To call the story of the cannibalistic Sawney Bean clan "history" would be a bit of a misnomer; folktales or propaganda would be more appropriate descriptions. While there may be some truth to the legend of Sawney Bean, also known as Alexander Bean, his story does not have enough basis in fact to be considered true history. Nonetheless, he's still an impactful figure. Widely considered to be the real story behind The Hills Have Eyes, Sawney Bean is an important folkloric figure, and may be a product of propaganda; even if he didn't exist exactly as the tales suggest, his story is no less significant, especially in his native land.
Tales say that Sawney Bean was the leader of a Scottish clan sometime between the 1200s and 1500s. As the legend goes, he led his family to murder and cannibalize more than 1,000 victims. This idea of a family of killers who ambush victims is prime horror film fodder—and while the clan itself might not be the historical cannibals they're sometimes made out to be, they're still relevant as mythic figures.
Sawney Bean Left A Life Of Work For A Life Of Crime
Black Agnes Was Believed To Be A Witch
Sawney Bean And His Clan Robbed Travelers On The Nearby Road
Sawney Bean's Cave Provided Plenty Of Room For A Growing Family
The Bean Clan Was Almost 50 Inbred Family Members Strong
The Bean Clan Pickled Human Meat To Preserve It