About a life devoted to the love for Folklore, Mythology, Legends and.....Art

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tell me a story; The Green & The White Lady

As happens with most stories we have heard when we were young, they slowly fade away. Only small bits and pieces remain and altogether they form a whole new story which has never been told before. This is, in fact, the destiny of all folk tales. After all, not one story will ever be told the same a second time.

The same counts for the following story, or better said, stories. The title is; The Green Lady & The White Lady. Eilidh Ellery was told these stories as a kid and wrote them down from her memories and as she declares; "I'm still not entirely sure I've got it straight...." But that did not matter in this case as they are after all still wonderful stories!

NOTE: would you also like to see your story get illustrated? please check out my previous blog post here and read the guidelines.

(Please, click picture for bigger and better view)

Story Title: The Green & The White Lady
Submitted by: Eilidh Ellery
Country: Fife, Scotland

White Lady legends are a common theme in the folklore of many countries. A female ghost haunts the scene of a betrayal, usually they have been wronged by a husband or lover. However, sometimes the Lady is the one who does the betraying. The White Lady of Kemback is believed to be the Widow of Myles (or Malise) Graham, a 15th century Scottish magnate. It is said that she gave up her husband under torture for the assassination of King James I of Scotland at Perth in 1437. Many a prayer was said, but still she wanders the woods of ash, oak and gean (wild cherry) around what once was her estate...

Besides The White Lady there also is The Green Lady of Dura Den. Green ladies - called Gruagach in Scots- are ghosts associated with water, much akin to Banshees. Often portrayed as a woman under enchantment; more fae than ghoulie (ghost/ghoul). Usually they protect a home or area, but they can also be malevolent depending on the story or storyteller. A young woman dressed all in green can be found in Dura Den down by the waters of the Burn; soaked to her pale, death-tinged skin with water weed for hair. It is said that she died when she flung herself from a window to escape a fire, but tragically fell into the swollen stream and drowned. On some nights you can smell the smoke and hear the crackle of the flames whilst faint, ghostly images of that flaming tower flicker and fade as she plummets to her doom, screaming. Others have seen her swinging from the brig (bridge) as if hanged.

Note: Eilidh added to these stories that ; "The Green Lady is sometimes called The Grey Lady, so she may not actually be a protective spirit. The two ladies may be linked and could in fact refer to the same apparition".

She also has written a lovely poem which I would like to share with you:

" The Grey Lady & the Green

In the woods of Dura Den and Kemback up the hill,
There roams a maid of grey and white or green.
Sometimes from the brig she is hanged,
Sometimes by the river weeps.
Her dress is white or grey or green,
Her hair is waterweed.
Behind a tree she may appear
Or from flaming tower fall,
Into the swollen stream;
Hanged and tortured,
Burned and drowned,
Her death it was untimely,
But still she wanders upon the earth
This lady white, and grey and green. "


  1. I love stories like these a lot! Your drawing is wonderfully spooky, love it!

  2. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the story as well as the drawing.