Hikers in the Santa Lucia Mountains of California have reported the presence of “Dark Watchers” for centuries. Since the 1700s, long, featureless silhouettes have seen on the length of pedestrians, looking at them motionlessly on their journeys. Big Tune hikers describe their feelings as if they are watching, before they turn around and see a brief glimpse of a stranger that disappears shortly after seen.
The images cited as famous in a poem by Robinson Jeffers in 1937, as well as the following year on John Steinbeck’s short story Flight. In Steinbeck’s story, the protagonist kills one in a fight and escapes to the mountains. Before he left, his mother warned him, “When you reach a high mountain, if you see a man observing the darkness, do not go near them or try to talk to them.” Look and see, on the top of the hill “he saw a black figure for a moment; but he looked away quickly, for it was one of the dark surveillance.” In Jeffer’s poems, the figures are described almost as such, but not quite human:
“He thought it might be one of the surveillance, which is often seen within the length of this coastline, forms that look human to the human eye but certainly not human. The clothes, pale hair, even the forehead, and the concave line were recognizable from the eyes to the jaws, so as not to be surprised when the figure shows its own appearance, turning its face towards the quiet twilight.
It would be easy to refute the phenomenon as an old myth, if it were not for suspiciously similar reports around the world. In Scotland, at the summit of Ben McDougall, a similar picture has seen since 1891. The Scottish Gaelic of “M Bear Liath Mòr-” “Big Gray Man” has described in several dramatic battles over the centuries.
In the first recorded account, the poet James Hogg described it as “at least thirty feet high, proportional, and very close to me. I was actually overwhelmed by the shock and terror.” So, what adds to the similar story of the two horrible shadows hiding in the mountains? Of course, the third story of a horrible shadow hiding on the mountain.