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Scottish 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 Caillech Bheur

Cailleach Bheur

The Cailleach Bheur was a blue hag, said to frequent parts of the Scottish Highlands. Associated with winter, she was reborn on every All Hallows Eve and returned to bring the winter and the winter snows. She carried a magical staff, which froze the ground with every tap. Read More »

The Cait Sith & The Cu Sith

Cait Sith

Cait Sith - Literally translates to fairy cat, the creature was said to haunt the Highland region. The cat was said to be as big as a dog and completely black, apart from one white spot on its breast. Like a real cat it could be ferocious if stumbled upon. Read More »

Cauldshiels Loch

This stretch of water in the Scottish Borders has a ‘Water Bull’ Tarbh Uisge legend attached to it. Read More »

Changelings

Changelings are part of Western Folklore, a child of a fairy type (Elf, Troll etc) which has been secretly swapped for a human baby and left in its place. George Waldron gave the following description of one he saw in the Isle of Man and it was subsequently reprinted in ‘The Science of Fairy Tales’ (1891) by Edwin Sidney Hartland. Read More »

Changelings In The Borders

Edwin Sidney Hartland gives the following account of Dumfries and Galloway Changelings in his ‘The Science of Fairy Tales’ (1891). ‘A Kirkcudbrightshire tale represents a child as once left in charge of a tailor, who "commenced a discourse" with him. "'Will, hae ye your pipes?' says the tailor. 'They're below my head,' says the tenant of the cradle. Read More »

Doon Hill and Robert Kirk

Old Kirk 2

Doon Hill and the Old Kirk in Aberfoyle, will forever be associated with the Reverend Robert Kirk, who wrote the Secret Commonwealth in 1691. The book is an essay on the nature and social structure of supernatural beings or fairies. Robert was a seventh son, said to have been gifted with second sight. Read More »

Dun Borranish

This ruined dun is said to have been the home of a giant called Cuithach, who in the tradition of most giants, laid waste to the surrounding area by stealing cattle and killing local people. Read More »

Each Uisge

Water Horses

The Each Uisge, is a name for the Highland supernatural water horse, supposedly the most dangerous of the Scottish water dwelling creatures. The monster inhabited the sea, sea lochs and fresh water lochs and is sometimes mistaken in writing as the Kelpie, which is supposed to inhabit rivers and streams. Read More »

Elphin Irving The Fairie's Cupbearer

Corrie Water is a stream running seven miles from Eskdalemuir to the Water of Milk near Lockerbie. The stream runs through Corrie, an ancient parish annexed to Hutton in 1609. It is here, according to a story by George Douglas in his Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales (1901) that fairies lived. Read More »

Eynhallow, Ancestral Home Of The Finfolk

On 14th July 1990, eighty-eight bird watchers got off a ferry organised by the Orkney Heritage Society and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds at the uninhabited Eynhallow Island. Only eighty-six returned for the journey back, which sparked a huge search and rescue operation involving the police and coastguard. Read More »

Fachan

fachan

The Fachan (Fechan or Fachin or Peg Leg Jack) is a found in Scots-Irish Folklore. A Fachan's appearance is so terrible it was known to cause heart attacks. It has one eye, one leg, one withered arm coming out of it's chest and a mane of black feathers. Read More »

Fairies Of St Fillans (2005)

In November 2005 a housing developer was prevented from moving a rock as the local population of St Fillans claimed it would kill the fairies living under it. The following article entitled ' Fairies stop developers’ bulldozers in their tracks' was published in The Times on 21 November 2005. Read More »

Fairy Boy of Borgue

In the village of Borgue there lived a young boy who the locals suspected had a relationship with the faeries. Read More »

The Fairy Boy of Leith

The story of the Fairy boy of Leith is relatively unknown today, and doesn't appear to have been recently recounted since its last appearance in the 1970s Reader's Digest compendium, Folklore, Myths a Read More »

Folklore And The Fin Folk of Orkney

Yesnaby Castle by Wolfgang Schlick

Folklore is an integral part of any cultural heritage. Sometimes written off as childish fairytale, folklore deserves to be recognized as a valuable treasure trove of information about our own past. The tales and legends of folklore are the result of oral tradition handed down by mouth through the generations. Read More »

The Glaistig

Glaistigs

The Glaistig was a solitary supernatural being of the Scottish Highlands, with the upper half of a woman and the lower half of a goat, although she was also believed to appear in human and animal form. Her skin was grey, and long golden hair fell about her body. Like many of the fairy races she was often seen clothed in green, in the form of a long flowing robe, which covered her goat half. Read More »

Haunted Ships

In the early 1800s Allan Cunningham described his experiences on the Solway Firth and stories around what he referred to as Blawhooly Bay. His piece below entitled 'Haunted Ships' has been reproduced many times throughout the 19th and early 20th century.
Read More »

Hermitage Castle

Hermitage Castle 2

Hermitage Castle has a long and colourful history, the castle was a bastion of power in the 'debatable land': land that was exchanged between English and Scottish hands during the border wars and skirmishes. The castle is steeped in folklore and legend, and there have been reports of varied strange phenomena in recent years. Read More »

Inchmahome Priory

Cloisters at Inchmahome Priory

Situated on an island in the middle of Lake Menteith, the only 'Lake' in Scotland, Inchmahome Priory is a ruined Augustine (The Black Cannons) priory founded in 1238 by Walter Comyn, who was the Earl of Menteith. The Earl is likely to have founded the monastery for the good of his soul, and to show of his status as an important landowner. Read More »

The Dolphin Hotel, Littlehampton

Ellie and Katie along with their staff have created a warm and friendly pub with a traditional feel and traditional values. They have worked hard to turn the Dolphin into one of the safest, cleanest and most welcoming pubs around. Between them they have nearly 30 years experience in the pub and catering trade. Read More »



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