The Big Grey Man of Ben Macdui



haunted mountain

Tales to tell around the campfire

Scottish folklore

The strangeness of Ben Macdui, mountain majestic

Monarch of the Cairngorms

What mysteries reside on your murky plateau?

Unusual sounds that chill the bones and hasten the pace

Anomalous music oozing from your untampered rock

Music without melody


Disembodied voices puncturing the thick fog

Unsettling resonances that disturb the utter silence

What are we hearing?

Deceptions of the mind?

Remnants of the past? 

Voices of the dead?

Those who perished on your hazardous crags?

Or whispers from another realm?



Ben Macdui, mountain of mystery

You bewitch me

You tinker with my thoughts

Luring me down the road less travelled

The need to know

Your darkest secrets

But wait ...

There is one tale

Above them all

That fills me with dread

And curdles my blood

The master of your tor

Your eternal tenant

The Big Grey Man



I scale Macdui's saddle

Steep and demanding

Trek across the plateau

A most unforgiving land

Under a thick shroud of mist

The air unwavering

Cold and noiseless

Hard snow crunching under my feet

I feel like the last man alive

Walking a prehistoric landscape

But all is well

After a while, I commence my descent

Careful not to stray near the deadly crags

Where rapid death awaits

I have heard none of the strangeness

No music

No voices

No sounds

Stories without foundation

Folklore and nothing else

Slightly disappointed, I continue on my way

When suddenly I'm seized with extreme terror

An sharp intake of cold air clutches my heart

I freeze

I listen

I hear the crunching of footsteps

Heavy and cumbersome

Behind me

Coming my way

They sound so close

I turn my head

And look over my shoulder

Through the fog, I see the vague outline of a figure

Tall and grey

Taller than any man

Twenty feet, maybe more

Now I know

The stories are true

The Big Grey Man of Ben Macdui exists

He stalks the mountain

Preying on lone climbers

Camouflaged by the tor's great mist

The drive to survive kicks in

I run

I stumble

I cry like a baby

Praying that my memory serves me correctly

That I don't stagger over the crags

To certain death

Footsteps continue to pursue me

God, please save me from this ... creature!

I'm running blind

On instinct alone

The Big Grey Man hunts me

Closing in

But fortune favours me

The path is true

I head downward

Escaping the plateau

My legs burning with exertion

I don't stop until I reach Loch Etchachan

The serene surface helps lessen my fear

The fog has lifted some

I fall to my knees



I catch my breath

Then look up

Macdui is enfolded in mist



Some say he is merely a deception

The Brocken Spectre

One's own shadow cast upon clouds

Some say he comes from one's own fraught mind

Caused by seclusion and silence

Fair suggestions?

I have to disagree

The Big Grey Man of Ben Macdui


Flesh and bone?

Who can tell?

But one thing I do know know -

I will never return to the misty summit of Ben Macdui

For that place is accursed



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