Man creeped out in ‘UK’s spookiest stay’ by gruesome tales and ‘strange’ noises

A man who braved a stay in the UK's 'spookiest bothy' said to be haunted has revealed he won't be "rushing back" after hearing "strange" noises throughout the night.

Ben Alder Cottage is a former homestead in the centre of Scotland perched on the edge of Loch Ericht to the west of Cairngorms National park. The small house is scarily remote, with fearless visitors forced to endure an eight-and-a-half-mile hike with two river crossings just to get there.

It's become somewhat of a challenge for those fascinated by the paranormal and strange stays to spend the night at the cottage. But, if the cold doesn't make you wish you'd stayed at a hotel then the terrifying spirits that supposedly occupy the place might.

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One legend suggests the cottage is haunted by its original resident, a ghillie – that's a man on a hunting or fishing expedition – called McCook, who tragically hanged himself off the back of the front door.

A second gruesome story claims that a woman and her infant once sought refuge in the cottage for several days during a storm. Driven mad with hunger the tale claims she killed and ate her child and was then seen passing through the moorland "wild-eyed with despair that no one dared cross her path" to eventually become "lost in the morasses of the place".

Ahead of Halloween, outdoor brand Columbia challenged one brave outdoor content creator and The Hike Society ambassador, Chris Knight to go alone into the wild and take on what’s known as the UK’s most haunted bothy.

Describing the trip, Chris said: "Ben Alder is renowned as being the haunted bothy, and having done plenty of research on the bothy’s chilling past I had already started to creep myself out before I had even set foot in the place. The isolated nature of the bothy’s location would be enough to put most people off, its sat in the shadow of a 1,147m mountain and is 14km from the nearest road.

"There’s no phone signal and you have to trek across wild moorland to reach it. After leaving my car, I didn’t see or hear a single soul for the 30 hours I was off-grid. As with most bothies, it lacks basic amenities, it has no running water, electricity, or a toilet.

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“It also only had three small windows, so it was pretty much dark even during the day. The only light comes from a torch or a lit flame.

"The solitude also means you become sensitive to every creek, howl, and rustle that’s through the night. Despite sleeping with earplugs in, I could still hear strange unexplained noises, which I definitely didn’t want to go investigate. Whatever it was, one thing’s for sure, I won’t be rushing back in a hurry."

He's not the only visitor to have been left feeling unnerved by the experience. Hikers have recounted stories of unexplained footsteps and groans, old-fashioned music playing in one of the unoccupied rooms. One even claims they witnessed a packet of biscuits being flung from the mantelpiece across the room.

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