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Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana of the Sea

Monster Attack

Location: Fraserburgh (Aberdeenshire) - Off coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1903
Further Comments: The fishing boat Glengrant reported coming under attack by a sixty metre long beast, with a horse's head, though the teeth were long and pointed. The monster only stopped ramming the boat after being shot by a crewman.

Gallan Whale

Location: Gallan Head, Isle of Lewis (Outer Hebrides) - Off coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Circa 1690
Further Comments: Martin Martin reported that a large mystery whale terrorised the fishing boats of Gallan Head. It would deliberately sink the boats before returning to eat the crew.

Dead Sea Serpent

Location: Girvan (Ayrshire) - Off coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: August 1953
Further Comments: When fishermen discovered the rotting body of a creature just under ten metres in length, possessing a head of a camel and a neck resembling a giraffe's, the media immediately compared the creature with the Loch Ness Monster. However, natural history scientists dismissed the creature as either a decaying whale or basking shark.

The Captain

Location: Gola Roads, Inishinny (County Donegal) - Bunbeg, general area
Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation
Date / Time: Nineteenth century
Further Comments: After a particularly fierce storm, the body of a boat's captain known to the locals was discovered on the shoreline. His body was taken back to the mainland, though shortly after he briefly appeared in the hamlet, standing in the doorway of a hut.

Yellow Monster

Location: Golspie (Highland) - Sea of Dunrobin coastline
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Early 1870s
Further Comments: Several witnesses reported seeing a long necked sea monster along this coastline. It was estimated to be between twelve and fifteen metres in length, and brown and yellow in colour.

Turtle-like Monster

Location: Goodrington (Devon) - Off coast at Saltern Cove
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 27 July 2010, around 15:30h
Further Comments: This creature was described as turtle-like, having large front flippers, small back flippers and a shell, but was also said to have a small head on a thin, two foot long neck. It was around 27.5 metres off the coast, and it was said that fish beached themselves to escape the creature.

Fighting Galleons

Location: Great Yarmouth (Norfolk) - Breydon Water
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Varies: 11 July, 14 September (reoccurring)
Further Comments: The first set of ships to haunt this area is said to be a fleet of galleons heading towards Burgh Castle. The second is a battle between a pirate ship and two smaller vessels.

Monster Pursuit

Location: Herne Bay (Kent) - Coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Summer 1935
Further Comments: Crowds of holiday makers watched several boats chase a sea serpent across the bay. The creature was said to be brown and yellow in colour, and about twenty feet (six metres) long. It managed to evade and escape the pursuers.

Long Sea Monster

Location: Hilston (Yorkshire) - Off coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1945
Further Comments: Two sightseers watched a fast moving long creature in the sea here, with a small head and several humps, travelling northwards.

Scarred Airman

Location: HMS Glory (Ship) - Scrapped at Inverkeithing in 1961
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: December 1955
Further Comments: This aircraft carrier was reportedly haunted by the ghost of a pilot who had crash landed during the Korean War. The entity was spotted by a labourer working on refitting the ship. He said that the ghost was encountered in Cabin 8, galley deck. The entity wore a full flying suit, thought the witness could see blonde hair and a scarred neck under the helmet.

Soft Landing

Location: Hoy (Orkney) - Scapa Flow
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Attack in 1850s, diver sighting unknown
Further Comments: A young lad sitting on the rocks claimed he was attacked by a sea monster with a horse's mane - it tried (unsuccessfully) to clamp its teeth around his legs. Many years later, a diver reported descending to investigate a sunken German ship, only to realise he was standing on the back of a large sea monster that had made its home in the wreak.

Thick Necked Creature

Location: Hull (Yorkshire) - Off coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1927-1930s
Further Comments: While travelling along the coast in heavy fog, the crew of a steamship spotted what they first mistook for a mast jutting out of the water. The 'mast' then moved to the side of the ship, the men realising that it was the neck of a large creature. It then drew a large black body from out the water, then dived and vanished. Sightings of the creature continued for several years.

Coiled Serpent

Location: Instow (Devon) - Water between town and Bideford Bay
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1911
Further Comments: This creature was seemingly disturbed by a passing boat and swam away, revealing rows of black fins that ran down the side of its twenty to thirty metre long body.

Time Slip

Location: Iona, Mull (Argyll and Bute) - Abbey
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: 1940s?
Further Comments: A clergyman visiting the island reported seeing the abbey in its former glory - he almost drowned when approaching the building, believing that he was walking on a causeway that no longer existed. Friends managed to save him. There are also stories that say Viking longboats sometimes appear off the coast, depositing phantom raiders who go on to attack the abbey, while people still report hearing singing coming from the empty abbey.

Long Necked Creature

Location: Isle of Canna (Outer Hebrides) - Off the coast, and around surrounding islands
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: June 1808
Further Comments: This creature, mistaken for a rock when first observed, was seen at various times by up to thirteen fishing boat crews. It was described as between 70 and 80 foot in length (21 - 24 metres) and possessing a long neck which it kept underwater whilst swimming.

Bumpy Beast

Location: Isle of Lewis (Outer Hebrides) - Sea off the north of the island
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: May 1882
Further Comments: A German ship 15 kilometres off the coast reported a sea serpent around 40 metres in length, several bumps protruding from the water, along the creatures back. Sea serpents have also been reported at the southern side of the island.

Heavy Breather

Location: Isle of Soay, Skye (Highland) - Sea around the island
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 13 September 1959
Further Comments: While fishing off the coast of the island, two fishermen reported coming across a large reptilian creature, the size of a cow, though it appeared much larger beneath the water level. The witnesses were so close they could quite clearly hear the creature breathing.

Long Beast

Location: Kessingland (Suffolk) - Off coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: July 1912, and 1978
Further Comments: A sea monster, sixty foot in length with thirty 'blobs' running along its back, has been seen off the coast three times over the past century, most recently in 1978.


Location: Kilconly Point (County Kerry) - Sea
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1960-1962
Further Comments: A mermaid which was spotted several times in this area was described as a 'normal' woman, leading one to conclude that maybe she was..?

Beast with Horse's Head

Location: Kilkee (County Clare) - Off coast and near location known as Diamond Rocks
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1850 and September 1871
Further Comments: A sea monster spotted several times during the nineteenth century was reported to have a head like a horse, a mane of seaweed, and a large body which was hidden under the water.

Long Necked Creature

Location: Kyle of Lochalsh (Highland) - Water separating Skye to mainland
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Circa 1893
Further Comments: A married couple in their yacht encountered a serpent with a neck as tall as their boat's mast. It moved towards them, but slowly sunk beneath the water before it came too close.


Location: Lahinch (County Clare) - Sea
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Little is known about the legend of the eel depicted in Kilmacreehy Church, other than it feasted on corpses.


Location: Lahinch (County Clare) - Sea west of town
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: Prior to disaster (reoccurring)
Further Comments: The town of Kilstiveen was submerged by a giant tidal wave, its inhabitants washed away to drown. The ghost town occasionally is glimpsed by fishermen.


Location: Land's End (Cornwall) - Off Coast
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This mythical land was once said to connect Cornwall to the Scilly Isles - as recently as the early twentieth century, people claimed to be able to see flooded woodland between the two land masses. Some legends say that Merlin sank Lyonesse as Mordred's men tried to escape across it.

Thick Monster

Location: Land's End (Cornwall) - Off Coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1906
Further Comments: The crew of an American ship reported seeing a long snakelike creature with a thick body and fierce looking teeth in the water off the coast.

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