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14 Unsettling Scottish Wikipedia Pages That Will Freak You Right Out

Prepare to fall into a week-long Wikihole.

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1. The Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui.

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Climbers have reported "uncontrollable feelings of fear and panic", when climbing Ben MacDhui, the second-highest peak in Scotland. Some claim to have heard footsteps behind them, others have actually seen a huge grey figure on the peak. Scientists say it might be an illusion called a "Brocken Spectre", but that doesn't explain the sounds of footsteps. One thing's for sure, it's a great read.

2. The Stronsay Beast.

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On 25 September 1808, a huge storm hit the Orkney Islands. Afterwards, people discovered a large, unidentifiable carcass washed up on the rocks on the Isle of Stronsay. It was 55-feet long, had three pairs of "paws" or "wings", its skin was smooth when stroked one way and rough when stroked the other, and it had a "mane" of bristles down its back, which glowed in the dark when wet. Weird.

3. Rosslyn Chapel.

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There isn't really space to describe all the ways in which this 15th-century chapel in Midlothian is super weird, but here goes: It's covered in thousands of carvings of the Green Man and other pagan/non-Christian figures, it's reputedly the hiding place of the Holy Grail, and recently investigators found a huge chamber underneath the chapel that's yet to be excavated. Someone call Indiana Jones.

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4. The Robert Taylor Incident.

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In 1979, a forestry worker from Livingston called Robert Taylor was walking his dog when he saw a flying dome. Taylor described the object as "a dark metallic material with a rough texture like sandpaper" featuring an outer rim "set with small propellers". He said that smaller spheres "similar to sea mines" had seized him and dragged him towards the object, injuring him. He then lost consciousness.

5. The North Berwick Witch Trials.

en.wikipedia.org

In 1591, a maid named Gillis Duncan from Tranent, East Lothian, was forced to confess that she had magical powers and was responsible for several storms. Under torture, she confessed to being a witch and accused dozens of others, setting off a wave of trials and hysteria. Some pretty horrible torture examples are given in this article. If you don't want to know what pilliwinks are, don't click here.

6. The Loch Ness Monster.

en.wikipedia.org / Creative Commons

Nessie's Wikipedia page page goes into massive amounts of detail about the various hunts for the monster, including the 1987 "Operation Deepscan", where twenty-four boats equipped with echosounder equipment were deployed across the width of the loch, simultaneously sent acoustic waves, and made sonar contact with an "unidentified object of unusual size." Oooooh.

7. Mary King's Close.

realmarykingsclose.com

Mary King’s Close is an underground street in Edinburgh that has had a reputation for “spectres and nameless terrors” since the 17th century. The close was later buried under a new building called the Royal Exchange, and the hidden streets became the subject of endless myths and urban legends; tales of ghosts and murders, and myths of plague victims being walled up and left to die.

8. Bible John.

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Between 1968 and 1969, a serial killer named Bible John preyed on young women at the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow. None of his victims survived, but one woman who shared a taxi with him and her friend (who he would go on to murder) said he was a "polite, well-spoken" man who quoted extensively from the Bible, hence his nickname. The killer has never been identified.

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9. The Beggar's Benison.

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The “Beggar’s Benison” in Anstruther, Fife, was a monstrous 18th-century sex club devoted to "the convivial celebration of male sexuality". During initiation, new members were "prepared" by two helpers in "a closet, by causing him to propel his Penis until full erection." He would then "place his Genitals upon the Testing Platter." Oh, and they also drank out of glasses that looked like cocks. Fun.

10. Yester Castle.

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This vaulted subterranean chamber is the only remaining part of Yester Castle, a 13th century stone keep built by Sir Hugo de Giffard, also known as the “Wizard of Yester” as he was allegedly a powerful necromancer who carried out arcane devil-worshipping rituals and black magic in the castle’s spooky undercroft, nicknamed Goblin Ha' (Hobgoblin Hall). You can visit it for free...if you dare.

11. Overtoun Bridge.

en.wikipedia.org / Creative Commons

This relatively normal-looking bridge is actually a hot spot for dog "suicides." Dogs leap from the bridge with such alarming regularity that a sign has been put up warning people to keep their pets on a lead. No one knows what's causing dogs to lose it and fling themselves off, but it might be due to strong smells of mice, mink, and squirrels in the surrounding area. Or maybe evil ghosts.

12. Reports of haunting on the A75.

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The A75 road links Stranraer with Cairnryan, and a long stretch of it is reputedly haunted. One particularly spooky 1962 sighting on the creepiest stretch of road is known as the “Annan Road Horror”. Two brothers swerved to avoid a screaming man and other “spectres”, the car’s temperature plummeted, it swayed violently and they heard what sounded like fists repeatedly hitting the car.

13. Renee McRae.

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On November 12, 1976, MacRae dropped her elder son Gordon at her estranged husband's house and turned south on to the A9. Neither MacRae nor her son have ever been seen again. Later the same night, a train driver spotted MacRae's burning BMW car in an isolated lay-by. It was charred and empty, apart from a rug stained with blood. It's Britain's longest-running missing persons case.

14. Airth Castle.

haunted-discoveries.co.uk

Airth Castle is said to be haunted by a nanny with two young children who all died in a fire at the castle; a maid who was attacked by her master; a ghost dog with a predilection for biting ankles; and a "green phantom" (pictured). This article will lead you to the "Reportedly Haunted Locations In Scotland" category, which is a deep Wikihole. If you decide to go down it, take snacks.

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