Sawney Bean Is Seen As Scotland’s Most Prolific Cannibal, And For Good Reason

If you love horror movies as much as I do, then chances are that you’ve seen “The Hills Have Eyes.”

I’ve always assumed that the filmmakers came up with the idea of the incestuous cannibals on their own, but I was surprised to find out that they were actually inspired by a legendary man from Scottish folklore.

Sawney Bean was said to live in a cave along with his 48 family members, some of whom were born as a result of incest — but that isn’t the most disturbing part. This terrifying clan killed and ate over 1,000 people at some point between the 13th and 16th centuries.

Bean’s father was a ditch digger and hedge trimmer, but Bean had no interest in taking up his family’s trade. When he met the woman who would become the mother of his children, he decided to leave home.

The couple traveled to a cave near Bennane Head in Ayrshire, where they lived for the next 25 years or so. Over that time, they welcomed eight sons and six daughters into the world, whose incestuous relationships produced 18 grandsons and 14 granddaughters.

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