Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Cutty Black Sow

The Cutty Black Sow is a demon or monster in Welsh folklore that is believed to steal the souls of it's human victims on Halloween.

Appearance: A black sow (female pig) with glowing eyes and which walks upright on it's hind legs, like a human.

Lore: Sir James George Frazer documents the Cutty Black Sow in his book, The Golden Bough. From page 348;

"Down to the present time the saying is current in Carnarvonshire, where allusions to the cutty black sow are occasionally made to frighten children."


"According to Sir John Rhys, the habit of celebrating Hallow'een by lighting bonfires on the hills is perhaps not yet extinct in Wales, and men still living can remember how the people who assisted at the bonfires would wait until the last spark was out and then would suddenly take to their heels, shouting at the top of their voices, the cropped black sow seize the hindmost!"

From such remarks it is evident the Cutty Black Sow was a local bogey-man figure, perhaps even perceived as a devil, or the devil, in the form of a black sow and not a separate entity.

The Cutty Black Sow In Culture: An episode of the series, Tales From The Darkside, was dedicated to the legend of the Cutty Black Sow, though gives the monster a Scottish origin.

Tales From The Darkside - 414 - The Cutty Black Sow.mpg

luck MySpace Video


Anonymous said...

Question, why did the Cutty Black Sow take the boy? Did the grandmother set him up? Sure seems like it. I loved this haunting episode.

BoyintheMachine said...

@ Anonymous,

It has to do with that ritual with the stones. It's been a while since I've seen this episode, so I can't remember the specific details but just that the ritual with the stone identifies the target of the cutty black sow.

LOL...It does sound like the grandmother is setting up her grandson, but I think she was just used to introduce the monster to the audiance.

Anonymous said...

I was just watchin the episode like 5 mins ago. the legend is pretty cool. and i dnt think the gmom was setting up her grandson lol it did seem like it tho. i thought that all of the rocks were gonna slip out haha but yeah tho i think that it is a story made up 4 lil kids. seeing how it was a lil kid that became the victim ultimately.

Anonymous said...

was there suppose to be some sort of hidden message?? i would slept in a church had the fire spit out the rock with my name on it.

BoyintheMachine said...

@ Anonymous at 1:21PM,

You mean like a moral to the story? -I don't think so.

Sleeping in a Church may or may not work. Some demons/monsters even may regularly attend church!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why they just didn't sit and watch the stones like his grandmother said (I believe she said something about them dancing around the fire till it died the next morning). Instead they left it and look what happened!

BoyintheMachine said...

@ Anonymous at 9:05,

Actually, I think they did it the way the ritual was supposed to be. You place the stone there and the next day if you can't find your stone then your "it".

There are similar rituals where people throw nuts into a fire. People will mark them so they are identifiable and then throw them in the fire. Bad luck is supposed to be on the person whose nut "explodes" or can't be found the next day. I think these are types of fortune telling rituals that were common around Halloween time and even New Years time.

Another form of fortune telling popular around Halloween are rituals that supposedly reveal the identify of one's future spouse. Unfortunatley, such practices have generally died out and are no longer associated with the holiday. However, some people do still visit fortune tellers and tarot card readers around Halloween because they believe the power is stronger then and the veils between the worlds are thinner, meaning they can better see whats supposedly in store for the future.

Anonymous said...

The original episode was later edited for time. In the original episode, after giving Jamie a heck of a scare, the cutty black sow gives Jamie a lecture about fire safety. Jamie thanks the sow for his kindness and they part as good friends.

BoyintheMachine said...

@ Anonymous at 7:09 PM,

LOL...hilarious. I believe the Cutty Black Sow's last line was,
"Remember, only you can prevent forest fires", or was it "Take a bite out of crime"?

Anonymous said...


I thought the kid said "Now I know" to which the Cutty Black Sow responds "And knowing is half the battle."

BoyintheMachine said...

@ Anonymous at 1:15 PM,

You must have heard wrong. The Cutty Black Sow definitely said, "Be All That You Can Be...In The Army!"

"Bullzeye" said...

I have the heard about the nut in the fire ritual before. If your nut explodes your girlfriend will get pregnant soon.

Anonymous said...

Why, yes. As a matter of fact, I do. Sleep tight tonight.

Phillip Mobley said...

Thought it was a haggis not a nut......

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