1. The Gorbals Vampire
In 1954, hundreds of young kids from the Gorbals area of Glasgow swarmed into the creepy Necropolis graveyard on the hunt for a vampire with ‘iron teeth’ that they blamed for killing two of their friends. Armed with sharp sticks, they hunted the thing for hours. Local historians believe they were inspired by the earlier legend of ‘Jenny wi’ the Iron Teeth’, a murderous ghost said to haunt Glasgow Green.
2. The Boneless
According to local folklorist Jessie Saxby, the people of Shetland claimed that they were once terrorised by a boneless, blob-like beast they called a ‘frittening’, because it could scare anyone who saw it to death. Some people said it looked like a bag of wet sand or wool, others said it was like an armless, legless torso – a ‘ghastly, wet, vile’ thing with one lidless eye that would press against their windows. Argh.
3. The Cursed Mill
This story was shared on Reddit by a user who said his mother had grown up in a village in Fife. According to legend, a witch had cursed the owner of the local mill and was hanged by the villagers. When the mill was torn down, a grain silo was erected in its place. A boy called John was dared to sleep in the silo, and woke up to find grain bags moving on their own and crawling towards him. Nope.
4. Abandoned Annie
Mary King’s Close is a creepy, historic, hidden underground street beneath Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. In 1990, a psychic called Aiko Gibo visited it and felt a small hand touch hers. Aiko said it was the ghost of a child called Annie who had died of the plague and had lost her doll. The psychic went to a shop and brought back a Barbie doll. Since then, ‘Annie’s Room’ has gradually filled with toys and other gifts.
5. Sawney Bean
Since the 16th century, people have shared stories about Sawney Bean, the alleged head of a clan of incestuous cannibals who lived in a network of caves somewhere in East Lothian, with rugs made of human skin. It’s said that the clan killed over 1,000 people before being put to death by King James. The tale of Sawney Bean has inspired lots of horror films over the years, including The Hills Have Eyes.
6. The Haunting of Castle Stuart
This fearsome fortress near Inverness has been dogged by rumours of ghosts for hundreds of years, so the Earl of Moray offered a reward to any man who was ‘brave enough’ to stay there overnight in a locked room. A local tough guy named Rob Angus took up the challenge, but when the servants unlocked the room in the morning, everything was smashed to pieces and Rob was dead.
7. The Arthur’s Seat coffin effigies
One summer’s day in 1836, a group of boys out hunting rabbits found a small cave in the rock, which contained 17 miniature coffins with tiny effigies of human beings inside. No one knows who put them there, or why, but some people believe they were created to commemorate (or somehow placate) the 17 victims of the notorious Edinburgh murderers and grave robbers Burke and Hare.
8. The Mackenzie Poltergeist
According to local legend, this dark mausoleum in Edinburgh’s ancient Greyfriars Kirkyard is home to a vengeful and vicious poltergeist – the ghost of Sir George Mackenzie, a savage Lord Advocate who was nicknamed ‘Bluidy Mackenzie’ due to the number of people he had tortured and killed. Visitors have reported leaving the tomb with injuries and scratches, and having things thrown at their heads.
9. Netta Fornario
In 1929, a woman called Netta Fornario showed up on the island of Iona. She was a member of an occult group called the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and told locals that ‘several individuals were attacking her telepathically’. Later that week she was found dead with no obvious cause, and it’s said she had deep scratches on the bottoms of her feet, and that a cross was cut into the turf nearby.
10. Am Fear Liath Mór
Climbers have reported ‘incomprehensible feelings of fear’ when climbing Ben Macdui, Scotland’s second-highest mountain. People have heard eerie footsteps following them, others have seen a looming grey figure. This is just one account, given to the Cairngorm Club in 1925: ‘I was seized with terror. There is something queer at the top of Ben MacDhui. I will not go there again by myself.’
11. The Flannan Isles Lighthouse Mystery
In 1900, a lighthouse keeper arrived to relieve three men on duty at the Flannan Isles. The replacement felt a sense of ‘foreboding’, and when he got there, the men had completely vanished. Their logs told of ‘impossibly high winds’ and even said that one keeper had been crying. No storms were reported in the area at that time, and some people think they were pulled into an alternate dimension.
12. The Monster of Glamis
Legend has it that the firstborn son of the 12th Earl of Glamis had a hidden room constructed in his castle, which he used to hide a hideous family secret, possibly his monstrous firstborn son. The 13th Earl told his curious wife, ‘If you could even guess the nature of this castle’s secret, you would get down on your knees and thank God it was not yours.’ The ‘monster’ reportedly died in 1882. OR DID IT?