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Ghostly Gift

Ghostly Gift

This story concerns Kenneth Ouir of the Lews, and how he came to acquire his gift. When Kenneth was not yet born, his mother was out in the fields one night when she saw the ghost of a dead woman. The spirit was soaking wet - her clothes were dripping - and she was clearly in great distress. Kenneth's mother realized who the ghost must be. The body of an unknown woman had been washed ashore nearby a few weeks before. The islanders had been unable to find out who the woman was, or how she had come to drown, but had buried her body. Kenneth's mother was very frightened by the ghost's appearance, but in spite of this she felt sorry for her - she was obviously very unhappy. She asked the ghostly woman why she was crying. It turned out that the ghost was unable to rest in peace.

She was a stranger to the Highlands, and as the grave in which she had been buried had not been bought, she had not got the right to lie in Highland soil. Kenneth's mother wanted to help, and accordingly she placed a handful of corn from the fields on the woman's grave. This would be payment for the burial spot. The ghost was thankful that she could now rest in peace, and as a gesture of gratitude she handed Kenneth's mother a beautiful black stone with the following instructions : "Give this stone to your first-born son on the seventh anniversary of his birth - no sooner, no later."

The ghost then lay down, finally at peace. Kenneth Ouir was his mother's first-born son, and on his seventh birthday she handed him the stone that the ghost had given her. From that day onwards Kenneth was able to see things that others could not and to prophesy events that were to happen far in the future. The gift of second sight was something that, in this case, had come from beyond the grave.

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