Heritage and Culture

Folklore Friday - The Faerie Dogs

By Sophie

The Faerie Dog (or Coin-Sith) is a mythological hound that can be found in Scotland and the Hebrides. Said to be the size of a young bull, the faerie dog has a wolf-like appearance. With dark green, shaggy fur, the faerie dog has a long tail that is either coiled (like a pug's) or braided, and giant paws tat match the width of a grown man's hand.

Making their home in the rockier parts of the highlands, they also have been known to roam the moors. Feared as an omen of death, locals feared for their lives if ever they sighted a faerie dog. They knew that if they ever laid eyes on one of these gruesome beasts, it would bring about their untimely death. In seeing the faerie dog, it was thought that he could bear away your very soul, taking it to the afterlife.

A silent hunter, the faerie dog would roam the Scottish highlands in search for souls. At points he would let out three terrifying bays, but only ever three. These could be heard for miles if the locals were listening for it, even far out at sea. Those who did hear the terrifying sounds would have to flee to safety by the time the third bark sounded. If they were unlucky enough not to make it they would be overcome with terror to the point of death.

It was also said that women who were nursing had to be particularly careful. If the faerie dog came across them after the final baying, they would be abducted and taken to a faerie mound, where they would be forced to supply milk for the Daoine Sith (fairies/ elf-like creatures). In order to prevent this terrifying future, nursing woman would be locked up for their safety.