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by OpenC » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:13 pm
Still, though, flicking through it today it got me thinking. There are a lot of references in there to the way that the mind invents things in lonely places and there's undoubtedly some truth to that; most of us will have at some point seen or heard something which has taken longer than usual to make sense of while misted out high up in the mountains. A distant sheep can sound an awful lot like a human voice shouting for help, for example
I have two places in particular that have made me feel uncomfortable on more than one occasion. The first time I felt it was the moor that runs between Long Crag and Hedgehope Hill in the Cheviots; more than once I've heard (imagined) the sound of very long and heavy footsteps out of sync with my own as I've crossed this moor, much like the traditional Fear Liath Mor story from Ben Macdui. On the first occasion, one of my dogs (which is not by any means a stupid dog prone to hysteria) has stood and barked and barked and barked at nothing at all on this moor. When I got down and looked at the map and saw that there was an indicated ancient settlement just a half kilometre from there, I got genuine goosebumps
The other is Coire nan Laogh on Beinn Alligin. Never seen anything there or heard anything there, but the three times I've been up there solo it's been a distinctly gloomy experience despite good weather two of those times; the surroundings are magnificent and the views back to Loch Torridon are probably my favourite in the world, but something about the place always casts a shadow over my mood and puts me in a strange and reflective and maudlin frame of mind. I went up again a couple of months ago in company (for the first time) and didn't feel it at all. It's a steep-sided and gloomy corrie, undeniably, so I don't suppose it's too surprising that it sometimes feels oppressive, but I've been in similar places and not felt anything like that.
I'm a level headed chap and I'm not a ghost story believer. I know that all these things can be explained, but even then my mind has occasionally overtaken me in exactly the way described in Affleck Gray's stupid book. Anybody ever felt a strange sense of gloom in the hills that they can't explain? If you don't have any of your own, just share your favourite mountain ghost stories for the sake of a good read
by teaandpies » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:04 pm
I am honestly putting a chapter in my report about how I felt like I was being followed yesterday on Beinn Ime. I also thought I was hearing voices.
by OpenC » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:24 pm
Pleased it's not just me, anyway
by NickyRannoch » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:33 pm
I had a similar feeling on Ben Alligin but I put it down to fast flowing mist, darkening skies and trepidation aboutbthe horns which were to be my first scramble.
A couple of times I have got freaked out as the sun is going down when I'm on high camps in the cairngorms. Summit of beinn mheadhoin and mullach clach a' bhlair spring to mind. I think there is a trigger in the back of my mind that says I shouldn't there (plus dehydration,exhaustion etc).
by ChrisW » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:47 am
Anyway, about half way back along the trail I really began to get the sense that something was following me, I mean really strongly got that feeling. There wasn't any particular noise or movement that caused me to think it and it is very unlike me. I've walked hundreds of miles alone and often in darkness without ever getting this feeling or anything like it, but on the down side of Black Rock I was almost sure I was being followed, so much so that after turning around several times and seeing nothing, I rounded a corner and dived in behind trees/undergrowth and stayed dead still listening and watching for my 'shadow' ......there was nothing and after a short time I returned to the trail and carried on, and so did that feeling, that 6th sense telling me something was behind me. It stayed that way all the way back to the truck and there never was any sign of anyone or anything...it was really strange Never happened since, nor has it happened before.....I put it down to having too much sun on the day
by Caberfeidh » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:48 am
Another time, hiking up to Bob Scott's bothy from the Linn O'Dee one winter's night, climbing kit strapped to my heavy rucksack, I wearily made my way along past the old ruined sheilings. A half moon showed between ragged clouds torn by the wind. As I passed the ruins left by the glen's inhabitants of ancient times, I heard a low, breathy whistle, or wail behind me. I turned quickly but could see no-one on the moonlit track. Perhaps it was a bird. I carried on, only to hear the breathy "Oooo-Oooo" behind me again. It was so close and loud I was sure it was some one taking the mickey. I twisted round suddenly, as the noise was happening, but it stopped instantly, and the brightly-moonlit track showed a complete absence of anyone. A herd of deer moved across the flood-plain of the river. The wind hissed over the tumbled stone walls of the old sheilings. I wondered if some of the guys from the bothy had been out gathering firewood and, seeing me coming, had decided to give me a fright.They were likely hiding behind the old walls, giggling to themselves. I carried on regardless, only for the spooky noise to start again immediately, right behind me. I twisted around ready to punch whoever was doing it, friend or foe. It stopped but started again, right behind me, in the direction I had been walking. "It" was between me and the bothy! I turned again, and again it was behind me, a traditional ghost story "Woooo-oooo". I could feel myself getting pale in the face, shaky in the knees and if I had spoken my voice would have quavered with fright. What I needed here was a weapon. Not being equipped with a Ghost Busters' style backpack,I figured an ice-axe in my hand would provide a reassuring psychological boost. I reached back to pull my ice axes from the lower straps of my rucksack and the spooky, breathy "ooooo" sound stopped. I let go of the axe handles and the noise started again. I gripped them and it stopped. They were Stubai Sierra Extreme ice tools, with a hollow tubular shaft. The wind had been blowing across the shaft ends, making a sound like someone blowing across the top of a bottle...
For real spookiness though, the Galloway Hills are the spookiest, giving a constant unnerving feeling of being watched. It is not just me; I mentioned this in a bothy and another bloke agreed that he felt the same way there, a feeling not felt elsewhere. I have camped in Glen Coe, infamous for the massacre of the MacDonalds, I have camped on Skye near to old battle sites, I have even dossed in graveyards, but the Galloway Hills are the spookiest.
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by basscadet » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:21 am
by Sabbathstevie » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:05 pm
As much as I love science, I also like to think that otherworldy things are possible... though this probably isn't one of them!
by PeteR » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:15 pm
Then on the long walk out along the Gaik Pass having just climbed An Dun and its neighbour and again I could swear I head someone speak to me close by. Freaked me right out this time as the sound was clear as anything (don't ask what I think might have been said as I can't recollect that bit) but I turned round and also scoured the area away from the track.......................but nothing.
That day was a clear day too, so no swirling mist or anything like that to disorientate or confuse me.........
I certainly walked out pretty fast after the second incident though
by dtr42 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:17 pm
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by Sgurr » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:29 pm
"Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk"
by 37201xoIM » Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:03 pm
PS Good thread, by the way!
by Navvarr » Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:41 pm
dtr42 wrote:on Ben Narnain a few years ago I saw a figure cresting through the spear gulley .I had seen no one on the way up so was a bit surprised ,anyhoo I got to top and the plateau was clear apart from 2 people at the cairn ,so I asked the usual questions have a nice walk etc and I said they must have been just in front of me at the spear as I HAD seen 1 of them in front of me ,but they said they had come up from the bealache side at Ime and I was the first guy they had seen come up the gulley so maybe I saw something ,maybe I didnt but I have done Narnain about 10 times ,always up the gulley and have never seen this before or again
I remember climbing Narnain a good 25 years ago in my youth and there was a plaque commemorating a young lad who had committed suicide from the spears head up on Narnain. I consider myself an atheist, but it makes you wonder sometimes.
by Mantog » Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:03 pm
Happened to me in Assynt, the most benign of all places! I wrote a full account in my blog, scroll down to Thursday 23rd June http://www.yorkshireflyfishing.org.uk/2011/07/assynt-2011/ but in essence I was fishing my way around a beautiful hill loch in idyllic conditions. You can marvel at the flank of Suilven from this location, a view that always makes me happy and utterly content. Half way around everything changed, I stepped into what felt like another time, pre-history. I was rather pleased when my mate came to rejoin me as I was getting very twitchy. Alas, although I blatantly heard him noisily walking over burned heather stalks and standing right behind me...literally...right up behind me, there was no one there. Nothing. Open space, nowhere to hide, and as it transpired he was a long way away on a different loch anyway. Very strange. I scarpered!
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