Six mythical creatures you should look out for next time you're in Scotland | The Sun

Six mythical creatures you should look out for next time you're in Scotland | The Sun

ST Andrew’s Day is celebrated on 30th November. The festivities for the patron saint of Scotland include eating, drinking, partying and ceilidh dancing.

Happy St Andrew’s Day!

One key part of Scottish tradition is its folklore! Scottish myths and legends are full of stories about creatures and beasts, some malevolent and some benevolent.

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Here are six entities that you might want to watch out for next time you’re in Scotland!

  • Unicorn

As Scotland’s national animal, the unicorn deserves to be mentioned first!

Celtic mythology associates the unicorn with purity, innocence, power and dominance.

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It is said to be the strongest of all the animals and can only be tamed by a virgin maiden.

Unicorns are friendly and have magical powers, including healing qualities.

  • Kelpie

The kelpie is a shape-shifting water spirit that can take many forms but often chooses a horse disguise.

It should not be confused with the helpful, gentle unicorn! A kelpie will trick weary travellers into touching or riding it, only for the travellers to become stuck.

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The kelpie will then dive into deep water, drowning the trapped rider.

  • Bean-Nighe

The Bean-Nighe’s name means “washerwoman” in Gaelic.

She’s called this because according to legend, she is an omen of death and haunts deserted streams, washing the clothes of those who are about to die.

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She can be an old hag or a beautiful woman. However, she always wears green and has webbed feet.

If you are polite to her, she will tell you the names of those about to die.

  • Selkie

Selkies are seals that come ashore, shed their skin and take beautiful human forms.

They seduce both men and women. Then, they slip their seal skins back on and return to the water.

If the human lover takes the selkie’s seal skin, they can trap the creature on land.

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Children born with webbed feet or scaly skin were considered the offspring of a human-selkie relationship.

Another theory is that selkies are the reincarnations of drowned sailors.  

  • The Wulver

The Wulver is a human-wolf hybrid that crops up in Shetland folklore.

Not to be confused with a vicious werewolf, the Wulver is a benevolent creature.

It is often seen fishing and afterwards will gift the fish to starving families.

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It will also guide lost travellers to nearby villages. The Wulver is considered to have evolved from wolves and provide an evolutionary step between man and wolf.

The Wulver is a solitary creature who lives in a cave near the water. 

  • Loch Ness Monster

No round-up of Scottish mythical creatures is complete without a shout out to the legendary Loch Ness Monster – Nessie.

There are hundreds of theories about Nessie, including that she might be a kelpie.

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The first mention of a sea monster in the loch was in the sixth century when Saint Columba was told that a water beast had dragged a local man into the water, drowning him.

Saint Columba was able to make the beast retreat by making the sign of the cross.

There are currently 1143 sightings of Nessie recorded in the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register.

Sun Bingo’s survival tip

If you’re planning on celebrating St Andrew’s Day in Scotland, Sun Bingo has some advice: stay away from water.

Lots of Scottish folklore creatures hang out by water.

If you’re not confident in telling friend from foe when it comes to mythical beasts, best to avoid any Scottish body of water.

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