Local memories and stories are an important source in our understanding of an area’s cultural landscape. This interview with local lady Agnes McGaw was recorded in 1972 by Prof. John MacQueen of Edinburgh University’s School of Scottish Studies. Agnes recalls how she ‘experienced a very strange thing’ where she believes she may have seen a goblin in the grounds of Yester House in Gifford. At an archaeological picnic, Agnes describes listening to a lecturer talking about a mysterious building called the Goblin Ha’, or Goblin Hall, in the grounds of Yester House. She explains the legend: ‘…neither hammer nor tools were heard in the building of it and when the people rose in the morning the Goblin Hall was there, supposedly built by the Goblins.’

Sitting on a fallen tree trunk, Agnes and another woman spotted a mysterious ‘wee man’ opposite them, listening to the lecture rather mischievously. She remembers it very clearly: ‘This wee man, an’ I would know him if I met him … we never saw him again’.

The School of Scottish Studies at Edinburgh University has, since 1930, captured hundreds of memories, folklore, songs, music, traditions and stories from local people across Scotland and beyond.

Listen to the story here: http://tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/30699
McGaw, W, School of Scottish Studies Archive SA1972.154, Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches, http://tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/30699, accessed 7 March 2020.