Monday, May 11, 2009

Looking for Sawney Beane

Do you have information about a legend about Sawney Beane (sometimes spelled, "Bean")?

From my research efforts so far, what I have turned up is that no sure documents have been discovered about a person by the name of Sawney Beane who was actually proven to be a cannibal in fifteenth or sixteenth century Scotland.

According to legend, Sawney Beane, along with the help of his 40+member clan, is supposed to have murdered and performed acts of cannibalism upon over 1000 human beings - somewhere in the area of "East Lothian." Eventually, Sawney Beane and his clan grew too big, got careless and were found out. They were executed...

The cave where Sawney Beane and his notorious clan supposedly lived, undetected, for a quarter of a century was located in an area known as "Galloway." Galloway has been re-named and is now called "South Ayrshire."

Some people think that the actual cave is in existence today and is called the present-day "Bennane Cave." This cave is located between a burgh of about 8000 people called, "Girvan," and a place called "Ballantrae," both located in South Ayrshire.

Ballantrae is featured in famous author, Robert Louis Stevenson's book, "The Master of Ballantrae," written in (first ed.) 1889.

Hopefully, posting a few of these Scottish regional and burgh names will jog someone's memory - of a story heard or overheard about The Legend of Sawney Beane.

Most researchers of folklore and legends, as well as historians, believe the persona of Sawney Beane to be a purely fictitious figure - pure myth.

But - ya never know, now...

Legend of Sawney Bean:

The terrain of Scotland is notoriously varied in hills, valleys, caves - not to mention all the features of terrain caused by Scotland having maritime qualities...

What do you think? Could the Legend of Sawney Beane be rooted in truth?

Is is possible that a notorious cannibal and his despicable clan could have hid out in caves for a couple of decades and preyed - literally and physically - upon unsuspecting passersby who journeyed along 16-Century pathways?


  1. Let us know, Mythbuster2009, if you find out more on this legend! I went to you hubpages article and read the whole story. After reading, I think the legend might have a lot of basis in fact.

    I'll check back later to see if you find more out about The Legend of Sawney Bean. Good luck.

  2. Sadly, "Anonymous," I have not found much at all about Sawney Beane. tho' I have kept my eyes and ears open for details over many months, nothing new has surfaced. I'm probably going to have to ask a LOT more questions on some forums and storytelling sites in order to find more info. I will definitely post once I find out something.