posted on Feb, 19 2004 @ 04:42 PM
"In Scotland members of the MacLaine clan from the district of Lochbuie shun the nocturnal sound of clattering hooves and a jingling bridle. They
fear the sight of a spectral horse bearing a headless rider who forebodes death.
The name of the rider is Ewen of the Little Head. Ewen was the son and heir of a MacLaine chief, but the son envied the father's wealth and fell to
feuding with him. There was much inconclusive bickering between the two men, and at last both parties sought to settle the matter by force of arms. In
1538 father and son led their partisans into battle, and the son was beheaded by one of his father's followers. From that time into the twentieth
century, many witnesses have told how the headless Ewen rides to harvest the souls of Lochbuie MacLaines.
Ironically, this messenger of doom supposedly had a chilling omen of his own death. According to one story, on the evening before the fatal skirmish,
Ewen met up with the Faery Washing-Woman, a Scottish folklore figure akin to the Irish banshee and the Welsh "Hag of the Dribble". On the eve of
battles, it was her dire function to wash blood from the garments of combatants who were destined to die. Ewen was walking along a stream when he saw
the old woman crouched by the water, rinsing a pile of blood-stained shirts. He asked her if his own shirt was there, and the hag replied that it was.
But he might avoid his doom, she added, if the next morning his wife, with no prompting, served him butter with breakfast. Unfortunately, Ewen's wife
was an indifferent cook, and no butter appeared on the table. The luckless man stoically munched his dry bread, then rode to battle that morning
knowing he would not ride home that night. "