OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Samhain, Ghosts and Weird Things in Scotland
Here we are with Halloween creeping up on us again, and so this month we are going to talk about scary spooky Scotland (at least in part). Halloween goes back to an old pagan holiday known as Samhain, which the church (according to some) tried rather unsuccessfully to obliterate by making it a holiday called All Saint’s Eve
Scotland, along with the Celtic World in general has a reputation for supernatural connections whether it involves second sight, siths, ceasg (a kind of mermaid) and many others. So we should not be surprised to find a number of books on Scottish ghosts and other supernaturals. (see below).
The Baobhan Sith vampire is thought to be a female version of a Celtic vampire that inhabits the Scottish Highlands.
There are some places in Scotland that are seen as sort of “weird” – some of which we have discussed before. One of them, for example, is the Clootie Well, in Inverness – a strange area usually near a well or spring where people hang cloths on trees as part of a healing ritual.
More common though are castles and areas that have “ghostly” associations. These are often places associated with battles and grisly murders. Castles like Cawdor, Stirling and Fyvie all have ghostly associations and some chapels like Roslyn are also so “endowed”. Places like Culloden Moor are also claimed to have supernatural occurrences. Some say that the most haunted street in Scotland is Mary King’s Close in Edinburgh. Right nearby are the places where several of the “ghost tours” start out.
These tours are one of the fun things to do in Scotland. Several can be found in Edinburgh along the Royal Mile that are well known Some of them go into the underground vaults that lie under the streets of the city. You can find some that you walk through the areas and some that you can ride to by bus. All in all, it is a nice way to celebrate Halloween pretty much year ‘round.
SOME BOOKS ABOUT SCOTTISH GHOSTS AND HAUNTINGS
Scottish Ghosts by Dane Love
Scottish Ghost Stories by Elliott O'Donnell (Author), Henry James (Editor)
Scottish Ghosts and Witches: Real Ghost Stories and Legends (The Haunted Explorer Series) Kindle Edition by G Stewart (Author, Photographer)
Scottish Ghosts by Lily Seafield
The Deadliest Scottish Tales of Terror by Bertolaccini,V
Scottish Ghost Stories by James Robertson
The Ghost Stories of Muriel Spark by Muriel Spark
BANSHEE'S CRY: A Highlands Ghost Story by Mark Parker
Scottish Tales of Terror by Angus Campbell