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18 June 2014
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Myths and Legends
Sawney Bean: Scotland's Hannibal Lecter

After a long period of fruitless searching eventually the bloodhounds stumbled onto the cave and let out such furious bursts of yelping that the search party became convinced that, unlikely as it seemed, this must be the place they were searching for.

Sawney Bean's Cave, Ballantrae
© SCRAN
The monarch and his guards edged into the cave, and, as they descended further into it, lit torches. The light showed a horrific sight before them, body parts hung on the cave walls, limbs lay pickled in jars and the possessions of their victims lay in huge piles around the cave.

Sawney and his family were imprisoned at the tolbooth in Edinburgh, and met their ends in Leith, where, in an act of cruelty to match their crimes, the menfolk had their limbs removed and were allowed to bleed to death. The women of the tribe got off with only being burned at the stake.


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