Nathan Watts studied biochemistry at Edinburgh University. At the time of the incident, he was out celebrating Michael Macauley's acceptance to study Earth Sciences at a pub called The Albannach on the Royal Mile, leaving shortly after midnight after being ill. He headed home via Old Fishmarket Close but took a fall about halfway down.
Rattled, he rolled a cigarette to calm himself, when he heard a voice asking, "Can I have a cigarette?" He looked around and saw a figure in the alleyway on the opposite side of the street. The alleyway was narrow and unlit, with a short staircase leading up.
The figure seemed to sway and Nathan assumed they were also a little intoxicated. He proffered the cigarette without coming closer, but the stranger did not move and asked the question again. They had a blank expressionless face, and their skin was damp and slightly sunken 'like they had a bad fever'. Nathan was suddenly reminded of an anglerfish and how it dangles its lure into the darkness. When the figure once again asked "Can I have a cigarette?", Nathan noticed that the figure's mouth had been closed the entire time and that its feet weren't quite touching the ground. Nathan scrambled for his phone, but as he shone his torch, all he saw was the figure folding from the waist into darkness. Nathan took a taxi home.
The next day, Nathan returned to the scene, finding nothing but an unsmoked Marlboro Red cigarette. A few days later he discovered that John Fellows, another student who had been at the party, had gone missing and that John's missing person photo showed a pack of Marlboro Red cigarettes were sticking out of his pocket.
Post-Statement Follow-Up Edit
Sasha looked into police reports and found that between 2005 and 2010 there had been 6 disappearances in the area: Jessica McEwan (Nov '05), Sarah Baldwin (Aug '06), Daniel Rawlings (Dec '06), Ashley Dobson (May '08), Meghan Shaw (June '08), and lastly John Fellows (March '10). Sarah Baldwin and Megan Shaw were confirmed smokers but it was unclear whether the others smoked, or whether the disappearances were at all related to the case.
Strangely, shortly before her disappearance Ashley Dobson sent a photo to her sister with the caption of "Check out this drunk creeper lol." The photo matched the alleyway Nathan mentioned in his statement, except it was empty. Sasha did some work on the photo and by increasing the contrast was able to make out the faint outline of a long, thin hand at roughly waist-height which looked as though it was beckoning.