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 Mysterious Angus.

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Urisk

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PostSubject: Mysterious Angus.   Wed 10 Oct 2007, 2:47 am

Hi, I just esnt an email over to Danny regarding some local folklore here, and thought I might just throw it in here too. Let me know what you guys think? Aside from Angus being one of the true ABC hotspots, there are a few oddities too.

Anyhoo, it went something like this:





Hi Danny,

You said you were interested in hearing about some information on Angus for the site? I've raked through my notes and books and come up with some interesting things.


Dunnichen Hill- between Letham and Forfar. Site of the famous Nechtansmere battle in 685. Supposedly a ghostly Pictish army seen towards Letham.

Meigle- Guenevere's burial mound. Also sometimes acredited to Vanora?? Also Arthur's Seat. Also "Boat Hole"; a part ofthe river Isla with natural weird currents and mini whirlpools, said to be the lair of a Kelpie that lived in the Isla (also linked to the Dean, see below).

Reekie Linn- A waterfall with a cave called "Blackdub" (?). Black dog sighting.

Kinpurney Hill (Meigle area)- said to be a Faery Knowe or Hollow Hill. Also Dunoon Law just oustide Glamis.


Ferne Den- A brownie.

St Vigean's Kirk, Arbroath- Said to be built in the 11th C, constructed upon a base of iron bars ferried by Kelpies, and that there is an underground lake/loch. There was a prophecy regarding the kirk- the first one being that a minister would commit suicide. As a result, no communion was held from 1699-1736. After this a communion was held albeit with witheld breath, but the kirk did not fulfill the second part of hte prophecy- that it would sink into the ground. It did not.

Strathmartin, beside Dundee- The Pittempton Dragon. Kidnapped 9 daughters (9 maidens!!) and in one story ate them, in a more popular story kept them in a "Silver Cage" to be eaten. Martin (betrothed to the eldest daughter) chased the dragon down the Dighty Burn, way past the burn, and eventually killed it. Martin's stone was placed where the dragon was killed, and the area became known as Strathmartin, possibly coming from the cries of his fellow hunters: "Strike, Martin!". A statue of a dragon sits in Dundee town centre.

Kirreimuir- Spunkies (will o' the wisps) at Kirrie Den.

Hill of Morphie, not far from St. Cyrus, N of Montrose- an Urisk said to reside in this area.

Forfar Loch- The Dean Water, the river that runs off the loch to the Isla, said to be frequented by the Isla Kelpie. Indeed the water sometimes flows backwards, back into the loch. This is probably due to quick snow thaws in winter, or flash-floods, but traditionally attributed to the Kelpie. Ghosts of assassins sent to kill Malcolm II in 1034. got lost on the winter night and tried to make their way across the forzen loch. Nearly made it, getting to St Margaret's Inch before the ice gave way. They froze/drowned, and the ghosts can be seen supposedly fro mthe waist up with the loch is frozen over. Black Cat sightings. Inc;uding possibly myself (worked here all summer, and oddly enough it was on a day off, walking a mate's dog!).

Forfar town- Helen Guthrie, one of hte last witches to be tried of witchcraft in 1663. Rose to infamy as a supergrass, leading to the conviction of 9 women in the same year (probably her own coven!). Then confessed to being a murderer and witch. Killed her own half-sister as a child. Execution the traditional Strangulation and immolation in a burning barrel of tar. Had a daughter, Janet, who was imprisoned as a witch, last record being in 1666 still interred in the Tollbooth. No one knows her fate. Ghost of a woman buried alive, in surrounding area (sorry, no more info on this).

Glamis Castle- ghosts and secret room are already very famous and well-documented. However, site of a 9 Maidens well.

Glen Esk- Phantom Piper. Supposedly stolen away by the faeries. His music never ceased though...

Claypots Castle, Dundee- another brownie, who got upset at the rest of the staff and left. COuldn't handle their lower standards.

Memus- kelpie stone.

Cortachy- 9 Maidens well.

Finavon- 9 Maidens dedication, and also a place called Deil's Hole.




Incidently, you said that you thought there was a story about a Fachan, do you remember the name of it at all? I have Lomond Books' Scottish Folk Tales and Scottish Fairy Tales, both of which are actually the same books.

I hope this information is helpful, and that you may perhaps be able to use it. Information was taken from local lore, as well as books: Supernatural Scotland by Harry Campbell, On the Trail of Scotland's Myths and Legends by Stuart McHardy, The Vale of Strathmore; a very old book by James Cargill.
Regards,

Graeme


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DJP

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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious Angus.   Wed 10 Oct 2007, 1:57 pm

Hi Urisk

Thanks for all that info, I will have a look though my notes and see if I can add to it. If you can try and track down the Readers Digest Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain First edition published in 1973. Itís a great source book for folklore and legend and one of the books that sparked of my interest in folklore as a teenager. It has contributions from many experts and used hundreds of now out of print books for research purposes. (Unfortunately itís out of print too) Angus gets a good showing in this. Another name to look out for is Katherine Briggs who was probably the most famous researcher/collector/ expert of British folklore and myth.

I am still trying to find the Fachan story I mentioned, a description of it appears in A Dictionary of Fairies by Katherine Briggs and also in the above book. Apparently linked to Glen Etive (Iíll keep a look out next time Iím climbing there) Wink it is suggested that the Fachanís appearance Ďone hand from itís chest, one leg from itís haunch, and one eye out of itís face (sounds like a relation) cyclops is a distant folk memory of Celtic seers who (apparently) prophesised standing on one leg with one eye closed and an arm extended.

There must be a very early account somewhere. Anybody enlighten us?
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Ian
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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious Angus.   Wed 10 Oct 2007, 2:13 pm

Welcome to the forum Dan Cool and thanks Urisk for the info on Angus Smile
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Urisk

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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious Angus.   Thu 11 Oct 2007, 4:34 pm

Thanks Ian, I hope it was interesting enough... sorry about the shorthand (and most likely, bad spelling) though Embarassed

DJP wrote:
Hi Urisk

Thanks for all that info, I will have a look though my notes and see if I can add to it. If you can try and track down the Readers Digest Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain First edition published in 1973. Itís a great source book for folklore and legend and one of the books that sparked of my interest in folklore as a teenager. It has contributions from many experts and used hundreds of now out of print books for research purposes. (Unfortunately itís out of print too) Angus gets a good showing in this. Another name to look out for is Katherine Briggs who was probably the most famous researcher/collector/ expert of British folklore and myth.

I am still trying to find the Fachan story I mentioned, a description of it appears in A Dictionary of Fairies by Katherine Briggs and also in the above book. Apparently linked to Glen Etive (Iíll keep a look out next time Iím climbing there) Wink it is suggested that the Fachanís appearance Ďone hand from itís chest, one leg from itís haunch, and one eye out of itís face (sounds like a relation) cyclops is a distant folk memory of Celtic seers who (apparently) prophesised standing on one leg with one eye closed and an arm extended.

There must be a very early account somewhere. Anybody enlighten us?


I've heard about the Celtic Seer, and about the Direach Ghlinn Eitidh, but never more than just a passing reference. Interesting. I've never come across those books or authors, but I will now certainly keep an eye out for them, thanks Dan:D I will head over to AbeBooks some time tomorrow.
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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious Angus.   Sat 13 Oct 2007, 7:11 am

Dan, when you say the Fachan appears in "the above book" did you mean the Reader's Digest book? Reason I am asking is that I may have foudn the book on ebay for a reasonable price, and am very tempted to buy it!


is this it??

If so, despite my current poverty (sympathy!! Crying or Very sad) I will buy this book.


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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious Angus.   Sat 13 Oct 2007, 7:48 am

It'd probably be worth buying anyway, i was flicking through Ians copy a few weeks ago. Great book.
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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious Angus.   Sat 13 Oct 2007, 8:14 am

I thought there were grubby fingerprints on it. I'll check my copy later Urisk and if the facahn story is in I'll let you know.
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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious Angus.   Sat 13 Oct 2007, 9:29 am

Me ? Grubby ? ok It's a fair cop Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious Angus.   Sat 13 Oct 2007, 12:07 pm

I've just checked in the Readers Digest 'Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain'. There is a very small mention of the Fachan and a small picture. Essentially it refers to the Fachan of Glen Etive, Argyll. It gives a general description, one eye, one leg, one arm, but then suggests it may be an imperfect memory of Celtic Seers who when casting spells would stand on one leg, close one eye and extend one arm. Hope this helps Smile

The book is very good, even it it barely mentions the Fachan and I would advise anyone to grab a copy if they see one.
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Urisk

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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious Angus.   Sat 13 Oct 2007, 12:46 pm

Hey, it's got more info than some books on the Fachan Wink

I guess you've sold it to me, guys. I will buy it, methinks. Another one for hte collection Smile


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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious Angus.   Sat 13 Oct 2007, 12:54 pm

Urisk

That's the book- good price too - depending on condition, it's well worth owning. As Ian mentioned it does briefly mention the Fachan with a picture. I would guess that they used the Katherine Briggs Dictionary of Fairies as source for this. The challenge is finding the earliest source for the story.
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Urisk

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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious Angus.   Thu 18 Oct 2007, 4:05 am

Well, I ordered the book, and it arrived today. I've only had a quick scan through, but i have to say, it's very nice Very Happy

By the way, Dan. I was in Aberfoyle yesterday morning for a job interview with the Forestry Commission. I'f I'd had time I would have went looking for Robert Kirk's grave and Coire Nan Uruisgean on Ben Venue, but I had to get to Dundee for 4pm Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious Angus.   Thu 18 Oct 2007, 6:45 am

I'm glad you like the book Urisk and I hope the job interview went well.
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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious Angus.   Thu 18 Oct 2007, 1:24 pm

Good luck with the job Urisk. The old churchyard and the Fairy hill at Aberfoyle are well worth the visit if you ever get a chance to go back.

I picked up a good pamphlet on Local folklore called 'Enchantment of the Trossachs' by Louis Scott. Not sure if it's still on sale but has a good section on Aberfoyle and Fairy sites in the Trossachs. Have been up Ben Venue but never went down to check out 'the cove of the goblins'
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Urisk

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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious Angus.   Thu 18 Oct 2007, 3:58 pm

Thanks guys. It's a real nice place. I had an interview in Dundee at 4pm, so it was a bit of a rush Laughing They've both got their good and bad points; guess I'll just have to see what happens.

I take it the Cove of the Goblins is the same place as the Corry of the Urisks? Or is it a different place?


By many a bard in Celtic tongue,
Has Coirre nan Urisken been sung
Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious Angus.   Thu 18 Oct 2007, 4:17 pm

Cove or recess of the Goblins is the translation of Coire nan Uruisgean according to Louis Scott in the book I mentioned above, and is a quote from a book called Sketches of Perthshire published in 1806. According to this a meeting of the 'Uruisks' was held in this recess on Ben Venue, the author suggests this is a folk memory of a druid or clan priesthood meeting place.

I was just being a smart arse geek
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Urisk

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PostSubject: Re: Mysterious Angus.   Thu 18 Oct 2007, 4:31 pm

Laughing Haha, no I understand. I believe the Urisks who congregated at the corry were originally feared as wild monsters, but eventually won the trust of the locals, and became more amiable, even helping with livestock and the like. From reading through several sources, I've always considered the Urisk to be the masculine form of the Glaistig, as both seemed to show a few parallels.







As you may have guessed, I'm quite fond of the folklore of the Urisk Wink
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