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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.

Its head was ten times larger than that of a mans, and its mouth thrust out like a pigs with a wide gaping maw. The creature had no skin, and its yellow veins, muscle structure and sinews, could clearly be seen covered in a red slimy film.

The creature was armed with venomous breath and great strength. It did however have one weakness, an aversion to fresh water.

The horse on which it rode, is described as having one red eye, a mouth the size of a whales and flappers like fins around its forelegs. Although the horse was sometimes seen as part of the creature's own body.

In one tale a man called Tammy escapes the beast by jumping over running water, leaving his bonnet in the monsters clutches. This theme of a narrow escape often crops up in Scottish folklore. It is also noted that many supernatural creatures cannot cross fresh running water.



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