It was a quiet night at the Foulford Inn on the night of the 9th of October 1926. Outside it was blowing a gale, two men stood at the bar, grateful to be inside, where it was warm and dry.
Elizabeth Gorrie, the 24-year-old daughter of the owners of the inn, was sitting in the parlour when she thought she heard some shouting outside, She was sure someone was shouting “hey” this happened three times. Elizabeth went into the bar and told her mother, they ran out to see a horse-drawn delivery van standing directly in front of the inn. Slumped in front was 63-year-old Alexander Chalmers from 7 West High Street Crieff.
Chalmers worked for D & J McEwen in Crieff and would travel up the Sma’ Glen and along Glenquaich acting as a mobile grocers shop. Although severely injured and rambling when pulled out of his van at the Foulford Inn on the night of the 9th of October. He Stated he had been to a dance when he had not, he also said two or three times that had been attacked, he was not so incoherent as to not know the name of the owner of the Inn calling him John and asking for his horse to be taken care off. The two lamps were found, one lying at the side of the road, the other 500 yards away on the way to Buchanty, a route the delivery van had not taken.
Was the death of Alexander Chalmers due to a supernatural occurrence, was he attacked by a “Mist Man”. The Dundee Evening Telegraph dated on the 16th of May 1927, some seven months after the death of Chalmers tells a strange story. Under the heading “The Mist-Man in the Sma’ Glen” the writer tells of an eerie experience he and his friend witnessed in the Glen. The two men who were cycling when they were caught up in a dense mist, one of them looked around and saw quite clearly a tall man wearing a long overcoat walking over the moor about 50 yards away. The man leaving his bike ran towards the stranger who had disappeared behind a small hillock. When the cyclist rounded the mound there was no sign of the strange man, there was nowhere he could have hidden no trees or buildings just bleak, desolate moorland. He could see clearly for 200 yards in every direction. The man in the long coat had just vanished into thin air. It was no trick of the light or figment of the imagination as both the cyclists had seen the stranger. In an atmosphere of increasing menace, both cyclists mounted their bikes and “lost no time in getting away”.
Whatever happened to Alexander Chalmers be it an accident or something more sinister in the Sma’ Glen one stormy night in 1926 will remain a mystery.