The Faerie Minister of Aberfoyle
Reverend Robert Kirk, born in Aberfoyle in 1644, was a 7th son – and traditionally believed to have the gift of second sight. He wrote a book entitled “The Secret Commonwealth” – an insight into fairy belief, tradition and local history. He believed the fairies were a species awaiting scientific discovery. Kirk reported that fairies resembled humans, but had “Light changeable bodies” that could be best seen in twilight – usually by “men of the second sight”.
But one day, Kirk collapsed and supposedly died while walking on Doon Hill, behind his manse. Soon after his funeral, he appeared as a spectre to his cousin, and explained he wasn’t dead but held hostage in fairyland. He told his cousin, when he appeared again, his cousin should throw a dagger above his head, which would release him. However, when the time came, his cousin was so surprised he forgot to throw the dagger!
Local legend suggests the fairies were upset he exposed their secrets and took him away to Fairyland, where Kirk is to this day. His spirit is said to remain trapped in a lone Scot’s pine on Doon Hill, Aberfoyle.