I’ve not shared this with anyone for the sake of wasting time, and more importantly, reliving the memory, or more accurately, memories. I should clarify that I live on about a 28 acre property in the southern U.S., and behind the home that borders the road, there is a fairly large forest that stretches significantly to the south and west until it reaches I-75 on the western side.
I don’t exactly know which of the several events I’ve experienced would be considered the most or least horrifying persay, but, I’ll try to order them chronologically, because in my opinion, they have developed into progressively more horrifying encounters the older I am, and the more persistent my memory is, so forgive me if the arrangement is more of a bounce than a progression. I’ll start with the time I was 5 years old.
Throughout childhood, my grandfather would always remain soundly in holiday spirit, on each Halloween, he would put up old pillow cases with cloth hanging from trees to creepily decorate the edge of the forest I live next to. On Christmas, he would strictly enforce the English tradition of telling ghost stories, and in the summer, he would eagerly anticipate the arrival of Independence day solely to set off some M80 firecrackers, the big ones, at midnight. Although the dogs didn’t like this, nor sleeping neighbors, I always found contentness in his will to have a good time. This is besides the point, so I’ll return to what I’m trying to articulate; those fake ghosts he would hang from trees, the cloth and pillow case entities that were about 3-4 feet long, were where this started for me. Until I was 5, he did this every year, even before I was born from what I’ve learned from my mother.
On Halloween of 2005, after returning from school, I remember being drove towards our home and seeing the human effigies he hung, and being excited that another year of tradition was being condoned. Upon closer inspection, I noticed one of the ghosts had red spots on its left torso, and a little staining the right shoulder. I asked him, “What did you use to make that blood that’s on them?”
He looked at me kind of silly as he opened the truck door… When I got out he responded in a voice you’d treat a child babbling nonsense, “I didn’t put anything on them.” At the angle the truck was now at, where we had driven up the lane, the house was now obstructing our view of the forest, so I asked him to walk around the home with me to see what I was talking about. I know what I saw, and I am absolutely positive it was a red color. When we got to the other side of the house, around a spot where today a Magnolia tree stands, I pointed at the effigies, but before I could mutter my brag of being right, I was horrified to see no such effigy with blood on it, and one less than there were before. Originally, 3 had been hung, always 3, it was a simplicity thing. When I saw the blood tainted effigy earlier, there were 4, I thought nothing of this, but now it had became ironic that I paid no attention. I honestly don’t know what to think of this besides it obviously being a hung child, which is a thought I do not fancy entertaining at all, it was so disturbing. Everytime I recount my original view of the 4 effigies, I think about how real the bloodied one looked. Every now and then I have nightmares of it lifting its head and seeing myself with a noose around my neck. Anyways, I’ll tell the second encounter I had with the forest, which occurred when I was 9.
This one is slightly less clear, but more memorable. Every August, my grandfather would take me deer spotting in the forest, this was to get an idea if it was worth hunting back there each season or too much trouble. On this particular day, we were about 200 meters into the forest, laying on top of a log concealed by a small hill. We had been there for at least 4 hours now, just sitting. As a 9 year old child, I was indefinitely tired. I went to sleep, and to my terror, I had one of the recurring dreams I described earlier, only my grandfather was the one being executed by hanging. This troubled me deeply, and I awoke. As if things couldn’t be worse, it was dark when I awoke. I don’t even know how, my sleep felt like a power nap of MAYBE an hour at most, not enough to put daylight in the grave. I reached for my grandfather, and found to my relief he was there, but sleeping. Old people easily drift off. I woke him up and told him I wanted to go home. I had developed an overwhelming feeling of dread, but before I could convey that he shushed me- “Be quiet a minute”
I asked why, there was no sound in the forest to be heard for miles, which was eerily odd in its own way, the interstate, I-75, was at least another 27 acres away. He agreed upon returning home, so we started the journey. The return was uneventful, until we came upon the remains, what looked like dog, bones. There was even a skull, which is extremely rare for animal remains… the head is always gone from what I’ve found in the past. We continued past this creepy discovery, and were basically in my backyard now, when a very distinct voice filled my ears from behind
”Be quiet a minute”
I turned to the forest expecting to see my grandfather behind me but instead nobody was there. It sounded just like him, but I looked and saw he was a couple meters ahead of me now. Then I heard it again, and almost cried when I heard it… it repeated the exact same words from last time so perfectly, it was like a recording, so I just fast walked to my home and pretended nothing happened when my grandfather asked why I stopped walking for a bit.
The next day, our neighbors that live north, beside the church graveyard (And yes, I also live next to one of those, but nothing creepy has ever ensued there, the worst thing that happened to me was tripping over a grave light when trying to prank one of my deacons once) called and asked if we had seen their dog, Josey, that had went missing. Not wanting to crush their hopes of finding it in a slow and drawn out way, my grandfather informed them we had seen bones the last night. This is important because later the same day, they claimed their dog had came back from the woods behaving ill. That’s all we ever heard, but this sounded suspicious. I’m pretty sure they never had the dog after the following winter of 2009.
Fast forward 6 years, my sophomore year of high school. Me and a couple buddies of mine had passed a college level exam for an advanced placement class, so with it being halfway through our high school life, and that success being announced, we invited some more friends to see who was interested in having a party at my house.
Most of the party was uneventful, just my family cooking in front of a bonfire on the side of the house closer to the church and graveyard, until, we decided to play manhunt.
Sometimes, I look back on my decision to do this, and don’t comprehend how stupid I really was. I guess I just pushed the past out of my knowledge, ruling it out as my childhood exaggeration and distortion of fact.
It is an important detail to add that one of my friends, the main two being the frinds I’m referring to, was playing my xbox earlier without my permission, and treated my house like it was his own, setting shoes on my furniture. I wasn’t happy about it, but I figured I’d get him back someday.
On with the story. My friends, who I’ll refer to as Ken and Paul for privacy reasons, were assembled with me, and my cousins, Nathan, Michael, and Glorianna, in front of the bonfire. Before we ran across the property, I made it abundantly clear and painfully obvious I did not want anyone going in the woods. I voted myself to be it first since I was hosting, and got a flashlight. Forget how the round played out, and what order I found people in, but for context, I’ll say Ken was hiding behind the chimney, Eric inside eating leftover hamburgers, Glorianna had stayed cleverly next to the fire, blending in with the crowd that was observing our game, Nathan was in a tree, and my friend Jake who apparently joined mid match was under my grandfather’s truck. I had found them all, and they joined me for my search. After scanning basically whole property, it became more worrying for me that Paul had probably once again defied the rules of my house, and went into the woods. Before we could line up at the treeline, Paul came to us, with a worried look on his face. Of course, he had went into the woods. I wasn’t mad though, I was concerned what we were about to learn judging by his petrified face and whiter than snow skin. After questioning him, he explained he had indeed hopped in the forest, and recounted a totally different version of events than the other players knew to happen. You see, when we play, the found hunted stay with the hunter and assist, so it’s like a slow bandwagon building, thus our accounts were all in a sequence. Acccording to Paul, we had come by him several times, walking right in front of him, what sounded like just one of us. He said he threw a stick to draw our attention somewhere else, and instead of follow it, one of us came right next to him. It was at this point he explained to us he realized this was not one of us…. his best description of what it was detailed along the lines of “An all black person with an animalistic face, like a coyote”
He claimed that when he realized this, he hauled himself out of the brush, and eventually ran into us, after hearing no pursuit.
When I learned this, I told everyone to walk to other side of the house, where the fire was, and just stay there for the night, grilling some marshmellows to forget about what happened. Sometimes on Xbox, me Ken and Paul still talk about this experience, but each time, it becomes less serious. However, whenever we do have a meeting at my house from time to time, we still feel very on end about something in the forest. From the research I’ve done, I’m almost positive that the dark entity in my forest is a skinwalker. To say the least, I don’t venture there anymore, and keep my grandfather from doing the same. I hope anybody that has this experience for themselves has a great faith in God, because without my religion, I don’t know how I would protect myself. That forest is pure evil and I am happier every day knowing I don’t have to go in there again. The dreams still occasionally happen, but I’m safe in my home, it’s been consecrated. I want as many people as possible to know that monsters, or, the paranormal rather, are all too real. Stay safe.