The shocked owners of a holiday home phoned police after discovering 34 men at their remote property.
The couple got an even bigger shock when they arrived at the house in Glen Etive to find a sword on a bed and an axe and 10 tents in the garden of the Airbnb property.
Martin and Sheri Murphy, from Kinlochleven, Argyll, were put on alert on Thursday when a local resident called to tell them there were at least 10 cars in the driveway.
Sheri, who had taken an Airbnb booking for the house, which sleeps eight, said: “As soon as we drove over the bridge my heart sank because I could see all these cars in the drive.
“We went in the side gate because we didn’t know what was going to happen and saw 10 tents in the garden. It was unbelievable, such a shock.”
The men were nowhere to be seen.
Sheri, 55, said: “Then the keeper, who lives down the glen, appeared.
“He said, ‘I hate to tell you this but there are 30 to 40 of them.’ He had seen them praying on the beach. There was a big axe on a table outside.
“They had taken my furniture into the garden, there was a bench from the kitchen there and cushions from the sofa.
“We had a look through the windows and Martin said there was a big long sword on the bed.
“The furniture in the lounge was all piled up, they had taken the mirrors off the walls and there was a big axe on the table outside. They had brought a tannoy system.
“We called the police and when they arrived the people still weren’t back. The police asked if we wanted them to deal with it and we said we would, it wouldn’t get out of hand.”
Sheri had taken a booking for seven men to stay in the house and thinks the sword may have been meant for a religious ceremony.
She said: “They had asked what size the rooms were and had said when they booked that they would be praying, so you would think it would be calm.
“I took the names and addresses of the seven men for the track and trace system, and most came from Manchester, where they have the virus.”
By Friday, 27 male friends had joined the group and put up tents for extra sleeping space in the garden. Sheri said they did not clear up properly despite taking three hours to leave when asked by police.
She added: “They left clothes and shoes and the tents in the garden, the place was left in an absolute shambles.
“Some of them were staying in the tents but they were going inside to use the bathroom so they were touching the surfaces.
“I am just glad we caught them within hours. The house was untidy but there was no damage, apart from outside. where they had lit two fires and burnt the grass and where they had put the tents up.”
A police spokesperson said: “We received a report of a large group who were refusing to leave a property in Glen Etive.
“Officers attended, spoke to those involved and the group were dispersed.”