The Flannan Isles Disappearance — Haunted Places

Tony Walker
22 min readFeb 21

Mystery of the Flannan Isles Disappearance

The Flannan Isles Disappearance is one of the most enduring maritime mysteries of the early 20th century. In 1900, three lighthouse keepers vanished from the Eilean Mòr lighthouse without a trace, leaving behind only cryptic messages and unanswered questions. The mystery of their disappearance has captivated people around the world and has become a part of Scottish folklore and legend.

Despite extensive investigation and research over the years, the truth behind the Flannan Isles mystery remains a haunting and unsolved enigma.


The Flannan Isles, also known as the Seven Hunters or in Scottish Gaelic: Na h-Eileanan Flannach, are a tiny group of islands in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, about 32 kilometres (17+12 nautical miles) west of the Isle of Lewis. They might get their name from Saint Flannan, an Irish priest and abbot who lived in the seventh century.

Since the Flannan Islands Lighthouse was automated in 1971, there haven’t been any year-round occupants living on the islands.

The Flannan Isles are divided into three groups: the main cluster to the northeast contains the two largest islands, Eilean Mòr and Eilean Taighe, with Soray and Sgeir Tomain to the south, and Eilean a’ Ghobha, Roaireim, and Bròna Cleit to the west. The total land area is approximately 50 hectares, with the highest point at 88 metres above sea level on Eilean Mòr.

The geology consists of a dark breccia of gabbros and dolerites, and the islands were likely part of a larger land mass before rising sea levels reduced them to their current size. There are two potential landing places for yachts, but the heavy swells make this a hazardous undertaking.


Eilean Taighe features a ruined stone shelter, while Eilean Mòr is home to the lighthouse and a ruined chapel dedicated to Saint Flannán, which the lighthouse keepers nicknamed the “dog kennel” due to its small size.

The Ancient Monuments Commission referred to both ruined buildings as The Bothies of the Clan McPhail, or Bothain Chlann…

Tony Walker