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Reverend Thomas Mackay

Reverend Thomas Mackay

At the end of the eighteenth century there lived in Lairg, in Sutherland, a mildly eccentric minister. In spite of being a humble clergyman, the Reverend Thomas Mackay is said to have dressed in much grander ecclesiastical attire. He died in the early 1800's, and the manse was thereafter occupied by ministers with more sober habits of dress. The minister who lived in the manse in 1826 had two daughters, and it was they who saw the ghost for the first time. They heard a knock at the front door and went to answer it. When they opened the door they saw an old man standing on the doorstep, dressed in a long black robe. He said nothing but peered into the house for a few moments before turning away from the girls and walking off. The girls thought that the visitor might be looking for their father, so they ran to find him. When their father came to greet the visitor, there was no sign of the old man, either at the door or in the surrounding area. It seemed like he vanished completely. When the family told some other older parishioners about their strange old visitor and described his appearance and attire, the parishioners were able to enlighten them as to their visitor's identity. It was none other than the Reverend Thomas Mackay, paying a visit to his former home. The manse is no longer there; it fell into disrepair and became a ruin. However, the Reverend Thomas Mackay is said to pop back from time to time to visit the place where it once stood. It is said that one night his appearance stopped the activities of two poachers in the neighborhood. When they heard strange noises coming from the vicinity of the former manse they abandoned all ideas of a profitable night's work and fled.

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