SO far this year, there have been eight sightings of the Loch Ness monster. Some people have claimed they’ve seen it with their own eyes while standing on the banks of the loch while have saw it while watching a livestream on their computers.

You may or may not believe in the mysterious creature but, even if you don’t, I’m sure you can agree that it’s fun to speculate.

It’s got me thinking about other ‘cryptids’. Creatures that have never been recognised by scientists, only ever glimpsed by handfuls of people or spoken of through stories and folklore that have been passed down for centuries. The likes of Nessie, Bigfoot, the Chupacabra etc have always fascinated me since I was a wee guy. I’d scare myself with books from the library detailing their supposed appearances and convince myself that I’d see them all if I looked out my bedroom window.

I believe there are some other cryptids cutting about Glasgow. In order to catalogue and describe them, I spent some time with a so-called ‘monster hunter’ and he took me around the city, telling me stories and showing me where they had been sighted.

Our first port of call was Hogganfield Loch. I assumed there was some kind of Nessie-esque creature here but my guide informed that wasn’t what we were looking for. ‘The island in the middle there, pal,’ he said. ‘Once it’s dark enough, you’ll be able to see them.’ ‘See wit?’ I enquired. ‘Just you wait,’ he said. We sat on a bench looking out over the still loch as the moon hung high heavy above us. The last of the joggers and dog walkers left the park and soon an eerie silence fell over the place. We sat for what felt like an eternity before my guide suddenly said, ‘Listen.’ I could hear rustling coming from the trees on the wee island. ‘Just birds, surely?’ I said. He shone his torch into the darkness and dozens of sets of glowing red eyes appeared, staring back at us.

‘Wit’s that?’ I asked, quietly terrified. ‘The beasts of the Huggy,’ he said. ‘They’re like wee monkeys, but carnivorous. Nocturnal apex predators. The government found them after Glasgow Zoo shut doon, hanging aboot the dilapidated buildings and swinging aboot Baillieston at night. They confined them to here where they cannae dae any harm. Nobody knows where they came fae originally though. It’s a mystery.’ ‘How have I never heard aboot these hings?’ I asked. ‘Or never seen them before? I’ve been coming here fur years.’ ‘They don’t want ye tae know, pal,’ he said. I assumed by ‘they’ he meant the government, or maybe it was the evil death monkeys themselves, who knows.

‘Anyway, pal,’ he said, getting to his feet. ‘More creatures to find, let’s go.’ We left the Huggy in his van and headed to our next location. Soon enough, we were parked at the Four Corners in the city centre.

The toon was dead, it being the early hours of a Monday morning. ‘What kind of thing is supposed to be here?’ I asked. ‘Well, this is a funny wan,’ he said. ‘It’s no so much a cryptid, probably more of a ghost. But no one knows fur sure. Take this,’ he handed me an unopened can of Monster energy drink and got out the van, I followed him. There wasn’t a soul around but we were bathed in fluorescent lights from the neon shop signs and street lights. ‘Open the can,’ he said to me. ‘And place it on the ground there.’ I did as I was told and left the open can next to the bin outside the McDonald’s. My guide started gently pulling me back and held a finger to his lips.

We didn’t have to wait long. A long tendril of what looked like black smoke came up from a drain next to the can. It began to coalesce into the shape of a person. A goth to be precise. Long, lank hair, bad posture, all dressed in black. I went to take a picture but as soon the flash on my phone went off it disappeared. ‘Wit did ye dae that fur?!’ my guide was indignant. ‘Och,’ I said, ‘it’s no even showed up in the picture.’ My guide then explained that these things were not meant to be photographed under any circumstances. It was bad luck.

‘You shouldn’t have done that, wee man,’ he said. ‘I really hope fur your sake that you’ve no angered the Ghost of the Four Corners.’ ‘Wit next?’ I said, sceptical that a ghost goth could really cause me any grief.

‘We’re calling it a night,’ he said. ‘I was gonnae take ye tae find the Scary Guy of Airdrie but you’ve ruined it noo. Ye cannae be trusted.’ ‘Aw c’moan, mate,’ I pleaded.

‘Naw,’ he said, ‘ye had yer chance. Noo beat it, before ye cause me any mair hassle.’ Deflated, I had to try and get a taxi home. A more elusive thing than any cryptid at the moment in Glasgow.