Discover the island of Guernsey’s “dark riddles” of myth and folklore that occupied Hugo during his exile here - from tales of magical fairies to a haunted house used for suspicious activities that made an appearance in Toilers of the Sea.
“Legendary truth is invention whose result is reality.”
Only a few years before Hugo’s arrival in Guernsey, a neolithic tomb containing the remains of a Celtic chief was discovered in the north of the island. Ancient passage graves like Dehus Dolmen were thought to be entrances to the mythical underground fairy world, so this discovery will surely have captivated Hugo.
On the cliffs of Torteval in the west of Guernsey, opposite the Hanois lighthouse, lies the foundations of what Hugo dubbed the “Haunted House” in Toilers of the Sea. This derelict former military building had become a hotspot for smugglers, hence the unusual night-time activity that made locals believe it was haunted.
Known to locals as the Fairy Ring, la Table des Pions is one of Guernsey’s most famous sites of myth and legend. Originally used as a rest stop for island officials who were out surveying roads, its curious appearance inspired plenty of rumours over the years, and the site has been linked with fairies, witches and elves.