malicious creature found in Orkney folklore was the "Noggelvi" or "Nuggle".
the Nuggle was said to be able to disguise itself as any creature, it usually
took the form of a placid, but magnificent, horse.
in this form, the Nuggle frequented areas of the countryside around lochs, pools
There, its method of ensnaring
human victims was to wait patiently by the side of the water.
the unfortunate who spied the riderless horse decided to climb on its back, the
beast would charge into the water, carrying the doomed rider to a death by drowning.
Those familiar with folklore will instantly recognise elements of the Nuggle as
being identical to the Celtic water-horse known as the Kelpie.
Orkney and Shetland it was said that only a Finman
could ride a Nuggle. The incorporation of the Finmen into the folklore seems likely
to be a later addition.
Although there are
a few documented references to the Nuggle in Orkney, recorded accounts are more
common in Shetland, where the creature wasalso referred to as "shoopiltee".
particular piece of Shetland lore refers to a group of local men who managed to
capture a Nuggle. The men chained the frantic creature to a standing stone between
two lochs but, after a great struggle, the Nuggle escaped. The evidence of its
struggle remained - marks where the binding chain scored the stone.
in Orkney, all that remains of Nuggle lore today are a few faint references to
areas where the creature was once thought to haunt.
with its hills and isolated streams and pools, seems to have been plagued by the
Nuggle, with several areas associated with water-horse activity. The main territory,
however, seems to have been the area surrounding the body of water known as the
Water o' Hoy.
Local tradition also has the
Nuggle active around the Pegal Burn, as well as the Little Loch at Rackwick. To
ensnare his victims at the Pegal Burn, the creature would hide on the island of
Rysa Little. From there it could see victims as they approached the burn.
by the time the traveller reached the bridge over the burn, the Nuggle would be