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Hairy Hands

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There are perhaps as many different types of ghosts, ghouls and monsters as there are animals in the world - indeed to some they may well fit a similar role, extra-dimensional or extra-terrestrial visitors to our realm who come in incredible shapes and sizes.

Some we find easy to relate to, such as the vampires and zombies, monsters we have grown up with and visualize quickly in terms of how they look and act - they may frighten us but we can at least say we understand what motivates them.

The same can not be said for one of Scotland's most bizarre otherworldly visitors, the entity known only as "Hairy Hands" - said to be a pair of large, demonic hands covered in black hair, this monster is unique in adapting to the modern world, terrorizing humans in a manner few other specters have.

You see "Hairy Hands" manifests itself on remote stretches of road inside a car, grabbing the steering wheel with great force and trying to swerve the car off the road or into other traffic - in essence "Hairy Hands" is a malevolent being, one that truly delights in trying to harm or even kill those unfortunate enough to be "blessed" by its arrival.

No one is sure what triggers the "Hairy Hands" or why it targets cars. All that is known is that at any point in a remote stretch of road "Hairy Hands" could manifest and a fight for survival ensues - the "Hairy Hands" not content until the car of its choice is crashed in some manner and the victim(s) left injured, dead or severely shaken from their encounter.

Although most believe "Hairy Hands" to be a ghost of some description or negative energy that has somehow taken a limited life of its own, others who look deeper into preexisting folklore can see similarities to the "Hairy Hand" and tales of Will-o-The-Wisps, Goblins and Redcaps... vicious creatures that plagued travelers in lonely places, each one has traits that could be attributed to "Hairy Hands".

We start with the Will-o-The-Wisp. In days of old it was believed to be a ball of light that formed in marshes and led travelers to their doom - explained by science as swamp gas or other optical illusions, this entity shares the "Hairy Hands" habit of trying to do harm to travelers. However, since "Hairy Hands" tends to be more outright aggressive than misleading, this is the least likely culprit.

Thus we move to Goblins. These were considered to be ugly and mischievous fairies that, while quite social among themselves, held no love for humanity - prone to playing pranks and striking livestock with disease, they were also known to enter homes and tug at the hair of children, bite toes and generally cause havoc.

Goblins were also able to change shape at will, and like many fairies, were a mixture of pagan spirits of nature and the restless souls of the dead. They share the "Hairy Hands" more aggressive nature and perhaps the attempts to crash cars is a modern-day "prank" by mean-spirited Goblins.

The final possibility for a culprit found in local lore could be the Redcaps. These were especially malevolent goblins that wore iron-shoes and small axes as well as caps stained with fresh blood - if the blood on the cap ever dried then the Redcap would die, thus they would continually murder any who strayed near ruins or sites of battle, dipping their caps in the blood of their victim.

The "Hairy Hands" is also a seemingly murderous creature, perhaps it is the result of a starved Redcap clinging to existence by a margin - seeking new ways by which to spill human blood, though how successful it would be is highly debatable.

In the end all three culprits are but theories, the truth may well be stranger than we ever could imagine - the "Hairy Hands" is a mystery and one of Scotland's most fearsome specters: be it a ghost, goblin or other "creature of the night".

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