Scottish Folklore

Folklore is the concept of tales, legends or superstitions current among a particular population. Folklore is a part of the oral history of a particular culture. Scotland's folklore is very diverse and can be a little complicated to understand at times.

There are a few popular folklore creatures in Scotland, such as: the Banshee; the Brownie; the Kelpie; the Selkie; and the Trowes.

The Banshee
The Banshees are little fairies who are usually dressed in white and often have long fair hair, which they brush with a silver comb. It is said that if you hear a banshee someone in the family will die, and if you see one in person you will die. The tale started many years ago, when a citizen died, a woman would sing a traditional lament or modern Irish caoinadh at his or her funeral.

The Brownie
A Brownie is a legendary elf popular in folklore around Scotland. The Brownies are said to inhabit houses and aid in tasks around the house. They do not like being seen and mostly come out at night and in exchange they get small gifts or a little food.

The Kelpie
The Kelpie is a known to be a shape-shifting water horse that is believed to huant the rivers and lochs of Scotland. He sometimes appears as a hairy man who would freighten travelers, but mostly he appears as an beautiful tame horse standing by a river or stream. The Kelpie is said to warn of forthcoming storms by wailing and howling.

The Selkies
Selkies are known to be creatures in the Irish and Scottish mythology that can transform themselves from seals to humans. The stories involving selkies are usually tragic romantic ones, where the selkie falls in love with a human, but after a while the selkie becomes restless and returns to sea. Sometimes the humans will not know that their lovers are selkies and they will just wake-up one morning to find them lost forever.

The Trowes
A trowe is a myth of the Orkney Islands, which is based on the Scandinavian troll. Trowe is Scots for troll. They are said to be naughty and small creatures who live in corners and mounds. Sea trowes live under water and are very lazy, they are nocturnal and even when they come out at night, they are invisible to many.


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