Scottish Ghosties

I know, I missed Halloween and Dia de los Muertos, but I just had to share with you some results of my research! For my current WIP (work in progress) I needed some Scottish or at least Celtic supernatural beings. This led me to look on Google for Scottish Faeries which led me to Fairies and a cool Wikipedia listing (alphabetical, no less) of a crap ton (if you don’t know what that is, just think – a lot ) of various types of faeries, or Scottish Ghosties as the title suggests.

A few of the names were familiar from my Harry Potter days. Like a Boggart. This one made me think of the Bogie Man and wonder if the two are related somehow. It seems that a Boggart, or Bogle is a malevolent faerie that lives in houses or marshes. Salt and hanging horseshoes on your door is supposed to keep them away.

Did you know there are LOTS of different kinds of merfolk? I found the Ceasg AKA Maighdean Mhara that is a mermaid with a woman’s body and the tail of a grilse. What’s a grilse, you ask? According to Mirriam-Webster, it is a young Atlantic salmon returning to freshwater for the first time. I had no idea!

Fantastical mermaid or is that a Murrough? Perhaps a Maighdean Mhara?

There’s also a Merrow or Murrogh depending on whether you’re Irish or Scottish. These need possession of a magical red cap to travel between sea and land. They have green-tinted scales on their tails and beautiful women’s bodies on top. They also have green hair which they like to comb and slightly webbed fingers.

The selkie are a kind of mer-creature as well. They leave their outer seal skins behind to become other beings, often human like, on land.

Maid-o-the-Waves are similar to the selkie except they have salmon skins.

One final creature for today is the Glaistig. This is a ghost that protects herds and herdsmen/ women. They accept bowls of milk as payment for their protection. If they don’t receive payment, they may throw stones at passing travelers. I used this one in my WIP Siren Crux, a fantasy set in the fictional world of Eile where Court intrigue is building and the decision whether to risk notice from the Destructor and provide aid for a prophetic battle in a world inaccessible my normal means looms as the most important since the world began over three hundred years before.

Thanks for joining me for this non-exhaustive look at some fascinating Scottish faerie creatures. We’ll revisit this topic from time to time, so be sure to follow the blog if you don’t want to miss future posts. Also, I’d appreciate all those who enjoy my writing to subscribe to my quarterly newsletter. You can access that here.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Céline Geeurickx on Unsplash

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