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The Bogle

THIS is a freakish spirit, who delights rather to perplex and frighten mankind than either to serve or seriously to hurt them. Shellycoat, a spirit who resides in the waters, and has given his name to many a rock and stone the Scottish coast, belongs to the class of bogles. Read More »

The British Witch: The Biography by Peter Maxwell-Stuart

The British Witch

For over five hundred years witches, male and female, practised magic for harm and good in their communities.  Most witches worked locally, used by their neighbours to cure illness, create love, or gratify personal spite against another. Read More »

The Burryman

14 August - On the second Friday of August, a man completely covered in Burdock burs (known as the Burryman) walks the boundaries of South Queensferry, a distance of seven miles. The ritual probably has pagan origins.

The Cailleach

From high mountain pass, exhaling ice breath, (2).
Comes Cailleach clothed in summers death.
Cold fingers search under starlight’s lantern
Staff cracks dew to frosted mantle, (3).
In the stags hoary frosted bark,
Riding with wolves on the cloak of the dark. (4).
From mountain, hillock, stone and spring (5). Read More »

The County Hotel

County Hotel 1960

The hotel is said to have been haunted by the ghost of Bonnie Prince Charlie, who stayed here in 1745. Charlie is said to haunt many places in Scotland. Read More »

The Coylet Inn, Loch Eck

Standing on the bank of the seven mile long Loch Eck (and previously known as the Lock Eck Inn), The Coylet Inn is an old coaching house dating from 1650 that originally catered for travelers going between Glasgow and Dunoon. The Inn is reputedly haunted by the apparition of a ‘Blue Boy’. Read More »

The Fairies' Hill

According to Lord Archibald Campbell in his 'Waifs and Strays of Celtic Tradition, Argyllshire Series, vol. 1 (1889); There is a green hill above Kintraw, known as the Fairies' Hill, of which the following story is told. Read More »

The Fairy And The Bible-Reader

ON a still Sabbath evening in summer, an old man was seated, reading his Bible in the open air, at a quiet spot upon the Ross-shire coast. A beautiful little lady, clad in green, drew near, and addressing him in a silvery voice, sought to know if for such as she Holy Scripture held out any hope of salvation. Read More »

The Fisherman And The Merman

OF mermen and merwomen many strange stories are told in the Shetland Isles. Beneath the depths of the ocean, according to these stories, an atmosphere exists adapted to the respiratory organs of certain beings, resembling in form the human race, possessed of surpassing beauty, of limited supernatural powers, and liable to the incident of death. Read More »

The Ghost of John Chiesly

For three hundred years Dalry was reputedly haunted by the apparition of a screaming (and sometimes manically laughing) man with a bloody stump for his right arm. This ghost was known as ‘Johnny One-Arm’ or, more correctly John Chiesly. John was an unhappy husband who petitioned for a divorce in 1688. Read More »

The Gloaming Bucht

"SPEAKIN' o' fairies," quoth Robbie Oliver (an old shepherd, who lived at Southdean in Jedwater, and died about 1830), "I can tell ye about the vera last fairy that was seen hereaway. When my faither, Peter Oliver, was a young man, he lived at Hyndlee, an' herdit the Brocklaw. Read More »

The Globe Inn, Dumfries

Established in 1610, The Globe is traditionally haunted by a barmaid called Ann, who had an affair with Robert Burns. Burns made her pregnant and she bore him a child that she named Elizabeth. While Robert Burns was well known for his womanising ways it is not know if there is any truth in the story. Read More »

The Granny Stane

The squat black rock, which sits in the river Irvine below the modern Rivergate shopping centre, is once thought to have belonged to a stone circle. Read More »

The Grey Cairns of Camster

The Camster Cairns are some of the best-preserved Neolithic burial mounds in Scotland. They date from around 3500BC, and are developed sites, in that they were used over a long period of time. Read More »

The Hill O' Many Stanes

This ancient site of worship is similar to Carnak in Brittany in its concept, but on a much smaller scale.

250 stones are set into 22 rows, which sweep in a fan formation down the hillside. The stones are set in a North South alignment, and are quite small in size, all standing under 3 feet in height. Read More »

The Isle Of Pabaidh

THERE came a woman of peace (a fairy) the way of the house of a man in the island of Pabaidh, and she had the hunger of motherhood on her. He gave her food, and that went well with her. She stayed that night. Read More »

The Kelpie of Loch Garve

Kelpie

The story of the Kelpie of Loch Garve (so it's technically an Each Uisge, but we'll keep it as Kelpie for this story) tells of a Kelpie that lived at the depths of the loch with his wife.  Now the Ke Read More »

The Kelpy of Morphie

In 'Folklore of Scottish Lochs and Springs' (1893), James Mackinlay tells the following tale of a captured water horse. 'A pool in the North Esk, in Forfarshire, called the Ponage or Pontage Pool, was at one time the home of a water-horse. This creature was captured by means of a magical bridle, and kept in captivity for some time. Read More »

The Laird of Balmachie's Wife

This tale involves a fairy abduction and replacement by a changeling, in this case a Laird's wife, a rather larger burden than the usual child. The original story can be found in Folklore and Legends of Scotland by W.W Gribbins. Read More »

The Loch Ness Monster

Loch Ness Monster

The most publicised and well known of the lake monsters, Nessie has captured the popular imagination. There are hundreds of sightings on record, which describe a roughly similar creature in and out of the water over a period of 200 years. Read More »

The Mermaid Of Knockdolion

'THE old house of Knockdolion stood near the water of Girvan, with a black stone at the end of it. A mermaid used to come from the water at night, and taking her seat upon this stone, would sing for hours, at the same time combing her long yellow hair. Read More »

The Mermaid Wife

A STORY is told of an inhabitant of Unst, who, in walking on the sandy margin of a voe, saw a number of mermen and mermaids dancing by moonlight, and several seal-skins strewed beside them on the ground. At his approach they immediately fled to secure their garbs, and, taking upon themselves the form of seals, plunged immediately into the sea. Read More »

The Monition of Cursing, Archbishop Gavin Dunbar of Glasgow

"Gude folks, heir at my Archibischop of Glasgwis letters under his round sele, direct to me or any uther chapellane, makand mensioun, with greit regrait, how hevy he beris the pietous, lamentabill, and dolorous complaint that pass our all realme and commis to his eris, be oppin voce and fame, how our souverane lordis trew liegis, men, wiffis and barnys, bocht and redeimit be the precious blud Read More »

The Newgate Calendar Part 1: Sawney Bean

Sawney Bean

An extract from The Newgate Calendar Part 1 concerning Sawney Bean. Read More »

The Poor Man Of Peatlaw

THE following is an account of a fairy frolic said to have happened late in the last century:--The victim of elfin sport was a poor man, who, being employed in pulling heather upon Peatlaw, a hill in Selkirkshire, had tired of his labour, and laid him down to sleep upon a fairy ring. Read More »



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