Whether you are passing through, paying respect to your ancestors or booked for a vacation, be sure to chat up the locals. Listen to the words of the folksingers, search maps for fairy hills and knolls, visit the regions kirks, old gravestones and castle. The following will give you a flavour of the stories that are still told around here but with so many tales to tell, I would rather pass them on in person.
Aberfeldy means 'the Confluence of Palladius'. Palladious was either a fifth century saint, may have lived here (but probably never left Ireland) or Peallaidh (the Shaggy One), the king of all the Urisks, a large, hairy, supernatural creature with a blue bonnet, flowing yellow hair and a long walking staff. Every manor house was said to have an urisk and a seat was left for him by the fire in the kitchen. Peallaidh an Spuit - Peallaidh of the Spout - lived around the Upper Fall of Moness (NN852473) and his mate Brunaidh an Easain lived by the Lower Fall. They haunted lonely places, but also liked to disturb households. Some could be seen by people with second sight. Although usually solitary, at harvest time they lurked around the farm buildings. If offered milk they might perform heavy tasks around the farm. To prevent cats and dogs from stealing the milk people would chalk 'a ring of weird design' around the bowl.
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Here is another Aberfeldy Mysteries from my recent research.
There is an old chapel and burial ground on the knoll just above the Victorian mansion house of Killiechassie (OS NN865504). One day a funeral party bringing a coffin by boat across the river Tay, were stopped by men of the north bank, who claimed the deceased had no right of burial there. In the ensuing fight the boat capsized and everyone was drowned. This incident is said to be why the chapel and graveyard were abandoned. Some time later a Strathtay man was walking through the eerie 'Beulaidh an Tuim' entering by the Killiechassie side. First a black retriever dog crossed and recrossed the path in front of him, then a calf did likewise, then an ass. Finally there was a figure dressed in a black mantle. The Strathtay man called upon divine intervention and the thing disappeared. Does anyone know the where abouts of 'Beulaidh an Tuim'? I assume this was the church and burial ground previously mentioned, but it might be referring to some other place. Alasdair Alpin MacGregor writing in his 'Strange Tales of the Highlands and Islands' wrote that 'Up till the time of the '45' it is said, every clachan and farm in the Highlands of Perthshire had its own Brownie'. The 'Little Old Man of the Barn' threshed the corn at night and did other hard work before humans awoke. For centuries one of the big houses on the banks of the Tay had a room called Seomair Bhrunaidh, the Brownie's Room. It would be so fitting if the house referred to was Killiechassie, the home of J.K.Rowling, creator of, Dobbie the House-Elf and the Harry Potter books.
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