NOTE: This is from the POV of a female. Apologies for how long this is. I didn’t want to spare any details.
My girlfriend and I are in an on again/off again long distance sort-of relationship. I live in Massachusetts and she lives in New Hampshire, and unfortunately our schedules make it difficult to see each other. Since our time together is usually limited to weekends and the occasional holiday, over this past summer we both took the same week off from our jobs.
I drove up on Friday afternoon with my German shepherd Thea in the passenger seat, and arrived around midnight. I was pretty exhausted from the three hour drive, and so was Holly -my girlfriend- so we decided to plan for the upcoming week the next morning.
Saturday came and went and we discussed possible close-by vacation spots, but they were all too far away or too expensive. On Sunday, Holly found out that a friend of hers wasn’t using their vacation home on the lake. They said that we could use it for the remainder of the week, and we gratefully accepted.
We made the drive up there that night. The house was fairly isolated, the nearest house being across the water. We were also surrounded by trees, it being a pretty woodsy area. Both of us thought it would be nice to escape into nature for a couple days. At least to an extent we could handle.
The next two days passed pretty much without incident. I was a lot more uneasy while trying to fall asleep, but I chalked that up to my anxiety and being in a new place.
The third night is when things took a turn for the worse. I woke up to Thea growling, which I immediately found unnerving, because she’s the most well-tempered dog I’ve ever had. She was lying at the end of our bed, so I petted her and offered her a spot in between my girlfriend and me to spend the rest of the night. She wouldn’t budge.
“What’s wrong?” I asked her, but she paid me no attention. I followed her gaze and I realized she was staring down the window. There were curtains covering it, and I was getting scared at the thought of what could be on the other side. I swallowed my fear and decided to take a look at what was bothering Thea. As I neared the window, she barked loudly and jumped off the bed, waking up Holly.
“What’s the matter?” She asked, and I explained the situation. “It’s probably just a wild animal,” Holly told me, and I nodded, wanting to believe that she was right.
At this point, pulling the blinds back to reveal what was probably nothing just seemed unnecessary. I got back into bed and Thea whined, but settled down a few minutes later. Although, for the rest of the night, her ears would perk up at every sound coming from outside.
The next morning we decided to eat breakfast on the deck outside, my anxiety from last night long vanished. I don’t think Holly even remembered what happened the previous night. Even I had almost forgotten about my dog’s odd behavior, because now she was acting as she normally did, lying on my feet under the table.
We were all pretty relaxed, and spent a good 45 minutes outside before Thea leapt to her feet. She stood with teeth bared, ears pinned back against her head, transfixed on the woods. The events of last night came flooding back to me. Holly and I stood up. My dog stayed in a protective stance, and started snarling, a noise I had never heard her make before.
I was nervous that she would take off running into the woods, so I grabbed her by the collar and struggled to get her back into the house. I quickly helped Holly clear the table and get all the food back inside the house.
After everyone was safely inside, there was a discussion to be had about what was going on. Holly was still keen on the idea of it being a wild animal, and I agreed, because this area was known for the occasional bear sighting.
For the rest of the day we both tried to forget about Thea’s unusual behavior, but that night, things took a turn for the worse.
It was about 9pm and we had settled in watching a movie on the couch. The way the house was set up, there were windows on either side of the couch. Being a fairly paranoid person, I was already a little on edge because of this.
Holly fell asleep by 9:30, and I was getting tired not long after. I switched off the TV, leaving us in the dark. I now had a clearer view of outside, but with my dog and my girlfriend both there I relaxed, and I let myself doze off.
I woke up around midnight. Holly was sort of lying on top of me, and Thea was in a deep sleep, half on my legs and half on the footrest, so my movement was limited. The first thing I did was check my phone. Mistake number one.
I decided to try and go back to sleep, but something moving outside caught my eye. My heartbeat sped up. Since Thea wasn’t growling, I wanted to let it go. But an instinctual part of me knew better.
I focused on the window, the one that looked out across the deck, and tried to make out what it was. I was probably staring for about five minutes when finally, one of the trees moved. I realized it wasn’t a tree at all, and that it had been there the entire night. And it saw me use my phone. It knew I was awake. Then it emerged from the woods.
I wasn’t really able to make out exactly what it was yet, or maybe my mind was still trying to rationalize what I was seeing. But it vaguely resembled a man, so I assumed that’s what it was. There was my second mistake.
Waking Holly up, I explained to her what was going on, and that I was going outside to yell at the guy to get off the property or we’d call the police. She warned me that this wasn’t a good idea, and that we should just call the cops now, but I didn’t listen to her.
Both of us being rather petite women and whoever this was outside figuring out that we were alone, it was a dumb thing to do, but I was pissed. This guy had been ruining our one week alone on vacation, and I wanted to show him that I wasn’t afraid.
I’m a little bit more intimidating than my girlfriend, being a couple inches taller and naturally having resting bitch face, but if anyone in that house was going to freak this guy out, it was Thea. She was now wide awake and once again baring her teeth at the window.
I switched the deck light on. Walking out with Thea, I held her tightly by the collar so she wouldn’t take off. Holly watched us from inside the door, giving me a look, but she didn’t say anything else. I couldn’t see anything anymore. I figured the man had bolted when he saw the light turn on, but to be sure he wasn’t just hiding somewhere, I started yelling.
“Hey!” I yelled into the darkness, and Thea was starting to go crazy, snarling and gnashing at the air. “Get the f*** off our property! The police are already on their way, and we have an attack dog!” It was a collection of lies, but it seemed like a smart move at the time.
I waited, and nothing happened. I stood out there listening for a few minutes, but all I could hear was my dog’s barking, which was growing more and more furious. Just when I was about to say screw it and go back inside, there was an ear-splitting shriek. The barking stopped.
A pale figure stepped out of the treeline. It was tall, bony, and a yellowy kind of white. It had limited facial features and I caught glimpses of its long arms. Its nails were about a foot long. With the amount of time I spend reading creature stories, one word immediately came to mind: skinwalker.
With the sight of it, Thea went absolutely nuts. Honestly, if it wasn’t for her, I would have stood there frozen until it was too late. I struggled to pull her inside.
“We’re leaving,” Holly said. I quickly clipped Thea’s leash to her collar, and Holly grabbed the keys to her car. The driveway was on the other side of the house. We got into the car as fast as possible and drove an hour and a half to a motel, somewhere surrounded by city.
I was pretty shaken up, the whole drive there. “You saw it, right?” I asked my girlfriend. Holly nodded. “I haven’t even heard of anything like it before. It was like it was stalking us the whole week.”
The next day we had to go back to the cabin to get our things. Nothing happened, but on the way home, we called Holly’s friend that owned the house. We told them everything that had happened.
He was quiet for a few moments. “A couple of years ago- my wife said she saw the same thing. It was crouching down though. She saw it outside the bedroom window.”
I haven’t been back to that part of New Hampshire since that week over the summer. Holly and I have discussed it a couple times since, and I told her about my skinwalker theory. I don’t think her friend uses the cabin that much, so there’s no update on his part. We did have a discussion about it with him and his wife though, a month or two after the event. His wife said that when she saw it, it was her first time visiting the cabin, and that she had felt like it’d been following her all weekend long.
If you are left with anything from this story, take my advice: trust your animals. They know better than us. They sense things that we can’t, and they may end up saving your life.