Back in the early 1900’s two young men were climbing on the flat rocks of the Morage beyond where the Bothy is today. In that area there is a narrow fissure with a forty foot drop to sea level. One of the men fell down this fissure and ended up being trapped near the base. His colleague went off to the nearby village of Portlethen to summon some help but when the rescue party arrived the faller could not be seen. A villager was lowered down to explore the fissure but the victim had disappeared without trace and was never seen again. No body was ever found.
This incident happened during a spring tide and legend has it that since that day, during the hours of darkness and when a spring tide is running, the victim’s distant cries for help can still occasionally be heard in this area today.
Okay, okay, I’m making this up as I go along and I don’t really know the origins of the name “Dead Man’s Hole” however if you are an Angler doing a spot of evening fishing from the nearby Ships Stern this story might make you think twice when you hear some noises in the night – was that a Herring Gull calling or was it something slightly more sinister? And why is this fissure called the “Dead Man’s Hole” in the first place, maybe my little tale isn’t so far away from the truth?
The Dead Man’s Hole can be found about two thirds of the way into Black Slough on the south side. One picture here shows the “crack” in the cliff walls from the angle of the sea and this crack runs for a distance of around thirty yards south before petering out. The other picture shows one of the views of the Dead Man's hole from the "surface".