An old Irish belief is that some people are born with the gift of the “Evil Stroke.” This renders another person or animal paralyzed. It is believed this power is completely instinctive and the bearer has no control over it. It is believed to be a “fairy power.”
A person or animal afflicted with the paralysis from the stroke had to be released by the individual who made them that way. Many were too afraid to undo what they’d inadvertently done.
It was believed to have practical purposes, for example, an attacker or a rabid animal could be harmless after the touch.
Rarely, it was considered lucky to have a child that had been gifted by the fairies. The livestock was always healthy and there were always plenty of luxury items, like fresh butter.
One of the luckiest things you could do is to be kind and caring to those afflicted by any debilitating or terminal condition. Individuals regarded as “simpletons,” or the deaf or blind, anyone disabled had to be treated well for such luck to continue.