This occurred when I was 15 and camping with my brother and his oldest son (my nephew). My brother is drawn to nature and prefers to be out in it as often as he can. My nephew on the other hand, not so much.
I love nature and also feel a close connection with it. The story starts with me and my nephew out gathering some good firewood and kindling. It was nearing dusk so the light was fading and the forest was slowly becoming cloaked in shadows. The sounds of the forest were nearly deafening. The cries of the cicada’s, the chirping of crickets, the loud hoots of a great-horned owl.
My nephew and I heard my brother calling us back to camp, we had gathered a lot of kindling and firewood and began to head in the direction of his voice. As we got closer I noticed that the voice sounded ‘off’. Like it was him, but at the same time it wasn’t him. In addition I noticed that our surroundings were unfamiliar. Something wasn’t right, and my gut told us we needed to get out of that area NOW! I dropped my firewood and placed my hand on my nephews shoulder who was still going forward. The following conversation is paraphrased as I cannot remember it word for word.
Me: “We need to head back to camp NOW!”
Nephew: “Oh come on, don’t tell me you’re scared of the dark!”
Me: “I’m not scared of the dark, I’m scared of the creatures that lurk in the dark.”
Nephew: “Camp’s right up ahead though!”
Me: “No it’s not, does anything around us look familiar to you idiot?!!”
My nephew looked around and his face drained of color, panic and fear started to set in. I was scared out of my god-damned mind too, but I was doing my best to keep it together, mostly for my nephews sake.
Nephew: “Wh-Where are we?!”
Me: “Deeper into the woods, lets go the opposite direction from the voice!”
Nephew: “But why would dad lure us deeper into the woods?”
Me: “He wouldn’t, not at night or close to nightfall anyway.”
We both went quiet for a second and looked at each other with terror. The forest, which minutes ago had been a cacophony of sound was now dead silent. Not even the wind as it moved through the tree’s made a sound. The voice spoke again, it sounded closer than before and was still ‘off’.
Voice: “Come here now!”
Me and my nephew dropped all the firewood and kindling we were carrying and booked it out of there. Running back the way we came. The crunching of underbrush, dry twigs and pine needles followed, seemingly able to keep speed with us. My nephew tripped over a tree that had fallen in a recent windstorm and thus blocked the trail, I recalled having to step over it when we were gathering firewood earlier.
Despite how much I disliked my nephew, I knew I couldn’t just leave him there for whatever to do god-knows-what to him. The forest was still silent and the sounds of footsteps were quickly approaching. I don’t know why I said what I did as the thing got closer and closer to us, maybe it was just an adrenaline fueled ramble or something else. I don’t quite remember what I said but I believe it was something along the lines of “You’re not my brother! You’re just pretending to be him so you could lure us to our deaths and feast on us! You’re not human! LEAVE US BE!!”
After a few seconds and not hearing anything more but the sounds of the forest, I helped my nephew up and we walked the quarter of a mile back to camp. My brother was worried sick about us and had even contacted park officials due to us missing for so long. So when we showed up back at camp he was equally furious and thankful we were okay. Though he did ask us what the hell happened and why we were gone for so long. Turns out we were gone for more than three hours! Not the 45 minutes to an hour I thought we were gone for. I told him what happened and my brother sighed heavily, and told us that we were both VERY LUCKY to get away with our lives. He didn’t elaborate as to why until many years later when I had turned 18. He told me in private that what I and my nephew had encountered that night was a skinwalker.
Up to that point my brother was skeptical of their existence, aside from the tales a few of his hiking buddies and park rangers he knew quite well told him. Needless to say, I don’t go into any sort of wooded area at night if I can avoid it.