Is it the fact they go back to the beginning of time? Or is it the fascinating forms that nature seems to shape them into?
Stones, rocks, mountains, glaciers, have always held a fascination for humankind. We see faces and animals in their curves, but also nightmares in their silhouettes. So is it any wonder that legends and myths have grown up around stones?
But myths are not the only tales surrounding stones. Paranormal activity is also prevalent – perhaps due mainly to the ‘stone-tape’ theory? The history and activity surrounding many of the stones found in Scotland, gives an insight into the supernatural and mythical lore that are centuries old.
Old Man of Storr – Isle of Skye
This rock pinacle is 2,385 feet and sits proudly on Trotternish Ridge. The first ascent of the rock was in 1955.
Naturally there are many legends surrounding this majestic landmark. The most popular is that the Isle of Skye was once over run by giant beings. The old man of Storr is one of these beings, who was buried with earth when he died, but his thumb was left sticking out. The other popular legend is that the old man of Storr, along with his wife, were fleeing from the giants when they made the mistake of turning round to look at them – they were both turned to stone. There was another rock thought to be the old man’s ‘wife’ but it toppled over many years ago.
Isle of Skye
There is a very old belief that once you have been to the Isle of Skye, some strange force never allows you to be completely free. This could just be the majestic beauty capturing hearts and minds – or is it a netherworld influence? For sure, the Isle of Skye doesn’t have many places that are myth free from the sidhe (fairies), demons or spirits. This makes Skye not only one of the most beautiful places on earth, but one of the most magical. Even sceptics have been known to leave the island with a thoughtful look on their face.
The Three Clava Cairns – Highland Region
Many of the ancient stones found around Scotland are reported to have a number of ghosts and other paranormal phenomena associated with them. Like other ancient stones around the world, people have reported strange tingling sensations and claim to feel energy emanating from the stones. In addition there are numerous cases of observing and hearing other worldly figures.
Not far from the bloody and haunting battle field of Culloden lie some of othe Clava Cairns. There are 45 cairns in total. There are three buriel cairns at Balnuaran, Invernesshire. These three are part of a line of seven. They date to prehistoric times and referred to as ‘passage grave cairns’. What makes them more unique is the circle of standing stones that enclose each cairn. In the area of the cairns, sounds of haunting music has been heard when no one is around. The musical instruments are said to be fiddles.
(Photo by Bob Embleton)
The Three Clava Cairns – Highland Region
The stones also seem to have a curse attached to them. Many people who have removed stones from the site as keep sakes, have returned them within a short period of time, claiming that they have had bad luck since taking the stones home. On returning the stones, their luck seems to turn for the better.
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Tomnaverie Stone Circle – Aberdeenshire
Around these mysterious and beautiful stones, people have reported mysteries energies and shapes. Perhaps it’s earth energies or some other force that attracts one of the ghosts that have been reported at this site. The figure is always hooded, cloaked and silent. Appearing as from no where it disappears just as quickly. No one seems to know if it’s male or female and because of the dark, bland clothing, it’s not possible to place this apparition within a period of time.
(Photo: Michael Hogan)
Standing Stones of Stenness – Orkney
These stones are still impressive today. But the original stone circle of 12 must have been majestic indeed. The circle is about 5,000 years old, but as yet no firm conclusions have been reached for its actual purpose. What is known, is that up until at least the last century the stones were thought to have healing properties. The most powerful stone was one called the Odin Stone. This was special as it had a central hole – these stones were always believed to be more powerful than any others. New born babies would be passed through this aperture in the stone in order to ensure that they would have good health. Many people with ailments of various kinds would also visit the stones in the hope of getting some form of healing. So important was the site that marriages and other contracts made here were deemed to be as binding as any made by a signed document.
Although stones, hills and mountains hold a fascination for us, we are always inclined to treat them as dead and cold objects. But are they? Is there something, natural or otherwise, within stones that attract certain phenomena or entities? Do they in fact have the power to heal? The next time you pass by a stone, boulder, hill or mountain, stop to think about what hidden forces might dwell within. You never know what energy may present itself or who you might meet?