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Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

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Argyll and Bute Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Secret Cave

Location: Loch Awe - Rocky outcrop
Type: Other
Date / Time: Pre twentieth century
Further Comments: A shepherd spotted a cave that he did not recognise and poked his head in to take a better look. Weapons and large chests filled the cave. The shepherd was momentarily distracted by his sheep and briefly looked away. When he turned back, the cave entrance had gone.


An old postcard showing Loch Awe.

Huge Monster

Location: Loch Awe - Waters of the Loch
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Sixteenth century onwards
Further Comments: The loch is another large body of water in Scotland that is said to contain a large beastie, this time reputed to resemble a twelve legged eel. The creature is said to come ashore during winter. Another version of the story says the creature resembles a large bull.

Hooded Woman

Location: Loch Craignish - Area near Barbreck (or Barbeck) House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Thought to be a member of the Clan Campbell, whose family graveyard is nearby, this pale young woman sits on a rock overlooking the Loch. She vanishes if approached.

Blue Boy

Location: Loch Eck - Coylet Inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2018?
Further Comments: This young lad froze to death outside of the inn, and now leaves wet footprints on the floor as he walks through the building. The story was reported in the press in January 2018 when a hen party photograph was published which (debatably) showed the face of a young boy peeping from behind a small pile of wood.

Strangler

Location: Loch Etive - Highland Hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1950s
Further Comments: Two women sharing a room reported an entity that appeared and tried to strangle them.

Ancient Galley

Location: Loch Fyne - Waters near Inveraray
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Appears to mark the death of a senior Campbell clan member, last seen 1913
Further Comments: This large phantom ship appears in the Loch, though its route takes the vessel over land. Three crewmen are visible on the deck.

Tall Serpent

Location: Loch Fyne - Waters of the loch
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: July 1570
Further Comments: This creature was reported to be the size of a ship's mast when it surfaced from the water. At a much later date, a carcass of an unidentified creature was found on the banks of the loch.

Angus

Location: Loch Lomond - Drovers Inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Angus is the name of the phantom cattle drover who is said to occasionally unnerve people by screaming here. Another phantom is named as Anabel, a young girl who drowned in the loch.


A photograph of Loch Lomond, circa 1960.

Hipotam

Location: Loch Lomond - Waters of the loch, especially where it is joined with the River Enrick
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1653 onwards
Further Comments: An early description of the loch stated it had 'waves without wind, fish without fins and a floating island' - this is thought to be a reference to the water horses, or hipotam, that swam in the waters, although crannogs, small artificial islands, would be constructed in lochs by wealthy families. A Mr and Mrs Haggerty spotted a humped back crossing the loch on 22 September 1964, while in 1980 another couple watched a head and neck emerge from the water before submerging thirty seconds later.

Cursed Stairwell

Location: Loch Nell - Loch Nell Castle
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Still present?
Further Comments: The staircase was made from a tree considered holy, and a series of disasters befell all those who were involved in cutting it down and moving to the building. The castle is also home to phantom music.

Frost

Location: Loch Sloy - Glen located south of the loch
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Pre twentieth century
Further Comments: A traveller passing through the area heard two Urisk calling out to each other, one shouting 'Frost', the other responding 'Kick frost'.

Dog Killer

Location: Loch Tuath - Area between Loch Tuath and Loch Cuan
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A misty female form once seen here had long blonde hair. The entity picked up the witness's dog and ran off with it behind a nearby rock formation; the owner gave chase and, turning the rocky corner, found the dog with its windpipe crushed and large pieces of fur torn away. The strange woman had vanished. Another version of the tale says the witness heard strange music and lost sight of his dog; the witness ran home, and his dog later returned stripped of its hair, dying after laying by its master's feet.

Headless Horseman

Location: Lochbuie - Lochbuie House
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Prior to tragedy in the Ewen family
Further Comments: This decapitated ghostly figure was once Ewen of the Little Head. Ewen was killed in battle with a rogue laird and now appears in the area around the house to warn the Ewen family of impending doom. Another animal, a large black dog, is reported to patrol the grounds.

Night Strangler

Location: Lochgilphead - Unknown council house
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1990
Further Comments: A house was blessed by the local priest after a woman living in the building woke and found herself being choked by an invisible entity.


A photograph of Loch Goil, circa 1960.

Brooding Presence

Location: Lochgoilhead - Private house close to the loch
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: November and December, 1989
Further Comments: A couple who moved into this house left after a couple of months having endured a 'brooding presence' which they felt to be a bad tempered Edwardian woman who did not want them there. On the night they moved out, one observed a crooked turret which was not visible during the day, while the other occupant was pushed out the door which was slammed behind them. Talking to people who had visited them in the house later, almost all felt something 'wasn't right' with the house.

Carmichael

Location: Lorne - House (no longer standing) by Loch Feochan
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A former mistress of the house, the ghost by the name of Carmichael took up residence in a nearby ravine. She could be heard wailing prior to a family misfortune and cried for weeks when it was decided to demolish her old home. She left the area when a new house was built.

Black Cat

Location: Mull - Area around Loch na Keal
Type: ABC
Date / Time: 1978 and continuing for rest of twentieth century
Further Comments: The first alien big cat was reported close to Loch na Keal, where it would remain (fleetingly spotted) over the next twenty years.


A witch summoning a storm, from The Devil in Britain and America, 1896.

Doideag

Location: Mull - Exact location not known
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Circa 1588
Further Comments: Doideag, witch of Mull, is said to have summoned the storms which destroyed the Spanish Armada.

Terror of Mull

Location: Mull - General area
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A fearsome dragon terrorised the island until a hero appeared and killed the beast with the inventive use of barrels with big spikes attached to them. This story and the dragon tale told of Mull are strikingly similar.

Glaistig

Location: Mull - Ross of Mull
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Pre twentieth century
Further Comments: The Glaistig that haunted this area became quite active. The entity would hound a fisherman by asking for spare fish, taunt a farmer by claiming a cow had escaped, and take the form of a white horse to cause other mischief.

No Ordinary Deer

Location: Mull - Scalasdal (possibly Scarisdale?)
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A deer that was killed here later transformed into a woman.


An old woodcut of a tall sea monster.

Snakelike Beast

Location: Mull - Sea east of the island, and other nearby areas
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Circa 1808, and 1873
Further Comments: This creature, when first observed, possessed no fins, and was estimated to be twenty five metres in length. When seen again almost sixty years later, its speed was estimated to be around 15 kph, and was seen by several independent parties.

Lady

Location: Newton - Unnamed cottage on the shores of Loch Fyne
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1940s
Further Comments: This phantom woman is reported to stand at the back door of the cottage, watching the road. Walkers briefly see her before she vanishes.

Road Crossing Serpent

Location: Oban - A85 between Oban and Perth
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 30 September 1965
Further Comments: Two independent motorists reported a six metre long legless creature alongside the road, grey in colour. One witness said it propelled itself along like a giant caterpillar.


Old postcard of Dunollie Castle, also known as Dunolly Castle.

Piper

Location: Oban - Dunollie Castle, aka Dunolly Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1971
Further Comments: This ghostly, semi-transparent piper appeared before half a dozen witnesses visiting the castle grounds. Folklore says another entity, a Glaistig, also haunted the site. She would be seen moving towards the castle in the evening and would sweep the floors at night.

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