Isabel (Isobel) Gowdie was a young housewife from Auldearn in Nairnshire who is remembered not just for being tried as a witch, but for her detailed confession. Her trial was in 1662 and what makes her confession so interesting, apart from the detail, is that is that it was supposedly taken without the use of torture. Read More »
In July 1833 a team of six fishermen entangled a mermaid in their fishing lines off the Isle of Yell. Read More »
According to Mr. J. Calder Ross in 'Scottish Notes and Queries' (1893) "John MacInnes found the labour of his farm sadly burdensome. In the midst of his sighing an unknown being appeared to him and promised a horse to him under certain conditions. These conditions John undertook to fulfil. Read More »
The Kelpie is the supernatural shape-shifting water horse that haunts the rivers and streams of Scotland. It is probably one of the best known of Scottish water spirits and is often mistakenly thought to haunt lochs, which are the reserve of the Each Uisge. Read More »
In his 'Guide to Gairloch and Loch Maree' (1886), John H. Dixon gave the following account of a creature that was said to live in Loch na Beiste roughly 50 years early. 'The existence of water-kelpies in Gairloch, if perhaps not universally credited in the present generation, was accepted as undoubted in the last. Read More »
Loch Na Fideil was reputedly the home of a legendary female creature or spirit known as the Fideal after which the body of water is named (Loch of the Fideal). Depending upon which source you read, she attacks either men or women and children, dragging them down under the water in order to devour them. Read More »
James Mackinlay in his Folklore of Scottish Lochs and Springs (1893) tells of another creature that was said to lurch in Loch Ness. 'A noted demon-steed once inhabited Loch Ness, and was a cause of terror to the inhabitants of the neighbourhood. Read More »
Lochranza is situated at the Northern Tip of Arran, the loch contains a small island with a ruined castle, which was mentioned by Sir Walter Scott Read More »
Tales of mermaids have been around for centuries, and form a large part of seafaring lore, especially round the coastal areas of Britain such as Cornwall, and the Northern Isles of Scotland. Their sighting was thought to be a bad omen, foretelling storms and rough seas. There are numerous folk tales describing their interaction with humans. Read More »
One of the most fearsome and gruesomely described supernatural creatures, the Nuckelavee inhabited parts of Northern Scotland.
The creature's home was in the sea but it ventured on land often to feast upon humans. The Nuckelavee rode a horse on land, and its horse was sometimes indistinguishable with its own body. Read More »
Trows are fascinating creatures found only in the folklore of the Orkney and Shetland islands. But, describing them accurately is difficult because sources are not clear. Folklorists have long insisted that the word “trow” is a corruption of “troll,” and that Orkney’s Trows descend from their Viking ancestors’ stories of Trolls. Read More »
There is a mermaid story associated with the small fishing village of Port Henderson which was recounted by John H Dixon in Guide to Gairloch and Loch Maree (1886). According to Dixon ‘Roderick Mackenzie, the elderly and much respected boatbuilder at Port Henderson, when a young man, went one day to a rocky part of the shore there. Read More »
The Red Cap is one of the most dangerous supernatural creatures said to haunt the castles and watchtowers of the border regions.
In appearance they are short and wiry, with ragged pointed teeth and sharp claws like steel. They wear a red bonnet on their heads, and are generally bearded with wrinkled aged faces. Read More »
NEAR the town of Aberdeen, in Scotland, lived James Campbell, who had one daughter, named Mary, who, was married to John Nelson, a young man of that neighbourhood. Read More »
The dark brooding presence of Schiehallion (pronounced She-hal-e-on)- the fairy hill of the Caledonians - looms over the Eastern end of Rannoch moor like a voluminous guardian. The mountain is one of the traditional haunts of otherworld beings. Read More »
The creature, possibly a water horse of Loch Suainbhal is referred to as the Searrach Uisge. The creature was said to inhabit the loch for over a century and in the nineteenth century it was described as being like an capsized boat when it was seen swimming around. Another description has it being forty foot long and eel like. Read More »
Silkies are shape shifting sea fairies usually in the form of bright-eyed seals. They are localised to Northern Scotland and the Shetland Islands.
Silkies often came on to land in human form, where they would dance, especially on the night of the full moon. Read More »
Smoo Cave is a limestone cavern consisting of three chambers, a burn enters the second chamber through a hole in the roof falling for a distance of 80 feet. Read More »
James Hogg (born 1770 – died 21 November 1835) ‘The Ettrick Shepherd’ wrote the following concerning a water cow that was said to have lived in the 5 km long St Mary’s Loch, which is the largest natural loch in the Borders. Read More »
Carterhaugh Wood is the setting for the tale of Tamlin (Tam Lin, Tamas Lin, Tamlane, Tam Lane or Tam Lien) who was in bondage to the Fairy Queen and guardian of the wood. Maidens were warned by their King not to enter Carterhaugh Wood as Tamlin would take either one of their possessions (a ring or green mantle) or their virginity. Read More »