I live in the rural end of a village in England, I have always thought I was very lucky with my line of work and where I lived. I was employed by an animal rescue charity. This tended to be wildlife call outs more than domestic, but I was pretty handy at getting a cat out of a tree.
Back in 1995 there was one particular night while on call, I will never forget.
It started as any normal night. I had just decided to watch a movie, when I received my first call of the evening, it was around 9pm. The caller advised that some live stock on his farm had been found dead in unknown circumstances. I told him that he would need to call the police or RSPCA as we didn’t deal with dead animals and politely ended the call.
A bit of time had passed when my phone rang again, It was the same person. Though this time they sounded slightly different, he spoke in almost a whisper like he was trying to filter his voice. The person got upset that no one would help them and begged that I come as a wild creature was hunting on their farm. I told him i would see what I can do and took down the address.
When I checked the address, it was only 30 minutes drive from my home. I called my colleague Joe, who lives closer to the village and worked the same shifts as me for about 5 years. We talked about the call I had received and decided that we should go and see what we can do to help as it had been a quiet the passed couple of nights.
I pulled up to the address, I knew that Joe wouldn’t be that far behind. I could see the farm house to my right and the top of a barn behind it. There was also a glow from the back from what I assumed to be the lights in the yard. I had a quick look around from the drive but couldn’t see anyone. After about 20 minutes Joe finally arrived. As he got out his car, he told me that the place gave him a really creepy feeling. I recall Joe saying; ‘This is a farm right? Then why is it totally silent’? I told him to get a grip, though after he had pointed this out, it made myself feel uneasy.
We were making our way up to the front of the house when something made us both stop in our tracks. There was movement in the bushes a good couple of feet away to the left of us. Suddenly there was an almighty growl, It was so deep it hit me in the bottom of my stomach and made all my senses go crazy, it was a true fight or flight movement. I turned my head round to Joe, I whispered over to him; ‘what the hell was that!?
Joe was about to answer when we heard what ever it was in the bushes move again. Something big and dark ran out, heading away from us down a small path that looked like it led round to the back of the house.
I didn’t get a good look at this thing but I knew it was something that I had never seen before. We stood there for a few minutes gathering ourselves, we looked at each other, and without talking decided that we should continue up to the house and go knock on the door, after all, we are the professionals that deal with wild animals.
Still feeling a bit shaken up, we approached the porch and knocked on. I remember that Joe kept his back to me as he was checking on the bushes and path to our left. After a few minutes there was no response, but we could hear that there was a TV on somewhere inside. I knocked again, louder this time, we waited, but still no answer. While we were just stood there, I thought about what we should do, when Joe spoke up. It made me jump a mile high. He suggested that we should go and try find the back door, I was surprised as Joe can be a bit of a wimp at times.
We looked around from where we were stood and saw that the only path which led round to the back was the same way that the dark creature took. I decided that we weren’t going down there, so I looked for another way round. I found a gate which led to the yard, we hopped over as it was chained shut. We stayed close to the house and looked into the windows to see if anyone was inside, again there was nothing. But I could see a glow of a light coming from what I thought to be the kitchen.
By this point something deep down inside of me is screaming for me to turn around and get back in the car and drive away. I ignored this feeling and carried on looking around the property. The thing I’ll never forget is the how silent this place was, that really got to me.
As we made our way round we reached the yard, I pointed out to Joe that the back door was open. I remember thinking that this whole situation was so wrong and we are not the people who should be here. But we made our way over to the back door. I had a sudden overwhelming feeling that we should not be outside and that we where being watched, so we entered the house, i called out hoping that someone would respond.
I took a quick scan around the kitchen and noticed that the phone had been pulled off the wall. It was laying on the floor with one of our info cards beside it. On the back I noticed my number had been hand written. While we where stood in the house staring at this, I still had the feeling we were being watched from somewhere outside in the yard, so I quickly shut the back door behind us. The second the door was closed, there was deep, low growl that came from the other side.
But this time it was ever so different, I will never forget that growl. What ever this thing was, it was trying to say something.. It sounded like a broken “hhhhhee… Eeelllll….ooooo.”
After a few terrifying minutes it made the sound again.. “Hhhhhee…eelll….llooooo.” Joe and I just stood there utterly petrified, unsure what to do with ourselves. It was scratching at the door along with a deep sniffing sound. I turned to Joe who had turned pale with fear, gestured to him to keep quiet by putting my finger against my lips. Eventually the sounds from the door stopped and I heard what ever it was move away.
We stood there like statue’s for a few minutes till we felt it was safe to move or make any sort of sound. I thought I should have a look around the house, so I slowly walked through the kitchen into a hallway and saw the glow of the TV coming from a room to the right. I called out again, but this time softer and quieter to see if anyone was indeed in the house, still there was no reply.
I walked to the room with the TV in and looked around, no one was in there. I found the remote on the arm of a chair and muted the TV. I didn’t want to turn it off for some reason, to this day I still don’t know why. I made my way back and noticed a window at end of the hall left to the kitchen doorway. Something moved outside which I caught in the corner of my eye. The window over looked the yard of the farm and the joining barns, it was lit up by the yard lights which seemed to be attached to the house from the shadows that where being cast. I looked over to check on Joe who was still in the kitchen, he hadn’t moved at all but he looked at me, he had fear in his eyes. I pointed towards the window near me which later on he told me he couldn’t see from where he was. I moved closer to try and get a better understanding of what was going on out there.
From the window I couldn’t see any movement from anyone or anything, just some farm equipment and random stuff thrown about. Then suddenly something moved, again caught in the corner of my eye. I turned my head quickly to try and get a glimpse of whatever it is that is filling us with fear. What I saw was a black mass moving along the shadows of the barn opposite the house, it looked to be sniffing around, like it was trying to find something. As it was deathly silent I could hear it was making a growling sound again. I still couldn’t make out what this thing was as it was so dark, all I could see was a black mass, it reminded me of a almost a dog as it walked on all fours, but it’s legs looked twisted and deformed, it was too big and so black. It was blacker than the shadows it was in. Feeling creeped out, I slowly moved away from the window, keeping low in the hopes it couldn’t see me and I headed back into the kitchen to be with Joe.
It was coming up to 1am, I remember this as I kept looking at the cuckoo clock on the wall in the kitchen, which luckily didn’t go off. The kitchen was old fashioned, with yellow stained net curtains on the window above the sink. The walls were covered with dated and stained wall paper, I kept thinking, this place would be nice if it had a fresh lick of paint. By this point I was getting very tired and ached from sitting in the same place. Joe and I hadn’t said much to each other in last few hours in fear of whatever was outside hearing us. I looked over and Joes eyes were shut, I gave him a slight nudge as I couldn’t believe he was falling asleep, he sat up straight and looked at me in a panic. I whispered that it was ok, and told him that we either need to lock this house down and stay untill sun rise, or we need to try and make a break for it back to the cars. As it was winter time, the sun rise wouldn’t be till 8-9am, and I didn’t want to stay in this place for another 7-8 hours.
We sat there in silence for a bit longer thinking over the options, then in the distance I heard the growling again, it sounded like it was getting closer though. Keeping low I made a move for the hallway. I headed to the front door to see if I could open it, the handle wouldn’t budge. I thought it must have been locked. Fed up of the situation and now just generally getting pissed off of the fear and being stuck in someone’s house, I have to say that I used to have a very short temper. I stood up straight and walked back into the kitchen. The back door was in a stable style, so I unlatched the top half and screamed at the top of my lungs. “WILL YOU JUST SOD OFF!! WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM US??” I quickly slammed the door shut, Joe just looked at me in utter shock. Then from outside I heard the growl again as it tried to say… “hhhheeeee…llllllloooooo.”
I was feeling a mixture of anger, fear and regret. I held my hands over my mouth, I couldn’t believe what I did. The scratching and sniffing at the door got louder, I could hear it was sniffing at the top half of the door now. Shaking my head at my actions, I apologised to Joe by holding his hands. We waited about another hour untill we moved again. I wanted to get out of this house and out of this situation. I made my way back into the hall to try and look for a key for the front, I was not taking any chances leaving via the back.
I searched around the few rooms on the lower ground all of which needed to be fixed up, I did find a key in a dresser draw in the living room, but it wasn’t the one I needed. Feeling truly trapped and getting to the point of giving up I decided to try the front door again. This time I checked every inch and found it wasn’t actually locked, it was just latched.
Finding this out, I laughed so hard to the point of being hysterical, all while trying keeping quiet. I was making my way back to the kitchen when I saw a shadow like figure in the window staring directly at me. I froze on the spot staring back at whatever it was. I still couldn’t get a good look at it, as it was so black and was really dark outside as the yard lights where no longer on. I couldn’t see any eyes, but I could feel it was looking at me. it was going right through me. I thought, this is it, its now or never. I was close enough to the kitchen that I could see Joe’s back, I called his name softly through my teeth as to not move my mouth. Still locking eyes with the creature, I could feel myself getting more angry and called out for Joe again. He came over to the doorway, I whispered in a tone through my teeth for him to get down low and that we were going to make a run for it to the cars.
I remember Joe looking at me and nodding his head, I told him to not look towards the window which was to his left and just head to the door. Joe got down low and headed towards our exit. After Joe got near to the door I told him where he would find the latch and to get hold of it as we where going to run as fast as we can to the cars. After waiting a few minutes I turned and shouted ‘NOW’ at Joe. He unlatched the door and threw it open. I ran out soo fast, I recall turning around just as I left the house and looking at the window, I could tell that the black mass of the creature had gone.
We reached the cars, which luckily neither of us had locked. My car was the closet to us, so I dived into the drivers seat and Joe jumped in the back. In the corner of my vision I could see the dark figure moving quickly down the path at the side of the house heading towards us. This time it wasn’t on all fours, it was now running on two legs, its stride looked awkward cumbersome . Feeling seriously freaked out, I started my car and drove off down the drive and out onto the lane, I went straight to the police station. I had gone so fast I nearly crashed the car. Even though it was likely the police wouldn’t believe us, I just wanted to be somewhere where I could feel a bit more safe.
Once we reached the station, Joe and I got out and just looked at each other and laughed with a slight sigh of relief. Then I looked at my car, and noticed that there was a massive dent in the shape of a foot print on the bonnet. It almost looked like a dogs paw print, but it was bigger and misshapen. I looked at Joe and just shook my head.
It was now nearly 4am, I had given my statement to the police, luckily I knew the officers on shift quite well. They saw how scared Joe and I were, they assured they would go and check out the farm when they were able to the next day. Not feeling in the right mind to be alone, Joe said I could stay at his house as its was nearer to the village than mine.
We got to Joe’s and we both just sat on the sofa, not really saying much to each other. Joe then realised that he had left his car at the farm and left the living room, to make a call. I must have fallen asleep as the next thing I knew I was waking up and it was sunny outside.
I called the station to check if they had attended the farm. They advised me that officers had been and found that the front door was shut and they were not able to open it. They could hear that the TV was on inside. This made my skin crawl as I had left the it muted and the front door open. They advised that the officers had gained entry through an open rear door and found no one inside. They had checked over the barn in the yard and didn’t see anything unusual. Joe had asked about his car, and they agreed to bring it back for him as he refused to go to the farm to collect it, even during the day time.
A few days had passed and I recevied another call from the station. They had continued their search and were informing me that they had found the farmer. He had locked himself in a small storage room in the barn opposite the house and took a long time to be convinced to leave. Once he was out, he just kept rambling about the darkness, and how the shadow had killed his animals.