Today's Folklore Thursday theme is 'wild men, wild women, wild places.'
One wild place in Orkney is the island of Swona.
Swona is an island situated in the Pentland Firth, south of Orkney and to the West of South Ronaldsay. It is often confused with Stroma which is further South and therefore seen as part of Caithness.
This island has been uninhabited since 1974 when batchelor Jim Rosie left and there were only ever about 8 houses on the island. Its position in the Pentland Firth means that it is not easily accessible and therefore it is rarely visited.
People who have made the trip have returned with descriptions of houses left as if the occupants had meant to return moments later. Pictures are still on the walls and the tables are set for tea.
The only inhabitants are a herd of beef cattle which are now feral and have become a seperate species. Apparently, these cattle forage for seaweed and move around the island in one unit like a scary cow gang. As somone who is already scared of cows, I have made a mental note to never visit this island.
As for wild men and women, the amphibious, shape-shifting Finfolk were said to live in Finfolkaheem, described variously as either a vanishing island, a city at the bottom of the sea, or perhaps the island of Eynhallow.