My father and I have been hiking for years in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolin and Tennessee, but one incident has caused us to never be out after dark in those mountains again. We went on a fishing trip in what is one of the most remote areas of the park, the upper Raven Fork of the Oconulufltee River above Cherokee North Carolina. The trip went to plan until we couldn’t find the unmarked trail to where we were fishing, so we took off through the ivy, mountain slang for mountain laurel, and it was so thick we were walking sometimes ten feet off the ground. After an hour of this, we finally emerged onto the river bank. We went up the stream, fishing along the way, and finally reached what is called Three Forks, where we spent an hour or two fishing and having lunch. At two o’ clock, we left the three forks and made our way up the right fork of the stream instead of going back through the ivy, bad idea. An hour in, and we hadn’t travelled a quarter of a mile. We encountered a bear cub and her mother along the way, but that was only the beginning. We ran upon a cave beside the stream and decided to take a break inside its rather deep mouth. From up stream from us we heard a raven’s screech, but it was wrong, so wrong. It almost had a human like cackle in its voice, something that sent more than chills up my already weary spine; we were already frantically lost in the middle of bat shit nowhere. I looked at my dad and whispered, “what the actual hell was that?” He replied shakily, “it was just a raven; a very loud raven.” We left the cave and continued upstream, again bad idea. About another quarter mile up, we decided to just make our way to the ridge top through a world of ivy thickets more akinned to hell than earth. About half way up the mountain, we again heard the raven, but something else struck us as odd, it was on the opposing ridge, on the ground. We booked our tired asses out of those woods as quick as we could. When we reached the park trail there were still four miles to go, and that raven thing was still behind us, just out of sight it appeared. We finally got about half a mile from the car when I finally picked out what was making the noises, it was a person, maybe. It didn’t have the head of a raven, exactly, more like it was wearing a giant one, and it had wings in place of its arms. “Run like hell!” I screamed at my dad. We took off, just slow enough not to go falling off the mountain, and every time I looked back it was a little bit closer. When we finally got to the car we jumped in the front seat, backpacks still on, and took off down the road, by now it was pitch black. Whatever was chasing us was now keeping pace with us, floating along with us down the dirt road. After ten minutes of chase we were almost back to civilization, but it finally made its move, landing on our hood. My dad slammed on the brakes, and it stared for a minute or so and flew away, screeching into the night. My great uncle listened in shock at what I told him, telling me I was, we were lucky, to escape the Raven Monger.
Not part of the story:
E have never returned to where this happened, and I never intend to. All I have as far as any proof or anything is this attached photo of myself fishing at the fore mentioned Three Forks prior to any experience the creature happened.