Hidden in the Brush

By Tyler

So, around April or May of this year, (2016), my girlfriend and I went on a camping trip. Being from Michigan places to camp are extremely plentiful, but who really want to go to a camp site and deal with other people? We decided the place for us to go is in the Manistee National Forest. It’s a massive area of woodland hills, one of the prettiest places I have ever been.

Anyways, were driving around the forest, and I pull into a small clearing off a dirt road. We scout around and decide to keep looking for other areas we can camp out, keeping that area locked in our minds so we can stay there if we don’t find a better spot. We drive maybe a mile away and turn down an overgrown trail. My car was barely high to not scrape along the ground, mind you I drive an 01 ford taurus.

About 200 yards in we see a little clearing and decide that’s where we want to camp out. We set everything up, gather firewood and go for a stroll through the woods.

About 50 yards away from camp there’s a a nice sized hole dug into a little ledge off of a trail. I wasn’t sure what it was but it was deep maybe a fox den I thought. We continue walking around without straying too far from camp just taking in the beauty of nature. As the sun starts to set we head to camp and I get a fire pit dug out and start a fire.

As were sitting there talking and making some lunch we hear a very loud truck down the original trail we veered off of, but it stops and idles at what sounds like it’d be turnoff. We couldn’t see it with the curve of the road, but I think they’d be able to see my car from there since I just parked off the path across from our camp. The truck drives off quickly and we continue with our day without incident. But at night things got strange.

As we slept I woke up to the tent violently shaking, I thought nothing of it since we had just had a small storm. As I fell asleep I was awoken with the urge to pee, I wake up my girlfriend and let her know that I’m stepping outside. I grab my flashlight, more like spotlight and head out. The feeling of eyes on me was everywhere. I shone the light all around and didn’t see anything so I chalked it up to paranoia since all I do is listen to these narrations.

I do my business and head back in, and I hear it. It’s a very gutteral cooing. Almost like an owl mixed with a dog. It was drawn out and happened overtime few seconds, lasting for about 3 seconds each.

I listed there listening and it sounded as if it was right behind the tent. I grabbed my knife and woke up my girlfriend so she could hear it too. In her sleepy haze she chalked it up as an owl, but I’m from the backwoods and I know just about every animal sound that would be in Michigan.

It was nothing I’ve ever heard. After a couple of minutes it started to fade away, I could hear no steps but it just faded farther and farther away. No footsteps, nothing. Just that sounds getting quieter.

Might I add that behind the tent was just tall grass just under knee high. So there wasn’t anything sitting in a tree, and when I looked around with the flashlight there wasn’t even any Eyeshine. But it sounded way too big to be smaller than the grass, which almost makes me think it was crouched behind the tent.

The next day I talked to her about it but she didn’t really remember so I let it go. We decided in one more walk before we leave. We were walking through the woods down this old trail, it’s deathly quiet. Thinking back the whole time we were out there was very quiet. Walking deeper and deeper the beautiful forest started to die. I don’t mean the trees started to fade, but there were looking dead. Some where ripped in half it seemed. We turned back shortly after walking through that and headed out.

I’m sorry it’s not much but it’s something that sits in my head. If anyone has any suggestions as to what that could have been I’d love to hear it. Thanks for reading.

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