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Fairies


Creatures of Scottish Folklore

Bean-Nighe

Baobhan Sith
A very dangerous female vampire who haunted the highland regions.

Bean Nighe
The Scottish version of the washer woman at the ford. She always wore green and had webbed feet. She was not always a death portent, and would grant three wishes in certain circumstances.

Baisd Bheulach Read More »

A Changeling In Nithsdale

In his The Science of Fairy Tales’ (1891), Edwin Sidney Hartland gives the following description of a Changeling in Dumfries and Galloway. ‘In Nithsdale the elf-child displays a superhuman power of work. The mother left it on one occasion in the charge of a servant-girl, who sat bemoaning herself. Read More »

A Man Carried Through The Air By The Fairies

The following folk tale by Edward Hamer appeared in a publication entitled 'Parochial Account of Llanidloes' (1877) and repeated in Elias Owen's 'Welsh Folklore' (1973). Read More »

A Visit to Fairyland

Llyn Cwellyn

The following fairy folk tale takes place around Llyn Cwellyn, a 215 acre, 120 feet deep glacial lake which has now been dammed to create a reservoir. The tale is taken 'Bedd Gelert: Its Facts, Fairies, and Folk-Lore (1899) by D E Jenkins. Read More »

An Underground Woman in Labor

A woman who died at Neu-Bukow in 1841 at the age of 118 told that when she was a child underground people lived in a mountain near her home town. She herself and other children often saw them, but they always ran away from them. One night an underground man knocked at their door and asked the mother to go with him. His wife was in labor. He also asked to borrow a kettle. Read More »

The Ankou

Ankou

The Ankou was a grim harvester of souls from the dark side of Brittany folklore, once believed to ride the dark lanes of Brittany in search of unwary travellers and the benighted.

The Ankou came in many guises, most commonly as a gangling skeletal figure with long white hair and a revolving head so he could look in every direction, his features shaded by a long brimmed hat. Read More »

Aughisky

Water Horses

These are the water horses of Ireland and are similar to the Each Uisge and Cabyll-Ushtey. They gallop out of the crashing waves up onto the shore, venturing inland. They are supposed to make excellent mounts for whoever can catch one but riding a Aughisky is not without risk. Read More »

Ballad of Tam Lin

Oh, I forbid you, maidens all
That wear gold on your hair,
To come or go by Carterhaugh,
For young Tam-Lin is there.

There's none that goes by Carterhaugh
But must leave him a wad;
Either gold ring, or green mantles,
Or else their maidenhead.

Now gold rings ye may buy, maidens,
Green mantles ye may spin; Read More »

Banshee

Banshee (Andy)

The Banshee is most commonly visualised as a female spirit who wails in the night to foretell disaster, either to an individual family or more generally. The tradition is the strongest in Ireland but many places with Celtic survivals have a variant of the Banshee. Read More »

Barnoldby le Beck

The Churchyard of St Helen’s in Barnoldby le Beck and the fields and surrounding the village have been said to be haunted by a Shag-Foal, a rough coated goblin horse, described as a cross between a black dog and a horse. Read More »

The Bean Nighe

The Bean Nighe

The Bean Nighe is an example of the ominous 'Washerwoman at the Ford' rendered in the Highland tradition. The tradition of 'The Washerwomen at the Ford' seems to have its roots in Celtic legend and myth. She appears in the Irish stories and can be identified as the crone aspect of the triple goddess. Read More »

Beast of Lettir Dallan

The Triads of Ireland or the Trecheng Breth Féne describe the Beast of Lettir Dallan as one of the three wonders of Glenn Dallan in Tirowen. Read More »

The Beetham Fairy Steps

The fairy steps, West of the church are steps cut into the limestone rock. If you can climb them without touching either side you will be granted a wish by the fairies.

Directions: Reached from a footpath through woodland to the South West of Beetham and South East of Storth.

Ben Bulben

Ben Bulben

Legendary home of the Irish third century warriors known as the Fianna, Ben Bulben (or Benbulben, Benbulbin, Binn Ghulbain) is a large glacial rock formation in the Darty Mountains. Read More »

Bendith y Mamau

Bendith Y Mamau means 'the mothers blessing' and is a generic name for the fairies, especially in Southern Wales.

In appearance the fairies are described as small and ugly, and are most readily identified with the Brownies, or the West Country Pixies, although they have the characterisations of most fairies. Read More »

Bincombe Down

Bincombe Down Music Barrows

Bronze Age barrows on the down are known as the music barrows, and are traditionally thought to be home of the fairy folk. According to folklore it was possible to hear the fairy revelry if you placed your ear to the barrows at midday.

Directions:
A public footpath runs near the down reached from the South West Coast Path. Read More »

Black Annis

Black Annis

The area around the Dane Hills in Leicestershire, (now built upon) was said to be haunted by a creature known as Black Annis, possibly the remnants of some pagan goddess in darker times. Read More »

The Black Down Hills

The Black Downs have a long tradition as a haunt of the fairies, and stories tell of many sightings as recently as a few hundred years ago, when many country folk believed we shared this land with supernatural denizens. Read More »

Black Sea Mermen

In 1996 a man named Borovikov was diving in the Anapa region of the Black Sea hunting sharks. Whilst he was eight meters deep he had a strange encounter with a mermaid type creature. In his article UFOs in the Soviet Waters, Paul Stonehill described the encounter. ‘He saw giant beings rising up from below. They were milky-white, but with humanoid faces, and something like fish tails. Read More »

Boabhan Sith

Baohban Sith

The Baobhan Sith is a particularly evil and dangerous female vampire from the highlands of Scotland. They were supposed to prey on unwary travellers in the glens and mountains. The name suggests a form of Banshee.

A common tale is told of 4 young friends who set off on a hunting trip in the glens, benighted the men take refuge in an abandoned Shieldig (small cottage). Read More »

Boggart

Boggarts

The Boggart is most commonly found in the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire, its name appears in places such as Boggart's Clough and Boggart's Hole in Lancashire. Boggarts were mischievous spirits responsible for mishaps and poltergeist activity within the home and in the countryside. Read More »

Boggart Hole Clough

The clough was in former times, said to be haunted by a boggart, and there are a number of stories attached to it. Some of these tales probably became attached to the area after they had been written about other similar boggart infested places. Read More »

Brownies

A widespread name for a fairy or supernatural creature, they were small in appearance and wore brown coloured clothing.

Like many mischievous spirits they were thought to be attached to houses or families and could be helpful in menial household tasks. If offended they became malignant and mischievous, creating poltergeist activity and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Read More »

The Buggane

Buggane

The Buggane is a fearsome supernatural creature from the rich folklore of The Isle of Man. It appears in literature in various forms, usually having the power to shape shift. In one of its forms it is associated with water, and is similar to the Cabbyl-Ushtey the Manx Water Horse. Read More »

Burrafirth

Two Norse giants lived on the Isle of Unst, which is the most northerly of the Shetland Islands. One giant was called Herman and his rival was Saxi (Saxa). Read More »

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