Terror in the Deep : Irish monk St Columba is credited with being among the first witnesses to the ‘Loch Ness monster’.
Terror in the Deep

Based on ‘The Life of St Columba’, by St Adamnán of Iona (7th century).

Columba brought twelve monks to Iona in 563, and set about converting the pagans of Scotland. Two years into his mission, his labours took him and the monk Lugne Mocumin, whom he had cured of a persistent nosebleed, to the River Ness at the eastern end of the famous Loch.

THE first thing Columba saw as he went down to the River Ness, hoping to cross to the other side, was that the only boat was moored on the far bank.

The second was that on this side, some villagers were digging a grave.

It seemed that a man had been mauled by a wild thing in the waters, and though they had dragged him out he was already dead. Columba drank this information in, then asked for a volunteer to swim over and fetch the coble for him.

Lugne Mocumin gamely stripped off and waded into the river. But he had not gone far when the waters appeared to boil, and whatever lurked there rushed at him, mouth agape.

The creature had closed to a spear-length when Columba traced the sign of the cross and rebuked it. Almost as if yanked upon a leash, it fell back into its own wake, and disappeared.

Lugne completed his crossing, and rowed back with the boat.

Based on ‘The Life of St Columba’, by St Adamnán of Iona (7th century).

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Picture: © Chris Downer, Geograph. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0. View original
The rocky shoreline of Loch Ness in Scotland. The lake empties into the River Ness to the north east, which then runs into the North Sea at Inverness.
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