The ashray is often mistakenly thought to be English in origin, yet it appears that Loch Achray in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is the source of this mythical mermaid-like creature.
Because of their translucent appearance, they produce no shadows.
In one story, a fisherman was able to catch and bind an Ashray on his boat but was unable to communicate with it, as the Ashray spoke a strange language. The creature then touched him, causing his hands burn and feel as if it was on fire despite the creature’s cold and wet hands. Alas, exposure to the sun’s light caused the Ashray to melt into a puddle of water and the hapless creature died before the fisherman could reach the shore. The fisherman who caught it had no proof of the creature’s existence, save for a burn mark on his arm.
Ashrays, also known as Asrais or Water Lovers, are often depicted as humanoid water spirits, appearing much like an underdeveloped or immature form of human beings. Both genders, male and female, are believed to exist. Their skin is said to be translucent, giving them a ghost-like appearance. Because they are aquatic beings, they are often depicted as being wet or covered in some form of sea vegetation. They are said to glow in the dark, adding to their ethereal, otherworldly charm.
Ashrays live underwater, usually deep under the sea or within lochs. As they are strictly aquatic creatures, they cannot survive on land or in the air for any length of time. They are known to float near the surface of the water late at night.
Ashrays are nocturnal. They emerge from the depths only during the night or on heavily overcast, foggy days. Direct sunlight or contact with the air causes them to melt away into a pool of water. Legend also says that if an Ashray is caught out in sunlight, it will melt and the water it turns into will be forever cursed.
Ashrays are a creature solely in their own category. They are often compared or confused with Selkies due to their aquatic nature and humanoid appearance. However, Selkies have the ability to shed their seal skin and walk on land as humans, which is a stark contrast to the Ashray’s inability to survive outside water.
Ashray Locality in Scotland:
Ashrays are associated with Loch Achray in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. However, many tales of the Ashray are told in the Cheshire and Shropshire region of England.