Woodcutting and Wendigos

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As most of these stories start out here’s a little background information on myself, those involved, and the location where this took place. This event occurred during April, 2016, on a plot of hunting land outside Richland Center, Wisconsin. Richland Center is a small town in the hilly terrain of southwest Wisconsin, with a population of around 5,000 people. The plot of land sat around 15 miles outside the city (exactly where is being kept secret since we don’t want people to go snooping through the woods or breaking into the cabin since it is easy to find). The land was owned by my father’s friend James (obviously not his real name) and was fairly large. Exactly how many acres I don’t know, but a large plot.

The cabin is about twenty yards into a small patch of woods just off the road. Beyond the cabin there is a corn field that sits in the curve of the U shaped woods we use for hunting. There is a ridge that runs across the center of the field sloping down on each side at a steep angle. At the midpoint between the woods and the cabin is a little island of trees that is only about twenty feet in diameter with a deer stand in it. This location will be important later. Now that the background is out of the way I can begin to tell the story of my encounter with what I believe was a Wendigo.

Me, my father, James, another of my father’s friends who I’ll call George, and George’s son who I’ll call Eliot all went up to the cabin to cut firewood for the hunting season. The first day was filled with work in the chilly air of a long winter. We cut down two very large old oak trees on the left side of the U, and hand lost a few large logs in a ravine after they rolled away from us. The work took us up until sunset, since we hadn’t arrived at the cabin until around 1:00 in the afternoon. Eliot and I were down in the ravine carrying the logs up the steep side, and then up the hill to the ATV where we loaded them into a trailer. A total of five logs had to be brought up, each of which weighed nearly seventy pound a piece. After they were all loaded in the trailer and George drove across the corn field, Eliot and I made our way across the field on foot. The sun was just above the hills on the horizon, casting our shadows over the treetops to our left. I scanned the treeline for deer as we walked and saw nothing, and then I noticed something strange. The woods weren’t alive, no squirrels, no woodpeckers, no crows cawing as they always did, not even the trees were swaying. I mentioned it to Eliot but he just brushed it off. We were about to pass the island of trees when I noticed movement in the corner of my eye. Hoping it was a deer I turned my head to see nothing but some barren bushes rustling slightly. I scanned them hard as I continued towards the cabin and saw nothing, but I felt as if there was definitely something there. As I turned away I felt like something was staring a hole in the back of my head so strongly that I had to itch at the spot.

We finished the night by watching Jerry Springer and Maury Povich on the television while eating frozen pizza. I fell asleep on the pleather couch instead of my bunk. The couch sat adjacent to the window that looked out at the field. The blinds were halfway open and when I woke up with the urge to pee. I looked outside, and at first I saw nothing but as I studied the thick briars across I saw something among them. The moon casted long thin shadows over what I made out as a face. Whatever it was was excellently camouflaged in the light of the full moon, since it had pale greyish white skin. It squatted in the brush like a frog, legs cocked out and rear near to the ground with its spindly arms on the ground in front of it. I watched it for a few minutes and the whole time I didn’t feel the burning of eyes on me. It was like the thing was taking in the environment, watching everything except the inside of the cabin. After the few minutes I remembered that I needed to pee, damn all that beer I drank. I opted for an empty water bottle instead, fiddling around and still trying to watch the thing in the brush wasn’t a good combination. I wound up looking away for a moment and when I finally looked back up the thing was gone. My heart began to race when I realized that I couldn’t find the creature again. I finished my business then forced myself to lay back down on the couch and bury my face in cushions of the couch.

I finally awoke in the morning to the smell of bacon frying, nothing in my mind from the night before. I got up and ate my breakfast and we all prepared for another hard day of work. We finally left at around 9:00 a.m. and heading back into the woods to cut down another handful of trees that we had marked. We cut up two on the east side of the forest and then we walked directly across the field to the location of the final tree we planned to cut up before lunch. We reached the tree line and were overwhelmed with the smell of iron. It took only seconds for us to notice the bright red pool that had melted away an area of snow. There was a disemboweled coyote impaled through its neck on a low hanging tree branch with its insides sitting on the ground in a pool of blood.

“What in the hell?!” James shouted. “I’ll kill him that son of a bitch”

“Who did this?” my dad asked him.

He went to explain how the man who owned the land that borders the north end of the woods is disputing the where the border actually is. He had become much more upset since we had set up a new hunting stand on his supposed land. As we went deeper into the woods we found more eviscerated animals hung the same way as the first one was. James became increasingly more and more upset and eventually he left us to cut up the last tree and he took the ATV up to the the neighbor. Eliot and I weren’t happy with that because without the ATV being taken because that meant we would have to haul the logs by ourselves on multiple trips or we would have to pull the trailer ourselves. We opted to run a utility rope around the trailer and wrap the ends around our waists to pull it. We made it to the cabin in around an hour, but it felt like we just played an entire football game. James was back and he was outside talking to my father and George. He sounded a little upset, not angry but shaken. He was saying that the man wasn’t even home, but that all of his animals were eviscerated just as the ones in the woods were. Dogs, horses and goats strewn everywhere across the man’s property.

“We need to call the police!” James shouted. “There’s gotta be a bear, wolves, a rabid dog, something that needs to be put down.”

We calmed him down and began to logic it all out. If it were any animal none of those animals in the woods would have been impaled like they were. Nor would they have simply been torn to shreds like that, animals don’t do that no matter how hungry they are. Not even a rabid dog could do that. My dad finally made the decision to call the police and stepped away from us to do it. I couldn’t gather anything from listening as it was mostly my dad acknowledging the dispatcher with an “uh-huh” or an “okay.

Finally he hung up and came over to explain what the dispatcher told us, “he told me that most of the on duty officers are tied up dealing with an overturned semi truck, and that they’re trying to get an off duty to come out here but that it may take up to an hour for anyone to get here. He suggests that we lock up tight and head into town, then call back in an hour and a half to see if they can get an officer out there yet.”

Everyone agreed and headed inside to gather a few things for the night. I loaded my bag with a change of clothes and toiletries and was the first one out. As I waited for the others I realized that all this nervous waiting made me need to pee. I walked over to the fence that ran behind the trailer and began to relieve myself. Just as I finished my business I looked up and froze. My blood ran cold as ice and my knees felt like they were made out of jello. Staring at me from over the top of the fence was something I wish I had never seen. I could see the upper half of a face. The skin was a gray-white, saggy, and its features were sunken in. The eyes were the worst part, they weren’t black pits as I have heard others describe them. But they were instead deep set, and a glossy black that I could see myself in. I could not bring myself to move, for what felt like an eternity before the others came out of the trailer.

James called out to me since I was just standing at the fence not moving, “Hey let’s hurry it… holy sweet Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.”

The eyes turned their attention from he to James and the invisible hold it had on me broke as I fell onto my ass and began to scramble away from the fence. I was screaming and trying to tell him that it was a Wendigo. But all that came out of my mouth was something along the line of “It’s a, holy fu- aaaaaaah!” James opened the tailgate on his truck and grabbed one of the axes we had from splitting the logs.

“YARGH!” he yelled at it shaking the axe in the air above his head.

It simply stared back at him for a few seconds before letting out this ear splitting screech, that sounded like a mix between someone skinning a live cat and that sound the predator makes, and disappearing beneath the fence again. I had made my way to James’ feet and was basically crying and snotting all over his boots. Everyone had heard the commotion and ran outside just as the screeched sounded and they were all questioning what happened. Instead of standing around and wasting time explaining James instructed everyone to get into their vehicles and drive. I jumped in the driver’s seat of my truck without hesitation and my father got in next to me. We calmly exited the property not bothering to close the gate behind us. But as soon as dirt turned to pavement there was nothing calm about our driving. We quickly drove to the stop sign at the end of the road the land sat next to.

Now please understand that I have no idea what possessed me to do what I am about to tell you. I was a fairly new driver at this point, and I place blame on the fact that I was very particular about following rules. So instead of driving straight through the stop sign that sat in the middle of nowhere as James did, I slowed to a stop and checked for traffic. The as I went to step on the accelerator I looked in my rearview mirror. Bathed in red from my brake lights was the Wendigo in a dead sprint for the truck. As I stomped on the gas I couldn’t tell if the screech I heard came from the creature or my tires. I would later lie to my father that the reason for my drag race takeoff was that I saw a group of deer running across the road and I didn’t want them to run into the truck. But he didn’t buy that one bit as I was screaming like a little girl the entire rest of the ride.

We made the usual 20 minute drive in about 10, due to me traveling down the back country roads at speeds in excess of 90mph. We decided that we would meet at a local bar and wait until we got ahold of a police officer or were kicked out of the place. There was an officer sent up to investigate the land the next morning and not much came of it. It was ruled that the animal carcasses were due to a rabid coyote, despite the fact that coyotes can’t impale other coyotes on tree branches. James and I have kept what we saw behind that fence to ourselves since that night. I refuse to talk about it with my dad, and whenever he brings it off I just tell him that he doesn’t want to know. We returned to the land later that year for the annual deer hunt, and made it through two weeks without incident. However I fear that the 2017 hunt might not be the same way, but I pray to God that I never ever see another Wendigo as long as I ever live.

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