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Tynron Doon



Round Tynron Doon there linger memories of a spectre in the form of a headless horseman restlessly riding a black horse.

The local tradition is, that the ghost was that of a young gentleman of the family of McMilligan of Dalgarnock, who had gone to offer his addresses to the daughter of the Laird of Tynron Castle. His presence was objected to, however, by one of the young lady's brothers. Hot words followed, and in high wrath the suitor rode off; but mistaking his way he galloped over the steepest part of the hill and broke his neck, and so, with curses and words of evil on his very lips, his spirit was not allowed to pass untroubled to the realms beyond.
You can see that that's not a terribly good explanation of him being headless, unless he had a very bad landing. This is from 'Witchcraft and superstitious record in the south-western district of Scotland' by J Maxwell Wood (1911), which it has to be said is a rather imaginative tome.

It's also mentioned in the otherwise serious sounding 'Archaeology of late Celtic Britain and Ireland' by L R Laing (1975), with a 'possible' and less romantic explanation more satisfying to the celtic new age mindset:
Tynron Doon is a well-preserved multivallate hillfort in Dumfriesshire, associated in local legend with the 'heidless horseman' who is supposed to have ridden down from it as an omen of death, a story which possibly has some origin in a Celtic head cult.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
1st November 2009ce
Edited 1st November 2009ce

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