Posted on: September 8, 2015

At first glance this looks like a classic Urban Legend, and yet this very strange case had a profound effect on the witnesses, some of whom even moved from the area after an encounter with him.  For three years, from 1976 – 1979, the Crosshill area of Glasgow, Scotland, was haunted by a strange and deeply unsettling character.  He was nicknamed The Gurning Man, for the grotesque grin which was usually plastered all over his face.

All of the witnesses were women, and all the sightings took place at night, between the hours of 9:00 PM and 4:00 AM.  There were 17 sightings in total, 11 of which took place in the street, but – even more terrifyingly – six occurred indoors.  One such occurrence happened to a middle-aged woman, who lived in her semi-detached house with her husband and two children.  One night, with her husband sleeping beside her, she woke up to hear a strange snorting noise coming from the foot of the bed.  Unfortunately it wasn’t down to her husband’s snoring.  She said she saw a very odd-looking man, who was grinning maniacally, and rubbing his chest.  The woman screamed, instantly waking up her husband, who slammed on the light.  The figure was gone.

Soon after this occurrence, two teenage girls were walking home from a party on a moonlit night.  They were very near the home of the original witness, when they said they saw the peculiar man standing underneath a streetlight.  They described him as aged somewhere in his late 50s, completely bald, of a very thin build, and wearing a black leotard.  The girls hurriedly walked past him.  He grinned at them in a bizarre, contorted fashion.  When they glanced back to see if he was following them, they said he had completely disappeared.

One elderly lady spotted him when she was putting out her milk-bottles.  He was standing in the middle of the road, jogging on the spot.  He vanished as she watched.

The fact that he appeared and disappeared so easily, and could be seen inside private houses, certainly suggests more than a hoax, or an eccentric local character, and in fact he’s often referred to as a ghost.  And yet why did he only appear for those  years, why only at night, and why only to women?  There is surprisingly little information about this character Online (apart from an excellent piece by British Paranormal).  He doesn’t even seem to get a mention on paranormal chat forums.

Truly strange.

ADDENDUM 11/10/2015 Richard below has commented on the similarities between this case and that of the Grinning Man (aka as the Smiling Man) case from the United States.  The Grinning Man was first mentioned by Mothman investigator John Keel.  This disturbing apparition was first sighted in Elizabeth, New Jersey in October 1966.  He was described as being very tall, over 6ft in height, with a completely bald head, and black, beady eyes.  He was particularly noticeable for the hideous grin which was plastered over his face.  Many at the time speculated if this unsettling person had some connection with a UFO, which had been spotted by a police officer and his wife 40 miles to the north of Elizabeth.  A bright white light was said to have nearly hit a television tower before taking off at a leisurely pace over the hills.


1 Response to "THE GURNING MAN"


Have you read about the Grinning Man accounts which took place in America during the time of the infamous Mothman sightings?

They sound very similar.

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