The Surreptitious Suburban Selkie
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Our friend Jennifer joins us with another tale of haunted family travel. We revisit the odd nature of the hauntings at the famous Sorrell-Weed House in Savannah, GA, from the perspective of a person quite sensitive to spirits and energies. Speaking of which, what do you make of the earthy-yet-otherworldly presence secreted in the shadows of her suburban home?
Listen to the full episode:
Another haunted family vacation story with Jennifer
Strange things wander this earth, but also there are places on this land where strange things appear to linger. For Jennifer and her children, these odd, dark entities and feelings seem to pop up both at home and on vacation.
How would you react if your children knew things that couldn’t be explained? Or if you yourself could feel the shadows of past evils lurking in the corners? Would you explore further, or would you turn over and just go to sleep? Let’s hear some stories, today, on Homespun Haints
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Sorrel Weed House
The Sorrel Weed House is one of the most haunted buildings in Savannah, Georgia. Becky and Jennifer took a tour of the Sorrel Weed House together, and both experienced some of the same strange feelings, independently. Becky
Earth deva, elemental, or selkie?
Jennifer describes the entity in her yard as: a walking spirit, who didn’t want to be seen, wearing an animal’s skin as a cloak, and hiding behind the veil. Not a furry. Not the ghost of a rich lady in a fur coat. Are the fae being ousted from their forested habitats due to suburban sprawl? This is a known issue in Iceland, where inland development is done cautiously to avoid angering elves.
Becky thinks the spirit in Jennifer’s yard is “of the earth,” which rang true to Jennifer. An earth deva, or elemental, perhaps. But Diana thinks it could be a selkie. Mainly because she wants it to be, and what does it hurt to consider?
What is a Selkie?
Selkies, from Celtic mythology, are humanoids who can shapeshift into a particular animal. Traditionally, selkies would take would the form of a seal. Actually, perhaps it’s more accurate to call them animals that can shed their pelts to take on a human form, because while a selkie may spend years in the sea, she can only retain the human form for a limited time before growing very wistful and homesick for her animal form. Maybe it’s just that much more fun to be a seal than a human. Probably. Yeah, being a seal sounds pretty sweet right about now.
Gaelic and Irish Folklore about selkies usually has a star-crossed lovers aspect to it. Either the selkie becomes a human to court a human, like in The Little Mermaid, or much more commonly a sneaky horny human steals a selkie’s pelt while she’s having some human time. Possessing the pelt gives the human a certain degree of power and control over the selkie. The nature of the control is somewhat unclear; maybe the selkie is just afraid to disobey the pelt-holder, for fear that he’ll destroy their pelt as retribution, which would mean they could never return to their animal form. Or, maybe the pelt conveys a supernatural power to whoever controls it. But nobody else can use the selkie’s pelt to transform, nor can the selkie replace her pelt with another should it be lost.
Aren’t selkies seals?
Yes, most selkies are seals. That we know of. Etymologically, the word selkie literally translates to the diminutive form of “seal.” But since they exist on the fae spectrum, which most of us never notice, surely there are more types we’ve yet to discover? Also, selkies are said to interbreed with humans. The children of such pairings bear fishy deformities that their selkie parent does not necessarily display while in human form. But nobody talks about the next generation. Maybe the offspring of demi-selkies (probably not a real term) could occasionally be born with pelts of some sort. Since the pelt is a supernatural item, it might adapt to the environment.
Yes, this is all wild speculation based on nothing. But we aren’t the first to do so. The show Disenchantment Part 2 features a selkie character named Ursula. The name is a triple entendre: not only is there a famous folk tale about “Ursilla” of Orkney, who had a selkie lover, but on this show, Ursula is an ursine “forest selkie,” so she takes a bear form.
If a fictional character can do it, why not the spirit in Jennifer’s yard? Who’s with me?
Haunted Lofts and Family Vacations
It’s not like Jennifer means to keep bringing her daughter to spooky haunted places. The house Jennifer rented in Sonoma County, California, had a creepy bedroom and a creepy attic loft. The many dolls aren’t helping. And here are the photos we promised of little Diana and the spooky Colorado loft she somehow blocked from her memory.
What do you think was going on with the the loft? Why were the kids so scared? Why can’t Diana remember the one she spent so much time in over childhood summers in Colorado? We think it’s cool that Jennifer is a sensitive person with a sensitive kid, whom she’s teaching to be cautious yet unafraid in the presence of the supernatural. Jennifer’s multiple haunted family travel stories make her one of the best friends a horror podcast host could dream of. Thank you for your tales, Jennifer, we hope you have a spooky day!