Variations: Biasd Na Sgrogag, Biasd Na Grogaig (typo), Béist Na Sgrogaig, The Beast of the Lowering Horn
The Biasd Na Srogaig, the “Beast of the Lowering Horn”, is a unicorn or lake monster native to the lochs in the Scottish Isle of Skye. Other than a single large horn on its forehead, it had little in common with the true unicorn, being tall and clumsy, with long gangly legs and an awkward gait. Originally a nursery bogey, the biasd na srogaig eventually developed a life of its own as children brought their fears into adulthood.
Campbell derives the biasd na srogaig’s name from scrogag, a term applied to snuff horns. It is more correctly written as sgrogag, “crumpled horn”. To further muddle the etymological mixture, béist na sgrogaig has been used as synonymous with the heraldic unicorn.
Campbell, J. G. (1900) Superstitions of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. James MacLehose and Sons, Glasgow.
Campbell, J. G.; Black, R. (ed.) (2005) The Gaelic Otherworld. Antony Rowe Ltd, Chippenham.
Fleming, M. (2002) Not of this World: Creatures of the Supernatural in Scotland. Mercat Press, Edinburgh.