The blacksmith at Longformacus died after seeing the devil d...
Date c. January 1966
Track ID 25084
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A blacksmith died after seeing the devil, and his son died when the devil's threat was not heeded.

The blacksmith at Longformacus, a man called Neal, was a tenant of the Duchess of Roxburgh. On his way home from her funeral in Kelso, after stopping for a few drinks with friends at Greenlaw, he took a short cut over the moor. He arrived home in the early morning in a semi-conscious state. He sent for the minister, and told him in confidence what had happened to him. The blacksmith died the next day. The minister warned the blacksmith's family never to take the route over the moor from Greenlaw.

Years later, the blacksmith's son did so, and never came home. Searchers found his body covered in deep claw-marks and his waistcoat hanging on a whin-bush. The minister then revealed the whole story. When the old blacksmith left Greenlaw and came to what was later known as 'the Foul Ford' he found that he was being pursued by the devil driving a hearse. He managed to escape, but the devil shouted to him that he would get any of his family who came that way.

Jack Cockburn is aware that this story has appeared in print, but it was told to him by his grandmother, Margaret Dodds of Fellcleugh, whose family had lived there since the 1690s and knew all the old stories of the area. She had been told it by her mother.

Item Location

County - Berwickshire