The Angry Corrie 12: Apr-May 1993
Spooky Stories No. 1
The early seventies. A clear, cold night. Carl and his pal, both sober, are making a hash of hitching from Glasgow to Callander. Midnight sees them stranded outside Stirling, near the TA barracks, looking for a doss. Carl sees him first, and will later admit he thought there was something indefinably "odd" about him. He's odd-looking anyway, with his bagpipes under his arm and his kilt, but there's something more, something strange. Perhaps it's his earnestness: after midnight, on a lonely road, meeting two wayfarers, he doesn't bother passing the time of night or anything, instead demanding 'Either of youse seen my caravan?"
'Er no' says Carl, puzzled, and then he's gone, briskly walking past them down the road toward Stirling. But Carl still has this sense of something awry, so, seconds later, spins round to watch him go. And there's nobody there. An empty road, no trees, no hidden lanes, nothing. Gone. But these things don't happen in real life, Carl and his pal say to each other ... do they? There must be a tree, or a lane, something... But there are more pressing needs. It's getting colder by the minute and there are surely going to be no more lifts the night, so they walk a little further, find an old unlocked outhouse, doss down for the night. A fine sleep: no bumps, no ghouls, zzzzz. Come morning they set out again, only soon to be hailed and called in for a cuppa by a local farmer. They've half-forgotten the incident, but when their host asks if the road had been quiet, they remember it again and tell their story. This brings a smile of recognition. "oh, him", the farmer says, pouring another cup, "he was killed on this road five years back, on his way to a wedding in Callander. Hence the kilt and the pipes. And he was towing a caravan. Folk round here often see him wandering around lost like that. But you're the first I've ever heard tell of him speaking..."