Monday, June 2, 2014
There’s something creepy about the woods.
There’s something creepy about the woods. Perhaps it’s the deep shadows, the unseen animals lurking in the brush, or the absence of people and lights.
The Land Remembers
One night I was camping near where an old river dam had been. I pulled the canoe in late so I just draped the tarp over the canoe and crawled in underneath it and fell asleep. In the middle of the night I woke up to the sound of roaring water. I crawled up out from under the tarp and the sound stopped. I thought I must have been imagining it or it was the wind through the trees or something. I crawled back under the tarp and the sound started again. This time when I crawled out it didn’t stop. The sound got louder and louder. I realized that it sounded like water ripping through the woods. Even the dogs had their hair on end. I quick pulled the tarp off the canoe and dragged it up to the top of a ridge and waited to see what was making that noise. Then I heard the voices, men yelling and a dull thumping noise. I huddled down next to the boat, pulled the dogs close and waited for the sun to come up to find out what was happening. Morning came and there was nothing to see. To this day I don’t know what that was but I have my ideas. I will not camp there ever again. I was told that the land remembers, and that’s fine, I just don’t need to be there when it’s remembering.
Some friends and I were doing some night fishing on the James River. We were sitting along the shoreline with a nice fire going accompanied by the usual idle talk and a few beers, when suddenly everyone just stopped talking like a switch was flipped off.
We were all staring across the river and felt as if something or someone was staring back. It was a very uneasy feeling, to which some of the group tried to shake off with the typical macho humor, when a bloodcurdling sound erupted from the other shore that froze everyone in their tracks. This sound was unlike any other that I had heard and it made every hair on my body vibrate and tingle. The only way I can describe it is it sounded like a wild person with no language skills being gutted alive. No words, just this high pitched bloodcurdling scream. Nobody moved or said a word. We all just sat there fixed in our stare, when just as suddenly a second scream was let loose with even more force than the first.
By this time, several of us were sprinting to our trucks that were parked within 20 or 30 feet and retrieving various firearms. We all sat there quietly with our eyes fixed staring toward the opposite shore watching the light from our fire reflecting off the rocks. Hours later we packed it up and left, feeling very unsettled. We never did figure that one out or even hazard a guess as to what was on the opposite bank.
The Invisible Assailant
It was very early in the morning around 2-3 a.m. and I was in a very open area waiting for my boss to return with some equipment. As I was waiting I got that feeling like I was being watched by something that didn’t want me there and had some intent on harming me. I stood up and looked around. The moon was very bright that night and I could clearly see all the way to the tree lines, probably 50 yards on both sides of me. Nothing around. I calmed down a bit and took my pack off my back to get my drink out.
As I opened my drink, I hear this woosh woosh woosh sound flying through the air from behind me. It was like the sound that a stick makes if you throw it overhand. I literally dove out of the way with my bag falling to the ground and my drink flying through the air spilling as I jumped away. I recover from my diving experience and take my radio out of my bag to radio my boss. I go “I’m not trying to freak you out or anything but I’m on my way back to the shop. I just had something thrown at me.” As I’m talking to him I’m looking around on the snowy ground for anything that could have been hurled at me. There was nothing on the ground but snow. I had no idea what the hell was going on at this point. His reply of “I’ve already got a head start on you I’ll see you there” sounded out of breath like he was running. I gather my stuff and start hauling ass back to the shop.
I get back and meet up with my boss and he’s pacing back and forth in our shop freaking out. I get him to calm down and he tells me he was on his way back up to me when he got the same feeling I got before something got thrown at me. He said after he got the feeling he stopped to look around and heard something clearly two legged start walking towards him, barely crunching in the snow. Then he said it started running at him but there was nothing in sight. All of the sounds of movement stopped and he froze to listen for more sounds. Then he said a “hot breath” was hitting the back of the neck and he proceeded to freak the f**k out. He said he ran the whole way back to the shop and about halfway back is when he heard me on the radio.
The crazy part about this whole thing is the area where we were working has several burial mounds in the woods from Native Americans. Apparently, there also used to be an ‘altar’ of some kind made out of stone that was buried during a construction project a few decades ago.
The Thing in the Swamp
As I sat in the dark in my tree stand, I kept having that feeling of being watched. Now I have hunted, camped, and grew up in the woods and am completely at home, day or night, in the darkest, deepest swamps, and I had never had this feeling. I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
When I was slithering down later that morning, I saw something out of the corner of my eye about the same time that I heard it! I heard the crash and just BARELY caught sight of something running through the palmettos parallel to me. Now I say barely because it looked like a huge, brown dog. Honestly, at first I thought it was a buffalo. It crashed through the thicket and I heard it hit water. It sounded like a herd of hogs plowing the trees!
Around two or so that afternoon, I had been sitting in the stand maybe an hour or so when I heard the faint splash of hogs across the thicket in the swamp. As it got louder, I begin getting nervous. It was so weird because I had never felt that way before. Well, what I thought was a bunch of hogs turned out to be one single critter. When it was within a hundred yards, I could hear it plain and clear. Whatever it was, it was in no hurry and stayed out of sight. I had scouted the area and I knew the water the creature was in was waist deep on me. I could hear the “splash, drip…drip…drip…splash” as it put one foot in front of the other, real slow, like it was trying to be quiet. I thought it might be another person till I thought about how deep that water was. I would never point a gun at a noise or anything I wasn’t planning to kill dead, but as that noise got louder I was looking down the barrel! I was actually shaking.
The creature eventually got to the edge of the water with about 40 yards of thicket before the open ground between us. It crashed about 10 or 15 yards and then went quiet. Deathly quiet. No frogs, no crickets, no birds, nothing. I might have imagined it, but I thought I could hear something every now and then, like it was slippin’ in on me. It was getting dark by then and to say I was shaken would be an understatement. I never saw or heard anything else that evening, but I was so put off by the sounds that I left my bag hanging on a nail in the stand. It was two days before I got the nerve up to go back after my bag, but when I returned the bag was gone and the bark of the tree had been scratched and clawed to hell! I have not been back to that swamp. I’ve told a few people about the creature, but no one believes me.