10 Scottish Myths And Legends
Entertainment

10 Scottish Myths And Legends

Tis a truly magical place.

7655

Here are some of the myths and legends that visitors still hear whispered in the green rolling hills of Scotland.

Bean-Nighe

Bean-Nighe is the Scottish Gaelic for 'washer woman'. This is a Scottish fairy tale seen as an open of death. It is said she can be found by streams of pools washing the clothes of those who are about to die.

Selkie

Selkies are shape-shifting creatures that can fake the forms of seals and beautiful people. In some myths, they are gentle creatures that dance in the moonlight on beaches, but in others, they seek unsatisfied people to seduce whether they are married or not.

The Wulver of Shetland

Normally werewolves are horribly gruesome creatures that hunt humans in the night by the light of the full moon. However, the Scottish version is a bit different. The Wulver is said to have the head of a wolf and the body of a man. It is also a kind creature. The story has it, the Wulver even leaves fish on the windowsills of poor families' houses.

Sawney Bean

Nobody is sure if Alexander 'Sawney' Bean ever actually existed. And if he did, if he was really a cannibal. That's right you read correctly. Legend has it that, during either the 15th century or late 16th century, the Beans took up residence in a cave commonly believed to be Bennane Cave on the Ayrshire coast. As the family grew, some grandchildren were suspected to be the product of incest, he and his family are said to have eaten over 1,000 people. Eventually, the Bean family was chased off by locals and since then their whereabouts were unknown.


Kelpies

Kelpies can take the shape of beautiful horses that appear near rivers and lakes. They are said to be identifiable by their wet manes and are usually gray or white. It is said they are so beautiful that people cannot help but touch them and even climb onto their backs. At which point the Kelpies go back to the water, taking their riders down to a watery death.

The myth inspired these beautiful statues built in the Falkirk, Scotland countryside.


Merlin

Yes, yes, Merlin is mainly a Welsh-English story. But there is evidence that Merlin, the character or at least the person the character was based on, made it to Scotland at some point. In the early origins of Merlin's story, where fact and fiction are nearly impossible to separate, he mostly likely appears ar Myrddin the bard to Gwenddoleu, the king of Welsh-speaking territories of southern Scotland and northern England. In 573 A.D. Gwenddoleu is killed in battle and Myrddin, driven mad by grief and the carnage of the battle, leaves for the south of Scotland where his visions and predictions earn him a reputation. Eventually, this reputation catches the eye on one St. Kentigern, also known as St. Mungo. He and Myrddin met several times and the saint is stunned by his premonitions. In some versions of the story, Myrddin dies a gruesome bloody death, in others, he lives immortally. So who knows, if you wonder around the south of Scotland long enough you might just stumble across an ancient wizard.

Ghosts, Ghosts, and more Ghosts

One thing Scotland is not lacking in is ghosts stories. They have massacred families in Glen Coe, plague-ridden children in Edinburgh, mad witch hunts, and everything in between.

Storm Kelpies or the Blue Men of Minch

These blue skinned creatures are said to swim right below the surface of the water between Lewis and the Scottish mainland looking for boats to sink and sailors to drown. Some say the Blue Men live underwater in a clan system.

The origin of the Blue Men legend is unclear but is possibly has roots from Moorish slaves marooned in Ireland in the 9th century by Viking pirates and slave traders.


Loch Ness Monster

And of course, the Loch Ness Monster. Loch Ness is a long, narrow, lake, it is the second largest loch, or lake, with the surface aria in Scotland and the largest with sheer volume in Scotland. The fist sighting was in 565 A.D. by St. Columba. He had asked his servant to wade out into the lock to get his boat. His servant was half-way there when St. Columba saw a huge monster swimming towards the servant ready to attack. He stopped by telling it 'Go not further, nor touch the man! Go back!.' and the monster fled. Since then no reported sightings have been violent. Be careful though, with ever 'official' Nessie sighting there are three faked photos. And if you do choose to go to Loch Ness to look for the famed sea monster, be sure to enjoy the sights, it is a truly beautiful place.




Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Disney Plus

Millions of musical-lovers around the world rejoiced when "Hamilton," the hip-hop-mixtape-turned-musical harder to get in to than Studio 54, came to Disney Plus.

For those who had the luxury of being able to watch it in person and rewatch it with us mere mortals on our screens, the experience was almost as gripping as sitting feet from Lin-Manuel Miranda himself. From the stunning sets, graceful choreography, witty dialogue, and hauntingly beautiful singing, the experience was one even my musical-averse family felt moved by.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

We Asked You How You Felt About Resuming 'Normal' Activities, And Some Of Your Answers Shocked Us

The New York Times asked 511 epidemiologists when they'd feel comfortable doing "normal" activities again, considering COVID-19. We asked our peers the same thing, for science.

Last month, the New York Times surveyed about 500 epidemiologists asking about their comfort level with certain activities once deemed normal — socializing with friends, going to the doctor, bringing in the mail. That's all well and good for the experts, but they are a very niche group, not the majority of the population. What do "normal" people feel safe doing? In certain states, we've seen how comfortable everyone is with everything (looking at you, Florida), but we wanted to know where Odyssey's readers fell on the comfort scale. Are they sticking with the epidemiologists who won't be attending a wedding for another year, or are they storming the sunny beaches as soon as possible?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Keto Is All Fun And Games Until You're Undernourished And Almost Pass Out

Keto is just another extension of diet culture that boasts rapid weight loss, but at a steep price.

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

There has been a Keto diet craze going around in the past couple of years, with many of its followers claiming significant weight loss. With any new, trendy diet claiming miraculous weight-loss, one starts to wonder what exactly is happening behind the curtain. The keto, or ketogenic, diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that claims to help the body shift its fuel source from carbs to fat. In the medical community it has been prescribed to patients with uncontrolled epilepsy to reduce the frequency of seizures, but other than that there is little conclusive evidence to other potential benefits.

Keep Reading... Show less

Jennifer Kustanovich is not only the president of the Odyssey at Stony Brook University but is also an illuminating yoga instructor. She's an inspiring proactive leader in the wellness industry. Her expertise in movement expands onto Zumba and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

On the last day of her in-person class, she gave everyone a way of contacting her and made sure to check up on all her clients. She wanted to ensure that they were doing okay and to remind them that she is always there.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 5 Black Female-Owned Swimwear Brands Are Must-Haves For Your HOTTEST Summer Yet

To all the woman who put their money where their mouth is, lets do two things for the price of one.

The start of summer is always exciting,(especially after an unprecedented pandemic) and people are itching to make this particular summer count. Correction: with the amount gratefulness I have for life at this moment in time I am itching to make this summer count.

But at the same time, in the midst of social justice issues, activism is something that is at the forefront of many people's minds, including mine. With money comes power and buying Black is a way to directly help the marginalized and oppressed while getting something in return.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These Are The Black-Owned Restaurants In Chicago You Should Absolutely Be Supporting

Support the movement and your appetite at the same time with these amazing spots.


The Black Lives Matter movement is taking the country by storm to crash down systematic racism and liberate people of color. However, during these changing it can be hard to determine what you can do to make an impact besides reposting Instagram stories and texting petition numbers. Instead, support Black-owned businesses or, more specifically, Black-owned restaurants. Here are some outstanding and underrated Black-owned restaurants in Chicago that can help you support the movement.
Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

10 Things To Know About LDRs, From A Couple Separated By The Atlantic Ocean AND A Pandemic

There will be challenges, but more often than not, it's worth it.

Most individuals in relationships have not been able to go on romantic dates in quite a while due to business closures in the wake of the pandemic. Other couples have encountered challenges while seeing each other face to face in the past three months due to coronavirus regulations. Long-distance relationships have unfortunately become a reality for many in this era of global health crises. Western New York native and travel journalist, Chelsea Baron, knows this all too well.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments