*The attached image is from google images and is of the west ridge of the mountain climbed in the story*
This story takes place back in 2014 in late March when I was 17 years. My Uncle had been planning to take one of my friends and I to an area in Scotland called Knoydart for a few days to climb some mountains and camp out . Knoydart is arguably the most remote place in the mainland United Kingdom and my Uncle was taking us there at my request as I am an avid hill walker and love the outdoors. My friend, whom i’ll call Fred instead of his actual name, had asked to come along with us when I told him about the remoteness of the area and how creepy it would likely be out there as there would be no lights of any kind. He liked the outdoors about as much as I did so he loved the sound of that. My Uncle has done about half of the Munros, which are the top 282 tallest mountains in Scotland, and is really proficient at mountaineering and hill walking.
It was quite a pleasant day when we set off on our trek. it would have been about 15 degrees Celsius and there was a cool breeze in the air. We left our car at a place called Glenfinnan which was about 15 miles away from our planned destination, Inverie, as the crow flies however we were taking a more arduous route across a Munro called Meall Bhuidhe; god only knows how to pronounce that. The day went well. We covered some good distance, got amazing views from the hills and even saw a golden eagle which are quite rare. It started to get dark but we still had a ways to go before we got to our planned camping spot so we pressed on as darkness began to fall. Now this…this is were it starts getting weird. We were just coming down a steep glen when my Uncle has to go for a number one. There was a small forest at the foot of the glen so he went on ahead while Fred and I stayed back. It was getting difficult to see now so we both took our head torches out of our rucksacks and put them on. Just as we were doing this we heard a loud shriek pierce the silence that had surrounded us.
“Okay…what in god’s name was that?” I murmured in a confused voice.
“I-it came from those crags…” My friend stammered. He was spooked. He had never been out in the wilderness before and, as a result, had never had to deal with having his mind play tricks on him. I didn’t want to scare him but I genuinely had no clue what the hell made that noise.
“It could have just been an eagle” I said, trying to reassure him but completely failing to convince him.
He gave me a look of disbelief. “Eagle!? No way was that an eagle bud…” I knew he was right so when my Uncle got back we told him about it and he suggested that maybe they were trying to re introduce wild boar into Scotland. I couldn’t decide if I was happy that we had a potential answer or scared that there were boar running wild out there. Either way we had to set up camp. We got camp set up in a small clump of trees and ate some boil in the bag food. We then got into our tents to get some sleep. The eerie shriek from the crags had all but left my mind as I drifted off into unconsciousness.
At roughly 1 am I awoke to the sound of branches snapping. This on its own was not enough to make me feel scared or anything because as I said I was an avid hill walker and had had deer come right up to my tent before in the night. I usually find the sounds of wildlife relaxing. Whatever it was outside began scratching what must have been a tree. There was something off about this. It couldn’t have been a deer. Deer don’t have claws. Fox or wildcat maybe I thought to myself. The scratching sound persisted and I decided to shine a light on whatever it was. Then I remembered the shriek from the crags and i froze.
What if it’s a boar? or worse. I ridiculed myself for being spooked by this noise so I grabbed my torch and began to unzip my tent. To this day I wish I hadn’t felt so bold that night. I was faced with complete darkness outside my tent. The scratching was coming from my left. I pointed my torch in that direction and flicked it on. I stopped dead. Stood before me was not a fox, wildcat…, or boar. Instead there was this creature. It’s skin was a decayed, grey colour and it was completely lacking of any hair. It was hunched in an unnatural position at the base of a tree, just scratching. It looked to be about 1 metre tall from what I could see of it’s cadaverous looking body. As soon as the light hit it it stopped scratching.
It turned to face me and I chocked a scream when I saw its face. It’s eyes were a glazed over, milky colour, It had no nose that I could see and it had a thin line where its mouth was. for a couple of seconds which felt like an eternity it stared at me. Then its mouth opened and it let out a horrific, piercing shriek almost identical to the one Fred and I had heard from the crags. It took one last look at me before running off into the darkness at an impossible speed. Shortly after my Uncle and Fred were out of there tents and demanding to know what i’d seen. I couldn’t speak i’d been that badly scared. I tried to tell them and my Uncle, the towering pillar of logic that he is, suggested that i had had a night terror or something of the sort. Fred, however, believed every word I said.
The next day we cut our walk short and high tailed it to Inverie where we got a boat to a train station so we could get back to the car. We had asked a few of the locals if they had heard anything strange and a couple had heard similar noises at night but they too believed that they were being made by boar or elk being re introduced. I’m posting this experience because even I can’t be certain that what i saw was 100 percent real. It was dark and it was eerie outside and I could have been thinking about the crag shriek as I drifted off. After all, I do have a vivid imagination. I just wanted to share this and perhaps see what others think. Regardless, The wilderness can be a scary, sometimes terrifying place. The only real question: is it all in the imagination? Or are there truly other things to fear out there other than our own minds.