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Christie Cleek is a legendary Scottish cannibal, similar to the far more infamous Sawney Bean - unlike Sawney this particular cannibal became somewhat of a "karma houdini" and a rare example of a legendary antagonist who does not recieve punishment for his misdeeds, much like Sawney there is considerable debate on whether or not Christie Cleek ever existed and as such he can be seen as a figure of legend rather than historical fact (in fact Cleek became a bogeyman figure used to frighten children in local folk tales).

Just like Bean Cleek would amass a small following (or clan) - this further suggests the two stories are linked, to the point folklorists can argue that they are one and the same (albeit with some notable differences, such as Cleek surviving and the fact his cannibalism was sparked by famine, rather than Bean, who simply had a depraved appetite for human flesh).

The Tale of Christie Cleek

Christie Cleek was originally known as Arthur Christie and lived in the mid-fourteenth century in the Perth area of Scotland, during a severe famine he joined a group of scavengers to seek food in the Grampians, when one of the scavengers died Christie put his skills as a butcher to work and soon fed himself and the survivors on the corpse of the unfortunate victim.

This caused the group to develop a taste for human flesh and under Christie's leadership they began a bloody rampage similar to the Bean clan, Christie earned the "Cleek" title during these dark times for his method of capturing victims via a hook on a rope (a "cleke"), many of the thirty or so alleged victims of the group were personally murdered by Christie.

Eventually armed forces from Perth marched to the Grampians to defeat the cannibals and all of them were captured and presumably executed - however, Christie managed to evade capture and became the sole survivor, re-entering society under a new guise and never facing punishment for his crimes.

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