Weem Mysteries - Perthshire Folklore and Legends

Thank you for visiting my Weem Mysteries page. Here are a few that have appeared in Perthshire Scottish Highlands page.

In the Weem area,  St David's Well is said to have a cave beneath it which connects with another cave at Loch Glassie, two kilometres away

At Monievaird Castle just west of Crieff in Strathearn a secret tunnel is said to run from the castle to the Turret burn.

Loch Glassie, Weem, Perthshire

OS Grid Reference – NN 850528

Here is another case of a loch in Scotland that was said by local people to be inhabited by a legendary monster, a water horse. In the tale which follows may simply have been a case of a very bad accident that was, in more superstious times, bestowed upon this legendary animal. We may never know. James Kennedy (1928) told the story:

“It was inhabited, like Loch Derculich, by the ‘Each Uisge‘ of Icelandic origin. On summer evenings it could be seen roaming at large on a green meadow adjacent to the tarn, and to all appearance a canny enough creature. One summer Sunday afternoon, six Strathtay girls and a boy set out from their homes to inspect the ‘Each Uisge.’ They found him, patted him on the head and neck, and this kindness is apparently relished, for it lay on the sward and allowed them to sit on its back. The boy, who had a semi-bald scabbed head, stood at a distance and watched developments. He concluded that this animal was not the genuine horse it seemed to be, and thought that it grew considerably larger than it was at first. When the Each has the six girls comfortably seated on its back, it suddenly rose, plunged into the loch, and drowned the lot. The boy immediately took to his heels and the Each after him, but fear enabled the boy to outstrip the horse, who would stop now and again in the pursuit and cry, “Fuirich mo ghille maol carrach! Fuirich mo ghille maol carrach!” — Stop, you bald scabbed-headed boy. Ultimately the Each gave up the chase, and the boy, much frightened, got safely home and related all that happened on that eventful Sunday evening. The parents of the girls found parts of their bodies floating on the waters of the loch, and the name Loch Lassie was given to it, which it retains to this day.”

References: Kennedy, James, Folklore and Reminiscences of Strathtay and Grandtully, Munro Press: Perth 1928.

This was certainly a mystery which is difficult to come to terms with in the 21st century. I have found another folklore legend which may due to its association with the facts and have some substance. Does this fit the description of a Kelpie? What do you think?

Loch Derculich, Dull, Perthshire

OS Grid Reference – NN 864 549

Although this upland loch is today renowned as a decent fishing spot (as it would have been in earlier centuries), the waters here were long known to be haunted and were the abode of a legendary water spirit. Said to be named after “an ancient Chief of Pictish origin” — whose burial mound is nearby — in James Kennedy’s (1928) fascinating folklore work he also told that, “Loch Dereculich was the habitation of a ‘Tarbh Uisge’ (water bull), the dangerous water demon… This dreaded monster, as the Norwegian peasant will gravely assure a traveller, demands every year a human victim, and carries off children who stray too near its abode… Less than one hundred and twenty years ago, the Loch Derculich Water Bull was seen sauntering along its shores. At peat-making times it was observed very frequently.”

References: Kennedy, James, Folklore and Reminiscences of Strathtay and Grandtully, Munro Press: Perth 1928.

Do you think there is a tie up here with these two events? Was the legendary creature the same in both cases!

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I look forward to reading your story.

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