The Gruesome Story of Sawney Bean Family

Sawney Bean

Every family is a little weird in their own way, some more than others. However, there are a few, who steps past casual weirdness and invade the bizarre ranks of being gruesome and horrific. Behaviors exhibited by such individuals crown them as the most strange and creepy family. Let’s have a look at the freaky, perplexing, and historically weirdest family to have ever existed.

Sawney Bean was apparently born in East Lothian in the late 15th century and was a tanner by trade.  After his wedding along with his wife, he moved to the Bennane Cave, by Ballantrae in Ayrshire, Scotland. The Cave had tunnels penetrating the solid rock and extending for more than a mile in length.

Due to lack of trade, Mr. and Mrs. Sawney used to ambush travelers on the lonely narrow roads that connected the villages and to make sure that they would never be identified for their crimes, they murdered their victims. After that, they butchered the bodies to provide a high protein diet of human meat for themselves and to avoid constant visits to shops for provisions of disposing of any evidence.

With time, their family increased to fourteen little Beanie babies in total, each with an insatiable appetite for human flesh. As the Beanie babies grew up they reproduced through incest and bad Beanie babies of their own. For over two decades, generations of the family grew up in Bennane Cave, refining their murder skills and cannibalistic cuisine including salting and pickling the flesh. Remains of decaying body parts that were preserved previously, began surfacing on the surrounding beaches in the area.

The local authorities eventually established the longest missing people list ever produced. Although mass searches were carried in order to locate either the missing people or hint their murderers, it never occurred to nobody to search the depths of Bennane Cave.

As time went by the family grew even more and so did their appetite. At the same time, as many as half a dozen victims would be ambushed, murdered and disappeared miraculously by the Sawney Bean army. Bodies were taken back to the cave and prepared as a feast by the womenfolk.

It’s true that even in the best-planned operations however, things sometimes go wrong and although cannibals, the Beanies were human. It so happened that one evening the Sawney Bean army attacked a couple when they were returning home from a nearby fair. Dividend in two, one group of the cannibals pulled the wife from her horse and stripped and disemboweled her while the other group attacked the man to the ground.

Realizing the fate that fell on his wife will be falling on him next, the man wrestled and fought desperately to escape, using his horse to dive over his attackers. As he screamed for his help while fighting, a group of twenty people or so also returning from the fair happened to pass by the scene.

After a violent and brief exchange for the first time ever, the Sawney Bean army found itself at a numerical disadvantage which forced them to promptly retreat back to the cave to consider the situation. As they rushed, they had to leave behind the mutilated body of the woman as evidence, a score of witnesses and one very angry crowd.

The lucky husband was taken before the Chief Magistrate of Glasgow, who decided to take the matter directly to the top after hearing the horrific tale and putting this together with the longest missing people’s list and the different reports of the mysteriously pickled body parts by the shores.

With an army of four hundred men and a pack of tracker dogs, King James I promptly arrived in Ayrshire and launched one of the biggest manhunts the country had ever seen with the help of local volunteers.

Just like before, the search was extended through the Ayrshire countryside as well as the coastline but yet again nothing was discovered. That was, however, until the track dogs luckily picked up at the scent of decaying human flesh while passing a partly waterlogged cave.

Using torchlights the troops entered the Bennane cave and proceeded down the mile-long twisting passage with their swords drawn to the inner depths of the liars of the Sawney Bean family. Nothing could have prepared a human for the sight those troops witnessed that day.

The damp walls of the cave were strewn with numerous rows of human limbs and body parts, hanging like meat in a butcher shop. Other areas of the cave were piled with bundles of clothing, watches, rings and heaps of leftover bones from previous feasts.

After a brief encounter, the entire cannibal family was arrested and marched off to Edinburgh by James I himself, all forty-eight of them. The crimes of the Beanies were considered so heinous that the renowned justice system of Scotland was abandoned and the entire clan was sentenced to death.

That following day the twenty-seven men of the family had their arms and legs cut off and we’re left to slowly bleed to death, a fate similar to most of their victims. The twenty-one Beanie women were first forced to watch their men die in agony then were themselves burned like witches in huge fires. That brought an end to the horrendous crimes of the gruesome Beanies.

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