Alexander Sawney Bean
A serial killing/cannibalism narrative mixed with fiction and historical events is written in this story about Alexander Sawney Bean, a cannibal. A folk tale sung like a fairy tale in the proverbs of England and Scotland before Jack the Ripper. Readers are urged to approach this story that way.
Chapter 1. Pirates.
In the Middle Ages travelers feared to travel the long and desolate road through Ayrshire, Scotland. Because a good percentage of the travelers who passed through that route never came back. The disappearance of people who went into the mystery and disappeared caused concern among the people. What could be behind it? They did not get any hold. A lot of stories started to emerge about people who went and hid somewhere, leaving only black bloodstains scattered here and there on the streets. It was also around that time that rumors arose that it was a place bound by powerful spells.
Once upon a time, at the end of the Crusades, a Dutch doctor converted all his plundered wealth into gold and gems and hid it on an island without even his colleagues knowing.
The Dutchman, who went to the island with twenty negro slaves to hide the treasure, returned alone. After hiding immense wealth, he sacrificed all the slaves at the mouth of the cave.
Delighted in human blood, the Devil immediately made a pact with the Doctor for the next 400 years. Accordingly, no one but the sorcerer would have any right over the treasure for the next 400 years, until then he would remain its guardian, and after four hundred years the treasure would become his own, and when that came, not even the doctor’s soul would have a right to it, but the doctor’s soul would also be his own, and he would give his own treasure to those who were convenient to him. The agreement contained terms. After that, it was said that the Devil covered the entrance of the cave with a large boulder without leaving a trace.
He reckoned that when wars finally spring to the world peace, he can come back and retrieve the treasure and thereby enter a life of stability, peace and wealth. The doctor had also prepared a durable snakeskin map so that he would not forget the way to the island.
On the way back, Dr Nidhi and Mapp, who were unconscious due to drunkenness, were heard by his staff calling out in their sleep. He immediately reported what he had heard to the captain. So a decision was made regarding the life of the doctor.
They killed him right then and there in the middle of the sea for the map where the treasure was hidden, but the map had already disappeared. It is said that the pardon was stolen by the devil himself who was delighted with the success of his trick. The sad fact was that even when the doctor realized that he had been tricked, he lost his body. As a mere soul, he landed in Ayrshire.
When the sorcerer’s soul is sometimes in great sorrow at the memory of his lost fortune, it takes the men who come before it into its world. Because he didn’t have the courage to talk to the devil alone. The prescribed years were about to end; The doctor thought that if the treasure goes, at least his soul can be saved.
There were many stories, starting with the fact that he collects the stolen souls and prepares a large army, and finally when the number of souls is sufficient, the immortals will set sail to reclaim their souls on a ship led by the Dutchman.
Some have said that Goblin, a strange creature from Scottish folklore, is behind the disappearance of people.
But the gray-headed people of the village could not agree to it. According to them, globins are just grandmother’s stories, nothing more than stories passed down through the generations by mothers to scare mischievous children.
They deliberated and came to a decision as they sat by the heather in the late evenings and warmed their bones. Kelpies kidnap people.
Another evil deity in Scottish folklore was the Kelpie.
On some new moons, they come out in groups to ring the church bells in the evening and are mainly seen on the lake shores. Appearing in the form of a strong horse or foal, it is common for the person who sees them to want to travel some distance outside of it. As if sensing the passerby’s inclination, the horse would immediately come to his side and lower his head to mount his back. Once you get on that horse, succumbing to the temptation of the evil deity, there is no going back. Carrying the traveler along, the kelpie will begin its return journey to the very depths of the river from which it came with the pride of the storm.
To give more authenticity to his discovery, one of the old men went so far as to say that he had once seen a kelpie in person, and that he had passed with both eyes closed until he had passed the horse’s place, so as not to be tempted.
But one day there was an incident that put an end to all such stories.
A young warrior was coming along with his wife along the road where people mysteriously disappear. There were no other roads to connect the village for trade and travel. There is a cave entrance next to the beach along the road.
The incident took place when the couple was in front of it. From the cave and the nearby cliffs, a group of primitive figures rushed towards them, screaming. It includes women, men and children. Any human being involved in this unexpected event should be beaten. But the traveler being a warrior too, regained his composure the next moment and charged at them with his sword. He fought hard against the assailants to save his and his wife’s lives but to no avail a group of men rushed and pulled his wife from her horse killing her instantly. To make matters worse, they tore the woman into pieces and began to eat them.
Her helpless husband could not save her. A group of people suddenly appeared there when it became clear that fighting the outnumbered barbarians could not be continued for much longer. They were a group of wayfarers. On seeing the caravan, the assailants left their opponents and fled in different directions.
After collecting the scattered remains of his wife, which had been partially eaten by cannibals, the young man and the travelers informed the local authorities.
The news soon reached the ears of King James I, who was then ruling Scotland. (James I, born 1394—died February 20/21, 1437, Perth, Scotland, king of Scots from 1406 to 1437. During the 13 years (1424–37) the king immediately gathered 400 armed soldiers and a few hounds to target the cannibals’ base. .
Now let’s get into mythology a bit. Then you will get some accurate picture of who these cannibals were and how they originated.
Chapter 2. Alexander Sawney Bean.
Alexander Sawney Bean is generally thought to have been born in East Lothian, Scotland, to a relatively poor family in the latter part of the fourteenth century. He was an extra in that village with agricultural culture. He always maintained a disdain for laws and legal systems. Having grown up as an unblemished boy in his village, taking up a job was life-threatening for Alexander. Growing up as a brat, lazy and good-for-nothing, Alexander was naturally ostracized from his own home. Otherwise, how long have you been drinking Puchchkanji with your father’s goat and spit. And so he gets a girlfriend quite unexpectedly while dealing with life in a pinch. Like Sawney Bean, Agnes Douglass was an outcast. As a witch, she was the focus of society. The villagers suspected her of practicing human sacrifice and demonic worship. That’s how two human beings who are too much for the society came to be close to each other and fall in love.
It didn’t take long for them to come to the decision that they didn’t want a society that didn’t want them either. Agnes, whose life was threatened as a witch, had to escape from those people as soon as possible. And so one day Alexander and Agnes left the village and went into hiding. Far from their homeland, they traveled and hid throughout Scotland and began their lives by descending into villages at night and stealing from travelers their food and other supplies. Because they were illegal, they could not enter settlements or interact with society.
The small amount of food obtained through petty theft and poaching was not sufficient for their needs. Facing dire poverty, it was Agnes who first presented the idea of cannibalism to Sawney.
Some historians say that Agnes Douglass had a taste for human flesh long before her relationship with Alexander. The accusations of witchcraft against her may have included cannibalism. So Sawney Bean succumbed to his wife’s temptation and tasted human flesh for the first time.
In the early days they took only as much meat as they needed. It was customary to scatter the remains of the body in such a way that it looked as if it had been attacked and killed by some wild animal and then moved away. The couple, who continued the manhunt unscathed without letting anyone suspect, soon faced another problem. They generally chose deserted and less-trafficked places for hunting.
Not many people travel on such desolate roads. Due to that, the food availability has naturally decreased a lot. They soon realized that their needs could only be met if they had a stable, yet unobtrusive, well-travelled hideout. Agnes was also pregnant by then.
Their journey in search of a home with all the comforts finally ended in Ayrshire, near Bellentre. There was a cave shrouded in mystery, perfect for their solitude.
Its gate was situated facing the sea in a deserted place not far from the village. At high tide, the mouth of the cave would be covered with water, but the water would exit through another route. Moreover, there was a wide, gently sloping surface within it, about half a mile away.
The Beans loved their home. It was in that cave that the Bean couple slaughtered and devoured more than a thousand people over the next 25 years.
It was customary for the Bean couple to ambush and kill people who came alone and take them to the cave with all the belongings they had in their hands without leaving any evidence. They pickled the human body left over after eating and kept it in reserve to face the time of famine.
Eight boys and six girls gradually came in between the couple who had been leading an animal-like life.
As the children grew up they were also made partners in the hunt; Sometimes breaking out as a group and sometimes in small groups, they spread their manhunt.
In time, Alexander wanted to increase the number of members in his family. Accordingly, his children, who never saw any social life, produced 32 grandchildren in relation to each other.
They also grew up to be cannibals. As the number of members increased, more and more innocent lives were lost. Rumors spread everywhere.
What’s more, even the innkeepers were under suspicion. Rumors spread that they killed sleepy travelers for money, and many left the area in search of new jobs. But at that time they did not know that a large cannibal family of 48 people who destroy human lives for food is waiting for their lives not far from them.
As things were, one day the Sawhney Bean family broke up into small groups and went on their usual manhunt. While they were hiding among the rocks, they saw a young man coming on horseback with his wife. They are convinced that it is a very easy prey to conquer. When the couple reached the edge, they left the cover of the rocks and rushed towards them.
What happened after that has been told in detail in the first chapter itself.
Chapter 3. Trial and Punishment.
The King himself went on the hunt, and although King James I and his soldiers scoured the place where the cannibals were said to have been seen, no sign of human habitation could be seen anywhere. But that is not the case with the hounds in the army. They smelled rotting human flesh. The king and the soldiers followed the dogs that barked menacingly and rushed forward.
Sensing the proximity of the cannibals, they moved forward cautiously. Entering the cave, the king and the soldiers were shaken. Yes, many human organs are hung up to dry along the walls of the cave. On the floor, strands of hair of people killed in the last 25 years and numerous ornaments are scattered. Wherever you look, you can see the remains of those who were slaughtered. The souls of more than a thousand wretched men languished in a vibrating silence within the unbearably foul-smelling cavern. As they moved forward, they saw the cannibals gathered together in an open space far away, where human fat shed light.
To the surprise of the king and his soldiers who had come expecting a fierce fight, Alexander Sawney Bean and his cannibal family surrendered without even a single resistance.
46 people surrendered. The criminals were chained and paraded through the streets of Edinburgh. Their verdict was pronounced that day. After binding the women of the Bean family, they cut off the arms and legs of all the men in front of them, cut off their genitals and threw them into the fire. They bled to death in front of their women as an atonement for the cruelty they had committed over the ages.
Even with death right in front of them, no one in the Bean family showed fear or excitement on their faces. The women and children used to curse and spit in the faces of the soldiers who captured them.
After all the men were killed, all the rest, including women and children, were set on fire along with the wooden stakes to which they were tied.
Alexander Sawney Bean is said to have screamed at the top of his lungs until he bled to death.
“No it’s not over and it never will be.”
A few days after the trial of Alexander Sawney Bean and his family, the gold and other valuables found in their cave were seized and bound over to the royal treasury as the heirs could not be identified.
For whatever reason Sawhney Bean says “No…it’s not over. The people who went in search of the war that said “It will never end” found out that only 46 members of the 48-member Bean family have been captured and two have disappeared.
None of the villagers bothered to search for the two remaining people.
They were afraid to go near the cave. The administration did not go for another search. They came to the conclusion that those two disappeared people might have died a long time ago. They ended the investigation. Even so, some still believe that those cannibals, the remains of Alexander Sawney Bean, are still alive today and that the legacy lives on, albeit on a much smaller scale.
There are also stories that even today they prey on tourists who accidentally get caught in their clutches. Be that as it may, Bennane cave, the cave known as Adhawa Sawni Bean Cave is a tourist destination. This historic cave is located along the scenic Galloway coast.
However, historians differ on whether Alexander Sawney Bean actually lived.
Many believe that this story of cannibalism is a remnant of the centuries-old rivalry between the British and the Scots. This gave the English an opportunity to make the Scottish people look bad.
The story of Sawney Bean first appeared in 1843 in one of the British short story writer Dorothy L. Sayers’ Mystery and Horror series. A huge success in London, seven more editions of the book were soon published.
A 2005 article by Sean Thomas strongly questions the authenticity of this story. After examining all the historical records of the period in which Alexander’s story is said to have taken place, he said:
“During the period in which the story of Sawney Bean is said to have taken place, there is not a single record of the disappearance of hundreds of men without reason. But those who argue that such a family of cannibals once lived say that the series in which Sawney Bean’s stories appeared contain depictions that denigrate not only the Scottish people but also the English. It cannot be said that they were biased writings aimed at only one people. The story of Sawney Bean probably took place long before King James I; However, the validity of the story cannot be dismissed as such.”
NB: Director Wes Craven’s movie Hills Have Eyes is based on Sawney Bean’s story.