"Weeper." A variant of the ban-sìthe, found in the northern Highlands of Scotland and in the Hebrides. She was often heard wailing in the night but was never seen. According to legend, the caoineag of the MacDonalds was heard wailing after the treacherous slaughter of the MacDonalds at Glencoe (1692) by soldiers under Archibald Campbell, 10th earl of Argyll.

The caoineag can be classified as a fuath, a generic term for spectral beings in Highland Gaelic folklore. Also caointeach ("wailer"), although this seems to be more of a localized version of the caoineag.



  • MacKillop, James. (2004). Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.