Bodach Glas

"Grey Messenger." The spirit of a chief of a band of Lowlanders who, in the novel Waverley, haunted the Mac Ivors. This chief, called Halbert Hall, was killed in a dispute over the great booty that was acquired. It is thus described to Waverley by Fergus Mac Ivor:

"You must know, then, that when my ancestor, Ian nan Chaistel, wasted Northumberland, there was appointed with him in the expedition a sort of Southland Chief, or captain of a band of Lowlanders, called Halbert Hall. In their return through the Cheviots, they quarrelled about the division of the great booty they had acquired, and came from words to blows. The Lowlanders were cut off to a man, and their chief fell the last, covered with wounds, by the sword of my ancestor. Since that time his spirit has crossed the Vich Ian Vohr of the day when any great disaster was impending, but especially before approaching death. My father saw him twice, once before he was made prisoner at Sheriff-Muir, another time on the morning of the day on which he died."

Bodach, from the Saxon, bode, "messenger" or "tidings-bringer," and glas, Gaelic for "grey."



  • Omens and superstitions: Curious facts and illustrative sketches. (1868). Edinburgh: William P. Nimmo, p. 9.
  • Jamieson, J. (1818). An Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language. Edinburgh: Archibald Constable & Co.
  • Scott, Sir Walter. Waverley, iii, 157, 158.