Am Fear Liath Mòr (also known as The Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui or simply 'the Greyman') is the name of a spirit or creature which is said to haunt the summit and passes of Ben Macdhui (Scotland), the highest peak of the Cairngorms and the second highest peak in Scotland.
The Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui has been described as a 20-foot-tall figure covered with short hair, or as an unseen presence that causes uneasy feelings in people who climb the mountain. Whereas the Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui was traditionally seen as a supernatural being, but Am Fear Liath Mòr has been compared to the Yeti of the Himalayas and the Bigfoot of North America.I It's possible that the creature is actually the Brocken spectre.
References to wild 'Greymen' in Scotland and similar creatures elsewhere in the British Isles, sometimes called Wudewas or 'Wood Men', date back to the 13th century, and are believed by some to represent relict hominids.
In 1925, the noted climber John Norman Collie recounted a terrifying experience he had endured while alone near the summit of Ben MacDhui some 35 years before. "I began to think I heard something else than merely the noise of my own footsteps. For every few steps I took I heard a crunch, and then another crunch as if someone was walking after me but taking steps three or four times the length of my own." Collie was unable to make out the source of the noises because of mist, and continued "... [as] the eerie crunch, crunch, sounded behind me, I was seized with terror and took to my heels, staggering blindly among the boulders for four or five miles." Other climbers have also reported similar experiences, many describing uncontrollable feelings of fear and panic, some actually seeing a huge grey figure behind them, and others only hearing sounds or even succumbing to inexplicable feelings of terror while in the area.
Theories about origin and existence
Similar panic responses have been reported in many North American Sasquatch encounters, and explanations involving infrasound or pheromones have been advanced. However, hallucinations and panic brought on by isolation and exhaustion, or an optical illusion similar to the Brocken Spectre, are very plausible explanations for the Big Grey Man legend as well. The most common explanation of the phenomenon is that it is due to a very particular set of environmental characteristics. When the Sun is at the right angle, and coming from behind the mountaineers, their shadow can be cast forwards and cast on low lying cloud in front of them. The large shadowy figures generated supposedly gave rise to the legend.
- "Fear Liath More." Encyclopedia Mythica from Encyclopedia MythicaOnline.
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