Scottish Mythology | Creatures, Characters, myths, folklore and legends

Scottish Mythology

Scotland has a long Celtic history that dates back over 2,000 years. At this time when superstition reigned supreme and strange happenings occurred. They were explained only by horrific legends. As a result, Scotland has a long history of myths and tales which together forms the Scottish Mythology. From ‘Greyfriars Bobby’ to the actual origins of the famed deep-fried mars bar. These beliefs continue to be disputed today, since the riddle of the tales are unsolved.

Scottish Mythology – Mythical Creatures Of Scotland

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The Wulver

Location – Shetland Islands

The legend of a man with brown hair and a wolf’s head, known as the Wulver, spread throughout Scotland. The Wulver was said to have developed from wolves by the ancient Celts. And was a symbol of the transitional stage between man and wolf.

The Bean Nighe

Location – Meads and glens of Scotland

It’s difficult to tell what she looks like at first, but she’s dressed in green and clearly elderly. Her thick grey hair flowing down her back and over her shoulders in a tangle. When she faces you, you see her disfigured face with a hooked nose and only one nostril.

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Blue Men of the Minch

Location – The strait between the Island of Lewis and the Shiant Isles

Storm Kelpies, as they are also known, are supposed to prey on sailors attempting the journey. Legend says, the weather would remain calm while the Blue Men with unique green beards slept. But they could summon storms anytime they pleased. This resulted in the deaths of countless captains. If you ever visit the region, keeping a quiet tongue may be something to consider. Since legend has claimed that this is the only way to pass safely.

The Nine Maidens of Dundee

Location – Strathmartine also known as Strike-Martin

When the farmer’s eldest daughter failed to return from the well. So he dispatched his second oldest. He sent each of his children to the well one by one, but they never returned.
When the farmer went to investigate, he realized his daughters were slain by a dragon monster. The dragon monster looked similar to a big snake.
To fight the beast, the farmer recruited a group of locals. The deadly hits were administered by a young guy named Martin. While he hit the creature the people screamed, “Strike, Martin!”

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The Stoor Worm

Location – Orkney islands

The Stoor Worm’s noxious breath is capable of polluting vegetation and killing. It’s also been called a sea dragon because it lived in the sea.

The Ghost Piper of Clanyard Bay

Location – Clanyard Bay

Vanishing creature that appears near the Clanyard bay playing the bagpipes. It disappears into the network of tunnels from the Cove of Grennan to the cliffs of Clanyard bay. It looks like a regular man that plays the pipes dressed in green.

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The Gorbals Vampire

Location – Southern Necropolis in Glasgow

A seven-foot-tall creature with long metal teeth was described as the Gorbals vampire. It seemed to walk around the cemetery and burn his victims remains.

Robert the Bruce and the Spider

Location – Scotland 1306

In 1306 Robert the Bruce was proclaimed King of Scots and led Scotland to victory over the English. The famous King of Scots was forced into hiding after his troops were beaten by the English. When Robert’s spirits were crushed, legend has it that he sought sanctuary in a cave. He spotted a tiny spider attempting to construct a web while sitting in the cave.
Over and over, the spider attempted and failed. The spider crawled back up after each fall to attempt again. The spider’s silk eventually took hold, and the spider was able to weave a web.The spider inspired him with it’s persistence and Robert returned to the fight.

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The Loch Ness Monster

Location – Scottish Highlands

A large creature resembling a dinosaur with a long neck. The huge dinosaur-like creature was originally sighted around 1,500 years ago. It was supposed to have leapt out of Loch Ness and devoured a local farmer in the Scottish Highlands.

Selkies

Location – Northern Isles of Scotland

Selkie is a term used to describe a variety of seals larger than the grey seal. Furthermore these seals are thought to have the capacity to shapeshift into humans. They are also known as “selkie folk”

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Scottish Mythology – Fairies

Location – Woods, lochs and lands of Scotland

Small colorful human-like folks that usually hate humans. They can be aggressive toward humans but not all would hurt you. Some will just stay away from humans and others would just seduce them with beauty.

Kelpies

Location – Lochs and lonely rivers in Scotland

Scotland’s lochs and lonely rivers are haunted by a supernatural water horse. It is characterized as having the appearance of a horse but the ability to transform. According to some tales, the Kelpie keeps its hooves when posing as a human.

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Scottish Mythology – Am Fear Liath Mòr

Location – Summit and passes of Ben Macdui

It is described as being extremely slender and tall. The creature has black skin and hair, long arms, and broad shoulders. Most of the time, the monster is hidden by the mountain’s fog.

Baobhan Sith: The Female Vampire

Location – Scottish Highlands

The Baobhan Sith is generally shown as a lovely young woman dressed in a green gown that hides her deer hooves. She wears the deer hooves instead of feet. She, like all vampires, feeds on human blood and vanishes with the morning light. The baobhan sith might also appear as a hooded crow or raven.

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Scottish Mythology – Bauchan

Location – West Highlands

The bauchan is a goblin-like creature and can turn into a goat and is a shapeshifter. Furthermore it is frequently mischievous and occasionally dangerous. Yet it can also be quite useful when needed.

Beast of Buchan

Location – Buchan Area of Aberdeenshire

Firstly Buchan’s Beast is a large cat or phantom cat. Furthermore it is almost identical to a lynx in appearance. Different sightings describe this myth differently. All of them agree it’s a huge cat-like creature.

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Scottish Mythology – Beithir-nimh (Venemous Serpent)

Location – Caves and corries in Scotland

The beithir, also known as a dragon, is the biggest and most dangerous species of serpent. Without certain typical draconic features such as wings or fiery breath. It may be found in mountain caves and corries and has a poisonous sting.

Boobrie

Location – Lochs of the west coast in Scotland

It usually takes the form of a massive water bird, such as a cormorant or a great northern diver. But it may also take the form of other mythical animals like a water bull.

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Scottish Mythology – Cirein-cròin

Location – Waters in and around Scotland

Firstly Cirein-crin is a marine monster of great size. It ate seven whales because it was so big. When fishermen come into contact with this massive monster, it can transform into a tiny fish.

Fachan

Location – West Highlands of Scotland

Firstly Fachan is a monster or giant with a single eye in the centre of its face. Furthermore it has one hand extending from its chest instead of arms. As well as only one leg jutting from its central axis.

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Ghillie Dhu

Location – Gairloch and Loch a Druing area

The Ghillie Dhy has black hair and is covered with moss and leaves.

Scottish Mythology – Nuckelavee

Location – Northern Isles of Scotland

Nuckelavee is an Orcadian mythological horse-like monster with equine and human characteristics. It can’t stand fresh water, so those it’s after simply have to cross a river or stream to get away from it.

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Pech

Location – Scotland

Firstly the pech were gnomish-looking animals. Furthermore they were small in stature yet incredibly powerful. They fought the Scots while brewing heather ale.

Scottish Mythology – Sea Mither

Location – Seas of Scotland

Firstly the Sea Mither is a serene being who regulates and soothes the sea. She is invisible to the naked eye and has never exhibited a form to humans, thus there is no record of her appearance.

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Sluagh

Location – Western Isles of Scotland

Firstly the ghost of the disturbed dead, the Sluagh, is a restless spirit. Furthermore these spirits are destructive and may wreak havoc for anyone who can sense them.

Scottish Mythology – The Green Lady

Location – Crathes Castle

Firstly the Green Lady usually appears in the same room. She is pacing back and forth in front of the fireplace and occasionally holding a child in her arms. Furthermore she has black hair and typically wears a green outfit.

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Bluidy Mackenzie

Location – Dundee

Firstly Sir George Mackenzie was such a terrible guy. He was so terrible that his legacy is supposed to live on in Scotland’s most infamous poltergeist.

The Headless Drummer Boy

Location – Edinburgh Castle

Firstly according to legend, anytime the drummer boy’s spirit is seen, the castle is going to be attacked. Furthermore it’s possible that he’s warning those in control.

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Scottish Mythology – Mythical Places of Scotland

Fingal’s Cave

Location – Island of Staffa

After the eponymous hero of an epic poem by 18th century poet-historian James Macpherson, it was dubbed Fingal’s Cave. Furthermore it was part of his Ossian cycle of poetry, which he claimed was inspired by old Scottish Gaelic poems. In Irish mythology, the hero Fingal is known as Fionn mac Cumhaill. And it is thought that Macpherson mistook the name. Which in ancient Gaelic would seem as Finn, for Fingal (which means “white foreigner”). Fionn or Finn is said to have built the Giant’s Causeway between Ireland and Scotland.

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Corryvreckan Whirlpool

Location – Port of Ardfern on loch Craignish

Firstly it’s one of the world’s largest permanent whirlpools. As well as one of the most hazardous waterways. The noise is believed to be so powerful that it can be heard ten miles distant at times. Furthermore the currents may reach speeds of over 10 knots. The can also generate waves that are over 9 meters high when they are at their peak.

Fairy Glen

Location – Isle of Skye

Firstly, the Fairy Glen has no known fairy folklore or stories. Because of its unique position, Fairy Glen has been given this name. Furthermore, one of the hills still has its basalt top intact, giving it the appearance of a ruin and is named Castle Ewan.

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The legend of the water under the Sligachan Bridge

Location – Isle of Skye

Put your head and face in the water under the Old Sligachan Bridge for 7 seconds and let it dry naturally. This way it is said that you will be awarded perpetual beauty.

Fairy Pools

Location – Isle of Skye

According to tradition, a local Clan MacLeod chief married a fairy princess in the past. Furthermore after they married they gave birth to several fairy place names on Skye.

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Tours of mythological locations in Scotland

For your very own chauffeur driven tour of the sites and places mentioned above, then please click the button below to contact us.

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