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.
The mountain has for long been associated with enchantment and the supernatural, and may have been a holy hill in antiquity. The echoes of its uncanny quality are to be found in its fairy associations, the remains of a holy well, and a phantom black dog, which haunts its lower slopes.
The phantom dog has been witnessed several times, and their appearance is often associated with places of ‘otherworld’ power, perhaps as symbolic guardians to the unknown.
The holy well was thought to have healing powers, which were best utilised by a visit on May Day – Beltane in the Celtic calendar. May Day visitors traditionally left offerings to the fairies at the site. Whether this practice dates to pre-Christian times is unknown but the whole area is associated with supernatural beings in the form of water spirits, thought to inhabit the remote lochans scattered around the area.
The mountain’s supernatural associations have not diminished with the passing of the centuries and the hill is still utilised by Occult groups for their ceremonies. There are several such ‘holy hills’ in Scotland.
Directions: The mountain is situated to the Southeast of Loch Rannoch. and can be viewed from the B846.