The changeling takes on his real form – an old fairy man!

This is a form of werewolf that stalkes the lands of Shetland but unlike the common myth, this creature was never human. They are shy creatures who like to remain unseen and who help with household and farming tasks at night, while their human counterparts are asleep. He throws this to her, she catches it, and then disappears. But when they leave out bread and cheese, the brownies leave, saying, “He’s paid me off,” and never come back. One night he hides behind some sacks to find out the identity of his helper and sees that it is a small group of brownies. Bauchan.

In the case of elderly fairies being swapped, it was thought that they would be able to live in comfort, cherished by their human parents. Baobhan sith. A changeling child was believed to be a fairy child or elderly fairy who had been left by fairies in place of a human child. Gather round as Elsie Maclean from Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches spins a story! The appearance of the Bean Nighe is normally that of a hag, however she can change her appearance to that of a beautiful woman if she so decides. Elsie is the marketing officer for Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches and has worked with the project since 2007. From looking at the tales of folklore it could easily be assumed that Scotland is a land filled with ghosts, ghouls and witches.

Thus, here are 7 Scottish folklore creatures: 7… Let us know if you spot her when you’re on tour! The mermaid is a legendary sea creature with the head and upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. There are many bodies of water in Scotland which have stories about kelpies associated with them. inspiration.Adventure Awaits! Mermaids commonly appear in Scottish folklore as unlucky omens, sometimes provoking disaster and sometimes predicting it. Bean-nighe. © Historic Environment Scotland - Scottish Charity No. It has the body of a man but the head of a wolf, and is not seen as aggressive if left to his own devices. A Selkie can have a husband/wife and have a family but if they are able to obtain their skin again they will immediately return to the sea. Why not browse all of our day tours and get some There are various descriptions of creatures known as brownies. The kelpie could also take human form, usually that of a handsome man, who would attract and seduce young girls.

Any living person can approach the washer woman, with a variety of outcomes possible, including being told the names of those soon to die. She is advised by an old man to take the child to the shore and leave him on a rock as the tide comes in. Story about child taken by the fairies- Nan MacKinnon. There are different theories as to why a human child might be taken. This story tells of an elderly miller who is no longer able to carry on working and cannot afford to take on a young man to help. ©2020 Timberbush Tours Ltd. All rights reserved.


The skipper puts his hands in his pockets but only has a knife. There are many bodies of water in Scotland which have stories about … The child begins to play the chanter and she realises he is in fact a changeling. After the reported sighting and photographic evidence (though later revealed as hoax) of the monster in 1934 people have done their best to catch a glimpse of the creature. Beast of Buchan. The land synonymous to kilts and bagpipes. Incessant crying, constant feeding or eating vast amounts of food, or the ability to speak at a very young age were all signs that a child could be a changeling. In this story a women’s child is taken by the fairies and is replaced with a changeling. Biasd Bheulach. These creatures have the appearance of normal sized human men but are blue in colour. Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches is a collaborative project which has been set up to preserve, digitise, catalogue and make available online several thousand hours of Gaelic and Scots recordings. It is said that if a vessel comes into contact with them the Chief of the creatures will recite two lines of a poem. Designed and Developed by The Union. The belief in kelpies performed a useful function in deterring children from going near dangerous stretches of water. A shape shifting Scottish Fairy, who could take the form of a pony or an old man or woman. This Halloween, we’d like to introduce you to a few of our favourites and let you hear the stories told by people around Scotland. One day she pretends to leave the house but secretly watches through the window. There are many supernatural creatures to be found in Scottish folklore. The miller and his wife decide they should give the brownies some food as they are working so hard. However,  this was often only discovered once it was too late! The Loch Ness Monster The most well-known of Scotland’s creatures, Nessie otherwise known as the Loch Ness monster. She can be spotted at the edge of isolated streams washing blood from the clothes of those about to die! He realises the man is actually a kelpie, this time taking the form of half man and half horse. The man tricks him into deep water and the boy sees that the man has cloven feet. If you’re on one of our tours keep your eyes peeled as you can’t be sure what’s lingering in the dark! Each Uisge The highland water horse of the sea and sea lochs. The man takes him home and the boy threatens to blow like the north wind and blow down the house if they do not release him at once. It also served as a warning to young women to keep away from handsome strangers! Story about brownies helping in a mill- Bryce Whyte. The kelpie is a water spirit which often takes the form of a horse and is found in lochs, pools and rivers. The boy runs for his life and later learns that many people have previously drowned at that spot. The Mythical Scottish Water Horse. Bodies of water, like Loch Awe, are said to be the perfect habitat for kelpies.

This Halloween, we’d like to introduce you to a few of our favourites and let you hear the stories told by people around Scotland.

Our app is your one-stop shop for information on Scotland’s iconic historic attractions. Bodach. In the song ‘A Ghaoil Leig Dhachaigh gu Mo Mhàthair Mi’, the girl appeals to the kelpie (‘each-uisge’ in Scottish Gaelic) to let her go home to her mother. It would usually appears as a fine horse, anybody trying to mount it would become … Thanks to the wonderful sculpture at Falkirk Canal, more people than ever are aware of the Kelpies, though there are a few things you may not know.

It is sung here by Kate Nicolson from the island of South Uist. After the reported sighting and photographic evidence (though later revealed as hoax) of the monster in 1934 people have done their best to catch a glimpse of the creature. SC045925, Supernatural Creatures in Scottish Folklore. In this story from the Shetland Islands, Brucie Henderson tells of a man who is working in a peat bank when a boy, aged about eight and covered in hair, jumps out of a crack in the ground. Probably the most gentle of the creatures on this list are the Selkies, they are seals that reside in the sea and shed their skin in order to take human form on land. The story is told by Stanley Robertson, a renowned storyteller and singer from Aberdeen. 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. Story about an encounter with a mermaid- Roderick MacKinnon. Other methods included threatening to expose it to water or to telling it that the fairy hill was on fire. He and another man drown the following spring. As far as we know, there have been no sightings of brownies at Click Mill on Orkney…. He will occasionally leave fish on the windowsills of the poor to ensure that people don’t starve too. Generally, they are depicted as small creatures, usually male, with reddish brown hair. Beithir. The Bean Nighe is described as a form of banshee, but otherwise known as the washer woman. They are thought to be the folk memory of foundation sacrifices. The story is told by Nan MacKinnon from the island of Vatersay. Can't decide? There was also a theory that fairies believed it was more respectable for fairy children to be raised by humans. However, as their home is the sea it is not long until they make their return, unless a human is able to hide the skin they’ve shed, without this they cannot return home. He is worried that he will have to give up the business but when he wakes one morning he finds all the work has been done. This blog was written by Elsie Maclean. This is in sharp contrast to modern myths, in which they are depicted as being kind and benevolent to humans.

In this story a young Traveller boy meets a man who is fishing on the other side of the river. Dunters Similar to the Red Cap these creatures haunted the old fortresses of the Borders. There was a tradition that if a mermaid was seen, then everyone on board had to throw something to her. There are many supernatural creatures to be found in Scottish folklore. (Greenock), From It’s not long till Halloween so we thought we’d take a look at the more spooky side of Scotland this week. The master of the vessel who encounters them must complete the poem otherwise the will do their best to capsize the vessel and kill all inside. They realise he is a fairy changeling. The story is told by Bryce Whyte and in his version he states that the brownies did not like to receive any payment at all, not even food. Their identity could be betrayed by the presence of sand or water weeds in their hair, or hooves on their feet. One method was to expose the changeling to fire.

Roderick MacKinnon from South Uist tells a story about the crew of a fishing boat who see a mermaid. The kelpie appeared tame on land but if anyone sat on its back, it would gallop into the water and the unfortunate victim would never be seen again. If it was a changeling it would make its way up the chimney, sometimes hurling insults as it disappeared. The human child would then be brought up by the fairies. Traditionally they receive small gifts of food in exchange for their labours and will abandon a dwelling if these offerings are referred to as payments, or if anyone in the household mistreats them. This is a sign that the skipper is to drown but nobody wants to tell him this. Story about a water kelpie- Stanley Robertson. Others thought that it was out of spite, or that the child would be taken to work as a servant. Let us know if you spot her when you’re on tour!

The most well-known of Scotland’s creatures, Nessie otherwise known as the Loch Ness monster. They are said to be very attractive in their human form and have no trouble forging romantic relationships with humans. From time to time we have guest posts from partners, visitors and friends of Historic Environment Scotland. Historic Environment Scotland is the lead public body established to investigate, care for and promote Scotland’s historic environment. Written by: Guest BlogWed 31 October 2018. The child eats constantly and this arouses the woman’s suspicions.

Story about a fairy changeling found in peat bank- Brucie Henderson. They are located in the Minch, which is the waterway between mainland Scotland and the Outer Hebrides, and have the ability to create storms and interact with humans.

From There were various ways of exposing a changeling and getting one’s own child back. ‘A Ghaoil Leig Dhachaigh gu Mo Mhàthair Mi’- Kate Nicolson. Unlike the friendly looking sculpture though Kelpies will lead humans to their death; by luring them to the water and devouring them, hence why they are seen as demons…. The woman refuses to rescue him until she gets her own child back. Could the mermaid on the Linlithgow fountain be hiding a deceitful streak?

The man offers to feed the boy, who replies that he eats heather and the black bull’s bladder.