Since once I sat upon a promontory
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin’s back,
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath
That the rude sea grew civil at her song,
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres
To hear the sea-maid’s music.
– William Shakespeare,
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Dona Paula is a secluded bay where the two major rivers of Goa, Mandovi and Zuari meet the Arabian sea. Initially, the village, Oddavell, was named Dona Paula after the historical figure, Dona Paula de Menezes. It is one of the most popular and romanticised place in Goa with a beautiful view. There are numerous collections of ghost stories about Dona Paula. On moonlit nights at the stroke of midnight, she rises from the sea wearing a string of pearls and nothing else. Various legends are associated with this story. Continue reading
Lernaean Hydra is a water beast from Greek mythology. Hydra had reptile like traits and possessed many heads. If one of its head was cut, it grew two more in its place.
Hydra has poisonous breath and is so venomous that even its tracks are deadly. It is supposed to guard the entrance to the underworld. Hmm,underworld really seems to have better security arrangements.
Charon is a mythological ferryman who ferried the dead into the kingdom of dead across the river Acheron and Styx. He only ferried those who had been buried with coin in their mouth. The coin in the mouth was supposed to be a bribe to induce Charon to ferry them to the underworld. Lack of this toll for Charon would lead to a worse fate of isolation on the bank of river Styx for eternity. Wow, money is such a necessity even after death and I thought bribery works only in this world.
Bäckahästen is a mythological brook horse derived from Scandavian folklore. Celtic folklore also describes shape-shifting horses called kelpies. Bäckahästen could be a kelpie parallel. He is a beautiful white horse which appears in foggy weather to lure people to climb his back. After that, he gallops away and the rider is unable to get down. Bäckahästen just jumps into the river drowning the rider in the process.
The origin of Ashrays can be attributed to Scottish mythology. Ashrays can be male or female. They are completely translucent water creatures. Ashrays also known as Asrais or water-lovers are often mistaken for sea ghosts. Next time, when you look into clear waters try looking for Ashrays though only during the night. Ashrays are nocturnal creatures. If you manage to capture one, keep the Ashray away from sunlight unless all you want is a puddle of water.