The Grey Man’s Inn is a relaxing bar area of the Big Husky Lodge based on the legend of The Big Grey Man of MacDhui. Known locally for decades in Aviemore, it entered popular folklore when Professor Normal Collie reported his experiences of Fearlas Mor (as the Big Grey Man is known locally) while on a trip to New Zealand in 1889. He later repeated the story at a meeting of the Cairngorm Club in 1925:
“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.”
This amazing and creepy story from an otherwise sensible man brought credibility to the myth and many people since have told of their own experiences with the Big Grey Man. Affleck Grey later completed his book on the myth, exploring the stories and their possible reasons for occurring.
Although nobody has ever come face to face with The Big Grey Man – his persistence to put fear into the men who hear him continues, even although most agree that there is, in fact, no such thing. However, the story remains a strong legend in the area even today and perhaps may even become part of your own adventure as you enter the beautiful landscapes of the Cairngorms.