International Urban Legends: Scotland

Today we sail across the Irish Sea to make landfall in Scotland. Yes, there’s plenty of Scottish legends for us to discover here. But there’s only one granddaddy – or grandlady – of all urban legends and that’s Nessie.

Loch Ness Monster

Loch Ness Monster calls Scotland home.

The original photo that brought monster hunters to Scotland.

Nessie is, hands down, the best known urban legend on the globe. And she has certainly caught our imagination. Was the infamous grainy black and white photo a hoax? An actual sighting? Is there a dinosaur still swimming what is the largest freshwater body in the entire United Kingdom? Or is there a new species swimming those dark depths. Or is it all make believe?

Sightings continue to this day. Some can be explained, others not so much. Photos and videos pop up regularly on the ‘Net. But in this day and age of Photoshop some fakes are so good they really do look real. And monster hunters continue to flock to Scotland to see if they can find Nessie.

But if Nessie is a dinosaur, a large fish or a large fish story, this is one urban legend we can really enjoy and a mystery that may never be solved. And that just makes it all that much better.

Gorbals Vampire

Back in the 1950s children of Glasgow went on a vampire hunt. Seems like a vampire with iron teeth was blamed for the death of two of their contemporaries. The monster was believed to be hiding in a necropolis in the Gorbals neighborhood of the city.

Like any good vampire slayer, they carried sharp wooden sticks and went to battle. They searched the graveyard for hours without success. Fortunately, no one was mistaken for a vampire either.

In case you think this was a case of mass hysteria, legends in the area tell of “Jenny wi’ the Iron Teeth”. She was said to be a murderous ghost that haunted the area.

Abandoned Annie

Travel to Edinburgh and see if you can find the passage that leads to an underground street below the Royal Mile, if you dare.

Abandoned Annie haunts underground Edinburgh, Scotland

Abandoned Annie has plenty of toys to play with now.

About thirty years ago a psychic made her way down to Mary King’s Close, the name of the mysterious street, and claimed she had felt a small hand touch hers. No one else was around at the time.

The psychic claimed it was the spirit of Annie, who had died of the plague and was searching for her lost doll.

So the psychic went back above ground and purchased a doll, which she then brought back to the room where the spirit had touched her and left it there. Ever since the story went public wisitors have brought dolls, toys and other gifts for Annie.

 

 

About the author

Richard Paolinelli


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