THE ISLES OF RUM, EIGG AND MUCK
Those islands which sound like a new cocktail — Rum, Eigg and Muck.
.....©H.V. Morton, In Search of Scotland, 1929
THE ISLE OF MUCK
A visit was paid by the laird and lady of a small island south of Skye, of which the proper name is Muack, which signifies 'swine.' It is commonly called Muck, which the proprietor not liking, has endeavoured, without effect, to change to Monk.
It is usual to call gentlemen in Scotland by the name of their possessions, as Raasay, Bernera, Loch Buy, a practice necessary in countries inhabited by clans, where all that live in the same territory have one name, and must be therefore discriminated by some addition.
This gentleman, whose name, I think, is Maclean, should be regularly called Muck; but the appelation, which he thinks too coarse for his island, he would like still less for himself, and he is therefore addressed by the title of, "Isle of Muck."
.....Samuel Johnson, Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland ©1775
A wild and lonely beach on the northern shore has long been reputed to be haunted by a phantom black dog. It has the unnerving habit of following people and occasionally barking once or twice; a weird, echoing bark never forgotten by those who hear it. If a third bark is heard, according to tradition, the phantom dog will overtake the hearer...Loud and unexplained barking, as of a huge dog-like creature, has been heard at the cavern known as The Lair of the Faery Dog
......GAZETEER OF SCOTTISH GHOSTS, © Peter Underwood, Fontana/Collins, 1973
This holy island with its mellow ruins and burial-ground containing the tombs of some sixty Scottish, Irish and Norwegian kings, and the ancient monastery founded by Saint Columba who came here in the year 563, has plenty of ghosts, from silent Viking longboats and the massacred monks on the White Sands to phantom bells, ghostly music and twinkling blue lights. The strange and sometimes terrible enchantment and 'call' of this strange and irresistible island persists.
......GAZETEER OF SCOTTISH GHOSTS, © Peter Underwood,Fontana/Collins, 1973
A man of the Hebrides, for of the women's diet I can give no account, as soon as he appears in the morning, swallows a glass of whisky; yet they are not a drunken race, at least I never was present at much intemperance; but no man is so abstemious as to refuse the morning dram, which they call a skalk.
.....Samuel Johnson, Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland, ©1775
The conjoined ISLES OF LEWIS (Leodhas)and HARRIS Na Hearadh
The difference between Harris and Lewis is not as great as the difference between whisky and wine, or even the difference between whisky and other ardent spirits. It is rather like the difference between two neighbourly malts - marginal and almost indefineable, but very real to the connoisseur.
...©James Shaw Grant, Discovering Lewis and Harris, John Donald Publishers Ltd., Edinburgh
Here once again the barren moorlands affront the civil eye; and how nasty, brutish and short life originally was here can be judged by a sight of the "black' houses, stone-based bur rising with slabs of peat to conical roofs that recall the similar communities of central Africa. There are absolute no windows, and, inside, the people would once shelter from the raging storms outside in a medley of sheep, pigs, poultry, men, women and children and continual, rankling smoke. This smoke deliciously impregnantes the true Harris tweed still.
...SCOTLAND: THE LAND AND THE PEOPLE, © Donald Cowie, 1973 by A.S. Barnes and Company, Cranbury, NJ and London: Thomas Yoseloff Ltd., London ISBN 0-498-01169-0
When the Queen visited Lewis in 1956, the official gift from the Stornoway Town Council was a golden replica of a cutag. Only an island like Lewis, devoid of any sense of class or status - ministers of religion apart! - could have thought of presenting a queen with a [herring] gutting girl's knife [cutag] as the symbol by which the community wished to be remembered.
......©James Shaw Grant, Discovering Lewis and Harris, John Donald Publishers Ltd.,Edinburgh
VALLAY (off North Uist, Western Isles)
This small island off North Uist was the site of a particularly barbaric witch execution. She was buried up to her neck in the gateway of a cattle-fold, so that the beasts trampled her to death. The pit is still visible to this day.
.....SUPERNATURAL SCOTLAND: A Wonderfully Chilling Guide to Scotland's Rich Supernatural Heritage, by Harry Campbell, ©Harper Collins Publishers, 1999
IF YOU GO TO THE HEBRIDES...