I’m rereading and editing my book, Eochaidh – Legend of the Horsemen, because I’ll be writing the second book in the series during the next month or so and I hadn’t read this story in a long time. In the story, a lot of things take place in the Old Woods, a mystic, magical place where the fae hang our regularly. So, I thought for this Freaky Friday we could all go camping together, in the dark, deserted, mysterious woods.
This first story is from a website called The Redneck Hunter – I really love that name. It’s a story by a man who calls himself Nightraven, and some unusual camping with friends:
“My friend, Todd, and I were at a cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We were on the back deck of the cabin, waiting for two more friends to arrive. It was an annual tradition that all of us would meet for camping this time of year.
At about 9:30 p.m., it was getting dark, and we were beginning to worry about Randy and Tommy. Only a few moments later, we saw car lights at the front of the cabin. We were in the middle of nowhere, so it had to be them. We heard the car doors open, heard Randy and Tommy as plain as day.
I yelled, “We’re on the deck.”
The car doors closed, we heard footsteps rounding the corner. At the point that someone would have rounded the corner, it was silent.
I looked at Todd. He was looking at me. It was quiet.
I yelled, “Hey, Randy. Hey, Tommy.”
We got up and walked around front, and there was nothing. No car, no people, no sound. So weird.
We went back to the deck to wait. Ninety minutes later, the phone rang. It was Todd’s mother calling to inform us that at 9:30 that evening, a fatal traffic accident involving Randy and Tommy took place 30 miles from the cabin.
It’s almost as if they just wanted to keep our tradition alive.”
A lot of paranormal stories about camping often include encounters with things other than ghosts. As I’ve been researching another story I want to write next year, I’ve come across many stories about unusual beasts who roam the woods. I know this isn’t one of my typical ghost stories, but, I like to keep an open mind about things that go bump in the night.
“My family owns a small, secluded cabin in southwest Virginia. This past summer we decided to spend around three weeks there. The cabin has electricity and running water, but no TVs or computers. The third day of our visit, the nearest neighbor (a cattle farmer who lives about two miles down the road) came up to our cabin and informed us that during the past two weeks that some of his cattle have been slaughtered and basically mutilated. There are foxes and wolves in those hills, and occasionally a small black bear, but nothing that could do this much damage and over such a spread-out time. He asked us if we had seen anything and told us to keep our eyes open if we saw a rabid fox, wolf, bear or any other animal that could possibly have done it. We told him we would, and he thanked us and left.
The next five or six days passed uneventfully, but around a week after the farmer came to our house, we experienced something.
That day we BBQed hot dogs and hamburgers and had a small party with some close friends, but none of them stayed the night. Around 11:30, my wife and I decided to go to bed. We slept peacefully until about 3:45 when there was a loud crash outside, and our dog started barking furiously. I didn’t have a rifle or any other type of weapon, so I decided to cautiously proceed downstairs and turn on the floodlights around the cabin. The switch to the lights was outside on the deck of the cabin, so I proceeded out there and turned them on.
What I saw next still baffles me. At my truck there was a creature standing upright, about 7 feet tall with huge claws on its “hands.” It had white hair that was almost gray, but I couldn’t really see its eyes. It seemed to be searching around the bed of my truck and was paying no attention to the now-frantic dog. When the lights first came on, it did nothing but continue its search, but it then looked up at the deck.
By now I was frozen in horror, and it turned around and made eye contact with me. It then made a horrible screeching sound, almost as if it was in terror from the sight of me. At first it seemed as if it was going to charge at me and climb the steps onto the deck. But then in a terrorized rage, it made another screech and “sprinted” away. It ran upright, and its claws almost went past its knees.
The next day, we left the cabin and reported what we saw to the local deputy. He dismissed it as nothing more than a bear and said we should not concern ourselves with backwoods business.”
If you’re intrigued by the whole Bigfoot and other paranormal phenomena idea, there’s a great book by a fairly local journalist, (Wisconsin is local, right?) Linda Godfrey. She is the first journalist to report on the Beast of Bray Road and, since then, has done quite a bit of exploring into the paranormal. She acknowledges that her interests in the paranormal started when people began to write to her after she’d written about the Beast. They wanted to tell her about similar things they’d experienced. They finally had someone they could talk to who wouldn’t think they were nuts. I’ve had that same experience, people love to write to me about their personal ghost experiences because, finally, they can talk to someone who will understand what they went through. The more I research the paranormal, the more I’ve learned to have an open mind.
I have Linda’s newest book – Monsters Among Us – and it’s fascinating. You can find more about Linda on her website. It’s a great place for a good story too!
So, as we get closer to Christmas Eve, I want to leave you with this thought. When it’s time for “up on the housetop”…are you sure what you’re hearing are reindeer paws?