The Paranormal Database

Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

Home > Scotland > Shetland

Shetland Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Smelly Creature

Location: Burra Haaf - Waters in the area
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1900s
Further Comments: Several reports of a creature with a sail-like body and a flipper on the end of its nose exist in this region of water off the Shetland Isles. A fishing crew who encountered it stated the beast destroyed several of their nets and came so close to their boat they could detect a pungent stench.

Petrified Stones

Location: Fetlar - Haltadans stone circle
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This group of standing stones are said to have been trolls who danced until dawn - unable to return to their cave in time, they all turned to rock.

Harassed by Fairies

Location: Fetlar - Unnamed disused watermills on the island, unlikely to remain
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Several abandoned watermills on the island were associated with myths, the most prevalent one being that fairies had driven the owners away.


Location: Foula - Mills with water wheels
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The Nygel was a water horse that appeared to hang around locations with water wheels, using its teeth to stop the wheel turning. It had a tail that arched over its back. One story said the creature entered a home of a local man; the occupant fled, and the building was left empty for thirty years.

Halibut-Tailed creature

Location: Isle of Yell - Thirty miles off the coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1833
Further Comments: Three (or six) fishermen claimed to have caught a ninety centimetre long mermaid while at sea. The creature had arms around 23 centimetres in length with webbed fingers, and while it had blue eyes and nostrils, no ears or chin could be seen. It possessed a tail similar to a halibut and had two fins on its shoulders. After listening to the creature wail for three hours, the fishermen threw it back into the sea.

Gentleman in Top Hat

Location: Isle of Yell - Windhouse, near the Lumbister RSPB Reserve
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early Twentieth century
Further Comments: Merely one of the spooks found here, the man in the top hat not putting on the Ritz shares the house with a woman dressed in silken clothes, a former pet dog, and a servant who is doomed to spend the rest of time ascending the staircase.

U Boat Sighting

Location: Muckle Flugga - Off coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 28 July 1918
Further Comments: The German submarine U108 encountered a giant marine saurian, estimated to be 18 to 24 metres in length.

Small Trolls

Location: Northmavine - Trowie Knowe cairn
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This cairn was used by trows who would only leave it by moonlight to go hunting.

Unknown Killers

Location: Papa Stour - Across the island
Type: Other
Date / Time: Eighteenth century?
Further Comments: After midday, unknown entities would emerge from hiding and cross the island, looking for anyone who had wandered too far from town. They were said to be able to hurt or kill even the strongest man.

Selkie Prince

Location: Papa Stour - Exact location not known
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A group of hunters who arrived at the island killed and skinned many seals before a violent storm began to batter the island - unbeknown to the hunters, a selkie prince was amongst the seals. The hunters finally returned the skins to the remaining seals, after which the storm ceased.

Remains of the Bay

Location: Scalloway - Bay
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1810
Further Comments: The remains of a large mystery sea creature drifted into Scalloway Bay. Described as a looking like an upturned vessel, it remained in the bay for two weeks before disappearing - during this time, no one was brave enough to approach it for a closer look.


Location: Scalloway - Waters around the area
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This area was thought to be home to humanoid sea creatures that drowned their victims before partaking of the deceased flesh.


Location: Shetland - Exact areas unknown
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This creature was said to be like traditional water horses, other than it would use its tail like a propeller once in the water.


Location: Shetland - Exact location not known
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Pre-1822
Further Comments: A fisherman who caught a mermaid while out at sea killed the creature with a knife. It was said that from that moment, he was cursed.


Location: Shetland - Near water wheels
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The Noggle was a type of water horse that could be found stopping water wheels. When a miller appeared to chase the beast off, he would often be tricked into mounting it - being taken to deep water and his doom.


Location: Shetland Islands - Fitful Head (cave), aka the Thief's Hole
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A mythical seahorse that was owned by the robber-bandit Black Eric. The creature continued to roam the area for a while following its master's death.

Upset Sea Creature

Location: Shetland Islands - Southeast of the island of Fetlar
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1881 or 1882
Further Comments: The crew of the fishing vessel Bertie fired several shots at a sea monster they passed - this angered the beast, which created waves of such force that they washed over the boat, taking away fishing gear and other supplies. The creature continued to stalk the crew until night fell.

Field of the Dead

Location: Unst - Burra Fiord
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Anyone who plants a spade in the earth at this location in Burra Fiord shall be struck by tragedy (according to folklore). One woman who dug there lost her best cow. When she dug there a second time, her husband died.

Bloody Corn

Location: Unst - Swinaness
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The area was said to have been the site of many gory battles. One farmer used the soil from the area to plant his corn, but come harvest, discovered that the stalks were filled with blood.

Water Horse

Location: Unst - Unnamed loch
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Nineteenth century
Further Comments: A tired traveller mounted a horse he found at the side of the loch only to find that the creature tried to drag him into the waters. The traveller managed to jump clear just before the horse entered the water - the horse disappeared in a blue haze.

Saxi and Herman

Location: Unst Island - General area
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Saxi and Herman, two giants who were brothers, once lived on the island. They both fell in love with a mermaid who said she would marry whoever would swim to the North Pole with her. Both brothers began the trip, but neither returned.

Sea Trows

Location: Ve Skerries - Sea in the area
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: These water-based troll-like creatures were once believed to swim the waters here, occasionally coming onto land to rest. It is thought they dressed in seal's skin while swimming, pealing it off to resemble humans when needing to leave the water.


Location: Whalsay - Exact location not known
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A water horse known as a Nygole was found by a traveller returning from the kriegs at Skura. Mistaking the creature for a normal horse, the traveller mounted it, only realising his mistake after the Nygole set off at a fantastic speed. The traveller escaped the creature after driving his knife into its back.


Location: Yell - Area around Windhouse, exact spot said to be known to the local population.
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Pre-mid-Eighteenth century, Christmas Eve
Further Comments: A shipwrecked sailor made his way to Windhouse on Christmas Eve, only to find the family in the process of leaving. They explained to the sailor that every Christmas Eve, terrible things would happen, and a death would normally occur. The sailor offered to spend the night in the house, and sure enough, after sunset, the sailor encountered a huge Trow. The sailor grabbed an axe and gave chase, catching up with the creature outside and giving it a whack (or two). When the family returned home, the sailor took them to the spot, where the body had vanished, leaving only bright green holly.

Records 1 - 24 of 24

Quick Links
Contribute to the Paranormal Database

Northern Ireland
View Northern Ireland records

Republic of Ireland
View Republic of Ireland Records

View Wales records