Cachalaidh na feusag

"The Beard gateway." In Islay, the name of a gate, at the bottom of a dell through which the public road lies, where unearthly things were encountered after dark. According to one story, a man saw an indistinct object coming towards him, with a wide open mouth, as if to devour him, and from the width of its gape he could see its lungs down its throat. Fortunately the man was accompanied by a Newfoundland dog which rushed against the thing and a terrific fight ensued. The dog ran away, but came back in the morning without any hair on its body and shortly after its return died.

Another story involves a man named Ewen who there proposed the health of the bodach, the old man, and let the cailleach, the old wife, go to the dogs. Each time he passed through the dell and reached the haunted spot, two apparitions, the old man and the old wife, met him. The old woman endeavored to attack him but the old man kept her off. The bodach advised him to go to Ireland (or to Kintyre, according to others) and get a dirk made. As long as he kept the dirk on his person the cailleach would not venture to attack him. This he did and he became known as Ewen of the Dirk (Eòghan na biodag). One night, as Ewen was working in the harvest field he left the dirk on a stook of corn. The old woman got between him and the weapon, and gave him such a squeeze that he put out three mouthfuls of blood. The bodach came to his rescue, but it was already too late.



  • Campbell, J.G. (1902). Witchcraft & Second Sight in the Highlands & Islands of Scotland. Glascow: James MacLehose and Sons, pp. 189-190.