The Swoog [i]
For Elaine MacGregor, growing up, her father would often warn her not to go out after dark, saying the Swoog would get her and carry her away. While it might sound like the tactic of a father worrying about his daughter, there have been claims of people traveling through different areas of the region who suddenly find themselves far from where they thought they were. Many times, whole hours would be wiped from their memories.
The Big Swamp in Bayfield--also related to stories of the Swamp Lady, has been an area where several people have claimed to have been carried off by "the swoog". Ronnie Gillis was one. While walking through the big swamp one night, it's said that Gillis suddenly found himself kilometers up the road without any memory of how he got there.
One winter evening John Joe MacPhee was walking from Rock Barra to his home in home in Bayfield. He warmed up after walking a little while. But then when he came to the Big Swamp, a cold wind hit him. He didn't know what was going on or where he was. MacPhee was in the swamp for hours before he was able to find his way home.
Accounts of the Swoog don't only appear in Eastern Kings, but also throughout the province. Originating with Gaelic folklore of the early Scots to settle on the Island, the "sluagh", meaning "the host", is said to be a flock of birds that are able to pick a person up and carry them large distances at quick speeds. One method used to avoid this in the past would be to roll up one's pant legs. The sluagh, which is said to be a flock of birds, is related to the old belief that a bird that flies into one's house is a sign of impending death.
Some of those familiar with the mysterious events surrounding the Big Swamp in Bayfield, still roll up their car windows when driving through the area to this day.