The Fear Liath

The Am Fear Liath Mor has been rumored to inhabit the area around the Cairngorm Peak for years, with sightings dating back to the 13th century.  While it bears some traits in common with stories of the Yeti or Sasquatch, the actual nature of the Fear Liath is far more akin to a ghost or demon than an actual animal.

The locals call it The Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui or simply The Grey Man.  He is not just a man, but a presence that is said to follow travelers and watch them as they pass through his land.  He’s said to be taller than a normal human, with some reports suggesting he is as tall as ten feet high, towering over hikers when he appears.  And those who have seen him say he is known as the grey man because of a thin layer of short fur all over his body.  Depending on who you ask about The Grey Man they will tell you he is either stockily built like the mountain he haunts, or thin with impossibly long arms with a capability of moving quickly and exhibiting incredible dexterity.  The only evidence of the Fear Liath that has ever passed into the mainstream has been in the form of castings gathered by investigators of strange footprints that seem human, but only barely.

The most famous case of the Grey Man appearing before a traveler happened in 1925 when John Norman Collie was attempting to mount the summit of Scotland’s highest mountaintop.  As he approached the top, he suddenly became aware of a strange presence.  It felt to Collie as though he were being watched constantly by something he could never catch with his own eyes.  Then, as he continued on he became aware of massive footsteps crashing behind him every so often.  This terrified the experienced climber immensely, and he began running in an attempt to lose whatever the strange entity was.  As he peered into the fog behind him he never caught sight of the creature, but says he still cannot explain just what it could have been.  Others have reported seeing a faint darkened outline walking towards them from the fog like an eerie ghost stepping out of a nightmare.

But the creature would appear to several other climbers as they approached the peak, even frightening a group of three men as they approached the summit of the mountain.  According to the witnesses, the creature had a disturbingly contorted face that was anything but human.  As they retreated to their car they could see the creature running after them, keeping up easily even though they were driving at speeds of almost 50 miles per hour.  Needless to say the climbers never returned to the mountain.  But the presence of the Grey Man has not stopped others from making the long trek up the side of Cairngorm Peak.  The 5,000 foot summit is a popular attraction for tourists and experienced climbers alike.  And stories of the Grey Man continue to this day.