Auld Kirk Alloway is where Tam o' Shanter, in Robert Burns's great epic poem, unluckily passed a witches' revel—with Old Nick himself playing the bagpipes—on his way home from a night of drinking. Tam, in flight from the witches, managed to cross the medieval Brig o' Doon (brig is Scots for bridge; you can still see the bridge) just in time. His gray mare, Meg, lost her tail to the closest witch. (Any resident of Ayr will tell you that witches
cannot cross running water.) The church is in ruins, but the graveyard includes the tomb of Burns's father, William.