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Dunters, also called powries, are spirits said to haunt the ruined peel towers and castles in the Border country between Scotland and England, a less malevolent form of the more sinister redcapsEvil fairies said to live in the peel towers and castles of the Scottish border with England.. According to tradition, the foundations of such towers and castles, supposedly built by the Picts, were sprinkled with the blood of a human or animal sacrifice, and the dunters, like the redcaps, are the spirits of those victims.[1]

Dunters make a continual sound, like the beating of flax or the grinding of barley in a hollow stone quorn.[2] The folklorist William Henderson reports in his book Notes on the Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties (1879) that any increase in the volume of the noise is an omen of death or misfortune.[3]

Citations



Bibliography


Briggs, K. M. (1979). Abbey Lubbers, Banshees, & Boggarts. Kestrel Books.
Briggs, K. M. (1976). An Encyclopedia of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogeys and Other Supernatural Creatures. Pantheon Books.
Henderson, W. (2010). Notes on the Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties (Reprint of 1879 edition). Cornell University Library.