Declan Foxly’s Diary #11: Scottish Folklore: The Beast on the Moor

Local Legends #1 The Beast on the Moor

Myths, legends, folklore. They are woven into the fabric of Scotland’s history.

Even on the people-forsaken outcrop I find myself on there is no escaping them.

The Beast on the Moor is one such legend. Stories of a beast on this island stretch back hundreds of years. Surely there must be more than one of them as teeth just don’t last that long.

The earliest recorded sighting was written in the sixth century by a monk travelling with Saint Columba (or Foxy as he was known in those days). They were crossing the hill at twilight with a horse and carriage loaded with Holy Water and other celestial beverages when out of the mists a mysterious apparition materialised.

The future Saint knew just what to do and stuck up a conversation with the smoggy so-and-so managing to persuaded him not to eat them, horse and all.

It was a miracle though the drink probably had a lot to do with it.

Saint Columba and his companions carried on their way to future encounters with mythical creatures and sporting iconography.


St Columba
St Columba enjoyed pole vault is his spare time

More recently a rare village meeting was called when some livestock met a grisly end.

“Don’t fall under its murderous gaze!”

That’s what old Lachlan told the gathering in the village hall.

“It’s taken the throats of some of my best sheep. Lock your doors. Don’t wander the hills at night and whatever you do, don’t dress up as a sheep. It’s hungry. One of you could be next.”

Sound advice for all who enjoy a midnight walk or like to dress in the woolly stuff.

Old Lachlan sporting his prize winning beard