Phantom Piper of Corsock
“Many years ago a drover, while making his way north and crossing that wild and thinly populated district which lies between the head of the parish of Parton and the Moor of Corsock had the following uncanny experience: He had left the Parton district late in the afternoon with the intention of reaching a farm-house some miles north of the village of Corsock. By the time he reached the path over Corsock Hill, however, it had become dark, and occasional flashes of lightning foretold that a storm was at hand. With loud peals of thunder, vivid flashes of lightning, and a downpour of rain the storm at last broke. The only shelter near at hand was some thorn bushes by the roadside, under which the drover crept and stayed for fully an hour, while the storm raged and the darkness increased. When the storm had somewhat abated the drover set out once more, hurrying as fast as the darkness would allow him. He had reached a very desolate part of the moor when his collie gave a low whine and crept close to his master’s heels. The drover stood up for a moment to try and find a reason for the dog’s behaviour, when down in the glen between the hills he heard what at first appeared the sound of bagpipes, which increased quickly to a shrill piercing wailing that struck terror to his heart, the collie creeping closer and closer to his heel whining in a way that showed he was as much frightened as his master.
Standing irresolute, a blaze of blue light flashed right in front of him, in the centre of which appeared the figure of a piper, his pipes standing like horns against the background of blue light. The figure moved backwards and forwards playing the wildest of music all the time. It next seemed to come nearer and nearer, and the drover, now transfixed to earth with terror, saw that the piper was headless, and his body so thin that surrounding hills and country could be seen right throught it. A blinding flash of fire, followed by an ear-splitting clap of thunder, brought matters to a close for the time being, and the drover fell prostrate among the heather. When he recovered his senses the strange light had gone, and with it the headless piper. The storm had cleared off, and in due time he reached the farm, where he was put up for the night. When he told his story no one spoke for a moment or two, then the farmer’s aged father broke silence: ‘Aye, aye, lad, ye hae seen the ghost o’ the piper wha was murdered on his wey frae Patiesthorn. I hae had the same fearsome experience myself, tho’ its mair than saxty years syne.’”
[Witchcraft and Superstitious Record in the South-Western District of Scotland by J Maxwell Wood, 1911]