Cailleach bera

In Ireland, a supernatural hag who is almost identical with the Cailleach Bheur of the Scottish Highlands. The Irish version however, is not so closely associated with winter nor with the wild beasts. The Cailleach bera is a great mountain builder who carried loads of stone in her apron and dropped them when the string broke.

According to Mackenzie, the Highland tradition of the cailleach is older and more deeply rooted than the Irish.

Further reading: Hull, Eleanor. Folklore of the British Isles (pp. 50-53); Mackenzie, D.A. Scottish Folk-Lore and Folk Life (pp. 136-55).



  • Briggs, Dr. Katherine M. (1976). An Encyclopedia of Fairies. New York: Pantheon Books.