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3rd or 4th Monday in August - Once said to have been celebrated with hilltop fires, the festival is now associated with Mary Queen of Scots. A Queen is voted from the local Irvine girls and a parade goes through the town along with other events.
There is a general acceptance that the Green Man is a representation of a pagan deity, but this is not borne out by the abundance of Green Man carvings to be found on or within Christian churches. Could this contradiction be the clue that will lead to our understanding of this archaic figure? Why do we find the Green Many associated with churches? Read More »
The castle was involved in the intrigue of the 45 rebellion, and Jacobite troops are said to have stayed here, sheltered by James Menzie of Culdares. Read More »
Meldrum House Hotel is a grand mansion built around a medieval Tower House. The Barony of Meldrum dates from 1236 and was granted to Sir Philip de Phendarg by King Alexander II of Scotland. The house has been modified by and passed down through several prominent Scottish families including the Meldrum's, Seton's and Urquhart's. Read More »
In 1136 the Cistercian Melrose Abbey was founded following a request from King David I (Scotland) (Born 1084 – Died 24 May 1153) and took ten years to build, though it was added to and extended over the following decades. Being in the border region the Abbey was unfortunately damaged several times during conflicts between the English and the Scottish. Read More »
The Dunfermline artist Sir Joseph Noel Paton (13 December 1821 – 26 December 1901) wrote the following letter reciting a dream to Catherine Crowe on 31st May 1847. It was his mother Catherine McDiarmid Paton who was "deeply interested in tradition, folklore, the supernatural, and the fairy-stories of the Celts" that had had the dream around the year 1830. Read More »
According to legend this was the last stronghold of the Picts. In their last battle with the King of Scotland they were all killed bar two, a father and son. Read More »
Robert the Bruce arranged to meet then stabbed Red Comyn to death 10 February 1306 in the Franciscan friary in Dumfries. Local lore says Bruce haunts the site where the building used to stand.
Neidpath Castle is one of the stronger positioned Peel Towers or fortified Tower Houses that are dotted around the border lands, testimony to the troublesome period of Border skirmishing and lawlessness in the 14th-17th Century. The castle sits on a firm defensive position surmounting a rocky crag overlooking the River Tweed. Read More »
Iona is a small island off the West coast of Scotland with a long religious and mystical history. In the late 1920s it was the scene of the mysterious death of Netta Fornario. Her motives and the manner of her passing have been the subject of much debate over the years. Read More »
Newton castle is said to be haunted by a Green Lady, a common apparition and folklore motif in many Scottish castles and fortified homes. Read More »
As with the dragon that was associated with it, very little remains of the Nine Maidens Well at Strathmartine, as the farmer upon whose land it could be found had the well covered up to stop it’s visitors from trampling his crops. Read More »
This 16th century heavily fortified castle was built by Gilbert Balfour from Fife, brother-in-law of Mary Queen of Scots. Balfour and his brothers had been involved in the murder of Cardinal Beaton in 1546 and had been sentenced to serve time as oar men on a French galley. Read More »
In 1590, King James VI (19 June 1566 - 27 March 1625) of Scotland took a personal interest in the prosecution of a coven of witches from North Berwick who were accused of trying to assassinate him and his new bride Anne of Denmark with the use of Black Magic. 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 »
O, that I were where Helen lies!
Night and day on me she cries;
O, that I were where Helen lies!
In fair Kirkconnel lee.
O Helen fair! beyond compare,
A ringlet of thy flowing hair,
I'll wear it still for evermair
Until the day I die.
Curs'd be the hand that shot the shot,
And curs'd the gun that gave the crack, Read More »
The following article by Sue Crawford entitled 'Ghost hunt at Gretna's famous Blacksmiths Shop' was published in the News & Star on 8 August 2013.
Paranormal investigators are to hold a vigil after reports of “terrifying” incidents at Gretna Green’s famous Blacksmiths Shop 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 »
Allanbank House, now no longer standing had a reputation for being haunted by the ghost of a French woman referred to as Pearlin Jean. Read More »
Penkaet Castle (which has also been known as Fountainhall, Penkaet House and Woodhead) is a 16th century mansion and would seem to have several ghosts. One of these is generally identified as Alexander Hamilton, a beggar who had approached the castle seeking food and shelter, only to be cruelly turned away. Hamilton threw a curse at the family as he was removed from the property. Read More »
In November 1995 Brian Curran took video footage of an orange stationary object with a dimpled surface. Later analysis showed that there were two small portions missing from the object that seemed to fill back in. The encounter ended when the object shot off at great speed.
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 castle at Portencross dates to the 14th Century and is thought to have been used by the Scottish Kings as a halfway house between Dundonald and Rothsay. There is a story that Robert the Bruce stayed here. Read More »