The old ruined church of Kirk Alloway was reputed to be haunted by the worst of witches, warlocks and all manner of ghouls.
As the last resting place of his father and only a short distance from where he spent the first six years of his life, it is no surprise that the Auld Kirk occupied so much of Burns’ mind.
As in this Chess Set, so too in life, ‘Tam O’ Shanter’ is the meeting place for almost every manifestation of evil and superstition: from the eerily-lit skeleton of Auld Kirk itself to every possible interpretation of the beings that were reputed to bring it to frenetic life in the darkest hours. Tam could fair tell ye…
"As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd, and curious, The mirth and fun grew fast and furious, The Piper loud and louder blew, The dancers quick and quicker flew,
The reel'd, they set, they cross'd they cleekit, Till ilka carlin swat, And coost her duddies to the wark, And linkit at it in her sark!!"