; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

High Strangeness in Scotland: Vertical Black 'Line' Unfurls Into A 'Stickman-Like Humanoid!'

A father and son encounter a vertical black line on a hill near Edinburgh, Scotland. The line unfurls into a stickman-like humanoid that pursues them when they walk away. Weird account!

The following account was recently forwarded to me:

"I'm going to try and report this with as little dramatic flare as possible because it seems like people sometimes get carried away with the storytelling when reporting something like this and I want to avoid that if I can.

This happened a long time ago and not even in America (occurring on a hill in Scotland name Arthur's Seat near Edinburgh). But for the first time the other day I was discussing it and suddenly realised that it actually involves three of the major factors associated with a lot of the Missing 411 cases - a body of water, a dog behaving extremely unusually, and large amounts of granite.

I was in my mid-teens at the time and due to unusual circumstances my dad had woken me up in the middle of the night to walk the dog with him and have a chat. It was around 2am. It was a full moon and a very bright night with great visibility. The skies were clear and we were walking on a granite hill, an extinct volcano in fact, that has a valley in the middle with a lochan (small lake) in it. We had walked around the lochan before starting up the side of the valley towards the ridge with the dog on a leash.

As we began to approach the top of the slope the dog stopped dead and point blank refused to come any further in the direction we were walking. He was literally a dead weight on the leash and we would have had to bodily drag him to move him even an inch further forward. We realised that he'd tucked his tail between his legs, was visibly shaking, and was in a curled crouch making himself as small as possible. He was also entirely fixated on something ahead of us that we hadn't noticed or paid attention to beforehand.

It appeared to be a straight black line emerging vertically from the ground. I remember thinking at first that it was a plastic tube they use to protect vulnerable saplings from deer. In the first moments that we became aware of it there were no discernible features whatsoever other than a black vertical bar. As we watched, the straight black bar 'unfurled' into the crude shape of a humanoid, I estimate to have been around 8 feet tall. Unfurled is the best term I can think of to describe this process, if you've ever seen a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis it was something like that. The figure was entirely jet black, there were no visible features or contrast within it to any degree despite the bright moonlight and 'black' doesn't cover how dark this thing actually was. It was what I imagine a black hole might look like and although the figure itself wasn't remotely transparent or insubstantial, the outline was slightly fuzzy or blurred almost like something that's vibrating extremely quickly or a washing machine on a high spin cycle.

It did not have human proportions. It was almost like a child's drawing of a stick man but with disproportionately long arms and legs. If you are imagining something like a stick insect made out of the material vantablack and in the rough shape of a person you're close to the mark. The head was unusually small and I remember the top of the head being somewhat flat although my dad doesn't. In every other respect our recollections of the event are identical.

This all happened within probably under a minute and then it turned and faced us. I'm not going to give a melodramatic description and in fact words can't really do it justice. Although it lacked any features whatsoever that might be identified as eyes or a face, you could FEEL this things attention on you. Instantly every hair on my body stood erect and I broke out in goosebumps. I turned to my dad and said, "Dad what the f is that thing?" He's one of the most skeptical and level-headed people I know so what really freaked me out was that his answer was just, "I don't know. We need to get out of here right now." As a young man being able to detect genuine fear in my dad's voice was itself quite unsettling.

We immediately began to walk sideways away from the figure so as not to entirely turn our backs on it. The minute we began moving away it was like a spell was broken on the dog who began to literally drag us. The figure followed us for more than five minutes maintaining the same distance. It walked with large, slow, deliberate strides and I remember its arms swung in long arcs as it moved. At no point did it show any sign of aggression, it simply followed maintaining the same distance from us the entire time. It was perfectly and completely silent, there wasn't a sound when it was following us.

We were in a highly adrenalized state during this 'pursuit' and the atmosphere was extremely tense. We exchanged very few words other than whispers like, "is it still following us?" and "don't look at it." It never even crossed our minds to run which in hindsight seems unusual given that neither of us even entertains the possibility that this was just another person out for a walk. In the moment we both had an almost literally overwhelming sense of 'wrongness' about the situation.

After about five minutes I stopped, I can't remember exactly what I said but it was something along the lines of, "this is completely insane. WT F is going on? What is that f-ing thing?" When we stopped, it stopped, and again just turned to stand facing us straight on. Because of the total lack of features it may as well have been facing directly away from us but like I say there was a very definite physical sense of when this things awareness was focused on you. We stood in total silence. The dog continued trying to drag us away. It stood motionless for a minute or two and then, as we watched, it turned, sank down into the solid ground, and disappeared. Immediately it felt like some sort of charge in the air had dissipated and we began power walking back to the car. When we got back we were still buzzing with adrenaline and woke everyone up to tell them what we'd seen.

That's the story. I can't really add anything else that wouldn't just be dramatic flourishes for story telling purposes. The dogs behaviour was extremely uncharacteristic of him, if we had encountered another person under the same circumstances there's not a doubt in my mind that he would have been barking and straining on his leash to approach them rather than get away. That's partly why he was on a lead but also because he was a rescue and very prone to chasing animals and disappearing for 20 minutes or so.

We were both quite shaken as neither of us could really come up with any plausible rational explanation for what we'd experienced. Occasionally, over the years, people have suggested this was a 'brocken spectre' where our own shadows were being cast by the moon on a fog bank or low cloud. But I can't accept this explanation, there just wasn't any fog or clouds present and visibility was excellent due to both clear air and the bright moonlight. I have no real theories about what we saw and nor does my dad. Although I still consider myself to be a naturally skeptical person this completely shattered my ability to dismiss other peoples' stories of high strangeness and wild theories - even those that at face value seem absurd. I can hardly laugh in someone's face when they say that they think bigfoot is real but comes from another dimension for example, or that something otherworldly is taking people in the wilderness - although obviously I have no reason to believe this was Bigfoot and the incident occurred in Scotland.

Years after the fact, and years ago now, I found a thread on a Bushcraft forum where people were discussing spooky experiences in the outdoors and to my amazement there was a hunter who reported seeing the EXACT same thing crossing a clearing in the woods from a hunting hide during a full moon in America. I don't have a link because this was a long time ago but they reported identical details - the small head, the long arms that moved in pendulous arcs when it walked, the slow deliberate stride, the total blackness and lack of features and even the fuzzy outline that they described in exactly the same way, as if it was vibrating.

Make of this what you will, I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything and I'm not married to any particular theory about what we saw. I just thought it was worth reporting here when I realised that the hill was mostly composed of granite and connected that with the water in the lake.

I want to briefly touch on two of the more obvious explanations for what we experienced and why I struggle to accept them but first, because it's relevant to one of them, let me mention that there are at least some caves on this hill - and that they've been associated with spooky stuff before, although I didn't know this at the time. In 1836 a group of schoolboys found a small entrance to a previously unknown cave on the hill near where this occurred that contained 17 miniature coffins containing what we would describe today as 'voodoo dolls' and some of them are still on display in the Scottish national museum today.

Now for the rational explanations.

We were hallucinating. The dogs strange behaviour was caused by something unrelated but in the unfamiliar environment and the dark we entered some kind of adrenalised state where our minds projected a tangible threat onto an unexpected object, possibly actually one of those tubes used to protect trees I mentioned earlier, and we both hallucinated the same thing. I find this hard to accept because of the specific details we both recalled afterwards (long arms, small head, vibrating outline, slow deliberate stride, swinging arms, strong sense of when it's attention was focused on you) despite not actually talking about what we were seeing at the time, and also that the dog was very clearly focused on the same thing as we were and absolutely terrified.

It was exactly what it appeared to be. A very unusually tall black skinned individual emaciated to the verge of death that was vibrating. In this scenario they would have emerged from a hole in the ground (remember the cave) and were shivering from the cold (Scotland). They then followed us in silence before descending back underground via another hole. I can almost accept this, and that due to adrenaline our brains interpreted it as being more dramatically strange than it actually was. The problem with this theory is that it would still be really, really weird - but it does bring us back into the tangible world of things that actually exist because although Scotland is something like 98% white there are still thousands of Scottish people with black skin and it's possible some of them are very tall.

The only thing that's maybe worth adding is that this event seemed to flick some switch in my head that made me no longer remotely afraid of the dark under any circumstances. You'd think it would have gone the other way, and I'm not larping as a vampire or some possessed creature of the night, but I worked in a bakery at the time and walked to work along a river in a deep valley in the middle of the night, sometimes it was pitch black to the extent that you would have to feel your way ahead with your hands and I'm not ashamed to admit that sometimes I'd get a bit spooked, especially when a fox suddenly screamed right next to you. After this event? never again. I can walk through the deepest darkest forest, abandoned building or mine in complete darkness without feeling the slightest trepidation since this incident and I don't really know why but it's to the extent that people have commented on it "I don't know how you can do that!". Now not being afraid of the dark is hardly a superpower but for me it has always been a markedly less intimidating experience AFTER this encounter and I really can't rationalise why because it seems like it would make so much more sense for it to have instilled a fear of the dark rather than removed it.

That's all I have to say, in the unlikely event that you've seen the same thing please let me know. If anyone has any questions I'm happy to answer but I don't think I've left anything relevant out." UT

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