The Legend of Petticoat Loose
Petticoat Loose was a six foot tall farm woman born in the early 1800s whose real name was Mary Hanningan. She did the work of two men on the farm and was able to compete with all the men in drinking and arm wrestles. Many times she would end up a night drinking, dancing and fighting, she was equally good at all three!!
She got her nickname, after one night out drinking and dancing when her petticoat got caught on a nail and came undone. There was howls of laughter at her misfortune, though she quietened them as only she knew by sending fists flying in the direction of anyone who had a smile on their face.
Petticoat Loose was a great dancer and the one man who could keep into her dancing she ended up marrying. Unfortunately for the husband the marriage only lasted a year. One day when milking the cows with her maid, they heard a grown of agony nearby. The maid was about to check it out when she got a milking stool into the back of the head and was knocked out. When the maid regained consciousness, the husband was never seen again with the locals convinced that Petticoat Loose had killed him.
Another year went by, Petticoat Loose continued to drink and dance. One night she was challenged to drink half a gallon of beer, she drank it down and then suddenly slumped forward, collapsed onto the table, dead. No priest came to give her the last rites and no priest came to her burial either.
Seven years passed without any incident until one night at Clogheen dance hall, a man went out for some fresh air and who did he see sitting up on the wall only the ghost of Petticoat Loose. Terrified he ran back into the hall and told everyone what he saw, everyone was petrified and they all stayed in the hall until dawn. From that night on there was regular sightings of the ghost of Petticoat Loose, in particular along the old Clogheen to Lismore road that went by Baylough. Lots of strange goings on would happen when she was spotted. She would hop on the back of horse carts and the horse would collapse and die. Another time a group of local men with pitchforks went up to Baylough to seek her out but when they were going up the hill and looked back they could see Clogheen on fire, when they raced back to Clogheen there was no fire at all there!!
Eventually the locals got a priest to go in search of Petticoat Loose. Off the priest set accompanied by two other men when they spotted Petticoat Loose, the priest got out his holy water and sprinkled it towards Petticoat Loose with the words “ I banish you to the highest lake in the Knockmealdown mountains for all eternity to empty it with a thimble” Petticoat Loose was never seen again after that, though many believe she now resides in the far bank of Baylough emptying it with a thimble. Very few people ever swim in Baylough for fear of being dragged under by Petticoat Loose!!