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Witchcraft and Superstitious Record in the South-Western District of Scotland By J. Maxwell Wood Characters: 178216

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03

Ghost Lore and Haunted Houses.

"There are many ghost stories which we do not feel at liberty to challenge."

-Sir Walter Scott.

assing now to gather up the details of superstitious vestige as they present themselves in the form of ghost traditions and memories of ghost-haunted houses, we find in the district of Dumfries and Galloway much of interest to set forth.

Traversing from Western Galloway to Eastern Dumfriesshire, gleaning as we go, the legend connected with Dunskey Castle, which yet in ruined solitude stands sentinel over the rock-bound shore and restless sea at Portpatrick, first calls for mention.

The story goes back to the occupation of the Castle in the fourteenth century by Walter de Curry, a turbulent sea rover, who, becoming much incensed at the outspoken and fearless utterances of an Irish piper whom he had taken prisoner and compelled to his service as minstrel and jester, condemned the unfortunate man to a lingering death from starvation in the Castle dungeons.

Tradition asserts, however, that the piper found his way into a secret subterranean passage leading from the Castle to a cave on the sea-shore, from which, however, he was unable to find egress, and where he perished miserably.

Along this passage the troubled ghost of the piper was long reputed to march, backwards and forwards, playing the weirdest of pipe music, and so indicating, as was firmly believed, to the awe-stricken listeners above, the line of direction of the secret underground passage.[42]

Perhaps the best-known Galloway ghost story is that of the Ghost of Galdenoch Tower, in the parish of Leswalt. The Tower was at one time the property of the Agnews of Galdenoch, but falling on evil days their name disappeared from the roll of proprietors, when it was used as a farm-house. For this, however, it was given up, for no other reason than that it was firmly believed to be haunted. The tradition as told by Sir Andrew Agnew is as follows:-

"A scion of the house had fought in one of the battles for the Covenant, and after a defeat had craved food and shelter at a house near the scene of the disaster. He was admitted by the owner, a rough blustering fellow of Royalist leanings, who allowed him to share in the family supper; and after a long crack over the incidents of the day, let him make up a bed by the ingle-side fire. The young soldier rose early, and was in the act of leaving when his host barred his access to the door, grumbling that he doubted whether he had been on the right side the day before. Convinced that he meant to detain him, the youth produced his pistol and shot his entertainer dead; then rushing to the stables, saddled up, and made his way to the west.

Arrived safely at the Galdenoch, the fatted calf was killed, and having fought all his battles over again round the family board, he went to bed. But hardly had the lights been extinguished in the tower than strange sounds announced a new arrival, which proved to be the ghost of the slain malignant, who not only disturbed the repose of his slayer, but made life unendurable to all within.

Nightly his pranks continued, and even after a change of owners the annoyance was continued to the new tenant and his family. One cold winter's night they sat round the kitchen fire playing a well-known game. A burning stick passed merrily from hand to hand:

'About wi' that! about wi' that!

Keep alive the priest-cat!'

The spark was extinguished, and the forfeit was about to be declared, when one of the party, looking at the hearth, which was now one brilliant mass of transparent red, observed, 'It wadna be hannie to steal a coal the noo;' but hardly were the words out of his mouth when a glowing peat disappeared as if by magic, leaving as clear a vacuum in the fire as when a brick is displaced from a solid archway. 'That beats a',' was re-echoed through the wondering group; and but a few moments elapsed before there was a cry of 'Fire' and the farm-steading was in flames. In the thatch of the barn that identical 'cube of fire' was inserted, and no one doubted that it had been done by the ghost. The range of buildings was preserved with difficulty by the united exertions of the party.

The tenant's mother sat one morning at her spinning-wheel; an invisible power bore her along, and plunged her in the Mill-Isle burn, a voice mumbling the while, 'I'll dip thee, I'll draw thee,' till the old dame became unconscious. Great was the surprise of the family at dinner-time when grandmamma was missed. Every corner of the buildings was searched. The goodman and his wife became alarmed, while the lads and lassies ran madly about interrogating one another with 'Where's granny?' At last a well-known voice was heard-'I've washed granny in the burn, and laid her on the dyke to dry!' Away the whole party ran; and sure enough the poor old woman lay naked on the dyke, half dead with cold and fright.

Several of the neighbouring clergymen tried to lay this ghost, but all in vain. If they sang, the ghost drowned the united efforts of the company. Eventually, however, it was laid by the Rev. Mr Marshall of Kirkcolm, already referred to as a zealous prosecutor of witches, by the almost unclerical method of roaring and shouting it down."(79)

On the confines of Stoneykirk parish, in the Moor of the Genoch, there is a plantation locally known as "Lodnagappal Plantin',"[43] concerning which report tells of an apparition in the form of a headless woman who almost invariably carried a light for the dire purpose of luring the unwary to death in the treacherous moss-holes so numerous in the neighbourhood.

Fuller details are available of yet another "white woman" and her unwelcome methods. Early last century, when the mail packet crossed from Portpatrick to Ireland, a carrier, who lived at High Ardwell, regularly journeyed backwards and forwards to Portpatrick to bring supplies for the district. On his way home he was more than once alarmed and troubled by a woman in white, who stopped his horse and even caused his cart to break down. Once, indeed, the horse was so affected that it became quite incapable of moving the load, compelling the carrier in great distress to unyoke, and, mounting the horse, to make for home. His fears were not much lessened by finding that the white lady was seated behind him.

The appearances of the ghost became more frequent as time went on, and eventually the white woman manifested a desire to embrace the carrier, indicating that if he yielded even only to listen once to her whispered devotion he might be freed altogether from future interference. The carrier, after a good deal of doubt and hesitation, at last yielded, but, wishing to have some substantial barrier between himself and his ghostly lover, stipulated that she should come to the little back-window of his cottage on a particular night. The appointed time came, but the carrier, still very doubtful, had planned accordingly. Cautiously and partially was the window opened. The white figure was there. Bending down to what appeared to be the man's face-but what was really the skull of a horse held towards her-there was a swift savage thrust of the ghostly face and half of the protruding horse's skull was severed. Thwarted in this unexpected way, the evil spirit slunk away, muttering "Hard, hard, are the banes and gristle of your face!" At least that is what the tradition tells.

Another tale concerns Auchabrick House, in Kirkmaiden, not far from Port Logan. The usually accepted story is pretty much as follows: The troth of a young lady of the house was plighted to a young gentleman whose fortune was not quite equal to his rank in life. It was the days of privateering, and to amass some means the young fellow joined an enterprise of this kind, and was fortunate enough to find himself aboard a superior and successful vessel.

Whilst abroad he sent home to the lady of his heart a silk dress and a considerable sum of money. These, however, fell into the hands of an unscrupulous brother, who appropriated them to his own use. Perplexed at not receiving news from home and acknowledgment, the lover wrote again and again, but the letters were always intercepted by the brother.

Disaster came, and the wanderer never reached home to learn the true state of matters, but his ghost came to haunt the place. Fasten the doors as securely as they might, it always obtained an entry, and the scratch of a ghostly pen was heard writing and rewriting the stolen letters. Different plans were tried to relieve this eerie state of affairs. On one occasion a Bible was placed behind the door through which the ghost seemed to pass, but this was followed by terrifying and distracting noises, while the house itself was shaken as if by storm and gale.

It was also believed that the semblance of the ship on which the wanderer pursued his calling as a privateer was at times seen to sail along a field above the house.

A variation of the main story is that it was a brother of one of the former ladies of Auchabrick whose shade haunted the place. He had fallen from his horse and been fatally injured, his ghost taking the form of a young man, booted and spurred, riding a grey horse.

At Cardrain, in the same locality, there is another tradition of an apparition on horseback which time and again rode up to the house, made fast the horse to a rope hanging from the thatch, then wandered all through the place.

In the neighbourhood of Tirally the shade of a departed medical man was believed to frequent and wander along the sea-shore. There is an authentic account of the house he occupied being of necessity given up by the tenant who succeeded him after his death, on account of the strange persistent and disturbing noises heard in it.

Passing from the Rhinns of Galloway to the Machars, through the district of Glenluce, the surprising story of the Devil of Glenluce should naturally find a place. It will, however, be included in the Appendix, in all its quaintness, as it occurs in Satan's Invisible World, published in 1685.

In the history of the town of Wigtown no character stands out in stronger relief than Provost Coltran, proprietor of Drummorall. In 1683, along with David Graham, brother of Claverhouse, and Sir Godfrey M'Culloch, he was appointed to administer the test to the people of Galloway, and was Chief Magistrate at the drowning of the Martyrs on Wigtown Sands (May 11th, 1685). His private character does not seem to have been beyond reproach, and it was commonly said that in his life time he had sold himself to the Devil.

The story still lingers that at his death the windows of his house looked as if they were in a blaze of fire, clearly indicating to the popular mind that the Devil was getting his own, and for long afterwards his ghost, a terrifying figure snorting fire from his nostrils, walked the earth. Even the house where he lived and died was for many years avoided after night-fall.

Not far from the village of Bladnoch, on the farm of Kirkwaugh, is a spot known as the Packman's Grave, round which a grim story lingers:-

"Tradition has it that an enterprising packman lived in or near Wigtown long ago. He had a consignment of cloth on board a vessel which put into a local port. The ship was plague-stricken, and the people in the district, fearing that the infection might spread by means of the packman and his cloth, seized both the merchant and his wares, and taking them to Kirkwaugh dug a deep grave, in which they were deposited-the packman alive. Even until lately people imagined they saw lights and heard knocks at the spot, which gets the name of the Packman's Grave to this day."(80)

Near Sorbie is the farm of Claunch, concerning which there is an old-world memory of a spectral carriage and pair of horses. The origin of the tradition is unknown, but the following is an authentic account of its appearance furnished by a correspondent:-

"I can, however, recall the strange experience of one who avowed that it had come within his ken. He was a blacksmith by trade, and had been doing some work at the farm. It was a fine moonlight evening when he gathered his tools together and started on his walk to Whithorn, where he lived. It chanced that the farmer by whom he had been employed during the day accompanied him as far as the entrance to the farmyard. As they were crossing the courtyard, what certainly seemed a spectral carriage and pair of horses galloped past them, and in another moment disappeared as if it never had been.

'What in the name of wonder was that?' ejaculated the smith; to which the farmer replied-

'It's mair than I can tell-but it's no' the first glint o't I hae gotten, although I haena seen't aften. But dinna ye come owre what ye hae seen-nae guid'll come o' talkin' aboot it.'"(81)

The old parish manse of Whithorn, which adjoined the churchyard near to its main entrance, and which was demolished a good many years ago, had rather an uncanny reputation, but nothing very definite can be gleaned to explain this. It certainly was, however, avoided after darkness fell. A little short lane off the public road, between the north end of Whithorn and the Bishopton Crofts, is associated with an appearance denoting foul play towards a very young child. But the most important ghostly reminiscence that can be gathered in this locality refers to the ghost at Craigdhu, in the parish of Glasserton, on the shore-road from Whithorn to Port-William. The following account was communicated by a native of the district:-

"Many rumours used to be afloat in my younger days of people being terrified by some unearthly shape or other which was believed to show itself at Craigdhu. Such stories were, however, rather conflicting, some declaring that it was a spectre of human form and proportions, while others held that it was more like a huge quadruped of an unknown species; but I confine my notes to personal testimonies of three individuals whom I knew. The first of these was a hard-working farm servant, who insisted that he had seen the something-whatever it was-not once or twice, but repeatedly. The second testifier was a wood-sawyer, who had occasion to spend a night in the house belonging to the farm. His first consciousness of the ghost's presence was when he was ascending the stair to the sleeping apartment, which a companion and himself were to occupy. This was manifested by the distinct sound of a lady's silk dress passing him and his bed-fellow on their way to the garret which was to be their dormitory. But that, though eerie enough, was nothing to what was to follow. As soon as they had extinguished their candle and crept into bed something leapt on the bed and dealt the unfortunate couple some well directed blows with what seemed like a heavy blunt instrument. The third witness was an ex-magistrate of Whithorn, who told that he was almost run to earth by the goblin. He was just able to evade it by reaching the farm-house door as he was actually being overtaken. Throwing himself against the door, he was admitted by the farmer himself without a moment's delay. The latter at once conjectured the cause of his breathlessness and terror-'Aye! come in, my frien', come in. I ken gey weel what has happened; but ye're safe here, an' as welcome as I can mak' ye, to bide till daylicht.'"(82)

The roofless ruin of the little pre-Reformation Church of Kirkmaiden (in Fernes) in Glasserton parish, so beautifully situated on the very verge of Luce Bay, has among other associations a tradition of supernatural intervention and tragedy.

Many tides have ebbed and flowed since the night of a merry gathering in the old house of Moure, the original home of the Maxwells of Monreith. As the evening wore on, some harmless rallying and boasting took place concerning bravery and indifference towards darkness and things uncanny. Among the guests was a young man in the hey-day of youth and recklessness, who rashly wagered that he would that very night, and without delay, ride to the Maiden Kirk and bring away the church bible as a proof that he had been there. Amidst much careless talk and banter he galloped off. The night wore on, but the young man did not return. As it was but a short ride from Moure to the Kirk the greatest anxiety prevailed. Next day, in a bleak spot, his dead body was found, as also his horse lying stiff beside him. Of robbery and violence there was no evidence, but the entrails of both man and beast had been carefully drawn from their bodies, and were found twisted and entwined round some old thorn bushes close beside them. It was afterwards found that he had reached the church and was on his way back.

Some ten miles northward, along this eastern shore of Luce Bay, are the ruined Barracks of Auchenmalg, built in the days of the free-trade as a means of suppressing the traffic. A whisper of the old building being haunted exists, but further than that the idea is associated with some deed of violence in the smuggling days nothing very definite can be gleaned.

Passing from Wigtownshire, by way of Kirkcowan, towards Kirkcudbrightshire, it may be noted that Dr Trotter has preserved a ghost story concerning Craighlaw House, originally a fifteenth century square keep, now the oldest part of a mansion-house of three distinct periods. The story conveys that the ghost appeared on one occasion by the side of the large arched kitchen fire-place, during the absence of the cook at the well. Much alarmed at the sight on her return she screamed and collapsed. Her master, sceptical of anything supernatural, fervently expressed the wish that he himself might meet the cause of the alarm, which he actually did, and shot at it with no effect, much to his own alarm. Dr Trotter adds that "since the ghost was laid everything has been quiet."(83)

In Kirkcudbrightshire, still passing eastwards, the legends and eerie associations that cluster around Machermore Castle first meet us, and call for narration.

The following details are taken from an article entitled "The White Lady of Machermore," contributed to the Galloway Gazette some years ago by James G. Kinna, author of the History of the Parish of Minnigaff:-

"Pleasantly situated on the east bank of the Cree, about a mile from the town, Machermore Castle is a prominent feature in the landscape as the traveller approaches Newton-Stewart by rail from the south. For wellnigh three hundred years the grey old Castle of Machermore bravely weathered the storms, and it would have continued to do so unscathed had not modern times necessitated structural changes. The Castle now presents a happy instance of the blending of the old and new styles of architecture-an adaptation of the past to present requirements.

It is a curious circumstance that although certain spots near Machermore Castle have always been associated with the name of the White Lady no one has ever actually seen the mysterious being. And yet there are few of the older residenters in the parish of Minnigaff who have not heard their grandfathers speak of her as a reality.

Machermore Castle is believed to have been built about the latter end of the sixteenth century. Tradition says that it was at first intended to build the Castle on the higher ground, a little to the north-east of the present site, but that during the night the foundation stones were always removed, so that what was built during the day was carried off by unseen hands and deposited in another place. As it was no use to strive against the supernatural, the Castle was eventually built where the materials were always found in the morning.

In the Castle itself was a room reputed to be haunted. In this instance the particular apartment was in the north-west angle, and was always known as Duncan's room. Projecting from the top corner of the outer wall in the same part of the Castle was the finely-carved figurehead of a man. A close inspection revealed the fact that the neck was encircled by an exquisitely-chiselled lace ruffle of the Tudor period. This piece of sculpture was always known as Duncan's head. On the floor of Duncan's room there was the mark of a bloody hand, distinctly showing the impress of the fingers, thumb, and palm. It was said that removing that part of the flooring had been tried so as to eradicate all trace of the bygone tragedy, but the mark of the bloody hand appeared in the new wood as fresh as before. From the history of Machermore at least this legend is ineffaceable, and the annals of the parish of Minnigaff are incomplete which do not contain a reference to this remarkable phenomenon.

It is a good many years since the incident I am about to relate took place, but the circumstances are as fresh in my memory as if it had happened but yesternight; nor am I ever likely to forget my first and only visit from the White Lady. On that occasion I happened to be the sole occupant of Duncan's room, but as usage had worn off all prejudice against the occupation of that particular bedroom amongst the members of the household, little or no importance was attached to the general belief that the room was haunted.

It was a midsummer night, and I had been asleep, but had awakened, and lay wondering what time it was, just as a clock on one of the landings struck twelve. As the last stroke died away I distinctly heard a footstep coming upstairs. All being perfectly quiet in the Castle at that hour, I could hear the slightest sound. Nearer and nearer to the door of my room came the midnight visitant, until it seemed to enter; but although the room was flooded with moonlight I saw no one come in, yet I was perfectly conscious that some mysterious presence was near me. I was not in the least frightened at the time. Although wide awake I could see nothing. A peculiar sound resembling the opening and shutting of a stiff drawer now came from the corner of the room where was the impress of the bloody hand. I then sat up in bed and called out, "Who's there? what do you want?" but got no answer. After this I must confess to feeling uncomfortable, a state which changed to something like positive fear as a rustling sound resembling that made by a silk dress passed out of the room. All this time the door remained closed. Nothing, therefore, possessing a material body could either have entered or left the room without its entrance or exit being noticed, but although I looked in the direction from which the moving sound proceeded nothing could be seen. It was with a sense of relief that I listened with bated breath and palpitating heart to the retreating footsteps as they slowly descended the stairs and gradually died away in the distance, and then all was silent again, ... and here the mystery rests."

There is a tradition that somewhere about Machermore Castle there is buried under a flat stone a kettle full of gold:

"Between the Castle and the River Cree

Lies enough o' gold to set a' Scotland free."

The spell of the White Lady for good or evil is exercised no longer in the ancestral home of the Dunbars of Machermore.

Between Kirkdale House and Cassencarry, on the beautiful sea-girt road leading from Creetown to Gatehouse, there stood many years ago a little cottage in a sequestered situation among the woods, where a young girl was murdered by her sweetheart under the saddest of circumstances.

In and around the cottage immediately afterwards unaccountable noises were heard, and the ghost of the unfortunate girl seen, which curiously enough, as the tradition tells, at once ceased when the young man was brought to justice.

There is also a further tradition about a gypsy killing a woman near Kirkdale Bridge. At twelve o'clock at night, it is said, the ghost of a woman with half of her head cut off, and all clad in white, appears at Kirkdale Bridge, and slowly wends its way along the road and disappears by the wooded pathway leading to Kirkdale Bank.(84) This apparition is firmly believed in by folks in that locality.

The district of Dalry has furnished us with tales of witch and fairy lore. Of ghost tradition there are also authentic details, of which the most important concerns the old mansion-house of Glenlee. The following details are extracts from a paper on the subject contributed to the Gallovidian (Winter, 1900):-

"In the north of Kirkcudbrightshire, in the beautiful district of the Glenkens, on the banks of the Ken, nearly opposite to the village of Dalry but on the other side of the river, stands the fine mansion-house of Glenlee Park, at one time the residence of Lord Glenlee, one of the Judges of the Court of Session. Silent and solitary, and untenanted for years now except by a caretaker, this eligible residence has the reputation of being haunted by a lady who walks about dressed in grey silk.

A lady, who is still alive, tells how the grey lady appeared to her one evening as she was sitting in front of her dressing-glass waiting on her maid to come and do up her hair. While looking into the mirror she became aware of someone or something behind her, and then saw a lady enter by the door of her room, pass across the floor, and disappear through a door which communicated with a dressing-room. As the house was full of company at the time she wondered whether some of the strangers had mistaken the way to her room; but she waited in vain for her return, and just as she was thinking of going to explore the mystery it occurred to her that there had been no sound of doors opening or of footfalls on the floor, nor was there any sound in the direction in which the lady had disappeared, and finally it struck her that the lady was not dressed like anyone in the house.

On another occasion the same lady was sitting up with her husband, who was seriously ill, and during the night a kind of rap was heard on the door, or about the door, which roused her to go and see what it was. Upon opening the door a face stared at her, but spoke not, and passed silently along the dimly-lighted corridor out of sight.

A guest at Glenlee, before going off to some entertainment one evening ran up to his bedroom for something or other, and to his surprise there was a lady standing at his dressing-table putting some finishing touches to her toilette. He at once withdrew, thinking that some of the ladies in the hurry of the moment had gone into the wrong bedroom. When he came down again they were all upon the point of departure, and called to him to come along-but before getting into the carriage he said,

'You have forgotten one of the ladies.'

'Oh, no!' they said, 'everyone is here, and but for your lingering we should have been off.'

One evening at dark the butler was hastening down the avenue on some errand to the lodge-keeper's, when suddenly a lady hurried past him, and he heard nothing but a faint rustle as of her dress, or the faint flickering of the remaining autumn leaves in the breeze overhead. As it was at a time when all the ladies were supposed to be indoors curiosity piqued him to follow her and watch her movements. She hurried on without once looking round, and finally disappeared through a disused cellar door which he knew to be locked and rusted from want of use. Not till then did it strike the butler that there was anything uncanny about the lady that had hurried past him in the gloom of the evening.

No satisfactory explanation of these unpleasant experiences has ever been established.

Mr Blacklock, in his notes on Twenty Years' Holidaying in the Glenkens, makes mention of the Glenlee ghost, and adds that Lady Ashburton was said to have poisoned her husband, who was afflicted with morbus pediculus. 'Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap'-and there is a further tradition that Lady Ashburton's butler poisoned her in turn, in order to possess himself of some valuables which he coveted.

The Headless Piper of Patiesthorn.

Sketch by J. Copland, Dundrennan.

The disturbances are chiefly connected with the old part of the house, the bedroom and dressing-room previously mentioned, which seem to be the chief haunts of this yet unlaid ghost."

In the village of Dalry itself there stood a row of houses called Bogle-Hole, on the site now occupied by the school. In one of these houses a man was said to have poisoned his wife, and the ghost of the murdered woman has, according to credible authority, appeared even within recent years.

The following singular story is connected with the lonely district of the Moor of Corsock:

"Many years ago a drover, while making his way north and crossing that wild and thinly populated district which lies between the head of the parish of Parton and the Moor of Corsock had the following uncanny experience: He had left the Parton district late in the afternoon with the intention of reaching a farm-house some miles north of the village of Corsock. By the time he reached the path over Corsock Hill, however, it had become dark, and occasional flashes of lightning foretold that a storm was at hand. With loud peals of thunder, vivid flashes of lightning, and a downpour of rain the storm at last broke. The only shelter near at hand was some thorn bushes by the roadside, under which the drover crept and stayed for fully an hour, while the storm raged and the darkness increased. When the storm had somewhat abated the drover set out once more, hurrying as fast as the darkness would allow him. He had reached a very desolate part of the moor when his collie gave a low whine and crept close to his master's heels. The drover stood up for a moment to try and find a reason for the dog's behaviour, when down in the glen between the hills he heard what at first appeared the sound of bagpipes, which increased quickly to a shrill piercing wailing that struck terror to his heart, the collie creeping closer and closer to his heel whining in a way that showed he was as much frightened as his master.

Standing irresolute, a blaze of blue light flashed right in front of him, in the centre of which appeared the figure of a piper, his pipes standing like horns against the background of blue light. The figure moved backwards and forwards playing the wildest of music all the time. It next seemed to come nearer and nearer, and the drover, now transfixed to earth with terror, saw that the piper was headless, and his body so thin that surrounding hills and country could be seen right throught it. A blinding flash of fire, followed by an ear-splitting clap of thunder, brought matters to a close for the time being, and the drover fell prostrate among the heather. When he recovered his senses the strange light had gone, and with it the headless piper. The storm had cleared off, and in due time he reached the farm, where he was put up for the night. When he told his story no one spoke for a moment or two, then the farmer's aged father broke silence: 'Aye, aye, lad, ye hae seen the ghost o' the piper wha was murdered on his wey frae Patiesthorn.[44] I hae had the same fearsome experience myself, tho' its mair than saxty years syne.'"(85)

In the Dundrennan district of Kirkcudbright a persisted belief lingers concerning a headless lady haunting the Buckland Glen. The following narrative which has been handed down lends an increased interest to the tradition:-

Long ago a Monkland farmer, accompanied by one of his farm-lads, was on his return from Kirkcudbright at a very late hour. The farmer was riding a small Highland pony, the boy being on foot. It was about midnight when they got to that part of Buckland Glen where a small bridge crosses the Buckland Burn. They had just crossed the bridge when the pony suddenly stood up and swerved, almost throwing the farmer out of the saddle.

"What's wrang wi' ye the nicht, Maggie-what's tae fricht ye, my lass?"

"Eh, Maister, did ye see that?" whispered the lad. "See-yonner it's again!"

The old man looked, and muttering to himself whispered, "Aye, it's there, laddie! It's a' true what hes been mony a time telt! That's the ghost o' the headless leddy wha was murdered in the glen in the aul' wicked times. We'll no gang by, but gang doon the lane and slip hame by Gilroanie."

Turning the quivering pony they wended their way along the woods which thickly fringe the Buckland Burn, as it leads to the shore at the Manxman's Lake, and reached home without further difficulty than keeping in hand the frightened pony. The curious fact was a week later discovered that two disreputable characters had lain in wait, for the purpose of robbery or perhaps worse, at a lonely turn on the Bombie road about a quarter of a mile from Buckland Brig. They had learned that the farmer had been to Kirkcudbright to draw a sum of money, and, had the sudden appearance of the Buckland ghost not turned their path, another tragedy might have been that night enacted in the Buckland Glen.

The Ghost of Buckland Glen.

Sketch by J. Copland, Dundrennan.

Concerning the parish of Rerwick the account of "A true relation of an apparition, expressions, and actings of a spirit which infested the house of Andrew Mackie, in Ringcroft of Stocking, in the parish of Rerwick, in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright in Scotland, 1695, by Mr Alexander Telfair, Minister of that parish, and attested by many other persons who were also eye and ear witnesses," will be found in its original form in the Appendix.

One of the most interesting weird stories connected with Galloway, centres round a mansion-house in the neighbourhood of Castle-Douglas.

A lady renting it for a few years tells how she was twice or thrice disturbed in the night by hearing a horse trotting round to the front door, and on getting up to look out of the window always found there was nothing to be seen, and nothing to be done but to return shivering to bed. Several years after, returning to the neighbourhood, she met the owner of the house, who asked her to go and see the improvements he had recently effected. On being shown over the house she was told that the room she had slept in had had the partition taken down between it and the dressing-room next it to make a large room, and strangely enough, when taking down the wall, a horse's skull was discovered built into the wall.

The only connecting link to the above curious circumstance is that a former proprietor paid a hurried visit to the town of Dumfries at the time of the terrible epidemic of cholera (1832), the journey being naturally accomplished in these days on horseback. Unfortunately, he contracted the disease and died shortly after his return.

Until some years ago a huge boulder lay at the roadside on the way from Dalbeattie to Colvend, not far from the cottage known as the "Wood Forester's." The story was, that this was the scene of foul play long ago, the victim being a woman, whose ghost afterwards haunted the neighbourhood in the black hours of the night.

Bearing upon this, an exceedingly graphic account has been furnished the writer of such an apparition having been seen by the captain of a local coasting vessel[45] late one night as he was walking from Kippford to Dalbeattie. It made its appearance near Aikieslak, which is the next house to the "Wood Forester's," and not very far away. The figure walked in front, stopped when he stopped, and finally disappeared, to his intense relief, in the wood to the left.

The parish of Kirkbean is particularly rich in ghostly record, no fewer than six haunted, or once haunted localities having been noted.(86) Traversing the parish from Southwick towards Newabbey, the first eerie place of note is a field above Torrorie known as the "Murder Fall." The ghost in this instance was that of a man who came to an untimely end by hanging.

Between Mainsriddel and Prestonmill there is a sequestered part of the road known as "Derry's How," once reputed to be haunted by an evil spirit in the form of a black four-footed beast. The third uncanny place was a farm-house in this same immediate neighbourhood. The ghostly manifestation was here that of sound-well-defined sounds of footsteps passing along a passage to the foot of a staircase, pausing, then seeming to return along the passage again. The sound persisted for many years, and was recognised and described by different individuals always as footsteps, which of themselves were so natural as to give rise to no alarm.

Between Prestonmill and Kirkbean-midway between the two villages-there is a small plantation, with, on the other side of the road, a larger wood. The road itself at this particular part forms a hollow. This natural arrangement of wood and road, known locally as the "Howlet's Close," was the reputed domain of a "lady in white," but so little can be gleaned concerning her appearance that even the origin of the tradition seems to be quite forgotten.

The "Three Cross Roads" near Arbigland is the next spot of ghost-lore association, round which there lingers a rather romantic tale. A young lady, a member of the well-known family of Craik (of Arbigland) had fixed her affections upon a young groom in her father's employment, a lad of good physique and manners, but, of course, apart in social status. The course of true love, however, did not run true, the romantic attachment having a most tragic ending. One day a single report of fire-arms was heard, and soon afterwards the lifeless body of the young man, whose name was Dunn, was discovered. The law took the view of suicide having been committed, but it was generally believed in the district that a brother of the young lady, incensed at her devotion to one he thought so far beneath her, had himself taken the young man's life. This deed of violence took place at the "Three Cross Roads," and this was the place where the victim's ghost was afterwards reported to have been seen.

Another part of the road on the confines of the parish, and near to where it enters that of Newabbey, is associated with the midnight wanderings of yet another "lady in white," but concerning this "poor ghost" also, tradition withholds her story.

There comes down through the long flight of centuries, a curious old story of supernatural sequence to the tragic death of John Comyn at the high altar of the Minorite Friary in Dumfries (February 10th, 1306), when the impetuous dagger-thrust of the Bruce, followed by the death dealing strokes of Kirkpatrick and Lindsay, completed the all-significant tale of murder and sacrilege.

The terrors of the day had passed, and night had fallen. With simple and earnest pomp the death-watch over the slain was being held by the troubled and anxious Friars. Wearily the hours dragged on. It was the dead of night, and many of them slumbered-all indeed, save one aged Friar, who, as the chronicler[46] tells, "with terror and astonishment heard a ghostly voice mournfully call out, 'How long, O Lord, shall vengeance be deferred?' and in reply an answering wail, 'Endure with patience until the anniversary of this day shall return for the fifty-second time,'" rising to the chancel roof with terrible clearness. The aged monk bowed his head, praying earnestly that evil might be averted, but it was otherwise to fall out.

Fifty-two years have passed away, and the hand of hospitality is being extended in the fortress of Caerlaverock Castle. In the great hall the flickering firelight fitfully lights up the faces of two men who have been served with a parting cup of wine, for the hour draws late. The host is Roger Kirkpatrick, the guest James Lindsay, and they are the sons of Kirkpatrick and Lindsay, whose daggers despatched the Red Comyn. Goodwill and friendship evidently prevail as they rise to part for the night, but the rift is in the lute, and an ugly savage look comes to the face of Lindsay as he is left alone in his room in the west tower.

An hour later a stealthy figure creeps up the eastern turret stair. There is a single well-directed thrust, and deep sleep becomes the deeper sleep of death, so sure has been the stroke that sends Roger Kirkpatrick, son of "Mak' Siccar," to his doom.

A bridled and a saddled steed stands beyond the confines of the castle walls, and Lindsay, leaping to his seat, terror at his heart, rides into the darkness of the night. Daybreak comes, the alarm is given, and almost red-handed the murderer is taken, not three miles from the castle gates, from which he had deemed himself many leagues away.

Hurried to Dumfries, doom is pronounced, and the common place of execution claims him for its own. The ghostly call of the night, "How long?" echoing through the monastery walls, is fulfilled.

With the history of the South-western district of Scotland the life story of Sir Robert Grierson of Lag, or "Aul' Lag," as he is to this day called, is intimately associated. In a previous chapter we have dealt with the superstitious happenings at his death and funeral. Mention must now be made of a legend which concerns the passing of his soul, and which is not yet forgotten in Dumfries and Galloway.

The year of grace, 1733, was wearing fast towards Yule, when one stormy night a small vessel found herself overtaken, at the mouth of the Solway, by a gale of wind that was almost too much for her. Close-hauled and fighting for every foot of sea-way she was slowly forcing her way up-channel against the angry north-west blast when a strange adventure befel her. In a lull following a savage squall the moon broke through the black flying cloud, lighting up the storm-tossed sea and revealing to those aboard another struggling sail far astern. Curiously the seamen gazed, but searching glance gave place to wonder, and wonder to fear, when they saw what had at first seemed a craft like themselves, come rushing onwards in the very teeth of the wind, and with as much ease as if running "free" before it. The moon dipped, and again darkness descended on the face of the waters, but not for long. Once again the moonlight pierced the curtain of flying cloud. Then was seen what surely was the strangest craft that ever sailed the tossing Solway sea-a great State-coach, drawn by six jet-black horses, with out-riders, coachmen, and a great retinue of torch-bearers, footmen, and followers, furiously driving onwards over the foam-crested waves. As the phantom carriage plunged nearer, the skipper, regaining some little of his courage, ran forwards, hailing in sailor fashion-"Where bound? and where from?"-and the answer came back, clear and distinct across the raging waters-"To tryst with Lag! Dumfries! from-Hell!"

"To Tryst with Lag."

Sketch by J. Copland, Dundrennan.

A similar legend exists in connection with the death of William, Duke of Queensberry, appointed High Commissioner to James VII., 1685, and whose attitude towards the Covenanters is still remembered against him.

"Concerning the death of the Duke of Drumlanrig, alias Queensberry, we have the following relation: That a young man perfectly well acquainted with the Duke (probably one of those he had formerly banished), being now a sailor and in foreign countries, while the ship was upon the coast of Naples and Sicily, near one of the burning mountains, one day they espied a coach and six, all in black, going towards the mount with great velocity; when it came past them they were so near that they could perceive the dimensions and features of one that sat in it.

The young man said to the rest-'If I could believe my own eyes, or if I ever saw one like another, I would say that it is the Duke.'

In an instant they heard an audible voice echo from the mount-'Open to the Duke of Drumlanrig!' upon which the coach, now near the mount, vanished.

The young man took pen and paper, and upon his return found it exactly answer the day and hour the Duke died."(87)

Of Drumlanrig Castle itself, the writer of Drumlanrig and the Douglases notes, that "like all old baronial residences, this castle was believed to be haunted by the ghosts of the dead. The most alarming legend was connected with what was known as the 'Bloody Passage,' where a foul murder had been committed, and the very spot was marked out by the stains of blood, which no housemaid's scrubbing could obliterate. It is the passage on the south side of the castle running above the drawing-room, from which a number of bed-chambers enter. Here, at midnight, the perturbed spirit of a lady, in her night clothes, parades, bewailing her sad fate, but by whom she had suffered tradition tells not. There is also a haunted room on the east side of the castle, on the fourth storey from the ground, where in former times fearful noises used to be heard."

Passing from Thornhill to Moniaive by way of Penpont and Tynron a conspicuous land-mark is the truncated peak of Tynron Doon, the abrupt ending of the hill range dividing the valley of the Scaur from that of the Shinnel. Round Tynron Doon there linger memories of a spectre in the form of a headless horseman restlessly riding a black horse. The local tradition is, that the ghost was that of a young gentleman of the family of M'Milligan of Dalgarnock, who had gone to offer his addresses to the daughter of the Laird of Tynron Castle. His presence was objected to, however, by one of the young lady's brothers. Hot words followed, and in high wrath the suitor rode off; but mistaking his way he galloped over the steepest part of the hill and broke his neck, and so, with curses and words of evil on his very lips, his spirit was not allowed to pass untroubled to the realms beyond.

In the adjoining parish of Glencairn the following ghost vestiges have been gleaned:-"At Auchenstroan and Marwhirn a white woman is seen; at Pentoot and Gaps Mill 'pens' a crying child (supposed to have been murdered) is heard. The Nut Wood at Maxwellton was long supposed to harbour an emissary of the Evil One, and woe betide the traveller who failed to gain the running waters of Cairn or Shinnel. Jarbruck and Kirkland bridges were also of evil repute."(88)

In the district of Sanquhar there are numerous stories of supernatural appearance and ghostly visit.

Connected with Sanquhar Castle, or Crichton Peel as it is otherwise termed, now a ruined remnant, there are two distinctive ghost legends.

The first is concerned with the fate-in the far-off old unhappy days-of a servitor of Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick of Closeburn, who "suffered" innocently at the hands of the sixth Lord Crichton. In this instance the ghost was not seen, but manifested its presence by strange chain-clanking noises within the castle walls.

The other is yet another "Lady in White," whose rare appearance foretold grief or misfortune to the Crichton family. The legend runs that it was the ghost of a young maiden who had been wronged and murdered by one of the Lords of Sanquhar.

Littlemark, a small farm on the Eliock estate, three miles from Sanquhar, was the scene, some two hundred years ago, of the murder of a pedlar, who came into the district with a large and valuable quantity of goods carried on a pack-horse.

The ghost which was supposed to haunt the neighbourhood was curiously enough not that of the pedlar himself, but took the form of the bundle or "pack" itself, moving slowly above and along the ground.

Stories which tell of the visitations and appearances of the ghost of Abraham Crichton, erstwhile Provost of Sanquhar, are to this day well remembered in the district. A merchant in Sanquhar, he seems in life to have been a shrewd and active citizen, with the reputation of being very wealthy. In 1734 he became Provost, succeeding his brother in that office, and also inheriting the possession of Carco. But evil days came, and in 1741 he was declared a bankrupt. The deed which seems chiefly to have marked him out for unrest in the next world was the share he took in the abolition of the services in the old parish church of Kirkbride and of its existence as a separate parish. An actual attempt, at his instigation, to "ding doon the Whigs' sanctuary," to use his own expression, was frustrated by Divine intervention-it was said-in the form of a violent storm. The workmen were obliged to desist, and shortly afterwards Abraham met his death by a fall from his horse near Dalpeddar. With this as an introduction, let Dr Simpson continue the story as it is set down in the History of Sanquhar:-"Though declared a bankrupt before his death, the good people of Sanquhar were convinced that he must have somewhere secreted his money, and acted a fradulent part. On this account it was supposed that he could not rest in his grave, and hence the belief of his frequent appearances in the sombre churchyard, to the affrightment of all and sundry who passed near the burying-ground in the evening dusk. The veritable apparition of this worthy was firmly credited by the populace, who were kept in a state of perpetual alarm. Many a maid, with her milk-pail on her head, dashed the whole to the ground when the ghost showed himself at a kirkyard wall, and ran home screaming with affright, and finally fell on the floor in a faint. The exploits of the resuscitated Provost was endless. He assailed all who dared to pass near his resting-place, young and old, men and women. The consternation became universal, the attention of the whole district was directed to the subject, which, indeed, became a topic of discussion throughout the south-west of Scotland. Its merits were discussed also in the Edinburgh forum, and attracted the attention of the learned North Briton, Thomas Rudiman.[47]

At length the matter came to a crisis, and it was found necessary to do something to allay the popular excitement. In those days it was believed that certain sacred charms were effectual in allaying a ghost, and that the charm, whatever it might be, was chiefly to be employed by a minister of the gospel. The next thing, then, was to find a person of this order who had the sanctity and fortitude necessary to accomplish the feat. The individual fixed on was a venerable minister of the name of Hunter, in the parish of Penpont. During the night he went to the churchyard, and on the following day gave out that he had laid Abraham's ghost, and that in future no person need have the least alarm in passing the churchyard, as he never again would trouble anyone. Mr Hunter's statement was implicitly believed, and nothing supernatural has since been seen within the ancient burying-ground of Sanquhar. To add to the seeming mystery which Mr Hunter wished to keep up, when questioned on what he had said or done to the spirit he replied, 'No person shall ever know that.' In order, however, to prevent all such annoyances for the time coming, and to retain Abraham more effectually within the bounds of his narrow cell, it was deemed prudent to keep down the flat gravestone with a strong band of iron or stout chain. This precaution, it was supposed, would keep the popular mind more at ease."

To Poldean, in Wamphray, situated at the north-west corner of the parish, on the Annan, about five miles from Moffat, there is a curious old-world ghost reference in Law's Memorials, edited by Kirkpatrick Sharp. In the narrative, which is here given, Poldean is described as "Powdine in Annandale":-

"Also in the south-west border of Scotland, in Annandale, there is a house called Powdine belonging to a gentleman called Johnston; that house hath been haunted these fifty or sixty years. At my coming to Worcester, 1651, I spoke with the gentleman (being myself quartered within two miles of the house). He told me many extraordinary relations consisting in his own knowledge; and I carried him to my master, to whom he made the same relations-noises and apparitions, drums and trumpets heard before the last war; yea, he said, some English soldiers quartered in his house were soundly beaten by that irresistible inhabitant.... He tells me that the spirit now speaks, and appears frequently in the shape of a naked arm."

Three and a half miles north-east of Lochmaben, on the banks of the Annan, stands the turreted ruin of Spedlins Tower, the old home of the Jardines of Applegarth.

Grim, gaunt, and lonely, one of the best accredited ghost legends in the south-west of Scotland lingers round its walls. The story has been told many times, and the version here selected is that of Francis Grose, the antiquary, who described the Tower in his Antiquities of Scotland (1789-91):-

"Spedlins Tower is chiefly famous for being haunted by a bogle or ghost. As the relation will enliven the dullness of antiquarian disquisition, I will here relate it as it was told me by an honest woman who resides on the spot, and who, I will be sworn from her manner, believed every syllable of it. In the time of the late Sir John Jardine's grandfather, a person named Porteous, living in the parish of Applegarth, was taken up on suspicion of setting fire to a mill, and confined in the lord's prison, the pit or dungeon, at this castle. The lord being suddenly called to Edinburgh on some pressing and unexpected business, in his hurry forgot to leave the key of the pit, which he always held in his own custody. Before he discovered his mistake and could send back the key-which he did the moment he found it out-the man was starved to death, having first, through the extremity of hunger, gnawed off one of his hands. Ever after that time the castle was terribly haunted till a Chaplain of the family exorcised and confined the bogle to the pit, whence it could never come out, so long as a large Bible, which he had used on that business, remained in the castle. It is said that the Chaplain did not long survive this operation. The ghost, however, kept quietly within the bounds of his prison till a long time after, when the Bible, which was used by the whole family, required a new binding, for which purpose it was sent to Edinburgh. The ghost, taking advantage of its absence, was extremely boisterous in the pit, seeming as if it would break through the iron door, and making a noise like that of a large bird fluttering its wings. The Bible being returned, and the pit filled up, everything has since remained perfectly quiet. But the good woman declared, that should it again be taken off the premises no consideration whatever would induce her to remain there a single night."

Jardine Hall, the new home of the Jardines, to which the family had removed, is situated on the opposite side of the river Annan, its windows overlooking the old walls of Spedlins Tower. It also was by no means free from a share of the haunting of the dead miller, for during the time the Bible had gone to Edinburgh to be re-bound, the ghost, getting out of the dungeon, crossed the river and presented itself at the new house, making a great disturbance, and actually hauling the baronet and his lady out of bed. Some accounts indeed, say that so terrifying was its behaviour that the unhappy owner of Jardine Hall refused to wait until the Bible was repaired, but recalled it hastily before it reached the Capital, in order that its holy presence might quell the restless spirit and keep it confined to its dungeon.

The Bible which plays so prominent a part in the story is an old black-letter edition, printed by Robert Baker, A.D. 1634. It is covered with old calf-skin, and inclosed in a massive brass-bound box made out of one of the old beams of Spedlins Tower itself, which, needless to say, is most carefully preserved.

The spirited ballad of "The Prisoner of Spedlins," by Robert Chambers, may here not inappropriately be included:-

To Edinburgh, to Edinburgh,

The Jardine he maun ride;

He locks the gates behind him,

For lang he means to bide,

And he, nor any of his train,

While minding thus to flit,

Thinks of the weary prisoner

Deep in the castle pit.

They were not gane a day, a day,

A day but barely four,

When neighbours spake of dismal cries

Were heard from Spedlins Tower.

They mingled wi' the sighs of trees

And the thud-thud o' the linn;

But nae ane thocht 'twas a deein' man

That made that eldrich din.

At last they mind the gipsy loon

In dungeon lay unfed;

But ere the castle key was got

The gipsy loon was dead.

They found the wretch stretch'd out at length

Upon the cold, cold stone,

With starting eyes and hollow cheek,

And arms peeled to the bone.


Now Spedlins is an eerie house,

For oft at mirk midnight

The wail of Porteous' starving cry

Fills a' that house wi' fright:

"O let me out, O let me out,

Sharp hunger cuts me sore;

If ye suffer me to perish so,

I'll haunt you evermore."

O sad, sad was the Jardine then,

His heart was sorely smit;

Till he could wish himself had been

Left in that deadly pit.

But "Cheer up," cried his lady fair,

"'Tis purpose makes the sin;

And where the heart has had no part

God holds his creature clean."

Then Jardine sought a holy man

To lay that vexing sprite;

And for a week that holy man

Was praying day and night.

And all that time in Spedlins House

Was held a solemn fast,

Till the cries waxed low, and the boglebo

In the deep red sea was cast.


There lies a Bible in Spedlins Ha',

And while it there shall lie

Nae Jardine can tormented be

With Porteous' starving cry.

But Applegarth's an altered man,

He is no longer gay;

The thought of Porteous clings to him

Until his dying day.

The mansion-house of Knockhill, in the parish of Hoddom, was the scene of a tragedy in the earlier part of last century, which had the sequence of ghost visitation. It is referred to in the "Irvings of Hoddom," an interesting contribution to the family history of the district. Shortly the story is as follows:-A young man named Bell who had been surreptitiously visiting his sweetheart, one of the maids in the house, was heard by the butler, who shot him as he was escaping through a basement window. The butler was tried and acquitted, but Knockhill was afterwards haunted by the ghost of the victim so much that servants would not remain. At last the proprietor, then a Mr Scott, asked the Rev. W. Wallace Duncan, then helper to Mr Yorstoun, parish minister, to sleep in the house, with the result, it is told, that from then the ghost disappeared from Knockhill.(89)

In this same parish of Hoddom, the student of Carlyle will remember that "old John Orr," the only schoolmaster that Carlyle's father ever had, "laid a ghost." It was in "some house or room at Orchard, in the parish of Hoddom. He entered the haunted place, was closeted in it for some time, speaking and praying. The ghost was really and truly laid, for no one heard more of it."(90)

Bonshaw Tower, on the Kirtle (parish of Annan), the original home of the Irvings, also contributes to the ghost-lore of the district.

Tradition tells that a daughter of the house was thrown from the battlements of the Tower by her own relatives, whom she had deeply incensed by her determination to marry a "Maxwell," with which family the Irvings held long and bitter feud. It is, or rather was, the ghost of this young lady who haunted the Tower of Bonshaw, but she has not been visible within living memory.

Blackett Tower, also on the Kirtle (parish of Kirkpatrick-Fleming), was a border fortress well known in the records of border raid and foray. It was for long the home of the family of Bell.

The ruined tower has a ghost legend which claims it as the abode of a spectre known as "Old Red-Cap, or Bloody Bell." A poetical descriptive reference to the tower and its phantom occurs in the poem of "Fair Helen." The passage is of undoubted vigour and masterly touch, and is here given, the author, William Scott Irving, at the same time offering the opinion "that the legends and anecdotes of 'Bloody Bell' would fill a large quarto volume":

Of Blackett's Towers strange tales are told:

The legendary lore of old,

That dread belief, whose mystic spell

Could people Gothic vault or cell

With being of terrific form,

And superstition bound the charm.

'Tis said, that here, at the night's high noon,

When broad and red the eastern moon

Beams through the chinks of its vast saloon,

A ghastly phantom takes its stand

On the wall that frowns o'er wear and strand,

A bloody dagger in its hand,

And ever and aye on the hollow gale

Is heard its honorie and wail

Dying along the distant vale.

The 'nighted peasant starts aghast

To hear its shriekings on the blast;

Turns him to brave the wintry wind,

Nor dares he lingering look behind,

But hurries across the moaning flood,

And deems its waters swollen with blood-

Such are the tales at Lyke-wake drear,

When the unholy hour of night draws near,

When the ban-dog howls, and the lights burn blue,

And the phantom fleets before the view;

When "Red-Cap" wakes his eldrich cry,

And the winds of the wold come moaning by.(91)

The Old Hall of Ecclefechan (Kirkconnel Hall) is also supposed to be haunted. Little is known about it, but the opinion has been expressed that "the mysterious apparition of the 'Ha' Ghost' seems to have haunted the place from the distant past, and its mysterious and noisy demonstrations have from time to time disturbed the residents. It is said to make its appearance before and at the time of the death of any member of the family."(92)

In the parish of Eskdalemuir there is a farm-house called Todshawhill. It is on the Black Esk, about three miles in a south-westerly direction from the Parish Church. With the name of this farm there is associated the memory of something uncanny, known far and wide as the "Bogle of Todshawhill." It seems rather to have been a "brownie" than a "ghost," but some account of it is here given as described by Dr Brown and embodied in an antiquarian account of the parish. According to Dr Brown, one of the bogle's biographers, this creature made a stay of a week, less or more, at Todshawhill farmhouse, disappearing for the most part during the day, only to reappear towards evening. Its freaks and eccentricities very naturally attracted a number of people to the neighbourhood, and among the number, Thomas Bell from Westside, the neighbouring farmer, who, in order to assure himself that it had flesh and blood like other folks, took it up in his arms and fully satisfied himself that it had its ample share of both. In appearance it resembled an old woman above the middle, with very short legs and thighs, and it affected a style of walk at once so comical and undignified that the Rev. Dr aforesaid was compelled to pronounce it "waddling." The first intimation or indication of its presence in these parts was given, I understand, at the head of Todshawhill Bog, where some young callants who were engaged in fastening up the horses of the farm heard a cry at some little distance off-"Tint, Tint, Tint"-to which one of the lads, William Nichol by name, at once replied, "You shall not tine and me here," and then the lads made off, helter-skelter, with the misshapen little creature at their heels. In his terror one of the lads fell head foremost into a hole or moss hag, and the creature, "waddling" past him to get at the rest, came into violent contact with a cow, which, naturally resenting such unceremonious treatment, pushed at it with its horns, whereupon the creature replied, "God help me, what means the cow?" This expression soothed, if it did not wholly allay, the fears of all concerned, for they at once concluded that if the creature had been a spirit it would not have mentioned the name of Deity in the way it did.(93)

The last account to be quoted of supernatural visitation in the south-western district of Scotland is a particularly striking one, and is taken from an interesting contribution to a recent number of Chambers's Journal dealing with apparitions:-

"In the Lowlands of Scotland stood an old manor house, where the owner's wife was on her death-bed. The ancient furniture still remained in the room, so the invalid lay in a four-post bed, with curtains all round it, wherein many generations of the family had been born and died. The curtains were drawn at its foot and on the side nearest the wall, but they were open on the other to a blazing fire, before which sat an attendant nurse. A tall screen on her left hand shielded her from the draught from a door, whose top was visible above it; and as the nurse sat there she became conscious that the door was opening and that a hand seemed to rest for a moment on the top of the screen. Presently, as she watched, half-paralysed with fear, a figure appeared from behind the screen-the figure of a young woman clothed in a sacque of rich brocade, over a pink silk petticoat, and wearing a head-dress of the time of Queen Anne. This figure advanced with a gentle undulating movement to the bed and bent down over it. Then the nurse jumped up and stretched out her hand to the bell-pull; and, lo! when she looked again the figure had vanished, and her patient lay there dead, with an expression of rapturous content on her sunken face.(94)

Later, when the last sad rites had been accomplished, this nurse wandered into the picture gallery in company with the housekeeper, and pausing before a certain portrait, exclaimed that there was the original of the unknown lady.

'Ah,' came the answer, 'that lady lived here when Queen Anne was on the throne. They say she had a sad life with her lord, and died young. Ever since she is believed, when the mistress of the manor dies, to appear beside the bed, and-and'--

'You need not tell me more,' said the nurse, 'for I also have seen her.'"(94)

No account of superstitious belief in Galloway would be complete without reference to three remarkable tracts, giving quaint and circumstantial accounts of alleged supernatural visitations from the spirit-world beyond. In their order of publication these are-(a) "The Surprising Story of the Devil of Glenluce"; (b) "A True Account of an Apparition which infested the house of Andrew Mackie, in Ringcroft, Parish of Rerwick, and Stewartry of Kirkcudbright in 1695, ... Mr Alexander Telfair"; and (c) "The Laird o' Coul's Ghost."

The "Devil of Glenluce" first appeared in an old work on Hydrostaticks by George Sinclair, Professor of Philosophy and afterwards of Mathematics in the University of Glasgow. This work was published in 1672. It was again printed in his more important work, Satan's Invisible World, in 1685. The theme is concerned with the persecution of one Gilbert Campbell, a weaver, and his family, in the village of Glenluce, by an evil and tormenting spirit. As a chapbook this curious work had a very wide circulation.

The "True Account of the Rerwick Apparition" when first published called for two editions within the first year, and with many alterations it was also published in London under the title of "New Confutation of Sadducism, being a narrative of a Spirit which infested the house of Andrew Mackie of Ringcroft, Galloway, in 1695." Only the site of Ringcroft of Stoking, marked by some old fir trees, remains, near the village of Auchencairn.

"The Laird o' Coul's Ghost" seems to have originally appeared as a chapbook, and is thought to have been first published in 1750. It is supposed to be-and the purpose is quaintly carried out-an account of four conferences which the Rev. William Ogilvie (Minister of Innerwick, East Lothian, 1715-1729), held with the restless spirit of Thomas Maxwell, Laird of Cuil, a small estate in the parish of Buittle, in Galloway, and who in his lifetime had done a dishonourable action which tormented him beyond the grave.

As these tracts have a direct bearing on the general consideration of superstitious record in the South-west of Scotland, and as they are not particularly easy of access, it has been deemed advisable to reprint them, and include them as an appendix to this volume.

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"Surprising Story of the Devil of Glenluce," reprinted from Satan's Invisible World, written by George Sinclair, and printed in Edinburgh in the year 1685.

This is that famous and notable Story of the Devil of Glenluce, which I published in my Hydrostaticks, anno 1672, and which since hath been transcribed word by word by a learned pen, and published in the late book intitutled Saducismus Triumphaius, whom nothing but the truth thereof, and usefulness for refuting Atheism could have perswaded to transcribe. The subject matter then of this story is a true and short account of the troubles wherewith the family of one Gilbert Campbel, by profession a Weaver in the old Parish of Glenluce in Galloway, was exercised. I have adventured to publish it de novo in this book, first because it was but hudled up among purposes of another nature. But now I have reduced it to its own proper place. Next, because this story is more full, being enlarged with new additions, which were not in the former, and ends not so abruptly, as the other did.

It happened (says my informer, Gilbert Campbel's son, who was then a student of philosophy in the Colledge of Glasgow) that after one Alexander Agnew, a bold and sturdy beggar, who afterwards was hanged at Drumfries for blasphemy, had threatened hurt to the familie because he had not gotten such an almes as he required, the said Gilbert Campbel was often-times hindered in the exercise of his calling, and yet could not know by what means this was done. This Agnew, among many blasphemous expressions had this one, when he was interrogate by the judges whether or not he thought there was a God, he answered, he knew no God but salt, meal, and water. When the stirs began first there was a whistling heard both within and without the house. And Jennet Campbel, going one day to the well to bring home some water, was conveyed with a shril whistling about her ears, which made her say, "I would fain hear thee speake as well as whistle." Hereupon it said, after a threatening manner, "I'le cast thee Jennet into the well." The voice was most exactlie like the damsel's voice, and did resemble it to the life. The gentlewoman that heard this and was a witness thought the voice was very near to her own ears, and said the whistling was such as children use to make with their smal slender glass whistles.

About the middle of November the Foul-Fiend came on with new and extraordinary assaults, by throwing of stones in at the doors and windows and down the chimney-head, which were of great quantity and thrown with force, yet by God's providence there was not one person in the family that was hurt. This did necessitate Gilbert Campbel to reveale that to the Minister of the Parish and to some other neighbours and friends which hitherto he had suffered secretly. Notwithstanding of this, his trouble was enlarged; for not long after he found often-times his warp and threeds cut as with a pair of sizzers, and not only so, but their apparel were cut after the same manner, even while they were wearing them-their coats, bonnets, hose, shoes-but could not discern how or by what mean. Only it pleased God to preserve their persons, that the least harm was not done. Yet in the night time they had not liberty to sleep, something coming and pulling their bedcloaths and linnings off them and leaving their bodies naked. Next their chests and trunks were opened and all things in them strawed here and there. Likewise the parts of their working-instruments which had escaped were carried away and hid in holes and bores of the house, where hardly they could be found again. Nay, what ever piece of cloath or household-stuff was in any part of the house it was carried away and so cut and abused that the goodman was necessitate in all haste and speed to remove and transport the rest to a neighbour's house, and he himself compelled to quite the exercise of his calling, whereby he only maintained his family. Yet he resolved to remain in his house for a season; during which time some persons about, not very judicious, counselled him to send his children out of the family here and there to try whom the trouble did most follow, assuring him that this trouble was not against the whole family, but against some one person or other in it, whom he too willingly obeyed. Yet, for the space of four or five dayes there were no remarkable assaults as before. The Minister hearing thereof shewed him the evil of such a course, and assured him that if he repented not and called back his children he might not expect that his trouble would end in a right way. The children that were nigh by being brought home, no trouble followed, till one of his sons called Thomas that was farest off came home. Then did the Devil begin afresh, for upon the Lord's Day following, in the afternoon, the house was set on fire; but by the help of some neighbors going home from sermon, the fire was put out and the house saved, not much loss being done. And Munday after being spent in private prayer and fasting, the house was again set on fire upon the Tuesday about nine o'clock in the morning, yet by the speedy help of neighbors it was saved, little skaith being done.

The Weaver being thus vexed and wearied both day and night, went to the Minister of the Parish, an honest and Godly man, desiring him to let his son Thomas abide with him for a time, who condescended, but withal assured him that he would find himself deceived; and so it came to pass, for notwithstanding that the lad was without the family yet were they that remained in it sore troubled both in the day time and night season, so that they were forced to wake till midnight and sometimes all the night over, during which time the persons within the family suffered many losses, as the cutting of their cloaths, the throwing of piets, the pulling down of turff and feal from the roof and walls of the house, and the stealing of their cloaths, and the pricking of their flesh and skin with pins.

Some Ministers about, having conveened at the place for a solemn humiliation, perswaded Gilbert Campbel to call back his son Thomas, notwithstanding of whatsoever hazard might follow. The boy returning home affirmed that he heard a voice speak to him, forbidding him to enter within the house or in any other place where his father's calling was exercised. Yet he entered, but was sore abused, till he was forced to return to the Minister's house again.

Upon Munday, the 12 of February, the rest of the family began to hear a voice speak to them, but could not well know from whence it came. Yet from evening till midnight too much vain discourse was kept up with Satan, and many idle and impertinent questions proposed, without that due fear of God that should have been upon their spirits under so rare and extraordinary a trial. They came that length in familiar discourse with the Foul-Thief that they were no more afrayed to keep up the clash with him than to speak to one another. In this they pleased him well, for he desired no better than to have sacrifices offered to him. The Minister, hearing of this, went to the house upon the Tuesday, being accompanied with some gentlemen, one James Bailie of Carphin, Alexander Bailie of Dunraged, Mr Robert Hay, and a gentlewoman called Mistris Douglas, whom the Minister's wife did accompanie.

At their first in-coming the Devil says, "Quum literarum, is good Latine." These are the first words of the Latine rudiments which schollars are taught when they go to the grammar school. He crys again, "A dog."

The Minister, thinking that he had spoken it to him, said, "He took it not ill to be reviled by Satan, since his Master had troden that path before him."

Answered Satan, "It was not you, sir, I spoke it to; I meant by the dog there," for there was a dog standing behind backs.

This passing, they all went to prayer, which being ended, they heard a voice speaking out of the ground from under a bed in the proper countrey dialect, which he did counterfeit exactly, saying, "Would you know the witches of Glenluce? I will tell you them"-and so related four or five persons' names that went under a bad report.

The Weaver informed the company that one of them was dead long ago.

The Devil answered and said, "It is true, she is dead long ago, but her spirit is living with us in the world."

The Minister replied, saying (though it was not convenient to speak to such an excommunicat and intercommuned person), "The Lord rebuke thee, Satan, and put thee to silence; we are not to receive information from thee whatsoever fame any person goes under; thou are seeking to seduce this family, for Satan's kingdom is not divided against itself."

After which all went to prayer again, which being ended (for during the time of prayer no noise or trouble was made, except once that a loud fearful youel was heard at a distance) the Devil with many threatnings boasted and terrified the lad Tom, who had come back that day with the Minister, that if he did not depart out of the house he would set all on fire.

The Minister answered and said, "The Lord will preserve the house and the lad too, seeing he is one of the family and hath God's warrant to tarry in it."

The Fiend answered, "He shall not get liberty to tarry; he was once put out already, and shal not abide here, though I should pursue him to the end of the world."

The Minister replied, "The Lord will stop thy malice against him."

And then they all went to prayer again, which being ended, the Devil said, "Give me a spade and a shovel, and depart from the house for seven days, and I will make a grave and ly down in it, and shall trouble you no more."

The goodman answered, "Not so much as a straw shal be given thee through God's assistance, even though that would do it." The Minister also added, "God shal remove thee in due time."

The Spirit answered, "I will not remove for you; I have my commission from Christ to tarry and vex this family."

The Minister answered, "A permission thou hast indeed, but God will stop it in due time."

The Devil replied, "I have, sir, a commission which perhaps will last longer than your own."

The Minister died in the year 1655, in December. The Devil had told them that he had given his commission to Tom to keep.

The company enquired at the lad, who said there was a something put into his pocket, but it did not tarry.

After this the Minister and the gentlemen arose and went to the place whence the voice seemed to come, to try if they could see or find any thing. After diligent search, nothing being found, the gentlemen began to say, "We think this voice speaks out of the children," for some of them were in their beds.

The Foul-Spirit answered, "You lie; God shall judge you for your lying, and I and my father will come and fetch you to hell with warlock thieves:" and so the Devil discharged the gentlemen to speak any thing, saying, "Let him speak that hath a commission (meaning the Minister), for he is the servant of God."

The gentlemen, returning back with the Minister, sat down near the place whence the voice seemed to come, and he opening his mouth spake to them after this manner: "The Lord will rebuke this spirit in his own time and cast it out."

The Devil answering, said, "It is written in the 9th of Mark, The Disciples could not cast him out."

The Minister replyed, "What the Disciples could not do, yet the Lord, having hightned the parents' faith, for His own glory did cast him out and so shall He thee."

The Devil replyed, "It is written in the 4th of Luke, 'And He departed and left him for a season.'"

The Minister said, "The Lord in the dayes of His humiliation not only got the victory over Satan in that assault in the wilderness, but when he came again his success was no better, for it is written (John 14), 'Behold the Prince of this World cometh and hath nothing in me,' and being now in glory He will fulfil His promise, and (Rom. 16) 'God shal bruise Satan under your feet shortly.'"

The Devil answered, "It is written (Matth. 25) 'There were ten virgins, five wise & five foolish; and the bridegroom came, the foolish virgins had no oyl in their lamps, and went unto the wise to seek oyl, and the wise said, Go and buy for your selves; and while they went the bridegroom came and entered in, and the door was shut, and the foolish virgins were sent to hell's fire.'"

The Minister answered, "The Lord knows the sincerity of His servants, and though there be sin and folly in us here, yet there is a fountain opened to the house of David for sin and for uncleanness. When He hath washen us and pardoned our sins for His name's sake He will cast the unclean spirit out of the land."

The Devil answered and said, "Sir, you should have cited for that place of Scripture the 13 chap. of Zech.," and so he began at the first verse and repeated several verses, and concluded with these words, "'In that day I will cause the prophet and the unclean spirit pass out of the land'; but afterwards it is written, 'I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.'"

The Minister answered and said, "Well are we that our blessed Shepherd was smitten, and thereby hath bruised thy head, and albeit in the hour of His sufferings His Disciples forsook Him (Matth. 26). Yet now having ascended on high He sits in glory, and is preserving, gathering in, and turning His hand upon His little ones, and will save His poor ones in this family from thy malice."

The Minister returning back a little and standing upon the floor, the Devil said, "I knew not these Scriptures till my father taught me them."

Then the Minister conjured him to tell whence he was.

The Foul-Fiend replyed that he was an evil spirit come from the bottomless pit of hell to vex this house, and that Satan was his father; and presently there appeared a naked hand and an arm, from the elbow down, beating upon the floor till the house did shake again, and also he uttered a most fearful and loud cry, saying, "Come up, Father, come up; I will send my father among you; see, there he is behind your backs."

The Minister said, "I saw indeed an hand and an arm when the stroak was given, and heard."

The Devil said to him, "Say you that? It was not my hand, it was my father's: my hand is more black in the loof."

"O," said Gilbert Campbel, "that I might see thee as well as I hear thee!"

"Would you see me?" says the Foul-Thief; "put out the candle and I shal come butt the house among you like fire balls. I shall let you see me indeed."

Alexander Bailie of Dunraged says to the Minister, "Let us go ben and see if there be any hand to be seen."

The Devil answered, "No, let him come ben alone; he is a good honest man, his single word may be believed."

About this time the Devil abused Mr Robert Hay, a very honest gentleman, very ill, with his tongue, calling him witch and warlock. A little after, the Devil cryes (it seems out of purpose and in a purpose), "A witch, a witch, ther's a witch sitting upon the ruist, take her away:" he meant a hen sitting upon the balk of the house.

These things being past, all went to prayer, during which time he was silent. Prayer being ended, the Devil answered and said, "If the goodman's son's prayers at the Colledge of Glasgow did not prevail with God: my father and I had wrought a mischief here ere now."

To which Alexander Bailie of Dunraged replied, "Well, well, I see you confess there is a God, and that prayer prevails with Him, and therefore we must pray to God, and commit the event to Him."

To whom the Devil replied, "Yea, sir, you speak of prayer with your broad-lipped hat (for the gentleman had lately gotten a hat in the fashion with broad lipps). I'le bring a pair of shears from my father, which shall clip the lipps off it a little." Whereupon he presently imagined that he heard and felt a pair of shears going round about his hat, which caused him lift it to see if the Foul-Thief had medled with it.

During this time several things, but of less moment, passed, as that he would have Tom a merchant, Rob a smith, John a minister, and Hue a lawier, all which in some measure came to pass. As to Jennet, the goodman's daughter, he cryes to her, "Jennet Campbel, Jennet Campbel, wilt thou cast me thy belt?"

Quoth she, "what a widdy would thou do with my belt?"

"I would fain (says he) fasten my loose bones closs together with it."

A younger daughter sitting busking her puppies, as young girls use to do, being threatned by the Fiend that he would ding out her harns, that is, brain her, answered without being concerned, "No, if God be to the fore," and so fell to her work again.

The goodwife of the house having brought out some bread was breaking it, to give everyone of the company a piece.

Cryes he, "Grissel Wyllie, Grissel Wyllie, give me a piece of that hard bread (for so they call their oat cakes). I have gotten nothing this day but a bit from Marrit"-that is, as they speak in that countrey, Margaret.

The Minister said, "Beware of that, for it is a sacrificing to the Devil."

The girle was called for, and asked if she gave him any hard bread. "No," says she, "but when I was eating my due piece this morning something came and clicked it out of my hand."

The evening being now far spent, it was thought fit that every one should withdraw to his own home. Then did the Devil cry out fearfully, "Let not the Minister goe home, I shall burn the house if he go," and many other ways did he threaten.

After the Minister had gone foorth Gilbert Campbel was very instant with him to tarry, whereupon he returned, all the rest going home. When he came into the house the Devil gave a great gaff of laughter: "You have now, sir, done my bidding."

"Not thine," answered the other, "but in obedience to God have I returned to bear this man companie, whom thou doest afflict." Then did the Minister call upon God, and when prayer was ended he discharged the Weaver and all the persons of the familie to speak a word to the Devil, and when it spake that they should only kneel down and speak to God.

The Devil then roared mightily and cryed out, "What! will ye not speake to me? I shall strike the bairns and do all manner of mischief."

But after that time no answer was made to it, and so for a long time no speech was heard. Several times hath he beat the children in their beds, and the claps of his loof upon their buttocks would have been heard, but without any trouble to them. While the Minister and gentlemen were standing at the door readie to go home the Minister's wife and the goodwife were within.

Then cryed Satan, "Grissel, put out the candle."

Sayes she to the Minister's wife, "Shall I do it?"

"No," says the other, "For then you shal obey the Devil."

Upon this he cryes again with a louder shout, "Put out the candle." The candle still burns. The third time he cries, "Put out the candle," and no obedience being given to him he did so often reiterate these words and magnify his voice that it was astonishment to hear him, which made them stop their ears, they thinking the sound was just at their ears. At last the candle was put out. "Now," says he, "I'le trouble you no more this night."

I must insert here what I heard from one of the Ministers of that Presbytrie, who with the rest were appointed to meet at the Weaver's house for prayer and other exercises of that kind. When the day came, five only met. But before they went in they stood a while in the croft, which layes round about the house, consulting what to do. They resolved upon two things-First, there should be no words of conjuration used, as commanding him in the name of God to tell whence he was or to depart from the familie, for which they thought they had no call from God. Secondly, that when the Devil spake none should answer him, but hold on in their worshipping of God and the duties they were called to. When all of them had prayed by turns and three of them had spoken a word or two from the Scripture, they prayed again, and then ended without any disturbance. When that brother who informed me had gone out, one Hue Nisbet, one of the company, came running after him, desiring him to come back, for he had begun to whistle. "No," sayes the other, "I tarried as long as God called me, but go in again I will not."

After this the said Gilbert suffered much loss, and had many sad nights, not two nights in one week free, and thus it continued till April; from April till July he had some respite and ease, but after he was molested with new assaults, and even their victuals were so abused that the family was in hazard of starving, and that which they eat gave them not their ordinary satisfaction they were wont to find.

In this sore and sad affliction Gilbert Campbel resolved to make his addresses to the Synod of Presbyte

rs for advice and counsel what to do, which was appointed to conveen in October, 1655-namely, whether to forsake the house or not? The Synod, by their committy appointed to meet at Glenluce in February, 1656, thought fit that a solemn humiliation should be kept through all the bounds of the Synod; and, among other causes, to request God in behalf of that afflicted family, which, being done carefully, the event was that his troubles grew less till April, and from April to August he was altogether free. About which time the Devil began with new assaults, and taking the ready meat that was in the house did sometimes hide it in holes by the door-posts, and at other times did hide it under the beds, and sometimes among the bedcloaths, and under the linnings, and at last did carry it quite away, till nothing was left there, save bread and water. This minds me of a small passage, as a proof of what is said. The goodwife one morning making pottage for the children's breakfasts had the tree-plate, wherein the meal lay, snatched from her quickly.

"Well," says she, "let me have the plate again." Whereupon it came flying at her without any skaith done. 'Tis like if she had sought the meale too she might have got it; such is his civility when he is entreated. A small homage will please him ere he want all. After this he exercised his malice and cruelty against all persons in the family in wearying them in the night time by stirring and moving thorow the house, so that they had no rest for noise, which continued all the moneth of August after this manner. After which time the Devil grew yet worse by roaring, and terrifying them by casting of stones, by striking them with staves on their beds in the night time. And upon the 18 of September, about midnight, he cryed out with a loud voice, "I shall burn the house." And about three or four nights after he set one of the beds on fire, which was soon put out without any prejudice, except the bed itself.

Thus I have written a short and true account of all the material passages which occurred. To write every particular, especially of lesser moment, would fill a large volum. The goodman lived several years after this in the same house; and it seems that by some conjuration or other the Devil suffered himself to be put away, and gave the Weaver a peaceable habitation. This Weaver has been a very odd man that endured so long these marvellous disturbances.

"A True Relation of an Apparition, Expressions and Actings, of a Spirit which infested the house of Andrew Mackie, in Ringcroft of Stocking, in the Parish of Rerwick, in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, in Scotland." Printed in Edinburgh by George Mosman, and sold at his shop in the Parliament Close, 1696.

Whereas many are desirous to know the truth of the matter, as to the Evil Spirit and its actings, that troubled the family of Andrew Mackie, in Ringcroft of Stocking, &c., and are liable to be mis-informed, as I do find by the reports that come to my own ears of that matter; therefore that satisfaction may be given, and such mistakes cured or prevented, I, the Minister of the said parish (who was present several times, and was witness to many of its actings, and have heard an account of the whole of its methods and actings from the persons present, towards whom, and before whom it did act), have given the ensuing and short account of the whole matter, which I can attest to be the very truth as to that affair; and before I come to the relation itself, I premise these things with respect to what might have been the occasion and rise of that spirit's appearing and acting.

1. The said Andrew Mackie being a mason to his employment, 'tis given out, that when he took the mason word, he devoted his first child to the Devil; but I am certainly informed he never took the same, and knows not what that word is. He is outwardly moral; there is nothing known to his life and conversation, but honest, civil, and harmless, beyond many of his neighbours; doth delight in the company of the best; and when he was under the trouble of that evil spirit, did pray to the great satisfaction of many. As for his wife and children, none have imputed any thing to them as the rise of it, nor is there any ground, for aught I know, for any to do so.

2. Whereas it is given out that a woman, sub mala fama, did leave some clothes in that house in the custody of the said Andrew Mackie, and died before they were given up to her, and he and his wife should have kept some of them back from her friends. I did seriously pose both him and his wife upon the matter; they declared they knew not what things were left, being bound up in a sack, but did deliver entirely to her friends all they received from the woman, which I am apt to believe.

"Ringcroft of Stocking," now no longer in existence.

(Sketch by J. Copland, Dundrennan.)

3. Whereas one, -- Macknaught, who sometime before possessed the house, did not thrive in his own person or goods. It seems he had sent his son to a witch-wife who lived then at the Routing Bridge, in the parish of Irongray, to enquire what might be the cause of the decay of his person and goods. The youth, meeting with some foreign soldiers, went abroad to Flanders, and did not return with an answer. Some years after there was one John Redick in this parish who, having had occasion to go abroad, met with the said young Macknaught in Flanders, and they knowing other, Macknaught enquired after his father and other friends; and finding the said John Redick was to go home, desired him to go to his father, or whoever dwelt in the Ringcroft, and desire them to raise the door threshold, and search till they found a tooth, and burn it, for none who dwelt in that house would thrive till that was done. The said John Redick coming home, and finding the old man Macknaught dead and his wife out of that place, did never mention the matter nor further mind it till this trouble was in Andrew Mackie's family, then he spoke of it and told the matter to myself. Betwixt Macknaught's death and Andrew Mackie's possession of this house there was one Thomas Telfair who possessed it some years. What way he heard the report of what the witch-wife had said to Macknaught's son I cannot tell; but he searched the door threshold and found something like a tooth, did compare it with the tooth of a man, horse, nolt, and sheep (as he said to me), but could not say which it did resemble, only it did resemble a tooth. He did cast it into the fire, where it burnt like a candle or so much tallow; yet he never knew any trouble about that house by night or by day, before or after, during his possession. These things premised being suspected to have been the occasion of the troubles, and there being no more known as to them than what is now declared, I do think the matter still unknown what may have given a rise thereto, but leaving this I subjoin the matter as follows:

In the month of February, 1695, the said Andrew Mackie had some young beasts, which in the night-time were still loosed and their bindings broken, he taking it to be the unrulyness of the beasts, did make stronger and stronger bindings, of withes and other things, but still all were broken. At last he suspected it to be some other thing, whereupon he removed them out of that place; and the first night thereafter one of them was bound with a hair-tedder to the back of the house, so strait that the feet of the beast only touched the ground, but could move no way else, yet it sustained no hurt. Another night, when the family were all sleeping, there was the full of a back creel of peats set together in the midst of the house floor, and fire put in them; the smoke wakened the family, otherwise the house had been burnt; yet nothing all the time was either seen or heard.

Upon the 7th of March there were stones thrown in the house in all the places of it; but it could not be discovered from whence they came, what, or who threw them. After this manner it continued till the Sabbath, now and then throwing both in the night and day, but was busiest throwing in the night-time.

Upon Saturday, the family being all without, the children coming in saw something which they thought to be a body sitting by the fireside, with a blanket (or cloth) about it, whereat they were afraid. The youngest, being a boy about nine or ten years of age, did chide the rest saying, "Why are you feared, let us saine (or bless) ourselves, and then there is no ground to fear it." He perceived the blanket to be his, and saining (or blessing) himself, ran and pulled the blanket from it saying, "Be what it will, it hath nothing to do with my blanket;" and then they found it to be a fourfooted stool set upon the end, and the blanket cast over it.

Upon the Sabbath, being the 11th of March, the crook and pot-cleps were taken away, and were awanting four days, and were found at last on a loft, where they had been sought several times before.-This is attested by Charles Macklellan of Colline, and John Cairns in Hardhills. It was observed that the stones which hit any person had not half their natural weight; and the throwing was more frequent on the Sabbath than at other times, and especially in time of prayer, above all other times, it was busiest then, throwing most at the person praying. The said Andrew Mackie told the matter to me upon Sabbath after sermon.

Upon the Tuesday thereafter I went to the house, did stay a considerable time with them and prayed twice, and there was no trouble. Then I came out with a resolution to leave the house, and as I was standing speaking to some men at the barn end I saw two little stones drop down on the croft at a little distance from me, and then immediately some crying out of the house that it was become as ill as ever within; whereupon I went into the house again, and as I was at prayer it threw several stones at me, but they did no hurt, being very small; and after there was no more trouble till the eighteenth day of March, and then it began as before, and threw more frequently greater stones, whose strokes were sorer where they hit, and thus it continued to the 21st. Then I went to the house, and stayed a great part of the night, but was greatly troubled; stones and several other things were thrown at me, I was struck several times on the sides and shoulders very sharply with a great staff, so that those who were present heard the noise of the strokes. That night it tore off the bedside, and rapped upon the chests and boards as one calling for access.-This is attested by Charles Macklellan of Colline, William Mackminn, and John Tait in Torr. That night as I was once at prayer, leaning on a bedside, I felt something pressing on my arm; I, casting my eyes thither, perceived a little white hand and arm from the elbow down, but presently it evanished. It is to be observed that, notwithstanding of all that was felt and heard, from the first to the last of this matter, there was never anything seen, except that hand I saw; and a friend of the said Andrew Mackie's said he saw as it were a young boy about the age of fourteen years, with gray clothes, and a bonnet on his head, but presently disappeared, as also what the three children saw sitting at the fireside.

Upon the 22d the trouble still increased, both against the family and against the neighbours who came to visit them, by throwing stones and beating them with staves; so that some were forced to leave the house before their inclination.-This is attested by Charles Macklellan in Colline, and Andrew Tait in Torr. Some it would have met as they came to the house, and stoned with stones about the yards, and in like manner stoned as they went from the house, of whom Thomas Telfair in Stocking was one. It made a little wound on the said Andrew Mackie's brow; did thrust several times at his shoulder, he not regarding; at last it gripped him so by the hair, that he thought something like nails of fingers scratched his skin. It dragged severals up and down the house by the cloathes.-This is attested by Andrew Tait. It gripped one Keige, miller in Auchencairn, so by his side that he entreated his neighbours to help, and cried it would rive the side from him. That night it lifted the cloathes off the children as they were sleeping in bed, and beat them on the hips as if it had been with one's hand, so that all that were in the house heard it. The door bar and other things would go through the house as if a person had been carrying them in their hand, yet nothing seen doing it.-This is attested by John Telfair in Auchinleck, and others. It rattled on the chests and bedsides with a staff, and made a great noise; and thus it continued by throwing stones, striking with staves and rattling in the house, till the 2d of April. At night it cryed "Whist, whist," at every sentence in the close of prayer; and it whistled so distinctly that the dog barked and ran to the door, as if one had been calling to hound him.

Aprile 3d, it whistled several times and cryed "Whist, whist."-This is attested by Andrew Tait.

Upon the 4th of April Charles Macklellan of Colline, landlord, with the said Andrew Mackie, went to a certain number of ministers met at Buittle, and gave them an account of the matter, whereupon these ministers made public prayers for the family, and two of their number, viz., Mr Andrew Ewart, minister of Kells, and Mr John Murdo, minister of Crossmichael, came to the house and spent that night in fasting and praying, but it was very cruel against them, especially by throwing great stones, some of them about half a stone weight. It wounded Mr Andrew Ewart twice in the head, to the effusion of his blood, it pulled off his wig in time of prayer, and when he was holding out his napkin betwixt his hands it cast a stone in the napkin and therewith threw it from him. It gave Mr John Murdo several sore strokes, yet the wounds and bruises received did soon cure. There were none in the house that night escaped from its fury and cruelty. That night it threw a fiery peat amongst the people, but it did no hurt, it only disturbed them in time of prayer. And also in the dawning as they rose from prayer the stones poured down on all who were in the house to their hurt.-This is attested by Mr Andrew Ewart, Mr John Murdo, Charles Macklellan, and John Tait.

Upon the 5th of April it set some thatch straw on fire which was in the barn yard; at night, the house being very throng with neighbours, the stones were still thrown down among them. As the said Andrew Mackie and his wife went out to bring in some peats to the fire, when she came to the door she found a broad stone to shake under her foot, which she never knew to be loose before; she resolved with herself to see what was beneath it in the morning thereafter.

Upon the 6th of April, when the house was quiet, she went to the stone and there found seven small bones, with blood and some flesh, all closed in a piece of old suddled paper; the blood was fresh and bright. The sight whereof troubled her, and being afraid laid all down again and ran to Colline's house, being a quarter of a mile distant; but in that time it was worse than ever before, by throwing stones and fire balls in and about the house, but the fire as it lighted did evanish. In that time it threw a hot stone into the bed betwixt the children, which burnt through the bed-cloathes; and after it was taken out by the man's eldest son, and had layen on the floor more than an hour and a half, the said Charles Macklellan of Colline could not hold it in his hand for heat.-This is attested by Charles Macklellan. It thrust a staff through the wall of the house above the children in the bed, shook it over them and groaned. When Colline came to the house he went to prayer before he offered to lift the bones; all the time he was at prayer it was most cruel, but as soon as he took up the bones the trouble ceased.-This is attested by Charles Macklellan. He sent them presently to me, upon sight whereof I went immediately to the house. While I was at prayer it threw great stones which hit me, but did no hurt, then there was no more trouble that night.

The 7th of April being Sabbath, it began again and threw stones, and wounded William Macminn, a blacksmith, on the head; it cast a plough-sock at him and also a trough stone upwards of three stone weight, which did fall upon his back, yet he was not hurt thereby.-Attested by William Macminn. It set the house twice on fire, yet there was no hurt done, in respect some neighbours were in the house who helped to quench it. At night in the twilight as John Mackie, the said Andrew Mackie's eldest son, was coming home, near to the house, there was an extraordinary light fell about him and went before him to the house with a swift motion; that night it continued after its wonted manner.

April 8th, in the morning as Andrew Mackie went down the close he found a letter both written and sealed with blood. It was directed on the back thus, "3 years thou shall have to repent a nett it well," and within was written, "Wo be to thee Scotland Repent and tak warning for the doors of haven ar all Redy bart against thee, I am sent for a warning to thee to flee to God yet troublt shall this man be for twenty days, repent repent repent Scotland or else thou shall." In the middle of the day the persons alive who lived in that house since it was built, being about twenty-eight years, were conveined by appointment of the civil magistrate before Colline, myself, and others, and did all touch the bones, in respect there was some suspicion of secret murder committed in the place, but nothing was found to discover the same.

Upon the 9th of April the letter and bones were sent to the ministers, who were all occasionally met at Kirkcudbright; they appointed five of their number, viz., Mr John Murdo, Mr James Monteith, Mr John Macmillan, Mr Samuel Spalding, and Mr William Falconer, with me, to go to the house and spend so much time as we were able in fasting and prayer.

Upon the 10th of April we went to the house, and no sooner did I begin to open my mouth but it threw stones at me and all within the house, but still worst at him who was at duty. It came often with such force upon the house that it made all the house to shake, it broke a hole through the timber and thatch of the house and powred in great stones, one whereof, more than a quarter weight, fell upon Mr Monteith's back, yet he was not hurt. It threw another with great force at him when he was praying, bigger than a man's fist, which hit him on the breast, yet he was neither hurt nor moved thereby. It was thought fit that one of our number with another person should go by turns and stand under the hole in the outside, so there was no more trouble from that place; but the barn being joined to the end of the house, it brake down the barn door and mid wall and threw stones up the house, but did no great hurt. It gripped and handled the legs of some as with a man's hand, it hoised up the feet of others while standing on the ground, thus it did to William Lennox of Millhouse, myself, and others. In this manner it continued till ten o'clock at night, but after that there was no more trouble while we were about the house.-This is attested by Messrs James Monteith, John Murdo, Samuel Spalding, Wm. Falconer, William Lennox, and John Tait.

The 11th, 12th, and 13th it was worse than ever it was before, for not one that came into the house did escape heavy strokes. There was one Andrew Tait in Torr, as he was coming to stay with the family all night, by the way his dog catched a thulmart, when he came in he cast it by in the house; thereafter there were other three young men who came in also, and when they were all at prayer the Evil Spirit beat them with the dead thulmart and threw it before them. The three who knew it not to be in the house were greatly affrighted, especially one Samuel Thomson, a chapman, whom it also gripped by the side and back, and thrust as if it had been an hand beneath his clothes and into his pockets, he was so affrighted that he took sickness immediately.-This is attested by Andrew Tait.

The 14th being the Sabbath, it set some straw on fire that was in the barn yard, and threw stones till ten o'clock at night; it threw an dike spade at the said Andrew Mackie, with the mouth toward him, but he received no hurt; while an meal-sive was tossed up and down the house, the said Andrew Mackie takes hold of it, and as it were with difficulty gets the grip keeped, at last all within the rim is torn out. Thereafter it threw a handful of the sive rolled together at Thomas Robertson in Airds, who was witness to this, yet in all its actings there was never any thing seen, but what I mentioned before.

Upon the 15th of April, William Anderson, a drover, and James Paterson, his son-in-law, came to the house with Colline in the evening. Colline going home a while within night, the said Andrew Mackie sent his sons to convey him; as they returned they were cruelly stoned, and the stones rolled amongst their legs, like to break them. Shortly after they came in, it wounded William Anderson on the head, to the great effusion of his blood. In time of prayer it whistled, groaned, and cryed "Whist, whist."-This is attested by John Cairns.

The 16th it continued whisting, groaning, whistling, and throwing stones in time of prayer; it cryed "Bo, bo," and kick, cuck, and shook men back and forward, and hoised them up as if to lift them off their knees.-This is attested by Andrew Tait.

The whole family went from the house, and left five honest neighbours to wait on the same all night; but there was no hurt done to them, nor the family where they were, nor to those neighbours who stayed in the said Andrew Mackie's house, only the cattle were cast over other to the hazard of killing them, as they were bound to the stakes, and some of them were loosed.-This is attested by John Cairns.

Upon the 18th they returned to their house again, and there was no hurt to them or their cattle that night, except in a little house, where there were some sheep, it coupled them together in pairs by the neck with straw ropes, made of an bottle of straw, which it took off an loft in the stable and carried to the sheep house, which is three or four pair of butts (arrow shots) distant, and it made more ropes than it needed for binding the sheep, which it left beside the straw in the sheep-house.-This is attested by Andrew Tait.

Upon the 19th it fired the straw in the barn, but Andrew Mackie put it out, (being there threshing) without doing any harm. It shot staves through the wall at him, but did no hurt.

The 20th, it continued throwing stones, whistling, and whisting, with all its former words. When it hit any person, and said, "Take you that till you get more," that person was sure immediately of another; but when it said, "Take you that," the person got no more for a while.-This is attested by John Tait.

The 21st, 22nd, and 23rd it continued casting stones, beating with staves, and throwing peat mud in the faces of all in the house, especially in time of prayer, with all its former tricks.

The 24th being a day of humiliation appointed to be kept in the parish for that cause, all that day from morning till night it continued in a most fearful manner without intermission, throwing stones with such cruelty and force that all in the house feared lest they should be killed.

The 25th it threw stones all night, but did no great hurt.

The 26th it threw stones in the evening and knocked several times on a chest, as one to have access; and began to speak and call those that were sitting in the house witches and rooks, and said it would take them to hell. The people then in the house said among themselves, if it had any to speak to it now, it would speak. In the meantime Andrew Mackie was sleeping. They wakened him, and then he, hearing it say "Thou shalt be troubled till Tuesday," asked, "Who gave thee a commission?"

To whom it answered, "God gave me a commission, and I am sent to warn the land to repent, for a judgment is to come if the land do not quickly repent," and commanded him to reveal it upon his peril; and if the land did not repent it said it would go to its father and get a commission to return with a hundred worse than itself, and would trouble every particular family in the land.

Andrew Mackie said to those that were with him, "If I should tell this I would not be believed."

Then it said, "Fetch betters; fetch the Minister of the parish and two honest men upon Tuesday's night, and I shall declare before them what I have to say." Then it said, "Praise me and I will whistle to you; worship me and I will trouble you no more."

Then Andrew Mackie said, "The Lord who delivered the three children out of the fiery furnace, deliver me and mine this night from the temptations of Satan."

Then it replied, "You might as well have said, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego." In the meantime, while Andrew Mackie was speaking, there was one James Telfair in Buittle who was adding a word, to whom it said, "You are basely bred, meddling in other men's discourse, wherein you are not concerned." It likewise said, "Remove your goods, for I will burn the house."

He answered, "The Lord stop Satan's fury and hinder him of his designs."

Then it said, "I will do it, or you shall guide well."-All this is attested by John Tait in Torr and several others who cannot subscribe.

Upon the 27th it set fire to the house seven times.

The 28th, being the Sabbath, from sun-rising till sun-setting it still set the house on fire-as it was quenched in one part, instantly it was fired in another-and in the evening, when it could not get its designs fulfilled in burning the house, it pulled down the end of the house, all the stonework thereof, so that they could not abide in it any longer, but went and kindled their fire in the stable.

Upon the Sabbath night it pulled one of the children out of the bed, gripping him, as he thought, by the craig and shoulders; and took up a block of a tree as great as a plough-head, and held above the children, saying, "If I had a commission I would brain them." Thus it expressed itself, in the hearing of all who were in the house.-Attested by William Macminn and John Crosby.

The 29th, being Monday, it continued setting fire to the house. The said Andrew Mackie finding the house so frequently set on fire, and being weary quenching it, he went and put out all the fire that was about the house, and poured water upon the hearth; yet after it fired the house several times, when there was no fire within a quarter of a mile of the house.-This is attested by Charles Macklellan and John Cairnes. In the midst of the day, as Andrew Mackie was threshing in the barn, it whispered in the wall and then cried, "Andrew, Andrew," but he gave no answer to it. Then with an austere angry voice as it were, it said, "Speak;" yet he gave no answer. Then it said, "Be not troubled; you shall have no more trouble, except some casting of stones upon Tuesday to fulfill the promise," and said, "Take away your straw." I went to the house about 11 o'clock; it fired the house once after I went there. I stayed all night till betwixt three and four on Tuesday's morning, during which time there was no trouble about the house, except two little stones dropped down at the fireside as we were sitting down at our first entry. A little after I went away it began to throw stones as formerly.-This is attested by Charles Macklellan and John Tait.

Upon Tuesday's night, being the 30th of April, Charles Macklellan of Colline, with several neighbours, were in the barn. As he was at prayer he observed a black thing in the corner of the barn, and it did encrease as if it would fill the whole house. He could not discern it to have any form but as if it had been a black cloud; it was affrightning to them all, and then it threw bear-chaff and other mud upon their faces; and after did gripp severals that were in the house by the middle of the body, by the arms and other parts of their bodies, so strait that some said for five days thereafter that they thought they felt these gripps. After an hour or two of the night was thus past there was no more trouble.-This is attested by Charles Macklellan, Thomas Macminn, Andrew Paline, John Cairnes, and John Tait.

Upon Wednesday's night, being the 1st of May, it fired a little sheep-house; the sheep were got out safe, but the sheep-house was wholly burnt. Since there has not been any trouble about the house by night nor by day.

Now all things aforesaid, being of undoubted verity, therefore I conclude with that of the Apostle, 1 Peter v., 8-9, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith."

This relation is attested, as to what they particularly saw, heard, and felt, by Andrew Ewart, minister of Kells; James Monteith, minister of Borgue; John Murdo, minister of Crossmichael; Samuel Spalding, minister of Parton; William Falconer, minister of Kelton; Charles Macklellan of Colline, William Lennox of Millhouse, Andrew Tait in Torr, John Tait in Torr, John Cairns in Hardhills, William Macminn, John Crosby, Thomas Macminn, Andrew Paline, &c.

"The Laird o' Coul's Ghost: an Eighteenth Century Chapbook. An Account of Mr Maxwell, Laird of Coul, his Appearance after Death to Mr Ogilvie, a Minister of the present Establishment at Innerwick." (Abridged.)

Upon the third day of February, 1722, at seven o'clock at night, after I had parted with Thurston [his name Cant], and was coming up the Burial Road, one came riding up after me: upon hearing the noise of his horse's feet, I took it to be Thurston, but upon looking back, and seeing the horse of a greyish colour, I called "Who is there?" The answer was, "The Laird of Coul [his name Maxwell], be not afraid." Then looking to him by the help of the dark light which the moon afforded, I took him to be Collector Castellow designing to put a trick upon me, and immediately I struck at him with all my force with my cane, thinking I should leave upon him a mark, to make him remember his presumption; but being sensible, I aimed as well as ever I did in my life, yet my cane finding no resistance, but flying out of my hand the distance of about 60 feet, and observing it by its white head, I dismounted and took it up, and had some difficulty in mounting again, what by the ramping of my horse and what by reason of a certain kind of trembling throughout my whole joints, something likewise of anger had its share in the confusion; for, as I thought, he laughed when my staff flew away. Coming up with him again, who halted all the time I sought my staff, I asked once more "Who he was?" He answered, "The Laird of Coul." I enquired, "If he was the Laird of Coul, what brought him hither?" and "What was his business with me?"

Coul-The reason of my waiting on you is that I know you are disposed to do for me a thing which none of your brethren in Nithsdale will so much as attempt, though it serve to ever so good purposes. I told him I would never refuse to do a thing to serve a good purpose, if I thought I was obliged to do it as my duty. He answered, since I had undertaken what he found few in Nithsdale would, for he had tried some upon that subject, who were more obliged to him than ever I was, or to any person living: I drew my horse, and halted in surprise, asking what I had undertaken?

Ogilvie-Pray, Coul, who informed you that I talked at that rate?

Coul-You must know that we are acquainted with many things that the living know nothing about. These things you did say, and much more to that purpose; and all that I want is that you fulfil your promise and deliver my commissions to my loving wife.

Ogilvie-'Tis a pity, Coul, that you who know so many things, should not know the difference between an absolute and a conditional promise.

But did I ever say that if you would come to Innerwick and employ me that I would go all the way to Dumfries upon that errand? That is what never so much as once entered into my thought.

Coul-What was in your thought I do not pretend to know, but I can depend upon my information that these were your words; but I see you are in some disorder; I will wait on you again, when you have more presence of mind.

By the time we were got to James Dickson's inclosure below the churchyard, and while I was collecting in my mind whether ever I had spoken these words he alleged, he broke from me through the churchyard with greater violence than ever any man on horseback is capable of, and with such a singing and buzzing noise as put me in greater disorder than I was all the time I was with him. I came to my house, and my wife observed something more than ordinary paleness in my countenance, and would allege that something ailed me. I called for a dram and told her I was a little uneasy. After I found myself a little eased and refreshed, I retired to my closet to meditate on this the most astonishing adventure of my whole life.

The Second Conference.

Upon the 5th of March, 1722. Being at Blarehead baptising the shepherd's child, I came off at sunsetting, or a very little after. Near Will. White's march the Laird of Coul came up with me on horseback as formerly, and, after his first salutation, bid me not be afraid, for he would do me no harm. I told him I was not in the least afraid, in the name of God and of Christ my Saviour, that he would do the least harm to me; for I knew that He in whom I trusted was stronger than all them put together, and if any of them should attempt even to do the horse I rode upon harm, as you have done to Dr Menzies' man,[48] if it be true that is said, and generally believed about Dumfries, I have free access to complain to my Lord and Master, to the lash of whose resentment you are as much liable now as before.

Coul-You need not multiply words upon that head, for you are as safe with me and safer, if safer can be, than when I was alive.

I said-Well then, Coul, let me have a peaceable and easy conversation with you for the time we ride together, and give me some information about the affairs of the other world, for no man inclines to lose his time in conversing with the dead without having a prospect of hearing and learning something that may be useful.

Coul-Well, sir, I will satisfy you as far as I think it proper and convenient. Let me know what information you want from me.

Ogilvie-Well, then, what sort of body is it that you appear in, and what sort of a horse is it that you ride on that appears so full of mettle?

Coul-You may depend upon it 'tis not the same body that I was witness to your marriage in, nor in which I died, for that is in the grave rotting; but it is such a body as answers me in a moment, for I can fly as fast as my soul can do without it, so that I can go to Dumfries and return again before you ride twice the length of your horse: nay, if I incline to go to London, or to Jerusalem, or to the moon, if you please, I can perform all these journeys equally soon, for it costs me nothing but a thought or wish; for this body you see is as fleet as your thought, for in the same moment of time that you carry your thoughts to Rome I can go there in person. And for my horse, he is much like myself, for 'tis Andrew Johnstoun, who was seven years my tenant, and he died 48 hours before me.

Ogilvie-So it seems when Andrew Johnstoun inclines to ride you must serve him for a horse, as he now does you?

The Third Conference.

Upon the 9th of April, 1722, as I was returning from Old Hamstocks, Coul struck up with me upon the back, at the foot of the ruinous inclosure before we come to Dodds. I told him his last conversation had proven so acceptable to me that I was well pleased to see him again, and that there was a vast number of things which I wanted to inform myself further of, if he would be so good as to satisfy me.

Coul-Last time we met I refused you nothing that you asked, and now I expect you will refuse me nothing that I ask.

Ogilvie-Nothing, sir, that is in my power, or that I can with safety to my reputation and character. What then are your demands upon me?

Coul-All I desire is that, as you promised that Sabbath day, you will go to my wife, who now possesses all my effects, and tell her the following particulars, and desire her in my name to rectify these matters. First, that I was justly owing to Provost Crosby £500 Scots, and three years' interest; but upon hearing of his death, my good-brother (the laird of Chapel) and I did forge a discharge narrating the date of the bond, the sum, and other particulars, with this onerous clause that at that time it was fallen by and could not be found, with an obligation on the Provost's part to deliver up the bond as soon as he could hit upon it, and this discharge was dated three months before the Provost's death; and when his only son and successor, Andrew Crosby, wrote to me concerning this bond, I came to him and showed him that discharge, which silenced him, so that I got my bond without more ado. And when I heard of Robert Kennedy's death, with the same help of Chapel, I got a bill upon him for £190 sterling, which I got full and compleat payment of, and Chapel got the half. When I was in Dumfries the day Thomas Greer died, to whom I was owing an account of £36 sterling, Chapel, my good-brother, at that time was at London, and not being able of myself, being but a bad writer, to get a discharge of the account, which I wanted exceedingly, I met accidentally with Robert Boyd, a poor writer lad in Dumfries. I took him to Mrs Carrick's, gave him a bottle of wine and told him that I had paid Thomas Greer's account, but wanted a discharge, and if he would help me to it I would reward him. He flew away from me in great passion, saying he would rather be hanged, but if I had a mind for these things I had best wait till Chapel came home. This gave me great trouble, fearing that what he and I had formerly done was no secret. I followed Boyd to the street, made an apology that I was jesting, commended him for his honesty, and took him solemnly engaged that he should not repeat what had passed. I sent for my cousin Barnhourie, your good-brother, who with no difficulty, for one guinea and a half undertook and performed all that I wanted, and for one guinea more made me up a discharge for £200 Scots, which I was owing to your father-in-law and his friend Mr Morehead, which discharge I gave in to John Ewart when he required the money, and he, at my desire, produced it to you, which you sustained. A great many of the like instances were told, of which I cannot remember the persons' names and sums. But, added he, what vexes me more than all these is the injustice I did to Homer Maxwell, tenant to Lord Nithsdale, for whom I was factor. I had borrowed 2000 merks from him, 500 of which he borrowed from another hand, and I gave him my bond. For reasons I contrived, I obliged him to secrecy. He died within the year. He had nine children, and his wife had died a month before himself. I came to seal up his papers for my lord's security. His eldest daughter entreated me to look through them all, and to give her an account what was their stock and what was their debt. I very willingly undertook it, and in going through his papers I put my own bond in my pocket. His circumstances proved bad, and the nine children are now starving. These things I desire you to represent to my wife; take her brother with you, and let them be immediately rectified, for she has sufficient fund to do it upon, and, if that were done, I think I would be easy and happy. Therefore I hope you will make no delay.

Ogilvie-After a short pause I answered-'Tis a good errand, Coul, that you are sending me to do justice to the oppressed and injured; but notwithstanding that I see myself among the rest that come in for £200 Scots, yet I beg a little time to consider on the matter.

The Fourth Conference.

Upon the 10th of April, 1722, coming from Old Camus, upon the post road I met with Coul, as formerly, upon the head of the path called the Pease. He asked me if I had considered the matter he had recommended? I told him I had, and was in the same opinion that I was of when we parted: that I could not possibly undertake his commission unless he would give it in writing under his hand. I wanted nothing but reason to determine me, not only in that, but all other affairs of my life. I added that the list of his grievances was so long that I could not possibly remember them without being in writing.

I know, said he, that this is a mere evasion; but tell me if your neighbour, the laird of Thurston, will do it? I would gladly wait upon him.

Ogilvie-I am sure, said I, he will not, and if he inclined so I would do what I could to hinder him, for I think he has as little concern in these matters as I. But tell me, Coul, is it not as easy for you to write your story as it is to tell it, or to ride on-what-is-it-you-call-him? for I have forgotten your horse's name.

Coul-No, sir, 'tis not, and perhaps I may convince you of it afterwards.

Ogilvie-I would be glad to hear a reason that is solid for your not speaking to your wife yourself. But, however, any rational creature may see what a fool I would make of myself if I should go to Dumfries and tell your wife that you had appeared to me and told me of so many forgeries and villainies which you had committed, and that she behoved to make reparation. The event might, perhaps, be that she would scold me; for as 'tis very probable, she will be loth to part with any money she possesses, and therefore tell me I was mad, or possibly might pursue me for calumny. How could I vindicate myself? how should I prove that ever you had spoken with me? Mr Paton and the rest of my brethren would tell me that it was a devil who had appeared to me, and why should I repeat these things as truth, which he that was a liar from the beginning had told me? Chapel and Barnhourie would be upon my top and pursue me before the Commissary, and everybody will look upon me as brainsick or mad. Therefore, I entreat you, do not insist upon sending me an April errand. The reasonableness of my demand I leave to your consideration, as you did your former to mine, for I think what I ask is very just. But dropping these matters till our next interview, give me leave to enter upon some more diverting subject; and I do not know, Coul, but through the information given to me, you may do as much service to mankind as the redress of all the wrongs you have mentioned would amount to, &c.

* * *

Authorities Consulted and Quoted.

No. Page

1. Cromek's Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song, appendix p. 228 11

2. Hereditary Sheriffs of Galloway, vol. II., p. 13 14

3. 459 15

4. Gallovidian, vol. IV., p. 40 17

5. Andrew Donaldson, Esq., Ardwell, Stranraer, letter from 24

6. 24

7. 25

8. 26

9. 29

10. Cromek's Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song, appendix p. 230 31

11. Wigtown: Historical and Descriptive Sketches, by Fraser, p. 359 34

12. East Galloway Sketches (Dalry), p. 349 35

13. Dumfries and Galloway Antiquarian Society, Transactions of-"Superstitious Custom in Galloway," by J. M'Kie (March, 1895) 40

14. John Copland, Esq., The Studio, Dundrennan, letter from 43

15. 44

16. 46

17. 49

18. Dumfries and Galloway Antiquarian Society, Transactions of-"Folk-Lore in Tynron," by James Shaw (November, 1887) 50

19. Folk-Lore of Uppermost Nithsdale, by Wilson, p. 17 52

20. The Bard and Belted Knight, by Johnstone, p. 21 53

21. Cromek's Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song, appendix p. 233 56

22. Andrew Donaldson, Esq., Ardwell, Stranraer, letter from 57

23. East Galloway Sketches (Dalry), p. 350 58

24. Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia (2nd ed.), p. 114 59

25. Law's Memorials, edited by Kirkpatrick Sharpe 62

26. The Book of Galloway (privately printed) 64

27. History of Galloway, by Mackenzie, vol. II., appendix p. 37 77

28. p. 40 82

29. p. 42 87

30. History of Dumfries, by M'Dowall (2nd ed.,) p. 375 91

31. The Book of Kirkpatrick-Durham, by Stark, p. 94 93

32. The Scots Worthies (Howie), by John Semple 93

33. History of the Parish of Minnigaff, by Jas. G. Kinna, p. 119 96

34. Wigtown: Historical and Descriptive Sketches, by Fraser, p. 360 97

35. Kirkmaiden, Guide to, by Andrew Donaldson, p. 40 98

36. History of Dumfries, by M'Dowall (2nd ed.), p. 377 111

37. p. 375 112

38. p. 376 113

39. p. 376 113

40. p. 376 115

41. History of Dumfries, by M'Dowall (2nd ed.), p. 375 116

42. p. 377 116

43. p. 379 117

44. Domestic Annals of Scotland, vol. III., p. 66 118

45. History of Dumfries, by M'Dowall (2nd ed.), pp. 378 and 379 120

46. Dumfries and Galloway Antiquarian Society, Transactions of-"Kirk-session Records of Irongray Parish, 1691-1700" (February, 1906) 122

47. Unique Traditions of the West and South of Scotland, by Barbour-"The Witch's Well" 124

48. History of Witchcraft in Scotland, by C. Kirkpatrick Sharpe, p. 160 131

49. Law's Memorials, edited by Kirkpatrick Sharpe 141

50. The Testimony of Tradition, by M'Ritchie, p. 115 161

51. Hereditary Sheriffs of Galloway, by Agnew, vol. II., pp. 168 and 169 164

52. Droll Recollections of Whithorn, by Jas. F. Cannon, p. 105 166

53. Galloway Gossip, by "Saxon"-"Riddled in the Reek"-p. 289 169

54. Dumfries and Galloway Magazine, 1822-"Glenkens Anecdotes"-p. 456 172

55. The Castle-Douglas Miscellany, 1827 174

56. Cromek's Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song, appendix p. 241 176

57. Cromek's Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song, appendix p. 239 177

58. p. 242 179

59. p. 238 180

60. p. 246 182

61. Dumfries and Galloway Antiquarian Society, Transactions of-"Folk-Lore of Glencairn," by John Corrie (February, 1891) 183

62. Folk-Lore of Uppermost Nithsdale, by Wilson, p. 75 184

63. Bard and Belted Knight, by Johnstone, p. 19 185

64. Cromek's Remains of Galloway and Nithsdale Song, appendix p. 265 188

65. p. 266 190

66. p. 268 191

67. Dumfries and Galloway Antiquarian Society, Transactions of-"Folk-Lore of Glencairn," by John Corrie (February, 1891) 202

68. Galloway Gossip, by "Saxon," p. 175 205

69. Dumfries Standard 209

70. Dumfries and Galloway Antiquarian Society, Transactions of-"Folk-Lore of Glencairn," by John Corrie (December, 1890) 212

71. Drumlanrig and the Douglases, by Ramage, p. 185 214

72. Celtic Lecture, Glasgow University, by Dr Henderson 218

73. Dumfries and Galloway Antiquarian Society, Transactions of-"Bee Folk-Lore," by P. Dudgeon (May, 1892) 218

74. Life and Times of the Rev. John Wightman, D.D., p. 120 224

75. The Laird of Lag, by Lieut.-Col. Fergusson, appendices II. and III., p. 251 227

76. p. 144 232

77. Old Church Life in Scotland, by Edgar (2nd series), p. 249 239

78. Memorials of Sanquhar Kirkyard, by Tom Wilson (Courier and Herald, Dumfries) 240

79. Hereditary Sheriffs of Galloway, by Agnew, vol. II., p. 164 248

80. Wigtown: Historical and Descriptive Sketches, by Fraser, p. 208 253

81. Jas. F. Cannon, Esq., Edinburgh, letter from 254

82. 256

83. Galloway Gossip, by "Saxon," p. 337 258

84. The Tinkler-Gypsies of Galloway, by M'Cormick, p. 123 263

85. John Copland, Esq., The Studio, Dundrennan, letter from 269

86. Dumfries and Galloway Antiquarian Society, Transactions of-"Kirkbean Folk-Lore," by Sam. Arnott, Esq. (November, 1894) 274

87. Appendix to the earlier (1774, 1781, 1816) editions of Howie's Scots Worthies 282

88. John Corrie, Esq., Burnbank, Moniaive, letter from 283

89. Dumfries and Galloway Antiquarian Society, Transactions of (March 14th, 1902) 293

90. Reminiscences of Thomas Carlyle, by Froude (Longmans, Green & Co., 1881) 294

91. Poets of Dumfriesshire, by Miller (1910), p. 220 295

92. Dumfries and Galloway Antiquarian Society, Transactions of (November 18th, 1898) 296

93. Dumfries and Galloway Antiquarian Society, Transactions of-"Antiquities of Eskdalemuir," by Rev. John C. Dick (November 18th, 1896) 297

94. Concerning Certain Apparitions, by Frances M'Laughlin (Chambers' Journal, January 1909) 299

* * *


The student of Scots dialect will not always find the quoted vernacular running through the text quite pure, many words having been unconsciously modified by a too free use of phonetic spelling.


Adder-stane, the adder-bead charm.

Adowe, stir.

Airless, heirless.

Airt, direction.

Anon, immediately, thereupon.

Ask, newt.

Ava, at all.

Awsomly, in fear.


Backgane, not thriving, wasting.

Bags, entrails.

Bayillis, bailies.

Bees Bizin', noises in the head caused by alcohol.

Beldam, an old woman.

Beltane, the festival of May first.

Bek, bake.

Benison, prognostication for good.

Benshee, a banshee or fairy, really an Irish fairy.

Berry, thresh.

Besome, broom.

"Best Aucht," the most valuable possession, usually a horse or ox, claimed by the superior on the death of a farm tenant.

Bickering, moving noisily.

Bien, prosperous.

Biggit, built.

Binwud, ivy.

Black-Spauld (Spaul), a pleuritic disease of cattle.

Blew Spot, a significant witch-mark also another term for "dede-nip."

Blinmens' Baws, common puff-ball (devil's snuff-box).

Blinking, attractive, comely.

Bluidy-fingers, foxglove.

Bogle-bo, hobgoblin.

Boor-tree, elder-tree.

Bowcail, cabbage.

Bowte, to strike against.

Brattle, a clattering sound.

Breckan, bracken.

Breers, briars

"Brocken," the important medi?val place of witch festival in Germany (see Faust).

Brose, pease-meal mixed with boiling water.

Bumbee, humble-bee.

Butter-skep, butter-basket.

Byke, a wasp's or bee's nest.


"Ca cuttie ca," called upon to eat freely, even greedily.

"Cannie Moment," significant time.

Cantie, canty, contentedly.

Cantrip, charm or spell.

Cap, caup, a wooden bowl.

Carle, a man.

Certes, certainly.

Champit, bruised.

Channel-stane, curling-stone.

Chessel, the tub for pressing cheese.

Chicken-wort, chicken-weed.

Chist (Kist), a wooden box.

Chowed, chewed.

Clowt, cloth.

Cog, a wooden domestic vessel.

Cogfu', the full of such a vessel.

Compeared, appeared.

Coupe, to empty or capsize.

Couters, thick mucous secretion.

Couthie, in rude comfort.

Cower, to bend down.

Cowes, bushes, more particularly of the broom.

Cowsherne, cow-dung.

Craft, croft or field.

Crone, hag, old woman.

Crousely, proudly.

"Crummie," a term for cows with usually crooked horns.

Crune, a murmuring sound, sometimes threatening.

Cruppen, contracted.


Dead-beli, See text, pages 210 to 213.

Dede-chack, See text, pages 210 to 213.

Dede-drap, See text, pages 210 to 213.

Deid-licht, See text, pages 210 to 213.

Dede-nip, See text, pages 210 to 213.

Dede-spall, See text, pages 210 to 213.

Dede-speal, See text, pages 210 to 213.

Dead-watch, See text, pages 210 to 213.

Deil's Milk, milky sap.

Dempster, judge.

Deeray, disorder.

Divination, conjuration.

Dome, doom.

Donnert, stupid.

Door (Dour) here used (page 59) in the sense of sour or astringent.

Drabbled, slobbered.

Drubbing, thrashing.

Drugget, coarse woollen cloth.

Drumlie, thick.

Dwined, pined away or wasted.


Een, eyes.

"Effigies Clericorum," a mock poem on the clergie when they met to consult about taking the Test in the year 1681 (printed A.D. MDCXVII.).

Elfin, fairy.

Esheite, forfeited.


Fald, fold.

Farintosh, whisky.

Fash, trouble.

Fearie, used here (page 203) in the sense of fearless.

Feat, tidy.

Feats, clever doings.

Fecket, under-jacket.

Fen, to strive hard for the means of livelihood.

Fey, a small field or croft.

Fient, no one at all.

Firsle, to rustle.

Fleyed, frightened.

Flutterbaws, puff-balls (see blinmens' baws).

Foggy, mossy.

Forfochten, exhausted.

Fowk, people.

Frenziet, eccentric, mad.

Fumart, pole-cat.


Gall, bile.

Gars, makes or compels.

Gaur, to compel.

Gellocks, earwigs.

Girn, girning, whining, or fretting.

Glamour, bewitchment.

Gled, kite.

Glented, sparkled, gleamed.

Glower, to gaze intently.

Gowan, mountain daisy.

Gowk's Spittles, plant froth (discharged by an insect, Cicada).

Greets, cries or weeps.

Grinwan, a noose of horse-hair attached to a stick or rod.

Grun, ground, referring to the grinding of grain.

Gyre-carline, a mother-witch.


Haed, possessed.

"Haggert wee granum," a rather ragged small old woman.

Hag-ridden, bewitched (lit., ridden by a witch).

Hald, hall.

Hale, well, in good health.

Hallow-eve, the night before All-Hallow.

Halve, a hand-fishing net on a wooden frame.

Hannie, suitable, a fitting time.

Hantle, much.

Haurned, roasted.

Haurpan, brain-pan or skull.

Hawcket, probably finely chopped.

Haws, fruit of the hawthorn.

Herezeld, the best beast on the land, given to the landlord on the death of a farm tenant.

Heriot, the fine exacted by the superior on the death of a tenant.

Herrie, confiscate.

Heugh, a small height or eminence.

Hip o', shoulder or edge of.

Hinnie-suckles, honeysuckle.

Hoose-riggin', roof.

Hooves, abdomen, (lit., swollen by gaseous distension).

Howe, depth.

Houk, to dig up.

Howlet, an owl.

Hows, house.

Hynt, caught up.


Ilk, the same name.

Ill e'e, evil eye.


Jimp, neat and slender.

Jow, ringing of a bell.


Kain, rent or exchange in kind.

"Kelly," Satan, Old Nick.

Kep Skaith, avert evil.

Keppit, caught.

Kilted, tucked up.

Kimmer, witch-wife or "gossip."

Knag, keg, or wooden vessel.

"Knock the Big," to hull the barley.

Kow, a goblin.

Kye, cows or oxen.


Lair, quagmire, to entice into a quagmire.

Lammastide, August, beginning of.

Lave, remainder.

Lift, vault of the heavens.

Lingle, leather-thong.

Lochen, small loch or tarn.

Loofie, fingerless glove.

Loupes, jumps.

Louring, lowering of clouds.

Louthe, abundance.

Lowne, silent, still.

Lowse, loosen.

Lugs, ears.


Malefices, offences.

Malison, prognostication for evil.

Mart, a fattened ox (killed at Martinmas for winter use).

Maun, must.

Maut, meal.

Meal-ark, meal chest.

Meall, male.

Meikle, much.

Meil, meal.

Mettle, with spirit.

"Milked the Tether," extracted the milk by witchcraft through the halter.

Minnie, mother.

Mools, earth or soil.

Mort-Cloth, funeral pall.

Mou', mouth.

Muir-ill, a disease specially affecting black cattle.


Naig, riding-horse or nag.

Napple-roots, heath peas.

Neers, kidneys.

Neist, nearest or next.

Nettle-stingers, nettle leaves.

Nieve, hand or fist.

Nob, nose, also boat's prow.

Nool-shearings, horn parings.

Nowt, oxen (a corrupt form is noat).


O'erswak, sound of breakers.

Onstead, home or farm-steading.


Paddock, a frog.

Pawky, shrewd and crafty.

Pawt, movement of foot, kick.

Philibeg, a pouch worn in front of a kilt.

Pickle, small quantity.

Pig, an earthenware vessel.

Pingle, a small pan.

Pirn, a reel.

Pizion, poison.

Plotcock, the Devil.

Poulder, gun-powder.

Poyntis, points.

Pow, head or skull.

Preens, pins.

Puddocks (Yellow), here (page 58) probably the toad-stool fungus.

Pyckering, pilfering.

Pyet, magpie.

Pyked, picked.


Quarter-ill, a disease of cattle affecting one limb or quarter only.

Queen (Quean), girl, damsel.


Rasps, raspberries.

"Rave the Thack," tear the thatch.

Reamin, full to overflowing.

Rede, wild.

Rede, counsel.

Reid, red.

Remeid, remedy.

Riddle, sieve.

Riddle-turning, divination by means of a riddle balanced on the points of scissors.

Rinnen Doon (Darn), a disease of cattle with diarrh?a present.

Rippish, cleanly.

Resset, receive.

Rossen, clump of thorns.

Routh, abundance.

Rowans, mountain-ash berries.

Rue, regret.

Rydand, riding.

Rye-bowt (Rybat), hewn stone.


Sain, to make the sign of the cross.

Sall, shall.

Samin, same.

Sark, shirt or chemise.

Saugh, willow.

Sawns, sands.

Scaith, injury.

Scaum, thin mist.

Scarrow (Scarrie), stony incline.

Sclater, wood-louse.

Scrunked, dried (lit., shrunk).

Segg, yellow iris plant.

Sheip, sheep.

Shearings, clippings or parings.

Shieling, a shepherd's hut.

Shilped (Shilpit), puny and shrunken.

"Sich and Grein," sigh and regret.

Side-ill, a disease of cattle named from the situation of the disease.

Siew, sieve.

Sindrie, sundry.

Skaith, injury.

Skellet, dead-bell.

Skimes, side-glances.

Skirl, a shrill cry.

Slade, glided.

Slaverin', saliva running down.

Slockened, quenched, i.e., put out.

Sludge, miry-mud.

Smoored, smothered.

Sorning, exacting free board and lodging.

Sough, moaning as of wind.

Sowens, a dish made by steeping, fermenting, and then boiling the husks or siftings of oats in water.

Spangs, leaps or bounds.

Spatter'd, dropped.

Spence, country parlour.

Spurtle, porridge-stick.

Stance, stand.

Starnies, stars.

Stavering, sauntering.

Stick and Stowre, completely.

Straughted, straightened in preparation for burial.

Stricken Hour, a full hour.

Stue, stew or concoction.

Sughs, moaning of the wind.

Swarfed, swooned.

Sweir, reluctant.

Switching, threshing with a thin stick or switch.

Syne, afterwards.


Tade, toad.

Tail-ill, a disease of animals affecting the tail.

"Tak' the Gait," peremptory dismissal.

Tain Alowe, caught fire.

Tappin, the crest of a hill.

Tate, spot (lit., a small lock of hair).

Thackless, roofless.

Thigging, begging.

Thraw, a twist.

Threid, thread.

Thrissles, thistles.

Tirled, rattled at the door.

Tod, a fox.

Toom, empty.

Touk of Drum, sound of drum.

Tredded, trodden.

Trysted, made an appointment with.


Unca, unusually.

Unchancy, ill-omened.

Unsonsy, ill-proportioned.

Unyirthly, unearthly.


Vaunty, inclined to be boastful.

Vacans, holidays.


Walpurgis Night, Eve of First of May, a night of witch revelry (see witch Sabbath).

Wauchie, clammy.

Warbles, a parasitic worm disease of cattle.

Water-ill, a disease of the kidneys in cattle.

Wattles, wooden roof supports on which the thatch is placed.

Whomel'd, turned round and round (lit., upset).

Whorled, wheeled or spun.

Wight, man or fellow.

Wind a Clew, a witchcraft rite in which a reel of coloured thread is wound.

Winglan, walking feebly.

Wirreit, strangled.

Wis, know.

Witch's Sabbath, the gathering together of all the witches of Scotland on the evening between the first Friday and Saturday of April.

Withre-shines, contrarily (lit., against the sun's course).

Wons, dwells.

Wylie, wily.

Wyme, belly.

Wyte, blame.


Yaird, yard or garden.

Yell, barren, dry.

Yestreen, last night.

Yill-boat, ale-barrel or brewing tub.

Yirbs, herbs.

Yowled, howled.

Yule, Christmas, also Hogmanay (December 31st).

* * *



Abbey of Glenluce, 15, 61

Abbey of Holm-Cultram, 16

Abraham Crichton, Ghost of, 285

Abraham Crichton, Laying of ghost of, 287

Act against Witchcraft (1563), 66

Act for burying in Scots linen (1686), 220

Adder Beads, 55

Agnew, Sir Andrew, 245

Agnews of Galdenoch, 245

Aikieslak (Dalbeattie), 274

Aikendrum, 191

Alloway Kirk, 17

Annan River, 290

Auchabrick House (ghost legend), 250

Auchencairn, 300

Auchenmalg Barracks, 257

Auchensheen (Colvend), 185

Auchenstroan (Glencairn), 283


Ballad-Prisoner of Spedlins, 291

Balmaghie, 46

Bard of Corrie, 213

"Bards of Galloway," 166

Barnamon (Stoneykirk), 37

Barncorkerie, 154

Barr, 13

Beadle (Sexton), 241

Bee Folklore, 218

Bell of St. Ninian (Clog Rinny), 243

Bellknowe of Penninghame, 243

Bengairn, 172

Bess o' Borgue, 17

Birns, 47

Bishop's Castle (Kirkmaiden), 154

Bishopton Crofts (Whithorn), 254

Blackaddie (Sanquhar), 51

Black Art, 10, 16

"Black Clud's Wyme," 16

Black Esk, 296

Blackett Tower (legend of spectre), 294

Bladnoch, 64

Blew Spot, 213

Blink o' an ill e'e, 26

"Bloody Bell," 295

"Bloody Passage" (Drumlanrig), 282

"Bluidy Brae," 73

Bodsbeck Ha', 188

Bogha (Balmaclellan), 72

Bogle-Hole (Dalry), 267

Bonshaw Tower, 294

"Book of Galloway," 62

Bower, Walter, Abbot of Inchcolm, 277

Boyd, Rev. Mr (Dalry, 1690), 34

Breath-blasting, 182

Brig o' Ken, 18

Brishie (Minnigaff), 185

"Brocken" of Dumfries and Galloway, 7

Brocklock Burn, 42

Brownie, The, 186

Brownie o' Blednoch, 149, 191

Brownie of Newabbey, 190

Buckland Burn, 270

Buckland Glen, Ghost of, 269

Buittle, 301

Burial without Coffins, 237

Burnfoot, 45

Burnes, William (father of Poet), funeral of, 234


Caerlaverock Castle, 2, 10, 277

Cairn, 283

Cairnmon (Stoneykirk), 37

Cantrip Incantations, 58

Cardoness Castle, 151

Cardrain, Ghost of, 251

Carlin's Cairn, 35

Carrick, 13

Carsphairn Parish (origin of), 55

Castle-Douglas, 63

Cassencarry, 262

Changelings, 182

Charles the Second, 36

Charms against Witchcraft, 54

Churchyard Superstitions, 239

Cere-cloth, 227

Clash, The (Kirkmaiden), 23

Claunch (Sorbie), 253

Clay Slap (Glenluce), 14

"Clog Rinny" (Bell of St. Ninian), 243

Closeburn, 49

Cocklick, 173

Coltran, Provost (Wigtown), Ghost of, 252

Comyn, John (murder of and ghostly legend), 276

Corbie, Janet, Sentence of, 80

Corrie (Dumfriesshire), 53

Craigdhu (Glasserton), 254

Craighlaw House (ghost legend), 257

Craik of Arbigland (family tragedy), 275

Crichton Family, 284

Crawick Mill, Witches of, 50

"Cromek's Remains," 10, 182

Cubbox (Balmaclellan), 72

Culloch, 173

Cumberland, 46

Cunningham, Allan, 9


Dalry, 34, 35, 57, 263

Dalry Kirk, 17

"Daemonologie," 67

Dead-bell, 212

Dead-bell (skellat), 241

Dead-days, 217

Dead-watch, 212

"Dear Meal Johnny," 213

Death Customs and Funeral Ceremony, 216

Dede-chack, 212

Dede-drap, 212

Dede-nip, 212

Dede-spall, 212

Dee, The, 47

Deid-lichts, 213

Derry's Howe (Kirkbean), 274

Devil's Grace, 62

Devil of Glenluce, 252

"Devil-Raiser of Urr," 106

Dinnans (Whithorn), 97

Douglas, Sir Wm., of Gelston, 62

Dream of the Abbot of Tungland, 16

Dribblings (Kirkmaiden), 24

"Droll Recollections of Whithorn" (Cannon), 165

Drumlane, 173

Drumlanrig Castle, 282

Drummore, 55

Drumrash, 269

Duncan, Henry, of Ruthwell, 235

Dunbars of Mochrum, 262

Dundrennan, 269

Dunnan Fort, 149

Dunreggan (Moniaive), 202

Dunskey Castle, 244


Edinburgh Bibliographical Society publications (note on Jean Maxwell), 99

"Effigies Clericorum," 142

Elf-cups, 55

Eliock, 284

Elspeth M'Ewen-

Suspected of Witchcraft, 72

Examined, 73

Prison Expenses, 73

Commission appointed for new trial, 74

Execution at Silver Craigs, Kirkcudbright, 77

Note of expenses of trial and execution, 78

Executioner's petition, 80

Encoffining, or "kistin'," 219

Eskdalemuir Parish, 296

Eskdale Moor (funeral adventures), 223


Fairies and Brownies, 143


Attitude towards mankind, 143

Capriciousness of, 144

Elf-shot wounds, 144

Explanation of fairy and brownie belief, 148, 149

"Fairy Rade," 176

Fairy Park (Logan), 157

Feasting and dancing, 143

"Good neighbours," 144

Kidnapping by, 145

Pageants, 143

Practices to counteract fairy influence, 146

Unreality of fairy fabric, 147

"Wee fouk," 144

Fairy-lore in Galloway and Dumfriesshire (from West to East)-

Dunnan Fort, 149

Kirkmaiden, 151

Barncorkerie, 154

Compass Stone (Port Logan), 156

Ringuinea, 157

Nick of the Balloch, 158

Curghie Glen, 158

Grennan, 158

Kirkbride, 158

Killumpha, 158

Slock-an-a-gowre, 158

Sorbie, 166

Kirkinner, 166

Longhill, 166

Dalry District, 169

Hazelfield (Auchencairn), 172

Nick of Lochenkit, 172

Dalbeattie, 172

Edingham Loch, 172

Long Wood (Lochanhead), 174


Caerlaverock, 180

Auchencreath, 175

Dalswinton, 183

Closeburn, 182

Drumlanrig, 183

Sanquhar, 184

Kirkconnel, 184

Polveoch, 184

Kello Water, 184

Glen Aylmer, 184

Glen Wharry, 184

Bale Hill, 186

Annandale, 184

Lochmaben, 175

Burnswark, 184

Corrie, 185

Fin M'Coul, 43

"Fire Spangs of Faustus," 16

Funeral festivities ("Gallovidian Encyclop?dia"), 232

Funeral refreshment (Draigie), 234

Funeral rites and customs, 236

Funeral "services," 225


Galdenoch Tower, 245

"Galloway Gossip," 166

Galloway Mansion near Castle-Douglas, Ghostly story of, 273

"Galloway Register," 26

"Galloway Traditions," 26

Galloway, Western, Traditions of, 22

Gap's Mill, Glencairn, 283

Garryhorn, 36

Gatehouse, 262

General Assembly (Condemnatory Acts), 68

"Gentle Shepherd" (extract from), 59

Ghost-lore and Haunted Houses, 244

Ghost Legends of the South-west of Scotland (arranged in their order, from West to East)-

Dunskey Castle, 244

Galdenoch Tower, 245

"Lodnagappal Plantin'," 248

High Ardwell, 248

Auchabrick House, 250

Cardrain House, 251

Tirally, 251

Glenluce, 252

Provost Coltran (Drummorall), 252

Packman's Grave (Bladnoch), 253

Claunch, Sorbie, 254

Whithorn, 254

Craigdhu, Glasserton, 255

Church of Kirkmaiden, 256

Auchenmalg Barracks, 257

Craighlaw House, 257

Machermore Castle, 258

Creetown, 262

Kirkdale Bridge, 263

Glenlee, Dalry, 263

Bogle-Hole, Dalry, 267

Moor of Corsock, 267

Buckland Glen, 269

Ringcroft of Stocking, 272

Mansion House near Castle-Douglas, 273

Wood Forester's, Dalbeattie, 274

Laird o' Coul's Ghost, 300, 344


Murder Fall, 274

Derry's How, 274

Farm-house, 274

Howlet's Close, 275

Three Cross Roads, 275

Near Newabbey, 276

Minorite Friary, Dumfries (1306) and Caerlaverock Castle, (1358), 276

Solway legend of the passing of "Aul' Lag," 278

Coach legend of passing of William Duke of Queensberry (Drumlanrig), 281

Drumlanrig Castle, 282

Tynron Doon, 282


Auchenstroan, 283

Marwhirn, 283

Pentoot, 283

Gaps Mill, 283

Nut Wood, 283

Jarbruck Bridge, 283

Kirkland Bridge, 283

Sanquhar Castle, 283

Littlemark, Sanquhar, 284

Abraham Crichton's Ghost, 285

Poldean, Wamphray, 287

Spedlins Tower, 288

Jardine Hall, 290

Knockhill, 293

Orchard, Hoddom, 294

Bonshaw Tower, 294

Blackett Tower, 294

Kirkconnel Hall, 295

Todshawhill, 296

Lowland Manor House, 298

Gilchristland, 50

Gilroanie, 270

"Girzie M'Clegg," 17

Glasserton, 165, 215

Glencairn, 283

"Glencairn Kate," 17

Glencaple Quay, 199

Glenkens, 19

Glenkens, twenty years' holidaying in (Blacklock), 265

Glenlee House (ghost narrative), 263

Glenluce, 13, 14

Greenmill (Caerlaverock), 209

Grennan, The, 25

Grierson, John, of Lag (funeral expenses of), 227

Grierson of Lag, Sir Robert (funeral expenses of), 229

Grierson of Lag, Sir Robert (funeral legend), 230

Grierson of Lag (Solway legend of his "passing"), 278

Grose's "Antiquities of Scotland," 289

"Gyre Carline," 8


Hallowmass, 2

Hallowmass Rade, 3

Hannayston, Witch of, 17

Harper's "Rambles in Galloway," 17

Hay of Park, 60

Heron, Robert (Journey through Western Scotland), 54

High Ardwall (white woman apparition), 248

Holm Glen (Dalry), 275

Howlet's Close (Kirkbean), 275

"Hydrostatics," Sinclair's, 300


"Il Penseroso" (extract from), 186

Inshanks Moor, 29

Irvings of Hoddom, 293


James VI. of Scotland, 67

Jarbruck, 283

Jardine's of Applegarth, 289

Jardine Hall, 290

"Jean o' the Howff" (Rerwick), 45

"Jock o' the Horn," 182


Kain Bairns, 7

"Keekafar" (Kirkmaiden), 155

Kells, 35

Kells Rhynns, 36

Keltonhill, 40

Kenmure (Stoneykirk), 157

Kenmure Castle (Dalry), 269

Killymingan (Kirkgunzeon), 105

Killumpha Farm (Kirkmaiden), 204

Kilmeny (Jas. Hogg), 146

Kincaid, John (Witch-pricker), 70

King's Croft of Stocking, 63

Kirkdale Bridge, Ghost of, 263

Kirkdale House, 262


22, 29, 151

Kirkmaiden Church, 30

Kirkmaiden, Legend of, 256

Kirkmaiden Witches, 29, 32, 98

Kirk-session (Borgue) examination for alleged fairycraft, 159

Kirkpatricks of Closeburn, 214, 227, 231, 284

Kirkpatrick, Roger, 277

Kirkpatrick Sharpe, Charles, 288

Kirkwaugh (Bladnoch), pedlar's ghost at, 253

Kippford, 274

Kirkennan Woods (Dalbeattie), 199

Kirkland Bridge (Glencairn), 283

Knockhill Mansion (tragedy at), 293

Knocknishy (Whithorn), 185

Knocksheen (Dalry), 17


Lady Ashburton, 267

Laird o' Coul's Ghost, 344

Langhill Fairy, The, 166

Lapps or Finns, 149

Latewake, 223

Law's Memorials, 287

"Lay of the last Minstrel" (extract from), 16

Liethin Hall, 187

Leswalt, 245

Levitical Law, 68

Library of Michael Scott (list of works), 16

Lichts before death, 209

Lindsay, James (Caerlaverock tragedy), 277

Little Cocklick (Urr), 101

Littlemark Farm, Sanquhar, Ghostly appearance at, 284

Locharbriggs Hill, 3

Lochar Moss, 8

Loch Doon, 36

"Lodnagappal Plantin," Apparitions at, 248

Logan, 24, 25

Logan Mill, 31

Lord Crichton (6th), 284

Lord Glenlee, 263

Lords of Sanquhar, 284

Lord Stormonth, 227

Lotus Hill (Kirkgunzeon), 173

Loup o' the Grennan, 151

Low Curghie (Kirkmaiden), 24

Luce, 13, 15

Luce Bay, 215

Lykewake, 223


Machars of Galloway, 33

Machermore Castle, Legend of, 258

Maggie's gate to Gallowa', 13

Mainsriddel, 274

"Maggie o' the Moss," 6, 17, 21

"Mak' Siccar" (tragedy, Dumfries), 278

Manor House in Lowlands (story of apparition), 298

Manxman's Lake, 270

March Moon, 55

Marshall, Rev. Mr (Kirkmaiden), 97, 248

Marwhirn, 283

Millar, Mary (alleged witch), 74

Mary Queen of Scotland (Act against witchcraft), 66

Master of Logan (Allan Cunningham), 19

Maxwell of Carriel (Carzield), 227

Maxwell of Dalswinton, 188

Maxwells of Monreith (successors to M'Cullochs), 214

Maxwell, Thomas (Laird of Coul), 301

Maxwell, Jean, trial of (for pretended witchcraft), 98

Maxwell, Jean (copy of title page of publication of trial), 110

Meg Elson (Kirkmaiden witch), 32

Meg Elson's Elegy, 32

Meg Macmuldroch (Galloway witch), 62

Melrose Abbey, 16

Michael Scott of Balwearie, 15

Mochrum Parish (extravagant funeral expenditure), 226

Moffat Churchyard, 213

Monkland Shore, 44

Monreith House, 161

Moor of Corsock (ghost of headless piper), 267

Moor of the Genoch, 248

Moor Kirk of Luce, 13

Mort-cloth (use of), 239

Mountsallie (Rhinns), Witchcraft at, 57

Muirhead, Dr James, 107

Mull of Galloway, 149

Murder Fall (Kirkbean), 274

Myrton Mound (fairy legend), 161

M'Cullochs of Myrton, 214

M'Culloch, Sir Godfrey, 151

M'Millan Cup, 195

M'Milligan of Dalgarnock, 283


"Necromancy," 16

Newabbey, Witchcraft at, 10

Newabbey (ghost of lady in white), 276

Nicholas Grier (witch of Hannayston), 17

Nick o' the Balloch, 13

"Nithsdale Minstrel" (poetical collection), 34

Nith, 51, 189

Nut Wood, Maxwelton (Moniaive), 283

Nicholson, Wm., poet (fairycraft examination, recollection by his mother), 159


"Old Church life in Scotland" (Edgar), 237

Old Hall at Ecclefechan, Ghost at, 295

Old House of Park, 61

Old John Orr (Carlyle reminiscence), 293

Old Meg of Twynholm (reputed witch), 43

Old Red Cap (ghost of Blackett Tower), 294

Old Turnpike House, Dumfries, 231

Orchard, Hoddom (laying of ghost), 294

Osborne, "Maggie" (Wigtownshire witch), 11


Packman's Grave (Bladnoch), 258

Palmallet (Whithorn), 96

Palnackie, 199

"Passing Bell" (custom of ringing), 241

Passing Bell (reference in "Book of Galloway"), 243

Patiesthorn, Legend of, 269

"Pawky Auld Kimmer," 65

Pentoot (Glencairn), 283

"Philosophy of the Devil," 16

Picts, 148, 149

Poldean, Wamphray (ghost reference), 287

Portankill (fairy haunt), 149

Porteous, ghost of, at Spedlins Tower, 289

Portencockerie Bay (fairy haunt), 156

Port Logan, 31, 156

Portpatrick, Legend of, 245

Port-William, 254

Presbytery of Penpont (warning regarding burial festivity abuse), 234

Prestonmill, 274

"Pricking" of Witches, 70

"Prince of Darkness" (and witch revelry), 8

Privy Council Commissions (to try cases of witchcraft), 71


Rab's Howff (Rerwick), 45

Ray's Itinerary (Dumfries), 242

Red Comyn, 277

Rerwick, 44

Rerwick Apparition, 272, 321

Rhinns, 25

Rhonehouse, 40

"Riddling in the Reek," 166

"Ridden post by a witch," 5

Ringdoo Point, 15

Ringcroft of Stocking, 272

Ringcroft of Stocking, site of, 300

Robert the Bruce, 36

"Robin Goodfellow," 186

Roodmas, 176

Rotten Row (Whithorn), 33


Sanquhar, 50

Sanquhar Castle (ghostly legends), 283

Sanquhar, History of (Simpson), 184, 285

Sanquhar Kirkyard, 240

"Satan's Almanac," 16

"Satan's Invisible World," 300

Scots Money, 227

Shaws of Craigenbay and Craigend, 35

Shawn (Stoneykirk), 185

Shennaton (Bladnoch), 64

Shinnel Water, 283

Shirmers, 269

Sin-eating, 218

Sir Chesney Shaw, 35

Sir Walter Scott, 16, 244

Slip Coffins, 237

Solway Firth, 8

"Soothsayers' Creed," 16

Spell-casting, 60

Spedlins Tower, Ghost of, 288

Spedlins Tower Bible, 291

St. Ninian, 39

Stake Moss, Sanquhar, 239

State and Church (action against witchcraft), 22

Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 151

Stoneykirk, 36, 248

Suicides, Burial of, 239

Surprising Story of the Devil of Glenluce, 299, 302

Sweetheart Abbey, 2, 10


Tam o' Shanter, 6, 17

Telfair, Alexander (Minister of Rerwick), 272

Three Cross Roads (Kirkbean), 275

Tirally (Kirkmaiden), 56

Tirally, Ghost at, 251

Todshawhill, Bogle of, 296

Tolbooth of Kirkcudbright, 108

Tongland, 16

Tower of Craigend, 35

Traditional Witchcraft described, 1

Train, Joseph (account of funeral superstitions), 236

True account of an apparition in Ringcroft, parish of Rerwick, 299, 321

Tynron, 49

Tynron Doon, Spectre of, 282


"Unique Traditions of the West and South of Scotland" (Barbour), 35

Upper Nithsdale, 50


"Warlock Feckets," 55

"Walpurgis" (witch festivals), 8

Warnings, accounts of from-

Caerlaverock, 209

Closeburn, 214

Corrie, 2

Craigdarroch, 214

Dumfries, 213

Glencairn, 210

Kirkmaiden (in Fernes), 214

Moniaive, 208

Tynron, 209

Waterside Hill (Dalry), 19

Water of Urr, 207

"Waulking" the dead, 219

Walter de Curry, 244

Well of the Co' (Kirkmaiden), 150

White Loch of Myrton, 161

Whithorn, Old Manse, 254

Whinnieliggate, 40

Whithorn (similar legend to Tam o' Shanter), 33

White Lady of Machermore, 258

"Witch Cake," 9

"Witch Chronicle, The," 16

Witches Gathering, 3

Witch Marks, 8, 70

Witch Narrative, 21

Witch Narrative (Southern Kirkcudbrightshire), 40

Witches Sabbath, 7

Witches' Stairs (Crawick), 50

Witches' Rocks (Portpatrick), 36

William, Duke of Queensberry (legend of ghostly coach), 281

Witchcraft, proceedings against, in Galloway-

Kirkcudbright (Presbytery, 1662), 72

Kirkcudbright, 1671, 72

Dalry (Kirk-session, 1696), 72

Dalry (Kirk-session, 1697), 73

Kirkcudbright, 1698, 74

Kirkcudbright, 1698, 80

Kirkcudbright, 1701, 82, 86, 87

Twynholm, 1703, 87

Urr (parish of) 1656, 91

Kirkpatrick-Durham (parish of), 92

Carsphairn (parish of), 93

Minnigaff (parish of), 93

New Luce (parish of), 96

Whithorn (parish of), 96

Kirkmaiden (parish of), 97

Kirkcudbright, 1805, 97

Maxwell, Jean, trial of (pretended witchcraft), 98

Dumfriesshire (proceedings in)-

Burgh of Dumfries, 1657, 111

Kirk-Session of Dumfries, 1658, 111

Dumfries (official information regarding the judicial burning of nine women), 112

Dumfries (attendance of clergy at the burning), 115

Dumfries (resolution against Janet Burnes, alleged witch), 115

Dumfries (warrant of execution against two alleged witches), 116

Dumfries (last trial for witchcraft in Scotland, Elspeth Rule), 117

Dumfries (Presbytery of-Southern district), 118

Caerlaverock, Kirk-session records, 118

Irongray, Kirk-session records, 120

Irongray Parish (traditional account of witch punishment), 122

Closeburn Parish, 124

Penpont Presbytery, 131

Glencairn Kirk-session records, 132

Glencairn, Case of Alexander Deuart, 133

Durisdeer, 138

Torthorwald, 140

Wood Foresters', Dalbeattie (scene of murder and ghost appearance), 273

Warnings, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212


Seen at Balgreggan House, 205

"Buittle, 199

"Dalbeattie, 205

"Glencairn, 201

"Kirkmaiden, 204

"Moniaive, 202

Wraiths (account of from "Gallovidian Encyclop?dia"), 202

Wylliehole, Witch of, 53


Yule, 278

Yule Candles, 219

* * *


[1] The Well of the Co', Kirkmaiden, once much celebrated for the healing and medicinal properties of its waters.

[2] These berries make excellent preserves.

[3] Heather after being burned.

[4] "Confessions of Isobell Goudie."

[5] Dwining.

[6] Shall be.

[7] Stubble.

[8] Kiln.

[9] Sighing.

[10] A famous haunt of witches in the parish of Rerwick.

[11] Extract from King James's Daemonologie concerning Sorcery and Witchcraft (1597):-

"The persons that give themselves to witchcraft are of two sorts, rich and of better accompt, poore and of baser degree. These two degrees answere to the passions in them, which the divell uses as means to entice them to his service: for such of them as are in great miserie and povertie, he allures to follow him, by promising unto them great riches and worldly commoditie. Such as though rich, yet burne in a desperate desire of revenge, he allures them by promises to get their turne satisfied to their heart's contentment."

[12] "The witch mark is sometimes like a blewspot, or a little tate, or reid spots, like flea-biting; sometimes also the flesh is sunk in, and hallow, and this is put in secret places, as among the hair of the head, or eyebrows, within the lips, under the armpits, et sic de ceteris." Mr Robert, minister at Aberfoill, in his Secret Commonwealth, describes the witch's mark-"A spot that I have seen as a small mole, horny, and brown-coloured; through which mark, when a large brass pin was thrust (both in buttock, nose, and rooff of the mouth) till it bowed and became crooked, the witches, both men and women nather felt a pain nor did bleed, nor knew the precise time when this was being done to them (their eyes only being covered)."-Law's "Memorials," ed. by C. Kirkpatrick Sharpe.

[13] The extreme penalty took two forms. The condemned were either in the first place strangled or, to use an old expression, "wirreit" and then burned; or, worse still, they were straightway burned quick (alive).

[14] Thessr = Treasurer.

[15] Printed in Dumfries by his brother, Robert Rae, 1718.

[16] The Parish of Glencairn, Rev. John Monteith.

[17] Coshogle mansion-house or keep, belonging to the Douglases, was situated on the hill overhanging the Enterkine burn, above the farm-house of the same name. A marriage stone, built into a cottage wall, is all that remains of the structure.

[18] Sir James Douglas of Parkhead, styled Lord Torthorwald as having married the heiress of that barony, was afterwards run through the body on the High Street of Edinburgh by a nephew of Captain James Stewart, and died without uttering one word. On clearing away the rubbish, which till lately covered the pavement of the Chapel at Holyrood House, his tombstone was found, with this mutilated inscription:-"Heir lyes ane nobil and potent Lord James Douglas-and Cairlell and Torthorall wha mariet Daime Elizabeth Cairlell, air and heretrix yr. of, wha was slaine in Edinburgh ye 14 day of July, in ye yeir God 1608."-Law's Memories.

[19] Another theory associates the fairies with the dwarfish Lapps or Finns who, driven out of their own country, settled in the outlying districts of Scotland.

[20] The mother of William Nicholson the poet, a native of Borgue, where her family had long been settled, and a woman of great intelligence, often told that in her day there lived a man belonging to Borgue parish whose mother and grandmother had been examined before the Kirk-Session regarding his having been carried away by the fairies.

[21] "Brownie" here synonymus with "Fairy."

[22] Langhill (now Longhill), adjacent to the Rispain Roman Camp, about a mile from Whithorn on the Glasserton Road.

[23] Roodmass: The festival of the finding of the Holy Cross (May 3rd).

[24] "When the mother's vigilance hinders the fairies from carrying her child away, or changing it, the touch of fairy hands and their unearthly breath make it wither away in every limb and lineament like a blighted ear of corn, saving the countenance, which unchangeably retains the sacred stamp of divinity. The way to cure a breath-blasted child is worthy of notice. The child is undressed and laid out in unbleached linen new from the loom. Water is brought from a blessed well, in the utmost silence, before sunrise, in a pitcher never before wet; in which the child is washed, and its clothes dipped by the fingers of a maiden. Its limbs, on the third morning's experiment, plump up, and all its former vigour returns."-Allan Cunningham, in "Cromek's Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song."

[25] The leaden figure of a man connected with a cascade, once a prominent feature of the gardens.

[26] Simpson's History of Sanquhar.

[27] The "Brownie" of Scotland corresponds with the "Robin Goodfellow" of England.

"Tells how the drudging goblin sweat

To earn his cream bowl duly set,

When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,

His shadowy flail hath threshed the corn

That ten day labourers could not end;

Then lies him down the lubber fiend,

And, stretched out all the chimney's length,

Basks at the fire his hairy strength,

And crop-full out of door he flings

Ere the first cock his matin rings."

-Il Penseroso

[28] A communion cup, belonging to M'Millan, the well-known ousted minister of Balmaghie, and founder of a variety of the species Covenanter. This cup was treasured by a zealous disciple in the parish of Kirkcowan, and long used as a test by which to ascertain the orthodoxy of suspected persons. If, on taking the precious relic into his hand, the person trembled, or gave other symptoms of agitation, he was denounced as having bowed the knee to Baal, and sacrificed at the altar of idolatry; and it required, through his future life, no common exertion in the good cause, to efface the stigma thus fixed upon him.-Note to original edition.

[29] Several striking examples of wraith appearance may be found in Wilson's Folk-lore of Uppermost Nithsdale (1904).

[30] A wonderfully graphic account of a manifestation of "deid lichts" to a Dumfries lady occurs in the Dumfries and Galloway Monthly Magazine, 1822, p. 169.

[31] The dog.


"Open lock, end strife,

Come death and pass life."

-"Meg Merrilees" in Guy Mannering.

[33] There seems to have been some variation in this usage. On the Borders, for example, the door was usually left wide open. (See Preparatory Note to "Young Bengie," Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.)

[34] Bearing upon this last statement of Mr Dudgeon's, the writer has been told of a comparatively recent instance in the parish of Anwoth.

[35] "In the second session of the first Parliament of James VII., held at Edinburgh, 1686, an Act was passed called the 'Act for Burying in Scots Linen,' in which it was ordained, for the encouragement of the linen manufactures within the kingdom, that no person whatsoever, of high or low degree, should be buried in any shirt, sheet, or anything else, except in plain linen or cloth, of Hards made and spun within the kingdom, and without lace or point. There was specially prohibited the use of Holland, or other linen cloth made in other kingdoms: and of silk, woollen, gold, or silver, or any other stuff than what was made of Hards spun and wrought within the kingdom, under the penalty of 300 pounds Scots for a nobleman, and 200 pounds for every other person for each offence. One-half of this penalty was to go to the informer, and the other half to the poor of the parish of where the body should be interred. And, for the better discovery of contraveners, it was ordained that every minister within the kingdom should keep an account and register of all persons buried in his parish. A certificate upon oath, in writing, duly attested by two "famous" persons, was to be delivered by one of the relatives to the minister within eight days, declaring that the deceased person had been shrouded in the manner prescribed; which certificate was to be recorded without charge. The penalty was to be sued for by the minister before any judge competent; and if he should prove negligent in pursuing the contraveners within six months after the interment, he himself was liable for the said fine."-Life and Times of Rev. John Wightman, D.D., of Kirkmahoe.

[36] Scots money, equal to one-twelfth value of our present currency, abandoned after 1760.

[37] Cere-cloth-a cloth smeared with wax, put upon the body after a modified embalming, only used, on account of its expense, by the rich.

[38] "An old antiquarian friend, long since dead, told me that Sir Robert had grown so corpulent in his latter days that his body could not be decently carried down the winding stair for burial; and that accordingly a portion of the wall between the two windows looking on to the Plainstones had to be temporarily removed, and that through the wide vacancy thus created the coffin was lowered down. My informant, who was old enough to remember all about the taking down of the lodging in 1826, added that the appearance of the wall between the windows justified the tradition."-Letter from Wm. M'Dowall, Esq., author of the History of Dumfries, to Lieut.-Col. Alexander Fergusson, author of the Laird of Lag.

[39] A corrupt form of the Latin "dirige," from a Catholic chant for the dead.

[40] A commonly used term for the dead bell is "skellat."

[41] The bell here referred to was the old bell of St. Ninian, the "Clog Rinny" or bell of Saint Ninian, made of malleable iron coated with bronze, and which only measured 6? inches in height. It is mentioned in the accounts of James IV.: "March 17, 1506, in Penyghame to ane man that bure Saint Ninian's bell IX.s." It was in existence at old Penninghame in 1684 when Symson wrote, one hundred and seventy years after. It is described and illustrated in Wilsons' Prehistoric Annals of Scotland (1857).

[42] Curiously enough, a few years ago, workmen engaged in the Portpatrick water and drainage scheme stumbled upon a large cavernous space at the very place where the reputed sounds of the ghostly pipe music were heard.

[43] Lodnagappal (Celtic): The swamp of the horses.

[44] Patiesthorn, situated at the north end of Parton Mill, overlooking Drumrash and Skirmers and the Ken below Kenmure Castle. There is no house now-only Patiesthorn Wood.

[45] Captain John Garmory of the Bardsea, lost afterwards with all hands on the passage from Liverpool to the Water of Urr.

[46] Walter Bower, or Bowmaker, Abbot of Inchcolm.

[47] The account of these wonderful happenings was published in the form of a chapbook, and obtained a large circulation.

[48] The first appearance that Coul made was to Dr Menzies' servant at a time he was watering his master's horse. At some subsequent appearance, while the lad was upon the same business, whether Coul had done him any real harm, or that the lad had fallen from his horse through fear and contusion, is uncertain, but so it was that the lad was found dead on the road.

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