Old Cullipool

Old Cullipool



On the Island of Lunga in the Sound of Luing, there lived and died an old married couple; the husband died leaving his wife alone. She knew that she must now summon help, and in the time honoured way she placed a lighted candle in the window of the house as was the customary means of asking for assistance, and waited till help arrived from Luing. While she was waiting she prepared her husband’s body for the funeral, dressing him in his best Sunday clothes.

Outside in the sound the wind was increasing in ferocity. The light had been seen by the people of Luing but no one could make the crossing in those conditions. However as soon as the weather abated they would set off as she knew they would. The stormy season was proving to be a long one, the hours turned to days and the days to weeks. The chailleach * was long in despair and was pining for her husband, who was still in his chair dressed in his finest. After some weeks the weather became settled enough for the rescue process to be put into action. On arriving on Lunga the rescuers found the old woman hanging from a rope and dead. She was unable to cope with life without her husband, and had given up hope of being rescued.

Having committed suicide she could not rest in peace alongside her husband in consecrated ground as was the law, and was buried on the wee island Eilean a’ Bheallaich. She is not yet content with her lot, and still haunts the house and island of Lunga. The contents of the house are never found in the same order that they have been left in, and of Eilean a’ Bheallaich, difficult to land on, but they say there is no problem getting off, With a little help from the ghost of the Bheallaich.

*’Chailleach’, an older or married woman.