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Do you know any local legends?


By Alistair Whitfield


A TEAM of academics are looking for the public's help to research folklore legends from the North East.

Robert Gordon University (RGU) is hosting a festival next month to explore the ongoing importance of stories from the past.

Characters they might be interested to learn more about could include historical figures such as the Wolf of Badenoch.

Or maybe the Forres witches.

Bringing things up to more modern times, perhaps you recall a few stories about Bill 'Lightening' Forbes, the Buckie barber who regularly set off on one-man adventures to Africa and the Amazon.

Brodie Castle, which is said by some to be haunted.
Brodie Castle, which is said by some to be haunted.

Dr Sarah Henderson, a senior lecturer the university's School of Applied Social Studies, is coordinating the project, which involves academics from the field of psychology, anthropology, sociology and cultural history.

She said: "The North-East of Scotland is rich in folklore that tells us a lot about the people who have lived here.

"By celebrating these stories and their role in contemporary society, we will be exploring how they connect us to the people, culture and the landscape around us.

"The festival seeks to involve children and adults alike, from all backgrounds.

"We’ll be showcasing some of the stories at our Local Legends event, during the week of the festival, where our academics will explain the purposes, creation and evolution of these legends during bite-sized presentations.

"Also at the event, we’ll have activities for our younger visitors to get involved with, including the chance to create their own local legends. We’ll share the various social science disciplines involved in legends and folklore and the courses that RGU offers which tap into these areas."

To get involved with the project and send examples of local legends and folklore, visit the Local Legends website here.

One of the tales already submitted involves a ghost story from Elgin called 'Traveller, Beware!', which is narrated by Frieda Morrison.

Another tells of how Provost Douglas, long after he was murdered, came to be buried at Duff House.

The spirits of slain soldiers are said to still roam the battlefield at Culloden.
The spirits of slain soldiers are said to still roam the battlefield at Culloden.

The ‘Local Legends: Folklore Culture and You’ event is being held in the Anatomy Rooms, Aberdeen, on Sunday, November 3.

The event is free to attend and will last from noon until 4pm.



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