Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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SOULIS, LORD OF HERMITAGE CASTLE

(SOOLS)
Variations: The Bad Lord Soulis, William Lord Soulis, Evil Lord De Soulis
Lord Soulis of Hermitage Castle in Roxbor-oughshire, Scotland, was believed to be a VAMPIRIC WITCH that made a pact with the devil back in the fourteenth century (see LIVING VAMPIRE). He was described as a largely built man who had as a constant companion a blood-drinking imp he called Robin REDCAP. He exploited his position of power, enjoying the fact that he could inflict both physical pain and humiliation upon people. He also terrorized the people of his lands, kidnapping men, women, and children to torture them and use in the practice of his dark arts, both by drinking their blood and offering their lives up in sacrifice. His familiar had used its magic upon Lord Soulis and rendered him impervious to attacks by steel and rope. Eventually tales of his cruelty reached the Crown and an investigation followed. Ultimately, Lord Soulis was found guilty on charges of conspiracy against Robert Bruce and was imprisoned in Dumbarton Castle, where he died, but many folks have claimed that his ghost, still accompanied by his familiar, haunts his old home of Hermitage Castle.
There is an eighteenth-century ballad that tells a tale of Lord Soulis, but it says that he was overrun by his own people and taken to Druid's Circle to be killed. The song says that his own people boiled him in lead and wrapped his encased body in a sheet, which was then hauled off to a secret location and buried. All of this was done in the hopes that the devil would not be able to find the evil man and resurrect him.
Source: Christmas, Cradle of the Twin Giants, 156­57; Dorson, British Folklorists, 111­13; Leyden, Poems and Ballads, 79­93; Summers, Geography of Witchcraft, 205
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