British Folklore
Fairy Lore & Prehistoric Sites in Britain
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Torrylin Cairn

Torrylin Cairn

Sometimes also known as Torlin Cairn, this long chambered cairn at the mouth of the Kilmorie Water has a frightful tale attached to it. This place was plundered in 1860, and the robber is said to have taken home the largest of the human skulls he found. As soon as he came home the walls of his house were struck as if by a tornado.

Again and again the avengine blast swept over his dwelling, through not a sight of the gentlest breeze was heard in the neighbouring wood. The affrighted victim hastened to re-bury the bones in their desecrated grave, but day and night shadowy phantoms continued to haunt his mind and track his steps, and a few months after the commission of his rash deed, whilst riding along the high road towards Lag, he was thrown from his horse over a steep embankment, and dashed against the rocks of the stream beneath.

To this account, written in 1861, John MacArthur adds that the tradition was well known in Arran, 'and has tended to deepen the feelings of superstitious dread with which these monuments are generally regarded'.