A man captured the moment he spotted a “ghostly figure” walking alongside him in the Lake District. Chris Randall, 45, was hiking when he spotted a Brocken spectre – a large shadow of an observer cast onto cloud or mist – out of the corner of his eye. Chris was camping alone on Red Pike near Wasdale Head in Cumbria when he saw the “ghostly” phenomenon.
A Brocken spectre also called Brocken bow or mountain spectre, is the magnified (and apparently enormous) shadow of an observer cast upon clouds or mist opposite the Sun’s direction.
The figure’s head is often surrounded by the halo-like rings of coloured light forming a glory, which appears opposite the Sun’s direction when uniformly-sized water droplets in clouds or mist refract and backscatter sunlight.
The phenomenon can appear on any misty mountainside or cloud bank, even when seen from an airplane, but the frequent fogs and low-altitude accessibility of the Brocken, a peak in the Harz Mountains in Germany, have created a local legend from which the phenomenon draws its name.The Brocken spectre was observed and described by Johann Silberschlag in 1780, and has since been recorded often in literature about the region.