In case you're new, here's a tip about Creepy Corner: come for the post, stay for the comments.
Bonus points if you find me on Twitter and want to gab about Gef the Mongoose.
Personally, my favorite comments are when I get a little bit of insight into your own twisted little world. From the comments alone I've learned so much about the history of mourning, coffins, antiques, ESP, and of course, hauntings. But not everything that sticks in my head has to do with the spooky, morbid, or macabre. Sometimes I just get a really clear picture of what you creeps are up to.
I couldn't get this comment about reading Creepy Corner, from last week's post, out of my head.
I also got a giggle from one of the follow-up comments.
I think I said this in the comments, but I LOVE THIS. I love the idea of a Creepy Cornerista slinking out to the back porch in the dark of night to read about Black Eyed Kids, the uncanny valley, or Dyatlov Pass. Neighbors whisper about "that weirdo".
So all week long as I've been thinking about the next Creepy Corner, I've been thinking about HaiDomo on the porch and what would pair well with that scenario. I'm like Death's sommelier, pairing spooky scenarios with a complimentary dose of creepy. (Oh who am I kidding — I'm more like Gef's bar-back. But speaking of bars, can I just say that if I ever owned a pub, I'd want to call it Gef's and have it be mongoose themed.)
When I think of back porches, my mind immediately goes to the back porch of the house I grew up in in Seattle. Beyond the porch there was a small yard that dropped off to a ravine and a dense forest. As a kid I'd play on the porch and in the yard late into the day, but once the sun started to set — and the forest started getting very dark — my imagination would get the best of me. I was positive all the creatures from all the books I'd read were watching me from just beyond the edge of the ravine.
When the porch light would turn on and start that electrical buzzing sound, it was a cue for me to GET SPOOKED. Sure there was light, but with light there are shadows. Even now I feel a brief moment of "uh-oh" when I hear the buzz of a motion sensor light turn on at night. That buzz means things were lurking out there, just beyond the light...
Porches at night man — it's like daring dark things to encroach on your space.
HaiDomo may have found THE creepiest corner to read Creepy Corner.
So the next time you're up late, and need to step out back for a breath of fresh air, keep these creatures in mind. Just for fun. Because they probably aren't watching you. There's probably nothing out there beyond the porch light. No matter how hard you look into the darkness, you won't see anything.
The Big Grey Man of Ben Macdhui
Of all the creatures lurking beyond the porch light, this was the one I was sure was going to get me. I was sure that the Big Grey Man had trekked to Seattle all the way from the Scottish Highlands just to scare the shit out of me.
Reported to inhabit the tallest peak of the Cairngorm mountains, Ben Macdhui, the Big Grey Man (called Fear Liath Mòr locally) is supposedly a Yeti-like creature that strikes fear into the hearts of all who encounter him.
The account that really frightened me was this one from Professor Normal Collie:
I was returning from the cairn on the summit in a mist when I began to think I heard something else than merely the noise of my own footsteps. Every few steps I took I heard a crunch, then another crunch as if someone was walking after me but taking steps three or four times the length of my own. I said to myself 'this is all nonsense'. I listened and heard it again but could see nothing in the mist. As I walked on and 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 nearly down to Rothiemurchus Forest. Whatever you make of it I do not know, but there is something very queer about the top of Ben MacDhui and will not go back there again by myself I know. [From a meeting of the Cairngorm Club, 1925]
I was always POSITIVE heard the Big Grey Man's giant footsteps following me from the yard back into my house.
And while actual evidence of the Big Grey Man's existence is slim to none — the terror his "presence" seems to provoke is often attributed to the conditions of the peak (I also wonder if it might infrasound related like on Dyatlov Pass) — the legend of this mysterious beast-man still chills me to this day.
Do you worry about the Mothman? That he's all alone in this world? Well don't you worry. He has his super friend, the Owlman!
Like one humanoid harbinger of doom wasn't enough.
First sighted in 1976, the Owlman has been seen nearly exclusively in and around Mawnan, Cornwall in the UK (though if the Big Grey Man was willing to make the trip, I'm sure the Owlman would be willing to visit your porch as well). At the Owlman's first recorded appearance, a man-like winged creature, between five to seven feet tall, was seen by sisters June and Vicky Melling "over the tower of Mawnan Old Church". Through August 1978, most of the Owlman sightings were around this church. The most recent sighting (to my knowledge) was in 2011.
Described has having claw-like feet, a 6-10 foot wingspan, and a half-man, half-owl appearance, the Owlman has also been said to screech and hiss.
In 1995 a letter was sent to Simon Parker, an editor of the Western Morning News (a paper that serves the Cornwall area) saying:
Dear Sir, I am a student of marine biology at the Field Museum, Chicago, on the last day of a summer vacation in England. Last Sunday evening I had a most unique and frightening experience in the wooded area near the old church at Mawnan, Cornwall. I experienced what I can only describe as 'a vision from hell'. The time was fifteen minutes after nine, more or less, and I was walking along a narrow track through the trees. I was halted in my tracks when, about thirty metres ahead, I saw a monstrous man-bird 'thing'. It was the size of a man, with a ghastly face, a wide mouth, glowing eyes and pointed ears. It had huge clawed wings, and was covered in feathers of silver/grey color. (sic). The thing had long bird legs which terminated in large black claws. It saw me and arose, 'floating' towards me. I just screamed then turned and ran for my life..
To make matters worse, the Owlman might perhaps be more sinister than the Mothman. It seems that while the Mothman is a portent of doom, the Owlman actually brings about bad things — specifically pertaining to animals.
During Owlman sightings in the late 1970s, "one unfortunate woman was imprisoned in her house by hordes of attacking birds which literally beat themselves to death against the walls of her house, which was dripping red with their blood. Another woman was similarly imprisoned by a mob of feral cats, dog attacks trebled, swimmers were attacked by dolphins (who also saved other swimmers from drowning), and there were reports that cattle belonging to local farmers had developed the power of teleportation."
Some have attributed the Owlman to mass hysteria, an area-wide delusion sparked by a hoax initiated by two little girls. Many believe that the Owlman is just some good fun that Mawnan is having with everyone else. Whatever it may be, the idea that the Mothman just might have a naughty, little buddy in the UK is more than a bit unsettling to me.
Have you ever seen a dark shape move out of the corner of your eye? When you turn to see what it was, there's nothing there? Have you ever encountered a darker than dark, humanoid-shaped mass, devoid of discernible human features that filled you with dread and maybe was wearing a hat?
If so, you may have encountered a shadow person.
Shadow people have been reported for thousands of years, but they are one of those intangible myths/legends/ghost stories that are hard to really "prove". The creepiest thing to me is that so many people have seen them or snapped pictures of them. This really might be a thing.
Described as being very black, the absence of light, and sometimes with glowing red eyes, shadow people differ from typical "ghosts" in that people say you cannot see human features. They are like walking shadows — sometimes the outline of clothing or a hat is visible, but nothing else.
Theories on shadow people range from beings from another dimension to spirits caught between planes in "limbo". Types of shadow people can be the "less" frightening human-shaped masses, the more "mysterious" dark mists that seem to move with purpose, or the "stuff of nightmares" or "Creepers" that "literally crawl along the floor, up the walls, or along the ceiling".
You're seeing things out of the corner of your eye now, aren't you?
What creatures and creeps spook you in the dead of night? What monster are you convinced is waiting for you beyond the light? Have any of you ever been to Ben Macdhui? Tell us your porch fears!