On Sunday night’s Morton Through Midnight show the regular
cryptozoology feature Morton’s Mystery Creatures focused on that most terrible
of phantom animals the Noggle.
The Noggle is a type of water horse which hails from
Shetland. It has left the lonely lochs so often haunted by these creatures and
instead is to be found near water mills, but only when the mill wheel is
The Noggle is said to resemble the rather cute and
friendly-looking Shetland pony. But this one isn’t satisfied with the odd
carrot or sugar lump; like all of its kind it prefers human flesh, particularly
that of millers. How it came to have such a special diet is unknown, perhaps it
was trying for a healthy lifestyle with grain for extra fibre.
This water horse has a rather specialized way of hunting.
After finding the mill of choice, no doubt with resident fat miller, the beast
walks up to the wheel and proceeds to stop it mid spin. And how does it do
this? It simply bites it, giving you some idea of the brute strength of the
creature; and if nothing else, it proves the Noggle has a fine set of powerful
The first thing the miller would know of this visitation is
when his quern stone juddered to a halt. Picture his surprise when he pops
outside to see what’s fouli
ng his wheel and all he finds is a rather lovely
pony standing there, looking as innocent as only a big eyed horse can.
Not only does the Noggle look harmless it is also saddled
and bridled, just awaiting a rider. Does it cross the miller’s mind as to how
the pony arrived there? Does he care that its original rider may well have
fallen into the mill race and be responsible for clogging the wheel? Now, if
the miller is a greedy and gormless fellow he may well mount the animal. But no
sooner does he do so than he realises he is doomed. The Noggle shows its true
form and races off across field and moor on its way to the sea. And considering
you are never more than three miles from the sea in Shetland this isn’t going
to be a long journey. The miller finds himself stuck to the saddle unable to
escape. The journey ends abruptly when the Noggle reaches the sea and plunges
into it, rider still attached. A flash of flame shows the horse’s passing, and
the end of the miller.
Of course not all millers fall for this doe-eyed evil pony.
To rid yourself of the Noggle you apparently need to salute it with a fiery
brand - whether the brand is really for saluting or for beating the creature about
the head isn’t recorded - either way the Noggle takes the hint and scampers
You can listen to this show on the following link morton through midnight
is 23 minutes 25 seconds into the show.