The 13th Floor

Who is the Catman of Greenock?

In the small fishing town of Greenock, Scotland there’s an urban legend about a man living among the rats in sewers. Legend says the man travels underneath the city in secret tunnels, and he only comes out at night. Often appearing in dark alleyways, the man has reflective, glowing eyes, and an appetite for giant rats. His appearance and behavior gave him the nickname “The Catman” and the story of his existence carried on through the town, growing like a game of telephone.

The story has changed and had many variations over time. A popular theory was that the Catman was a Russian sailor who got stranded in Scotland in the 70s. Without any money or family, the Catman was forced to live on the streets. He fed on rats because it was the only thing he could catch to eat.

Another version of the story was that the Catman was a mentally disabled man who escaped from a mental hospital. He crawled and lived in the forest and sewers of Greenock to avoid going back to the madhouse.

Then there was the story that the Catman was simply a man badly beaten by the mob. His legs were severely injured in the attack, and so he crawled everywhere to get around. He lived on the streets of the town to avoid being found.

While there are many stories about the Catman, there was never any proof of his existence. Aside from personal accounts from various townspeople claiming to have actually met the Catman, the Catman had remained incognito in the darkness. People in town thought it was just a scary story passed down to spook locals, while others thought he was very real. No one knew if he was a monster living in their town—or if he was simply a man.

Then, in 2007 a video of the Catman surfaced online. The video, taken on a cell phone, shows a man covered in black dirt all over his face and hands. He is lying on his belly, and he has a massive rat in his mouth. He gives a “thumbs up” to the camera, and continues happily eating his rat.

The video proved that the Catman wasn’t a monster at all; the Catman was a man.

The Catman sighting was passed around online, shocking people in the town. Was this finally be proof of the legend? Was it real, or was it a hoax?

Mental health workers reportedly went out looking for the Catman after they saw the video. Surely, the man was just someone with mental issues who needed help. But, they never could find him.

Photos of the Catman have since appeared online. There’s a photo of a young girl posing next to the man with the glowing eyes, and another photo shows the Catman next to a trey of food and water someone gave him.

Whether the Catman seen in pictures and video is the actual Catman, or just a man trying to play the part, his story continues. He has become a tourist attraction—a sideshow act—for locals, and a campfire tale to warn people from staying out too late.

Do you think the Catman is real? Watch the video below and decide for yourself.

*Header image: You Tube

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