where the devil lost a soul

This is a story of the devil hunting a soul and losing it to the sacred ground of Birnie Kirkyard. This is an ancient place, the church itself is one of the oldest in Scotland. Christians have worshipped here since the 12th century and the Celts centuries earlier. Birnie was the cathedral to the Bishop... Continue Reading →

one holy and two frightened men

The year 566 is long, long gone. So long, one can no longer imagine what people's lives were like back then. But every now and then, often in very surprising places, Scotland gives us a little look back in time, such as in Mortlach (Dufftown). A small, inconspicuous place in the middle of never ending... Continue Reading →

the failed resurrection of Mother Buchan

Fordyce is beautiful. If you had to paint an idyllic Scottish village, it would look exactly like that: stone houses, winding streets and well-kept gardens. There is nothing here that disturbs the idyll, not even a pub. There used to be a boisterous annual market, but not anymore. A small castle on the corner of... Continue Reading →

death and healing waters

Penpont takes ist name from a wooden bridge over the River Nith where a penny had to be paid for building and upkeep.  Penpont also was the seat of the Presbytery. There are no more traces left of the medieval church that once stood within the graveyard. There were headstones dating back as far as... Continue Reading →

epitaph to a witch

Here lyes with Dethe auld Grizzel Grimme Lincluden's ugly witche; O Dethe, an' what a taste hast thou Cann lye with sich a bitche! Raymond Lamont-Brown: Scottish Epitaphs. Champbers, Edinburgh, 1990  

the Burns connection

The Church of Crosbie has a very special connection with the poet Robert Burns. Its roof collapsed on the stormy January night of 1759, in which the poet was born. Crosbie is just under 40 miles away from Alloway. The ruin was never rebuilt and has now been made inaccessible. Unfortunately, the entire cemetery is... Continue Reading →

shoon and sheets – the Sutor of Selkirk

A cobbler's profession is generally not a particularly exciting or scary one. A shoemaker in the early 19th century had an upscale clientel and was a respected citizen. The cobbler of Selkirk (Sutor of Selkirk) brought it to a certain fame but not because of his shoes but his greed and his nosiness. He was... Continue Reading →

graveyard excorcism

Two ghosts are said to haunt the ruined Sanquhar Castle. A third one appeared in Sanquhar graveyard on the other side of town. He seems to have been the creepiest of them all. His name was Abraham Crichton. Crichton was a wealthy gentleman, a laird with extensive lands in the area. Nevertheless, he went bankrupt... Continue Reading →

the ghosts of Sanquhar Castle

Scotland is full of stories, epic and terrible, funny and weird and very often not out of this world. The belief in supernatural powers is widespread still among the Scots today. It can be a scary country!   In centers like Edinburgh, ghost stories are marketed as tours and are very much en vogue. A... Continue Reading →

ghost of a spinster

Lady Louisa of Traquair was the 15th and last of the Lairds of Traquair. She had remained unmarried for all her long life and when she died at the age of 99 the estate went to the female line of the family, the Maxwell Stuarts. Her predecessor, the 14th Laird of Traquair had no head... Continue Reading →

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