Villains Wiki
Advertisement
Villains Wiki
           KeyLocker.png

This Villain was proposed and approved by Villains Wiki's Pure Evil Proposals Thread. Any act of removing this villain from the category without a Removal Proposal shall be considered vandalism (or a futile "heroic" attempt of redemption) and the user will have high chances of being terminated blocked. You cannot make said Removal Proposal without permission from an admin first.
Additional Notice: This template is meant for admin maintenance only. Users who misuse the template will be blocked for a week minimum.

Warning.gif
Scarfaceinthefall.jpg
This article's content is marked as Mature
The page Mature contains mature content that may include coarse language, sexual references, and/or graphic violent images which may be disturbing to some. Mature pages are recommended for those who are 18 years of age and older.

If you are 18 years or older or are comfortable with graphic material, you are free to view this page. Otherwise, you should close this page and view another page.

It isn't over, it will never be over.
~ Sawney Bean's last words before his execution.

Sawney Bean is a legendary Scottish cannibal who (according to many stories) lived with his inbred family in an unconfirmed area of land (normally said to be in or around Ayrshire (most often the Galloway Hills)) where he would hunt down his human prey and murder them before he and his clan devoured them, although the story of Sawney Bean is highly dubious and questionable it has remained one of Scotland's most popular ghost stories and the name Sawney Bean is heavily associated with barbarism and evil.

Legends state that Sawney and his clan killed more than one thousand people throughout their lifetime, excluding the numerous bodies they also dug up and consumed via grave-robbing. If this number is correct, Sawney would easily be one of the most prolific serial killers in history, but many suspect the number is either entire fiction or greatly exaggerated (as noted previously).

History

According to The Newgate Calendar, Alexander Bean was born in East Lothian during the sixteenth century. His father was a ditch digger and hedge trimmer, and Bean tried to take up the family trades but quickly realized that he had little taste for honest labor.

He left home with a vicious woman who shared his inclinations. The couple ended up at a coastal cave in Bannane Head (which name, "Bannane", is an earlier form of the modern "Beane"), near Galloway (now South Ayrshire) where they lived undiscovered for some twenty-five years. The cave was two hundred yards deep and during high tide, the entrance was blocked by water and is said to be today's Bannane Cave, located between Girvan and Ballantrae in Ayrshire.

Their many children and grandchildren were products of incest and lawlessness. The brood came to include eight sons, six daughters, eighteen grandsons, and fourteen granddaughters. Lacking the gumption for honest labor, the clan thrived by laying careful ambushes at night to rob and murder individuals or small groups. The bodies were brought back to the cave where they were dismembered and cannibalized. Leftovers were pickled, and discarded body parts would sometimes wash up on nearby beaches.

The body parts and disappearances did not go unnoticed by the local villagers, but the Beans stayed in the caves by day and took their victims at night. The clan was so secretive and quiet that the villagers were unaware of 48 murderers living nearby.

The crimes of the family didn't spare the dead either as the family frequently raided graves and cemeteries for bodies, some of which would be discovered in various states of mutilation.

As a more significant notice of the disappearances was taken, several organized searches were launched to find the culprits. One search took note of the telltale cave but the men refused to believe anything human could live in it. Frustrated and in a frenetic quest for justice, the townspeople lynched several innocents, and the disappearances continued. Suspicion often fell on local innkeepers since they were the last to see many of the missing people alive.

One fateful night, the Beans ambushed a married couple riding from a fair on one horse, but the man was skilled in combat, deftly holding off the clan with sword and pistol. The clan fatally mauled the wife when she fell to the ground in the conflict. Before they could take the resilient husband, a large group of fairgoers appeared on the trail and the Beans fled.

With the Beans' existence finally revealed to the world, it was not long before King James VI of Scotland (later James I of England) heard of the atrocities and decided to lead a manhunt with a team of 400 men and several bloodhounds, soon finding the Beans' previously overlooked cave in Bannane Head. The cave was rife with human remains, having been the scene of hundreds of murders and cannibalistic acts.

The clan was captured alive and taken in chains to the Tolbooth Jail in Edinburgh, then transferred to Leith or Glasgow where they were promptly executed without trial; the men had their genitalia cut off, hands and feet severed and were allowed to bleed to death, and the women and children, after watching the men die, were burned alive (this recalls, in essence, if not in detail, the punishments of hanging, drawing and quartering decreed for men convicted of treason while women convicted of the same were burned. Presumably—whether or not the story had an actual basis—cannibalism was considered the equivalent of treason).

The town of Girvan, located near the crime scene, has another legend about the cannibal clan. It is said that one of Bean's daughters eventually left the clan and settled in Girvan, where she planted the Hairy tree. After her family's capture, the daughter's identity was revealed by angry locals who hanged her from the bough of the Hairy Tree.

Legend of Sawney Bean and His Clan in Popular Culture

Largely due to the graphic and highly grotesque nature surrounding the cannibal clan, Sawney Bean and his lot have become a minor, yet noticeable influence in fiction, primarily in the horror genre.

  • The Hills Have Eyes is a survival horror movie made in 1977, both written and directed by 'legendary film director Wes Craven, who is best known for his slasher horror movies A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Scream. The Hills Have Eyes had been conceived by Craven as a modern retelling of the Sawney Bean legend, sharing most of the core elements of the myth. The movie's plot centers around the deranged, Nevada dessert savage and cannibal by the name of Jupiter, who together with an equally mentally unstable woman raises an entire family of brutal children. The Jupiter Family, much like the Bean Clan, would ambush passers-by and then devour them.
    • The Hills Have Eyes reboot series, starting from 2006, draws further inspiration from the Scottish clan's legend by having two related mutant families living inside a series of underground mines. The movies' graphic novel prequel, The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning, describes the mutant clan's founder as being a descendent of the eponymous mass murderer, her name being Karen Sawney Bean.
  • The manga series Shingeki no Kyojin/Attack on Titan features two man-eating giants named Sawney and Bean, respectively. Both of them are held captive by the human research team in the hopes of communicating with the seemingly non-sentient, malformed humanoid creatures. While under captivity, both giants attempted to ambush the head scientist to devour her whole.
    • Shingeki no Kyojin's subsequent anime adaptation further references the Sawney Bean legend by having the lead scientist narrate the cannibal clan's tale in front of the two captive giants.

Gallery

See Also

  • Christie Cleek (another legendary cannibal of Scotland - predates Sawney Bean and may have served as inspiration for the folk tale).

Navigation

           Legends.png

Notable Legends
Chupacabra | Cyclops | Dragons | Wyverns | Dullahan | Fairies | Gremlins | Grim Reaper | Ghosts | Giants | Headless Horseman | Kraken | Loch Ness Monster | Medusa | Minotaur | Monsters | Mothman | Ogres | Siren | Skeletons | Spiders | Vampires | Wendigo | Yeti | Zombies

Demonology Legends
The Devil | Demons | Fallen Angels
Abaddon | Abere | Abyzou | Andromalius | Angra Mainyu | Aka Manto | Asmodeus | Asuras | Antichrist | Baal | Banshee | Baphomet | Beelzebub | Beast | Behemoth | Behemoth the Elephant | Belphegor | Bifrons | Black Cats | Black Monk of Pontefract | Black Shuck | Black Volga | Bogeyman | Buer | Cerberus | Coco | Crom Cruach | Demiurge | Eight Feet Tall | El Charro Negro | Enma Daio | Erlik | Gargoyles | Hellhounds | Iblis | Kali | Kansa | Kelpie of Loch Ness | Kitsune | Krampus | Kroni | Lamia | Legion | Locusts of Abaddon | Mahishasura | Malsumis | Mammon | Mara | Mares | Mephistopheles | Moloch | Nure-Onna | Rakshasa | Ravana | Raven Mocker | Sack Man | Samael | Six Demons | Stolas | Succubi | Termagant | Unholy Trinity | The Watchers | Wa Nyudo | Whore of Babylon | Zabaniyah
Disambiguation Pages
Satan | Demon | Succubus | Antichrist | Baphomet | Krampus | Behemoth

Gods & Spirits
Gods & Goddesses: Apep | Bila | Camazotz | Damballa | Fomorians (Balor, Bres) | Geb | Gods of Olympus (Ares, Atë, Hades, Hera, Limos, Poseidon, Zeus) | Jötunn (Ymir, Loki, Hela, Skoll and Hati, Fenrir, Jormungandr, Surtr, Hræsvelgr) | Kali | Loviatar | Nun | Perkūnas | Set | Tiamat | Titans (Atlas, Kronos, Prometheus) | Veles | Xolotl
Spirits: Dybbuk | El Silbón | Fetch | Hinnagami | La Llorona | La Sayona | La Viuda | Mackenzie Poltergeist | Myling | Poltergeists | Sluagh | Stingy Jack | Unseelie Court
Disambiguation Pages
God | Jesus Christ | Angel

Humans & Humanoids
Abhartach | Ajax the Lesser | Ame-onna | Antaeus | Bandits | Baron Samedi | Black Rock Witch | Blair Witch | Cain | Cassiopeia | Christie Cleek | Count Dracula | Creon | Davy Jones | Delilah | Draug | Doppelgangers | Goblins | Goliath | Gomorrahites | Green Knight | Green Witch | Grendel | Grendel's Mother | Hags | Haman the Agagite | Hanako-San | Herod the Great | Herodias | Horsemen of the Apocalypse | Humanity | Iemon | Ixion | Jezebel | Judas Iscariot | King Ahab | King Arthur | King Oenomaus | King Vortigern | Kuchisake-onna | La Tunda | Lilith | Lord William de Soulis | Louhi | Lucius Tiberius | Lycaon | Marry-san | Meg of Meldon | Morag | Morgan le Fay | Nanny Rutt | Orcs | Pandarus | Paris | Phaedra | The Pharisees | Polyphemus | Rich Man | Romans | Santa Compaña | Saul | Sawney Bean | Sciron | Shechem | Sko-Ella | Sodomites | Stingy Jack | Tamamo no Mae | Tantalus | Tereus | Trauco | Tydeus | Umibōzu | Yallery Brown | Ysbaddaden

Monsters, Animals & Anthropomorphic Beings
A-mi’-kuk | Akkorokamui | Averesboro Gallinipper | Aye-aye | Basilisk | Boneless | Cirein-cròin | Cockatrice | Cuegle | Cuélebre/Culebre | Devil Monkeys | Dip | Dragon | El Comelenguas | Erymanthian Boar | Escornau | Fossa | Fouke Monster | Foxes | Frankenstein's Monster | Giants of Voronezh | Golden Cicada | Groundhogs | Harpies | Herensuge | Hydra | Jackalopes | J'ba Fofi | Kappa | La Cegua | Lambton Worm | Leviathan | Manticores | Madman Marz | Michigan Dogman | Mikari Baba | Morag | Mordred | Morgan le Fay | Ojáncanu | Onamazu | Otesánek | Paparrasolla | Pesanta | Redcaps (Robin Redcap) | River Mumma | Undead| Scylla | Stymphalian Birds | Tailypo | Tarasque | Trolls | Tsuchinoko | Will O' The Wisp | Wolves

Common Legends
Amanda the Doll | Black Goo | Bunnyman | Bye Bye Man | Candyman | China Doll | Clown Doll | Cropsy | Crying Boy | Hairy-Armed Woman | Hatman | Homey the Clown | Hook Killer | John and Susan Buckley | Joliet the Haunted and Cursed Doll | La Tunda | Licking Maniac | Melon Heads | Men in Black | Mystery Killer | Nain Rouge | Nameless Thing of Berkeley Square | Old Man Try-By-Night | Peeping Tom | Rain Man | Robert the Doll | Paimon | Patasola | Skinned Tom | Teke Teke | The Killer In the Backseat | The Man Upstairs

Cryptids
Beast of Gévaudan | Black Eyed Children | Black Stick Men | Cherufe | Devil Monkeys | Emela-Ntouka | Dog-headed Men | Fear Liath | Flatwoods Monster | Ghosts Goatman | Grafton Monster | Greys | Hoop Snake | Indrid Cold | Jackalopes | Jersey Devil | Kelpie of Loch Ness | Kongamato | Malawi Terror Beast | Mamlambo | Manananggal | Maricoxi | Mngwa | Momonjii | Morag | Nobusuma | Pope Lick Monster | Popobawa | Pukwudgies | Reptoids | Roc | Ropen | Salawa | Sea-Serpents | Shadow People | Sheepsquatch | Slide-Rock Bolter | Snallygaster | Spring Heeled Jack | Tanuki | Thunderbird | Two-Toed Tom | Water Horses | White-Eyed Children | Yowie

Modern Legends
Charlie | Bloody Mary | Bloody Mary (Halloween Horror Nights) | Ghost (Johnny, I Want My Liver Back) | Ghost Trains | Momo | Orie Chef | Aliens (AC) | Martinez Dog Demon | The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water | Crisis

Possessed Objects
Coffin on Wheels | Ghost Trains | Black Volga | Robert the Doll | Joliet the Haunted and Cursed Doll | China Doll | Amanda the Doll | Clown Doll | Gargoyles

See Also
Cthulhu Mythos Villains | Trevor Henderson Villains | Creepypasta Villains | SCP Foundation Villains