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WALLACE WAS SCOTLAND'S MAN O' STEEL; Braveheart.. and superpowers.

Byline: George Mair reporters@dailyrecord.co.uk

WILLIAM Wallace's followers believed he had supernatural powers, according to research.

Historian Ron Halliday, 63, said that while there is little documentary evidence about the Scots hero's life, there were many tales relating to his supposed powers.

In stories passed down by the poet Blind Harry and others, Wallace receives visions in balls of fire, meets ghostly figures and even battles headless foes.

Ron - who has spent decades studying supernatural mysteries - said: "There are many stories about Wallace but they've been washed out of the historical accounts.

"These were mystical events and accounts of great deeds. There was also great symbolism.

"This supernatural side has largely been forgotten but to understand Wallace better, we should acknowledge it."

Ron added: "It would have worked in Wallace's favour for people to think he had supernatural powers or had the supernatural on his side.

"It would have inspired people to join him. They wanted to see him as a superman of his time, someone beyond the ordinary.

"We can't say for certain but I'd suspect Wallace saw this as important as well to create the aura. Now people see these tales and think the supernatural aspect detracts from his being a great leader."

Ron describes the phenomenon in his book Famous Scots and the Supernatural. He says the stories provide a "fuller, rounder picture" of the 13th century freedom fighter.

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I AM WILLIAM 3 WALLACE Mel Gibson as Scots hero on film. He told followers that if the stories were true, he'd 'consume the English with fireballs from his eyes'
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 3, 2013
Words:271
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