Argyll & Bute has a fascinating and extensive folk history dating back well over a thousand years. While Argyll & Bute shares many of the highlands mystical creatures with plenty of fairies, elves and kelpies to be found strewn throughout its mythology there is one far more relatable being that the area is known for.
Witches have made up some of the most renowned tales from Argyll & Bute since the 9thc. This first started with the ancient Celtic hag; the Cailleach. Associated with the harsh cold of winter she has long been associated with the area and later came to be known as Cailleach nan Cruachan or the Witch of Ben Cruachan- the highest mountain in the region.
Nearly 700 years after the first tellings of the Cailleach, witches once again came to notoriety in Bute through the witch trails in which 6 women were found to have consorted with the faryfolk. To this day their are rumours of witches and fairies entrapping the unwary traveller.
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We are working on developing a body of folklore for each region. Here’s what we have so far!