Each Uisge

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  1. Ian Topham says:

    Re: Each Uisge
    According to Folklore of Scottish Lochs and Springs by James Mackinlay (1893) ‘Lonely lochs were their favourite haunts. In treeless regions, a belief in such creatures would naturally arise. Any ordinary animal in such an environment would appear of a larger size than usual, and the eye of the beholder would transmit the error to his imagination, thereby still further magnifying the creature’s bulk. In some instances, the notion might arise even when there was no animal on the scene. A piece of rock, or some other physical feature of the landscape would be enough to excite superstitious fancies. Mr. Campbell remarks, "In Sutherland and elsewhere, many believe that they have seen these fancied animals. I have been told of English sportsmen who went in pursuit of them, so circumstantial were the accounts of those who believed they had seen them. The witnesses are so numerous, and their testimony agrees so well, that there must be some old deeply-rooted Celtic belief which clothes every object with the dreaded form of the Each Uisge, i.e., Water-horse." When waves appeared on a lake, and there seemed no wind to account for them, superstitious people readily grasped at the idea that the phenomenon was due to the action of some mysterious water-spirit. As Dr. Tylor points out, there seems to have been a confusion "between the `spiritual water-demon’ and the `material water-monster." Any creature found in or near the water would naturally be reckoned its guardian spirit.

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