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In both Scottish and Irish mythology the Fachen, also spelled Fachan or Fachin, is a somewhat bird like creature with an appearance so frightening that it reportedly induced heart attacks in anyone who saw it. Descriptions of the beast tend to vary and include such physical features as a single eye, a rooster like crest, a mane of black feathers tufted at the top and a very wide mouth. The Fachen also was reported to have a single foot and in some cases is said to have only half a body.

One of the strangest physical features of the Fachen was its mangled, arm like appendage which is said to have jutted out of its torso. It was said that with this strong, singular, mangled arm, the Fachen could destroy an entire orchard with a chain in one night.

A story in John Francis Campbell’s Popular Tales of the West Highlands features a Fachen by the name of Nesnas Mhiccallain who was defeated in a race by the story’s hero, Murachadh Mac Brian, who would later become king of Ireland. In Campbell’s book the Fachen was also referred to as Direach Ghlinn Eitich, or the Dwarf of Glen Etive.

Some researchers have suggested that while the physical description of the Fachen is most likely a product of an overactive imagination, the bases of the Fachen mythology may have started with the sighting of an actual creature. One theory suggest that a Moa, a large flightless bird from New Zealand may have found its self onto the Island of Ireland, possibly escaping from a vessel that traveled to the island from New Zealand.

A second theory suggests that the Fachen legend may have started with sightings of a large, predatory bird, though the fossil record of the island does not support this theory. Today the majority of investigators write off the story of the Fachen as pure mythology, and with no proof or evidence to suggest otherwise the Fachen will more than likely remain safely rooted in Irish Mythology.

The Evidence There is currently no evidence to suggest that the a creature like the Fachen ever existed in Ireland, or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

The Sightings

No documented sightings of the Fachen could be located at this time.

The Stats– (Where applicable)

• Classification: Avian
• Size: Unknown
• Weight: Unknown
• Diet: Unknown
• Location: Ireland
• Movement: Unknown
• Environment: Unknown