depths of Aillwee Cave in County Clare. Vogue Williams and Chris Fleming, accompanied by Ryan O'Neill and Evelyn Hollow, ventured into the popular attraction to investigate reports of strange animal sounds.

The episode begins with Vogue and Evelyn meeting with Nuala Mulqueeney, the owner of the cave, who gives us some of the history of the cave. Nuala recounts the cave's discovery in the 1940s and subsequent development as a show cave. Nuala tells us, "There's no evidence of human people using it. We have evidence of bear bones dating right back to 10 and a half thousand years ago. We found lots of other bones as well. We found a horse tooth. There is a story locally about a herd of horses that come out of a cave at night."

Nuala then shares her personal experience of a strange sound resembling that of a goat, a sound that, in the context of Irish folklore, might not be so easily dismissed as mere animal activity. This detail introduces the possibility of a theme common in Irish folklore, a connection between animals and the fae, ancient fairies known for their shapeshifting abilities.

We then catch up with Chris and Ryan, who have been conducting their initial sweep of the subterranean expanse, aware they are the first paranormal group to do so. Chris thinks that fae might choose such secluded environments to evade human contact, often disguising themselves as animals to deter the curious.

Within the cave, Ryan's Mel Meter triggers, indicating a "substantial" spike in the electromagnetic field with no obvious cause. "There's nothing here. There's nothing here at all," Ryan said to Chris, who believed that the pair had inadvertently alerted something to their presence.

Later, Evelyn spoke with local mythology expert Tony Kirby. They discuss the darker nature of the fae in Celtic traditions. Tony introduces the púca, a creature of potent folklore reputation known for its terrifying ability to morph into various animal forms. This theme gains further traction when Chris meets local paranormal investigators Richard Morrison and Anthony Douglas, who talk about their own encounters with a púca.

The team regroups and is equipped with safety helmets and torches for their investigation of the cave, but it soon becomes apparent that the team has more than just the intense darkness in the cave to worry about. "The REM-Pod just went off by itself. Oh Jesus. That's twice," Chris reported, as Vogue told him that she felt exhausted. Chris admitted to feeling the same and speculated on the cause: "This must be a defence mechanism."

Meanwhile, Ryan and Evelyn were experiencing their own issues as their equipment failed multiple times. Later, they regrouped with Chris and Vogue, and the team agreed that something was draining both their energy and their equipment. "Not only was it draining our electronics, it's draining us. That's a defence mechanism," Chris concluded.

To get to the bottom of what's going on, Nuala has granted the team unprecedented access to "the Beyond," a part of the underground expanse that is beyond the normal tour route of the show cave. Before venturing further, Chris ponders, "Does the púca live there, and is it warning us against entering its home?"

Chris and Ryan proceeded into "the Beyond," leaving Vogue and Evelyn in the unsettling darkness of the cave. The explorers called out to the spirits and fae and to the púca itself, requesting a sign of its presence. The response was immediate. "Something just touched me. Oh my god!" Chris screamed after feeling physical contact. He interpreted it as a potential warning, a sign that they were trespassing too deep into the púca's domain.

Despite the fright, the investigators persisted until a natural barrier in the form of a steep drop-off blocked their path. Chris sensed that this secluded crevice was a sanctuary for spirits: "This is definitely where spirits will retreat to be away from people. This is their home."

The team attempted one last time to communicate using an audio recorder, asking directly for the púca to reveal itself. Yet again, their equipment failed. Taking the hint, they decided to withdraw. "We know when we're not wanted, so it's time to get out," Chris stated, signalling an end to their endeavour.

Summing up the experience, Vogue couldn't deny the strange occurrences that had unfolded. "I arrived a skeptic, and while I remain unsure about exactly what has happened here today, there's no doubt at all that something paranormal is going on inside these caves," she reflected.

Chris concluded by stating that he's confident of the presence of púca. "I do believe that there is fae here. There's no doubt that not only is there a púca but that they also interact with humans," he affirmed.

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