Somehow, Kingairloch has frequently been involved in otherworldly and supernatural phenomena over the years. Most of them feature a cry, a boat or a ship. Sometimes, not always, the cry had deadly consequences. Here’s more.
The area around Kingairloch was once hauntend by a glaistig.
„The glaistig was a tutelary being in the shape of a little women who was thin and grey (tana glas) with long yellow hair reaching to her heels, dressed in green, haunting certain sites of farms, and watching in some cases over the house, in others over the cattle. (…) She is said to have been at first a woman on honourable position, a former mistress of the house, who had been put under enchantment and now had a Fairy nature given her. (…) Her strength was very great, much greater than that of any Fairy, and one yell of hers was sufficient to waken the echoes of distant hills. “John Gregorson Campbell: The Gaelic Otherworld – Superstitions Of the Highlands and Island. (1900) Edinburgh, Birlinn, 2008
Row harder, Dougall!
One glaistig in Kingairloch herded sheep and cattle during the day and slept in a yew tree at night. Not far from her arborial abode lived a man called Dougall, who had settled in a cave together with his wife. He occasionally stole sheep from his neighbours.
One day, Dougall decided to row his coracle to the island of Lismore when a small, frail woman came by and asked for passage. Once on board, she started a shouting match, making the huge Highlander row harder and harder. She herself was also taking part in the rowing and put shame on Dougall for he could hardly keep up with her. Once he arrived on the shore, the loud and strong woman was gone but he could still hear it sounding in his ears: Hùg oirre, Dh`ghaill! Row harder, Dougall!
In this case, the glaistig’s cries were harmless if exhausting. But in another case, they were deadly.
a cry coming from the graves
On a mellow summer’s night in Kingairloch, horrible screams and shouting could be heard across Loch a’ Choire. The voice sounded human but it could have been a sheep or a goat being butchered.
The cries came from the old burial ground Dail na Cille. In the Loch a ship lay at anchor. It was 8 o’clock.
Next night, the skipper of the ship drowned under mysterious circumstances. The sea had been calm, none of the ship’s crew noticed anything unusual. All they could remember was the cry the night before and the clanking of the ship’s chain in the night of the skipper’s death. As if something or someone had pulled it from the bottom of the sea…
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The stories of this book have been discovered and gathered for my blog, Graveyards of Scotland, over many years. Find treasure all over Scotland with my latest book. I am Nellie Merthe Erkenbach, journalist and author.The fairy hill in Inverness, a nitrate murder on Shetland, a family of left-handers, wolves, Robert the Bruce and William Wallace shown in a new light, the secret bay of the writer Gavin Maxwell, a murdering poet and so many things you didn’t know about Scotland, its clans and its history.
My main sources were historical travel guides from the 18th and 19th centuries, where the finds were scary, beautiful, funny, and sometimes, cruel.
This unusual approach to a country’s history has produced amazing results. You don’t have to share my passion for cemeteries to enjoy this book; only a small number of the stories in this collection take place in graveyards, though they do all end in them, so perhaps it helps.
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