Creatures of Scottish Folklore
A very dangerous female vampire who haunted the highland regions.
The Scottish version of the washer woman at the ford. She always wore green and had webbed feet. She was not always a death portent, and would grant three wishes in certain circumstances.
A shapeshifting demon who haunted the Odail Pass on the Isle of Skye, its howls could be heard in the night.
Blue Men of The Minch
Water spirits that haunted the straight called the Minch, between the Shiant Islands and Long Island in the Highlands. They lived in clans in underwater caves and were blamed for shipwrecks.
A dark grey humanoid figure who was thought to foretell the death of members in a clan.
Bodachan Sabhaill (the little old man of the barn)
A spirit who haunted barns in Scotland, in common with a brownie he would occupy his time doing farming chores.
A gigantic black bird, which is supposed to have lived in the lochs of Argyllshire. It had webbed feet and fed on cattle.
The name of a brownie in Shetland and Orkney.
Scots Gaelic for shapeless thing, a creature of the night.
Brown Man of the Muirs
A supernatural guardian of the wild creatures from the Border region of Scotland. He wore brown clothes, and had a shock of red frizzy hair and wild eyes.
A generic term for fairies in England and Scotland, they were generally benevolent but could turn bad if they were neglected. They were small in appearance and wore brown clothing.
A blue faced hag of the highlands associated with winter and a guardian of animals. She may represent a crone aspect of the triple goddess once worshiped by the ancient Britons.
A supernatural cat from the Highland region, the creature was as big as a dog and completely black apart from one white spot on its breast. Perhaps the belief is related to some of the mystery black cats that have been caught in the region.
A banshee like spirit attached to the clans of the Highlands, who could be heard wailing at the bottom of waterfalls before there is death or catastrophe within the clan. Her name means ‘the weeper’.
The Argyll version of the washer woman at the ford, a banshee who foretell death in the clans.
A Highland mermaid whose contact, in common with most mermaids, is perilous to mankind. If captured she would grant 3 wishes.
A cave dwelling spirit localised to the Highlands.
Coliunn Gun Cheann (The Headless Trunk)
A huge hulking monster with no head who haunted the Macdonald lands near Morar House. Travellers would often be found mutilated by the creature. The creature was banished after defeat by a clan member.
Highland fairy water cattle.
A green phantom dog who haunted the highland regions. The creature was the size of large calf and could hunt in silence.
A dangerous river sprite that haunts Glen Cuaich in Invernesshire.
A monster with one leg and one arm who haunted Glen Etive.
A shape shifting Scottish Fairy, who could take the form of a pony or an old man or woman.
Similar to the Red Cap these creatures haunted the old fortresses of the Borders. They are thought to be the folk memory of foundation sacrifices.
The highland water horse of the sea and sea lochs. It would usually appears as a fine horse, anybody trying to mount it would become attached to its adhesive skin. It would then rush into the deepest part of the loch and devour its victim.
A highland spirit with one leg and one hand standing from a ridge on its chest.
A highland water demon which inhabited Loch Na Fideil near Gairloch. The creature used to drag women and children under the water and devour them.
A generic term for Scottish water spirits who dwell in the sea in rivers, and in fresh water and sea lochs.
A spirit said to cause the gales in the Firth of Cromarty.
Ghillie Dhu Gille Dubh
A benevolent fairy who was said to haunt a birch grove at the end of Loch Druing near Gairloch. It wore clothes of moss and lichen and had black hair.
Fairies with golden hair who helped around farms.
A highland brownie who helped around the farms.
A highland brownie who helped around the farms.
A border fairy associated with spinning.
One version of the Orkney and Shetland Trow.
An invisible fairy who sits next to people and eats their food so that they gain no benefit from it.
A shapeshifting water horse that haunted Scottish rivers. It often appeared as a horse but it could take the form of a man and leap at passers by.
A water and spinning fairy from the Hebrides.
A dangerous water spirit who haunted the loch of the black trout on the Isle of Skye.
A Shetland sea monster with many eyes, probably a misidentified fish or sea creature.
A blue faced hag who takes several forms, she is similar to the Cailleach Bheur.
Noggle / Nuggle
The Shetland version of the water horse, it was often associated with water mills.
A hideous creature part horse and part man with long sinewy arms. The creature had no skin and its muscle structure and veins could clearly be seen. It had an aversion to fresh water.
A Perthshire water monster.
Another name for the Picts, who were often seen as fairies by the conquering Scots many hundreds of years later.
Another name for the Red Caps who haunted the Border regions.
A Perthshire water spirit who haunted a pool near Pitlochry.
A fearsome spirit who haunted the old border castles, he was wiry and small, with Iron claws and a red bonnet. They dipped their hats in their victims blood to give them their red colour.
Seal spirits who could take human form on land. They often intermarried with mortals.
A male water spirit from the Borders region. They wore shells and could be dangerous.
A sea spirit from the Isle of Lewis.
A water horse from the Shetland Isles, they took the appearance of a small horse.
A name given to a group of very dangerous spirits from the highlands. They were known as the unforgiven dead. They were always malevolent and sometimes thought to be fallen angels.
The lowland name for the Will o’ the Wisp.
A shapeshifting sea spirit from the Orkney and Shetland Isles
Supposed to be the spirits of babies who have died without baptism they manifested as lights, localised to North East Scotland. A similar explanation is given for the West Country Pixies.
A spirit very similar to a faun in that they are half human and half goat. They are said to haunt pools and waterfalls.
Female water spirits who drag people down into the depths. They dressed in green and had withered faces.
A Shetland supernatural creature with the body of man and a wolfs head. They were said to be benevolent.