The Ice man

When I was about 15 or 16 I was doing my Duke of Edinburgh award, which involves camping and orienteering.

We pitched our tents in a low valley in the mountains. It was at the foot of Slieve Donnard, in Northern Ireland, me and my friend carelessly made our guide ropes super long.

We made them so long everyone was tripping over them in the day light. But the tent was up and we couldn’t be bothered to fix it.

I woke in the night to footsteps and heard someone brush against out tent.

I didn’t think much of it, assuming one of the boys was taking a leak, and tried to get back to sleep.

The next morning, as the aroma of sizzling bacon was filling the air, I asked who bumped our tent last night. Everyone denied it.

But someone walked round our tent.

A few other people heard the same thing and the two class clowns or jokers in the group said “we were fast asleep, we didn’t hear a thing.”

I thought they would have at least joined in with the “I heard it! I heard something!” Trying to freak us out.

One of the more sensible guys in our group said: “Someone walked around my tent….but I noticed they didn’t have a light.”

One of our teachers who was pitched further away admitted hearing footsteps too.

Our Duke of Ed facilitator finally said….you’re not the first group to hear those footsteps you know.

We all turned round, perplexed now.

He asked us had we seen the ice house further down the valley…( This was built to persevere Ice for food storage before electricity)….yes we all had seen it.

Did you read the plaque on it?

I hadn’t noticed it. No one seemed to.

But my buddy Andrew spoke up “Yeah for the man who died in it.”

The facilitator nodded.

I laughed it off and headed back to my tent to get my mug for a hot cup of tea….and tripped over the guide ropes. It suddenly struck me…how did the person who walked around our tent so close he could touch, not trip over the guide ropes.

Edit: Grammar and added location if anyone would like to look up the Slieve Donnard ice house.

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