Sawney Bean or "The Bizarre Cannibal Patriarch"

Hey, if you're into being freaked out, cannibalism works. Of course, if you're the one getting your bits chewed on by a family of freaky cave dwellers, the coolness factor rapidly drops to zero. Stories, which may be largely fiction, say that Sawney Bean and his family of inbred 14th or 15th century Class A freak shows killed and ate about 1,000 people. Why they didn't bother just growing some carrots or stealing a cow is anyone's guess, but it seems the story starts with dear old dad/granddad.

Sawney Bean, whose name was actually Alexander Bean, was born into a family of simple laborers. If you want to know the meaning behind the Sawney moniker, you will have to look farther than me. Maybe it's Old Scottish for "Eats People." Good old Sawney "Eats People" Bean felt that the life of a 14th or 15th century laborer was not for him and it is hard to blame him. The problem is, what was him was running off with a psycho of the female variety and starting a family in a deep cave.

The Sawney legend says that Bean and his wife had kids, who also had kids together, all in a cave where they went unnoticed due to its depth. It is unclear just who had babies with who, but the story definitely indicates inbreeding, as there some 40 Beans by the time their appetites caught up with them. They lived by robbing, killing and eating travelers on the roads nearby at night. They never left the cave during the day so no one even knew they were there. Apparently, they killed so often that they even had leftovers that went to waste in icky piles outside of their cave. No one noticed that, either, I guess. (Remember, historians think this story is, at the very least, hyperbole.)

Finally, someone fought off a group of the Beans and that led to the whole batch being discovered in their cave. All of them were taken and bled, burned, quartered or hanged to death. None of these deaths has been discovered in records and the same goes for the 1,000 victims of the Beans, but it sure does make the skin crawl. People's ideas of story telling have not changed much in 600 years.