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Halloween at Kilbride, a ghostly tale for the season

The Curious Tale of Biddy MacCulloch

This story was told by Margaret Small, who lived in Lerags glen as a youngster. An inquisitive child, she heard this tall tale as her elders told yarns beside the fire of an evening.

Biddy was a young woman who lived in Kilbride township, and was said to be a beauty. She was in love with a Campbell lad, who is said to have hailed from Kilmore. There relationship progressed, and she found herself pregnant. On telling her young Campbell lover of the situation, he vowed to wed her.

After a week of no communication, she became worried, and asked after her young Campbell. To her horror, she found he had gone off to Cawdor near Inverness, as he had been promised to another!

Biddy was distraught, and her pregnancy was beginning to show. She gathered as many foxgloves as she could lay her hands on, and made them into a potion. She drank the fatal concoction, and made her way to the Kilbride kirk gates to await her fate. Sitting at the gates, she wrote a letter to her mother, asking for her forgiveness.

Her body was discovered the next morning by the beadle, as he headed to the church. Biddy was interred outside the church gate, as suicide did not command a burial on consecrated ground.

The old men went on to say that Biddy could often be spotted by the gates, crying softly and singing to her baby, until she entered Tir nan Og. There, Biddy would be ever young and beautiful, and free from sin and sorrow.

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