British Folklore
Fairy Lore & Prehistoric Sites in Britain
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Carn Kenidzhek

Carn Kenidzhek

There is a large and barren tract of land between Penzance and St. Just known as The Gump.  On an isolated hill stands a mighty Cairn, a granite Tor jutting majestically from the top of the rise.

Miners cross the Gump by night leaving their shift and there is a tale about the Cairn and how it got it's name.  One night two miners coming home across The Gump heard a wicked sound, howling through the stones of the Cairn, even though there was no wind.  No moon lit the broad expanse of ground but a strange and eerie light glowed at the top of the cairn and around and the miners were sure they saw giant forms moving in the shadows. Suddenly they heard a horse galloping and a rider appeared before them.  He was a dark man, clad in all black with his hood pulled up.  They asked where he was going and he replied, "Up to the cairn to see the wrastling!  Come along, come along!"  The horse and rider rushed ahead and the two miners followed as if magicked.

At the base of the lonely hill they saw giant men assembled, all of great size and strength with a wicked and savage gleam in their eye.  The rider dismounted and threw off his cloak, revealing himself as Old Nick, the Devil himself.  His eyes glowed and created an unearthly glow.  The wrestling match began and the two miners realized that what they were looking at were demons.  After a wild tussle one of the wrestlers was thrown and it looked as if he were dying.  The miners began to pray over him and as soon as they did, a great rumble of earthquake began, the rocks shaking and tumbling, the eerie light vanished and pitched them all into darkness.  There was a vast noise of rushing to and fro and then, all were gone.

This episode so bewildered the miners they could not find their way off The Gump until the next morning.