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I spend a fair bit of time on the gorgeous Isle of Skye, not only because the stunning scenery and the peacefulness provide a great writing environment but also because of the sheer level of supernatural lore. It really is everywhere; this can come as something of a surprise as the western parts of the Highlands are still a stronghold of Christianity. I have experienced my fair share or weirdness here for certain but one that sticks in my mind was my encounter with ‘the ghost car’.
The summer nights here are short and not very dark but dark enough to need headlights. I was pootling down the A87 between Portree and Broadford on a deserted late night road. If you know this stretch f road you’ll know that it runs through some pretty remote and spectacular country. The road undulates and twists through the scenery glimpses of it can be seen ahead and behind. In the Highlands it’s usual practice to pull over to allow faster traffic to overtake you. Well, lights appeared a couple of undulations away and seemed to grow closer.
Minutes passed, I went by no pull-ins or side roads, the lights were now a single undulation away. I looked ahead, checked the mirror again, lights getting closer. I pulled over on to the verge, I detest bright lights in the mirrors, they give me a headache, and waited for the vehicle to pass. I waited and waited. An unreasonably long time.
A prickle of concern hit me, what if the vehicle had come off the road, it might be hours before someone found it. I’d better go and check. I turned and retraced my journey until I was well past the last spot I had seen the lights. I turned again and slowly scoured the open moorland. Nothing. Not a sausage. I didn’t know of the ghost car then, didn’t know of the numerous sightings over the years. I do now!