After being defeated in battle in 1306 by the Earl of Pembroke at Methven, Robert the Bruce went into hiding, supposedly in the Western Isles. Although the caves are now long gone, on summer nights, passers-by have heard the distant sound of bagpipes coming from deep under the ground. Robert Burns alludes to this idea in his 1786 poem “Address to the Deil.”. The captor forced the kelpie to carry heavy stones to build his castle and when the work was complete, the laird released the kelpie who was understandably unhappy in its treatment. You might see them lurking by Scotland’s lochs and rivers. We hope to build on our collection of stories by working with our team, contributors and partners. But what happens when the piper himself vanishes into thin air? Using only a wooden club, he beat the dragon, eventually slaying it as the crowd yelled “strike, Martin”. Scottish Halloween traditions . One of Scotland’s most famous unsolved mysteries is that of the Loch Ness Monster (or ‘Nessie’ as it has affectionately come to be known). An unlikely alliance of Christians, communists and the National Union of Teachers blamed imported American horror comic books for the mass hysteria. Larrington also reveals how such stories continue to inspire modern writers and artists. Some stories from Shetland have selkies luring islanders into the sea at midsummer, the lovelorn humans never returning to dry land. The belief in fairies was so strong, that even in the face of Calvinism, fairies continued to flourish and … Thus, here are 7 Scottish folklore … In addition to compiling a diverse selection of folk tales on our website, we are also working with our sister site, Albion Adventures to develop an app. This Halloween, meet the supernatural creatures to be found in Scottish folklore and hear the stories told by people from the communities where the tales originated. Collected and illustrated by Cuthbert Bede. Selkies were mythical creatures that could transform themselves from seal to human form and back again. The stories of Finn (Old, Middle, Modern Irish: Find, Finn, Fionn) mac Cumhaill and his band of soldiers the Fianna, appear to be set around the 3rd century in Gaelic Ireland and Scotland. It would entice people to ride on its back, before taking them down to a watery grave. However, some accounts state that the Kelpie retains its hooves when appearing as a human, leading to its association with the Christian idea of Satan. Soon he became revered in Scotland and, boosted by the Ossianic heroic verse and songs, his name was a natural choice to assign to this dramatic and awe-inspiring cavern. ‘Nessie’ has a long neck and one or more humps protruding from the water. A Brownie is a legendary elf popular in folklore around Scotland. Learn about the stories that shaped Scotland. Selkie The Brownies are said to inhabit houses and aid in tasks around the house. Otta F Swire, has it that Cuchullin, the Hero of Ulster, unbeaten in battle, heard of Sgathaich and her school. He resided in a cave for three months, at the lowest point of his life and struggling to come up with a plan about what to do next, contemplating leaving the country never to return. Skip to content. The bean nighe (Scottish Gaelic for ‘washerwoman’) haunts desolate streams and washes blood from the clothing of those about to die. Every Saturday at sunrise, the Stoor Worm would wake, open his cavernous mouth and yawn nine times. When all had failed to return, he went to investigate, only to find the slain bodies of his nine lovely daughters strewn across the ground by the well. Welcome to Folklore Scotland [SCIO], where your journey into a world of legend is just a click away. The bodach will not cross salt. There was also an American comic book at that time entitled: “The Vampire with the Iron Teeth”. According to the stories of most parents, the bodach would only bother bad or naughty children. Menu. The Corryvreckan is the third largest whirlpool in the world. The Story of the White Pet. He is said to have told his men: “If at first you don’t succeed, try try and try again,” which is a phrase used still to this day. ‘Nessie’ has a long neck and one or more humps protruding from the water. Marriage of Robin Redbreast and the Wren. Bean-Nighe. We want to make it as easy as possible to navigate the myths and legends of Scotland, so we have compiled the stories on our website into regional collections. However, while Robert the Bruce was waiting, legend has it that he watched a spider building a web in the entrance to the cave. We are keen to get as many people on board as possible to help us develop our collections and achieve our mission of preserving Scottish myths & legends. A very old legend surrounds Dun Sgathaich Castle in the Isle of Skye, in which it is said Sgathaich, a warrior ran her ‘school for heroes’. Finn is supposed to have been the father of Ossian, traditional bard of the Gaels. The large dinosaur-like creature is reputed to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. Gather round as Elsie Maclean from Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches spins a story! We want to make it as easy as possible to navigate the myths and legends of Scotland, so we have compiled the stories on our website into regional collections. The first recorded sighting of the monster was nearly 1,500 years ago when a giant beast is said to have leaped out of a lake near Inverness and eaten a local farmer. The land synonymous to kilts and bagpipes. BODACHAN SABHAILL (LITTLE OLD MAN OF THE BARN): A spirit who haunted barns in Scotland. Another legend surrounds Norse king Breacan. Bedtime Stories; Cinderella; Little Red Riding Hood; Snow White; The Snow Queen; The Ugly Duckling; Puss in Boots; The Sleeping Beauty; Beauty and the Beast; The Little Mermaid; The Princess and the Pea; The Goose Girl; The red shoes; The Frog Prince; The Fairy; The naughty boy; Hansel and Grethel; The story of the youth... Snow-White And Rose-Red; Blue Beard; The Valiant Little Tailor Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn visited in 1829 and wrote an overture, The Hebrides (also known as Fingal's Cave overture), inspired by the weird echoes in the cave and one of Pink Floyd’s early songs is also called Fingal’s Cave. The place where the dragon was defeated was named “Strike-Martin” and was subsequently named Strathmartine – a name which lives on in the name of a school and a street in Dundee. Accepting cookies from us really helps us to run this site. One specific story talks of a Kelpie captured by the Laird of Morphie. This app will use audio, visual and written elements to immerse the user in a story as they make their way around real sites from Scottish folklore. Here, writing for History Extra, Larrington shares nine of the most unusual folktales that she has come across… The British Isles are a treasure chest of folklore and traditional tales. Known for its natural acoustics, the origins of its name are unknown. The Milk-White Doo. The Gulf of Corryvreckan (from the Gaelic ‘Coire Bhreacain’ meaning "cauldron of the speckled seas" or "cauldron of the plaid"), also called the Strait of Corryvreckan, is a narrow strait between the islands of Jura and Scarba, off the west coast of mainland Scotland. A farmer lived with his nine, beautiful daughters on a farm known as Pitempton. Bean-Nighe is the Scottish Gaelic for 'washer woman'. The mythical kelpie is the Scots name given to a supernatural water horse that was said to haunt Scotland's lochs and lonely rivers. Small villages with tightly knit communities and large mountain landscapes make up the charm of the Highlands. Subscribe Subscribed Unsubscribe 1.71K. Jan 29, 2014 - Explore Pamela Guile's board "Scottish Folklore" on Pinterest. The Kelpie The Kelpie is … L. Loch Ness Monster. Scotland. It has usually been described as appearing as a horse but is able to adopt human form. Fearing he was about to become the tenth kill of the evening, the farmer fled to call his neighbours, who returned, armed with weapons, to slay the beast. According to some sources, she is known also as the Cailleach, a name which is said to be translated literally into English from Gaelic as ‘veiled one’. Sgathaich and the Warrior School. Advertisement . Cancel Unsubscribe. Bradley, Edward. The kelpie would appear to its victims as a lost dark grey or white pony but could be identified by its constantly dripping mane. It is therefore not surprising that Scotland has an extensive heritage of myths and legends. The Sea Maiden: Scottish Folklore Stories (Selkies) Austin Hackney. 12 of the best Scottish ghost stories – witches, murder and folklore Spine-chilling tales of witchcraft, ghosts and ghouls, torture and murder most foul. County Folk-Lore, vol. Some say it became known as Fingal's Cave after the eponymous hero of an epic poem by 18th-century Scots poet-historian James Macpherson, who claimed to have translated the poem from ancient Gaelic. It is noted that the slaying of the dragon by Assipattle is not dissimilar to other tales of the genre. There are many supernatural creatures to be found in Scottish folklore. Loading... Unsubscribe from Austin Hackney? After a busy day of work, the farmer sent his eldest daughter to gather water from a nearby well. Many of the Highland communities preserve the Gaelic language and myths and legends still seem to be alive within this region. The selkie woman was often seen gazing lovingly at the ocean. Yes, Nessie is clas… In 1954, hundreds of young kids from the … Taken from: Witchcraft Second Sight In The Highlands Islands Of Scotland by John Gergorson Campbell, I story about a man sensing the situation of his son at a distance. Regardless of the truth, the suggestion of the monster’s existence makes Loch Ness one of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions with thousands visiting its shores each year with the hope of catching a rare glimpse of the famous monster. When the only surviving crew member dragged the body of the prince ashore, one maiden, wracked with guilt, confessed that she was not as pure as she had made out and that was why the rope broke. The boat was subsequently dragged under. Locals believed that fairies lived in these tunnels and caves, and no one dared to go inside and disturb them until one day, a piper boldly entered the caves. Since then, the myth of the Loch Ness Monster has magnified. We only collect limited cookies to run our site and to track how many views we are recieving and which countries they are from. He would then demand a meal of seven virgins for as the old tales records: "although he was a venomous beast, he had a dainty taste.". In 2003, the BBC sponsored a search of the loch using 600 sonar beams and satellite tracking. He was born in 1274 at Lochmaben castle where he was Knight and Overlord of Annandale. Ultimately, we seek to utilise a strengthened engagement with fantasy to help the promotion and preservation of cultural heritage through the art of traditional storytelling with a 21st century twist. In desperation the king eventually issued a proclamation offering his kingdom, his daughter's hand in marriage and a magic sword to anyone who could destroy the monster. A stage play, and a graphic novel have told the story of the Gorbals Vampire, and a large mural of the beast guards a local railway arch. Nursery Stories. Then from the murky depths of Loch Ness comes the most famous of Scotland’s mythical creatures. Most of these Scottish Fairy Tales are children's stories from the West Highlands. The reason for this is believed to be that the stories took shape during a period of enlightenment where human sacrifices to great beasts and monsters were beginning to be suppressed. In days gone by, a dark network of tunnels was said to extend from the Cove of Grennan to the cliffs of Clanyard Bay, near Stranraer. Scotland’s Celtic history spans over 2,000 years. Rarely seen, he was often heard at night, cleaning and doing housework; he also sometimes mischievously disarranged rooms. Years later, the selkie found her skin and later escaped back to seal form and to the sea, leaving her own children behind, never to return. In this edition, the selkie already had a husband of her own kind in the ocean before she was forced to stay on land. There are several stories of phantom pipers throughout Scottish history and folklore. It is said that the Devil is good at all jobs except for one, tailoring, because when the Devil is among the tailors they close up shop so he has never learned to baste. Scottish Fairy Tales. In 1306 he was crowned King of Scotland and subsequently tried to free Scotland from the English enemy. When you picture Scotland in all its mythical grandeur, the first place your mind will visit is the Highlands. Back in the 1950s, the Gorbals area of Glasgow was being terrorised. In 1934, a London doctor snapped a photograph that seemed to show a dinosaur looking creature emerging from the water. The first recorded sighting of the monster was nearly 1,500 years ago when a giant beast is said to have … Others claim Around 250 AD Finn MacCumhaill, or Fingal, was possibly an Irish general who had a band of faithful warriors. A good defense would be to put salt in the hearth before bedtime. As a body, we seek to promote and preserve Scottish folkloric heritage by telling the tales of the past with the technology of today. Folklore Scotland [SCIO] Charity No.SC050357. He can take many disguises including an old man in a black suit but whatever disguise he takes, he’s always giving himself away because of his cloven feet which cannot be shod. Dozens of sightings have since been claimed, many of which have turned out to be hoaxes. In various stories, Breacan moored his boat near the whirlpool to impress the father of a local princess, who wanted him to anchor by the whirlpool for three days and three nights. Cierein Croin, a gigantic sea serpent is said to be the largest creature ever. When she failed to return, he sent his second oldest daughter, and so on and so on. The hill shepherds were known for being dreamers and poets, and the Lowlands produced many a fine Rhymer. It is small wonder that our dragons were not flying, fire-breathing creatures but fierce sea serpents such as Orkney’s Stoorworm, borrowed from Viking legend. 1. The adults wouldn’t believe the kids, so the kids decided to deal with this monster once and for all – by themselves. dailyrecord A Shetland version of the tale about the selkie compelled to become a human wife, was published in 1822. Of the four stories listed here, the tale of the Harp of Dagda is probably the least well known, mostly because of its simplicity and the fact that it is one of the oldest folklore stories in Ireland – and considering all of these legends date back at least a thousand years, that’s really saying something! Stories of Aberdeenshire . Martin's Stone stands alone in a field one mile north of the village of Bridgefoot (previously known as Kirkton of Strathmartine), itself now on the northern fringes of Dundee. Walk down the city’s High Street, and you’ll come face to face with a statue of the dragon. London: Published for the Folk-Lore Society by David Nutt, 1901. It is said she can be found by streams of pools washing the clothes of those who are about to die. The large dinosaur-like creature is reputed to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. No animal of substantial size was found and, despite their reported hopes, the scientists admitted this “proved” the Loch Ness Monster was a myth. Welcome to Folklore Scotland [SCIO], where your journey into a world of  legend is just a click away. From vampires with iron teeth to vicious cannibal tribes, Scotland has it covered. Scottish Folklore and Stories I am doing an art project on the Scottish folklore and stories that are local to me, as well as looking at other regional folklore for comparison. In Scottish folklore, kelpies are shape-shifting, horse-like water spirits said to have the strength of 100 horses. Menu. The White Wife: With Other Stories, Supernatural, Romantic, and Legendary. You can learn more about our mission on our About Us page. Background. Robert the Bruce was inspired by the spider’s efforts, so decided to get up and face another fight. Click here for Scottish Tales in the French language. Every land has its tales of dragons, but Scotland is an island country, bound to the sea. After the story appeared in the local press, it gained worldwide coverage. , against all odds, the Stoor Worm would wake, open his cavernous mouth and nine..., communists and the Warrior School humps protruding from the Gorbals area Glasgow... The Scottish Highlands reason popularly believed to explain the extinction of the genre brownie! Stories, supernatural, Romantic, and Northcote W. Thomas Hero of Ulster, unbeaten in,. Teachers blamed imported American horror comic books for the Folk-lore Society by David Nutt, 1901 halter... 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