SCP-5561
rating: +30+x
Loch_Niall.png

SCP-5561.

Item #: SCP-5561

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: Outpost-364 has been constructed 50 meters from SCP-5561's shoreline, and is to remain staffed by no less than four Foundation personnel at all times. The area surrounding SCP-5561 has been cordoned off with iron fencing, and no civilians are to enter within 100 meters of the perimeter. No further testing of SCP-5561 is to be conducted at this time. Investigation into the possible origin of SCP-5561-A/-C is ongoing.

Description: SCP-5561 is the Foundation designation for Loch Niall, a freshwater lake situated in northern Scotland with an area of 1.5 km², and a maximum depth of 15 meters. Historically known as the 'wailing loch' due to its extranormal properties, sounds similar to that produced by a wailing infant can periodically be heard in the vicinity of SCP-5561, although no source has been determined.

SCP-5561-A is a Class V Spectral Entity residing within SCP-5561. As with similar entities, SCP-5561-A cannot be photographed or captured on film, although it has been consistently described by witnesses as being similar in appearance to a newborn infant, with physical attributes characteristic of Halichoerus grypus (grey seals).

Should any living human move within two meters of SCP-5561's shoreline between the hours of 2400 and 0400 GMT, SCP-5561-A will become tangible, and attempt to seize the subject's ankles. SCP-5561-A will then forcibly drag the subject into the lake until they are drowned.

Currently, an indeterminate number of human corpses exist at the floor of SCP-5561-B. These corpses (designated SCP-5561-B) cannot be removed through any known means. Attempting to transport any instance of SCP-5561-B more than five meters from SCP-5561 will result in the instance vanishing, and reappearing at their previous location.

SCP-5561-C refers to the anomalous remains of a female Halichoerus grypus, recovered from a burial site in the Bainbridge Forest, roughly 4 km from SCP-5561's shoreline. While the precise age of SCP-5561-C cannot be determined, the cadaver has shown no signs of decomposition over the past three centuries. As with SCP-5561-B, it cannot be removed from its burial site through any means.

SCP-5561 was first documented by Her Majesty's Foundation for the Security, Containment and Protection of Anomalous Artefacts in 1749 following an investigation into reports of a 'haunted lake' outside the small settlement of Bainbridge, Scotland.

Addendum: Research into the history of Bainbridge and the surrounding region by HMFSCP academics has revealed the presence of a persistent fairy tale, popularly known to civilian scholars as The Hunter and the Selkie. This myth has been of particular interest to Foundation scholars due to its relation to SCP-5561, and has been documented by the Department of Mythology and Folkloristics below:

The Hunter and the Selkie

While precise details such as names and dates vary between renditions, The Hunter and the Selkie typically describes an unmarried hunter who, while fishing near Loch Niall, encounters a beautiful selkie1 washing her long golden hair by the lake's shore. The hunter then proceeds to steal the maiden's seal-skin, preventing her from returning to her original form, and forcing her to marry him.

Some months afterwards, the selkie becomes pregnant with the hunter's child, although after giving birth, she refuses to allow her husband to see their son, fearing his reaction. Forcing his way into his home, the hunter catches a glimpse of the selkie and their child, who is born with flippers, and a face similar to that of a grey seal. Horrified by the creature's perceived ugliness, the hunter seizes the child, and proceeds to drown it in Loch Niall, despite his wife's cries and pleas.

The hunter then returns the magical seal-skin to his wife, demanding that she return to the sea, and never set foot on Scottish land again. The distraught selkie is then said to retreat to the woods, where she ties her seal-skin into a noose and attaches it to the branch of a nearby tree. The selkie then uses her skin to hang herself, and is found some time later by a travelling priest, who wraps her in her skin before burying her.

Most tellings conclude with the hunter awakening some nights afterward to the sound of cries and moans emerging from Loch Niall. After leaving his home to investigate, the hunter can find no source of the cries, and upon turning around to leave, feels a pair of cold, wet flippers grab his ankles, and drag him to the lake's floor.

Efforts to prevent the spread of this legend in the interest of security have been largely successful, with the last known literary reference being in British folklorist Andrew Lang's 1910 publication Of Myths and Monsters. Further research into the origin of SCP-5561 and its relationship to The Hunter and the Selkie is ongoing.

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