If you happen to be in Cornwall you may see on a map the word Fougou and wonder what it’s all about. A Fougou is a dome-like chamber and tunnel built underground where fluorescent green moss thrives and which was used for anything from rituals, wild parties, a grain store, a stash place for smugglers or travelling fair folk, and as a place for witches to meet to make magic in the depths of the night. The word Fougou is derived from the Cornish word for cave, fogo, and they can be dated back to Neolithic folk.
At Trove near Land’s End a tunnel leads from a Fougou all the way to the local manor and the Bucca-boo, the Devil Himself, has often been heard playing his pipes under the parlour where he parties with witches who have travelled in the form of hares through the Fougou to dance to his music. Sometimes they brought their familiar, a black cat, adding delightful meows when their tails singed in the fire.
Even by day many locals were afraid to enter a Fougou as they believed Spriggans lived there guarding treasure, which is still buried there to this day if you care to dig a hole and risk their wrath.
In fact Fougous have long been feared as being places rife with evil spirits so it’d be wise not to take a spade with you, or metal detector for that matter.
Back in the old days women would say to their squawking babies they would leave them down the Fougou for the Bucca-boo to whisk them away to the Otherworld if they didn't hush up. It tended to do the trick.
At Pendeen near Land’s End a Fougou called the Vow stretches from the nearby manor to Pendeen Cove. A spirit in the form of a beautiful lady dressed in white with a red rose in her mouth appears there at dawn on Christmas Day over the turquoise ocean to warn of death, and is known as the Spirit of the Vow.