Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 4 recap: Witchcraft and Superstition

Men in Kilts -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ
Men in Kilts -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ /

Men in Kilts is quite a treat this week as Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish explore Scotland’s most frightening and spooky locations, and some of its most famous superstitions. As scary as their adventures are, we’d be remiss not to mention Sam’s hilarious attempts to scare Graham every chance he gets.

Aboard their camper van, Sam and Graham head off to cemeteries, spooky churches, and attend a Beltane festival, which comes with its own intriguing history. They kick things off at Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh where they meet with a death historian named Charlotte Gollege, who walks them through the church grounds sharing unsettling stories of the area.

One area of the church served as a prison at one point in time, but the whole experience is slightly overshadowed by Charlotte’s strange commentary regarding an episode of Outlander in which Heughan’s character was raped. It was all rather off-putting to my personally, but I also understand that the editing process may have made that scene more awkward and uncomfortable. But it was just…weird.

Charlotte tells Heughan and McTavish a story about how someone broke into the Kirkyard and allegedly released an evil spirit into the world. And then proceeds to have them go inside a small, dark room and locks them in there. And that’s about it when it comes to that.

Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 4: Witchcraft and wizardry

The next step on the Men in Kilts tour takes Heughan and McTavish to Wormistan Castle, where they a learn a bit about the history of witchcraft in Scotland. A witch expert, Leonard Low, shows them all the torture devices that were used on those accused of witchcraft including but not limited to thumb screws, yes, thumb screws, pokers, and some sort of head device that traps your head along with your arms into it.

Heughan and Low have McTavish put the head device on and then leave him behind to test it out. It’s rather jarring to see how uncomfortable the device is so props to McTavish for even offering to put it on.

Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 4: Traveling through the stones

Up next is a location that many Outlander fans will recognize as it is quite literally the heart of the show–the stones. Heughan and McTavish go to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, where they visit a stone circle.

Given that Outlander’s plot essentially revolves around a stone circle, it was only fitting to learn that the production actually cast molds of this particular stone circle for the set. I’m pretty sure when it is safe to travel, a lot of Outlander fans will be flocking to these sites in Scotland.

Of course, Heughan couldn’t walk away from the stone circle without attempting to “travel” through them. Luckily, he came to realize that it is all fiction…

Men in Kilts Season 1, Episode 4: A celebration of fertility

The duo’s final stop is at a Beltane festival, or more specifically, a celebration of fertility. A woman explains the event is “when everything comes to full-blown life” and the beauty of womanhood is celebrated.

Heughan and McTavish join the celebration which involves dancing, chanting, and participating in the traditions of the night. But more importantly, we get to end the episode with a shirtless Heughan wearing a headdress as bagpipe music plays in the background.

It’s certainly the most wonderful treat we could have asked for!

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Up next on Men in Kilts is “Culture and Tradition”!

What did you think of this week’s episode? Share your comments below!