Does an ethereal giant stalk the slopes of one of Britain’s highest peaks?
In the eastern highlands of Scotland, on the boundary between Aberdeenshire and Moray, exists one of the wildest and most remote places in the Britain Isles. Here, where only the hardiest of mountain flora grows, is an epic landscape that is at the same time harsh, humbling and achingly beautiful. For this is the Cairngorms mountain range (Am Monadh Ruadh); an ancient place that has long compelled the adventurous to seek out its snowy slopes. And it is Ben MacDhui, with a height of 1309 metres (4296 feet) that stands as the range’s highest peak. But, it’s not just the forces of nature that mountaineers have to contend with here, for it is said that a terrifying and evil giant man stalks the wind-whipped backdrop of Ben MacDhui, seeking out climbers and sending them fleeing from the mountain in alarm.
Locals call this giant ‘Am Fear Liath Mhor’, but beyond these lands it is more widely known by its English name: ‘The Big Grey Man’. Sightings are uncommon, but there have been enough to suggest that this phenomenon is something more than just the made-up stories of bored hikers. Indeed, tales of encounters with this entity have been related by visitors to the peaks since the 1700s.
Reports differ little in describing the figure, with most agreeing that the Big Grey Man, or ‘the Greyman’ as it is sometimes known, is just that—a very tall, grey figure. How it manifests is far more varied though: sometimes it looms suddenly from out of the mountain mist, while on other occasions it affects climbers as waves of strong emotions that overcome them. It can even reveal itself as eerie, disembodied footsteps that crunch in the snow alongside horrified climbers.
Read the rest in the ebook Eerie Britain.