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Scottish Folktales That Will Terrify you!

Hello, my wonderful readers!

Folktales are usually stories that have originated in popular culture, and spread by word of mouth. They are known to instill terror, awe, and hope in the hearts of the people. From the classic renditions of Disney to the tales our grandmothers used to say, these stories have traveled far and through centuries, with each generation adding more to the story. 

Scottish folktales, specifically, can be truly terrifying! 

Here are some tales from the Scottish folklore that are quite interesting! Disclaimer: don’t read them when you’re alone at night 😉

The Stoor Worm

The Stoor Worm was a gigantic evil sea serpent (much like a dragon!), well-known in the Orcadian folklore. It was said to terrorize whole villages with its horrid breath! Ew! 

Legend has it, every Saturday at sunrise, the Stoor Worm would wake up, and yawn nine times. It demanded as a meal, seven (!) virgin maidens, and for that a humorous saying was written: “although he was a venomous beast, he had a dainty taste!”

The King of the area the Stoor Worm was terrorizing had had enough of that, and sought out the wisdom of the Magician of the village. The Magician said that the next sacrifice should be the Princess herself, to appease the beast and make him leave. Afraid for his daughter’s safety, he put an offer. He offered his kingdom, his daughter’s hand and a magic sword (which was said to have been given as a gift from Odin himself!),  to whoever killed the beast.

Sickersnapper, a gift from Odin.

To save the beautiful and kind Princess, Assipattle, the youngest son of a farmer, went on a quest to kill the Stoor Worm. Arriving there just before sunrise, he was able to kill the beast and stop this terror! (What a hero...am I right, ladies?)

The Stoor Worm, Image Source: spookyscotland.com

It is said that the monster’s teeth fell out in the ocean and became the islands of Orkney, Shetland, and Faroe, and its body became Iceland. Isn’t that amazing? 

The Ghost Piper of Clanyard Bay

The Phantom Piper, Dumfries & Galloway

Who doesn’t know of Scotland’s most famous musical instrument? Of course, I am talking about bagpipes! And this is the story about a piper, who is said to still play his pipes if you sit still and listen…

In an era before our very own, it was said that fairies used to live in tunnels, and that’s why they created dark tunnels that spanned from the Cove of Grennan to Clanyard Bay. No one dared to go inside! However, one day, a brave piper decided to enter these tunnels, along with his beautiful brown dog. 

He played his bagpipes for hours until he suddenly ceased. His dog came running out from the tunnels, howling and having lost all its fur! The piper was never seen again…

Phantom Piper, Image Source: visitscotland.com

If you ever pass by Clanyard Bay, even though the tunnels don’t exist anymore, you might still hear the faint sound of pipes from the musician who never stopped playing…

The Kelpies

The Kelpies, Image Source: visitscotland.com

A kelpie is a mythical water spirit, known to hunt in the lochs and rivers of Scotland. It was said that it usually took the form of a horse, but was also able to adapt to human form, retaining, however, his hooves; this gave off a resemblance to Satan himself!

Kelpies would appear to lonely humans as a gray or white pony, just a simple horse! Their significant characteristic, however, was their constantly dripping mane. Others say that what distinguished a kelpie from a normal horse was its hooves, which were reversed! They would take people on their back, and ride with them down a watery grave! Brr…

A Kelpie, Image Source: Pinterest

One specific tale regarding the Kelpies talked of the Laird of Morphie, who managed to capture a kelpie by using a halter stamped with the sign of the cross. Then, he used the kelpie to help him build his castle, and when it was ready, he released it. 

Of course, the kelpie wasn’t happy about it and cursed the Laird. According to the myth, the curse rhymed like this: 

"Sair back and sair banes/ Drivin' the Laird o' Morphies's stanes / The Laird o' Morphie'll never thrive/ As lang's the kelpy is alive". 

It is believed that this resulted in the extinction of the Laird’s family. Let’s make sure to never mess with a Kelpie! 😉

It’s my time to say goodbye…

Did you like my tales, dear lassie? Which one did you like best?

Do you know any more Scottish folktales? Let me know in the comments! 

Love and kind regards,

Written by Maddie MacKenna

The Forgotten History of The Wild West

Hello, my loves! 

Today I have a unique article for you!

Everyone has heard of cowboys. Everyone has heard the myths. Lone wolves with their revolvers, ready to fight for justice. Their appearance is always the same; tall, muscular, bearded, white. 

What if I told you, 1 in 4 cowboys was black? 

Surprised, huh? As it turns out, you’re not the only one! Most Americans are unaware of this and I was just as amazed as most when I found out.

​America Used To Be As Diverse As It Is Today, That's The Beauty Of It!

Before slavery was abolished, the life of a cowboy was the only freedom the average African American men could have. The equality which came with the cowboy life was something revolutionary for its time. They slept in the same beds and they even received the same wages as their white comrades! 

However, only black men would have been called “boy”, hence where the word “cowboy” came from. A white man wouldn't be called something that was so often used for slaves; that would be demeaning! 

On top of that, the work of a cowboy was no easy task! Someone had to do it and many preferred the easier route; African American slaves. 

When Texas ranchers fought in the American Civil War, they had to depend on their slaves to care for their land and cattle. In turn, the slaves developed skills unmatched to anyone and that deemed them irreplaceable in the post-war era. 

​Desperate For Their skills, Ranchers, Hired, The Now, Free African-Americans!

Despite their demand, their life was characterised by high degrees of racism and hardships. Unlike their white counterparts, many black cowboys were declined entry to restaurants and even whole towns. It was truly horrible!

However, their spirit only got stronger and they never allowed discrimination to limit them. This is a true example of the cowboy spirit; it can never be blemished!

Some truly remarkable examples are:

Nat Love

Nat Love was a man born in slavery. He managed to master the skill of roping, and branding horses and cattle throughout his life. He also learned how to write and read, something most slaves weren’t allowed to do!

After he was freed, he and his father started working on a farm, but this was all stopped after Nat’s father's death. He managed to win in a raffle and he gave half of the money to his mother, doing everything in his power to support her. 

He soon moved to Dodge City—as a cowboy—where he became a living legend, earning nicknames that only respected men earned at that time. 

There are many legends and myths about Nat Love, but I’ll leave those for another time!

Boke Ikard

Bose Ikarb was born in Mississippi, as a slave. It is believed his father was a slave master named Dr. Milton Ikard, but there’s no concrete proof of that. After the Civil War, Bose gained his freedom and began his adventure as a cowboy, marking his place in Western lore. 

Charles Goodnight, the man Bose Ikarb worked for, built a strong friendship with Bose and he was impressed by his work and life ethics. Goodnight praised Bose on an engraved monument, giving us an insight of what a magnificent person he really was!

Ison Dart

As yet another man born in slavery, Ison Dart’s (Also named Ned Huddleston) story is one worth telling. Born in Arkansas, he helped Confederate soldiers steal food during the civil war!

After he was freed, he traveled across Texas and Mexico, rustling cattle, which was a horrible crime for the time. He had to make a living somehow and his only solution was stealing. He tried changing, aiming to become a better person, but he was unsuccessful. 

His life only went downhill from there and he became infamous for his involvement in gambling and numerous fights. Just like before, he tried to turn his life around, hoping to become a better man, but he failed to do so. 

Not everyone is a perfect human and he wasn’t either. Though, he shows us the harsh reality that came with the dangerous life of the west!

As you can see, black cowboys were (and still are) a big thing in the West. Unfortunately, many people, outside the area, are very unfamiliar with this. What about you, my dears?

 Have you ever heard of them before? 

Do you have any thrilling stories to share?

I would love to hear from you! I can’t wait to hear your comments and thoughts on this. 

Until next time!

Written by Cassidy Hanton

How to Use “Hestia’s Blood” in Your Tea…

“Eye of newt, and toe of frog,

Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,

Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,

Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,—

For a charm of powerful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn, and caldron bubble.”

Never heard of this before?

You must be thinking this is some kind of witch’s spell, right?

A nefarious potion boiled under the full moon as a hag throws all kinds of bizarre ingredients in a bubbling cauldron…

Yeaaah…Not exactly!

Sorry to disappoint you!

These few lines were actually written by William Shakespeare. In Macbeth, to be specific.

Now, I can’t really say what Shakespeare did in his free time, but I’m pretty sure that potions and outlandish-sounding witchcraft weren’t among his list of hobbies.

In fact, the above quote from Macbeth isn’t witchcraft at all!

I know, I know. Toes of frogs and tongues of dogs are not exactly the ingredients you’d want your daily green smoothie to include. And well, that “hell-broth” part doesn’t really create a good first impression.

But hear me out!

Chances are, you have been using “eyes of newt” and “lizard’s legs” for years!

Traditional Folk Names for Common Plants

No doubt some country folk in the Middle Ages thought these names were literal, given that witch hunts were a favorite sport at the time. In fact, in addition to midwifing babies, having knowledge of herbs and plants was reason enough to accuse a woman of being a "witch."

Witches were persecuted to hell and back, especially in England, during the infamous Witch Hunts. Thousands of women -and men- died horrible deaths at the hands of self-proclaimed witch hunters and “priests.” If you’d like to read an article on the matter, click here!

Medicine women, with their vast knowledge of herbs and their medical properties, very often found themselves on the receiving end of extraordinarily harsh punishment for practicing their trade.

And the strange names given to plants certainly played a part in that.

Medicine was and still is a difficult field to master.

Back then, with their very limited resources, people had to rely on the gifts offered by Mother Nature herself in order to cure their ailments. At some point, some laurel in a pot of boiling water along with some lemon and honey and poof! A cure for headaches.

Of course, in the absence of labs and test bottles, people had to rely on experience to decipher which plant helps with which ailment. And that, my dear fellow, was quite dangerous!

Some plants can be toxic if consumed in certain forms, others can kill a grown man if the dosage exceeds a certain amount. Others are not fit for human consumption in any way, shape or form.

And that’s when medicine men and women said, “Enough is enough! We need to do something so that people without any knowledge won’t meddle in our affairs and get themselves killed!”

Enter the peculiar names for common plants that to this day, we use in our cooking, our medicine, our drinks.

And here are a few that you might recognize!

Adder’s Fork: Adder’s Tongue

Eye of Newt: Wild Mustard Seed

Toe of Frog: Bulbous Buttercup Leaves

Tongue of Dog: Hound’s Tongue

-“Eye of Newt”

Chamomile: Blood of Hestia

Valerian: Bloody Butcher

Cedar: Blood of Kronos

Yarrow: Devil’s Nettle

Parsley: Devil’s Oatmeal

Rosemary: Dew of the Sea

Foxglove: Fairy’s Finger

Motherwort: Lion’s Ear

Shepherd’s Purse: Mother’s Heart

-“Devil’s Nettle”

Common Stonecrop: Mouse’s Tail

Dandelion Leaves: Priest’s Crown

Field Clover: Rabbit’s Foot

American Valerian: Ram’s Head

Fern: Skin of Man

Flowering Spurge: Snake’s Milk

Knotweed: Sparrow’s Tongue

Wild Lettuce: Titan’s Blood

False Unicorn: Unicorn’s Horn

Rowan: Witchbane

-“Unicorn’s Horn”

When a specific part of an herb needed to be used, they were referred to usually as a body part.

Inner part of a blossom: Eye

Leaf: Paw, Foot, Leg, Wing, or Tow

Roots and stalk: Guts

Seeds: Privates

Dried Herbs: Hair

Stem: Tail

Flower: Head

Petal: Tongue

A bud or seed: Heart


Phrases such as those mentioned above could have been and probably were used to name the plant by using a descriptor that would be easy to remember, and easy to teach to others. Other plants were given names descriptive of their uses; still others, for something they generally resembled.

The bottom line is…

Next time someone asks you for an herbal tea or a leafy cocktail, you know how to name them…

“Hi, darling! Can I have a cup of chamomile tea?”

“Oh, certainly! Just let me see where I put that jar of Hestia’s Blood…”

Written by Hanna Hamilton

How do Chocolates Relate to the Celebration of Valentine’s Day?

Hello, my sweetie!

You may not know it, but while Saint Valentine's is rooted in the Roman era, the custom of donating sweets for his celebration is much more modern.

Ancient sources reveal that Saint Valentine, who lived during the Roman era and died on February 14, was not just one person, but many.

And none of them had anything to do with love! 

But, truffle hearts, pralines, and red heart-shaped boxes; these are Valentine's Day timeless symbols for all lovers of the world.

But how did chocolates turn out to be a tradition for the sweetest feast of the year?

Keep reading, sweetie! 🙂

Who was Saint Valentine?

Some say that the real Valentine was a priest who performed illegal marriages for Emperor Claudius' soldiers, while others that he was a man who signed a letter with the signature "Your Valentine" to his guardian daughter, whom he had cured of blindness.

But none of the above stories have ever been proved.

The celebration of Valentine's Day as the day of lovers actually emerged in the 14th century and probably came about thanks to Geoffrey Chaucer's poem in 1382.

The Middle Ages and the Victorian era

During the Middle Ages, there was a "tendency" towards illegal but pure love. And as sugar was a valuable commodity in Europe at that time, the knights confined themselves instead, to give the noble roses and songs that glorified their beauty.

By the early 1840 Valentine's Day had spread to almost the entire English-speaking world. It was the golden age of Valentine’s Day, during which, Victorians glorified pure love and offered cards and other gifts to the object of desire.

Just a few years later, in 1868, a crucial invention occurred that linked the celebration to the use of chocolates; Mr. Cadbury’s heart-shaped boxes. 

The intelligent Mr. Cadbury and his collectible boxes

Richard Cadbury, a descendant of a British wealthy family in the business of chocolate, and responsible for sales at a critical juncture in the company, appeared during this time.

Cadbury had recently improved the technique of chocolate making, to get pure cocoa butter from whole grains, creating a delicious chocolate drink that had nothing to do with what the British knew until then.

This process resulted in a huge amount of cocoa, which Cadbury used to make various varieties of what was then called edible chocolate.

Richard realized that this product was a great opportunity for the market and began selling his chocolates in nice boxes he designed. It didn't take long for the heart-shaped boxes, now known to all of us, to appear. Although Richard Cadbury never patented this design, he is believed to be its original creator.

This way, his products, wrapped in heart-shaped boxes and colorful ribbons, could be used to express love and affection. 

In fact, he made sure to present these boxes as dual-use boxes. After all the chocolates had been consumed, the box itself was so beautiful that it could be used again and again to store souvenirs of all kinds.

These boxes later evolved and became more elaborate until the outbreak of World War II, when sugar became a luxury again and celebrations of lovers' diminished.

Nevertheless, many Cadbury boxes from the Victorian era still exist and are kept as heirlooms or valuable collectors' items.

Well, my sweetie, this is the end of this article!

I hope you enjoyed it—I certainly did while writing it!

Thank you for accompanying me on my writing journey!

It would be lovely if you could share your thoughts with me! Or whatever you like...Surprise me! 

Written by Violet Hamers

The Vinegar Valentines in the Victorian Era

Hello, again, my dearies! 

Are you lovebirds getting ready for Valentine’s day?

In the late 19th century, Valentine's Day was more than an opportunity to express love to their mate by sending cards or gifts.

It was also the day to express their frustration, bitterness or even hatred to those who did not love them. And there was no better way to let someone know they were unwanted than with the ultimate insult: the Vinegar Valentine.

The Vinegar Valentines were postcards designed with caricatures and satirical images intended to mock or even annoy the recipient. They were sent anonymously, so the receiver had to guess who hated him or her and, as if this weren’t bruising enough, the recipient paid the postage on delivery. Can you imagine that?

They were available in stores from America to Europe and starred next to beautiful Valentine's Day cards with hearts and flowers. Commonly sold at a cost of only a penny each, they were very popular among the poor and working classes. However, the upper class was just as eager, if not more so, to insult their acquaintances via the use of such cards.

Back then, they were called mocking, insulting, or comic valentinesvinegar seems to be a modern description.

If you are interested in learning more then, my dears, keep reading! 😉

First Appearance

The tradition began in America around the 1840s and had been going on for an entire century.

Vinegar Valentines was once a booming business. They accounted for 50% of the cards sold each year on Valentine's Day. These cards featured an illustration and a short line or poem that, rather than offering messages of love and affection, insulted the recipient.

The cards were also used as a means to communicate hatred and frustration towards neighbors, enemies or even friends, and not just unrequited love. The design of the cards was based on cheap materials, so their low cost allowed everyone to express their feelings.

People's Reaction

These nasty cards were sometimes crass, always funny, and definitely mean. Anyone who received one of these surely got the point.

Even by Victorian standards, Vinegar Valentines were considered distasteful, vulgar and morally depraving.

Some did not hesitate to accuse card makers of inciting anti-social behavior and encouraging hatred.

Others complained that the value of Valentine's Day was waning.

Modern Years

There have been a few cases of overreacting to receiving these cards. People have committed suicides or homicides, as a result of receiving one! Not a strange phenomenon as there were cards that suggested or urged the reader to commit suicide. And many of them were written as though these negative thoughts were popular opinion.

In 1885, London’s Pall Mall Gazette reported that a husband shot his wife in the neck after receiving a vinegar valentine from her. Oh my!

This trend has gradually declined; the year 1940 was the last time Valentine's Day hate cards were exchanged. Surviving examples of actual Vinegar Valentines are scarce. For obvious reasons, recipients did not keep them. 

Well, dearie, your husband didn't get you the gift you wanted? Think that it could be worse like the message below! 😉

Well, my dear, this is it!

Thank you for reading my article…I hope you found it interesting and that you have learned a lot!

I would love to know your thoughts on today’s topic so please leave a comment below!

You’re fantastic 🙂

Written by Scarlett Osborne

Gretna Green: The Lovers’ Sanctuary

Ah, Gretna Green!

Who hasn’t heard of it?

No, seriously.

If you’ve read one Regency romance in your entire life, then chances are you’ve heard of Gretna Green.

The place of forbidden love.

The “nest” where lovers would go to get married, away from the scorn of society.

Do you have a secret lover that your parents disapprove of? Are they trying to push you into a marriage of convenience? Are you looking for a way out?

Time to get to Gretna Green, lovebirds!

In the middle of the 18th-century, lords approved new laws to tighten marriage arrangements. 

In 1754 a new law, Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act, was brought into force in England. This amendment required young people to be over 21 years of age if they wished to marry without their parents’ or guardian’s consent. The marriage was required to be a public ceremony in the couple’s parish, with an official of the Church presiding. The new law was rigorously enforced and carried a 14-year sentence of transportation to the colonies for any clergyman found breaking it.

The scottish law, however, was different: you could marry on the spot, in a simple “marriage by declaration”, or “handfasting” ceremony, only requiring two witnesses and assurances from the couple that they were both free to marry.

This marriage contract could be made wherever the couple liked, in private or in public, in the presence of others or no-one at all.

The ‘irregular marriage’ ceremony would be short and simple, something like:

“Are you of marriageable age?” 


“Are you free to marry?” 


“You are now married.”

A wedding in the Scottish tradition could take place anywhere on Scottish soil.

Such a relaxed arrangement within reach of England, soon led to the inevitable influx of countless thousands of young couples running-away to marry over the border. 

Why Gretna Green? Gretna Green was the first village in Scotland and conveniently situated on the main route from London into Scotland. Traveling to Gretna Green along the Great North Road was no mean feat back then. Today, it takes a little over 5 hours to travel the 326 miles from London to the Scottish border town. In 1818, it took an average of four days, with carriages traveling an average of 6 miles an hour. Frequent stops to change tired horses and rest for food and an overnight stop for a room at an inn added to travel time.

However, should a virginal heiress spend at least one night on the road, her reputation would be lost, even if she slept in a separate room from her paramour and was chaperoned by her maid.

Forbidden romance and runaway marriages were popularized in the fiction of the time. I’m sure you’re very well acquainted with ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen.

Even though the presence of a third party was not required, English couples usually preferred to keep some English marriage traditions and so looked for someone in authority to oversee the ceremony. The most senior and respected craftsman or artisan in the countryside was the village blacksmith, and so the Blacksmith’s Forge at Gretna Green became a favorite place for weddings.

The tradition of the blacksmith sealing the marriage by striking his anvil led to the Gretna blacksmiths becoming known as ‘anvil priests’. Indeed, the blacksmith and his anvil are now symbols of Gretna Green weddings. Gretna Green’s famous Blacksmiths Shop, the Old Smithy where lovers have come to marry since 1754, is still in the village and still a wedding venue.

Gretna Green is possibly the most romantic place in Scotland, if not in the United Kingdom, and this small Scottish village has become synonymous with romance and runaway lovers.

Which begs the question…

Who’s in the mood for a trip? 😉

Written by Patricia Haverton

Ten Facts You Didn’t Know About Scotland

We do love Scotland, my bonnie, don’t we? 

That’s why I have a very special article today, just for you! Ten interesting facts I bet you didn’t know about Scotland! 

Sit comfortably, make yourself a nice, hot beverage and let’s start exploring one of our favorite countries in the whole world.

Skara Brae. Image source: Wikipedia

Have You Ever Heard of Skara Brae? 

A terrible storm during the winter of 1850, revealed a Neolithic village full of stone buildings, in Orkney of Scotland. The local laird organized an excavation on that location. 

Eighteen years later, four stone house remains were discovered. And the excavation stopped...until 1925 when another huge storm started. It destroyed some of the previous remains, so people decided to construct a sea wall in order to protect that place. During the construction, even more ancient buried buildings were found. Skara Brae is a Scottish Pompeii! After this revelation, an entire medieval city was discovered there, and of course preserved. 

What are you waiting for? Let’s go visit it!

Knap of Howar, Oldest Preserved Stone House. Image source: Wikipedia

The Oldest Preserved Stone House In Northern Europe Is In Scotland

The famous Knap of Howar is Scotland’s medieval juel. Like Skara Brae, the house is in Orkney as well. It is very impressive to discover that the doorways of this house were very low and were always facing the sea. I assume that this wasn’t a coincidence. 

There were no windows, but this amazing stone house had a secret passage that led to another house, room or workshop. Evidence shows that the inhabitants of that house lit fires, had cattle and used to go fishing, too.

A Not So Tasty Traditional Dish

A very traditional dish of Scotland is Haggis. 

I will be honest, lassie. I did indeed taste it once. But I can’t say I liked it much...or at all, for that matter. Let’s see what it is made of!

This dish includes the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep. And we aren’t done yet. All these are boiled inside the animal’s stomach. No comments, dearie. I just can’t. Terrible, ain’t it?

A Super Delicious Breakfast

A traditional scottish breakfast includes black pudding, Lorne sausage, baked beans, tattie scones, poached egg, toast and English tea or coffee. 

That will do! 😉 Feeling hungry yet?

It is really worth mentioning here that this breakfast of champions is also a great hangover treatment! Which brings me to my next fact…

Scotch, the traditional drink of Scotland. Image source: pixabay

A Scotch On The Rocks, Please!

In Germany there is beer, in Prague absinthe...well, in Scotland there is the real old style whiskey! We’re talking about the world’s finest whiskey, the famous scotch. 

What Does whiskey Mean In Scotland?

Did you know? In Gaelic brogue whiskey means the water of life

Who needs a drink? 😉

Sample  of penicillin mould present by Alexander Fleming to Douglas Macleod, 1935. Image Source: Wikipedia

Thanks To Scotland, We Have Antibiotics

The credits of the penicillin discovery go to...Sir Alexander Fleming. Born in Scotland, the man created a powerful, drastic antibiotic that saved millions of lives. In 1945, Alexander Fleming earned the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Castle Eilean Donan. Image Source: Pixabay

There Are Approximately 300 Castles In Scotland

Considering Scotland’s size, there is about one castle per 100 square miles. Like a beautiful, gothic fairy tale , right?

Why so many castles, you may ask? Thanks to the old clans. Clans started to exist from the moment Scotland’s remarkable civilization was born. The clans were an ancient institution in Scotland’s history. Scotland’s entire system was based on the clan institutions.

And speaking of clans...

A Scotsman wearing a kilt, Image Source: Pixabay

The Different Clans Were Distinguished By The Pattern Of Knitting  On Their Kilts

Such a small detail but of so much importance. Small details are the ones that make the difference, right?

"Non Omnis Moriar" (Not All of Me Will Die), Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh. Image Source: Wikipedia

Do You Believe In Ghosts?

I won’t mention the magnificent tales, legends and creatures of Scotland such as  Nessie, fairies, selkies and more…it will take me an eternity if I start writing about them! Today I will focus on ghosts.

Edinburgh is the city of ghosts and the number #1 haunted destination in Europe. It is probably every ghost hunter’s favorite place. It is worth mentioning that there is an entire tourism schedule based on that.

Greyfriars Kirkyard is located at the Old Town of Edinburgh and Burials have been taking place since the late 16th century. I won’t say anything else about that, I will let the photographs talk instead.

The Pitcairne vault within the Covenanter's Prison, Greyfriars Kirkyard. Image Source: Wikipedia

My Goodbyes For Now

That’s it for now, my bonnie! I hope you enjoyed today’s article. Scotland has always been in my heart since I was a kid. I will never stop loving it and hopefully I will never stop writing about it.

I would love to hear your thoughts once again! 

You can leave your comment right below, or email me. 

Until next time, farewell, my dearie.

Written by Lydia Kendall

The Ghosts of Warwick Castle

Ah, castles!

Who doesn’t love them?

No, seriously, do you know anyone who doesn’t love castles?

If you do, send them my way and I’ll have a word!

From the Middle Ages to today's world, planned communities and system of the social order of medieval life have become romanticized, transformed into a time of honor, chivalry, and other knightly virtues. Castles represent power and strength, safety and protection. They represent an era long gone, and legends of old that to this day capture our imaginations.

In three words…


Do you know what else castles are?


Can you guess?

I’ll give you a hint: it’s transparent, and it can pass through walls.


You’re starting to see it, right?

Yep! Castles are breeding grounds for all kinds of ghost stories!

Hundreds of years old, the walls of castles are drenched in history and in the memories of the people that lived within them. Coupled with secret corners and squeaky noises after dark, it comes as no surprise that many people “see” all kinds of ghostly apparitions in the corner of their eye.

But we’re not here to talk about every castle today.

No! Today we’re here to talk about one specific gem of a fortress and its eons-old but very much “alive” tenants!

Welcome to Warwick Castle!

Warwick Castle, which proudly displays more than 1,000 pieces of arms and armor in the Great Hall, possesses an extensive history spanning more than 1,000 years. Warwick Castle was associated with various historic events including the Norman conquest of England, Hundred Years' War between England and France, and the War of the Roses. Following the War of the Roses, a peaceful existence began at Warwick Castle. Moreover, it served as the home to the mighty Earls of Warwick.

It does sound like the perfect place for a ghost, doesn’t it?

And this castle houses at least a few of them!

Roger de Beaumont

In 1088, Roger de Beaumont was made the 2nd Earl of Warwick. Later, in 1119, he established the Church of All Saints within the walls of Warwick Castle. However, the Bishop of Worcester was not very keen on the idea of a church being in a castle and had it removed in 1127; an act that pitted the nobility against the established Church.

In 1153, the wife of Roger De Beaumont made a huge mistake when she gave the castle to the invading army of Henry of Anjou—later Henry II—after they convinced her that her husband had been killed.

In a bizarre turn of events, a not-yet-dead De Beaumont died from shock upon learning what she had done.

Most inhabitants of Warwick Castle that followed after reported seeing the frustrated spirit of Roger, wandering the halls and lamenting his losses.


Sir Fulke Greville

Sir Fulke Greville was granted Warwick Castle by King James I in 1604. At the time, the place had been unoccupied for 14 years and was in a ruinous condition. Fortunately, Greville, as well as a being a fine poet and playwright, was a rich and influential man, who slowly converted Warwick Castle into the most princely seat within the midlands part of this realm.

Seven years later, thoughts of his own mortality led Greville to draw up a will. He had never married and had no children, so he decided to make slight provision for his servant, Ralph Haywood. Haywood was not impressed with the paltry bequest and, in a fit of rage, stabbed his master while helping him dress at his house in London. It took the unfortunate Greville a month to die, his agony compounded by the surgeon's insistence on packing the wound with mutton fat.

He was brought back to Warwick Castle, and his tomb can still be seen in nearby St. Mary's Church. Greville's ghost returns to the castle to walk the room that was once his study. Here witnesses have reported catching fleeting glimpses of his sad shade staring at them from the dark corners, or feeling his presence.

-Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke, de jure 13th Baron Latimer and 5th Baron Willoughby de Broke KB PC

The Curse of Moll Bloxham

According to legend, Moll Bloxham was a witch who placed a curse on Warwick Castle.

After being caught stealing from the Earl, Bloxham was captured and sentenced to endure a publicly humiliating torture where she placed a curse upon Warwick. Soon after Bloxham was gone, a great beast began to prowl the grounds of the castle. The beast has been described as being a great black dog with piercing red eyes. The beast was eventually defeated after being coaxed into the river where it perished, yet Bloxham’s legend continues to live on. A ghost named the Lady in Gray who materializes throughout the castle grounds is believed by some to be Moll Bloxham.

The Haunting of the Dungeon

In the coldness of the castle’s depths rests its former dungeon. While haunted by the tortured souls who met their demise while imprisoned within these depths, a different kind of spirit is responsible for the majority of ghostly activity. A dark and aggressive presence in the dungeon is thought to be that of a former jailer. This sinister ghost has been sighted behind a metal gate in the dungeon and is responsible for poltergeist activity, growls, scratches and forming into a shadow figure.

In 2009 it was decided to build a new feature to the castle and that was the Dungeon attraction, where the idea was to create a torture chamber where workers from the castle dress up and basically scare the socks of the visitors.

During its construction Site manager Paul Woodfield was left petrified when he spotted a strange figure in the hallways at the site. He was so scared he immediately upped tools and ran away in fear.

-An iron maiden in the dungeons of Warwick Castle

Oh my!

It seems like Warwick Castle has a long and tumultuous history, and the ghosts to prove it!


Care to visit? 😉

Written by Emma Linfield

The Charm of a Ballerina’s Bun

Well, ladies and gents!

It is no coincidence that this sleek cut, always flawless, has become an ultimate classic. Dance groups around the world, tapping on their toes, reveal why the Ballerina’s bun is the ultimate female hairstyle.

Although the hairstyle is synonymous with ballet, it has its roots in the women of Ancient Greece, who created a hairstyle known today as Greek knot. A simple, low-necked chignon, typically decorated with jewels, was a symbol of elegance for wealthy Greek women.

The bun returned to modern society during the Regency period of 1800. Anyone familiar with the movie adaptations of Jane Austen's books will recognize the stylish hairstyles that were popular among middle and upper-class women.

Women of the Regency era in England loved classical aesthetics which was associated with the fashion and hairstyles of Ancient Greece and Rome. The women began to wrap their long hair in a bun, but lift it higher than the Greek bun at the back of the head.

Well, keep reading, hun! 🙂

Victorian Era

The rise of the bun came in the Victorian period. In the 19th century, there were many variations of the bun.

"Apollo's knot" was a popular hairstyle during the 1820s and 1830s and consisted of a middle chignon and curls around the face and ears.

Another popular variant of the bun called "La Chinoise" resembled Princess Leia's famous hairstyle in Star Wars.

Queen Victoria

The "Victoria" hairstyle by Queen Victoria was a more conservative hairstyle that reflected a dark and serious Victorian England. Two braids on both sides were attached to a simple bun on the back of the head and hung around the ears.

Under the influence of Queen Victoria, the bun became a more elegant and serious hairstyle that is typically associated with the stereotype of an "oppressed" Victorian society. 

In all of these variations, however, the bun was an important symbol of the category of discrimination for many women and a reflection of the times.

Modern Years

As the Victorian bun transformed into the more relaxed and natural "Gibson Girl" chic of the 1890s, it’s dominance came to an end.

During the  1920s, fashionable ladies gave up complicated hairstyles for free buns. 

And yet the charm of the bun remains strong today and is still in vogue, signaling a classic kind of hairstyle.

In ballet, of course, it never left.

Thank you for reading this article of mine and write below your replies so that I can see them! 

And please let me know your thoughts—did you enjoy the topic? 

If there is anything else you’d be interested in reading about the Regency Era, feel free to let me know…

…and who knows? Maybe you will read about it soon!

Written by Olivia Bennet

The Origins of Scotland’s Higher Education

I think it’s time for a more educative article, my bonnie lads and lasses…

We have talked about Scottish folklore and fairies, and while that’s all very interesting and full of imagination, I can’t help but wonder…

What was going on in the everyday life of people in Medieval Scotland? How did people educate themselves in the 15th century, if they did so at all…?

These thoughts led me to an astonishing fountain of information regarding the ancient universities of Scotland! 

I was so intrigued by my findings that I had to share them with you, my loyal readers.

How It All Started

Who would have thought that the Universities that were formed in Scotland in the 16th century were the only ones that existed in the country until the 20th century!  

I’ve got to tell you, I was as surprised as you are…

Now…which were these Universities?

First of all, there was the University of St. Andrews, founded in 1413! This University owes its origins to a society formed in 1410. After a charter was issued, the society attracted some of the most educated men in Scotland to work as professors. In 1413 the society was confirmed to be a University with six papal bulls. 

The University of St. Andrews is, until this day, very famous for its research. And the small city of St. Andrews is simply majestic...

St Salvator's Chapel, St Andrews. Image source.

Moving on, the second University founded in Scotland was the University of Glasgow, in 1451. The University was founded after the request of King James II. 

You want to know why? It was the King’s wish for Scotland to have two impressive universities, such as England did with Cambridge and Oxford. 

Once more, the rivalry between England and Scotland shows its face, but in a more civilized way this time. Wouldn’t you agree?

Just take a look at this breathtaking building…

The Main Building of the University of Glasgow, from Kelvingrove Park. Image source. 

Third on our list is the magnificent University of Aberdeen, established in 1495, which has a rather complicated history. Be sure to search for it…it is rather interesting. 

And, last but not least, is the acclaimed University of Edinburgh, founded in 1558. By the 18th century, the University of Edinburgh played a huge role in the development of the Scottish Enlightenment, a period characterized by very important intellectual and scientific accomplishments.

The University of Edinburgh's Robert Adam-designed Old College, home of its Law School. Image source.

It is important to note that by this time Scotland had created four acclaimed Universities, while the much larger England had only two…

Who could have thought that our lovely Scotland had such an important and strong presence when it comes to education?

A Different Approach

But what could one person study at these Universities?

Of course, subjects were much different compared to those offered at our universities today.  In general, at the Universities of the Medieval period, one could only study one of the following: Liberal Arts, and the higher disciplines of Law, Theology, and Medicine. 

The Universities were the evolution of the much older Christian Cathedrals schools and monastic schools.

So, it turns out that Scottish history is rich with various information. Isn’t that right?

We keep hearing about all the famous Scottish and English wars but as it turns out there is much more to our beloved Scotland than that.

It is true what they say: the more you read about something the more interested you become in it… 

I can’t wait to learn more about the Universities of the Medieval period and report back to you. I surely hope I have inspired you to do the same! 

Until next time…

Written by Maddie MacKenna

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