|Other Name/s||Water Kelpie|
The Kelpie is a legendary shape-shifting spirit said to dwell in the lochs and rivers of Scotland and lure people into the murky depths.
Description of Kelpie
The Kelpie is most regularly said to appear as a white or gray horse, but can also take on the form of a human.
Kelpies are often said to differ slightly from horses in that they have webbed feet instead of hooves, and can have webbed ears too.
Their skin is described as being smooth and deathly cold, while their hair is sometimes said to be made of seaweed.
Legend has it that a Kelpie would drag people down below the water, drown them and then eat them.
Some stories allege the Kelpie has an adhesive skin, meaning that you could get stuck to it and be unable to break free. As the Kelpie’s tail hits the water it is said to make a sound like thunder.
Kelpies are thought to have shapeshifting abilities, and are often said to appear as attractive humans in order to lure their unsuspecting prey towards them.
There is some debate over whether or not the Kelpie is a malevolent beast. Some stories portray the Kelpie as being a mischievous, but ultimately harmless, creature, while others paint a picture of a vicious, murderous entity.
The darkest version of the legend presents the Kelpie as a terrifying black beast which was connected to the Devil. It is supposed to have two very sharp horns growing out of its head.
Another form the Kelpie is alleged to take is that of a hairy human. In this form, the Kelpie can rush out of the water and grab passersby, crushing them in its vice-like grip.
Apparently, the only way of defeating or taming a Kelpie is to remove its bridle. If you can do that, the Kelpie will submit to your will. These Kelpies were historically said to be held in high regard, not least because they were meant to have the strength of ten horses.
Kelpies have been said to mate with normal horses. The product of these unions is apparently always a black horse which cannot drown. This offspring cannot transform its appearance and does not have the desire to eat human beings.
The legend originated hundreds of years ago. Many Scots at this time could not swim, so it is thought that the legend may have been started in order to try to keep children away from the water.
The Kelpie was immortalized by statues recently erected near Falkirk, Scotland. At 100ft tall and weighing 300 tonnes each, these are the biggest equine sculptures in the world.
They were built in just 90 days and are made from stainless steel with steel-reinforced concrete foundations.
Accounts of particular sightings are very hard to come by, and modern-day sightings seem to be non-existent. However, we did find a record from the 19th century.
Father Allan McDonald, a priest in South Uist in Scotland, recorded an account by one of his parishioners. It was June 1893, and Ewan MacMillan was out looking for a mare and foal that belonged to him.
Walking over to a nearby loch, he saw an animal which he assumed to be the mare. As he got closer to it, it appeared to him to be larger than a normal horse.
When he was within 20 yards, the beast emitted a hideous, bone-chilling scream that terrified not only Ewan, but also the nearby horses. The horses fled, as did Ewan, not stopping until he was back home.
folklore.usc.edu, “Kelpie (Scottish cryptid)”, accessed August 22 2017,
thegoatseries.com, “Greatest Cryptid of All Time”, accessed August 22 2017,
unknownexplorers.com, “Kelpie”, accessed August 22 2017,
cryptidsuk.tumblr.com, “British and Irish Folklore – The Kelpie”, accessed August 22 2017,
exemplore.com, “Merrows, Selkies, and Kelpies: Irish and Scottish Underwater Creatures Like the Mermaid”, accessed August 22 2017,
hubpages.com, “Mythical Creatures – Kelpie”, accessed August 22 2017,
dickraynor.co.uk, “The Water-Horse: More than a Myth?”, accessed August 22 2017,
pinebarrensinstitute.com, “Quick Cryptid Snippet: The Kelpie”, accessed August 22 2017,
thehelix.co.uk, “Constructing The Kelpies”, accessed August 22 2017.