Deaf Coach, The (2)

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  • Teideal (Title): Deaf Coach, The (2).
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 840121.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): none.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): lore.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Joan Rabinowitz.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 19/10/1984.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): KRAB Radio.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

The Deaf Coach, a supernatural coach that passes people’s houses at certain times of the year (such as Hallowe’en), is a common enough archetype in Irish folklore.

In this telling, Joe gives the original Irish name for the coach — An Cóiste Bodhar. He says it is so called because you cannot hear it coming, although you can hear the panting of the people inside. Both the four horses pulling the coach and the two men driving them are headless. Riding inside the coach is a púca — the most malevolent of the several types of fairies described by Joe — who keeps his head under his arm. The púca holds a large bowl of blood on his hand. If he sees an open door he throws the blood in through it, causing everyone in the house to die within nine months. Joe tells us that this is why people shut their doors.


Joe related this folklore with minor variations in other tellings. See Deaf Coach, The (1).

The date given is 19 October 1984, but this is likely to be the broadcast date, as Joe Heaney died in May of that year.