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The Big Grey Man of Ben Macdui - Between Myths and Nightmares

Ben Macdui

The Big Grey Man of Ben Macdui, or simply the Grey Man, is a creature that is said to live in Ben Macdui, the 2nd highest mountain in Scotland. The oldest accounts of this cryptid first appeared back in 1791, while the most famous sighting was in 1925 by a respected scientist and mountaineer, who climbed Ben Macdui in 1891.

The Big Grey Man has been described as a creature 10 ft (3 m) tall, with very long hands, long legs, a monkey-like head covered with short hair. The creature has often been compared to the Yeti from the Himalayas or Bigfoot from North America. The difference is that many of the suspected witnesses don't describe it as a creature from the physical world but rather a paranormal event, a ghost if you will.

What all these witnesses have in common is that they clearly describe the horror they felt even before they actually saw or stood before the Grey Man.

The earliest accounts for the supposed creature date back to 1791 from the poet James Hogg. He reported how he spotted the creature while he was grazing his sheep on the lush mountain pastures of Ben Macdui.

Hogg said that he saw a giant black man, at least 10 ft (3 m) tall, with massive teeth and eyes. It appeared right next to him but Hogg was unable to do anything, for he was helpless, stunned by fear. All he could do was stare.

Terrified, Hogg ran back home. He returned the next day to get his flock of sheep back. The creature returned yet again. Hogg decided to carry out an experiment by taking off his hat. He saw that the creature mimicked the action. He concluded that it was his own shadow in the fog that had freaked him out the day before.

Grey Man

Still, the story about this creature never went away, it remained in the consciousness of many Britons. It was brought new life when J. Norman Collie, a professor of organic chemistry and mountaineer, told about his own encounter with the cryptid.

During a mountain climb he heard footsteps behind him. He immediately noticed that they were much larger than his own. Although he turned around several times, he saw nothing. After deciding to continue onward, he spotted 2 enormous glowing red eyes 1.5 ft (0.5 m) in front of him. The creature was gigantic and leaned down as if to inspect him. The scientist was completely frozen with fear. Fright was in the air all around him, it seemed that nature itself was muffled. Collie retained no memory of how and when he had made his way home but the terror remained in him for a long time to come.

There are many theories regarding the identity of the Grey Man. According to cryptozoologists, the creature is indeed a cryptid, most likely a primate. Others believe the the Grey Man is not a flesh and blood creature but an energy of some kind that can be sensed high in the mountains. Fans of the paranormal believe it to be a ghost that wanders the Ben Macdui mountains.