Scottish Lore, Gods, Demigods, Heroes, Symbols, and Other Famous Mythological Characters

A Cholla mo Rùn

A musical legend that credits the Scottish bagpipes with the power of speech. Also commonly identified as A Cholla mo Rùn.


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Auld Hornie

The Scots version of Old Hornie, the Devil. Sometimes identified as Auld Hornie.


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A Pict. Son of Cruithne. When Cruithne divided the kingdom between his seven children, Ce was given Marn and Buchan. Sometimes known as Ce.


A Pict. Son of Cruithne. When his father divided the kingdom between his seven children, Cirech was given Angus and Mearns. In some references, referred to as Cirech.


In Scottish lore, fairy cows. These animals are said to yield three times as much milk as normal cows. Sometimes identified as Crodhmara.

Cu Sith

In Scottish lore, a fairy dog. This animal was said to be green and as big as an ox, but was rarely seen. In some lore, occasionally identified as Cu Sith.


A hero. He killed a prince who was threatening King Asland and won the king's daughter for his wife. Also referred to as Estmere.


The Scottish name for Finn mac Cool. On occassion, referred to as Fingal.


A Pict. One of the 7 children of Cruithne. When Cruithne divided Scotland between his seven children, Fiobh was given Fife. In some accounts, identified as Fiobh.

Fir Chlis

The Aurora Borealis which was regarded as being made up of the souls of fallen angels. Referred to as Fir Chlis, Merry Dancers, Merry Dancers, Nimble Men or Nimble Men.


Mountain giants, controllers of fate. Gods of death. In some lore, occasionally referred to as Fomhair, Famhair, Famhair, Fomhairean, Fomhairean, Irish Fomoire, Irish Fomoire or Foawr.


A Pict. One of the 7 children of Cruithne. When Cruithne divided Scotland between his seven children, Fortiu was given Strathearn. Called Fortriu.


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Frazer, James George

(1854-1941). Author of The Golden Bough, a study of magic and comparative religion. On occassion, referred to as Frazer, James George.


A malevolent spirit. These spirits were regarded as the parents of brollachans. Known as fuath.


A sorceress: a witch. In some lore, occasionally identified as Galdragon.


Wife of Assipattle. Her father gave her in marriage to Assipattle as a reward for slaying the monstrous Stoorworm. Occasionally referred to as Gemdelovely.

Gentle Annie

An ugly hag, demon of the south-west wind. On occassion, identified as Gentle Annie.


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A spirit. Also referred to as Glashan.


A monster: an ogre: a brownie: a household goddess: an Otherworld wizard. Occasionally referred to as gruacach, gruagach, gruagach, Hairy One, The, Hairy One, The, The Hairy One or The Hairy One.


Spirits that search for scraps of food such as bones. Also identified as Gunna.


A troll of the northern islands. In some references, referred to as henky.


A cannibal goblin. Occasionally referred to as hobyah, Turpy or Turpy.


A queen rescued from the underworld. By Orfeo. Also commonly called Isabel.


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An imaginary place. Also referred to as Kennaquhair.

Laidly Beast

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Land o' the Leal

The happy home of spirits: heaven. Also referred to as Land o' the Leal.

Little Gude

The devil. Also referred to as Little Gude, Satan, Satan, Lord of Fire, Lord of the Underworld, Old Bendy, Old Driver, Old Gentleman, Old Gooseberry, Old Hangie, Old Harry, Old Hornie, Old Ned, Old Nick, Old One, Old Poker, Old Scratch, Old Serpent, Prince of Darkness, Sathan, Sathanas, Nick, Sathan(as), The Adversary, Arab shaitan, Ethiopian shaytan, Scottish Auld Hornie, Clootie or Yazid.

Loch Garten Monster

A flesh-eating monster, part bull, part horse. Occasionally referred to as Loch Garten Monster.

Loch Ness Monster

A monster purported to be living in Loch Ness. Sometimes referred to as Loch Ness Monster, Nessie or Nessie.


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Macpherson, James

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A servant of Columba. He was saved from the clutches of the Laidly Beast by the timely intervention of his master. Sometimes called Mocumin.


A Pict. One of the 7 children of Cruithne. When Cruithne divided Scotland between his children, Moireabh was given Moray. In some references, called Moireabh.


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A spirit in the form of an old hag. Sometimes called Nickneven.


A musician. He travelled to the underworld to rescue the queen, Isabel. Occasionally referred to as Orfeo, English Orpheo, English Orpheo, Orpheus, Greek Orpheus, Greek Orpheus or Orpheo.


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A dwarf living underground. Sometimes known as Pict.


A malevolent castle goblin. He is said to dye his cap in human blood. Also identified as Red-cap, Red-cowl or Red-cowl.


A water sprite. At times, called riverhorse.


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Scotorum Historiae

A history, written by Boece, which includes some Arthurian lore. At times, known as Scotorum Historiae.

seelie court

Benevolent fairies. Occasionally referred to as seelie court.


One of the sea-spirits, a seal race of the Orkneys. Occasionally identified as selkie, roane, roane, sea-spirit, seal-maiden, sea-spirit, sea-spirit, sea-spirit, silkie or silkie.


A water goblin. Occasionally known as shellycoat.


A sea-god of the Hebrides. In some references, known as Shony, Shoney or Shoney.


The name for the kelpie in Shetland. In some lore, occasionally referred to as shoopiltee, Orkney tang(ie) or Orkney tang(ie).


A fairy race, souls of the dead, seen fighting in the sky. At times, called sluagh.


Divine: foretell: prophesy. Also commonly referred to as spae.


A diviner: prophet. At times, known as spaeman, spaer or spaer.


Witches: fairies: female soothsayers. Sometimes known as spaewives.


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Divination: seeking inspiration by lying on an oxhide behind a waterfall. In some references, identified as taghairm.


An apparition of the dying: secondsight. In some lore, occasionally called taish, taisch or taisch.


A hero who killed the Loch-wife. In some lore, occasionally called Tam.

Tam Lin

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A water spirit of the Orkneys in the form of a sea-horse or a man draped with seaweed. Also referred to as tangie, tang, tang, Scottish kelpie, Scottish kelpie, eac uisge, glaistyn, Shetland shoopiltee or Shetland shoopiltee.

tarb uisge

The Scottish version of the water-bull. Also identified as tarb uisge.


A dwarf goblin of the hills and sea. Occasionally identified as trow, drow, drow, Scandinavian troll or Scandinavian troll.


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unseelie court

Malevolent spirits or fairies. Sometimes identified as unseelie court.


A supernatural being: a brownie. Identified as urisk, glaistig, glaistig, glaistyn or Urisk.


A storm-demon. This being is said to throw large rocks. In some accounts, known as Wallace.


A hobgoblin. At times, known as wirricow, worricow, worricow, worrycow or worrycow.


A beast, said to live in graveyards, which eats corpses. Also known as Yirdswine.
Scottish Mythology