Something in the Trees

Let me start by saying I am a staunch skeptic. Even growing up in a heavily superstitious and religious family, I always looked for the most logical reasoning behind everything. Despite all that, there is one night I have never found any rational explanation for.

About six years ago, my then boyfriend (We will call him Chad for anonymity) and I lived in a small house on the outskirts of town. It was a little run down, but it was still decent, with a detached garage, and a nice back yard for our dogs. We even had a small creek at the edge of the property where the yard gave way to woods.

Considering that we were only 20 at the time, we often spent nights out with friends. On one of these nights, we were out with a mutual friend (we’ll call him john). We had all gone to another friend’s house together and were returning to ours around midnight. Mind you, we had not been drinking or under any influence. It had been a simple movie and card game night. Anyway, John had parked in our drive way and we were just sitting there talking before getting out so he could go home himself.

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The Man Across the River

Here is a little backstory, I’m 15 years old, and I was at my little brothers baseball game.It was at a more isolated area where there were only a few lights, I’ll give a short description of the place, there is a little stream which leads of into a river, one stone bridge that goes over the stream, batting cage type of thing, and there was a forest across from the river, it was a extremely dense forest and the only light I had was my phone, and the moon light, even then It was still hard to make out something.

So here is where it begins. I was the only older kid there and there was just a bunch of little kids running around the bleachers, so of course I was bored, and I just walked around playing on my phone for most of the time. I walked over to the batting cages and I began to climb it, I then get to the top of the cages and just sitting there watching the forest, I heard a branch snap, but I brushed it of not even thinking twice of it, around an hour went by of doing nothing hearing nothing, and seeing nothing.

I decided to go head to the stream just to chuck some pine cones into it and watch them slowly float away, I then turned around to begin heading back, but something moved in my peripheral vision, and I quickly turned to see what it was. I saw him, or it standing there looking straight into my soul, I then reached into my pocket to grab my phone to turn on my flashlight. The silhouette then moved back into the woods, I thought it could just be a late night hiker just wanting to see the game, I brushed it off and continued to do my own thing. I then saw a flash of light coming from the forest I looked towards it to see that there was nothing,

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Phantom in the Wreck

Allow me to give you some background on what I do and the region I am from. I work as a public safety diver for the local sheriff department. I recover anything and everything that goes into the water from airplanes and buses, to stolen firearms, jewelry, and cars to bodies of both people and pets. Outside of that job, I am an avid technical wreck diver. Us technical divers go far deeper than the average scuba diver. We have intense training, dive exotic gases (helium), and we run a much higher risk of something going catastrophically wrong. We cannot surface from 200ft as death and or something more debilitating will happen once we reach it. That means we are on our down there and carry everything we need on a single dive. We accept these risks as the deeper you go, the more pristine and intact the wreck becomes. There is no other feeling than being the first person to lay eyes on ship that has not been seen since she sank, and now you become part of her story.

The Great Lakes offers the best shipwreck diving anywhere in the world. The cold fresh waters preserves shipwrecks from the late 1600s all the way to to modern times. From wooden sailing ships that still look like they can sail away on the bottom, to massive steel freighters that you can’t believe were overwhelmed and sunk by a furious lake. The Great Lakes also has the highest concentration of shipwrecks per square mile than anywhere else in the world with an estimated 10,000 wrecks. That’s more than tenfold of what the legendary Bermuda Triangle holds and at less than 12th of the size. Lake Superior is the largest of the five lakes and also holds the title for deepest, coldest, and most isolated of all the others along with the fewest divable shipwrecks. The cold black waters holds many of her secrets and dead crewman as it is too cold for natural processes to bring them back up. As you can imagine many of these wrecks still hold their crew inside the hulls on eternal watch.

One such wreck is the steel package freighter the Kamloops. The Kamloops lies in on of North Americas most isolated regions… Isle Royale National Park. Isle Royale is seperated from the mainland by 50 miles of cold freshwater. Isle Royale is a lake divers dream as Lake Superior has yet to be ravaged by invasive species such as the zebra mussels that infest the 4 other lakes, which makes Isle Royale the most contended place to dive in the region. We leave Wendigo harbor and begin the 12 mile journey to the Kamloops. The Kamloops is Isle Royale’s deepest known wreck at a depth of 270ft. The day is covered by a thick fog which is caused by the cold 37° water and the warm air. This effect lasts from April to July and never lifts on calm days. This makes ambient light down at depth almost non existant. We use a mixture of helium and oxygen to allow us to have clearer heads as regular air becomes posionous below 200ft. The wreck lies less than 200 yards from shore and I am the first one in. As I begin my descent, I quickly begin to lose daylight, and at 100ft it is pitch black, but visibilty is great so I continue another 85ft down before I hit the stern rail. Upon reaching the stern I drop my stage bottles that contain my deco gases and my plan today was to penetrate the engine room, crew quarters, and the galley before turning around and heading back the way I came. I had heard that the body of the chief engineer that resides in the engine room had his head knocked off by an errant diver who did not know proper finning technique.

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Goatman’s Bridge

In June of 2016, a couple of friends and I were trying to think of something exciting to do. We’re all 19 year old college students, and being back in our boring town away from all the parties wasn’t exactly exciting.

So one of my friends, we’ll call him James, pitched the idea of going to the Goatman’s bridge later that night. I instantly agreed. Our other friend who I’ll call Dave, was hesitant at first but eventually agreed.

If you grew up in the Dallas area you’ve probably heard of or been to Old Alton Bridge, otherwise known as the “Goatman’s” bridge. It’s a relatively small and old bridge in Corinth Texas. You can Google or even look up the bridge on YouTube and find some pretty creepy stuff about it. And the story on how it got the name “Goatman’s” bridge is creepy in of it self. Back in the early 20th century there was a local goat farmer named Oscar, and he was actually a really successful at that. The only problem is that he was African American. And the local chapter of the KKK, didn’t like that at all. So one day they kidnapped and took him to Old Alton Bridge, tied him in a noose and threw him off the side of the bridge. The only thing was, when they peered over to look at the body. Instead it was just an empty rope. They got spooked and went to his house and killed the rest of his family. Now people say the bridge is haunted by Oscar, or some sort of demon.

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Summer Camp Creeper

The following event happened while I was at summer camp, around thirteen years old. My two friends, let’s call them Paige and Julia, attended this camp with me. This was not a sleep-away summer camp, kids only went during the daytime. You would pick three activities during the day to go to, then after those were done you would meet back at your designated pavilion (as kids were separated into age groups) for lunch.

I got off the bus one morning and met with my friends, who told me about how they had a plan for today. We were going to skip one of our activities and go down a secret path that they had found. I agreed, as I wasn’t much of a rebellious kid, but I felt like finally breaking the rules a little. We chose to skip boating, our second activity, and explore the trail. The day went by normally, up until it came time for us to conduct our little plan.

We had waited until we were sure there were no counselors around, then we ducked into the woods, where we soon found the dirt path Paige and Julia had mentioned before. We had walked no more than about 100 feet and I suddenly got the feeling that we were being watched. I convinced myself that it was just my guilty mind and we continued on walking until we reached some benches. Sitting down for a while, I noticed a figure in the distance. Dismissing it, I turned back over to my friends.

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Watcher in the Woods

This encounter took place in 2010. My boyfriend and I were in our mid-twenties. It was summertime. We were lucky enough to get time off work at the same time, so we decided to spend a couple nights at my family cabin. The cabin is located in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, in a remote area about 40 minutes away from the nearest town. It’s on a medium sized lake surrounded by dense forest. There are only 20 cabins on the lake, spread out quite far from each other. We were there in the middle of the week, so there weren’t many people on the lake. I should mention that the cabin is on an island.

Our plan was to get there Tuesday night and leave Thursday morning. We arrived and spent the first night without incident. On Wednesday, we took the canoe out for a short ride. We parked it on the mainland and went on a hike down an old logging road. The road hasn’t been driven down in years. It’s overgrown and as far as I know people only use it for blueberry picking now, but it goes into the bush for quite a few kilometers. The two of us hiked down the road for 2 hours, sat down for a small lunch, then decided to turn back. On our way back, I couldn’t shake the heavy feeling that we were being watched and followed. It only occurred to me then that if anything bad were to happen to us, no one was coming to help. In hindsight, we should have told someone about our hiking plans, just in case, but it was too late for that. I tried my best to dismiss how I felt and didn’t even mention it to my boyfriend.

We found the canoe where we had left it tied up. We got in and started paddling home. I was in the back of the canoe, steering. I couldn’t help but turn around and look behind us. The first time I did so, I thought I saw a large shadow move in among the trees a short distance from where we had parked the canoe. When I looked back the second time, I saw nothing. I immediately dismissed what I saw. I reminded myself that your eyes can easily play tricks on you when looking into the shadows of a densely packed forest.

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