Perthshire Mysteries
Folklore and Legends

Welcome to my Perthshire Mysteries, Folklore and Legends page.

What follows will give you a flavour of the stories that are still told around here but with so many tales to tell, I would rather tell them on in person. Whether you are passing through, paying respect to your ancestors or booked for a holiday, be sure to chat up the locals in the hostelries. Listen to the words of the folksingers, search maps for fairy hills and knolls, visit the regions kirks, old gravestones and castles.

There are a few popular folklore creatures in Perthshire Scottish Highlands. Here are a few Perthshire Mysteries to get your attention.

To view more of the subjects below, select it to open.

Banshee Brownie Kelpie Selkies Trowes Fairies

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.

Here are some Brownie links;

The Kelpie
The Kelpie is a known to be a shape-shifting water horse that is believed to haunt the rivers and lochs of Scotland. He sometimes appears as a hairy man who would frighten 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.

Fairies
Placenames featuring the Gaelic word 'sith' (pronounced 'shee', hence Glenshee) are generally taken to mark an association with the fairies. 'Sithearn' and 'Sidhearn' ('shee-an') usually indicate fairy knolls or hills but this is not absolute. Some sithearns were burial grounds for unbaptised infants. The solitary fairy usually avoid large gathering. There are many types of solitary fairy, such as banshee, leprechaun, cluricaune, brownie, pooka, etc. Generally, they can be recognised by the type of jackets they wore. The social fairies wore green jackets, while the solitary fairies wore red ones, but sometimes their jackets are brown or grey.

The origins of this fairy belief system is not known for a number of reasons, not least of which is that it was usually oral in nature. Oral beliefs change greatly over time as they pass from storyteller to storyteller. Oral traditions also change to answer the current needs and trends of the population they serve, so the fairy stories of the 1700's would show a vast difference in emphasis and tone than the stories of the 6th Century.

Do you want to know about any specific Perthshire Mysteries in a particular town or location. Select the following towns or village link. The Information page for that town is displayed. Scroll down to find a link to the Perthshire Mysteries.

Return to towns in Perthshire

Return to the Perthshire home page