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Scottish Fairies


Isabel Gowdie, Witch of Auldearn

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 »

Isle of Yell Mermaid

In July 1833 a team of six fishermen entangled a mermaid in their fishing lines off the Isle of Yell. Read More »

John MacInnes And The Each-Uisge

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 »

Kelpie

Kelpie

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 »

Loch Leetie

According to an article by W Gregor in Folklore [A Quarterly Review Of Myth, Tradition, Institution & Custom] Vol III (1892) ‘This is a loch in Nairnshire. It was the common belief that a bull lived in it. He was often heard roaring very loudly, particularly during frost. (Told by Mrs. Miller.)’

Loch na Beiste

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

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 »

Loch Ness Water Horse

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 »

Loch Treig Water Horse

The freshwater Loch Treig (Loch of Death) has been a reservoir since 1929, however prior to this it had a reputation of being the home to some very dangerous Water Horses or Each Uisge. Read More »

Lochan-Nan-Deaan

The following extract is taken from Folklore [A Quarterly Review of Myth, Tradition, Institution & Custom] Vol III (1892). 'This is a small loch on the side of the old military* road between Gorgarff and Tomintoul. The road passes close by its brink on the west side. On the other side of the road is an almost perpendicular rock, between 400 and 500 feet high. Read More »

Lochan-wan (Lambs' Loch)

The following extract is taken from Folklore [A Quarterly Review of Myth, Tradition, Institution & Custom] Vol III (1892). ‘Lochan-wan* is a small loch, in a fine grazing district, lying on the upper confines of Aberdeen and Banffshire. Read More »

Lochranza

Lochranza and Castle

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 »

Lukki Minnie

The following account of the tale of Lukki Minnie appeared in Malachy Tallack's blog on the New Stateman website (30 April 2007). 'For centuries – perhaps even for millennia, no-one is entirely sure – Shetland has been home to a very special creature. Read More »

Mermaids

Mermaid

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 »

Nuckelavee (Scottish)

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 »

Orkney’s Terrible Trows

Danish Troll Postcard 1918

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 »

Port Henderson Mermaid

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 »

Red Caps, Dunters & Powries

Red Cap

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 »

Redemption From Fairy Land

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 »

Schiehallion

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 »

Searrach Uisge

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

Selkies

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

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 »

St Mary’s Loch

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 »

Strange Lands By Andrew L Paciorek

Strange Lands

Andy Paciorek is one of Mysterious Britain & Irelands favourite contributors and his amazing artwork can be found illustrating articles throughout this site. Read More »



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