My story starts several years ago when I was seventeen. My friend Seth, and I would go to a cabin near a river with his family each summer to fish. We would travel for the day, then go canoeing the next and leave by the following morning.
This became an annual thing, and this year was only slightly different because we had another friend of ours from out of town named Jason coming with us. To give an idea of who we are; Jason is as close to a loose cannon as it gets while Seth tends to nope out of most things. I tend to lie in the middle, usually down for most things, but I still try to keep a level head.
Now, this year was also slightly different due to the fact that our usual cabin hadn’t be reserved, and we had to instead move further into the woods for our cabin. We left early and got to our cabin by late afternoon. Tired, but excited that we could finally move after being crushed together in a car.
The three of us ventured out to get sticks for the fire pit set up in front of the cabin. We split up so we could cover more ground. I decided to go down a hill and at the bottom was a giant lake.
This lake was beautiful. After being transfixed by this, I noticed that in the middle of this lake was a small Island. It wasn’t very big, but on it; it had a small forest of trees. So many that it was impossible to see through to the other side of the lake. It also had what looked like a small statue or rock formation on it. Definitely wasn’t natural, but I didn’t have much time to process it.
Before I knew it I was being called by Seth back to the cabin after a successful haul. That night I kept thinking about how strange that area was. It shouldn’t have been strange…but it was…”whatever” I thought, and I passed out.
The next day was another super early morning that consisted with granola bars for breakfast and travel to the beginning of the river where a vendor would lend us canoe’s for a fee. It was a blast! After the ride, it was about early afternoon, and the three of us had plenty of time to do whatever we wanted. Thinking about that spot, I suggested we go fishing.
A small part of me wanted to go fishing, but a much bigger part of me wanted to go check that island out. We hustled another canoe from the back of Seth’s fathers truck and set out. While on the lake, the guys were having fun trying to figure out how to even work a fishing pole, while I was glued to this island. On closer inspection, the woods on it were even thicker then I imagined.
The strangest part though was the fact that the stone figure I seen the day before…was gone. I circled that Island four or five times and…nothing. Noticing my lack of participation. Jason piped up and asked if I was interested in checking the Island out. Jolted by his keen eye, I politely declined, stating that it was just interesting looking. For the rest of the day until night fall I thought about it.
I couldn’t get it out of my head. It almost felt like it was drawing me to it, like it was emitting some magnetic energy, and I was clearly attracted to it.
Around the camp fire Jason felt it was the opportune time to tell ghost stories. I told mine after his and the two of us were feeding off each others tale while Seth was not into the situation in the slightest. After things calmed down,
Jason then popped up from his seat and said “lets got to that Island”. “Now”? I said “Its two in the morning man”. “Exactly” he said “Perfect time to test out our courage”! I looked to Seth and he gave me a look that completely defined the word ‘Nope’.
I looked back at Jason and I said after a moment ” lets go”. The two of us headed out equipped with only an electric lantern and a pump BB gun. You know. For protection obviously. Crossing the lake wasn’t difficult since the moon and the stars reflected off the night blue water. I had found a spot for us and we landed. On the way there I felt this was exhilarating.
Now, finally in front of the dense trees, I felt weak, and afraid. But I knew I couldn’t back down now after taking the time to come out here. Jason and I switched items and he lead first with the lantern. Each step made me feel the lantern in front of me grow darker and darker. I gripped the gun as I head noises behind me. “Footsteps” I thought…but I noticed Jason’s perseverance.
He hadn’t heard what I heard. I was going insane from being clasped in a sea of trees and darkness. Further we went until suddenly the lantern got brighter. We were in the middle of the island. It was a small clearing with no trees. We both looked at each other and began to search the area. Nothing, before we knew it, we were both chuckling about how silly this whole situation was.
We turned to go back the way we came until I stepped on something. This thing wasn’t solid ground. I stepped on it again and it sounded like…creaking. Jason heard this too and illuminated the spot. After a little brushing I discovered a door. A trap door that led into the ground. What hell was it doing here?
What was inside? As I reached for it, I heard someone chuckling. I looked up at Jason, and fear spread across his face. I turned around and seen a figure of a man standing before the clearing. He didn’t say anything. He just kept…chuckling to himself…then full blown laughing. I couldn’t see his face since the lantern was so dim. He finally stopped laughing. I felt his eyes peer at me as he broke out into a full sprint to the two of us.
At this time I fired a shot from the BB gun at him. He winced and the two of us were gone. Cocking mid run, I screamed that we need to get back to the canoe. He was close to us by this point, very close. The lantern flailed back and forth until Jason turned around and threw it at him. I had to duck, but I had no idea that he was directly behind me when Jason had made impact. Now in the darkness we made it to where we thought the canoe was.
The problem was It was gone.
The canoe had disappeared. Even in the starlight it was impossible to locate it. Without thinking I dove into the water and swam as hard as I could with Jason behind me. Halfway there I thought; as I glanced over my shoulder to the Island and seen the figure of the man standing at the shore….waving. He was waving goodbye to us.
Just like we were close friends leaving after a pleasant visit. Breaking the water and emerging on shore we climbed up the hill and woke everyone up to tell them what happened.
We left that night in fear this man might come for us. The next morning the cops went out to the Island and looked in the trap door. They said it lead to a room with make shift shelves, but with nothing there. They claimed that whatever was there had been moved out besides one thing.
A human femur.
Multiple possibilities ran through my head. The feeling of dread knowing that there was another person like me that lost their life out of possible curiosity. It haunts me to this day knowing I was mere inches away from being grabbed, and taken back to the trap door.
The trap door…in the middle of the Island.