Glaistig of Strontian

The glaistig that came at nights and worked in the smithy at Strontian. The smith was greatly annoyed at the noises in the smithy at night, and at finding in the morning his tools mislaid. He resolved to stay up and find out the cause. He stood in the dark, behind the door, with the hammer on his shoulder ready to strike whatever should enter.

The glaistig came to the door, accompanied by her bantling, or Isein (i.e. a young chicken). The chicken thought he heard a noise inside, and said, Something moving, little woman. Hold your tongue, wretch, she said, it is only the mice. At this point the smith struck the old woman on the head with his hammer, and caught hold of the little one. On this, the Isein reproached his mother by saying, Your old grey pate has got a punching; see now if it be the mice.

Before the smith let his captive go, the glaistig left a parting gift — that the sons should succeed the father as smith in the place until the third generation.



  • Campbell, J.G. (1900). Superstitions of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Glascow: James MacLehose and Sons, p. 177.