Claire Randall Fraser, played by Caitriona Balfe, travels through hundreds of years in time after touching fictional standing stones at Craigh na Dun in the first season of Outlander.
While it may have been a fantastical voyage, the strange powers felt at Scotland’s sacred stone sites have long been documented. With some of Scotland’s stone circles around 5,000 years old, a rich culture of folklore and myth has evolved surrounding the mysterious formations, some where Druids are believed to have worshipped. Here we look at six sites and their links to love, health, fertility fortune and death - and the tale of one tourist who believed he was cursed after visiting a key Highland attraction.
Legend tells how a white fairy cow came to save starving islanders by giving milk at the 5000 year old stones. Recent research confirms that the stones were deliberately placed to align with the orbits of the sun & moon
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Women would journey to this ancient rock on the top of Clach-na-Bhan in hopes of increasing chances of an easy childbirth. Single women also made pilgrimages to the stone in the belief it would help them find a husband.
A Belgian tourist claimed to have been cursed after lifting a stone from this 4,000-year-old sacred. It is believed that rituals using the dead were carried out at the site, which is linked to the midsummer full moon
This 6ft monolith stands above the main shopping street and has long been the source of superstition in the town. Originally thought to be a Druid altar, Kempock was believed to bring good fortune to newlyweds and fishermen
Sacred stones were believed to be loaded with life & power with the Quoybune Stone said to move at the stroke of midnight on Hogmanay. Those who witnessed this phenomenon would not live to see another year, according to legend
Many believe The Ring of Brodgar, made up now of 27 stones, was an open-air temple for Druid rituals, possibly including human sacrifice. Orkney folk tradition claims the stones as giants who were petrified on sunrise