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The Legend of the Bolghrog

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I am here today to talk about the scariest experience of my life. It all revolves around a Scottish legend known as the 'Bolghrog'. I'll tell you the legend and then I'll move on to my own personal experience. Whether it is well written or not is debatable, but this is my first attempt at writing this down; don't be too harsh.

'Legend has it that in the small, Scottish village of Drymen there once was a beautiful woman named Borgach, an oxymoron in a sense due to her harsh sounding name. She was fair and perfect in almost every physical sense, attracting wealthy suitors to act upon her every whim. Eventually, upon finding a man wealthy and handsome enough to please her, she married with the prospect of bearing many children. They had an initially happy marriage; she moved into his mansion outside of the village, staying at home whilst he worked. She felt empty and bored, having little to do once he had left. To fill that void she decided it would be best to have children right away. Eventually, Borgach became pregnant. She loved the feeling of having life nestled in her belly. Some of the best times of her life were spent being pregnant.

Life had gone absolutely swell for her up to this point. She felt invincible, as if nothing could take her on. Then, slowly she felt the life in her stomach shrivel and quell. Her body rejected the baby. Time after time her husband attempted to get her pregnant, and every time she fell pregnant she had a miscarriage. It was after the third miscarriage that she was rejected. Divorce soon followed and she was forcibly removed from his mansion, left to return to the village.

This was the first time such tragedy had befallen Borgach. She found it hard to face the public, her infertility a burden she could not shake. To help wane her negative mindset, she began to think that it was potentially her ex-husbands fault - perhaps it was his fault the babies miscarried. With this she found the confidence to pursue other men, and potentially have the family that had been robbed from her time and time again. Eventually she found someone else. By this time she had aged a bit and her looks were starting to deteriorate.

She decided to marry someone of a slightly quainter background, although they were still relatively wealthy. Again she moved in with him, but as they attempted to have children of their own she miscarried again. Her second husband (who had previously heard about her inability to have children but dismissed it as a rumour) then found her once again, undesirable and divorced her.

At this point Borgach was becoming older, and would soon be passing the point where she could no longer conceive children. She grew desperate for a family and thus married as quickly as she could. Her third and final husband was not a wealthy man, but could sustain a family. She didn't care for the lavish lifestyle at this point, she simply wanted children.

They tried and she fell pregnant once more. After passing the sixth month mark, they were certain that the baby would arrive in perfect condition. Borgach was at home when the baby was conceived. The baby eventually came, forcing hours of torment upon its mother. They came upon the realisation that Borgach had been carrying twins this entire time. With their arrival came sheer unadulterated sorrow. They were stillborn.

Borgach continued to cradle her dead children for two days, weeping until her eyes formed black rims around the sockets. She barked at her partner whenever he approached, forcing him to become a recluse. He committed suicide after days of emotional torment. At this point, something in Borgach finally snapped. She ran into the woods behind the village screaming, dragging the stillborn babies that were attached by umbilical cords behind her. It is said that she was cursed with infertility to counteract her vain nature, however she may have been infertile due to natural causes.'

That's the myth I investigated. Bare in mind that this version of the story is highly abbreviated so I may have left some details out. I'm not sure why I didn't choose to find evidence for the loch ness monster of something a bit more famous, but I heard there were sightings of an emaciated woman wandering around High Wood forest and the surrounding forests North of Drymen. I loved creepy stuff so I thought this would be perfect for my university project based on local myths. Drymen is a bit out in the styx in the sense that it has no train station, a form of transport I was heavily reliant on, although it wasn't too far from Glasgow.

I wouldn't exactly describe Glasgow as a safe haven though. Regardless, I got there via bus and stayed at a bed and breakfast for roughly four nights. Visiting Drymen was not just for my project; I wanted a bit of a holiday. I wasn't like any typical student; I didn't enjoy holidays involving masses of people raving and partying constantly. I liked quiet, secluded towns with a bit of history and culture. Drymen itself was intriguing; it had the old pubs mixed in with the more modern housing. The kind of thing you tend to see in an expanding village.

That night I visited the Clachan Pub, said to be one of the oldest in Scotland; it was a hotspot for local gossip. I met a couple of friendly locals who told me a bit more about the legends of Bolghrog, and more to the point, why it was called 'The Legend of Bolghrog' and not 'The Legend of Borgach'. According to them, Borgach was a Gaelic name. In Borgach's tear-filled stupor, she was unable to pronounce words properly and afterwards pronounced words in a more gutteral, animalistic screeching, leading to her pronunciation of her own name; Bolghrog.

Another key piece of information they told me that I had previously unheard of is what happened to Borgach after she had ran into the woods. It is said that after she had ran into the woods, a witch that had cursed her with infertility bound her spirit to the woods. The reasons behind the witches malicious curses were unknown, but it is speculated that her kin were persecuted by Borgach's noble family throughout the ages, and this was her final act of vengeance. The witches' intention was to end their bloodline and ensure Borgach would suffer torment for eternity.

After extracting some information we decided to share contact details and then called it a night, returning to the B & B to get some rest. It was relatively quiet that night up to a point. Drymen isn't a loud bustling city like Glasgow, it is rural. I had to admit, some of the details of the story left me slightly uneasy, but not as uneasy as some of the sounds I heard that night. I could have dismissed it as owls. Owls in particular create odd noises at night. Then again, it could have been a fox; foxes in particular create noises akin to an infant screaming.

However the voice I heard that night was semi-human; Jittery, almost like a high-pitched croak. It sounded like it longed for something, like it was missing something. I tried to record it but it was pretty faint and distant. My thoughts returned to the legend. Even though I found myths like this particularly fascinating and had a love for all things creepy, I normally didn't believe in any of it. I'm not saying at this stage I was convinced, however it did shake my lack of belief a little. Needless to say, I did find it hard to sleep that night, but I got there eventually.

The next day I did some typical 'touristy' stuff. I walked around the area, getting to grips with the local scenery and the layout of the village. I did some shopping and ate at a cafe. After that I rang a friend who didn't live too far from Drymen to come down and investigate the forest with me the next day. He seemed reluctant; being semi-local he knew some of the stories that surrounded the forests North of Dymen. He had also previously neglected to tell me that people have gone missing in High Wood in the past, although not recently. Regardless, I told him it would be a much safer venture if we both went together and that I'd owe him a massive favour. Despite his adverse reactions to the whole situation, he eventually agreed; I think this was also to do with the fact that I offered to pay any travel costs and get him a few beers at the pub that night.

I looked out from the window of my temporary bedroom. I could make out the faint outline of black trees rising above the horizon. Something unnerved me about them. I could see wild, erratic rustling in a particular set of trees. I couldn't really dismiss it as being the local wildlife this time, and it's not as if lumberjacks would be cutting down trees at 2:30 in the morning. I felt the forest almost beckoning me, seeking me to unravel the many mysteries that may lay in its wake. I wasn't exactly feeling courageous enough to investigate during the night though. Humans with that kind of confidence simply don't exist unless they are in large groups.

Even during the day, the notion of having just two people was unnerving. I found it a little harder to get to sleep that night. I'm not sure exactly why, as I hadn't seen anything particularly terrifying and I only had faint inklings as to what could potentially be in the forest. Would I be visited by the spirit of Borgach? At this stage I was a little more unsure, however my project was dependent on what we found within High Wood, so I wasn't prepared to give up just yet.

The next day I met up with my aforementioned friend Graham for some lunch. He detailed to me some of the disappearances that had occurred. One in particular was a man named James Velkner who was driving through the forest late at night. From the scene experts suggested that James had swerved to avoid something that was crossing the road, however no body was ever recovered. The windshield to the car had been left with a gaping hole centered in the middle, as well as minor traces of blood. It's as if something had grabbed James through the windshield and carried him off somewhere. Still not convinced, I told Graham that his story wasn't going to prevent the inevitable. I was going to that forest and he was coming with me, that was the end of it.

We readied our stuff, bringing a flashlight, a compass, some bottles of water, a notepad and a penknife, all neatly packed into a rucksack. Of course, we had our mobile phones too. We began our trek in an unconventional manner, crossing fields to get to our destination. I was pretty sure it was privately owned property, but it was probably safer to risk angering an old demented farmer than walking on twisting country roads that lacked any form of pavement. We set off at around 11:30 and it took us around 45 minutes to reach the edge of High Wood. It was a serene sight; for once Scotland had blessed us with some sunshine, although things looked a little darker and cooler under the shade of the trees. We marched onwards, intent on finding something relating to the Bolghrog mystery.

Drymen

The forests to the North of Drymen

By this time Graham was treating our walk as if it was a doddle; obviously the bright sunshine had improved his temperament, meaning he was able to ignore any niggling fears he had in the back of his mind. We rested for a moment on a fallen tree, plotting our route through the woods. Our route was to go North towards the top of High Wood, then to go West towards Garadhban Forest and all the way round to Balinjour wood. As we set off on our route, we noticed the deeper into the forest we got, the thicker the foliage became.

Eventually, it became too treacherous. Graham had practically sprained his ankle at one point, but he said he was okay to continue onwards. At one point we came across something which did manage to creep us out. Near the top of High Wood we found traces of a predatory attack. Foliage was strewn all over the area, where the foliage lacked laid a fox, embedded violently into the soil. The fox, which would seemingly be the apex predator of the immediate area, had had it's entrails viciously ripped from its' stomach and there were bite marks all over them. Blood from the fox splayed from its body, painting the trees in a brownish red colour. The massacre was relatively fresh. Graham didn't fair well upon this sight and began to vomit violently. The smell in particular was pungent; I'd prefer the smell of raw methane.

For a change of pace we departed West earlier than initially planned. I thought it would ease Graham's stomach a little bit to stay on the outskirts of the forest as he had become very anxious to leave back to Drymen. My business wasn't quite done yet though. We came to a clearing in Garadhban Forest. The foliage here seemed sparse and what little trees were around seemed rotten and leafless. The grass that lay before us was barren and pale. Suddenly, as we drew closer to a collection of dead trees, we heard a faint humming sound. The closer we got, the more raspy and wheezing it became. Graham, at this stage, was panicking slightly. He didn't want to get any where near the source of the sound, and to be honest I wasn't prepared to either. We marched forward, looking over our shoulders slightly as we headed towards the seemingly safe greenery.

At this point I didn't want to look back. I paced myself with the ever-quickening beats of my heart. Whatever those noises were, they had no place in a forest. They weren't natural. The more I reminisced about the humming, the more freakish and daunting it became. It was as if I was only just now realising how disturbingly strange the sounds were. It was a sub-human lull, similar to that of the noises I heard on one of the prior nights.

Never the less I reached the greenery, which was hopefully safer than being out in the open plains. I turned to face the dead trees, which were now in the distance. There was only one issue; Graham was missing. I can't count how many times I repeated the word 'fuck' in my head at this stage. My mind was only capable of producing monosyllabic utterances. I knew where Graham was. He must have been near those damn trees. The only other alternative is if he ran to the greenery on the other side of the clearing, but last time I checked Graham was right behind me.

I repeatedly yelled his name in the hopes that he would suddenly prop up from the brush as a meerkat would. Even meerkat imagery could not lighten my mood at this stage though. I had lost a friend, and if he was in trouble it was my fault. I needed to find him. I couldn't leave him behind when it was my fault he was in this predicament in the first place.

The first thing I did was ring his phone in the hopes that it would uncover his position if he was trying to fool me. I heard the ring tone echo off of the rotten bark. At this stage I knew he was over there. I paced towards the trees with a mentality of 'get in, get out, no harm done'. To my surprise when I drew closer to the rotten bark posts, the humming, wheezing and gasping had stopped. It was dead as soon as I got close. I couldn't hear any birds, any sheep or cows in the distance. The quiet was like razorblades searing my eardrums. I couldn't stand how eerily quiet it was.

I peered round several trees, looking intensely for Graham whilst shouting his name. Unsurprisingly there was no response. There appeared to be one tree in particular that was larger than the others. Something about the tree seemed curious. It didn't have many branches and the top of it extended outwards with jagged bark jutting out of it as if it had exploded from the inside. Upon closer inspection I noticed the tree was actually hollow with small holes in it. I peered through one, only to see a vibrating dark patch of what looked like flesh. I removed my eye from the hole, focusing on putting my ear next to it.

As my ear drew closer to the hole, I could hear slurping sounds. The kind of sounds you would imagine sludge in a sewer would make. I returned my eye to the hole, noticing this time that I could see the empty innards of the tree, I turned my back to it only to receive a sharp blow to the back of my head. My adrenaline kicked in, and as I lumbered forwards in an attempt to reject the pain, I noticed my steps were disjointed, shallow and off balance. I could feel blood slowly trickle down my forehead. Slowly, my mind began to disconnect from my body and I began to lose consciousness. I stumbled towards a thick bush before I passed out, in the hopes that I would be less visible to anything that could be out to get me.

My head pounded and trembled with a seething migraine. I couldn't see properly. At first I thought this was due to the fact that I had been hit so hard in the back of the head, but then I realised; it was night. I couldn't see clearly at all, so as I fumbled around in my rucksack I felt for my flashlight. It flickered in the night, producing the only source of light within the immediate vicinity. I was scared to use it in a sense; whatever hit me would be able to see me a lot clearer with my flashlight beaming through the pitch black. Unfortunately it was the only method I could use to progress through the forest. I was concerned for Graham. Surely if he had been safe he would have found me and woken me up.

I decided the safest method of travel was to progress East back towards Highwood and stay at the side of the roads. That was the only clear route at this point which also led to the prospect of flagging down a car for help. At this point I wasn't entirely sure whether to ring any emergency services, but upon checking my phone it appeared the touch-screen had become practically unusable upon being under the harsh thud of my body's weight.

I stumbled through the winding roads, listening to every rustle and snap around me. The further and faster I went, the more crazed and violent the rustling became. I couldn't see anything shaking either side of me so I progressed onwards, albeit cautiously. At this point the road became slightly overgrown and wasn't well maintained. This is where the horrific noises started. As the trees above me grew tighter and tighter together, the lustful, almost sexual noises started. They were comparable to that of an ape displaying excitement, only grottier and more alien. The low bass sound permeated through the forest. I grew deeply frightened.

The worst thing was that no matter how much I looked up and truly concentrated on what was above me, I couldn't see anything unusual apart from the hefty branches of trees moving. If something was chasing me, it was leaping from branch to branch faster than I could point my flashlight. I walked over towards the centre of the road, fearing I may be in more danger clinging close to the trees. Suddenly my flashlight started to buzz on and off strangely, flickering wildly within the vast network of trees. It was then I felt something slither behind me. I shot forward, fearing something was finally confronting me after a long pursuit. My flashlight turned on briefly, allowing me to catch a glimpse. What I saw will haunt me for the rest of my days.

Suspended on a fleshy rope was a jellified abomination. It's features were that of a naked human, but rounded and with a thick blood coloured slime coating it. The face was disgruntled, deformed and displayed an unfathomable amount of pain and discomfort. I recognised this face to be Grahams. The Fleshy rope had placed a firm grip on his neck, and seemed to lead into his mouth and deep into his throat. I wondered what was on the other end of it.

I had never seen anything of this nature in my life, but that still didn't make me happy that my flashlight decided to turn off. With that, I believe Graham hit the floor leading to a disgusting squelch. I couldn't see it happen, but the sound was horrific and his entrails ended up all over my jacket so it didn't take much of an imagination to know what had happened. A low pitched humming projected from above me; I could almost swear I could hear the repeated word 'babies' spouting from the mouth of some sort of hellish demon.

I ran, my flashlight flickering in the process. I could hear something bounding above me in great, freakish leaps and strides. I'd point my light upwards every now and then when I had to slow down, catching glimpses of an elongated, pale figure that melded well into the backdrop of the trees. It leapt unnaturally, its bones cracking and creaking in tune with the branches. An orchestra of terror played above me. I could almost hear the out of tune violins screeching my painful demise. That's when I made the typical horror movie mistake. I tripped.

As I looked forward, my adrenaline masking the pain, I saw a light emanating from behind me. As I turned backwards, I caught a glimpse of the face on the thing. It was gaunt and pale, with cracked skin and dry, black eye sockets. It had mouldy, rotten hair flayed all over its head in patches. It's mouth extended from one side of its face to the other, smiling at me as it ingrained itself forcefully into my already traumatised mind. It lacked lips, exposing its black gums. The light from behind it grew, suddenly leading to a sharp beep. The creature removed itself from my sight, bounding over the car whilst denting the metal with its surprising weight.

I used all my strength to cock my head towards a figure that slowly grew from the car door. It extended a hand to me, leading me into the safety and comfort of a moving vehicle. His name was Robert, a trucker returning home after a late-night finish. I asked him what he saw when he drew close to my semi-conscious body. He said from a distance it looked like a pregnant woman was hunched over me, but as he drew closer the figure became distorted and strange.

It writhed violently above me, as if in animalistic anticipation. As he closed the distance it turned, revealing all of its horrific features. He said what was most notable was its stomach. Whilst most of the creature was emaciated, the stomach was bulbous and a large slit went across the bottom of it horizontally. What looked like an umbilical cord extended from the slit in an erect fashion.

He took me back to Drymen, where I visited the local police station to report Grahams disappearance. I don't know if they'd have believed me if I told them a creature had been stalking us. They stated that disappearances had been happening within the woods north of Drymen for a long time; for over centuries in fact. They also mentioned that unidentifiable jellified husks had been found within the woods previously, but failed to mention what they were composed of. They asked me questions about Graham, about what I was doing in the forest and why I had dried blood on my jacket. I explained it was from one of those husks they had mentioned. I couldn't tell them Graham was the meaty husk. I went back to the B & B that night and took a shower, but stayed awake wide-eyed and unable to get to sleep, despite how tired I was.

I kept seeing that things fingers clawing at the windows, its face peering through every reflective surface around me. I couldn't tell whether it was my imagination or whether it had returned to torment me. Regardless, my condolences to Graham, who was a decent bloke. I still feel guilty as well as somewhat responsible for what have happened, but I know he wouldn't want me to feel that way. I can't say whether that was truly the Bolghrog I encountered earlier that night, but it has stopped me from seeking out urban legends.

The police scoured the forest for any traces of Graham, but found nothing. I am now a prime suspect in his disappearance. I don't blame them for thinking this way. I did arrive at the police station with dried blood on my jacket. There has never been a time where I was more worried in my life. The evidence stacks against me. The last thing I can tell you /x/ is that you have to be careful how deeply you indulge into your curiosities. I can't tell you what to do but I can at least advise you to an extent. There are still many mysteries in this world; don't go underestimating a single one. Because of my lack of an open mind I lost a friend. I'll ensure it doesn't happen again.

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