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.
We got back to the cabin, had something to eat, played some cards and hung out. At around midnight, we decided to head down to the dock to do some stargazing. We’re lucky enough to see the northern lights all year round. We were sitting on the dock, looking at the stars, when we started kissing. Thirty seconds later, just behind us, there was a loud crash back in the bush. It sounded like there was a big animal moving around, breaking branches and twigs about 60 feet away from us. Whatever it was, it was HUGE. We both instantly turned around. My boyfriend asked, “What is that?!” “I have no idea,” I said, “We don’t get animals that big on the island.” Just then, the creature started grunting and stomping its feet on the ground. My boyfriend muttered, “What the…?” “I… I don’t know,” I replied. It was so dark outside that we couldn’t see anything in the direction of the sounds. Neither of us had bothered to bring a flashlight as it was easy enough for us to walk back up the path by following the kitchen light we’d left on. We both stood up and ran back up to the cabin.
Back inside, we closed everything but the kitchen window and sat there and listened. Nothing. We heard nothing outside. We tried to look out the windows, but it was pitch black. We sat there and discussed what it could have been. We decided the only two animals remotely that big in the area are moose, which are extremely rare and have never been seen on the island, and black bears. I explained to my boyfriend that bears rarely swim out to the island from the mainland. We hadn’t had one on our property in years. “Besides,” I joked, “since when do black bears interrupt people having romantic moments in the moonlight by crashing through the bush and stomping their feet?” My boyfriend didn’t think that was so funny.
We eventually went to bed. There are two single beds in the back bedroom. One of the beds is situated right under the bedroom window. The pillow sits about 2 inches below the window sill. This is the bed I always sleep in. I like to keep the window open to let in the fresh forest air and sounds. That night I kept the window closed tight and pulled the blinds shut. We were laying in our beds talking when all of a sudden this horrible smell enveloped my entire head. It was like nothing I had ever smelled before. It was a putrid combination of wet dog, body odor, and rotting garbage. I will never forget that smell. I must have made a disgusted noise because my boyfriend asked what was wrong. I told him to come over to my bed and smell the horrible stench coming through the window. He smelled it too. Again, we had no idea what it was and neither of us wanted to open the blinds to investigate. The smell disappeared as quickly as it had come. A short time later we went to sleep.
The next morning we thoroughly checked around the cabin and dock for signs of bear. We found nothing. We ate a quick breakfast and left the cabin for home.
It honestly didn’t occur to me until weeks later what the creature could have been… a Sasquatch. Although not as prevalent as on the west coast of North America, there is a long history of Bigfoot sightings in the woods of Northwestern Ontario. I did a bit of research and discovered that Sasquatch have been known to display ape-like behavior such as throwing rocks and stomping feet. People that have close encounters with Bigfoot often report the creature having a very strong odor. In addition, Bigfoot are widely believed to be very strong swimmers, so it would have had no problem following us back to the cabin by swimming and island hopping.
As an avid camper, hiker, and lifelong cottager, who has seen many bears over the years, I don’t believe for a second that that thing was a bear. Over the 50 plus years my family has owned the property, every bear has left obvious evidence behind. Evidence such as piles of excrement, claw marks on window sills and walls of the cabin, ripped patio and window screens, or tipped over garbage cans and barbecue. Bears create a lot of noise and can be very destructive. The creature we encountered was quiet and sneaky when it wanted to be. Too clever for a bear.
The creature must have followed us back from our hike down the logging road. And to think it could have been only inches away from my head, listening and sniffing me through the thin pane of glass. These thoughts give me the chills to this day. My boyfriend never believed my Bigfoot theory, but he did admit he doubted it was a bear. If not a bear, than what was it? I’ll never go down that logging road again and next time I feel like something is following me through the woods, I’ll trust my instincts and run.