Paranormal activity in woods and forests

There have been stories and legends about paranormal activity in woods and forests going back thousands of years.

In 2015, someone who claimed to be a Search and Rescue Officer for the US Forest Service came forward with several detailed accounts of first hand paranormal activity and encounters they experienced while doing their job in woods and forests.

These accounts were posted on Reddit in 8 parts, from August to December 2015. It’s not only the original posts that are so intriguing, but the large volume of replies from all over the world containing similar accounts.

As orgonite continually turns negative, bad energy into good, positive energy, it helps protect against negative energy, people and entities.

It is a good idea to carry a small pendant-sized piece with you 24/7, ideally containing a double terminated crystal. But if planning trips away, especially into wooded areas, larger pieces such as towerbusters or HHG cones will keep you cocooned in positive orgone.

The original accounts and most relevant replies are reproduced here with full credit given.

Part 1

I wasn’t sure where else to post these stories, so I figured I’d share them here. I’ve been an SAR officer for a few years now, and along the way I’ve seen some things that I think you guys will be interested in.

  • I have a pretty good track record for finding missing people. Most of the time they just wander off the path, or slip down a small cliff, and they can’t find their way back. The majority of them have heard the old ‘stay where you are’ thing, and they don’t wander far. But I’ve had two cases where that didn’t happen. Both bother me a lot, and I use them as motivation to search even harder on the missing persons cases I get called on. The first was a little boy who was out berry-picking with his parents. He and his sister were together, and both of them went missing around the same time. Their parents lost sight of them for a few seconds, and in that time both the kids apparently wandered off. When their parents couldn’t find them, they called us, and we came out to search the area. We found the daughter pretty quickly, and when we asked where her brother was, she told us that he’d been taken away by ‘the bear man.’ She said he gave her berries and told her to stay quiet, that he wanted to play with her brother for a while. The last she saw of her brother, he was riding on the shoulders of ‘the bear man’ and seemed calm. Of course, our first thought was abduction, but we never found a trace of another human being in that area. The little girl was also insistent that he wasn’t a normal man, but that he was tall and covered in hair, ‘like a bear’, and that he had a ‘weird face.’ We searched that area for weeks , it was one of the longest calls I’ve ever been on, but we never found a single trace of that kid. The other was a young woman who was out hiking with her mom and grandpa. According to the mother, her daughter had climbed up a tree to get a better view of the forest, and she’d never come back down. They waited at the base of the tree for hours, calling her name, before they called for help. Again, we searched everywhere, and we never found a trace of her. I have no idea where she could possibly have gone, because neither her mother or grandpa saw her come down.

  • A few times, I’ve been out on my own searching with a canine, and they’ve tried to lead me straight up cliffs. Not hills, not even rock faces. Straight, sheer cliffs with no possible handholds. It’s always baffling, and in those cases we usually find the person on the other side of the cliff, or miles away from where the canine has led us. I’m sure there’s an explanation, but it’s sort of strange.

  • One particularly sad case involved the recovery of a body. A nine-year-old girl fell down an embankment and got impaled on a dead tree at the base. It was a complete freak accident, but I’ll never forget the sound her mother made when we told her what had happened. She saw the body bag being loaded into the ambulance, and she let out the most haunting, heart-broken wail I’ve ever heard. It was like her whole life was crashing down around her, and a part of her had died with her daughter. I heard from another SAR officer that she killed herself a few weeks after it happened. She couldn’t live with the loss of her daughter.

  • I was teamed up with another SAR officer because we’d received reports of bears in the area. We were looking for a guy who hadn’t come home from a climbing trip when he was supposed to, and we ended up having to do some serious climbing to get to where we figured he’d be. We found him trapped in a small crevasse with a broken leg. It was not pleasant. He’d been there for almost two days, and his leg was very obviously infected. We were able to get him into a chopper, and I heard from one of the EMTs that the guy was absolutely inconsolable. He kept talking about how he’d been doing fine, and when he’d gotten to the top, a man had been there. He said the guy had no climbing equipment, and he was wearing a parka and ski pants. He walked up to the guy, and when the guy turned around, he said he had no face. It was just blank. He freaked out, and ended up trying to get off the mountain too fast, which is why he’d fallen. He said he could hear the guy all night, climbing down the mountain and letting out these horrible muffled screams. That story bothered the hell out of me. I’m glad I wasn’t there to hear it.

  • One of the scariest things I’ve ever had happen to me involved the search for a young woman who’d gotten separated from her hiking group. We were out until late at night, because the dogs had picked up her scent. When we found her, she was curled up under a large rotted log. She was missing her shoes and pack, and she was clearly in shock. She didn’t have any injuries, and we were able to get her to walk with us back to base ops. Along the way, she kept looking behind us and asking us why ‘that big man with black eyes’ was following us. We couldn’t see anyone, so we just wrote it off as some weird symptom of shock. But the closer we got to base, the more agitated this woman got. She kept asking me to tell him to stop ‘making faces’ at her. At one point she stopped and turned around and started yelling into the forest, saying that she wanted him to leave her alone. She wasn’t going to go with him, she said, and she wouldn’t give us to him. We finally got her to keep moving, but we started hearing these weird noises coming from all around us. It was almost like coughing, but more rhythmic and deeper. It was almost insect-like, I don’t really know how else to describe it. When we were within site of base ops, the woman turns to me, and her eyes are about as wide as I can imagine a human could open them. She touches my shoulder and says ‘He says to tell you to speed up. He doesn’t like looking at the scar on your neck.’ I have a very small scar on the base of my neck, but it’s mostly hidden under my collar, and I have no idea how this woman saw it. Right after she says it, I hear that weird coughing right in my ear, and I just about jumped out of my skin. I hustled her to ops, trying not to show how freaked out I was, but I have to say I was really happy when we left the area that night.

  • This is the last one I’ll tell, and it’s probably the weirdest story I have. Now, I don’t know if this is true in every SAR unit, but in mine, it’s sort of an unspoken, regular thing we run into. You can try asking about it with other SAR officers, but even if they know what you’re talking about, they probably won’t say anything about it. We’ve been told not to talk about it by our superiors, and at this point we’ve all gotten so used to it that it doesn’t even seem weird anymore. On just about every case where we’re really far into the wilderness, I’m talking 30 or 40 miles, at some point we’ll find a staircase in the middle of the woods. It’s almost like if you took the stairs in your house, cut them out, and put them in the forest. I asked about it the first time I saw some, and the other officer just told me not to worry about it, that it was normal. Everyone I asked said the same thing. I wanted to go check them out, but I was told, very emphatically, that I should never go near any of them. I just sort of ignore them now when I run into them because it happens so frequently.

I have a lot more stories, and I suppose if anyone’s interested, I’ll tell some of them tomorrow. If anyone has any theories about the stairs, or if you’ve seen them too, let me know.

Original source

Comments for Part 1

I’ve heard about these staircases too, my ex was a SAR officer and he mentioned them and told me not to tell anyone. It pissed me off, because he didn’t know much about them and didn’t seem to find it as fascinating as I did.
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Man I have a bunch of these stories. I was in SAR as well, but all my creepy experiences have happened while camping or hiking.

This one’s pretty tame…I almost always camp waaaay out, I’m talking 30-40 miles down unnamed dirt roads, up mountains, in canyons, etc. A couple years ago I was camping alone out on a prairie flat, halfway surrounded by a forest. It’s nearly winter and there’s not a soul within 50 miles I bet. My big hound dog was with me, as always. It was cooold, like well below freezing, so I had a roaring campfire going. Jake the dog was in & out, he’d wander off for awhile, get cold, and come back for attention and warmth. He has a bell around his collar so I can know where he is. I’m drinking beer and listening to music, so I’m not paying much attention to his whereabouts. Mind you, it’s pitch black out there other than the stars. So after about 20 minutes, I hadn’t seen Jake, so I call him. Nothing. I turn off my music and call louder. Nothing for about 5 minutes. I hear his bell, so I’m relieved. I heard his bell behind me, which was odd, the treeline was in front of me, where he had been sniffing around earlier. Thinking he was nearby, I relaxed and refocused on chopping some more wood. I could faintly hear his bell jingling behind me still, sometimes closer or further, and I figured he was doing the hound dog’s job and smelling all around. I’d say about 40 minutes goes by, and I hadn’t heard his bell or seen him. So I call him again, and get up to walk towards the treeline. Big dark forest of ponderosa pine looms in front of me. I shine my fairly bright flashlight around and into the trees. Nothing. No sound, no sight. I’m starting to get nervous, getting “the willies” or whatever you want to call it. I hear some crunches in the woods, like sticks and stuff breaking. Not knowing where my dog is, or much of anything other than “ok I’m going back to the fire where my shotgun is”. I get back to my truck and my fire when I hear absolute PANIC barking from directly in front of me, from the treeline. Tearing across the field is my dog at full tilt. You could never mistake a hound dog’s panic bark from a bey or a yip or whatever else, it’s unlike anything. He ran behind me for a moment, and then underneath my truck. Here’s the creepy part: no bell. He had his collar on, and the bell was clipped to it with a carabiner. Sure as shit I put us both in the cab of the truck for the rest of that frozen night. To this day I still have no clue who or what was wearing that bell behind me for a few hours on a rural prairie flat in winter.
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Scariest story I have is camping in northern Michigan with my dad. My grandma lived on lake in a house near Gaylord, MI which my parents and I would frequent every Friday through Sunday for well over a decade until my grandma sold the place.

Our routine would be to pack up all necessary equipment for a 3 day camping trip and fit it into our rucks. Grab the mountain bikes and head off to one of the state forests. We then would find a random two track leading into the woods, particularly we always aimed for those that looked like they haven’t been driven on in years due to overgrowth. Find a place to park, offload bikes and leave. General made our own trail when we couldS Goal was to find a stream or river and set up camp in any clearing we could find. Usually ended up just in a clearing as we never went more than 10-15 miles from the truck.

One time we actually came across an old foundation of in assuming was once a home. No trail or road remotely near for miles. Right on a stream. Made of rocks about the size of a brick. There was a small wooden shack idk maybe 10 feet or so from the foundation, maybe 4 or 4 1/2 feet tall. I remember my dad had to bend over and I just hunched (I was just a kid!) to get inside.

Inside were rusted out gun barrels galore. Fishing poles, snow shoes, bedding, old pots and pans, etc. Clearly the area hadn’t been used in a very long time. Just cool stuff for for a 12 year old kid.

We setup camp about 20 feet away. Caught a few bullfrogs and cooked them up for dinner along with some pan fried nachos on the small Coleman we had with those old school mini propane tanks. No light pollution. The night sky was amazing. Could see so many stars. To this day my favorite part of camping is after dark. That night shortly before we went to bed, we tied up all of our food and hung it up about 15 feet or so in the air over a branch like you see in movies. Keep bear and other animals out of it essentially. Our normal nightly routine.

Shortly after we zipper the tent up to get some sleep we started hearing grunting and huffing sounds coming from across the stream. Dad being a avid hunter says it’s likely a deer or elk, maybe a bear. Which, we have seen all of these and more on our trips. Sound carries pretty far so dad wasn’t too concerned. We hear it throughout the night but the sounds started getting almost baby like. The only way I can describe it is imagine a baby whining softly. Add this with very deep huffs and grunting. Periodically we would bear a high pitched, sharp but very short cry. Sounded to me like a baby screaming. Just creepy.

Throughout the night these sounds come and go. Dad loaded the Remington and I had my little 20 gauge small game ready to go just in case. (My first gun and my first time taking it with us on one of our trips) We eventually fell asleep.

We wake up to nothing too out of the ordinary except a stench of rotting meet, like a dead animal. We figured an animal died and we just could smell it on the wind. We would come across coyote kills sometimes or some other animals so we didn’t think anything of it. We go outside to a beautiful sunrise and the sound of flies. Dad just figure we lost the food and the flies are on it now.

Dad walks around back by the food bag and stops abruptly and just says, I still remember it, very slowly a “what…the…fuck…” Behind our tent are three deer strung up, skinned and gutted. The deer were hung on three different branches on the same tree our bag was on, which was untouched. Each head was cut off and set on top of the guts. Each head was pointed directly at our tent. No one around. No foot prints, no blood trail, nothing. Just three deer, hanging by vine. Not twine or rope, vines. Dad grabbed the gun and went to try and spot tracks or blood. He is a phenomenal tracker and has been a guide on a few occasions for “experience” hunts in the U.P… He found nothing. We heard nothing in the night either.

Creepy as shit. I was incredibly spooked. Dad was too as we packed up that Saturday and headed back the the truck. No incidents on the way back. Just a normal half day trip back the truck. Drove to DNR station and Reported it.

I just remember the guy looking at me, then my dad, shaking his head slowly and picking up the phone to call whoever and all he said was something like “another skinned animal sighting near the whatever steam.” Clearly it happened before but what the hell. Dad never did find out if it was someone or something. The fact that my dad couldn’t find any blood spotting or trails where those deer would have been dragged or hoof prints where they perhaps walked is what to this day said baffles him the most. We still talk about it over a beer every now and then. He also doesn’t know where the vines came from because he looked all around the area and there were no trees with any vines anywhere around.
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I went camping at Crater Lake in Oregon, and where we camped it was heavily wooded and there were about 2 or 3 other people besides us. We get there around mid day and we set up, and relax. By now it begins to get dark so we decide to cook some food and call it a day after we eat. Now me, my cousin, and my brother, shared a tent to sleep in so I’d say around 2-3 am rolls around and I have to pee like a motherfucker. Anyways I do my stuff and head back to the tent to find the zipper wide open and my little brother gone. So I start freaking out and I wake my cousin up to tell him what happened and essentially we search until about sunrise and then we call the Rangers. They search for about 4-5 hour and they find him 10 miles away from our campsite and he has no clue how he got there all he has on is his underwear and nothing else now after this whole ordeal our cousin tells us about David Paulidas and his whole research on missing people’s in national parks. Needless to say it was the most jarring and disturbing things that has ever happened in my life. It really in all honesty ruined camping for all of us and i had loved camping too. But needless to say Crater Lake is the place to go for some creepy paranormal shit.
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You should really email David Paulides with your Search and Rescue stories. He and his son have the largest private database of missing cases. They have a really hard time getting information about them unless its first-hand. Apparently FOIA isn’t very forthcoming with missing persons cases or deaths in National Parks or Forests.

Paulides has been tracking these particular missing persons cases and if you follow even a few dozen of these cases you’d see there are more than few overlapping details and commonalities. The way people seem to instantly vanish, and cannot be located immediately in the vicinity, as well as how often it’s been people who were at the end of a line. Other factors that often crop up are the number of people who go missing with their dogs. How many of the people who are found are missing their shoes. The rate of people who go missing while out picking berries, to name another, is also pretty high apparently.

As well as the people who go missing and are found, they cannot say what happened to them, many times because they are very young, or even if they are adults their memories of what happened are clouded. One woman who was found reported she had seen other people while lost but no one seemed able to see her.

In addition, there are certain areas of just one or two or three-miles, around the country, including National Parks where higher numbers of people go missing, in clusters. Gradually, over time, not enough to alarm law enforcement immediately but enough to show patterns.

Paulides has in his books on the subject expressed alarm at the number of people, over time, that go missing from some of our National Parks. Hundreds of people go missing, and aren’t found. Or they are found, very far away from where they went missing with no real clues as to how they ended up in sometimes inhospitable areas you’d think someone couldn’t just bumble into.

Or the people who are found only a short distance away from where they disappeared, after extensive searching failed to find anything before that. No one’s really keeping track of the numbers. You have to go digging to discover these elements.

A couple of park rangers met with Paulides and acknowledged – privately – that the disappearances of people over time wasn’t getting any media attention.
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The faceless guy actually intrigued me because my brother once told me he was driving home in the middle of the night down a pretty popular (but dark) highway. Only 20 minutes to get home. He sees a deer in the middle of the road and it wasn’t scared when he drove by. He was worried it would get hit so he flipped a U turn and came up slowly as it wouldn’t budge. It had it’s head pointed to the ground like a dog sniffing at something so he rolled his window down to yell right in it’s face. It raised it’s head slowly and there was no face. He was so scared he couldn’t even drive off, and telling me about it he was so scared he had to grab his shotgun just to feel safer. He said it turned around and ran off after a second of “staring” at him, but it had no facial features. And I don’t mean like, face ripped off, I mean just smooth nothingness. In the same area another time, my friends and I were driving to another friend’s house but deeper into the woods. We were only going maybe 10mph because it was so dark, and suddenly she slams the breaks on and screams. On the side of the road was tall elephant grass, maybe 10 feet high or so, a LOT of it. Sticking out was the back half of what looked like a dog (rear end, tail, hind legs). It had a long shaggy tail, the fur was black, and it truly looked like the build of maybe a skinny great dane. The kicker was the the top of it’s rear end was well over 5 feet tall, which is how tall I am. We all screamed, and it loped into the woods. Never saw the front end!
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Omg. This is literally the first time I’ve ever seen/heard anything similar to a story I heard once.

One of my college roommates told me this one. Let’s call her Julie. Her boyfriend at the time had a few encounters with these “faceless” deer. She asked me about it because I was big into the creepy stuff and ghost stories and I could generally shine a little light on stuff, even just saying that I’d heard something similar once. I researched for a long time before giving up on this one. I had never heard of anything similar, and I couldn’t find any reference to a faceless deer, deer without eyes, even a ghost deer. Nothing until this comment.

The guy in question I only met a handful of times and I never asked him about it myself to see if I felt like he was pulling Julie’s leg. But she swore up and down he was serious because she was on the phone with him when he saw them once. And honestly, he didn’t come off as a jokester type. I wish I had brought it up though.

Apparently every now and then, while driving home at night (no particular rhyme or reason. No full moon, specific part of the year, etc) he would pass this one part of the road where he would see a group of deer. Always does, no fawns or bucks. The first time it happened, he slowed down and watched them (he loooooved his car, didn’t want to wreck). He said they just watched him as he drove by, but it wasn’t until he was fairly close that he saw they didn’t have eyes, just skin/fur over the eye sockets. He was always super creeped out and would often call Julie after seeing them.

One time, Julie said he was on the phone with her while driving and he was coming up on that part of the road. He wasn’t looking for them because he was distracted. My roommate said he suddenly starts yelling and cussing up a storm and she can hear him squeal to a stop. She’s trying to ask him what’s going on and he yelled “THE DEER! THAT %*~]¥€?=}~ DEER JUMPED OUT AND HIT MY {+<€}¥+ CAR!!!” He said it hit right on the nose of the car and the head whipped up so he had a clear sight of its face for a second, eyeless sockets and all, and then it rolled off to the side while he swerve to a halt. He got out to check the car and see how bad the damage was.

Nothing. Not a single scratch or dent. No blood.

Also no deer. We were all 18-19 at the time so driving fast was “cool.” I have no doubt he was going plenty fast enough to leave some road kill. And if anyone has ever experienced it witnessed the aftermath of hitting a deer like that, getting away without a trip to the shop just doesn’t happen.

That was also the last time he saw the deer by the time my period of living with Julie was up (just 1 semester). If anything has happened since, I wouldn’t know.

I still think about this story from time to time and wonder. I was shocked to see a reference to faceless deer in these comments. I’m actually a little excited to. It’s one of the few things I’ve ever heard of that I couldn’t only find a single story of (that being the one I heard from Julie).
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You may find it interesting to know that there is a man named Dave Paulides who investigates and documents cases exactly like the ones you describe, and he has accumulated a data set that contains hundreds of cases of strange wilderness disappearance from all over the world. These cases follow a specific pattern that involves circumstances which defy explanation/physics, and often involve a “bear man” creature (just like yours). In fact, I bet he would love to hear from you. He has written books on the subject (Missing 411 by Dave Paulides). Perhaps your stories could be investigated further and included in his next book? Most people just vanish completely. Finding someone alive after a strange disappearance like that is a very rare thing for him, and you have two such cases, so I guarantee that Mr. Paulides would love to open up files on them if at all possible. That is what he’s up to these days. He’s trying to get to the bottom of it this obvious pattern and being very thorough, but he says that there is absolutely no tracking system or database for these, and finds resistance when he inquires through official channels. It’s like the people at the top know about this, but don’t want it to get out. There are cases that go back 100 years. It’s been happening as long as we’ve been keeping track.
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holy mother of Jesus, I’ve heard the cough before, back when I was doing survival training in the army. I was alone in the woods of Canada with nothing but a ration kit and a knife. they even took our belts so we couldn’t hang ourselves if we lost it ( we did this as a unit but we were each at least 5 miles apart). late one night I was having some serious trouble sleeping, my shelter was rustling but there was no wind, that’s when the coughs began. I was freaking out trying to dismiss it as one of my platoon mates hunting in the woods or something (even though we were explicitly told to stay within visual range of our shelter.) I decide to investigate the sound and look toward the entangled door of my shelter…a bare foot with frayed jeans at the ankle…after reading the black Eyed man story 20 minutes ago I still have chills running down my spine.
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Wow OP. Stairs in the woods are a thing where I’m from, but we know that we shouldn’t go near them and avoid them when we run into one. That’s what I’ve been told by my family, like anybody else in my country for generations. I suggest you to listen to your superiors and not even talk about the stairs. It gives me the chills even while I’m writing about them here.
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i’m from Indonesia, there are many stories that people found a traditional market in the middle of the forest, a kind of market that many merchants gathering in one place selling their stuff.

And usually it is a remote area, no way that people will develop a market there. You know, maybe it’s another “people”'s market
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3 of my friends and myself have seen something akin to the 4th story once at night

first it looked like a frail old man walking like he’s drunk who went ahead and picked up a dog out of a garden threw it up a few meters in the air and kicked it rather gracefully to fly across the street

we yelled at him to stop then it became agitated and bulged up to the build of a bodybuilder or rather a gorilla but you couldn’t see any skin only something that looked like a cows black fur and it also had a blank face but really big eyes

as we got closer(we were pretty drugged out we got back from a party else we woulda just run) it started screaming in a deafening way that no one seemed to hear(no lights turned on middle of the night) we didn’t back off then

then it started to go crazy and punched a sandstone wall(it broke 2stones on that) after that it started shaking a streetlight so hard that it almost ripped it out of the ground(all the stones around the pole were ground up and the street light out of service for 2weeks)

my friends and i theorized that the screams were not heard by anyone it didn’t intend to hear it(other than all dogs in the neighbourhood who ALL started barking) as nobody woke but as soon as it manipulated shit in our world(lamppost) people could hear that(sound of lamppost almost being rippedo ut of the fucking ground) and woke up in reaction to this if they could have heard its screams they would have woken up they shook you LITERALLY to the bone

after that happened it jumped on a wall(which is about 2.30meters high) then ran off in a way that seemed like a timelapse like it would teleport a few meters at a time and if you didn’t look at it it could cover a seemingly endless distance in an instance

then it sat waiting at a crossroads seemingly waiting for us to pass with a cocky attitude(arms crossed leaning on a railing)

before this happened i heard about this thing from 3 different people at different timest it’s called “kurdismonster” here(cause the first guy who saw it saw it at the “kurdis-damm” it has that name)

this was 3years ago and i’m still scared to go out past 10pm this is some supernatural shit and the strangest thing was that a friends mother goes to some gypsy fortuneteller who just happened to tell her that the shit her son encountered is not to be fucked with and is a demon
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Well, I believe this thing is Jin… They live among us but in their own world so do we, unless if you step in their territories and mess it up somehow, then the trouble starts
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I guess I know what the creature that stole kids was… Here in Russia/Ukraine people calls him “Леший”, he is something like the demon who lives in the woods. He often stole kids, or messing with people who lost in woods, he is not kind, even more, he’s very unfriendly to people, for example he often make people “lost”, he can change forest’s landscape, he can create haze and stuff like that, most likely if you meet him out there in the woods, you have all of the chances to disappear completely, like those people from stories. Back then, when old Russian Empire (not USSR/ or Russian Federation) wasn’t yet into religion of Jesus Christ people were really close to nature and they could easily fight such creatures with rituals,or if they were in trouble they’re just started to pray to Gods of forest so they’re protected people from such creature’s. But nowadays it’s all gone and probably if you will be unlucky enough to meet such creature today, you are dead men, so be very careful next time when you’ll be in the woods.
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I live in Northern Utah and there are countless stories, legends and myths about the surrounding mountain areas. I have experienced a lot of things in the woods while camping and enjoy nature and the one that always stands out for me and I experienced is Old Man Herzog. We were on an overnight Scout trip up Green Canyon, just above North Logan. There was around 10 of us and 2 leaders. We were up at the highest campground at the end of the dirt road. Right next to the fence for the wilderness area/tony grove trail. We set up camp, talked and enjoyed each others company. One of our leaders decided to tell us a story that he was told by his dad about an old man from our town who went missing many years ago and was last seen walking up into the hills above the town, towards the forest. He said his name was Herzog. He said that he is seen often during the summer months. We all thought that he was just trying to scare us and we laughed it off. When it started to get dark we decided to play Steal the Flag. So we split off into teams and started to play. About an hour into the game my friends Brett, Bill and I were hiding in a big bush in between some trees, I was looking around when I noticed a flash of white coming down the hillside, i kept watching and could pinpoint where it was going to emerge from the forest and out stepped an old man. At first i was shocked and then i told my friends to look and they both saw him as well. He was walking towards our direction and we were dead quiet, i knew he could not see us, we were well hidden, but he walked up to the bush and said " Nice night for a game, huh guys" and then kept walking until he headed up the other mountain on the other side of the meadow we were playing in. No one else saw him, except us. Now i know that area well and from where he came, his age and without any flashlight there is no way he could have navigated that steep mountain slope. He came and then was gone. Still get a creepy feeling in that area of Green Canyon.
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I’m also a fan of David Paulides’ Missing 411 stories. There has to be something coming from above.

In so many cases, there are no footprints or tracks of any kind. Dogs lose the scent. People just disappear, in a blink of an eye.

People, especially kids, are found ridiculous distances away from where they go missing, sometimes these are toddlers who could not possibly cover that amount of ground even if it were flat. Climbing a tree and never coming down.

And people are found at higher ground, sometimes up or over sheer cliffs they could not possibly scale. They are found in the middle of ponds with no footprints on the edge. Some appear to have fallen from a great height. They are found in places that multiple search teams covered.

For small children, it would seem plausible they were carried away by eagles or other large birds of prey. I don’t think there are many stories like that coming from survivors, though. If they remember anything and are able to communicate, they talk of being lured somehow. The stories seem idiosyncratic; some see relatives or strange people, some see odd animals.
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Really interesting post. I worked in New Mexico in the early 1990s assisting a professor from Highlands University sampling mountain streams for invertebrates. We worked mainly in fairly remote back country in the SW part of the state, and during one long day of hiking came across a staircase just in the middle of nowhere among some Ponderosa pines.
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Part 2

So I logged back on tonight and was blown away by the staggering amount of interest this seems to have generated. First off, I’ll address a few things that you guys have brought up:

  • There’s been an overwhelming amount of people mentioning the similarity between some of my stories and those of David Paulides. I assure you I’m not trying to rip him off in any way, I’ve got nothing but respect for the guy. He’s actually what inspired me to write this, because I can verify a lot of the things he talks about. We do have a lot of these strange missing persons cases, and most of the time they aren’t solved. Either that, or we find them in places they have no business being. I personally haven’t been on many calls like that, but I’ll share a few that I’ve seen, and a story my friend told me that relates to this.

  • There was a lot of feedback about the stairs, so I’ll touch on that briefly here, and I’ll also include a story. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, styles, and conditions. Some are pretty dilapidated, just ruins, but others are brand new. I saw one set that looked like they came from a lighthouse: they were metal and spiral, almost old-fashioned. The stairs don’t go up infinitely, or farther than I can see, but some sets are taller than others. Like I said before, just imagine the stairs in your house, as if someone cut-and-pasted them in the middle of nowhere. I don’t have any pictures, it’s never really occurred to me to try again after the first time, and I don’t really feel like risking my job over it. I’ll try again in the future, but I can’t really promise anything.

  • A few people expressed confusion about the guy who ran into the man with no face. Just to clarify, when the climber ascended and reached the top of this peak, he saw another man in a parka and ski pants. This was the man with no face. Sorry about the confusing wording of that story, I’ll try to avoid that in the future.

Alright, on to the new stories:

  • As far as missing persons go, I’d say about half the calls I get are related to that. The others are rescue calls; people who fall down cliffs and hurt themselves, get injured by fire (you wouldn’t believe how often this happens, mostly drunk kids), get bitten or stung by animals or insects. We’re a tight team, and we have veterans who are excellent at finding signs of lost people. That’s what makes these cases where we never find any trace of them so frustrating. One in particular was upsetting for all of us, because we did find a trace of them, but it just led to more questions than answers. An older man had been hiking alone on a well-established trail, but his wife called to say that he hadn’t come home when he should have. Apparently he had a history of seizures, and she was worried that he hadn’t taken his medication and had suffered one out on the trail. Before you ask, I have no idea why he thought it was okay to go out alone, or why she didn’t go with him. I don’t ask about that kind of thing because past a certain point, it really doesn’t matter. Someone is missing, and it’s my job to find them. We went out in a standard search formation, and it wasn’t long before one of our vets found signs that the guy had gone off the trail. We grouped up and followed him, spreading out in a fan to make sure we were covering as much ground as possible. Suddenly, a call comes over the radio telling us to all head back to the vets location, and we come right away, because this usually means the missing person is injured, and we need a full team to help get them out safely. We meet back up, and the vet is just standing at the base of a tree with his hands on the sides of his head. I ask my buddy what’s going on, and he points up into the branches of this tree. I almost couldn’t believe what I was seeing, but there’s a walking stick dangling from a branch at least thirty feet off the ground. The little strap thing on the handle has been looped around the branch, and it’s just hanging there. There’s no way the guy could have tossed it up that far, and we don’t see any other signs that he’s still in the area. We call up into the tree, but it’s obvious no one’s in it. We’re all just sort of left scratching our heads. We keep searching for the guy, but we never find him. We even bring our canines out, but they lose his scent long before this tree. Eventually, the search is called off, because there are other calls we have to attend to, and past a certain point there’s not much we can do. The guy’s wife called us every day for months, asking if we’d found her husband, and it was heartbreaking to hear her get more and more hopeless each time. I’m not sure why this call in particular was so upsetting, but I think it was just the sheer improbability of it. That and the questions that were raised. How the hell had this guy’s cane ended up there? Did someone kill him and toss that up there as some weird trophy? We did our best to find him, but it was almost like a taunt. We still talk about that one from time to time.

  • Missing kids are the most heart-breaking. Doesn’t matter what circumstances they go missing under, it’s never easy, and we always, always dread the ones we find deceased. It’s not common, but it does happen. David Paulides talks a lot about kids SAR teams find in places they shouldn’t be, or couldn’t be. I can honestly say I’ve heard about this kind of thing happening more than I’ve seen it, but I’ll share one of the ones that I think about a lot that I witnessed personally. A mother and her three kids were out for a picnic in an area of the park that has a small lake. One is six, one is five, and the other is about three. She’s watching them all really closely, and according to her, she never lets them out of her sight at any time. She never saw anyone else in the area either, which is important. She packs their stuff up and they start to head back to the parking area. Now, this lake is only about two miles into the woods, and it’s on a very clearly established trail. It’s almost impossible to get lost getting from the parking area to it, unless you’re deliberately going off the path like an imbecile. Her kids are walking in front of her, when she hears what sounds like someone coming up the path behind her. She turns around, and in the four or so seconds she’s not looking, her five-year-old son vanishes. She figures he’s stepped off the trail to pee or something, and she asks her other two where he went. They both tell her that ‘a big man with a scary face’ came out of the woods next to them, took the kid’s hand, and led him into the trees. The two remaining kids don’t seem upset, in fact she says later that it seems like they’ve been drugged. They’re sort of spacey and fuzzy. So of course, she freaks out, starts looking frantically in the area for her kid. She’s screaming his name, and she says at one point she thinks she heard him answer her. Now obviously she can’t go blindly running into the woods, she’s got the other two kids, so she calls the police and they send us out immediately. We respond, and we start the search for him. Over the course of this search, which spans miles, we never find a single trace of the kid. Canines can’t pick up any scent, we don’t find any clothing or broken bushes or literally anything that would signify a child being there. Of course there’s suspicion about the mother for a while, but it’s pretty clear that she’s completely destroyed by the whole thing. We looked for this kid for weeks, with a lot of volunteer help. But eventually, the search peters out, and we have to move on. The volunteers keep searching, though, and one day we get a call on the radio letting us know that a body has been found and needs to be recovered. They tell us the location, and none of us can believe it. We figure it has to be a different kid. But we go out there, about 15 miles from the site where he vanished, and sure enough, we find the body of the kid we’ve been looking for. I have been trying to figure out how this kid got where he did ever since we found him, and I’ve never come up with an answer. A volunteer just happened to be in the area, because he figured he might as well look in places no one else would think to on the off chance the body had been dumped. He comes to the base of a tall, rocky slope, and half-way up, he sees something. He looks through his binoculars and sure enough, it’s the body of a little boy, stuffed in a little opening in the rock. He recognizes the color of the kid’s shirt, so he knows right away that it’s the missing boy. That’s when he calls it in, and we’re dispatched. It took us almost an hour to get his body down, and none of us could believe what we were seeing. Not only was this kid 15 miles from where he’d started, there was no possible way he could have gotten up there on his own. This slope is treacherous, and it’s hard even for us with our climbing gear. A five-year-old boy had no way of getting up there, of that I’m certain. Not only that, but the kid doesn’t have a scratch on him. His shoes are gone, but his feet aren’t damaged or dirty. So it wasn’t as if an animal dragged him up there. And from what we can tell, he hasn’t been dead that long. He’d been out there over a month by that point, and it looked like he’d only been dead for, at most, a day or two. The whole thing was unbelievably strange, and was one of the most disconcerting calls I’ve ever been on. We found out later that the coroner determined the kid had died from exposure. He’d frozen to death, probably late at night two days before we found him. There were no suspects, and no answers. To date, it’s one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen.

  • One of my first jobs as a trainee was a search op for a four-year-old kid that had gotten separated from his mom. This was one of those cases where we knew we were gonna find him because the dogs were on a strong scent trail, and we saw clear signs that he was in the area. We ended up finding him in a berry patch about half a mile from where he’d been last seen. Kid wasn’t even aware that he’d wandered that far. One of the vets brought him back, which I was glad for because I’m really not good with kids, and I find it hard to talk to them and keep them company. As my trainer and I are headed back, she decides to take me on a detour to show me one of the hot spots where we tend to find missing people. It’s a natural dip in the land near a popular trail, and people will usually move downhill because it’s easier. We hike out there, it’s a few miles away, and we get there in about an hour or so. As we’re walking around the area and she’s pointing out places she’s found people in the past, I see something in the distance. Now, this area we’re in is about eight miles from the main parking area, though there’s back roads you can take to get closer if you don’t want to hike that far. But we’re on state-protected land, which means there can’t be any kind of commercial or residential development out here. The most you’ll ever see is a fire tower or makeshift shelter that homeless people think they can get away with building. But I can see from here that whatever this thing is has straight edges, and if there’s one thing you learn quickly, it’s that nature rarely makes straight lines. I point it out, but she doesn’t say anything. She just hangs back and lets me wander over and check it out. I get within about twenty feet of it, and all the hair on the back of my neck stands up. It’s a staircase. In the middle of the fucking woods. In the proper context, it would literally be the most benign thing ever. It’s just a normal staircase, with beige carpet, and about ten steps tall. But instead of being in a house, where it obviously should be, it’s out here in the middle of the woods. The sides aren’t carpeted, obviously, and I can see the wood it’s made of. It’s almost like a video game glitch, where the house has failed to load completely and the stairs are the only thing visible. I stand there, and it’s like my brain is working overtime to try and make sense of what I’m seeing. My trainer comes and stands next to me, and she just stands there casually, looking at it as if it’s the least interesting thing in the world. I ask her what the fuck this thing is doing here, and she just chuckles. ‘Get used to it, rookie. You’re gonna see a lot of them.’ I start to move closer, but she grabs my arm. Hard. ‘I wouldn’t do that.’ She says. Her voice is casual, but her grip is tight, and I just stand there looking at her. ‘You’re gonna see them all the time, but don’t go near them. Don’t touch them, don’t go up them. Just ignore them.’ I start to ask her about it, but something in the way she’s looking at me tells me that it’s best if I don’t. We end up moving on, and the subject doesn’t come up again for the rest of my training. She was right, though. I’d say about every fifth call I go on, I end up running across a set of stairs. Sometimes they’re relatively close to the path, maybe within two or three miles. Sometimes they’re twenty, thirty miles out, literally in the middle of nowhere, and I only find them during the broadest searches or training weekends. They’re usually in good condition, but sometimes it looks like they’ve been out there for miles. All different kinds, all different sizes. The biggest I ever saw looked like they came out of a turn-of-the-century mansion, and were at least ten feet wide, with steps leading up at least fifteen or twenty feet. I’ve tried talking about it with people, but they just give me the same response my trainer did. ‘It’s normal. Don’t worry about it, they’re not a big deal, but don’t go close to them or up them.’ When trainees ask me about it now, I give them the same response. I don’t really know what else to tell them. I’m really hoping someday I get a better answer, but it hasn’t happened yet.

  • This is another one that was less spooky and more sad. A young man went missing late in winter, when realistically no one should be going that far out onto the trails. We close a lot of them, but some remain open year round, unless there’s a shit-load of snow. We did an op for him, but we had about six feet of snow on the ground (it was an unusually heavy snow year), and we knew it wasn’t likely that we’d find him until spring when the thaw came. Sure enough, when the first big thaw came, a hiker reported a body a little ways off the main trail. We found him at the base of a tree, in a pile of melted snow. I knew right away what had happened, and it scared the living shit out of me. Most of you who ski or snowboard, or spend any amount of time on a mountain, will probably have guessed too. When snow falls, it doesn’t collect as thick in the areas beneath the branches. It happens most with fir trees, because they have a sort of closed umbrella shape. So what you end up with is a space around the base of a tree that’s filled with a mixture of loose, powdery snow, air, and branches. They’re called tree wells, and they’re not immediately obvious if you don’t know what you’re looking for. We put up signs in the welcome center, big ones, letting people know how dangerous they are, but every year that we get an unusual amount of snow, at least one person doesn’t read them, or doesn’t take the warning seriously, and we find out about it in spring. My best guess is that this young man was hiking and got tired, or maybe a cramp from walking in the deep snow. He went to go sit at the base of the tree, not knowing that there was a tree well, and fell in. He got stuck with his feet up, and the surrounding snow caved in around him. Unable to free himself, he suffocated. It’s called snow immersion suffocation, and it doesn’t usually happen except in really deep snow. But if you get stuck in a weird position, like this guy did, even six feet of snow can be lethal. What scared me the most was imagining how he must have struggled. Upside down, in the freezing cold, he didn’t die quickly. The snow would have formed a dense, heavy pile on top of him, and it would have been literally impossible to get out. As it got harder to breathe, he would have known what was happening. I can’t even imagine what he was thinking in his last moments.

  • A lot of my less outdoorsy friends want to know if I’ve ever seen the Goatman while I’ve been out on calls. Unfortunately, or I guess fortunately, I’ve never had anything quite like that happen. I guess the closest was the whole ‘black-eyed man’ thing, but I didn’t see anything. However, there was one call where I had something kind of similar happen, but I’m not sure I’m willing to chalk it up to the Goatman. We’d gotten a report that an older woman had fainted along one of the trails, and needed assistance getting back down to the main area. We hike up to where she’s at, and her husband is just beside himself. He runs, well, I guess more jogs, to us, and tells us that he was a little ways off the trail looking at something when his wife starts screaming behind him. He runs back to her and she’s passed out on the trail. We get her on a backboard, and as we’re getting her down to the welcome center, she comes to and starts screaming again. I calm her down and ask her what happened. I can’t remember verbatim what she said, but essentially, what happened was this: She’d been waiting for her husband when she started hearing this really strange sound. She said it sounded sort of like a cat, but it was off somehow, and she couldn’t quite figure out why. She went a little ahead to try and hear it better, and it sounded like it was coming closer. She said the closer it got, the more uneasy she was, until she finally figured out what was wrong. I do remember this next part, because it was so weird that I don’t think I could forget it if I tried. “It wasn’t a cat. It was a man, saying the word ‘meow’ over and over. Just ‘meow, meow, meow’. But it wasn’t a man, it couldn’t have been, because I’ve never heard a man make his voice buzz like that. I thought my hearing aid was going out, but it wasn’t, I adjusted it and it still sounded all buzzy. It was awful. He was coming closer, but I couldn’t see him. And the closer he got the more scared I was, and the last thing I remember was a shape coming out of the trees. I guess that’s when I fainted.” Now, obviously I’m a little perplexed as to why a guy would be out in the fucking woods chanting ‘meow, meow’ at people. So once we get down the mountain, I tell my superior that I’m gonna go search the area to see if I can find anything. He gives me the go ahead, and I grab a radio and hike back to where she fainted. I don’t see anyone, so I keep going about a mile more, and I when I head back I go off the trail, to see if I can figure out where she saw him coming from. It’s almost sunset by this point, and I don’t have any desire to be out at night alone, so I just sort of write it off and make a mental note to check it out again tomorrow. But as I’m headed back, I start to hear something in the distance. I stop, and I call out for anyone in the immediate area to identify themselves. The sound didn’t come closer or get louder, but it sounded exactly like a man saying ‘meow, meow’ in this really odd monotone. As comical as it makes it sound, it was almost like that guy on South Park with the electrolarynx, Ned. I go off the trail in the direction I think it’s coming from, but I never seem to get closer. It’s almost like it’s coming from all directions. Eventually, it just sort of fades out, and I ended up going back to the welcome center. I didn’t get any further reports like that, and even though I went back to that area, I never heard that exact sound again. I suppose it could have been some stupid kid out there fucking with people, but even I have to admit it was weird.

So this kind of turned into a massive wall of text, and for that I apologize. I wanted to get to the stories my friend told me, and he does have some good ones, so I’ll post those tomorrow evening. I also have a few more of my own I think you guys will like. I’m sorry to keep you all in suspense again, hopefully the stories here make up for it and help you get through the next 24 hours until I can post again!

EDIT: Since it seems like all of you would like to hear more, tomorrow I’ll write up as many stories as I can and do a massive post. I’ll include my friend’s stories, and I’ll see if I can’t get ahold of a few more people who might have interesting things to talk about. I just wasn’t sure how people felt about big huge walls of text, but if you’re all okay with it, I’ll post lots of stories!

Original source

Comments for Part 2

I’m a trail guide and backpacker. Years & miles. Seen lots of shit. I can’t explain everything I’ve seen in the wild but I can tell you this: you will see things out there that defy explanation &, you’ll spend the rest of your life wondering about them.

If you ever take word of caution, take this like your life depends on it: Don’t go into the wild alone. Don’t stray from your camp at night. Don’t answer or seek out anything that calls you mysteriously in the night. DO NOT believe everything you see with your own eyes.

I need to repeat that, Like your life depends on it: Do not believe things, especially ‘out of place’ ‘people’, voices, or suspicious things that you see, even with your own eyes, especially when your gut & instincts are warning you.

There’s something out there, something that scares grown men even like me, something we won’t talk about but it’s real, has no consistent form, and it lures you.

If you are a wild thing & a hunter of human beings, there’s no better hunting ground than our busiest national & state parks. Note I said busisest. If you are a hunter of opportunity, then there’s no better prey than the young, the weak, the old, the alone.

There’s something out there, so old, so skilled, so clever & cunning, not just a being but a species, that has or have developed a specialized survival skill: luring & preying on lost or solitary humans.

Can a predator in the natural world lure, trap, summon or even hypnotize their prey? A quick google search should yield you hundreds of examples of such species in the animal, fish, bird, and insect kingdoms.

What I submit, if exist such a species, old as man, who’s success depended on the successful hunting of humans, not only would it be very clever and good at it by now, but we’d have no record or memory of it in our history, just as no insect has probably ever survived an encounter with a trapdoor spider.

I submit their hunting approach is case by case. They’re lure different depending on their human prey’s age, strength and size, but what I submit is that our oldest natural predator, an undiscovered predator, is still opperating due to it’s skill of being able to read us like a book, hit us with lure (a lure I’ve distinctly recognized several times, particularly at night, just beyond the glow of the campfire) lead us into a trap, to never be seen or heard from again.

People I submit a thing exists, something’s out there, a species, that’s not too unlike Stephen King’s “It”.

I’ve felt the lure, tasted it, smelled it. It’s the smell of food when you’re hungry, company when you’re lonely, music where there should be none, beauty where there’s danger. Nothing can explain the sensations, but deep down you’ll feel it, in your gut. Something’s not right. Something’s waiting. Something’s watching. Ask any man who’s survived long enough alone in the wild. There’s a Siren like hunter out there. It’ll own you dead to rights, if you don’t listen to your gut.

Having said that. I have questions. These stairs, do they move? There one minute, gone the next? Do others always see them? Or are they visible only to ‘targets’? Do they see stairs? Or for them are the stairs another lure, like an apple pie, a warm bed, something to surrender to?

What I’m getting at are these stairs def sound like the work of the It. A cave or door might be to scary to enter, but stairs, a perfect lure for the “Search” & rescue mindset. Perhaps the vison of stairs are perfectlyt taylored to what’s on ‘your’ frame of mind. “If I could only find some higher ground to spot that lost kid. If only I had a ladder or a…”

See what I mean?
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In my country, or at least among my people, we have a name for “It”/this “predator”. We call them “orang bunian”. “Orang” means people and “bunian”, well, I’m not sure what “bunian” means. Sometimes we call them “makhluk halus”, meaning invisible creatures. Two separate things essentially but I think they’re interchangeable.

My mother’s people from the Peninsula has a folklore about them. The folklore says that the orang bunian have their own civilization and usually reside within the jungles. Some say within the skies. There are various descriptions of them and their behavior. Some stories would make you think they’re like elves from western folklores, some say they’re a different type of human (you can even marry them) or you can google “orang bunian” and see for yourself. Wiki

My father’s people who’re a tribe that used to practice head-hunting in Borneo has some similar folklores about this “predator”, though without the elegance of the elves. I find the stories interesting because two totally different cultures yet they both have the same “creatures”. It’s like how we have Eastern (e.g. Chinese) and Western dragons.

I’ve said before that there are various descriptions of these orang bunian. But two descriptions remain consistent throughout the stories. The first is that they will always remain hidden to the naked eye unless they choose to reveal themselves. That’s why sometimes when you’re in the jungle, you feel like something is out there but you can’t see it.

The second consistent description is that they have the “power” to lure you to a trap or according to the stories, to another world/dimension. Among my people, the orang bunian involvement is almost always the explanation for missing people who were found in impossible places.

My people have a set of rules when venturing into the jungle or the mountains.

These rules might seem superstitious to some, especially to more “modern” people. I think they were made to avoid encountering these orang bunian. Some of the rules are:

  1. Respect the jungle and its inhabitants, especially the plants.
  2. Never, ever boast/showoff or run your mouth off in the jungle. E.g, “I can take on a tiger any time.” “Don’t be such a wimp. It’s not that hard.” “I’m not scared of anything in here.”
  3. If you find a stone/crystal/whatever that’s oddly beautiful, don’t take it back with you. Don’t even think of picking it up. According to the stories, these are either baits to lure you into their world. Or it can be a medium/vessel for the makhluk halus to follow you back home.
  4. And like another user commented, ask permission if you have the feeling like you have to. Even if there’s nobody around. Even if it’s just a big tree in front of you.

There are other rules, but these are usually the three you’re reminded to follow. I personally follow the first 3 rules diligently when I go hiking, but not for the same reasons (at least that’s what I convince myself to believe)

Pretty sure other cultures have the same “creatures” in their folklore.

EDIT: The fourth rule is what I usually do when I have this overbearing feeling that something is watching me. It rarely happens but sometimes when I go to virgin rainforests, I have this feeling that my presence is unwanted at certain areas. Usually when I do ask for permission in that situation, the feeling just go away, as if the eyes went somewhere else. Maybe it’s just my brain or maybe it’s actually something, I don’t know. There are times I don’t know what to believe.
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In Hawaii you also are advised not to take (rocks) and to ask permission from nature or the relevant god(ess)… the rocks is one you ask of Pele. Depending on the area, if you take without permission, your car may break or not start until the object is discarded. Unrelated to rocks, once my mother and her kumu was allowed into an older area of forest to gather some plant material. Permission was asked, but after a while a negative feeling was felt and they decided that ʻitʻ decided they had gathered enough and needed to be on their way, and so they left. The owner of the property considers the ground sacred. Sometimes I wonder if some things Iʻve heard about and seen may be assumed to be spiritual and may be more extraterrestrial interference, like the (very) fast things of bright lights Iʻve seen (my people think them fireball spirits, but I wonder if theyʻre some sort of information recording probes). As for the whole thing about continental dragons… I like the think that by comparing cultures, especially before they became exposed to each other, we may reveal some vague truths or past truths (maybe we hunted them to death, like Braveheart?)… Iʻm even willing to believe beings chose to live here and may originally be ʻfrom the skyʻ and have adapted to undetected coexistence among their prey or subjects of study. Weʻll never know until one decides to go friendly, but thatʻs unlikely since their lack of exposure is likely their greatest defense. If they exist, the abilities of inducing hallucinations and camouflage they posses may be natural and/or technological and way over our heads [on the food chain]. But I also believe over the ages our earth has attracted many species for many purposes, though I wish the friendlies would rethink us worthy of communication (and not just with government leaders). I still believe in a spiritual realm, but I do wonder if the two get mixed due to the possibility of externally induced ʻhallucinationsʻ that make their way into human history and myth if theyʻve been around for a long time.
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I know what that thing is. I’ve met with it. One time only, I hope. I was 13 years old, riding my motorcycle way back in the woods, much further than I knew my parents would allow me had they known. I had decided that I wanted to just ride out for a few hours. “Blaze my own trail” so to speak, as adolescents are prone to do. Spare gas, the works.

I was a good 20 miles into the woods, cutting through old southern plantation land like I owned it. It’s about 2 or 3 PM when I decide to stop and drink some Gatorade that I packed, and pee.

As I walked back towards my motorcycle after relieving myself, suddenly everything went quite. That wouldn’t have spooked me enough to stop me in my tracks, but what did spook me was that the air got “heavy”. It’s hard to describe, but it was like an overwhelming fear that said, “Stand still. You are in danger.”

There was a large rock to my left and I stepped over to it and sat down. I guess you might say I was assessing the situation, but at the same time I felt stuck on an island, susceptible to some sort of storm coming my way. I remember looking at my motorcycle and part of me screaming to myself, “Just get on the bike and GO!!!” I couldn’t move. The silence was so deafening that it sounded like a howl. I know that makes no sense, but it was a silent howl. So silent it was disorienting, until I watched my motorcycle fall over onto the ground. There was no wind, but the heavy feeling lifted and I felt like I had been spared.

I remember riding for miles out of those woods, tears running down my face beneath my helmet, (I was a kid; give me a break), and swearing to myself that I better respect whatever that was, and be thankful that it let me go.
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I’m a trainee bushcraft instructor from the UK and just wanted to say that there are things we don’t understand in the forests on this side of the Atlantic too. There are fewer ancient forests here, but there are definitely places where I’ve had a sense of being unwelcome, usually the oldest. In these circumstances I’ve learned to ask for permission to enter - usually it’s granted if you ask respectfully, but when it isn’t you certainly know it. The best way I can describe having permission refused is a sort of still oppressiveness like before a storm, and the feeling that you need to get out of there NOW without turning your back on the wood.

I’ve never encountered stairs in this country but my father did once find a track leading up to an everyday door in a doorframe in the middle of a wood. He was sensible enough not to go through it.

I wanted to share the legend of faerie doors though - a hanging branch or a fallen tree leaning against another that forms a complete boundary around an area of space. Unwary travelers can walk through them accidentally and emerge in a slightly different world, disappearing from this one. I do wonder if the US staircases might be a different manifestation of the same phenomenon.
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I’m not SAR, and don’t spend much time in the woods anymore, but I grew up in an area that has a ton more trees than people, about 15 miles north of a tiny Michigan mining town. I can tell you that there are stairs out in the middle of nowhere all the time. We’ve always chalked it up to the stairs being the most “structurally sound” part of a building (not sure if that’s true) when we’re asked about it. But the assumption is that you don’t fuck with them, or go near them. It’s not a creepy thing to us, it just sort of is. Another thing worthy of note is that it’s almost never locals that go missing- we have a good relationship with the forest.
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A few summers ago I was on a wilderness survival course with the military and I was doing a solo survival exercise. Now about once a day an instructor would show up at your site and tell you to move somewhere the next day or do something different. I’m on my third or fourth day of six and I’m doing quite well, an instructor had told me where to move the next day and I was tending my fire after dark, I didn’t have a watch but I’d say it was around midnight when I sensed something watching me. I picked up my flashlight and looked around my site a bit when I turned around and there was someone at the edge of my fire light, he was large, wearing the instructors combat camouflage, and I couldn’t make out his face, I had never seen this man before and I knew the instructors pretty well as I had been with them for a few weeks, this man had positioned himself so he was looking straight at me but his face was shaded. I could tell he smiled and then he said “Just making sure you’re safe.” And then he turned around and disappeared into the woods, I made no effort to follow him because I knew it wouldn’t end well for me, I didn’t sleep the rest of that exercise.

I urge anyone who meets strange people in the woods to listen to your mother’s voice in your head and do not go with them, do not follow them, do not interact with them if you can, it will save your life.
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I’ve seen a staircase. I used to walk my dog in an old cemetary that was really hilly - the graves and tombs were built into the geography. One afternoon I noticed a white, marble looking staircase built into the hill that went far, far, far up. I went to climb it but decided I was too lazy and turned on the next path. When I backtracked 5 minutes later because curiousity and it was gone and I’ve never been able to find it since. I even asked the tour guide at one point and she said there was no such thing.
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I grew up out in the Yosemite area (Paiute traditional territory), went up in the woods for weeks in the summer, hiked deep in the boonies to family plant gathering sites that have been maintained and cultivated for centuries. Seen a lot of stuff myself, heard even more in stories handed down in the family. Some of my relatives are volunteer SAR and they’ve told me crazy things.
can confirm random stairs. Do not touch, do not photograph. Be safe. Yosemite is my back yard, and my people have used the land for a few thousand years. We know the area better than anyone, and there are places even we don’t go.
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So I have a possible bit of info and a personal account regarding the stairs for you, OP. We’re no suppose to talk about it either, but I really believe in being kind, and at least passing along info about dangerous shit.

The first time I came across them I was a kid, out with older relatives. I spotted them maybe 60 yards away from where we were gathering bear grass, and wandered over. I got to within 20 feet of them, and they were made of wood, clean and polished, no dust, no leaves, nada. When I got that close everything went quiet and the light became dimmer. This is funny because it was a bright day up until that point. I looked back and my family, although only 60 or so yards away looked like they were much further away than that. A feeling of sheer terror hit me and I ran like hell back to my family. I sprinted to my uncle crying and breathless, and told him about the stairs, but when I gestured back, they were gone. My uncle’s face went very stern and he told me not to ever do that again. He said they used to appear as the frames of wickiup doors or stone steps up large boulders, now they show up as stairs, and they are never ever to be approached. He said they lead to the spirit world, and people who touch them can be stolen away. I’ve seen then several times since then, not the same set but just like you described, they can be big, small, new, dilapidated, etc. Each time, I lay down medicine, say a prayer of protection, and get away from where they appear.

Be sure to smudge yourself at the end of the day when you come across those things. Even if you don’t believe in anything, sage smells good, and it can’t hurt.
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Your stairway story, stands out to me. I’ve returned to live in the same area in which i grew up, the high Sierra’s of California, we’re about 5000 feet. When I was girl, I would often go hiking in the woods, deep into the woods, my father was an Archaeologist and he instilled me in a sense of wonder and adventure, once upon walking out in the woods I came across a creek, I was way out in the middle of no where and I’ll admit I was quite lost. So, I was always taught to follow the water, eventually it will lead to somewhere. I followed the creek downstream, and it winded deep, long, there were parts that I had to step into the creek because I didn’t want to lose it, and the sides of it were too high for me to climb. It was on one of these times I had to step into the creek that I found myself stepping across moss covered stairs, it lead way down, almost down so far I couldn’t see the bottom, as I walked down the slimy stairs almost slipping as the water trickled down, the sky turned dark which was quite odd as it was nearing noon, and the sounds of life stopped. I tripped, and fell into the dark. When I woke up it was the next morning, no trace of the staircase or even the creek, I was alone in a meadow, and I had markings on my arms almost burned but not quite, I would say they were left on my skin, both arms, if you put them together they are perfectly marked two straight lines. Even 21 years later I am still marked by that day in the woods.
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Between the ages of 9-13 I lived in rural New Brunswick. I spent the majority of my free time in the forest and playing in the Rusagonis river and in ponds in the extensive forests. There was a place my friends and I used to go to where the birch trees were a lovely shade of soft pink. Everywhere else in the forest, they were white.

Anyways, we would often travel out there to play in the pond that the trees encircled. I would sometimes travel into the forest alone as long as I had a large, strong stick with me (to fight off black bears if they should get bold and attack me). So, one day my friend and I were walking out down our usual path when suddenly we both became uneasy. We talked and decided to keep going. Sure enough, as we are walking, we hear a dog barking in the distance. We didn’t think much of it until suddenly it sounded like the dog was directly behind us. We both screamed and I swear, I moved so fast that I don’t even remember running. At one moment I was about to step over a fallen tree- the next, I was suddenly 100 meters or so ahead of where we had just been. My friend had also ran. I just remember the feel of adrenaline and suddenly being in a different spot. The barking didn’t continue, but we were both pretty scared. In that same forest, we would sometimes come across an old dilapidated fence that was built in a circle. I don’t know what the style is called, but it’s when the beams in each segment take turns going up and down, and all kind of lean on each other to stay up. (Sorry if that’s a horrible description).

Another time, I remember deciding I was going to explore some forest along the main river that I hadn’t traversed before. So I went out on my own (Keep in mind, I spent maybe 90% of my free time in the forest and was not afraid of it). I remember at first feeling like this was going to be an awesome adventure. I then remember things being very quiet. I suddenly felt pretty unnerved and decided to turn back. Nothing happened, but I remember suddenly feeling like I needed to run. Pretty uneventful, but it was something to me back then.
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I’ve seen the stairs. I was working as a pack string leader for a hunting outfitter near Granby CO. The camp we would use was about 14,000ft elevation. One of the hunters shot an elk but it wasn’t a clean shot so it ran. Another guide and myself started to follow the trail of blood from the elk. We were on foot and had been walking for a little over an hour when we came into a grove of aspens. Aspens aren’t thick trees and we didn’t see the stairs until we were right up on them. The leaves were a golden color and the sun was not too high in the sky but the stairs were an almost glowing yellow. Both of us stood there for a few minutes not really saying anything. The other guide looked at me and said " lets get the f*ck out of here", and we bolted back up to the camp. We didn’t talk about it again and told the hunter that we lost the blood trail.
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Right after high school I worked for a resort type facility that did outdoor adventure activities. I took people on horseback riding camping trips in the Appalachian mountains. Part of my job was to keep the trails clear of branches, bee hives, and anything else that would pose a danger to the horses or riders. I usually did this by myself on foot because I enjoyed the time away from the tour groups and coworkers for a few hours. It never occurred to me to be scared of anything in the woods other than keeping an eye and ear out for animals. So one morning I went out to a trail we hadn’t used in months to clean it up. I was about an hour into the hike, just enjoying the quiet, when I was suddenly struck with terror for no discernible reason. I’m talking about “oh my god, I think I’m going to die here” kind of terror from out of nowhere. I turned around and ran for my life back to the trail head. I finally stopped when I got to the road. I just stood there, staring back at the trail, and I never did see anything or hear anything out of the ordinary, but I’ve never been that scared in my life. I went back the next day with a coworker on an ATV. Nothing unusual happened that time, and we were able to clean the trail.

About a year later, I was doing the cleanup again on the same trail with a coworker friend. Despite my experience the previous year, I wasn’t afraid to go back out there with someone. We were walking along and joking around, once again in good spirits when we both stop and look at each other. We’d both heard something strange. We were totally quiet, looking around us into the woods, when we heard a very low growl. I have goosebumps remembering this. This was winter and the trees were pretty bare. One side of the trail was a drop off to a lake and the other side was the woods but you could easily see through them. There was NOTHING there. We’re looking at each other like “are you hearing this??” but we say nothing. Then the growl again, sounding like something is right beside us. We bolted back to the trail head, just like I’d done before.

I ended up running into her 10 years later and that was one of the first things we talked about. It was so strange and terrifying.
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I was born and raised in the Appalachians (don’t let that scare you, I’m fairly intelligent and educated, and I don’t care for banjo music). Coming from what some call the backwoods teaches a person to respect (and fear) the wild. In much the same way that some branches of Christianity teach one to fear and respect God.

I love being out in the forest, but even the best survivalist’s life is up to the whims of Mother Nature. And sometimes things are just…wrong…out there. It’s hard to explain, but sometimes you can just feel it. Whatever you’re doing, you need to stop and go home. It’s not your turn to be out there right now.

Someone mentioned ‘Sylvan Dread’ earlier. This is a term used to describe the, sometimes irrational, fear that people can feel in the woods. The ancient Greeks connected this feeling to the god, Pan. In modern times Pan is usually pictured as a cute little elven creature with goat legs and little horns often blowing a reed pipe - or panpipes. However, the Greeks saw him as a scary beast much more like what Goatman is said to look like. In fact, the word “Panic” comes from “Pan”.
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Also born and raised in Appalachia, now I live in the foothills of CO.

Sometimes things ARE just wrong out there. My BF, who lived with me both in TN and now here in CO and I love to camp. We try to go out for a couple of days at least once a month, even in the winter. We’re pretty skilled outdoors people with quality kit that we know how to use, and we’re pretty experienced.

But we went to, uh, redacted, in the Roosevelt Nat’l Forest last month. Nat’l forests let you camp anywhere so long as you’re 100 ft from a trail and 200 ft from a water source, so we hiked out this trail and then after about 2 mi. decided we’d found our campsite. It was a gorgeous summer weekend at a super popular trail, but we were the only ones there and the only car in the parking lot at around noon on Saturday. We thought that was a good thing, lol, as anyone who has ever camped in the foothills knows, you’re never too far from another camper b/c camping is hugely popular here.

So we’re getting everything set up, and I head down to the river tributary to fill our platypus bags. We’re maybe two tenths of a mile almost straight above this river, we can hear and see it from our campsite. I tell my BF I’m going to be right back and head down while he works on getting our shit put up. I’m pretty used to making mental note of visual landmarks when we camp (“the tree with the lightning scar is right next to the rock where I need to turn left to get back to camp”…that kind of thing), so I’m making mental notes the whole way down so I’m able to find my way back up because we’re off the “trail”, as we should be.

Only as I’m descending I start to notice instead of the water getting louder…it’s getting more quiet. Worried I somehow got turned around, I head back up to our site thinking I just stopped paying attention or something and missed the tributary. But I can’t find any of my “landmarks”. At this point it’s been about 20 mins since I left my BF, but I haven’t gone very far so I’m sure he’ll be able to hear me if I yell. I start shouting “[BF’s name] MARCO POLO” to let him know I need him to yell back so I can find him.

And…nothing. How can he not hear me?

Since I’m starting to get a little freaked out, I make myself stop and try to get my bearings by looking at the sun and trying to figure out the direction I know the water is (east). At this point it’s gone from quiet to silent, and every single hair on my body is standing on end I feel so weird, but I KNOW it’s there. So I start heading down again to where the water should be and decide if I can’t find my way back up to my BF, I’ll wait for him to come down to the water to find me . I’m walking and hit this kind of blind corner, and when I come around it this guy is practically running towards me coming up the mountain with a huge fucking pack on and this really weird look on his face. He kind of stops when he sees me, looks around like he’s confused or something, and then just says “I…think there’s a bobcat down there. You should wait to fill up your water bags.” We’re literally a half mile off the trail, the “path” I’m on isn’t even really an animal trail either, it’s just kind of…places where the brush is a little flat…not to mention there were no cars in the parking lot and no way someone could hike out there that fast had they gotten there after us (we’d only been there about 5 mins before I went to go get water). At this point I am thoroughly freaked. I just say ‘ok, thanks’ and turn around and walk straight UP, not sure if I should be afraid of this dude, or why I can’t find the creek, or an actual bobcat or what.

After walking straight up the mountain for what felt like ages, I finally find my BF…below me. I’d climbed way too high trying to get away from random guy/possible bobcat. I asked him if he’d moved camp, he said no. Asked if he’d seen weird guy or heard me yelling for him, he said no. He asked me why I didn’t have water and I gave him the rundown of what had happened. I thought I had been gone maybe 30 mins, BF said I’d been gone over an hour and he was starting to get worried. We both went down to the creek to fill our reservoir bags and had no problem finding the creek or finding our way back to our site. We were going to stay out there the whole weekend, but we ended up leaving the next day because something felt very…off. That place was not okay for some reason.
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So I’ve been reading this for a bit… And my girlfriend comes down stairs and I start telling her that I’m reading some spooky stories about forest Rangers and SAR stuff. Well her mom used to be a forest Ranger, and before I even told her about any of the stories here… She said “yeah my mom used to tell us about weird things in the woods that her team and superiors always told them to keep quiet about”
I immediately said “If you fucking say staircases I’m going to flip out”. Yep… She said staircases and ladders. I know this lady personally and she is an old time no bullshitting type of lady.
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No doubt, some weird stuff happens in the woods.

I remember going out with my fiance and her brother to a small patch of woods on the edge of town - a couple of square miles at most - around midnight one summer night in 2006. We had flashlights, and we stayed on the trails, all of which begin and end at the same two places. But we nonetheless ended up lost.

We followed a trail for way, way longer than we should have been able to go in such a small stretch of woods - close to an hour, when usually you can walk across the woods in thirty minutes. Finally, we ended up in the strangest clearing. It was a perfect circle, surrounded by trees, and filled with mist (and it was not particularly humid). It was about one hundred feet in diameter. The ground was almost perfectly flat, despite the land the woods was on consisting entirely of sharp, river-carved bluffs. We felt a pretty serious sense of dread, and got out of the clearing as quickly as we could.

Pretty soon thereafter, we ended up through the woods and out by the highway, on the opposite side of the woods from where we started. What was strangest was that this woods is intersected, perpendicular to what had to have been our direction of travel, by a ravine with sheer cliff walls about 20 feet high. We should not have been able to cross the woods the way we did without encountering it, but we definitely never encountered it.

And ever since then, try as I might, I have never, ever been able to find that strange clearing on Google Earth, or the overhead photos on the county assessor website, or on any of my many subsequent daytime trips back to that woods.
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Jinn are Islamic and Arabic beings. As I recall, they are one of three intelligent creations of God (Allah) - Humans, Angels, and Jinns (D’jinns). They’re more commonly known in the Western world as Genies.

Jinn possess greater powers than a human, yet possess Free Will, unlike Angels. Some are good, some are bad, and some are neutral. The evil ones are somtimes considered Demons.
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Part 3

Well, once again, you guys have blown me away with your staggering amount of responses to my stories! There’s no way I can respond to each of you individually, so I’m just going to address some common things again, and then move on to the stories. I’m going to write as many as I can think of, in addition to my friend’s stories, and I will probably not update again until I get a chance to answer some questions that I myself have for my superiors.

Alright, so the common questions I found you all had:

  • I am not comfortable talking about where exactly I work, unfortunately. In all reality some of the things I’ve mentioned here could get me in a lot of trouble or fired, so it’s best if I just don’t discuss too much. I will say that I’m in the United States, and in an area that is comprised of a great deal of wilderness. We’re talking hundreds of miles of thick forest, with a mountain range and a few lakes.

  • There is still a great amount of interest in the stairs, and luckily for you guys my friend has a story that I think you’ll all be very interested in. I’ll go into that more at the end of this update. As for whether or not I have ever thought of asking my superiors about them, I have, but again, I don’t want to risk my job. However, one of my former superiors no longer works as an SAR officer, and it’s possible that he may be willing to talk to me about it. I’ll be speaking to him later in the week, and I will let you all know what comes of that.

  • As far as advice on becoming an SAR officer goes, I think the best advice I can give is to contact your local Forest Service office and see if they offer and training courses, or what the qualifications are. I’ve been doing this for years, and I started out as a volunteer helping on SAR operations. It’s a great job, despite the occasional tragic situations, and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.

Alright, let’s move on to the stories:

  • The first happened on a case that I went out on right after I got out of training, and was still pretty new to everything. Before I took this job, I was a volunteer, so I had a basic idea of what to expect, but on those calls you’re mostly dealing with finding lost people after vets have found signs of them. As an SAR officer, you go out for all kinds of cases, from animal bites to heart attacks. This case got called in early in the morning, from a young couple who were up on one of the trails that goes by the lake. The husband was completely hysterical, and we couldn’t really figure out what was going on. We could hear the woman screaming in the background, and he was begging us to come up there right away. When we get there, we see him holding his wife, and shes got something in her arms. She’s screaming these awful, almost animal-like screams, and he’s sobbing. He sees us and he screams at us to help them, to please get an ambulance up there. Now obviously we can’t just drive an ambulance up the walking path, so we ask him if his wife needs help, or if she can walk on her own. He’s still hysterical, but he manages to tell us that it’s not his wife that needs help. I go over while one of the vets tries to calm him down, and I ask the wife what’s going on. She’s rocking, holding something, and just shrieking, over and over. I crouch down and see that whatever she’s holding, it’s covering her with blood. That’s when I notice the sling on her front and my heart sinks. I ask her to tell me what’s going on, and I sort of pry her arms gently open so I can see what she’s holding. It’s her baby, obviously dead. His head is caved in on one side, and he’s covered in scratches. Now, I’ve seen dead bodies before, but something about this whole situation hits me hard. I have to take a second to compose myself, and I get up and go get one of the other vets, who’s standing by. I tell him that it’s a dead kid, and he sort of pats my shoulder and tells me he’ll deal with it. It took us over an hour to get this woman to let us see her kid. Every time we try to take him from her, she flips out and tells us we can’t have him, that he’ll be okay if we just leave her alone and let her help him. But eventually, one of the vets manages to calm her down, and she gives us the body. We took it back to the med area, but when the EMTs showed up, they told us that there was never any hope of saving the kid. He’d died instantly from the trauma to his head. I was good buddies with one of the nurses who met them at the hospital, and she told me later what had happened. Turns out the couple had been walking with the baby in the sling, and they stopped because the kid was fussing. The dad takes the kid and is holding him, looking out over this little gully by the path. The mom comes to stand next to him, but she ends up stepping on a loose patch of soil, and she trips. She falls into the dad, who drops the kid, who ends up falling about twenty feet down this little gully onto the rocks at the bottom. The dad climbed down and recovered the kid, but he’d fallen right on his head, and was dead by the time he got there. The baby was only about fifteen months old. It was a total freak accident, a series of events that coalesced into the worst possible outcome. Probably one of the more awful calls I’ve been on.

  • I haven’t seen a lot of animal bites in my time as an SAR officer, mostly because there aren’t that many animals that come around the area. While there are bears in the area, they tend to stay pretty far away from people, and sightings are highly unusual. Most of the animals you’ll see are small ones, like coyotes, raccoons, or skunks. What we do see frequently, though, are moose. And let me tell you, moose are nasty fuckers. They’ll chase after anything for any reason, and god help you if you get in between a female and its baby. One of the more amusing calls was of a guy who’d gotten chased down by an absolutely massive male moose, and was stuck up a tree. Took us almost an hour to get him down, and when he was finally on solid ground again, he looks at me and says: ‘God damn. Them fuckers is big up close.’ I guess that’s not really a scary story, but we still laugh about that one.

  • I honestly don’t know how I’d forgotten this story, but it is, by far, the scariest thing that’s happened to me. I guess maybe I’ve tried so long to forget about it that it just didn’t come to mind right away. As someone who spends literally all of their time in the woods, you don’t ever want to let yourself get scared of being alone, or out in the middle of nowhere. That’s why when you have experiences like this, you tend to just forget about them and move on. This is, to date, the only thing that’s ever made me really seriously consider if this job is the right one for me. I don’t really like talking about it much, but I’ll do the best I can to remember it all. As I recall, this took place right at the end of spring. It was a typical lost-child call: a four-year-old girl had wandered away from her family’s campsite, and had been missing for about two hours. Her parents were completely despondent, and told us what most parents do; my kid would never wander away, she’s so good about staying close, she’s never done anything like this before. We assure the parents that we’ll do everything we can to find her, and we spread out in a standard search formation. I was partnered with one of my good buddies, and we were sort of casually holding conversation while we hiked. I know it sounds callous, but you do sort of become desensitized when you’ve done this long enough. It becomes the norm, and I think to a certain extent you have to learn to desensitize yourself in order to work this job. We search for a good two hours, going well beyond where we think she’d be, and we come out of a small valley when something makes us both stop in unison. We freeze and look at each other, and there’s almost a sensation like a plane depressurizing. My ears pop, and I have this odd sensation of having dropped about ten feet. I start to ask my buddy if he felt that, but before I can, we hear the loudest sound I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s almost like a freight train passing directly by us, but it’s coming from every direction at once, including above and below us. He screams something to me, but I can’t hear him over this deafening roar. Understandably freaked out, we look all around us, trying to find the source of the sound, but neither of us sees anything. Of course, my first thought is a landslide, but we’re not near any cliffs, and even if we were, it would have hit us by now. The sound goes on and on, and we’re trying to yell to each other, but even standing close together we can’t hear anything but this sound. Then, as suddenly as it starts, it stops, like someone threw a switch and cut it off. We stand there for a second, perfectly still, and slowly the normal sounds of the woods come back. He asks me what the fuck just happened, but I just kind of shrug, and we stand there looking at each other for a minute. I get on the radio and ask if anyone else just heard the end of the fucking world, but no one else hears it, even though we’re all within shouting distance of each other. My buddy and I just sort of shrug it off and keep going. About an hour later, we all check up on the radios, and no one’s found the little girl. Most of the time, we won’t search when it gets dark, but because we don’t have any kind of lead on her, a few of us decide to keep going, including me and my buddy. We keep close together, and we’re calling out for her every couple of minutes. At this point, I’m hoping beyond hope that we find her, because while I may not like kids, the idea of them being out all alone in the dark is awful. The woods can be intimidating to kids in the daylight; at night, well, it’s a whole different beast. But we’re not seeing any signs of her, or getting any responses, and around midnight, we decide to turn around and head back to the rendezvous point. We’re about halfway back when my buddy stops and shines his light to the right of us, into a really thick deadfall, or group of dead trees. I ask him if he’s heard a response, but he just tells me to be quiet a second and listen. I do, and in the distance, I can hear what sounds like a kid crying. We both call the girl’s name and listen for any kind of response, but it’s just this really faint crying. We head in the direction of this deadfall and go around it, calling her name over and over. As we get closer to the crying, I start getting this weird feeling in my gut, and I tell my buddy that something isn’t right. He tells me he feels the same way, but we can’t figure out what it is. We stop where we are, and call the girl’s name again. And at the same time, we both figure it out. The crying is on a loop. It’s the same little hitching sob, then wail, then quiet hiccup, repeated over and over. It’s exactly the same every time, and without saying another word, we both take off running. It’s the only time I’ve ever lost my composure like that, but something about it was so incredibly wrong, and neither of us wanted to stay out there anymore. When we got back to the rendezvous, we asked if anyone else had heard anything strange, but no one else knew what we were talking about. I know it sounds sort of anti-climactic, but that call fucked me up for a long time. As for the little girl, we never found a trace of her. We keep an eye out for her, and all the other people who we’ve never found, but frankly I doubt we’ll ever find anything.

Of the missing persons calls I’ve gone out on, only a handful have ever resulted in a complete disappearance, meaning no trace of the person and no body ever found. But sometimes, finding a body just leads to more questions than answers. Here are some of the bodies we’ve found that have become infamous in our team:

  • A teenage boy who’s remains were recovered almost a year after he vanished. We found the top of his skull, two finger bones, and his camera almost forty miles from where he was last seen. The camera, sadly, was destroyed.

  • The pelvis of an older man who had vanished a month earlier. That was all we found.

  • The lower jaw and right foot of a two-year-old boy on the highest peak of a ridge in the southern part of the park.

  • The body of a ten-year-old girl with Down’s Syndrome, almost twenty miles from where she’d vanished. She had died of exposure three weeks after going missing, and all of her clothes were intact except for her shoes and jacket. There were berries and cooked meat in her stomach when they did the autopsy. The coroner said it appeared as if someone had been taking care of her. There were no suspects ever identified.

  • The frozen body of a one-year-old baby, found a week after vanishing in the hollow trunk of a tree ten miles from the area he was seen last. There was fresh milk found in his stomach, but his tongue was gone.

  • A single vertebra and right kneecap of a three-year-old girl, found in the snow almost twenty miles from the campground her family had been at the previous summer.

Now on to a couple of the stories my friend told me. I mentioned that you were all interested in the stairs, and you’re in luck: he’s had a closer encounter with them. Though he doesn’t have any explanation for them, he does have a bit more experience with them than I do.

  • My buddy has been an SAR officer for about seven years, he started when he was a junior in college, and he had a very similar experience when he first encountered the stairs. His trainer told him almost the same thing mine did, which was to never go near, touch, or ascend them. For the first year, he did just that, but apparently his curiosity got the better of him, and on one call he broke away from the line and went to go check a set of them out. He said they were about ten miles from the path where a teenage girl had vanished, and the dogs were following a scent. He was on his own, lagging behind the main group, when he saw a set of stairs off to his left. They looked like they were from a new house, because the carpeting was pristine and white. He said that as he got closer, he didn’t feel any different, or hear any weird noises. He was expecting something to happen, like bleeding from his ears or collapsing, but he got right up next to them and didn’t feel anything. The only thing, he said, that was odd was that there was absolutely no debris on the steps. No dirt, leaves, dust, anything. And there didn’t appear to be any signs of animal or insect activity in the immediate area, which he found strange. It was less like things were avoiding them, and more like they just happened to be in a relatively barren part of the forest. He touched the stairs, and didn’t feel anything except that sort of sticky feeling you get from new carpet. Making sure his radio was on, he slowly climbed the stairs; he said it was terrifying, because the way they’d been stigmatized, he wasn’t really sure what was going to happen to him. He joked that half of him expected to be teleported to some other dimension and the other half was watching for a UFO to come swooping down. But he got to the top with little event, and he stood there looking around. But, he said, the longer he stood on the top step, the more he felt like he was doing something very, very wrong. He described it as the feeling you’d get if you were in a part of a government building you have no business being in. As if someone was going to come and arrest you, or shoot you in the back of the head, at any second. He tried to brush it off, but the feeling got stronger and stronger, and that’s when he realized that he couldn’t hear anything anymore. The sounds of the forest were gone, and he couldn’t hear his own breathing. It was like some kind of weird, awful tinnitus, but more oppressive. He climbed back down and rejoined the search, and didn’t mention what he’d done.
  • But, he said, the weirdest part came after. His trainer was waiting back at the welcome center after the search ended for the day, and he cornered my buddy before he could leave. He said his trainer had this look of intense anger, and he asked what was wrong. ‘You went up them, didn’t you.’ My buddy said it wasn’t phrased as a question. He asked how his trainer knew. The trainer just shook his head. ‘Because we didn’t find her. The dogs lost her scent.’ My buddy asked what that had to do with anything. The trainer asked how long he’d been on the stairs, and my buddy said no more than a minute. The trainer gave him this really awful, almost dead-eyed look, and told him that if he ever went up another set of stairs again, he’d be fired. Immediately. The trainer walked away, and I guess he’s never answered any of the questions my buddy has asked him about it since.

My buddy has been involved in a lot of missing persons cases where there’s never been a trace of them found. I mentioned David Paulides, and my buddy said he can confirm that those stories are, for the most part, accurate. He said that most of the time, if the person isn’t found right away, they’re either never found, or they’re found weeks, months, or years later, in places they can’t possibly have gotten to. One story he told me really stood out that involved a five-year-old boy with a severe mental disability.

  • The little boy vanished from a picnic area in the late fall. In addition to the mental disability, he was also physically handicapped, and his parents explained over and over that he simply could not have vanished. It was impossible. Someone had to have taken him. My buddy said they searched for this kid for weeks, going miles out of the accepted range, but it was like he’d never been there. The dogs couldn’t pick up his scent anywhere, not even in the picnic area where he’d apparently vanished from. Suspicion fell on the parents, but it was pretty clear that they were devastated, and hadn’t done anything sinister to their kid. The search was concluded about a month later, and my buddy said everyone had pretty much forgotten it by later in the winter. He was out on a training op in the snow, on one of the higher peaks, when he came across something in the snow. He said he saw it from far away at first, and when he got closer, he realized it was a shirt, frozen and sticking part way out of the powder. He recognized it as belonging to the kid, because it had a distinctive pattern. About twenty yards away, he found the kid’s body, laying partially buried in the snow. My buddy said there was no way the kid had been dead for any more than a few days, even though he’d been missing for almost three months. The kid was curled around something, and when my buddy brushed off the snow to see what it was, he said he almost couldn’t believe what he was seeing. It was a big chunk of ice, that had been carved crudely to look sort of like a person. The kid was holding it so tight that it had frostbitten his chest and hands, which my buddy could tell even with the decay that had taken place. He radioed the rest of the crew, and they took the body off the mountain. Now, he recapped all of this for me, and to put it simply, there was no way this kid could have both survived for almost three months on his own, or have gotten to this peak. There was no physical way this child could have walked almost fifty miles and ended up on the top of a god damn mountain. To top it off, there was nothing in the kid’s stomach or colon. Nothing, not even water. It was like, my buddy said, the kid had been taken off the face of the earth, put in suspended animation, and dropped on this mountain months later, only to die of exposure. He’s never really gotten over that one.

The last story I’ll share from him was one that took place relatively recently, only a few months ago.

  • They were out doing a recon for mountain lions, because there had been several reports of sightings in the last couple of days. One of our jobs is to scout out the areas where these animals are seen to ensure that if they are in the area, we can warn people and close off those trails. He was out on his own in a very heavily forested part of the park toward dusk when he heard what sounded like a woman screaming in the distance. Now, as most of you know, when a mountain lion screams, it sounds almost exactly like a woman being brutally murdered. It’s unsettling, but far from abnormal. My buddy radioed back and let ops know that he’d heard one, and that he was going to keep going to see if he could figure out where its territory started. He heard the mountain lion scream a couple more times, always from the same spot, and determined the approximate area of the mountain lion’s territory. He was about to head back when he heard another scream, this time within only a few yards of him. Of course, he freaks out and starts heading back at a much faster pace, because the last thing he wants is to run into a god damn mountain lion and get mauled to death. As he got back on the path and started heading back, the screaming followed him, and he broke into a jog. When he was about a mile from ops, the screaming stopped, and he turned around to see if it was following him. It was almost night by this point, but he said in the distance, just before the path rounded a corner, he could see what looked like a male figure. He called out to them, warning them that the paths were closed, and that he needed to come back to the welcome center. The figure just stood there, and my buddy started to walk over. When he was about ten yards away, the figure took, as he described, ‘and impossibly long step’ toward him and let out the same scream my buddy had been hearing. My buddy didn’t even say anything, he just turned and sprinted back to ops, never looking behind him. By the time he got back, the screaming had moved back into the woods. He didn’t mention it to anyone else, just said that there was a mountain lion in the area and that they would need to close those paths until the animal could be located and moved.

I’m going to end this entry here, since it’s turned into a huge wall of text. I’m going to be heading out on a yearly training op tomorrow morning, so I’ll be gone until early next week. I’ll be meeting with a lot of former trainers and buddies who work in other areas of the park, and I’ll be asking around about any stories they’d like to share. I’m so glad you guys have been interested in my stories, and once I’m back from this op, I’ll continue to share them!

Original source

Comments for Part 3

I grew up on a farm in the Appalachians as well and went exploring all over this mountain range I grew up beside. I had lots of dogs on the farm I grew up with. They were everyone’s dogs really but they always traveled with me. I remember several distinct times I would be far up in the woods playing/riding dirt bikes/exploring and everything would be going great. Then all of a sudden I would get this dangerous feeling in my gut like I was being watched and the dogs would start growling. At this point I would trust my instincts and GTFO but the whole time I was heading back down to my house or my grandpas house I felt like something was coming after me. I have no explaination for it whether it was real or not, but I definitely remember those times and it was giving me the absolute shivers reading some of these stories last night. My only unexplained story where I actually saw a being was when I was around 13 or 14 my parents were out for the night and I was at home watching my brother and sisters. My house was actually situated way up in the woods so we were in the forest. I remember sitting inside the house and getting that instinctual feeling of impending danger/doom. I checked all around the house making sure all the doors were locked checking every window. The sun was starting to set and I really didn’t like how I was feeling in my gut. I remember going to my sisters room and looking out the window(she was on the 2nd floor of our house) when I looked down I saw a dark figure in our yard making its way around our house. Scared the living shit out of me. I hightailed it to my dad’s room went to his closet grabbed his loaded 12 gauge and sprinted back to my sisters window. Looked down whatever was there was gone. Sprinted all around the house looking out every window, every door. Keep in mind it took me around 30 seconds to get my dads gun but whatever was moving around our house was gone. Naturally being freaked out by this and being young and stupid I opened a window and screamed my defiance at whatever was out there. It didn’t matter because it was definitely gone, but the strangest thing is that my dogs weren’t around and they almost always were when we were home. I called for them and they came running out of the woods maybe 5 minutes later panting like they had been running a long way chasing something.
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I actually was in the Yucatan Jungle area earlier this summer researching and recording fading Mayan beliefs. They actually have a name for “It” – they call them the Aluxes. They’re basically demon/sprites that own the forest…except they’re actually the real deal. I’m neither spiritual nor religious but at one point while I was in a Mayan village I asked a question about a nice clearing not too far away in the middle of the forestry. Wouldn’t it be nice to visit there?

They explained to me that that belonged to the aluxes and they do not respond well to people entering their space. Two young macho villagers tell me that they’re going to go out there with me since ‘they’re not afraid,’ and off we trek. When we arrive to the edge of the clearing, they refuse to enter, and in fact, physically prohibit me from exploring it without them. When I ask them why they’re being such sissies about the whole thing, they tell me to wait. So we stand. And we wait – for about 30-45 minutes I’d estimate. As I’m starting to get really steamed and thinking they’re screwing with me – voices start. The voices begin calling back and forth to each other, talking and conversing. Those voices were definitely not human.

Needless to say, I never gave my host mother grief whenever she left her offering of tortillas under my hammock for the aluxes.
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One of the creepiest things i saw was a abandoned farm house 5 km in the middle of the bush. it had a barn with skeletal remains of horses and other animals in it. it also had a veggie garden with still quite edible fruits and veggies in it. what was weird though was that the house showed no signs of ageing and when i walked towards it i had this massive rush of fear and dread. as i walked towards it i could hear a very loud buzzing and my vision was going red and i could taste metal so i backed off and it went away. as i walked away from the house into a clearing i could hear some sought of talking but it was so quite i couldn’t tell what it was saying but what i could tell was that it came from below me and it really freaked me out and i’d had enough of this and i didn’t want to be alone so i started walking to a ridge that had a firetrack on it that lead out of the reserve. as a was walking away i could feel a pull towards the farm house and i could still hear the inaudible talking as if it was speaking in my ear. As i walking away i could hear something following me which was also making a talking nosie so i sped up the pase of my walking but then the whatever it was somehow was infront of me and i could feel a push from it that was oushing me back to the farm house so i turned right at a 90 degree angle and walked for a while and i could still hear the thing to my left so i decided that i should face the what ever it was and walked directly uphill to the fire track. as i did the the thing moved it self right infront of me and the sounds it was making were getting louder but they were at such a low pitch that i couldn’t really hear them but i knew it was a voice and as i walked towards it it got louder and the voice felt panicked and frantic i got with 5 meters of the noise and it was so loud it hurt and made everything around me vibrate i could even see the vibration in my water bottle. At this point my nose was bleeding and it was really freaking me out but i needed to get home so i ran at it and i burst into a 2 meter wide clearing that had a very disfigured stag ( a fallow deer) in the center which had pure white glowing eyes with black dots in the middle and when i looked into those dots everything went black and i started falling and i passed out. i woke up from what i could tell was quite a while later but i couldn’t see very well and i was under something so i pulled it off and it was a blue tarp and i was in the barn that was next to the barn. Now i was really freaked out and i ran outside and again i was at the farm house. I then ran up the hill towards the ridge and i could hear something chasing me so i ran fast as i could up the hill. I ran for ages with this thing following me i eventually came to a information board that is 1 km from the dirt road that heads into the nearest village. I ran even harder and faster and i made it to the road where 2 hikers were packing away their stuff so i stopped next to them and i was absolutely rooted and puffed by this point and the hikers looked really concerned about me and they moved towards me and i blacked out again. I woke up with my head in the lap of a lovely german woman who was trickling Gatorade into my mouth. i asked her how long i’d been out and she said i’d only been out for 5 minutes she then asked me why i was running and what i was running from. i told her i was running because something was chasing me and i didn’t know what it was to which she laughed and told me i was being silly. i then asked her what the time is and why they were packing up in the morning to which she was astounded because it was 4:37pm which freaked the crap out of me because when i found the house it was only 11:00am so i must of been out in that barn for over 4 hours of which i can’t remember and i some how was moved from where i saw the freaky deer thing to the barn which was over 1km away. I’ve been back to the barn with a friend and we got the weird talking again as well as the red vision and metallic taste when we walked towards the house. We checked the barn and found the tarp as well as my foot prints and what looked like something had been dragged in and i am not sure if that was me or something else. We then left as fast as we could with no problems and we’ve never gone back there nor do i ever plan too.
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Physicist Ed Fredkin calls It “Other”. It’s what another physicist, Tom Campbell, calls “The Larger Consciousness System”, the computer that our reality, a simulation, runs on. The staircases (and other paranormal phenomena) are, like the rest of our reality, just information. They’re data. Virtual objects that are rendered when they’re observed by a consciousness. This is what quantum physics is all about. It takes a conscious observer to render anything in our world. Until a consciousness observes anything, it’s just a statistical potential that can manifest in a wide variety of ways.

When a schizophrenic is hearing voices, he’s literally hearing voices. He’s aware of voices from “The Other Side”, while “sane” people aren’t aware of them. They’re not tuned in to the larger reality the schizophrenic is tuned in to.

Here in Norway, we have lots of paranormal creatures in our folklore. One of them is “Huldra”, a seductive woman who lures people, mostly men, into the “Underworld”. She is said to sport a cow tail (mostly hidden beneath her dress), but besides that she’s a real seductress who supposedly can be found in the mountains or in the wilderness, where she’ll approach lone wanderers, often people who’ve gotten lost, and lure them off to her world.
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Firstly: in high school, one of my friends lived in a suburb that was right up against a short patch of woods. We used to go out there at night with flutes and stuff and play for the faeries, we called it. And yes, there was even a section of the woods that we found where the trees grew in a double line, like a procession, and it felt like we were able to find a secret haven. We only found it once.
There was one day we went back into the woods and two peacocks crossed our path. Yep. A white one and a blue one. In a city in the middle of Alabama. Shortly after that, we began hearing a peacock’s cry, repeated over and over, the very same one. And I found myself being drawn toward it, I really really wanted to go check it out. At the same time, though, I felt something was wrong. My friends didn’t feel the pull, and they dragged us out of the woods. We didn’t go back for a while.

Second, a different friend who lived waaaayyy out in the boonies. Acres of land. He had told us (myself and one of my close friends, his girlfriend) that on this land there were creatures that he and his friend had seen but couldn’t identify. He told us a lot of stories about them, like the time he had emptied a shotgun firing at them in the woods. The next morning, all of the shotgun shells were lined up on his front porch.
So he convinces us to go out, and the whole time we feel like we’re being watched, and I know we’re being followed. He takes us to an abandoned house on the property, and I stay outside while they go in. Me being the little beginner pagan I was, o had brought a couple apples and a bottle of water. I “shared with the earth”. But before I did, I definitely heard growling.
On our way back to the house, we were crossing a field. The two boys were talking, so I know it wasn’t one of them who whispered the word “churya” into my ear in a deep, growly voice.
Never did find out what those things were.
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based on david paulides’ research, whatever is happening out there, it seems to target everyone – kids, the elderly, the disabled, veteran hikers, vacationers, etc. one common element amongst these victims is that they are often found without their shoes…if found at all.

there are a ton of great interviews with paulides about this phenomenon. this one’s long af, but incredibly interesting and creepy if you’ve got the attention span:
https://youtu.be/251rNGbKS6w
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I used to volunteer at a State Park in Oklahoma, and I always got spooked by the stories the older park rangers would tell me. Since everyone is especially spooked by the story of the luring crying, and the stairs, here is one relating them. From the perspective of the older ranger who told me the story, he was a younger vet in the 90’s when he came across a structure that looked like the bottom floor of house. A floor of wood about 8x8 that looked well crafted for being out in fuck of nowhere, with a chair and table on it. He approached it until he heard his CO calling out to him, but when he turned around he saw him yelling with all his strength. He ran back and the CO told him that it’s a common trap used by the fucked up people in the world to catch someone. They use familiar objects to prey on wanderers, because they feel comfortable near them, or in the case of stairs they look like good vantage points to see what direction civilization is. What made the floor particularly crazy is that it was put in a sort of natural bowl in which the acoustics blanketed all noise with a layer of “white noise,” making it so you can’t hear anyone approaching. He said the next week his CO brought in the proper authorities to blow the damn thing up.

The story did not end there. They went to check the site immediately after (to make sure there was no way in hell a fire could start) and in the middle of where the floor had been, they saw three or four holes near where the table and chair was. Now due to the explosion the holes had caved in, but the authorities said that with some of the wood they collected, it was possible that near the table and chairs, thinner wood was used to where they could fall through into the holes. They didn’t find anything in the holes after digging them up again, but from how different the densities in the soil was, they could tell that the holes were built to be about six feet deep.

Moral of the story, animals aren’t the only hunters out there. If you see something too unnatural or too perfect to be true, don’t instagram it, run.
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The holes get me. I have had 2 experiences with this type of thing. First one was in college checking out local abandonned house at night. A group of 4 or 5 of us were walking up to the front porch when I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I grabbed my friends and told them we should watch our step. Two of us pulled out lighters and saw huge (over 10’ deep hole) on each side of cement walk way we were standing on. I walked further toward the door (I was first with lighter lit. I had a bad feeling about this place but was young and dumb. There was No door on this place. I could see trash on the floor but no squaters or anything. I started to walk forward when my lighters was blow out. I mean as if someone was right next to me and blew it. I looked over my shoulder and all my friends were at the back edge of the porch and did not realize what happened. I Noped the hell out of there pushing my friends back across the walk way and yelling at them to run. The house was off a dirt road surrounded my me commercial development. I floored the jeep the whole way ot of that place. My friends did not know what the hell was going on. I told what happened and they all were glad to be out of there because they felt that same bad feeling but did not want to say anything thinking the rest of us would make fun of them.

Second one… I was helping 2 friends pull out who stuck their truck in mud. It was 2-3am in a place called Devil’s den (large green belt /drainage area). my jeep had all lights on (headlights and roof lights) but we could hear something that sounds like large birds ‘WINGS’ land in some trees around us and make some God aweful noise. I would shine the lights on tree and area we would hear it but nothing. We would hear it all around the perimeter of the lights. I have been around all kinds of animals a large birds roosting/nesting and nothing ever sounded like this. We had pull the other truck with my jeep. We had to stop several time and we would hear the sounds get closer like it was following us. Some of the places we stopped had no trees and little ground cover but we could still hear it but see nothing. We were glad to get out of that place. I have never again heard anything like that. I was talking to my friend the next day and we agreed something is not natural about that place. My friend felt like what ever was making the noise wanted us to go look for it or break away from each other and the light.
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One time I was out camping by a river and I was sleeping peacefully. Then all of a sudden I woke up, it was just a feeling that I had, something primitive. Then all the forest sounds simply came to a halt, all the bugs, frogs, etc… simply shut the fuck up about 2 minutes after I woke up, that was creepy in itself. The next thing I knew there was a blood curdling scream, like a women screaming at the top of her lungs like she is being murdered, but with quite a demonic tone behind it. It was near my camp site and it would scream to the right of me, and the next thing I knew it screamed in front of me, then behind me. I didn’t hear any steps or movement of something outside, but the screams came from different place every time. Then all of the sudden the forest came busting back to life and the frogs, crickets, etc… were going full force, almost like they were being as loud as they could to help forget about what just happened. Shit was freaky. This whole time I thought it was a Bobcat or a Puma, but now… who the fuck knows.

The other time I was camping way deep in the Appalachian mountains with my dogs, like 10 miles to walk in any direction to get to any kind or forest service road. Same kinda thing happened. I was having a good old time by the camp fire late at night (just me and my dog) when all of a sudden I got this strange feeling and my dog tucked her tail and sat right next to me. The next thing I knew I started hearing this weird ass noise, like something one would hear from star trek or something. It sounded like something you would hear when a portal would open from the movies, like a loud buzzing, humming type of noise, but nothing like electrical lines or anything like that, its hard to explain. It lasted only about 3-4 seconds ever time it happened, but it happened again and again. It sounded like it was directly on top of me, but I couldn’t see shit when I looked up. But the sound its self almost gave its self body, like it was tangible and I could touch it. It is hard as hell to explain, but that’s pretty much as accurate as a description as I can give. This went on for about 5 minutes, and my dog was doing the whole slanting her head way to the side every time the sound started and looked up at the exact same place I looked, which was directly over my head. I swear I could have reached up and touched the sound. After the sound went away I went to sleep and was woken up at about 3 in the morning with the largest pack of coytoes I have ever fucking heard howling at the moon. They literally encircled my tent and just straight howled their fucking lungs out for a good 30 minutes, it scared the fuck out of me. Their had to have been about 20 of them minimum. I could see their silhouettes right outside the tent because the moon was bright as hell. It was actually neat to have witnessed the coyotes singing to the night, but was weird that both those things happened in the same night.
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I live in a suburb that sprung up around an old copper mine. The mine has been abandonned for a few decades, so I’ve only ever known it as strange undergrowth peppered with concrete ruins.

Like many local children, I grew up on the mine. Some of our parents didn’t like us playing there and the place had a bad reputation. The exact nature of that bad reputation depends on whom you ask: some opined (rightly) that the soil was dangerously polluted; others thought the ruins were frequented by the criminal element; a few talked about some kind of Native American bogeyman.

Unlike most of my friends who grew up and moved away, I stayed home for college, so I kept visiting the mine. I would go there for brisk walks, usually around dusk.

I’d frequently run into three or four deer. One autumn night, after I climbed a steep hill overlooking a clearing, I came upon twelve of them – exactly twelve deer, all of them mature specimens. I thought it was an oddly large herd, but I fully expected them to disperse as I walked down the path through the clearing. Except they didn’t. They stood stock-still, not only unafraid but seemingly oblivious to my presence.

When I got to the center of the clearing, I noticed they were all facing east, looking into a dense section of forest that’s older than the mine. I intuitively looked in the same place, and I felt something there. I can’t say that I “saw” anything, because it was rather indistinct, though not “obscured” so much as actually blurry. It was something like a shadow where there could not have been a shadow – in the direct light of the setting sun – and it felt like the shape and presence of a giant.

When I noticed the presence at the edge of the woods, I began to feel as though I’d interrupted an ancient ritual to which I should not have been privy. I think I ran away at that point, but to be honest, everything after the realization that there was an impossible thing in the woods is a bit of a blur. I vaguely recall that the deer eventually ran off each in their own direction, and that their step seemed unaturally swift.

I wanted to tell everyone but I soon found that I couldn’t. Months later, I was able to talk to a friend who was asking around for stories for a pagan zine. I can’t actually account for my silence in the interim. It just didn’t feel at all like an appropriate topic.

Just to be clear: I’m a fairly down-to-earth guy; I have an interest in religion and myth, but I have for long considered that these things are more or less “made up.” The giant at the edge of the woods is the only exception in my otherwise perfectly cartesian mindset. Maybe it was the Internet-famous Goatman? My first intuition was to tie this experience with the Celtic Cernunnos, because it was the closest thing I knew from mythology that matched the vibe I got from the presence.
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I grew up in the Cotswold Hills, old country, old forests, as evidenced by the stone cricles you can find regularly. As a teenager I used to hand around with new age travellers and all of them had strange tails of creatures seen in the woods, or occasionally on isolated roads. Golem-like creatures, or short hairy men being the two most consistent.

But one time I saw something, something strange. It would have been around 3am, driving home from a friends in village called Painswick. I was on a very isolated lane that passes through Cranham Woods, old forest, the wyldwood that has a reputation for the odd occurance. I have told this story many times and always it has been dismissed, but given the discussion here I think it’s worth re-telling. As I said I was driving along and either something caught my eye, or something caused to look to my right. There, beyond the tree line were two objects I can only describe as eyes. Except they were about the size of a tennis balls and they glowed white, a luminescence more than a genuine light. Before I’m told they were animal eyes caught in the headlights and reflecting them back, these were back from the road and square on to me, beyond the tree line and out of my lights. I may have dismissed them had I not looked to the other side of the road and seen the exact same phenomena, again back from the treeline and out of the lights. I have no explanation for what I saw except I have never felt a sense of dread like it. It gives me goosebumps even now to tell it. I just remember flooring the accelerator and getting the hell of there. Now reading these stories, and that comment from an experienced backpacker about something being out there, preying on lost or lone humans in the wild, that I saw something similar.

I think it was automatic reaction that makes me believe I saw something otherworldly: there was a sense of wrongness, a knowledge that I was in the presence of something that raised a essential, primordial fear in me.
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I´m a Portuguese kind of (seal ops) navy soldier, and 1 time per year my squad is released for about 3-4 days on Baranof Island (southeast of Alaska) for an elite international army survival test… We are dropped on the island with anything more than a army knife, a canteen of 50cl of fresh water and our army wear (it is a tough exercise but i love it… it makes me defy my limitations)… We must do the entire exercise alone (yeah, we cannot group away with our comrades)… So i was that night in the middle of a motherfucking dense florest island carving out my shelter for the night while starting a fire to cook out some rat like animal i could catch earlier… Everything was ok, when i decide it was time to go searching for some fresh water and call it the day… Was wandering about and marking out the places for orientation when from nothing i see a freaking staircase in the middle of a forest whe always knew it was closed to construction and for military exercises only for various countrys… I never felt such striking sensation down my spine like that… I approched to verify wtf was that doing there when the odd part of it striked out… the staircase was freaking clean and shiny eventough there was a tree right above (for a moment my brain was thinking how the hell the falling leafs never stayed right above the object below…)… Im a person who doesnt believe in ghosts, ets, conspirations, religions etc, i believe in my eyes merely… When i proceed to put my feet up on the staircase i felt a sensation of warning, it was like my brain was crying out loud to gtfo but curious like i am i ignored and tried to check it out better when i start to feel nauseous and start to notice all the around sounds start to fade away, i panicked and run like for 5 miles without looking back… If it was a emergency call to roll out the exercise i would without think call it off… Wtf i was trough by? What was that?

When the exercise went over, i moved to the extract point still blank like snown and acting weird to those comrades i live day by day all the year… When i talked about everything they laughed and said i was crazy because being alone on the forest for 3 days (but i knewn it was true… i did this same exercise 3 times before and always going by well done)… To this day, i feel way too much afraid to go in forest and see those staircases alikes again… Sorry for the bad english… I dont get to speak it so much.
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In other stories I’ve heard from people about their times in the woods: a lady friend told me about when she was visiting some relatives at their cabin in a woodsy area in East Texas, and their stay was interrupted by something disturbing their dogs one night. These dogs were whining at something outside - not barking, just whimpering. Something had them spooked and these were dogs who would usually bark if provoked.

My friend and her family members couldn’t see anything on the ground so they went out there with flashlights to check out things and my friend looked up in the treeline on one side of the house to see something leaping, almost gliding, soaring, from treetop to treetop. She described it as vaguely human-shaped and white and big and bulky. Despite being big it was only just disturbing the trees it was leaping to, barely causing any branches to stir. Her relations saw it too and they all ran into the house. Whatever it was, they figured it was gone when several minutes later the dogs stopped their whimpering. They waited until it was light to go out and check though. They couldn’t find a trace of anything on the ground, nothing disturbed, but they were sure they did see something up there because whatever the white thing was had been caught in their flashlight beams and it certainly looked like something solid.
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Stairs are a symbol of getting higher to upper level. Stairs symbolize a path, that maybe missing person had crossed. Also higher level in woods is useful to find a proper direction so we have a compilation of a path and direction wich corelate with a search of missing person.

Summarizing, the stairs are a symbol of missing persons’ trace. That looks like that wood is cursed. I come from slavic culture (the witcher and stuff) and cursed lands aren’t uncommon among villagers’ talk. In our national parks we put christian crosses or obelisks. Pagan culture quickly adapted to christianity, 'cause christian “magic” simply started to work.

Probably in your woods there is a psycho-shaman or a very strong curse. I would bet that some slaughtered Indians cursed the land. Most of paranormal cases the OP told, were made to scary the SAR officers. Looks like the land wants them to get out. I would say that there is a pattern of child abduction. Probably it is a message to SAR “no matter what you do, people will still dissapear and you can do nothing to save them.”

In my city there is a pub that you can literally have your beer got “magically” taken away by ghosts of Jews killed in that basement during WW II. When it comes to midnight, sometimes 1 a.m., sometimes 2 a.m. the ghosts get pissed and are kicking people out. Seems funny? Well old clients know the drill. When glass breaks out of nowhere, the doors open and shut by itself, it is time to leave.

It’s called “Pod Ziemią” (trans. “Under Ground”) in Miodowa st. in Cracow, Poland. It’s a typical rock pub. Even a priest was trying to exorcism that place, but couldn’t do it. He was not dealing with a devil, but ghosts. Usually when ghosts get pissed and want people to leave, they cause a lot of noise and sometimes break a glass with your beer. It just cracks itself.
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I’m currently employed at the CDC with the background in hematology and ID specialist (infectious disease specialist), going on for about 15 years.
Some of the projects (I would say most) are highly classified as given to the wrong hands will cause a pandemic but they’re protocol measurements to prevent that.
What does the CDC have to do with anything about the OP?
I’ll give you a little bit of what I know about the staircase.
The CDC was founded in 1946, but before that, there was a smaller organization that kept archives about past pandemics, diseases, pretty much anything related to death and some supernatural cases (much like how the vatican archives are depicted).
1 year later, in 1947, the famous roswell crash. Of course, it’s up to you to decide if there actually were aliens that crashed or not. But that same year, the CDC budget increased 10x.
Usually when the CDC budget increases, it’s usually means that it’s trying to increase its black market funding for black projects. Of course, this was over 50 years ago and the CDC records of it doesn’t exist in the system. Moving on, that same year, the national park ranger started reporting about animals randomly being mutilated and we were brought in to investigate and during that time, it was cheaper for the DoD to send in the national guard for protection while we were investigating the deaths.
After what was suppose to be a 1-2 weeks investigation, turned out to be a 6 months investigation. Dozens of people who were on the field reported about the staircase or stones being in the middle of no where. We did further investigation of this and it turned out, some of the staircase sites were emitting a frequency that wasn’t measurable.
Here’s the interesting part. If there was ever a paranormal case that was involved, we were to call a specialize department (not part of the CDC) but in order to get them, we had to go through an intensive list of protocols. But eventually, they were called in.
Fast forward 6 months, hand written accounts in journals were made and only passed down through trusted colleagues and I received this journal a few years ago from someone who recently retired but the old saying is, we never really retire because we’re usually called in to review a case for further opinions.
The journal is over 2200 pages (more like a history book) of first hand documented experience about some of the most craziest thing out there. What’s written about the staircase?
First, they thought it was someone who wanted to build a house in the middle of the woods but decided to get up and leave for some reason but the problem remains, when you build a house, the first thing you DON’T build are stairs. While further investigation, the first weird thing started to happen was the staircase vanishing and re-appearing in a different location. When they first stationed a tent 30 meters away from the staircase, they woke up to it being vanished. The imprints left on the ground was pitch black, almost looking like it was toasted on the spot. Next 2 days, it re-appeared but 50 meters away. They decided to do some readings and tried to sample part of the staircase but the wood structure staircase was harder then steel. None of it could be chipped off for sampling. One of the things they found about the structure was that, it was emitting frequency. To emit frequency, usually means that there’s a receiver at the other end and that’s what they were trying to find out. Who or what was receiving the other end of this staircase? While the structure was harder then steel and emitting a frequency, they wanted to further research this. 6 days later, it disappeared. A search party was sent out to look for another set of stairs. They eventually found a set of stairs but it was different this time. The first party who made initial contact had disturbing accounts. One of the accounts were that when they got close to the staircase to confirm, they felt as if the weather suddenly went black and wind started to pick up. They had a feeling of darkness and terror so they decided to pull back and just call it in. Few hours later, they set up camp around the staircase, and set up cameras pointing at the staircase 24/7. One of the weird things written about this part was that, every 3 hours, the camera and readings would spike, right on the dot. Almost like it had a hear beat but bumping every 3 hours.
About a month later and not still not much about the staircase, they ran into a tribe who knew all about the staircase. They tracked down a translator and flew him in. Apparently, from the tribes account, the staircase are portals to other dimensions, some being like another Earth, purgatory, hell, heaven, etc. It may be why some of the staircase exhibited fear and terror and some exhibited neutral, and others loved. The tribe later goes into detail about travelling into one of these dimensions. When you enter these portals, there’s no going back because the link is only a one way ticket, which may explained why we only found readings of it sending out a frequency but with no returning signals or anything. They also go into accounts of big tall human beings using these (bigfoot) and how they are kidnapping their kids. While the notion of bigfoot seems interesting, we couldn’t link bigfoot to it because we found no accounts but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.
Source

We kids were collecting sticks for breakfast. The oldest kid, John, was ahead of me. My sis and his bro were lagging behind. I somehow got ahead of him and saw some cool berries, while i was distracted, he got wayyy ahead of me. I start walking faster, and he is like stomping through the brush, his long white shirt covering up his cargo pants. I whine and tell him to stop. I say “John, wait up” Suddenly i am spun around by my sister. She looks at me and says “What are you doing? We are way too far from camp” I’m about to tell her off but i see behind her John and his brother. At least ten feet back. And no one in our group was wearing white, only green, blue and brown. I whip around and the person is gone. Not a trace. There isnt that many trees, and the ones that are there are thin. So they couldn’t of just hid. I was pretty shaken up about it. I remember the white shirt.
Source

The stairs aren’t stairs. You have probably heard co-workers or colleagues from different units refer to them as a couch, or a dining room chair, or a lamp-post. You can climb them, sit on them, turn them on or off, etc, just like the real thing. Not advisable, but you can. There’s no guarantee the guy next to you will see them as stairs… you go up them, and he might laugh and ask why you’re sitting down on the job. You’re not sitting on anything, you’re standing on stairs, but that’s not what he sees. This is rare, and usually it’s someone new to the group who sees something different. They’ll start seeing stairs soon enough. It’s important they see something.

These days, I only see a stone, as that’s what they actually are. Small boulders, outcroppings, once on the plains, it was a rock about the size of a small dog.

Once I stopped seeing the couch, and could only see the stone, I stopped being able to find things. That was the end of my career, which was a very different one than yours but required similar skills and intuitions.

Please don’t climb them or take pictures of them.
Source

I’ve seen this and up until that point I didn’t believe in ghosts. It didn’t happen out in the woods, but on the grounds of a restored fort in Oswego NY. My roommate and I and our girlfriends were exploring the grounds late one night and wandered down to the shore of Lake Ontario. As we were talking I turned around and thought I saw someone peeking from behind a tree. I alerted my buddy and he saw it too. It looked like someone’s head peeking out and then going back behind the tree.

My buddy yelled at whoever it was and when he did that, it stepped fully out from behind the tree. It was like a flat black shadow and we were both like HOLY SH*T!. It stood there for a couple of seconds and just like the OP described, one leg sort of stretched out to its left and then the whole thing followed and sort snapped/lept off into the darkness. Some of its movement reminded me of the way a deer runs and jumps.

Goosebumps as I write this.

The site is also sacred to the Iroquois and it’s where the confederacy was supposedly first formed. There’s also a Civil War graveyard there and the restored fort was even used to house Jewish refugees during WWII.
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Part 4

Hey guys! I’m back from my training op, and I have a lot of really interesting stories to share with you. I’ve got enough that I’m going to break them up into two parts, this being the first. I’d love to put them all in one entry, but I just haven’t had a chance to write them all down yet. I didn’t have anything too crazy happen while I was out there, but we did have one incident with a rookie that I found relevant. Since I’m sure you guys have been waiting for these, I’ll just get right into the stories. I’ll assign each batch of stories to the person who told them to me.

K.D: K. D is a vet who’s been an SAR officer for about fifteen years. She specializes in high elevation mountain rescues, and is widely considered one of the best in her field. She was one of the more enthusiastic storytellers, and since we were together a fair amount during exercises, she ended up telling me about four that really stuck with me.

  • The first she told me in response to my asking about her most traumatic calls. She shook her head and told me that really bad calls happen more frequently on the mountain, since the potential for nasty accidents is higher. About five years ago, one of the parks she worked at had a string of disappearances. It was a bad year, she said, one of the worst on record as far as weather went. They were getting about a foot of new snow every couple of days, and there were a few avalanches that killed some climbers. They’d warned people about staying on the mapped areas, but of course there’s always those who don’t listen. In one particularly nasty case, an entire family got wiped out because the father decided he knew better than the officials, and he took them out into an area that wasn’t safe. They were snowshoeing, and as best K.D could figure, they’d walked onto a shelf of snow that looked solid, but actually wasn’t. It gave way, and this family went ass over teakettle almost three hundred feet down a slope. They landed on the rocks at the bottom, and the parents died instantly. One of the kids did as well, but the other two survived. One had a broken leg and fractured ribs, the other was almost unharmed save for some bruising and a sprained ankle. The uninjured child left his sibling behind and set out to find help. K.D said the kid didn’t make it more than half a mile before a storm overtook him. Kid stopped to try and get warm, or maybe just to rest, and ended up freezing to death. They ended up finding the family with the help of some witnesses who saw them heading out into the wilderness, and she was the one to find the kid who’d frozen to death looking for help. She said it had started to snow, just enough to obscure long-distance vision, but not enough to make searching impossible. She saw a figure sitting in the snow up ahead, and she got to it as quickly as possible. She described, in detail, how as she got closer, she realized first that it was a child, second that they were deceased, and third that they had frozen in one of the most pitiful positions she’s ever found a corpse in. The kid was sitting upright, with his knees tucked up against his chest. His arms were curled around them, and his head was tucked up in his coat. When she moved the coat to look at his face, she saw that he’d died crying. His face was twisted, and the tears were frozen on his cheeks. She said it was painfully obvious that the kid was terrified when he succumbed to hypothermia, and as a mother, it broke her heart. She told me, repeatedly, that she hopes the father is burning in hell as we speak.

  • The other traumatic story she told me that stood out, in my mind, was one that happened when she was a rookie. Her team got a report of an experienced climber who hadn’t come home the previous day. His wife was convinced that something bad had happened, because he’d never failed to come home on time. They went out looking for him, and had to climb what sounded like some very technically challenging parts of the mountain. They got to a relatively flat area, and K.D started seeing blood in the snow. She followed the trail, and as she went, she started seeing little bits of tissue. She wasn’t sure exactly what body part it had come from, but the farther she followed it, the more there was. She follows this blood-and-tissue trail to a sheltered area under a cliff face, and she finds the climber. She said there was so much blood, more than she’d ever seen before. He was lying face down, one arm stretched in front of him, as if he’d died crawling. She looks closer, and sees that he’s been partially disemboweled, which is where the tissue she’d seen had come from. The guy has an ice pick tucked into a hip holster, and it’s covered in blood. Of course, they’ll never be sure exactly what happened, but she said as best she can figure, this is what went down: The guy had been attempting to climb up to the next area, and had been using his ice ax to ascend. He’d probably hit a loose patch, and had fallen. On the way down, or possibly when he landed, he’d gotten impaled by the ax, and it had disemboweled him. He’d drug himself along, tearing pieces of himself out as he went, and had died under the cliff face. She isn’t terribly bothered by gore, but I guess a few of the guys who came to help her remove the body threw up when they turned him over and a good portion of his intestines spilled out.

  • I mentioned to her that I was interested in hearing about any experiences she had with people completely disappearing. Her eyes light up, and she leans in close to me. ‘Wanna hear a real doozy?’ She asks. She tells me about how, when she first started, there was a case that got a lot of attention in the media. A family had been out berry picking in an area of the forest very close to the entrance of the park. They had two little boys, both under the age of five, and at some point during the day, one of them vanishes. There’s an absolutely massive search, and they find absolutely nothing. It’s another of those cases where it’s like the kid was never there in the first place. The dogs just sit down and don’t pick up on anything, no trace of the kid is found. The search goes on for about two months, but is eventually called off. Fast forward to six months later. The family comes back to place flowers at a memorial that’s been set up there for the kid. They bring their other son. While they’re placing the flowers, they lose sight of the kid for about three seconds, and in that span of time he vanishes into thin air. Now obviously, the parents are beyond devastated. It’s awful enough to lose one child, but to lose two is beyond imagining. The search is huge, one of the largest in state history. There are about three hundred volunteers combing every inch of this park, looking for the kid. But again, there’s no trace of him. The search goes on for about a week, with people looking miles from the part of the park he vanished from. And then, almost two weeks later, a volunteer almost fifteen miles from the designated search area radios in that he’s found the kid. They assumed that the kid was dead, but the volunteer says he’s not only alive, he’s in good shape. K.D and her team go out to recover the kid, and when they get there, she can’t believe that this is the kid that’s been missing. His clothes are clean, there’s no dirt on him anywhere, and he doesn’t appear traumatized. The volunteer says he found the kid sitting on a log, playing with a little twig bundle that’s bound together with some old rope. K.D asks him where he’s been, who he was with for those two weeks, and the kid tells her that he’s been with ‘the fuzzy man’. Now K.D firmly believes in Bigfoot, so she gets all excited and asks what he means by fuzzy. Was he hairy? But the kid says no, he wasn’t hairy. He was a ‘fuzzy man’, and he describes a man that’s blurry, ‘like when you close your eyes but not all the way closed.’ He says the man came out of the trees and took the kid with him deep into the woods. The kid says he slept in a hollow tree, and the fuzzy man gave him berries to eat. K.D asks if the man was mean, if he scared the kid, and the kid says ‘no, he wasn’t scary. but i didn’t like how he didn’t have eyes.’ K.D says they get the kid back to headquarters, and a cop takes him into town to talk to him more about what happened. She’s friends with the cop that talked to him, and she said the kid described being kept in this tree by the fuzzy man, and given berries whenever he was hungry. He was allowed to wander around a very specific clearing, but when he tried to go further, the fuzzy man would ‘get mad and yell real loud even though he didn’t have a mouth’. When the kid got scared at night, the fuzzy man ‘made it go brighter’ and gave him the twig bundle. He said the fuzzy man was going to keep him, but he had to let him go because the kid wasn’t ‘the right kind.’ He either can’t or won’t elaborate more on that. The cops are just sort of left scratching their heads, and the search for his brother is renewed with no results. The kid has no idea where his brother might be, and they never find him.

  • The last story that K.D told me was of something that happened to her when she got separated from her training group when she was a rookie. They were learning the basics of high elevation belaying on a well-mapped side of the mountain, and she had to use the bathroom. She went off about fifty yards from the group during a meal break, and did her business. I’ll tell the rest exactly as she told it to me’ 'So I go to take a piss, and once I’m done, I start going back to the group. But I’ve only gotten about five feet when I realize that I have no idea where I am. And this wasn’t a ‘oh, I got turned around’ lost. I mean I had literally no fucking clue where I was. If you’d asked me, I don’t even think I’d have been able to tell you what state we were in. It was sort of how I imagine people with amnesia feel, you know? You’re completely lost, and you have no idea what to do. So I stood there for a while, just trying to figure out where the fuck I was and what I was supposed to do. But the longer I stand there, the more confused and turned around I get, so I started walking. As I recall, I just picked a random direction and went for it. And as I’m walking, it’s just getting worse and worse to the point where I have no concept of why I’m on the mountain in the first place. I’m just trudging through the snow, and then I start hearing this voice. It’s kind of inside my head, almost. Like if a frog could talk, all low and croaky. And it’s telling me over and over ‘it’s okay, it’s okay, you just need to find something to eat. Find something to eat and you’ll be okay, just keep walking and find something to eat. Eat. Eat.’ So I start looking around for anything that I can eat, and I swear to god I’ve never felt that hungry in my whole life. It was bottomless, and I think I’d have eaten just about anything you put in front of me right then. I had no concept of time, so I had no idea how long I’d been out when I hear an actual voice coming toward me. I go toward it and see one of the other SARs, and he looks fucking terrified. He’s running toward me, asking if I’m okay and what the hell I’m doing out here. And the scary thing was, as he’s running toward me, I kind of see myself reaching into my belt for my hunting knife. I’m not even really thinking about what I’m doing, but what I am thinking is that I have to eat. If I don’t eat, I’ll never be okay again, so I just have to eat. He sees me doing that and he backs off right away. He yells at me to put my knife away, that he’s not gonna hurt me, and that kind of snaps me back. All of a sudden, I know exactly where I am, and I put the knife away. I run to him and ask him how long I’ve been gone, thinking he’ll tell me I’ve been gone for half an hour or so. But he tells me I’ve been gone for two fucking days. I’ve gone over two peaks and ended up almost on the other side of the mountain, and if I’d kept going, I would have ended up wandering into about three hundred miles of wilderness. They’d never have found me. He can’t believe I’m not dead, and of course I don’t know what the fuck to think. To me, no time has passed at all. I don’t say anything, I just go back with him to a rendezvous point and I’m taken back to HQ to be airlifted to the hospital. When I get there, they do all kinds of tests, and try to figure out what happened. As best they can guess, I had some kind of weird fugue state, which is kind of like amnesia, or a weird seizure that knocked my brain out of whack. But the truth is that we really don’t know. It’s never happened again, but I’ll tell you, ever since then I never go out there alone. People rag on me for making them come with me when I have to leave the group, but I just tell ‘em that listening to me piss in the snow is better than losing me for two fucking days on a freezing mountain.’

EW: The next person I talked to was E.W, a former trainer who now works as an EMT. He still comes to ops like this to help out, but doesn’t work full-time for us anymore. He specialized in finding lost kids, he just seemed to have a sixth sense when it came to knowing where they’d gone. He’s a legend among the more senior vets, but he gets embarrassed if you compliment him on his work. He sat down with me at dinner one evening, and we ended up swapping stories. Most of them were just casual, but when we got on the subject of our weirder calls, I mentioned that I’d had a buddy who’d gone up a set of stairs. He got kind of quiet and asked me if I’d heard of a little boy who’d disappeared from his park a few years back. I hadn’t, so he told me this story.

  • They were out looking for this eleven-year-old boy, Joey, who’d gone missing near a river. Of course, the first thought was that he’d fallen in and drowned, but when they brought dogs out, they led SAR officers away from the river and up into a very densely forested area. When we do searches for people, we search in a grid pattern, and we search every ‘box’ of the grid incredibly thoroughly. What E.W’s team noticed right away was that a very strange pattern was emerging. Dogs in alternating boxes were picking up Joey’s scent, but losing it when they overlapped with another box. If you think of a checkerboard, Joey’s scent was being picked up in random black squares, but never in red. This, of course, didn’t make any sense, because how could the kid bounce from area to area without leaving a scent in each place he passed? E.W and his partner pass into a new box of the grid, and E.W notices a set of stairs about fifty yards away. He tells his partner that they need to go check near it, but his partner flat-out refuses. He tells E.W that he’s made it a point never to go near any stairs he sees, and that while it may be routine, he’s not to pretend that it’s normal. He tells E.W that he’ll wait in sight while E.W checks. E.W says he was irritated, but he felt for the guy, and didn’t push him on the subject. 'I walked over to the stairs. They were small, kind of like stairs into a basement. I don’t really feel strongly one way or the other about them, the stairs I mean, so I wasn’t scared or anything. I guess I’m like everyone else, and I just prefer not to think about them too much. 'Anyway, I went over and I could see that there was something lying on the bottom step, sort of curled up. My hear sinks, because of course you always hope for the best. And we were confident that we’d find this kid alive, because he’d only been missing for a few hours. But I knew right away that it was him, and that he was dead. He was curled up in a little ball on the step, holding his stomach. It looked like he’d been in horrible pain when he died, but I didn’t see any blood, except some on his lips and chin. I radioed in that I’d found him, and we got his body back to command. That poor family, they were devastated. The parents couldn’t understand how he’d be dead, ‘cause he’d only been gone for such a short amount of time. And on top of that we didn’t have any obvious cause of death, which just made it worse. I figured he’d probably eaten something poisonous, since he was holding his stomach when I found him, but I didn’t want to guess. It’s hard enough to hear that your kid is dead, let alone have some stupid SAR guy guessing about what happened. They took him away, and I went home and tried not to think about it. I hate finding dead kids, man. I loved this job but it’s one of the reasons I left. I’ve got two daughters, and the thought of losing them that way just…’ He choked up a little here. I’m not great with emotional stuff like that, and it’s always sort of awkward to see a grown man cry, so I didn’t really know what to do. He pulled himself together eventually, though, and he kept going. ‘We don’t always hear back from the coroners about cause of death. It’s not really our job to know, I guess, and sometimes if they think it’s foul play they won’t tell us because of legal bullshit. But I’ve got a friend who works for the sheriff’s department, and he’ll usually pass along any interesting info if I ask. In this case, though, I actually got a call from him about a week later. He asks if I remember the kid, and of course I do, and he says some seriously weird shit is going on. He tells me, ‘E.W, man, you’re gonna think I’m crazy, but the coroner has no idea what happened to this kid. He’s never seen anything like it.’ My friend goes on to tell me that when the coroner opened the kid up, he couldn’t even believe what he was seeing. The kid’s organs were like swiss cheese. Quarter-sized holes were punched clean through just about every single organ this kid had, aside from his heart and lungs. But his colon, his stomach, his kidneys and even one of his testicles, were full of these clean holes. My friend said the coroner described it as if someone had taken a hole-punch and punched holes out of everything, they were so neat. But the kid didn’t have a scratch on him, no entry or exit wounds. The closest anyone there had ever seen like it was a guy who’d filled himself full of buckshot a year or so back while cleaning his rifle. No one had a clue what could possibly have caused it. My friend asked me if I’d ever heard of anything like it, or if we’d had similar cases in the past. But I’d never even heard of something like that, and I told him I wasn’t going to be of any help to him. As far as I know, the coroner determined the cause of death as something like ‘massive internal bleeding’, but no one knows what really happened. I’ve never been able to forget that kid. I have nightmares about it sometimes. I don’t let my kids go into the woods alone, and when we go together I never let them out of my sight. I used to love it out here. But that case, and a couple others, just sort of ruined it for me.’ Dinner was over, so we started to clean up and go back to our cabins. Before we went our separate ways, he put his hand on my shoulder and looked at me really close. He tells me that there’s bad things out here. Things that don’t care if we have families or lives, or that we can think and feel. He tells me to be careful, and he walks away. I didn’t a chance to talk with him again, but that story stuck with me.

PB: By pure coincidence, I got to talk to another vet, P.B who’s been in the SAR field for years. We were partnered on a grid sweep during a training exercise, and we were chatting casually about how we liked the job, what kinds of things we’d seen, and the like. At one point, we passed an old set of stairs, though these were probably from an old fire lookout, given the area that we were in. I sort of casually mentioned that I was curious about the stairs, and that I wished I knew more about them. He got kind of quiet and looked like he wanted to tell me something, but wasn’t sure if he should. Finally, he told me to turn my radio off. Obviously this is something we are never, ever supposed to do, but I did it, and he did the same.

  • About seven years ago, he tells me, he was out on a call with a rookie. They were in an area of the park that’s had a lot of strange reports and events. Disappearances, stories about lights in the forest, odd noises, things like that. The rookie was totally spooked, kept going on and on about ‘things out in the woods’. According to P.B: ‘The guy wouldn’t stop talking about ‘the Goatman’. Just on and on, ‘Goatman’ this and ‘Goatman’ that. Finally, I told him that there was plenty else to be afraid of out here that was very real, and that he’d better get over this thing with the Goatman. The rookie wanted to know what kinds of things I was talking about, and I just told him to shut up and walk. We crested a little ridge and there was a staircase about ten yards ahead. The rookie stops dead in his tracks and just stands there looking at them. I tell him, ‘See? That’s something you should be afraid of.’ The rookie asks me what the hell these are doing out here, and for some reason, I just open up and tell him the truth. Or what I’ve been told is the truth. I could have gotten in a lot of trouble for doing what I did, and I could get in a lot of trouble for repeating it to you. But you’re a nice kid, and I want you to stop looking into this. Quit while you’re ahead. So I’ll tell you what I know, under the condition that you never breathe a word of this to the supes.’ I told him I wouldn’t say a word, and he double-checks that our radios are off. 'When I first started out, we were a little less tight-lipped about them, and other things that happen out here. We warned people before they were even hired that there was weird shit going on. I guess the Forest Service was tired of having such a massive turnover rate, and they wanted people to know what they were getting into. So they started having people sign these agreements that they wouldn’t go to the media about what they were going to see. The FS didn’t want to scare people away, so the last thing they needed were spooked rookies running off to the media with stories of ghosts and haunted stairs. But eventually, they found that the agreements weren’t necessary. People not only didn’t want to talk about what they saw, they wouldn’t. A few times, media tried to talk to people when kids or hikers would disappear, and no one would say a word. I can’t really explain it. I guess we just… don’t really want to admit anything is wrong. This is our job, to be out in the woods every single day. We don’t need to be spooked, and the best way to avoid that is to pretend like everything’s okay. So I’ll tell you everything I can think of, and after that, I’m done talking about it for good. And I expect you not to bring it up around me, ever. 'The stairs have been out here as long as the parks have existed. We have records going back decades describing them. Sometimes people go up them, and nothing happens. Other times… Look, I really don’t like talking about this, but sometimes, really bad shit happens. I saw one guy get his hand sliced clean off when he got to the top step. He reached out to touch a tree branch, and it happened so fast. One second his hand was there, and the next it was gone. Completely clean wound. We didn’t find his hand, and the guy almost died. Another time, a woman touched one of the stairs, and a blood vessel in her brain exploded. Literally exploded, like a water balloon. She sort of stumbled down and came over to me, and all she got out was ‘I think something is wrong with me.’ She dropped like a sack of flour, dead before she hit the ground. I’ll never forget the way the blood leaked into the inside of her eye. Before she died, I watched it turn red. I watched it happen and there wasn’t a single thing I could do to help. ‘We warn people not to go anywhere near them but there’s always at least one idiot who does. And even if nothing happens to them, something bad always happens. Kids go missing as we’re on their trail. Someone dies the next day, cut in half in a completely safe part of the park. I don’t know why, but something bad always happens. I don’t know exactly why they’re out here, but it doesn’t matter. They’re here, and if we were smart, we’d tell our new officers exactly what they’re capable of.’ We were both quiet for a little while. I was afraid to talk because I wasn’t sure if he was done. He looked like he wanted to say something else. Finally he spoke up again. ‘Have you ever noticed how you can’t find the same ones twice?’ I nodded, expecting him to continue. But he just stayed quiet, walking alongside me, and eventually he started a story about the biggest deer he’d ever seen in the park. I didn’t bring up the subject again, and I didn’t press him for any more stories. He dropped out of the op the next day. Apparently he left before the sun came up; he said he was sick. None of us have heard from him since he left.

I’m going to stop here for the time being. I’ll try and post the next part in the coming days, but what with it being the end of summer, things are pretty busy here. Thanks for the continued interest, guys, you’ve really awakened this curiosity in me that I didn’t know I had!

Original source

Comments for Part 4

i come from an animist culture and it seems that people who live outside of civilization, “in the woods, hills, mountains”, tend to have a tradition and culture of respect for the “essense” or “spirit” of all things nature. its kinda of universal all around the globe, that a lot of tribal people, living in the woods, hills and mountains practice a form of animism.

this lends me to think such beliefs are the product of our ancestors long ago living hunter/gatherer lives in the forests, hills and mountains. that being so connected to nature, they may have experienced many weird and strange phenomenons that eventually coalesced into a belief system we generically call “animism” today.
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What i’m thinking is that it is a multi dimensional entity who can play with our minds as it wishes and can take any form suitable. It does not care about humans. It sees us like we look at incects. A lower lifeform. Pain, suffering, fear does not mean to it what it means to us. Maybe it just hunts us out of facination. To explore and study us.

As for the stairs… They might be somekind of gateway. Dont know.
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I spent about six months last year WWOOFing, which is essentially volunteering on organic farms in exchange for room and board. One of the farms I stayed at was actually an off-the-grid homestead near Mt. Hood, Oregon, populated by shamanic hippies (who had some wild stories, themselves!) and while not remote, was deep enough in the mountains that we had no neighbors for at least ten miles in every direction. Beautiful, forested land with an amazing view of Mt. Hood from the garden. I was camping every night for about two weeks before weird things started happening.

The first bizarre occurrence happened not to me, but to a fellow WWOOFer, who I’ll call J. Now, I am not particularly outdoorsy-- I grew up in the woods in north Florida and spent my formative years getting lost in places I shouldn’t be, but I don’t have a great deal of camping experience and only the most basic survival skills. I am comfortable in the woods, but only until sunset. J, a true outdoorsman, had been a forest ranger in the Alaskan bush for two years prior and frequently went on weeks-long solo-backpacking trips. He had shown up at the farm a few days after me and had set up camp over a mile further down the mountain than I had, which I initially thought was a dickish move but later came to appreciate because he played his harmonica at all hours and nobody needs to hear that shit. He was a slow-talking Minnesotan that favored all things logical.

One morning, we met up for breakfast and he asked me if I had heard “all that screaming” the night before. I hadn’t. He told me that he had been laying in his tent with his headlamp on, reading a book when he heard a deep, rumbling scream just outside his tent. He turned his lamp off to listen more closely, and realized that his entire tent was illuminated from the outside, as if someone was aiming a floodlight at it. In the few seconds after he turned his headlamp off, two things happened in rapid succession-- the screaming cut off as if someone had flipped a switch, and the light from outside clicked off. He listened for footsteps, but heard nothing. After a few moments of silence, he turned his headlamp back on and left his tent to investigate , because I guess he had never seen a horror movie in his whole goddamn life. He said that there was nothing in the clearing and no movement from the surrounding forest, even though he hadn’t heard anything leave and the scream had been very close to, if not within , his camp. Then he apparently shrugged to himself and went to sleep, or maybe he passed out in fear and was too much of a man to admit it.

He told me this over breakfast and I was horrified. He said he’d never heard an animal that sounded like that and could not explain the light, except that maybe a hunter had found their way onto our land. But then where did they go? He listened for footsteps and heard nothing. He didn’t seem worried, just a bit perturbed. It was very Minnesota of him.

Everything was quiet for a few weeks after that incident. J left for another farm, and I remained in my old campsite, only about 3/4 of a mile down from the main cabin. I was comfortable in my tent and no longer jerked awake at broken twigs or animals moving through the brush. I was very proud of myself-- look at me, an outdoorswoman!-- which was, of course, when the screaming started.

I was laying in my tent, just on the edge of sleep when it started. It was a deep, low roaring-- unlike any animal I knew to live in the mountains in that region. I consoled myself by saying it was an injured black bear, a fucked up wolf, some kind of Lovecraftian mutant elk. Then, from farther down the mountain, something else began screaming, answering. The two whatevers shrieked at each other for the better part of an hour. I laid in my tent, trying to psych myself up to hike back up to the main cabin, but couldn’t quite commit. I laced up my boots and put on my headlamp in case I had to make a run for it. Eventually, the screaming stopped and I somehow managed to sleep.

I woke up somewhere around 4am to something very large shuffling in the bush directly behind my tent. I laid in the dark and listened, absolutely terrified. Elk, bear? It was too large. I could hear it ruffling branches of trees at least six feet off the ground. I heard it take a step, and then another. Bipedal. Human? Hunter? A hunter would never be as loud as this thing was, and I seriously doubt they would disturb an obvious camp site. Besides, in the month I’d been on the homestead at that point, I’d never heard a gunshot. I’d never seen anyone other than the people I was working with this far up the mountain, for that matter. I laid there, considering my options. It moved slowly, like it was picking through the bushes behind me-- which, in retrospect, of course it was, I’d camped right next to wild blackberry. I laid and listened and waited for a long time, almost until sunrise. It was moving slowly down the mountain. I laid in my tent long after the noise died out.

When I finally managed to rally my nerves and leave my tent, the brush behind my tent was obviously disturbed. I thought about investigating, looking for prints, droppings, but decided I’d rather just repress the whole thing and deal with it when I was far, far away from these woods. At breakfast, I asked my host, A, about the screaming. She was delighted that I’d had a run in with the “forest people.” She said that years ago when they’d moved onto the land, the forest people would get into their garden and make a mess of things, so she’d started leaving baskets of produce for them as a sign of goodwill. They’d left the garden alone since then.

I camped out for another week before it got too cold and I moved into the main cabin, and never heard anything weird again.
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I live in Indiana and we don’t have much wilderness outside of some state parks and the “Hoosier National Forest,” which is about 300 square miles of wilderness. There are around 250 miles of trails that run throughout. There have been some odd things happen there, but no one talks about it much.

From what I gathered over the years are multiple reports of cars simply just dying when driving around the boundary roads for no reason only to start like normal just a few hours later. There are also stories of a man (in black of course an hooded) who has been seen sitting on a tree stump near a cemetery that exists deep in the wilderness which has no known historical name (it’s unofficially called “step cemetery” go figure) and no one knows who is buried there outside of a few stories from the 20s and 50s of children and park workers who had bad accidents, vanished, etc.

The most recently known thing to happen was in the 90s. A plane was spotted flying low at the tree line heading south over a retires cabin deep in the woods and looked as if it were going to eventually crash. A few seconds after it descended over a ridge into the tree line the retiree and former Vietnam fighter pilot heard a “boom” and fire ball engulf the sky seconds after he saw it flying too low. There were several witnesses who saw the same thing fishing in a lake on the other side of the crash. Firetrucks, volunteers, police and the FAA searched for the plane and never found it. There were several credible witnesses who saw it go down including policemen and park rangers. The crash site was never found and the plane was a mystery flight as the authorities and FAA said there was no plane in the exact area or missing anywhere in the US that night. There was talk that a three letter agency came out and blocked off an area but the media reported that this wasn’t true of course so now it’s a conspiracy of sorts.

So, on to my experience.

My brother and I are 3 yrs apart in age. I was 8 at the time and he was 11. We were camping with our parents and several family members and friends . There were trails behind our campground that led out into the wilderness and one trail that went around a small lake and back in a perfect loop with no trails leading off or into the loop which was maybe a quarter mile. The lake was in a deep gully with high ridge lines that surrounded it so going off the trail was nearly impossible. It was small and our parents allowed us to use the trail to go fishing of which we had done all week. The wilderness trail was about 100 yards away from the entrance of our loop and on the opposite side of the campground.

So, we went fishing and after taking this same trip many times before it started getting dark and we headed back to the campground. We ended up getting lost (we never went off the trail) for the remainder of the night and at first light we appeared at the entrance of the wilderness trail 100 yards away.

Our parents were flipped out, the entire county had been searching for us and neither of us remembered anything other than walking up to the trail head in near dark, but we had lost time because to us it never got completely 100% dark at all and felt like dusk the entire time we were lost trying to find our way back. It only only felt like a couple hours. It was dawn when we were found. We estimated that we were gone for 10-11 hours or so. My brother claims to remember some details like falling down a cliff running from someone or something literally dragging me as he ran through cobwebs, etc. Ever since he’s had bad dreams of bright lights in the woods, a cave, shivering, rushing loud water or engine sounds, etc. I haven’t had any memories from it. We were camping at Deam Wilderness Area and there is a well known cave a few miles away. We recently went back to the area to go fishing together and decided to take a look around where we were at the campground almost 30 years later. We then realized it would have nearly been impossible for us to end up on the other trail as the cliffs and revenes were just too high, there was too much distance between the two trails and we would have had to make it through impossible odds to end up back at the entrance to the opposite trail waking in thick untouched forest.
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A few years back…there was a report in the local news about a pair of siblings who had been missing since childhood. Years later,they were found in another town, all grown up. Apparently they were abducted by a “Big Black Man”. According to them, they could see the people serching for them, they were literally right next to them as they shouted their names, but while the man was with them they couldn’t physically interact with any of them. Now, according to my grandparents, this wasn’t that uncommon way back before Christianity reached our lands. Apparently people would get spirited away like this while they were hunting or working on their farms, sometimes never to be seen again and sometimes they end up in places otherwise unaccessible, within extremely short periods of time. They usually recall being fed worms and rotten tree barks but during their abduction apparently it seemed like the most delicious feast ever. (They only remember that it was worms when they were found, and say that they though it was chicken or pork or something ). The Big Black Man description is always common . I live in a tribal state in Northeastern India btw
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Part 5

I apologize for the short update, guys. Things have gotten a little crazy around here, and I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to update going forward. I really appreciate all the support you guys have given me, and while I only have a couple of stories to share with you, I’ll be interested to see what you all think!

  • A firefighter who was helping us at the training op told me about a call he’d gone on, supposedly to help rescue a kid from an absolutely massive tree. He said they didn’t give him details, just that they needed him to come out and help because they lacked the proper equipment. He’d been called out specifically because this thing was so huge that the SARs didn’t feel safe trying to climb it. He’d been a tree-trimmer before joining the VFD, so it was easy enough for him to grab his old equipment and come help out. He was led out about two miles, and the team stopped at one of the biggest trees in the area and pointed up. He laughed and asked the op captain how the kid had gotten up there, made some joke about the old ‘cat in a tree’ thing, but the captain just shook his head and told him to get up there and get the kid down. He said he knew something was up, but he didn’t push it. He said that as he climbed this tree, he started wondering if they were playing a prank on him. ‘There was no way this kid should have been able to climb this fuckin’ thing. It was massive at the base, but about halfway up it started tapering, and I almost had to turn back a few times because I really didn’t think it was gonna hold me.’ But he said he kept going, and when he was just about at the top, he saw a flash of blue in the branches. ‘I saw the kid’s shirt sort of caught in a branch, and I called out to him and told him to come near me if he could, but he didn’t say anything. I kept moving, calling the kid’s name and telling him not to be scared, that I was there to help him. By the time I got to him, I knew he wasn’t gonna answer me. I found him, or what was left of him, cradled in the fork of a branch, and the fact that he was up there was sheer luck. If he’d fallen any other way, he’d have come crashing down. It wouldn’t have mattered though, because this kid was dead long before he ended up in that tree. I don’t know who put him there, or how, or why, but it was fucking sick. Kid’s intestines had popped out of his mouth, and were hanging in the branches. It was like some sick fucking Christmas tree, the way they were draped all over everything. I got a better look and saw they’d even popped out of his ass; his guts were hanging out the bottom of his pants. His eyes were gone, I assume shoved out from whatever force caused him to fucking pop like a stress ball. You ever seen a body that’s been floating in water for a long time, how their tongues kind of swell up and stick out? His was like that. I remember because there were flies crawling all over it. I think I must have gone into shock, because… man I just pushed that kid down with a stick I broke off a branch. Just kind of poked him until he fell. I don’t know why I did that… I almost lost my job because of that. But man the thought of hauling that kid down over my shoulder the whole way, gathering his guts up and coiling them around me like rope so they wouldn’t get snagged… I couldn’t do it. I’ve seen a lot of dead kids. More than I’d ever admit. I’ve seen a kid who hid in a full bathtub during a house fire; boiled him alive, turned him into literal soup. But this… I don’t know what did this, but the thought of touching that kid’s body made me feel like I was gonna lose my mind. I heard him hit the ground and I figured everyone would freak out, but they knew he was dead when they sent me up there. They didn’t say anything, but they didn’t shout or freak out or anything. I got to the bottom and I started to get up in the captain’s face, asking him who he thought he was sending me up there when they knew damn well the kid was dead. But he just told me it was none of my concern, and thanked me for getting the evidence down. I remember he said that, I remember it specifically because it was so weird to hear it phrased that way. ‘The evidence’. Like he wasn’t even a person. Like he’d never been a little kid who got lost and had something fucking unspeakable happen to him. The captain had a crew lead me back out of the woods, but he and two others stayed behind, and I thought that was weird. Why wouldn’t they have me help get the kid out? I tried asking but the guys leading me out just told me they couldn’t discuss an open case.’ I asked him what he thought had happened to the kid, and he got really pensive and thought about it for a bit. ‘I would have said a crush injury, based on how his guts came out like that, but with those injuries you see massive contusions under the skin, obvious trauma. This wasn’t like that. It was almost like that kid got caught in a big vacuum and had his guts sucked out. But even then, there was no trauma. None at all. It bothers me, man. It bothers the hell out of me.’

  • One of the vets at the training op read my stories here. He knows me pretty well, and we’ve swapped stories before. He asked if he could share something he’s noticed about the stairs, and some thoughts he had. ‘I’m really glad you decided to share these. I think it’s important that people be aware of what’s out there, especially since the Forest Service is doing such a good job at covering it all up.’ I asked him what he meant. ‘What do you mean, what do I mean? The lack of any kind of media attention? No coverage of missing kids, or bodies found miles from where they got lost in the first place? David Paulides hit this right on the head, the FS is doing everything they can to keep people coming here, even if it isn’t safe. I mean, to be fair, it’s not like these things happen every day. But the numbers add up, and it’s worth looking into. Especially the stairs. I was surprised you didn’t mention the flipped ones.’ I didn’t know what he was talking about, I couldn’t remember him ever talking about something like that. He seemed somewhat incredulous. ‘Dude, I can’t believe you’ve been on this long without seeing them. No one told you about them?’ I shrugged and asked him to elaborate. ‘Well there’s the normal stairs, the ones that pop up when we’re out a ways. I know you know about them. But sometimes I’ve run across ones that are flipped upside down. I guess it would be like if you had a doll house, and the stairs were a separate piece. Now take that, flip it upside down so the top step is stuck in the dirt, and put it out in the woods. They’re like that. I don’t see them as often but they’re odd, to say the least. Makes me think of footage taken after a tornado, when houses are all blown apart and random things are left standing, like chimneys and garden walls. Those ones freak me out more that the normal ones because I can’t really write those off as easily.’ I don’t scare very easily, like most of us who work out here, but that idea stuck with me, and it bothers me. I’m going to try and find more out about them. He also mentioned how many people were bothered by the guy with no face. He got really excited and told me he’d seen something similar. ‘I was out on a training exercise a few years ago. I was camped out in my tent and I heard someone walking around outside of camp. We’re told not to wander far, which you know, so I wondered if maybe it was a rookie who’d gotten up to pee and couldn’t find his way back. Remember that guy in our group a few years back who almost fell of the damn mountain? Well I’m paranoid about that happening again, so I got up to see what was going on. I went to the edge of camp and I called to whoever it was and told them that camp was this way. But they kept going back out into the woods, so I went after them. I know it was stupid but I was half-asleep and I just really didn’t want to deal with some idiot getting hurt. I followed this thing on a dead-straight course for about a mile, and then it stopped on the edge of a little river. I could see the outline of it because the water was reflecting the moon, and it looked just like an ordinary guy. He had a pack on, and it looked like he was facing me. I asked if he was okay, if he needed help, and he cocked his head like he didn’t understand me. I always have my pocket knife on me, and it’s got a little thumblight attached to it, so I turned that on and lit up his chest, so I wouldn’t blind him. He was breathing slow and deep, so I wondered if he was sleepwalking. I went closer and asked him again if he was okay. I moved the light up, and something didn’t seem right, so I stopped. He kept breathing in this real slow, deep breaths, and I sort of figured out gradually that that’s what was bothering me. It was like he was pretending to breathe, but not actually doing it. His breaths were too even and deep, and all his movements were exaggerated, like his shoulders going up and his chest moving. I told him to identify himself, and he made this muffled noise. I moved the light up and I shit you not, this guy had no face. Just smooth skin. I freaked out, and I sort of fumbled my light, but I saw him move toward me but he didn’t actually move. I don’t know how to explain it, but one second he was at the edge of the river and the next he was five feet from me. I never looked away or blinked, it was like he moved so fast my brain couldn’t keep up. I tripped and fell on my ass and I could see this line open up on his throat. It stretched up to his ears, and his head tilted back and he smiled at me with his throat. There wasn’t any blood, just this gaping dark hole, and I swear he smiled at me with this gash in his throat. I got up and I ran as fast as I could back to camp. I couldn’t hear him following me, but I felt like he was always right behind me, even though when I looked back I couldn’t see him. I calmed down when I got back to camp; the fire was still going and I guess that pack mentality of being with other people made me stop and breathe a little. I waited by the fire to see if he’d follow me there, but I didn’t hear anything else for a few hours, so I went back to bed. I know it sounds weird, but the whole thing was just so surreal that it was almost like I immediately wrote it off as my imagination.’

  • We were telling ghost stories one night before bed just to scare each other and poke fun at whoever got creeped out. Most of the time it’s the rookies, but one woman told a story that actually managed to get under my skin a little bit, and I know the same was true for others. She said it was true, but then again, every ghost story told around a campfire is true. Somehow, though, I don’t think she was making it up. It had that ring of truth that only really traumatizing events have. She said that when she was a kid, she and her friend used to go out in the woods behind her house a lot. She lived in northern Maine, where there’s a lot of dense, unpopulated national forest. She said the woods up there aren’t like they are here. They’re so thick in places that the trees block out the sun almost completely. She and her friend grew up there, so they weren’t scared of being out there alone, but they did always maintain a sense of caution in certain areas. She said it was never really talked about, but they always knew not to go more than a mile or two beyond their homes. The adults never said why, but it was an unspoken rule that no one ventured out that far. She and her friend made up stories about bears as big as houses that lived out there, and they used to scare each other by hiding and making growling noises while the other searched for them. She said one summer, there was a series of awful storms that blew down a lot of trees, and set one part of the forest a few miles behind her house on fire. Fire crews got it under control, but she said some of them came back ‘not quite the same.’ ‘It was like they’d been to war. You could tell who’d really gotten scared because they had the same look on their faces, I think it’s called shell-shock. My friend and I said they were like walking dead people. They didn’t smile or say anything if you went up to them, and most of them left town as soon as everything was over. I asked my parents about it, but they said they didn’t know what I was talking about. Once everyone was told the woods were safe again, my friend and I decided to try and hike out to where the fire had been. We didn’t tell our parents where we were going, and it was pretty exciting to think that we were disobeying them like that. We hiked out about two miles or so, and we started seeing burnt trees and stuff. I remember my friend got really upset because we found the skeleton of a deer curled up under a tree, and I practically had to drag her away. She wanted to bury it, but I didn’t want her touching it because its antlers were weird. I can’t remember why, I just remember thinking that there was something wrong with them and I didn’t want either of us going near it. The farther we went, the more burnt everything got. Eventually, there were no standing trees, and it was like being on another planet. Almost nothing green, just brown and black everywhere. We were standing there looking at it all, and we both heard someone shouting in the distance. I panicked because I thought it was my dad, and that he was going to tell me I was grounded. My friend broke off and went to hide behind a big rock, because she said she didn’t want to be caught out here. Her parents had forbidden her to come out in the woods at all, and she’d lied and told them we were going to a movie. I followed her, and we kept listening. I could hear this voice getting closer, and I realized they were calling for help. I thought maybe it was some hiker who’d gotten lost and needed directions back to town. That used to happen all the time, so I was used to helping people out. I heard him following my voice, so I kept calling out until I saw him running in the distance. He got closer and I could see that his face was all red. I told my friend to give me her pack, because she had a first aid kit. She made this noise like she was grossed out, and she asked if I saw his face. I told her to shut up, and I jogged up to meet him. I stopped about halfway and when he stopped in front of me I could see that his nose and lips and part of his forehead were all gone. It was like they’d been sliced clean off. He was bleeding bad, and I saw that the knees of his pants were red too. I took a step back but I was too scared to move much, and he grabbed my shoulders. It felt like I got a shock, and he jerked back. He started babbling, and I couldn’t tell what he was saying, except that he kept asking how long he’d been gone. He asked me where ‘his unit’ was, but I just shook my head. He looked me over and he saw my Walkman and he screamed. He just kept babbling and touching his face, and I realized he wasn’t wearing the right clothing. He had some kind of weird grey cloth jacket and almost formal pants on, and the jacket had these weird buttons and red borders on it. I kept shaking my head and I told him I couldn’t understand what he was saying. I went to open the first aid kit but he just screamed again and said the only thing I could really understand: ‘Don’t touch me! You’ll make me go back there!’ After that, he ran off, and I could hear him screaming the whole time. When I couldn’t hear him anymore, I turned around, and my friend was crying. I just turned around and started walking back toward town. She asked me over and over what had happened and who that was, but I didn’t say anything. When we got home, I told her I didn’t want to play in the woods with her anymore. We’re still friends, but we don’t talk about that guy. Not ever.’

I’ll update as soon as I’m able, guys. I appreciate the continued support!

Original source

Comments for Part 5

After reading through all of those, I sent them to my girlfriend, and her response freaked me out. After reading about the stairs on the first part, she told me that her grandma spoke of something similar. And when she told me, I realized there was also something similar to one other of those stories she hadn’t read yet too, and got even more freaked out. I believed the stories OP posted were real until the stairs thing began to happen, but then I heard this from a completely unrelated source and I don’t know what to think anymore. I don’t know if they’re supposed to be real in first place, but well.

Anyway, I have to share that story. We’re Brazilian, and her grandma lived in a indigenous community in the Amazon at the time, towards the end of the 70s.

She lived near an igapó; Igapós are the parts of the Amazonian forest near the margins of the river, which get easily flooded depending on the season and are more like swamps than anything. Apparently, it’s really easy to get lost in those, and people did get lost often, and many of those had no idea what happened when they were found.

One of those was a man who left the community to check the fishing nets on the river, and no one saw him for two weeks. When they finally found him, he was just sitting in a canoe in the river. It was raining, so his clothes were rotten and the canoe was full of water, and he was trying to take the watter out using a bowl.

According to the man, he saw a set of stairs in the forest, and climbed it. After that, the only thing he remembers was sitting in that canoe, trying to take out the water, because there was a hole on it. Except there were no holes, all the water on it came from the rain, and the place he was dragging the bowl across was really worn out from so much dragging, like he was slowly digging through the wood. He claimed to have spent around two hours in there, when in reality had been two weeks.

She also said the man turned out to be really close to home, even though people were looking for him all over. He was found by a group of women who had gone to the river to do their laundry.

So yeah, not only the stairs in uncharted territory in the middle of the fucking Amazon, but also some sort of weird ass fugue state similar to KD’s.

Exactly one year after he was found, he woke up and couldn’t speak anymore. It was a small community and they had no doctors, so I don’t think they ever explained that. My girlfriend didn’t know if he’s still mute, or even alive anymore since it’s been almost 40 years. I don’t know what to make of that either.
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A few months back, while visiting gramps in Lillesand (southern Norway), we went hiking. Nothing big, just a walk and a picnic in some woods. With us were my niece and nephew, who are both quite young, so I joined them in Hide and Seek while the proper grown-ups had coffee and whatnot. Me and my nephew were first to hide, but we split up, and I ran alone quite a ways into a thicket of woods. And I found a staircase. Nothing remarkable, ridden with moss, and made from what looked like really old concrete with large pebbles of rocks in it. It didn’t really seem out of place at the time, but thinking back… Anyway, I decided it was fit for a hiding place, but after only a few seconds of squatting behind it, I got up. Stepped back. And couldn’t shake the feeling that I really shouldn’t be anywhere near it. I suddenly had this feeling of being severely unwelcome, and that I should get as far away from it as possible. So I ran the fuck back to my family and didn’t look back at it.

Like I said, I hadn’t thought about this until now, but thinking back it still gives me the same sort of… I don’t know, twisted, /wrong/ feeling.
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Back here in the Philippines, we have our own stories too and we have specific names for these entities. Filipinos call them “engkantos” (general name for forest spirits), “duwendes" (elves), “kapres” (no direct english translation but they are large, hairy, tree-dwelling creatures who for some reason smoke large cigars) and “diwatas" (fairies). The reason I mention them is because these creatures all have one thing in common. When angered or when they just wanna fuck people over for their own amusement, they trick people traveling in the forests or mountains. They make them get lost, forget where they are, make them go around in circles, make them get nauseous/sick or even flat out kidnap them. In this day and age, a lot of Filipinos still believe in these myths and so are wary when traveling in rural areas. Kids are always warned by the elders to be respectful and say “tabi-tabi po” when walking in the forests as a way of saying excuse me to the creatures that live there.

It always just fascinates me (and scares the hell out of me) that wherever we are in the world, all the stories and legends are similar. There are some things out there that we’ll never be able to completely understand.

Oh and that “crying on a loop” that was mentioned in Part 3? We have a story for that too. Legend calls them the “tiyanak”, a little demon baby that lures travellers with their crying. The unsuspecting traveller will find a baby in the middle of the woods and will feel bad for it and pick it up. Once you pick up the baby, it will transform into a hideous creature and will feast on your blood and guts.

We have a lot more mythical creatures but these are the creatures I’m most familiar with and creatures that seem to fit the theme of these stories.
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I was totally thinking about this when I was reading the series! You forgot the “manananggal” (which is a flying creature which halves her body and the top part flies away while the lower part stays hidden somewhere and “tiktik”, which I’m not actually sure of but apparently has a long tongue and targets pregnant women in their sleep.

Yeah, we Filipinos have a lot of those stories and we are indeed taught manners when going to a foreign and unknown territory.

Heck, I’m no longer in the Philippines but my manners like what engkanto said, I just don’t fuck around with the unknown. No pointing, no walking without saying excuse me in forest areas. Just no.

When I was a kid and was walking with my sister, she abruptly pulled me up as if to avoid stepping on something. Later we found out she saw a small man running near my feet and I almost stepped on it. I don’t know what happened, but she said the elf talked to her and she bent down to talk to him and she couldn’t stand up anymore. My parents later called this “ambularyo” which is sort of like a witch doctor, I guess. And I think they offered chicken/chicken blood.

I don’t know but my parents, specifically my dad was very superstitious and cautious. Even though I no longer am in the Philippines, I am still careful around forests or just plain new places. I’d rather be safe than sorry.
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I’m Native American, and my family has stories of seeing “deer people” walking along highways in remote areas in the middle of the night. There’s one where an uncle picked up a hitchhiker and the man was really quiet and didn’t say anything, and when he dropped the man off he realized the man had hooves instead of feet. Another where some cousins were driving and were going to pick up a hitchhiker, but they saw the hooves before they let him in, and they pumped the gas and drove FAST out of there…and the man with hooves took off after them, and almost caught up! Eep!

Also, I did a cross-country roadtrip by myself recently, and my little brother didn’t want me driving from Utah to Arizona by myself. He said, “There are skinwalkers out there in the desert. Witches. I wouldn’t drive out there by myself.” He’s had a no-face man come up to his car when he’s been parked and chatting with a friend. It came up to the window and peered in at him. Oy.
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It’s a shame how we all live in a planet where we were once surrounded only by woods. And now that we colonized that woods and made it into cities we cannot believe that this phenomena doesn’t respect boundaries or cultures. These creatures own the world quite much and we have disturbed them, disturbed their woods to live in cities. We shouldn’t be surprised.
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I don’t know about you guys but I live in borneo. It is basically tree all over. I read about the stairs and it is common here. Sometimes you’ll see a stairs, just old wooden chair, a really beautiful house, sometime fast moving people, amazingly beautiful girls taking their bath at before non-existing river or lake, and sometimes people talking around you. I’m familiar with the rain forest. I would know if there’s someone (real) near or if there’s a population nearby.

Those things I saw, hear, smell is from ‘bunian’ people. I don’t know what you call them there in America but it is similar like hobbit. They can show themselves if they choose to. Some are nice and some are bad. People do go missing sometimes. Usually they just disappear to the ‘bunian’ village. They often found confuse about time. Those death/missing person the SAR told about, it is similar with the death/missing person here. Long way from initial position, weird death, and disappear forever.

Piece of advice, don’t follow people you don’t know. Most people here get lost because the tried to follow the ‘bunian’. Unless you’re honestly lost on your on and someone told you to follow them then it is probably okay.
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I got lost once. I was in the mount massive wilderness in Colorado, and I walked about 100ft from camp to go to the bathroom.

I finished my business, and looked up, and I saw a shadow of something. Hell if I knew what it was. But it morphed. It looked like a bear at first, but its shape was masked by the shadow of a nearby tree. It expanded and then contracted into a standing figure. I ran as fast as someone can with pants around their ankles. Not surprisingly, I tripped. I landed flat on my face, and I knew that I was dead meat. I turned over, expecting to be face to face with my death. There was nothing. It was dead silent. I gathered myself, and stood up. I looked around, but I didn’t recognize my surroundings. I couldn’t hear camp, or see smoke from the campfire. All I could see was trees. I ran back to where I thought I had come from, but there was nothing. Terrified, I started running as fast as I could, looking for camp. I kept seeing the same rocks over and over, and tree formations even though I was running uphill. Then I stopped, because I heard a bird. It was distinctly loud, and it only chirped once. Not a whistle, just a chirp. A strange feeling washed over me. Like knowing that death is right behind you. Afraid to look back, I just walked toward the bird. After a few minutes, I found myself walking into the campsite. I looked up, and saw a tiny bird fly away from a solitary tree right in the center of camp.

Relieved that I was now safe, I turned and looked at the treeline I just emerged from. I saw the shadowlike figure, just standing. I blinked and it was gone.
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This story hits close to home…the bit about the bear figure morphing into a standing figure - I had something eerily similar happen that I still haven’t been able to rationalize and I don’t like to think about.

I used to live up near a large forest in northern california…I was kind of on the edge of the small town I lived in, I could walk a minute or two and be in a huge redwood forest. People would come and go up down my street into the forest, homeless transient types…it wasn’t unusual they had camps out there, they actually found a cabin someone built way out in the woods.

Anyway I was living in a two story house, the bottom was empty except for a water heater type thing…dirt floor. The second floor was were I lived, I had patio on the second floor probably 14 feet up off the ground. Back beyond that patio was my small yard and behind the yard was a clearing…there’d be deer back there. Lots of trees.

So one night I’m out for a smoke on my patio when I hear a bit of rustling…and it’s late, probably around 1-2am…I notice a light, and a figure hunched over moving around near my neighbors fence. I’m thinking it’s a homeless dude, probably nosing around in my yard which isn’t a great thing…so I kind of step out and cough to make my presence known. That’s when I realize - it’s too big to be a human. I mean…the proportions just weren’t right. It’s back was a little too long and the legs were just too…fuck I don’t know bent in a bit of a weird way. Suddenly in one strange fluid motion the figure turns around and makes eye contact with me, seemingly in an instant…I shit you not it’s eyes were glowing. A pale blue. This is when I realize I’m way out of my league and exposed on a shitty patio at like 2am facing some kind of bear demon and I want none of this, so without breaking eye contact I back into my house and slam the sliding glass door. But I’m still looking at this thing. It hunches over on all fours and looks bigger now, like a bear, and faster than I’ve ever seen anything move it fucking scales up my patio, bearhugging some of the wood, and is just kind of peering into my house through the sliding glass door - it’s eyes still glowing with that weird pale blue color.

Now I’ve seen enough horror movies to know when to bow out, so run back into my room and lock the door. My memory is really foggy after this and I honestly don’t remember falling asleep that night. So I’m a little confused as to what exactly happened afterwards. But it remains one of the strangest experiences I’ve had.

This is a bit of a late reply but…hoping somebody reads this.

What’s hard for me to shake is how quickly it moved and how…unreal the figure was. I swear the thing looked like a bear / kind of moved like one but was slightly bipedal and it’s head looked kind of human like. Plus it’s glowing eyes.
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I grew up in the woods, the house was a little distance from the road down a dirt track, nearest village had more cows, ducks and pigs than people 900 I think. Now that was rural France. And unwelcoming to outsider like us.

I grew up the youngest of three with quite an age gap, 5 years with my sis and 13 with my bro and my father passed away when I was 2 In other words, a lot on my own. But not always.

The memory got triggered by some details in some stories and installement 5 made it even stronger.

I spent all the time I could in the woods, building tree houses and what not, I covered a lot of distance on foot too. Well as much as 7-10 yo could.

My mum freaked out one day when I got home a bit too late, well past night time and allready had called some people to come look for me. “where have you been all this time?” I was a bit dumb founded, she had been crying a bit and there was my school teacher and the neighbour’s wife. I said I was sorry didn’t time go by.

The next day I apologized again and told her I was with a new friend and she must have freaked internally as I would. “who’s your friend?” she asked I said " Idon’t know, he doesn’t speak and he lives in the forrest. He gave me berries"

the berries, one kid mentionned berries and I could almost taste them again.

“if you don’t talk how do you know you’re friends” " because we think the same, we know without talking" she asked to meet him. Any concerned adult would I guess to make sure the kid isn’t lured in by some kind of weirdo.

I took her to the place i met him, by an old water reservoir where one of my cabane, hut, was. “he’s here but he says he doesn’t meet with tall people” “how do you know?” “we think together so I know when he knows” by then she figured it was a lonely kid with an imaginary friend or a made up story to say sorry. So we left it at that.

I met him again, the second time I didn’t get scared as I did the first time cause I recognized him, felt him coming like he kind of let me know he was approaching and he popped out of nowhere walking next to me. without a face but some kindness, the smile part of the last story brings that up in my memory.

I became was a regular occurance. he hated hunters that I knew, we did all we could to jeopardize hunts that is scare the game away.

And he would feed me, that freaks me out so much to remember that. he would stick the food in my mouth. I’m a half decent outdoor man and a lot I have learned from that age. Now it seems from him.

I had forgotten about that friend, until my mum told me the story some years ago and I too thought it was a fruit of my kidself imagination. until those stories made it surface it all.

An other thing, time fucking flew when with him, always had to run home and he always took me to places I didn’t know and never found on my own. I knew every tree and rabbit hole around there. That was some kind of hallucination I guess. Also he did not like the dogs much, he never was around when I took the dogs.
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Shit, finally some kind of paranormal stuff I can talk about! The no-face ghosts/ Egg ghosts are a common type of ghost in Korean folklore (I think they are in Japan and China too, but less popular there), and they are said to lurk forests or parks. They are said to be either death omens or just poor lost souls looking for their ‘face’.
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I did some hiking last year in very rural China, and was told to avoid “temple gates” that were out in the wilderness. They were associated with disappearances and other strange happenings. I’ve heard similar things about standing stones in the UK, and doorways in other places.
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I grew up in rural Japan, but the general rule is stay the hell away from any sort of entrance that shouldn’t be there. Temple gates, or Torii, and ropes with sashes should never be crossed, as they mark the boundary of where your domain ends and another’s begin. The times I have encountered them, it feels pretty obvious that you should stay away. It’s eerie.

Also don’t disrespect the forest while you’re deep inside of it. That is how you get spirited away, or kami-kakushi as it is called.
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I’m in the Philippines and based on my uncle’s story. (He was a scout ranger btw) A lot of his colleagues often remember him as an expert with navigating through forests and mountains (They say he has this strange 6th sense and instincts on where to go). My father once told me to avoid going up on “weird” stair-like objects in the middle of the forest. It can look exactly like normal stairs or just stones stacked up to each other in an unnatural way. There was even this one time that one of his superiors asked him to go with him to escort a lady out of camp to her home when the lady suddenly disappeared. They didn’t even wander too far away from their camp and they said the trail was too easy so they know that they can go back very easily but it turns out that their surroundings changed and they were lost. They ended up searching their way back and it felt like they only got lost for about a week or so until they met a strange old man and told them that they were trapped in an enchantment and needed to do some ritual to escape it. (I have to ask my Dad about it because I already forgot.) After that, they walked a few yards and discovered their way back to camp. They were told that they’ve been missing for 5 years but they didn’t look that they were gone for that long. My uncle was even suspected dead and the regiment gave up on searching for them and what’s surprising is, the forest is inside a very small island that they reclaimed from rebels and my uncle was assigned there for too long that he already knows the place like the back of his hands.
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Im fron the philippines too, and recently my brother went canyoneering with friends, and they got separated into three groups. The first group went ahead with the guide, my brother was in the second with a male and female friend, then they went over a bridge and realized they were going the wrong way, but when they went back their female friend disappeared. A while after they saw the third group go over the bridge, and my brother called them to get back and when they did, they said they were following the (previously mentioned) female friend and she was also gone when they went back. A few minutes later the female friend appeared, apparently annoyed and confused as to why she was left behind (she said was alone, catching up, the whole time my brother and his friends claimed to have been following her over to the bridge/wrong way) then the guide told them that those kinds of stuff happens. He also said that the day a trekking guide drowned in the river, the forest was unnaturally loud, drums and beats could be heard.
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We have a famous haunted forest in Romania, the Hoia-Baciu forest. I’ve never been there but people have been investigating it for a long time now and a lot of weird shit seems to happen in it. Everything from spirits, UFOs and magnetic anomalies has been discussed. The common agreement is that it is filled with portals to “the other side”, or it is one big portal in itself. People that go in it come out sick, nauseous and sometimes with burns on their skin. There are no strange material apparitions such as stairs or doorways , but people have reported tracks and shapes appearing on the ground in front of them, even though there is no one else there. Human silhouettes and disembodied human heads hanging on trees have also been rumored to watch those who enter the forest.
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Dering Woods in the UK. Dering Woods a.k.a. Screaming Woods sit just south of what is said to be the most haunted village in Britain, Pluckley. The woods get their name because of the blood curdling screams people sometimes hear coming from the forest late at night. Described as the most haunted woodland in Kent, Screaming Woods is said to be haunted by a highwayman who was captured by villagers, brought to the woods, pinned to a tree and killed with a sword, and a screaming man who is said to have fallen to his death. Here’s a post from an interesting message board thread where people are discussing Screaming Woods.

I was in pluckley and a group of friends and i deicided to go to deering woods (screaming woods) when we got there ther were birds singing and the atmosphear seemed quite happy we pulled up the other car in the car park left we got out the car and my friend noticed that the birds had stopped singing as we went into the woods you could have heard a pin drop we walked in up to half way towards the cross roads and us girls decided to come out so we went in to the car and the boys went bac in about 20 min later the boys came running out they got in the car started the car and turned it head on to the woods were my friends brand new car stalled head on and we saw this dark black mist coming towards us as if it was walking down the path (there was definatly something) we then went down to the black horse pub were we discussed the days ghost hunt a we always did and the boys said that it was only when they started getting close to the crossroads that it apperead so they ran out. we have talked to a few of the local people who have said that early in the morning you can here screaming coming from the woods.
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Here’s how It operates. The Vet at the training op (story 2) followed the lure alone (faceless backpacker) in the middle of the night a mile from camp? My god what an unfortunate choice. Don’t do that. Don’t ever, ever do that. Lucky to be alive. Balls the likes of which can be seen from space tho.

I’m going to speak this in clear English, explain It like you’re five. This creature is a predator, a meat eater & a trapper. It hunts, watches, waits, lures, pounces, you’re dead.

Don’t go into the woods at night. Don’t stray from your camp fire. Don’t take your eyes off each other. Stay away from wild berry patches and boulder fields. Don’t trek too loud. Remain steadfast. Never wear red (unless you’re trying to match the butcher aisle). Tallest man is the anchor, hikes at the back of the line, second tallest, front. Don’t take small children into the forest or the weak, elderly or limping. Hide your wounds. Keep your injuries, wounds, and blood covered. Burn bloody field dressings. Blood will only excite it.

You’re being stalked & lured into a trap. It’ll probably be death by suffocation or broken neck. Those that have felt like they were being followed, circled, watched, were being hunted. It deploys a remarkable and segmented method of capture. That ‘know they’re watching’ sensation’s Stage One.

Stage Two, somebody’s calling you.

Been trackin this thing at night, solo for years. Night affords me sensory advantages, improved hearing, smell, situational awareness. This has allowed me to counter-creep on it, triangulate it. Without light, I could only ever make out it’s shape, hieght. It’s never where I’ve positioned it, however. It’s moved. Invariably to reaquire it, all one has to do is turn around.
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Reading these stories brought back the memory of an event that happened a few years ago when I was a sophomore in high school. I still can’t explain what the fuck happened til this day. I shit you not, this story is true.

I lived in Ann Arbor at the time, not next to the University of Michigan but about 30 minutes from it. My buddy Matt and I lived in the same neighborhood in a little place called Pittsfield Township. There was a main road that our neighborhood went out to that connected to a few dirt roads that went on for miles, and interconnecting all these roads were thick woods that carried on. Now the trees in these woods weren’t super tall or anything but they were just tall enough that you could see them from our backyards. One day we both got the bright idea to go hiking back into these woods to explore whatever was in there. I (dumbly) wore shorts and flip flops and cut the fuck out of my legs and feet while walking through all the thorn bushes. We went about 5 miles back into the woods and what we saw was so strange. We found the remnants of an old house, like it had been built in the 50’s or 60’s. The house itself wasn’t there anymore but the remnants of the furniture, the old gas stove, the bath tub, the chimney, and an old Ford truck were there. It all seemed pretty cool until we came across this fucking staircase. Here was this old looking metal staircase. It wasn’t untouched like in these stores but just being by it gave both of us a weird feeling. The metal was obviously rusting all the way around this staircase and there was green mold and moss on almost every bit of it. My buddy got the idea to climb to the top of it and what happened next made us realize that we shouldn’t have come there. He climbed to the top and told me that he felt extremely nautious. He vomited all over himself and slipped off the top of the stairs. Luckily it was only an 8 foot drop so I was relieved that it couldn’t have hurt him too much, sadly I was wrong. Matt let out a scream of pain. I ran over to see what had happened. His leg was broken. Part of the bone was sticking out because he had landed hard on his feet. Luckily I always keep a pocket knife on me so I cut the sleeve off of his shirt, forced the bone back into his leg and tied the part of the shirt around his leg to stop the bleeding the best I could. I asked Matt if he thought he could walk, he let out another scream and said that he could try. We didn’t have any cell phones of our own and our parents couldn’t afford them for us otherwise I would have called 911. A split second after, Matt stopped talking and the woods became silent. I could hear a faint scream farther back into the woods that was identical to Matt’s except it was in a lower tone and had a wheezing to it. I asked Matt if he heard it too and he nodded. The scream came again and our fucking eyes got wide. We were terrified. I helped him up and there was another scream, it couldn’t have been more than thirty feet away. We darted as fast as we could away from that staircase. I had Matt’s arm lumped around me as I tried to half carry him while he hopped on his other leg. The screams got closer and closer. I gashed my legs on tree branches and more thorn bushes. I could feel blood running down my legs but we couldn’t stop running. Eventually the screams became more distant until we emerged from the woods and crossed the main road. We made it back to my house and called for an ambulance. When the EMT’s asked us what happened we could barely speak. All Matt could bring himself to say was “that staircase”. Our hair was standing up on our necks the whole fucking time. I’ve sinced moved far away from Ann Arbor and wish to warn anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to go into the woods. If you see things that seem out of place, run. I can’t believe I almost buried this memory but I’m glad I could share it since it sounds like a lot of other people have had similar experiences.
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I was out in the woods or near enough to them almost every day when I was younger, and I’ve got a few stories to reflect that.

The one that stands out the most is when I was about seven or eight. My friend (let’s call her S.) and I were out in my backyard, playing on this old swingset I had. It was a cloudy day, but sunlight peeked through sometimes. It was fall, cause I remember all the trees were half-bare, and the weeping willow was all fucked up (in my young eyes, anyway). Now, the swingset wasn’t far from the house. Close enough that mom could keep an eye on use while she made us lunch, and close enough that we could yell and get her attention. Moreover, when I say my grandparents live next door, I mean they live right the fuck next door. Plus, they have a front AND back porch, and they’re usually on one or the other (especially back then) so if we yelled, they’d hear us too.

Anyway, S. and I were swinging, having a grand old time, doing kid shit. I think we were about to play a game of Kim Possible when I got this feeling. I’ll never forget it. It was like someone poured cold water down my spine, and all the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. The way we were swinging, we were facing the back of my house. So, I turned, looking down across the field and at the woodline, and on my life, I saw a figure there, peering out from behind the trees. I told S. to look and she did, and she was freaked the fuck out as well. I don’t remember much about the figure except that I saw white, and it maybe was wearing bluejeans, and I couldn’t make out a face. At all. I remember staring at it and looking back at the house, freaked the fuck out, and when I looked back it was gone. Just gone, no trace, no nothing. It was fucking fall, man, we’d have heard if they were scrambling back up the hill or deeper into the woods or whatever, but we didn’t hear a sound.

Then again, we didn’t hear anything before that, either.

That was the only time I ever saw a figure like that in the woods, but I’ve seen some other shit that gave me the willies. Hiking with my aunt and uncle and occasionally, my cousin, I’ve seen some weird rocks, weird shit on rocks they attributed to early Native Americans. Riding ATVs with my dad, I’ve gotten the feeling of being watched, the feeling that if we got hung up there or stuck or whatever, we wouldn’t be getting back out. Ever.
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I grew up in Southern California. My parents, loving the land and the mountains, taught me to be respectful of the forest and trails. And I was and still am. My father taught me where the native burial grounds were, and I was always fascinated with those areas. I was in awe. They weren’t scary, and I always felt a sense of reverence and peace near them. I got older, I would often take our dogs out on the same trail…alone. The same walk. For years. It was a gorgeous view, and people were often on the trail. Sometimes I went towards the evening. Less people, more wildlife, my kind of time. Kites, Hawks, jack rabbits were normal sightings, with the occasional deer.

The trail I knew so well was out in the open for the most part. Trek down into a usually dry stream bed, up through a sacred oak grove and you were out in the open. Always make a little noise for the snakes, rattlers were aplenty where I grew up. The trail lead across a hillside, well carved over the years. To the left of you, steep hillside, dry grass, and chaparral. To the right, open rolling hills dotted with green sycamores indicating where water would be found when it rained.

My companions were two older dogs. They weren’t afraid of the local flora and fauna. Our eldest, Trooper, a german shepherd mix trotted along, our husky Hallie behind him. It was oddly quiet on the trails that afternoon. I remember there was a quick ear prick and I watched Hallie as if she was in slow motion. Hackles raised, bristling and snarling at something. Something was above us, on the hillside. I remember my heart felt like it bottomed out into my stomach as my head turned up to look. It was just like a car accident, where everything was in slow motion, I had a dawning realization as the hair on my neck and forearms stood on end as I stared up into nothing.

This is what a prey animal feels like. I’m being hunted.

I stared up into the brush, and while I couldn’t see anything, the sense of dread and fear was almost paralyzing. I remember that I made “eye contact” with whatever was up on the hillside, because I could feel it in the pit of my stomach. Whatever was watching me was intelligent, and exceptionally still. Never in my life had I wished more for another hiker to come around the bend.

I knew, that if it was a mountain lion, walking with my back turned was out of the question. Running was out of the question. Without taking my eyes off that spot on the hillside, I turned around to walk backwards away from the imminent danger facing myself and my dogs. I’m sure if anyone else had seen me, they would have thought me nuts, but I knew to keep a watch on the hillside, and listen carefully to my dogs and the surroundings.

Quite honestly, it was the longest quarter mile of my life, feeling the eyes on me, on the dogs and completely uncertain of what was tracking us. I spoke loudly, telling whatever it was that I could see it, that I knew where it was. Despite the fear, I attempted to exude as much confidence and aggression as I could. Ever so often, a slight slide of pebbles and grass crackling underfoot was my only indicator that it was still following us.

Only then, as the hillside curved away and the trail broke into the open section, did the dogs calm and the presence moved away and off into the thicker overgrowth, finally taking its eyes off me. I was glad I had a knife on me, but even more happy that I didn’t have to use it.

I always thought it may have been a mountain lion. Honestly, now I’m not so sure. Even if it was ONLY just a mountain lion, it was one of the most truly terrifying experiences of being out in the wild.

The most important thing I learned about that excursion: Never walk a trail and stare at your phone (this was before cell phones were common place on the same trail). Never be distracted. Trust your instincts. Trust your animals if they’re with you. ALWAYS carry a weapon.

It took me awhile before I felt comfortable going back to that trail. I took my husband down it, to show him exactly where the incident happened. He isn’t sure how I didn’t run away screaming. In response, I told him, “These are my woods. I know them, and I’m not going to be scared away from coming here.”
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I’ve been following this series with interest. I’ve always walked and camped in woods, forests, mountains, and moorlands alone, on both sides of the Atlantic. It’s a time to get my mind right. I’ve put up with the rest of humanity for 50 weeks of the year, so I want to get to a place where I see no one. I’ve been out in various wildernesses for most of my life – it’s where I’m at home, day or night. The cities are, to me, far more dangerous.

Odd stuff does happen though. I’ve had my share.

  1. Long time back, I was walking through the local woodland at night. This is a patch of ancient woodland. I heard a creaking sound, like one tree branch rubbing on another. Now this was weird enough for the hair on the back of my head to go up, because there wasn’t a breath of wind. Not even a breeze to stir the ash tree leaves. It was coming from the region of the very old badger sett. I circled round to the site, but saw and heard nothing. There was a feeling of depthless misery and fear that grew stronger as I got nearer, and the wrongness of one tree bough rubbing on another without anything to cause it was causing my instincts to suggest leaving well alone. So I left well alone for that night.

Next day I had a chat with the gamekeeper. He’s an old guy, in his 60s, and has been teaching me everything he knows since I was 11-12. Woodcraft, poaching (i.e. illegal subsistence hunting for the pot), and various other bits of rural skills. He knew I’d go poaching on his patch eventually, and told me “You know it’s my job to catch you”, with the subtext of “but I’d be disappointed if I do.” It’s finishing school, if you like. He reckons you can’t really learn this stuff unless you’ve got something to lose. In his case it was his liberty when he was a young man poaching for the pot, before he became a gamekeeper like his father. Later it was his life at stake when he was hunting the Japanese through the jungles of southern Asia. He’s good. He’s very good. For most people, first you’d know he was there would be if you turned round and found him standing there, as if he’d come up through the ground. So we spend my formative years playing cat and mouse. I’m out hunting for game, whilst he’s hunting me, and yes, he really is trying to catch me. It’s my job not to get caught, and to get some game for the pot. No he never caught me. Sometimes I practice by walking behind folks walking through the woods – 5-6 feet – before turning off to another path. They never notice me. Other times I sit silently by the side of a path as folks go by, scaring the local wildlife past me. They don’t know I’m there. As I recently remarked to my daughter, who is now learning this stuff, most people go through the woods – and through life – as if they’ve got a letterbox in front of their eyes. They’re blind to everything above, below, and to the sides of that letterbox, as well as deaf, and unaware of what’s behind them. They’re only half alive. For good measure their thoughts are on something in the past, or on what they’ll do, what they want, what might happen, in the future, but never in the Now. They get to the ends of their lives never having lived them to the full.

And that’s how I spend most of my time after school, weekends, and holidays, for about ten years; just learning and practicing.

Anyway, it turned out a young woman had hanged herself there the previous week. She tied a rope around a bough, stood on a stump, and jumped off. It wasn’t an easy death. The rope was just too long, the branch too flexible, and her toes were in contact with the ground. She took hours to die, rising and falling on her toes as she slowly strangled, until her strength gave up, and her sagging body weight did the rest. The scuff marks on the ground showed how she’d struggled as she hung and gyrated there, the branch rubbing against one that it crossed. The gamekeeper found her far too late, and had to cut her down.

I went back there that night – the feeling of misery and fear was just as strong. I sat down, and offered to help, and offered a blessing for her. Something my mother taught me; it’s an old tradition in her family, and something that she herself was taught. There were no problems after that.

  1. We had a night escape and evasion exercise in the Forest of Dean. The Forest of Dean is an ancient, ancient forest, a relic of the forest that covered this land when the glaciers retreated. It’s an old landscape, with an old pagan temple at Lydney. I suspect that the whole of this area, from the ancient forest right down to the temple of Aqua Sulis at Bath, was once considered a strange and sacred landscape.

Anyway, I got sent to watch for the hunters, because of my prior experience as a poacher So there’s me, crouching in shadow, the moon breaking through the clouds, watching, waiting for the signal to start the exercise, watching, waiting, for the hunters, and just becoming one with the woods, mentally blending into it, alert, and not thinking, aware of an owl in the tree above me, the patterns of light and dark, and the gentle wind. I was just another animal in the forest, both hunter and hunted. Well, this is just natural for me.

As I crouched there, I became aware of a blue light behind the trunk of an oak tree to my left. As I watched, it grew stronger, until a patch of light emerged where the branches forked from the trunk. Then it came down my side. Best I can describe it is a lizard, about 4-5 feet long, made of blue light. I watched with interest – I’d vaguely heard of such things, and they’re not known to be friendly to human beings. However, I was just another animal in the woods. I also knew that it meant that the hunters were not close. I watched. Suddenly its head perked up and it looked off into the forest – then it went out like someone turning out a light. At the same time I felt the presence of the hunters, maybe a hundred yards off. I reported back to the guy in charge of our team that the hunters were closing in.

The guy in charge – an officer in the Green Jackets – proved to be useless at this. Two of our number just disappeared. The hunters got them. No noise, no sight of them. Eventually, with the team getting panic stricken, he turned to me and said “Can you get us out of this?” So I did. The hunters were good, but I’d had a top notch teacher, and I’d been at this since I was 11-12. Even so, I had to be on my toes – they were the best I’ve come across. We didn’t lose anyone else though. I even considered ambushing the hunters, on the grounds that they now had no idea where we were, but I knew where they were. I could feel them. The rest of the team didn’t feel up to this though, so we settled for simply heading for our allocated destination. I figured that the hunters, having lost our trail, would try to get ahead of us and ambush us near where they knew we had to go. It’s what I’d do. We therefore had to aim for working round them.

We were now an hour or two into the exercise when there was an almighty scream from someone in one of the other teams further over in the forest. My first thought was “Oh god, someone’s got hurt.” The signal went to call in all teams – exercise aborted. We all headed back.

They dragged a guy into a ring of headlights. I’ll always remember the scene. He lay on the floor on a foetal position, whimpering and shaking. I recognised him – a 20 year man in the Royal Marines. Tours of duty in Ulster, active service in the Falklands, that sort of thing. He’s known as a solid man, lots of combat experience. Now he lay on the floor, not physically hurt, whimpering inarticulately and shaking, obviously terrified. It took something like half an hour before we got anything other than animal-like whimpering out of him. It was a good hour before we got him on his feet with two guys supporting him, him walking as if his legs couldn’t take his weight, and sat him down in one of the cars. He was white, and still shaking. Unless I miss my guess, he was mentally scarred for life. Possibly even broken. Someone passed him a coffee, and he gulped it down. Someone else passed him a cigarette. He had great difficulty lighting it because his hands were shaking so much, so someone helped him. They tried to get out of him what had happened. All he’d say was that he’d seen something. They tried pushing, to find out just what it was that he’d seen. He just shook his head. I kept my peace and drank me coffee, but I had a good idea what it was that he’d seen. Like I said, they don’t like human beings. Partly I figured that no one would believe me. Then again, there was the possibility that, right then and there, they might well, at which point there might be panic.

The exercise was supposed to go on for several more hours, but that was it. Folks – well apart from me – were a bit rattled. You’ve never seen folks get into cars so quickly and leave, whilst trying to put on an air of everything being alright.

Some time later I mentioned what had happened to one of the locals. They went a bit quiet, then remarked, “We don’t bother them, and they don’t bother us. It does no good to ask what they are.”

Why didn’t it go for me? I guess that mentally I was just another animal in the woods, no different in mindset to a fox or a cat. They don’t pay animals much mind.
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Hey idk if you’re going to find this relatable but these “creatures” or whatever “it” is…is found in many different cultures. I’m not religious but they are mentioned in the Islam and in the quran as Djinns. Like creatures made of “fire” or modern day plasma. And they feed on flesh and bones. And can disguise themselves in human like form, or animal form to lure their victims. They’re found in remote areas like deserts, mountains, forests, and the sea. My grandma used to tell me stories about them and even though they used to scare the shit out of me when I was younger I stopped believing in all that stuff. But reading your storied reminded me of what my grandma used to warn me about. Like not playing by trees after dark and stuff like that. But you should really research djinns. Because apparently they’ve been around for thousands of years and kind of exist their their own realm in a way. Idk if I believe or not but I found it relatable also spooky lol. But they say there are good djinns (pronounced jinn) bad ones. Good ones like the genie Aladdin had. But bad ones like kind of like demons that are mentioned in the bible too. It’s just weird to think these stories are told in all different countries and cultures. I would love an update soon though! Great job!
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After reading all of these stories I have to share my own. When my experience happened I was currently with a Civil Air Patrol squadron in Alaska. Sometimes we’re called to help with a SAR mission, usually for aerial recon, but sometimes on rare occasions we actually get into the woods and help out the SAR officers. We were looking for a kid around the age of 6 who got separated and was missing for about an hour before we got there. The parents explained that they heard some say, “Hey! Excuse me!” from behind them. They both turned to find no one there and their kid gone. My crew found his trail about 30 minutes later with the help of a dog and we followed it off the path. But it was strange because it was so straight, like he knew where he was going, and it was very well defined, as if he was leaving a trace to follow. Not to mention his trail was a mile or so down the path from where he disappeared. We followed the trail into woods and after about half a mile we came across this small clearing, and at the edge of this clearing was a dark stained Victorian staircase. I thought that this was incredibly weird, but I got no particular feeling from it until one of the guys in my group walked right up to it and climbed the stairs without saying a word. All of the sudden the bottom of my stomach dropped and I screamed for him to get down. As soon as he stepped off the stairs the dog sat down, and the trail disappeared. We knew exactly where we were and where the trail was when we entered the clearing, but it just vanished as if no one came through. Not even our own tracks were there. We never found the kid, until months later when a hunter was flying back from his post in the woods saw a yellow piece of cloth on the top of a tree. He called the SAR base and we found the kid. Except he was about 30 miles from the park and looked as if he had fallen from high altitude because his body was impaled by the tree, but found at the base of the tree. He was still warm when they got the helicopter there and removed his body. From what I notice, the stairs are tied with the events that happen, not simply because the no face man or any of those strange phenomenon are in the forest, but because they are triggered with the physical contact of the stairs. If I had known not to touch the stairs I would’ve told my crew member to not climb up the stairs. Maybe we would’ve found the kid alive that way. Parks seriously need a sign that says to stay on the path and not to approach staircases.
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I used to live in this very small town in Iowa, only 3,000 people and the entire town was surrounded with dense forests. There was large wooded area that had many hills in my backyard that went on for nearly a mile before it tapered out into my neighbors backyard. When I was about ten my parents would let me and my sister walk through the woods to get to my neighbors. But we always had to be home by dark, and we were never allowed to walk off the trail. One day, my sister, my neighbor and I walked off the trail, because as I said, we were kids and didnt know any better. We walked for a long time before we saw a fucking staircase at the top of a hill. It looked like it literally came out of a house. It had carpet and everything. When we got to the top of the hill we smelled horrible rotting flesh. There was a dead deer right in front of the first stair. It couldnt have been there more than a day, but usually bugs and smaller animals would be eating the body, but nothing was near it at all. At that point we were really freaked out. Then i had this horrible feeling in my stomach, and my ears felt like they were popping and ringing at the same time. I turn to look at my sister and shes bawling, but I cant hear it. I see my neighbor start running away, so I grab my sisters hand and start running back towards my house but She kept pointing behind us, and when I finally looked back and all I saw was a dark shadow, but it looked like it was floating after us a lot faster than we were running to be honest. about halfway down the hill we fell and started rolling. When we got up at the bottom of the hill the ringing had stopped, and my stomach didnt hurt anymore. When I asked my sister if she was ok, she said that “it” had tried to grab her arm, and thats why we fell. She said it hurt really bad, but I was a kid so I didnt know what to do, so we ran home. Her entire forearm was crushed. We never went back, and we still don’t talk about it
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I hike alone often. I’ve been warned by old Indians of these dangers. I run marathons and trail run 10k mountains to give you an idea of my physical. One of my encounters I was on a 26mile hike to summit a 5,500+ mountain. There is a section where the forest comes alive and you have that feeling that something is watching you. The birds are absent and the forest is quiet. Close to the last mile, this thick fog rolls through. Ive been told they travel in the fog and to be careful when unusual fog comes. The whole time I have a feeling someone is stalking me. As I near the top this bone aching fatigue washes over me. I don’t know why I’m tired all of a sudden. I start to hear this whisper in my head, over and over again, “Rest for a moment…take a nap at this tree. Rest…” I am shaking this fatigue off as I summit. I’m the only person there and still foggy. The suggestion comes stronger. It feels like a warm comforting blanket as I entertain the idea. “Rest for a bit hihoesilver…just a few moments, you will be refreshed…come sit down next to this tree…rest…” It was so enticing and alluring. But the back of my mind I had this vision replaying of waking up and this black beast was eating me alive. But sleep was so inviting. As im fighting this trance, the sun breaks through the fog for a few moments. I feel revitalised as I soak in the sun. That foggy warm blanket dissipates. It was only out for a few minutes and the fog crawls back and covers the sun. As the whisper comes back slowly, luckily 2 hikers came to the summit. The whisper and fatigueness disappears again. I chat with them for a bit then head back down. I ran about 10+ miles back to the parking lot with no incidents. Never had a feeling like this before.
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Part 6

It’s been way too long since I posted an update, and I’m sorry about that. There’s also been some confusion about the new formatting requirements on the board, which I’ve cleared up. So these next few stories are going to be posted a little differently! They’ll be in chronological order, and I’ll do my best to tie them into each other as much as I can so it doesn’t skip around too much.

When I started out as a rookie, no one had told me a lot about the job in terms of weird things that could happen. I’m assuming this was largely to prevent me from freaking out and abandoning the park. But a few months into my service, when I was still a rookie, a friend and I were drunk at a party, and he opened up a bit: “Yeah, it can get a little crazy out there, I guess. I think the worst are the ones where people die when they just shouldn’t, you know? Or when we find ‘em dead like ten minutes after someone says they saw them last. ‘They were fine when I passed them on the switchback, I swear!’ That sort of shit. Like, take this guy who I found one spring out on a really popular trail. Someone comes into the VC freaking about about some guy who’s lying in the middle of the path in this giant pool of blood. So we run out there, and we find this guy dead as a doornail. Which he absolutely should be, because the back of his head is like mashed potatoes. The skull is decimated, brains are leaking out like custard filling, and they guy’s old so you figure yeah, he probably fell and hit his head. Old people fall all the time, it’s no big deal. Except that this area where he fell doesn’t HAVE any big rocks. There’s not even any stumps or big branches. And on top of that, there’s no blood trail, so he clearly died where he dropped. Now that’s when you’d turn to murder, but there were people just out of line of sight with the guy. If someone came up behind him and murdered him, there’s no way someone wouldn’t have heard. And again, even if someone had, there’d be a blood trail, spatter all over the place. But everyone on the scene said it looked exactly like he’d fallen and smashed his head on a rock. So what the fuck did he hit his head on? And then there was this lady I found in a different park about five years ago, back when I was upstate. We found her in the middle of a stand of big junipers, curled around the trunk, like she was huggin’ it. We pick her up to move her, and a fucking waterfall comes out of her mouth, splashes all over my shoes. Her clothes are dry, and her hair is dry, but the amount of water in her lungs and stomach was phenomenal. Unreal, man. Coroners report? Says the cause of death was drowning. Her lungs were completely full of water. This, even though we’re in the middle of the high desert, and there isn’t a body of water for miles. No puddles, no nothing. No signs of anyone else being out there. I mean yeah, it’s possible they were murdered. But why go out of the way to do it like that? Why not just stab 'em and be done with it? I dunno, it just sits weird with me.”

Now of course, that freaked me out a little. But we were wasted, and I guess I sort of wrote it off as a fluke. I also assumed there was exaggeration there, since, you know, we were wasted.

Now, I don’t like talking about this next case very much. It was an awful one that I’ve done my best to forget about, but of course that’s easier said than done. This happened about six months after the conversation with my friend at the bar, and up until that point I hadn’t had a lot of really weird shit go down. A few things here and there, and of course the stairs, but it’s amazingly easy to get used to stuff like that when it’s treated as if it’s normal. This case was a little different.

A guy with Down’s Syndrome in his 20s went missing after his family lost sight of him on a major path. That was odd in and of itself, because this guy never left his mom’s side. She was absolutely convinced he’d been kidnapped, and unfortunately a Ranger who isn’t with the park anymore insinuated that no one was going to kidnap someone… well, with that kind of disability. Not very tactful, to say the least. We wasted a lot of time trying to calm her down enough to get information about him, and then we put out an official missing persons call. Because of the urgency of the situation, him being mostly unable to function alone, we had local police come in and help us. We didn’t find him the first night, which was heartbreaking. None of us wanted to think of him being alone out there. We assumed he’d just kept wandering, and was staying ahead of us. We brought out helis the next day, and they spotted him in a little canyon. I helped bring him back up, but he was in bad shape, and I think we all knew he wasn’t gonna make it. He’d fallen and broken his spine, and couldn’t feel his lower half. He’d also broken both his legs, one at the femur, and he’d lost a lot of blood. He was confused and scared while he was alone, so he’d probably exacerbated the injuries by dragging himself a little ways. I know it sounds awful, but while I was riding in the copter with him, I asked him why he’d wandered off. I just wanted something to tell his mother, to let her know it wasn’t her fault, because he was fading fast and I didn’t think she’d get to ask him herself. He was crying, and he said something about how ‘the little sad boy’ had wanted him to come play. He said the little boy wanted to ‘trade’ so he could ‘go home’. Then he closed his eyes, and when he woke up again, he was in the canyon. I’m not sure that’s exactly what he said, but it was what I thought the gist of it was. He kept crying, asking where his mommy was, and I held his hand and tried my best to keep him calm. ‘It was cold out there.’ He kept saying that. ‘It was cold out there. My legs was frozen. It was cold out there. It’s cold in me.’ He was getting even weaker, so he eventually stopped talking, and he closed his eyes for a while. Then, when we were about five minutes from the hospital, he looked right at me, with these big tears running down his face, and he said ‘Mama won’t see me no more. Love mama, wish she was here.’ And he closed his eyes and he just… never woke up. It was horrible, and I don’t like talking about it. That case was one of the first ones that really rattled me badly.

Because of how badly it affected me, I reached out to a senior Ranger, and who ended up helping me through it. As time went on, and we got to know each other better, he ended up sharing one of his own stories with me. It was disturbing, but it helped to know that I wasn’t the only one affected by the things going on out there. “I think this must have happened before you got here, because I think if it had happened while you were here you’d have remembered it. I know it didn’t end up in the news, for some reason, but I think most people who’ve been here long enough know about it. The park sold off a portion of land to a logging company, and it was a really controversial thing. But it wasn’t that large or old of a plot, and it was right after the recession, so we needed cash bad. Anyway, they were felling this plot of land, and we get a call that we need to get our supervisors out right away. I don’t know why, but they ended up sending me and a few other guys along with the heads, I guess for power in numbers, to see what was up. We got there, and all these guys are crowded around a tree that they’ve just cut down. They’re all pissed off and freaking out and the foreman comes over and says he wants to know what we think we’re up to. “What the hell y’all think this is, some kinda sick joke? You’ve got a lot of fuckin’ nerve pulling this shit, we bought this land fair and square!” Well we don’t know what the hell he’s talking about, so he brings us over to this felled tree and points at it and tells us that when they cut it down, it was just like this, and they’ll be damned if they put it there. The inside of the tree was all rotted out and hollow in one spot, and when they’d cut it down it had exposed that chamber, and inside it is a hand. Like a perfectly severed hand. And looks like it’s actually fused with the inside of the tree. Well now we think THEY’RE pulling a joke, so we tell them that we don’t like being fucked with, and we start to leave, but they tell us they’ve already called the cops, and that they’ll go right to the media if we don’t stick around. Well that gets the heads’ attention, so they stick around and talk to the police about it. Everyone is denying that they put the hand in there, and besides, how would anyone have even done it? It’s clearly a real hand, but it’s not mummified or skeletal. It’s brand new, probably not even a day old. And it is definitely fused with the wood, you can see that it’s coming right out of it. The loggers, they insist that they didn’t put it there. Somehow, this fresh human hand ended up fused to the inside of this living tree. The cops have them cut up that section of tree into a movable chunk. Then they take the hand away, and the area is closed off. There was a pretty big investigation, but I know they didn’t find get any answers. Now it’s become this legend, and as far as I know we haven’t sold any more property for logging.”

As you all know, I went to a training seminar recently, and heard some amazing and horrible things there. One of the guys I talked to while I was there told me a story when we were all around the campfire one night. We were both pretty drunk, you’ll see a pattern here, and we were swapping stories. He told me this one: “Me and another guy were out on a field search because some campers reported screaming noises at night. So we head out there to look for whatever fucking mountain lion has wandered into the area, and I’m pissed. We’ve had three of them show up in the camping areas that year alone and I’m getting tired as hell of constantly having to deal with them. Plus, I just don’t like them anyway. They’re a pain in the ass and they’re loud and they scare the shit out of me. Fuckin’ cats. Pieces of shit. I’m groanin’ about it to the guy I’m with and he thinks it’s a real fuckin’ riot. So we’re seeing all these broken branches and what look like dens and we’re pretty sure we know where this thing is. I call in and they tell me to confirm if possible, which you know just means they want to you to step in a big pile of shit and use that as proof. I’m not seeing any, though, so I basically just tell ‘em to shove it, I’m done. We know that damn thing’s out here somewhere, even if I’m not stepping in its shit or inside its mouth or whatever. Guy I’m with wanders off to take a piss or whatever, and I stay behind watching this little burrow under a tree to see if maybe a fox or somethin’ is living under it, ‘cause I love foxes, man. They’re cute as hell. But anyway, I’m watching this tree and I start hearing branches crackling and it’s coming from the direction my partner went opposite of. Now I’ve got my pistol, but you and I both know that’s not gonna do shit against a cat. I cock it and holler for my partner to get his dumb ass back, but he’s too far and he can’t hear me. I stand up and get my sights on where the thing is approaching, and I shit you not, man, I just about peed myself. This guy is coming toward me, and he’s back-flipping through the fucking woods. Like, instead of walking, he’s doing these crazy fucking back-flips, and I swear to God he cleared every fucking log and bush in his path, it was like he knew right where he was going. I yell at the guy to stop right where he is, that I’m pointing a gun right at him, but he keeps coming, and I just kinda lost it. I shot at the ground in front of him, and it was a dumb fuckin’ thing to do, but man I didn’t want this guy anywhere near me. When I fired, he was about fifty yards from me, and as soon as the gun goes off, he whirls around and goes off, back-flipping back into the woods. My partner hears my gun go off and runs back and asks what’s up, and I tell him there’s some fucking weirdo out here hopped up on God knows what, and we need to get the hell out of Dodge. I let the cops know what happened, and I didn’t get in any trouble for firing, but man, I don’t know what that motherfucker was on but I’ve never seen anything like that before. Shit was absolutely butt-fuck crazy.”

I think we can agree that there’s stuff going on out here in the woods, and while I’m not going to spout off about what it could be, or offer any theories, what I want people to take away from all of this is that it is so damn important to be safe when you’re out there. I know a lot of you think you’re invincible, but the fact is that you CAN die out there, or be hurt, or go missing. It’s easier than you’d ever imagine.

I apologize for this relatively short update, guys, I will do my absolute best to continue this series as soon as possible. Thanks for all your continuing support, it means the world to me!

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Comments for Part 6

I’ve been reading a lot of stories talking about experiencing that seemingly random feeling of terror in the certain areas of the woods and I thought that some of you might be interested in hearing one from the Australian bush.

As a starter it’s also interesting to note that I have heard stories from Australian Aboriginal folk lore that describes malevolent spirits (which I cannot for the life of me remember the name of, and I couldn’t find anything about them online as a lot of Indigenous tribes’ stories are passed down by just telling them, not writing them down) which live in the bush, and are always just out of sight, watching you, judging you. These spirits are their explanation for that weird feeling of being watched you can sometimes get in the bush. Anyway. Back to the story:

As far as Australians go, I’m not the most outdoorsy, but I did spend a fair bit of time as a kid camping with my rather large extended family. As soon as I read these stories I remembered this one time when I was about 7 or 8 when I went camping at this particularly isolated place next to a river with aforementioned large family. Despite it being pretty deep bush land, the adults pretty much just let us kids roam about and explore as far away as we wanted. They figured we were smart enough to look after ourselves even though it was more likely than not that we would run into snakes and other less cuddly wildlife.

Me and two of my cousins- who were barely older than I was- decided to take the canoe for the day, and we set off up the river to see what was around. We had already explored around our camp site, but that afternoon we decided to venture a bit further downstream.

We were paddling along when I caught sight of this little creek which ran off the main river that apparently couldn’t be seen from upriver, as we had all never seen it before. I swear that we all saw it at the same time, and without discussing it decided to go down it. Why? Because at the end of that creek was the most stunning scene: trees illuminated in rich, golden sunlight which somehow didn’t reach the rest of the area, leaves floating lazily on a breeze which we couldn’t feel- in short, it looked like paradise. And the general feeling upon seeing it was just this compelling urge to go there. So we steered our canoe into the creek entry and suddenly I felt this overwhelming terror rise up inside of me, and I screamed for us to stop, to go back. It felt sick and dangerous and wrong, and I can remember how the further we got towards that pretty scene, the colder it got, and that golden sunlight faded. Like a lot of other people have described, all sounds became muffled, and it felt like we were in this heavy trance. Our canoe got suddenly got stuck between some rocks and we all jumped into action, trying to get out of there. As we tried to drag canoe out of this god-awful place it either became really heavy or we had just become weak, and we kept screaming out for someone to help us. After what seemed like ages and a huge effort we finally got out of there and paddled back to our camp as fast as we could.

The adults appeared surprised when we returned, terrified and shaking. When we asked them why they hadn’t come to look for when we had been screaming out for so long, they looked completely confused and told us they hadn’t heard a thing, and that we hadn’t been gone for more than 15 minutes. I realise the mind can play tricks on you in times of panic, but before this incident we had spent the day exploring a lot of other places and even gotten lost for a while, so were under the impression that we had been gone for at least a few hours. I also found it strange that they couldn’t hear our screams, as this creek wasn’t that far from camp, and you can hear a lot in the bush when there’s nothing else around.
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Part 7

One of the topics that I get asked about a lot, here and in real life, involve things like The Rake, the Wendigo, and other related legends. I can’t honestly say that I know a lot about any of them, but based on some light reading I did I can say that I’ve heard stories that seem to be loosely related to them. You’ve heard the old adage that legends like that come from somewhere, and I’m sure that’s true, but as you all know I do try to take things with a grain of salt. You have to, out here. It’s sort of like working in a hospital, I’d imagine. You could spend all day thinking about how many people have died there, and how there are probably ghosts, or whatever you want to call them, all over the place, but it doesn’t do you any good. It just makes it harder to do your job. I think a lot of us feel that way, and that’s why we try to just go about our work like everything is fine. Once you get paranoid, there’s not really any going back, and a lot of cadets quit because of it. My park especially seems to have a high turn-over rate because the cadets graduate and get so freaked out about everything, and they can’t seem to let it go. You have to learn to internalize things and shut off.

I’ve talked to K.D a bit about her experience, because I wanted to know what she thought about the Wendigo. She didn’t really have anything in particular to say about it, aside from that she didn’t want to think about it that much, but she told me a friend of hers had had something similar happen. I contacted this person, H, over Skype, and they agreed to talk to me a bit. They’re aware of my work here, and they’re fine with me posting the story exactly as they wrote it:

"I grew up in Central Oregon, and there’s a reservation called Warm Springs about two or so hours from where I lived. I only mention that because a lot of people in my area have friends there, and a lot of the land in that area belongs to that tribe. When I was a kid, we used to go camping up there. Not on the res, of course, but in that area, and I met a lot of kids who grew up there. I got to know one kid really well, his name was Nolan, and we ended up hanging out a lot when our families were in the area. Our folks got to know each other so we’d all get in touch and camp out around the same time. We’d camp for about two weeks, so we were out there for a long time. [I asked him if he camped in an RV.] Yeah, my dad had one, so I guess it wasn’t really camping but we’d take our tents and stuff and set them up out away from camp most nights. I didn’t like sleeping in there because I like being outside. [We talked for a bit about camping]

So anyway, sorry, one year Nolan and I were out there, I think we must have been like twelve or so. We wanted to go out and camp near the river because we wanted to try night fishing, I think we must have been about a third of a mile from the main camp. Far enough away that we couldn’t hear or see anyone else, I remember that. We were messing around most of the day, I don’t really remember much about it, but we ended up building a fire at some point and I was really impressed because he had this flint or something that he used to start it. I’d never seen anyone do that before so I thought it was pretty cool. I got him to teach me how to do it and we lit some stuff on fire, which looking back was really stupid because it was the middle of fucking summer, and if I remember right the fire warning was either at yellow or orange. But thankfully we didn’t start anything major, and when it got dark we sat around and talked about whatever it is twelve year olds talk about, I don’t really remember. What I do remember is that at some point, he looked over my shoulder at the river and asked me if I could see something.

The way our camp was set up, we were about ten feet from the river, and we were at the widest point, so it was probably about twenty feet to the other bank. It gets hot up there in the summer but the water’s still cold, which is important.

I look over my shoulder and I could see something wading into the river on the other side. From where we were it looked like a deer but we couldn’t really tell because of the fire. I got up to look closer and I saw a pair of antlers, so I figured it was a buck. But I thought it was weird that it was wading into the water, and it was definitely heading for us, and I asked Nolan what he thought we should do. He’s looking at the fire with this weird expression and he tells me to sit down and shut up, so I do, because I’d never seen him act that way before. He’s whispering at me to ignore it, and to just keep talking like we were but I couldn’t think of anything to say. He was saying something about an episode of some show, but I could hear the deer coming through the water, so I wasn’t really paying any attention, and I kept trying to see over his shoulder, but every time I did he’d sort of hit me on the arm and make me look at him. I wasn’t really scared, I remember, I was just sort of confused. But then I hear the deer come out of the water, and I could kind of make out what it looked like, and I realized it wasn’t a deer because whatever it was was walking on two legs. I started to get up, I was super freaked out, but Nolan just yanked me back down and talked louder about this television show, and I could tell he was just as scared as I was, probably even more. He leaned in and poked the fire with a stick, and he whispered that whatever I do, I can’t speak to it. I could see it come closer, and it stood right behind Nolan’s back. I was about ready to pee my pants, and I think I’d probably have run if I’d been alone, but I didn’t want to leave Nolan, so I kept sitting really still and sneaking glances at it. It wasn’t that tall, but the way it carried itself was just wrong, like its center of balance was screwed up. I can’t really describe it, but it was kind of like it kept shifting too far forward. It just stood there behind Nolan for a long time, and eventually Nolan ran out of things to say and we just kind of sat there for a second. The fire was making noise, but I thought I could hear this thing talking in a really low voice. I couldn’t hear what it was saying, and I leaned forward a tiny little bit, and I actually DID pee my pants when it leaned forward too. I couldn’t see its face, but I saw its eyes.

They were cloudy and milky, and if you want to know what they looked like, find that scene from Lord of the Rings where Frodo falls in that lake and all the dead people are floating toward him. That’s what its eyes looked like. So all I saw were these two white eyes floating above Nolan’s head, and the really vague shape of the antlers coming out of its head. I don’t know what my face looked like but at exactly the same time Nolan and I fucking booked it out of there, and we ran non-stop until we got back to the main camp. My pants were soaked with pee, so I took them off as we were running and threw them in the bushes. We both stopped once we were in front of my dad’s RV and we couldn’t see anything chasing us, so we stood there and caught our breath. I asked him what that thing was but he said he didn’t know. He said his grandpa had only warned him that if anything ever came up to him when he was out in the desert, he was never, ever supposed to talk to it or listen to anything it had to say. I wanted to know if he’d heard it talking too, and he said that the only thing he’d been able to understand was ‘help you’. I think we ended up sleeping in the RV with my parents, and the next night we went back out and didn’t see anything.

That does remind me, in a lot of ways, of the Wendigo legend. There’s a phrase used to describe it that I think fits perfectly, which is that the Wendigo is ‘the spirit of the lonely places.’ I know sometimes when I’m out in the wilds, where I know there’s no one around me for miles and miles, I get this weird kind of craving that I can’t really explain. I don’t know if it happens to anyone else, but it’s this desire to consume. It’s not like I crave anything in particular, but more of this weird, distracting hunger that comes from every part of my gut.

I also wanted to find out more about the faceless man, if I was able, and found a few similar things. I asked around my circle of friends, and one of them said when he was out doing repairs at a park in his area, he saw something kind of like that.

We were having dinner in town, five of us including myself. This guy, he was re-painting an information booth and heard a man ask him for directions to the nearest campsite. He didn’t turn around because he was up on a ladder, but he informed the man that there weren’t any campsites nearby, but that if he headed down the road about four miles, he’d find one at another park. He asked if he could be of any other help, but the man said no, and thanked him. My friend said he kept painting, but he was listening, and never heard the man leave.

“The second he came up and talked to me, the hairs on my neck stood up, but I wasn’t sure why. I just had this really uneasy feeling about the whole thing, and I wanted to finish painting and get out of there. I figured maybe part of it was that I couldn’t turn around to look at him, but something just felt off. There was also this weird smell floating around even before the guy talked to me, kind of like old period blood. I had looked around to see what was causing it but I didn’t find anything. So I waited for the guy to walk away, but I didn’t hear him leave, which made me think he was just standing there and watching me, so I asked again if I could do anything for him, and he didn’t answer. I knew he was there though, because I hadn’t heard him leave, so I did this awkward turn on the ladder to look down and see what he was doing. Now I admit it could have just been my brain fucking up, but I swear to you, Russ, for a split second when I turned around, that fucker didn’t have a face. Like he had no face. It was almost concave, and totally smooth, and I just about had a fucking heart attack because I couldn’t even wrap my brain around what I was seeing. I think I started to say something but there was this kind of ‘pop’ inside my head and suddenly he was just a normal looking guy. I must have looked weird because he asked me if I was okay, and I was just like ‘yeah, I’m fine.’ He asks about the campsite again and I point to where he has to go, and he’s like ‘I’m not from around here, can you help me get there?’ Now this is when I know something is really up because there’s no way this guy got out here and didn’t know where he was. And for that matter, there’s no car around, so how’d he get here in the first place? I said I was sorry but that I couldn’t take him anywhere in a company vehicle, and he’s like ‘please? I really don’t know where I am, can you come with me and help me get there?’ So now I’m seriously weirded out, and I start wondering if this is some kind of ambush or whatever. I told him I could call him a taxi to come out and take him where he wants to go, and I pull out my phone and he just goes ‘no’ and walks away really quickly. But he doesn’t walk out of the park, he walks back into the fucking trees and I got right in my fucking truck and start to get out of there, fuck the paint or whatever. I looked in my mirror to see where he was as I was leaving and he was standing right at the tree line again, I don’t know how he got there so fast, but this time I know that fucker didn’t have a face. He was just watching me leave, and right before I turned the corner he took a big step back into the trees and kind of dissolved, I guess. Maybe it was just dark so he blended in, but it felt more like he just melted away.”

Interestingly, right after this guy finished his story, someone else, piped up with another one, but with a slightly different twist.

“You know actually, I had something sort of weird like that happen a while back. I was out doing some trail scouting, and I was out in the middle of nowhere figuring out where we were gonna have this trail run through. I hadn’t seen anyone else for probably a good two hours, so I wasn’t really paying attention to where I was going, I was just looking at the ground for the most part. Then out of nowhere, I crested this little hill and almost ran into this guy. He was older, probably in his sixties, and I started to apologize to him for running into him. And then I noticed his face, and I probably looked like a complete douchebag because I stopped and just stared at him. It took me a second to figure out what was wrong, but this guy’s face was huge. I know that sounds weird, but that’s the only way I can describe it. His head wasn’t big or anything, it was normal, but the amount of space his face took up was just way too much. Like if you took someone’s face and enlarged it all by about two times. He doesn’t say anything, he just kind of looks at me, and I backed up and was kind of stuttering and saying I was sorry, and I went around him and fucking got out of there and did what I needed to do. The whole time, I kept looking behind me because I was so freaked out that he’d pop up behind me or something. I know it sounds ridiculous but I swear to you it was one of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen.”

I switched the topic to the stairs a little later, and there was a definite shift in enthusiasm. No one spoke up at first; there is a real stigma around discussing them, even when we’re away from work. But I broke the ice with a story of my own, and the guy who told the story about the faceless man told this one, albeit very quietly.

“Couple years ago, I was camping with my girlfriend, and were out about two miles from the road at this site I know. We went to bed that night, but we couldn’t sleep because-”

Someone interjected a funny comment, and we were dangerously close to going off on another subject, but I got us back on track.

“-yeah, really funny, you fucker. No, it was because we kept hearing that grinding noise. My brother used to grind his teeth in his sleep, and it kind of reminds me of that. My girlfriend was freaking out but I just kept telling her to ignore it because I’ve heard it before and you just have to ignore it. It goes away eventually, you guys know what I mean.”

We all knew what he meant.

“So eventually I got her to go to sleep, but I woke up probably two hours later because something was just off. I rolled over and she wasn’t there, and I kind of freaked out, because…”

He thought for a second and then he took a very long drink.

“Anyway, I ran out of the tent calling her name, but I didn’t have to go far. She was standing at the edge of the camp looking at something in the trees and I could see she was really pale. The fire was low but bright enough to see her. Anyway, so I ran up to see what was going on and she was dead asleep, but her eyes were open. She had this real spaced-out look, y’know. So I put my arm around her to lead her back, but she wouldn’t move. She just said really quietly something like ‘I have to go now, Eddie. I have to go, it’s here.’ I was like ‘you’re just sleepwalking, come back to bed’ but she wouldn’t budge. She just kept standing there and saying that she had to go. And I looked where she was looking, and there was a fucking staircase right there about fifteen yards away. Grey one, concrete. And she started to walk toward it but I yanked her back and that woke her up. She looked at me like I was fucking out of my mind, and she asked what the fuck she was doing out of the tent. I didn’t tell her anything, I just told her she was sleepwalking. The grinding was gone, so she just went back to the tent with me and fell asleep again. I don’t know… I don’t like thinking about it, y’know?”

We all knew.

“You guys remember that kid with… I can’t remember what it was, some kind of brain fuck-up, not Down’s but something like it.” Someone else brought up. “Well I got to read the report he gave when they found him a week after he went missing and it was fucked up beyond belief. I mean you have to take it with a grain of salt because who knows what that kid actually thinks is real, but some of this stuff, I don’t think he could have made up.”

"Like what?"

“Well first of all, he talked about the stairs. He said he’d been watching his dad build a fire and the stairs ‘came up to him’, and he had to go up them or something bad would happen. The cops couldn’t really understand what he was talking about after that, because he just kept saying ‘like the campfire’ over and over. And he kept mentioning sounds, but he couldn’t say what sounds, just that it was loud and he covered his ears so he couldn’t hear them. But the thing I remember most is that they asked him where exactly he’d gone, and he just said he was right there. He kept pointing at himself, and they said they thought that meant that he thought he’d never left. He said he wasn’t scared because the stairs were there and he said they talked to him, but not like people talk. Like I said, it was really convoluted and hard to understand, and I have a feeling the cops didn’t take most of it down. They ended up just saying that the kid had some kind of amnesia or fugue, and that they didn’t think foul play was involved. Doesn’t really explain why he came back a week later perfectly fine without a speck of dirt on him and well fed, but hey, what the cops say goes.”

There’s still a lot of questions I want to answer. I’ll continue to ask around and find out whatever I can. The next update should be soon, thanks for being so patient.

Original source

Comments for Part 7

Is it not possible they’re gathering “information” about us? Like the ones with more victims are more complete, but not fully yet where they seem to understand emotion enough to make faces. Would explain the “blurry” guy and the hairy one. The black eyes too. The stag-like one simply didn’t have human kills, rather maybe it was a new one that’d killed non-humans. It also explains why the less complete ones go for weak people likes kids. An adult would know not to trust a blurry person, but may be fooled by the one with the on/off face.
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The stag like one can only survive by eating humans. According to the original story (plus the popular legend roots) is that a wendigo is something that used to be a man. Somehow, whether during a famine or for fear of starvation in some other way, it acquired a taste for human flesh. As a result it never could die, and its hunger comsumed its humanity till all that was left was a predator. So the wendigo prowls in the dark, calling to people who’ve camped or are hiking. It only has a passably human voice, so it lures them out, either impales them or eats them alive anyway. But it never stops being hungry.
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You know that when you see people in your dreams they are all people that you’ve seen before as your brain can’t make up a new person? I thought that maybe the thing does this too. That it tries to remake a person that it has already seen once and which even could be one of its victims.
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My Father in law grew up on the outskirts of Willowcreek CA in the deep woods. He always gets drunk as hell around the campfire and starts telling his “forest stories.” Up until reading these riveting posts I just passed them off as him being full of it, but after these I asked him about some of the things and he just looked at me and said " you don’t even know the half of it, the forest is itself a predator and you respect and be wary of it at all times" one of the stories he told me unnerves me to this day. Like I said he grew up on the edge of town and his house butted right up to the thick dark woods and as a kid he and his brother would play around with out a care or fear all the time. Once when he was about 9ish and his brother was 11 they were just hanging out in the trees playing fort as they always did when there heard a whisper like “pssst, pssst” the noise you make to get someone’s attention but quietly, he said his brother got up then said “what” which inspired my father in law to join him to see who he was talking to. When he did he saw about three trees past him this face peaking out from behind a big redwood. He said at the time he wasn’t sacred of it just confused by it, he said the face had a neck but that’s all they could see the rest was well hidden behind the tree, he said it was a thin very pale face with black slick stringy hair and it was very asexual he couldn’t tell if it was a boy or girl but he noted it had deep dark eyes almost to where you couldn’t see the whites. After his brother said “what” to it it smiled and tucked back behind the tree and then the part that freaked him out was that it popped back up behind a different tree nearly 50 yards further into the forest in less than a second! Being more curious than frightened he said they wanted to see how it did that and who it was so they followed it to the next tree, where it again smiled and disappeared only to pop up further into the forest, all this time he said they never saw its body or heard movement it would just appear. After a few tracks of following this creepy ass face my father in law said he stopped and looked around him and they had some how gotten to a place in the woods that they had never been before and that finnaly scared him, they were told to never get to places they didn’t know in the forest by their parents and he knew they had to get out of there. But when he tried to get his brother to go back home he was too focused on finding the face so he had to fight and pull to get him to pay attention but his brother was being stubborn and didn’t want to leave. So he just went and bit the shit out of his arm which was the one thing his brother hated and it kind of snapped him out of it and he turned to chase him to beat his ass but at the same time realized they were in an unknown part of the woods and realized they had to get out. While this was going on my father in law said the face stared to frown and get agitated and it disappeared and popped up closer to them and started making more urgent whispering noises at them and starring them down. But they ignored it and turned and found their way back home and to their surprise they were much much farther then they ever imagined they were into the trees and didn’t know how they got so far without noticing. I asked why he wasn’t scared, I mean I would have pissed myself and they just casually walked away from a disembodied forest face of death, but he said at that age they didn’t have scary movies or scary TV that they watched and they had no reason to be scared they were just curious! He has many stories like this and I now respect them and believe him rather than just thinking they were campfire hooie!
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Gotta tell my deer shapshifting story - my mother, brother and I were on our way to church (we lived in the middle of nowhere KY at the time,) and were coming around this curve, road completely surrounded by forest. All of a sudden this guy, bearded and with a face, steps out in the road. My mom and brother confirmed at the time that he was wearing a grey flannel shirt and a white and red trucker hat, and blue jeans and was really dirty. Anyway, my brother shouts, Mom slams the breaks and I scream, “YOU’RE GONNA HIT HIM!” And we totally fucking did, he was scraped up under our low riding mini-van and all I’m thinking is that we just killed a guy. It takes what seems like forever for the car to stop, all the while we’re listening to awful crunching and shit, then Mom puts the car in park when it finally stops and gets out as quick as she can. My brother has turned around in the seat, talking about the bloody streak in the road, and I get out with Mom. Right behind our car is a doe, guts ripped out, still breathing and looking at us, trying to raise her head. I’m freaking out, looking under the car for the guy, but he’s on there. I check the side of the road, nothing. Mom stops the next car that comes by, which is our old trash man in his pick up. He shoots the deer for us, to put her out of her misery, then takes the carcass with him (he didn’t want to waste meat.) After that we just got in the car and drove to church, all of us crying. We only talked for a minute, because Mom wanted to verify that we all saw a grungy guy in a hat and a flannel, which we had. Now, Mom has 0 recollection of the guy, and my brother barely remembers what he looks like. I can’t get him out of my head, though.
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The part about the antlers really hit close to home, I’ve seen something similar to that. A friend of mine’s family owns a small ranch in west Texas, about 60 miles south of Ozona, and we were out there hunting a few years ago. I had brought my girlfriend at the time, who was a straight up city girl from Philly, and we had her convinced that not only was the jackalope real, but pure evil incarnate. We described it’s call as a high pitched whistling scream, and we absolutely had her convinced of its existence. Flash forward a few nights, and we’re sitting around the camp, fire blazing, throwing back beers, when I get the genius idea to sneak out into the brush with my predator call and scare the bejesus out of everyone. I walk out about 400 yards, no flash light of course, and get to wailing, slowly moving closer to the camp, blasting the call every few yards. By the time I’m back to camp, she’s understandably hauled ass into the cabin, but I notice that my buddy had bailed out as well. When I get into the cabin, he’s just as freaked out as she is. She’s convinced they’d seen the jackalope, but he’s going on about seeing something tall, bipedal, with antlers. I grab my pistol and a spotlight, thinking someone’s fucking with us, and go out on the front porch. Sure enough, tall bipedal figure with goddamn antlers on its head… just kind of walks out into the mesquite and disappears. Freaks me out to this day.
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I grew up in a very small town in Northern Michigan with a population of about 100, (there was another town about 8 miles that was larger where the schools were) and one day I was visiting my friend who lived about 2 miles from me, and in between our houses were a few cabins that were used for hunting, and a few others that people lived in, but there was only one street light that was only a few feet from my house, so the walk to and from her house is pretty lonely. Anyways, I end up staying at her house well after it got dark and it’s time for me to walk home. The walk was pretty much uneventful, yet very, very dark. I’ve never been too scared of the dark because I grew up in the woods, but what happened changed that. I was about 4 blocks from my house, and I can see the single street light up ahead, and I’m either singing to myself, or I’m in deep thought, when I hear something in the trees to the right of me. Like I said, there’s a lot of woods, and no city lights, so I can’t see anything. All I knew was that there wasn’t a house nearby, no one would be out in the woods this late at night without a flashlight, and for sure no one would be in the trees as the sound came from up high. I froze and listened, trying to figure out if it’s just a bird, or something, and all of a sudden I can hear what I can only describe as something very large falling from the tops of the trees, not jumping, or climbing, but falling, and I say falling because it was a very messy sound, and it made way too much noise than it should have if it were purposely coming down the tree. I can tell that whatever this thing is, it’s very large as when it hit the ground, there was a large “THUMP”, but that’s not the end of it, nope. It was kind of as if it had seen me, got excited, threw itself onto the ground as to get to me as fast as it could because as soon as it hit the ground it was running. Straight. For. Me. This is where the whole, ‘fight or flight’ thing instantly hits me and I fucking froze, like an idiot. It started out about 10 feet from the road where I was standing, and right before it got to the road and into the faint light it had suddenly stopped and I could tell it was watching me, I could hear it breathing. So many things were going through my head, “Should I stand my ground and stare at it as to show my dominance?”, (but I couldn’t exactly see it), "do I run, and what if I do and it turns out to be much faster? " So I did what I thought would scare me if I were chasing something, I screamed at it as loud as I could, over and over again. I even lifted my arms up as to make it think I was bigger than it. After a few minutes of me screaming and waving, I stopped. I never heard it leave, so I knew it was still there, but it wasn’t getting any closer, so I thought, well, of it’s gonna attack now, I’ve done what I can do, so I just kept walking, albeit very, very fast. I never figured out what it was, and probably never will, but I never walked to my friend’s house at night after that.
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About ten years ago my BF and I ended up hiking deep in some Vermont mountains. It wasn’t unusual for us to be gone on hikes for a full day at a time, and this was one of those times. We had been hiking for about half the day, and were in deep forest by this point and hadn’t seen a living soul in hours. The trail we were on had become very narrow, almost overgrown, winding tightly with lots of thick vegetation so you couldn’t see into the woods or beyond the curves of the trail. My BF was about 5 or so yards ahead of me, then our dog (a pit mix that was highly trained and never spooked easily), and myself following up the rear. We never talked much hiking, just enjoyed the quiet sounds of the forest, but this time all of a sudden, I piped up. Something overcame me so quickly that I didn’t even think before I said it, “something evil is coming our way”. It had hit me like a moving invisible wall that I had never felt before. My BF paused on the trail and not a few seconds passed as the dog just went ballistic, barking like a maniac at the trail ahead of us. Mind you, we couldn’t see much up ahead the vegetation was so thick. My BF raised his hand signaling me to pause, his military training kicking in. Around the bend comes a man, so out of place. And the weird energy, this absolute feeling of evil coming off of him. My BF grabbed the dog by the collar to try to control it (this is a dog that wouldn’t even bark at a doorbell much less a stranger), the dog wanting to tear this guy to shreds. I immediately knew this man didn’t belong here. We were miles away from civilization and this guy was not dressed for hiking or being outdoors for an extended period of time. He was so out of place. As he approached my BF pulled the dog off the trail and I stepped off the trail into the brush as far as I could to give this “man” as wide a berth to pass as possible. He never looked directly at us, kept his gaze straight ahead, hands in the pockets of his light jacket, and kept his slow pace. As he passed he said ‘you should keep that dog on a leash’ without even looking at us. As he passed I was just absolutely covered in fear. We didn’t move till he was well out of sight and the dog was calm again. It was just wrong, the whole thing. I think about it to this day and I wonder, what if we didn’t have the dog with us? What if a lone hiker ran into that man? I know deep in my gut, that man, whoever, whatever it was, had done some dark stuff and wasn’t there for a leisurely stroll. He was there for an opportunity. Eventually we knew we had to turn around and hike back the way we came, but we were so spooked by the chance of running into this man, that we waited as long as we could before coming back out and ended hiking back part of the way in the dark.
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First off, know that a Wendigo is not a traditional ‘cryptid’ such as bigfoot, but a very important legend in the culture of multiple First Nation tribes across practically all of the northern United states and southern Canada. Wendigos are hungry. Always hungry. They are ever consuming of human flesh and mind, literally ‘the evil that devours,’ and because of this represent cannibalism. Many say that if a person resorts to cannibalism it takes away humanity and they become a Wendigo. There’s actually a disputed term for this called ‘Wendigo-Psychosis’ used to describe people who eat people not out of starvation but out of ravenous madness.

People are usually interested in the physical description, which I’ll touch on here but I think it’s less important than what they do. We’ve gotten mixed reports from different tribes- typically in Canada they are described as being taller than trees, while in the Northwest United States they are more man-like. Always they are cold (they come with the cold, they are cold, ect), skeletal, and have large thin antlers.

Here’s how I would link the legends to these stories:

Wendigos call out to people, usually on freezing wind. It’s easier for them to get to you when you’re lost and alone, but because they are always hungry, they aren’t afraid to come to you, especially if you’re weak and frightened. You cannot listen to any strange noises you hear in the woods because of them.

Many legends also go on to say that when a Wendigo takes you it grows huge and lifts you up into the air to consume your flesh and or mind, and when it’s finished it drops you. Often on to trees.
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One of my friends told me of these guys with no faces living in the Shimla Hills(It’s in North India). He loves watching, reading and retelling spooky stuff and most of the stories his stories were centered around a specific road that leads from Shimla to a smaller town called “Sanjauli”. Apparently this road is too treacherous for cars, and only accessible by foot. It’s a couple of miles long. People are advised to NEVER in no Condition whatsoever to cross this road past sunset.

Sometimes, for various reasons, people just do. They usually comeback with stories of “Women dressed in white, with feet the other way round, asking for them to marry her”, or of fruit peddlers, rickshaw pullers, hikers with no faces asking for directions or help. People who engage them, and don’t go missing often commit suicide, or run away from home.

The friend also told of one time when He was walking through the forest, and had a crazed lady come up to him ask him to take her home. He had another person with him who told him to look straight and walk, just walk. The lady started shouting obscenities at him, tearing out her hair. After a couple of minutes they came in sight of a house, and the lady just stopped and sprinted back. The guy told him that as long as you don’t acknowledge them, and continue as if nothing is happening. They will leave you alone.
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On a serious note I have read a lot into “beings” like this and apparently free will is so important in the universe that they have to figure out clever ways to get our “permission” to feed off of our fear. Which is why when you say their name out loud, get a ouiji board or acknowledge them that counts as “permission” and literally they feed off your energy. Fear is a strong emotion and so if they can key that in they can fill up. That is why their faces are blank at first, so they “open” you up thus getting your attention and permission and in that moment they learn what scares you, notice how all thr stories start off with blank faces or a normal animal. Once they learn your fears and have permission then the game begins. They will keep messing with you as long as they can, and ultimately can lead to you killing yourself unless you stop it early. So yes, the key is just ignoring them. Which to them is like an insult and shows them they are dealing with a mentally strong person. That is when they will go crazy and try even harder to grab your attention like that lady. Just let them throw a fit and then you win, and they will likely never mess with you again because everyone on the block knows you can’t be hooked.
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7 years ago, when I was a rebellious teen, I wandered into some state lands in southwest Pennsylvania. My bf at the time knew of a great smoke spot near an old fire tower. We drove up in the car and parked by what appeared to be an abandoned maintenance shack. It’s late October, and just before sundown so we walk a little ways down a small atv(?) trail and find a stump to sit on and spark a bowl. We weren’t too far from the car, I could see it just past the bushes, but if someone were to come up, we’d see their headlights before they’d see us and dispose of the evidence. So two or three hits each, and I start to feel unusually chilly. It was windy, but I was suddenly chilled to the bone. The air seemed heavy and we looked at each other for a full minute before silently deciding it was time to go back to the car. We both got up and could still feel the tension in the air as we power walk our way the 10 yards to safety. Bf has a hard time getting the keys in the door because of how cold he felt. We were both shaking, knowing that something wasn’t quite right. Doors unlock and we both dive in, immediately locking them back up. We catch our breath and don’t say anything. The eerie sensation won’t go away. I feel it almost drawing me in, wanting me to come closer. I stall a glance out the window and see a silhouette of what appears to be a man. Chills run up and down my spine. I stare, in disbelief as the figure steps closer, out from the tree line. It becomes clear that this is the general shape of a man’s body, but tall and lanky. I can’t stop looking. The curiosity has done killed this cat as he/it walked closer into the moonlit clearing where we were parked. At this point, I have no idea I’d my bf is seeing what I’m seeing or what is going on with him because I am so transfixed on this mysterious figure. As soon as the moon stuck his face, I could feel my blood turn to ice. He had blueish-pale skin like a corpse in a morgue. His eyes were black pits. Nothing in the sockets at all. And his fucking mouth, his fucking mouth was sealed shut. Like, it was a mouth, but got sewn together and fused by scar tissue. I was horrified and finally found my voice to say “we need to go, now” it came out hoarse and cracked. As my bf came out of his dazed state and started pulling the car out, I saw the face of that thing tear open at the mouth to scream. It wasn’t the wind, but it seemed to follow us, the whole way back down the mountain. A wailing, deep, scream that blended with the wind itself. I was so scared, we agreed never to go back.
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I used to live in Georgia when I was in the military, this is back in 2007, and I lived in a little town about 20 miles from post with my husband. Well, we used to take his little VW down atv trails and logging trails into the woods and have a good time drinking and just fucking off and loved finding new areas. One night we drove down this shitty trail that took us to this weird shack with a deer painted on it. It had a motion sensor light that popped on so we just stopped there for a minute to see what exactly it was. The whole place was surrounded by trees on both sides, but it was a full moon so everything was pretty well illuminated. My ex (husband at the time) was talking about something and had turned all the lights off in the car because he was going to take some swigs of his drink when all of a sudden I sat straight up, I felt like someone has poured ice water all over me. My spine felt like ice cold metal, all the hair on my arms and neck stood up, I became very very alert and on edge and my heart started pounding so hard I got nauseous. I gripped the dash when I could finally move and told him we needed to get the fuck out of there, something was coming. He laughed at me and asked what was wrong with me and to chill out. At this point I was literally losing control of my emotions and I had absolutely no idea why, I started shaking and almost crying when I looked forward just in time to see this person walk out of the tree line on the left into the trail. Only as the moonlight caught him I realized it had to be at least 7 feet tall, his legs were backwards with the knees jutting out and he had this weird… I don’t even know what it was but something long was dangling off the back of its head. Kind of like a weird nightcap thing? I then realized it wasn’t a shadow I was seeing, more like dark static. I don’t think this thing was used to being seen because it just stopped and seemed to sense that i saw it. It turned in just a way that I KNEW it was looking directly at me. I have never in my life felt evil like that. Pure, unadulterated hate. I immediately started sobbing and telling my ex to turn on the lights, I was screaming almost at this point because my whole body was just so overwhelmed. He was freaked out because of me at this point and kept asking what the fuck, he didn’t see anything, what was I doing. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the thing but it was coming towards us now and it hadn’t taken its eyes off of me. I finally lunged over and turned the lights on and the thing disappeared. My ex seemed to be in a sort of trance, he was just out of it all of a sudden and said “we gotta go.” Put the car in gear and drove us out of there. I’ve never been that afraid of anything in my whole life, and I’ve been to war and I’m from LA lol but whatever that thing was was not good news.

Oh and even weirder: we drove down the road again a couple days later to see what was out there during the day. Surprisingly we were able to find the same random dirt path out there again but we saw signs for a slave graveyard and an old plantation that was all boarded up with CONDEMNED written all over it behind these massive black wrought iron gates. I’ve seen a lot of stuff that looked like this in Louisiana but not small town Georgia. I’ll never go back.
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There are things out there in the woods, I’ve come to believe…beyond my own few experiences I’ve heard and read many others over the years.

One that I heard about from a friend of a mutual friend, what seems like ages ago; as he told me, some years before he’d been staying with relatives at their house somewhere in rural Indiana. I can’t recall the exact location he mentioned.

He had gone for a walk in the woodsy area near their home and after about twenty, thirty minutes of moving about, he realized that suddenly there was no noise in the woods - no birds, no animal noises, no wind. As if a switch had just been flipped at that time and cut the sound. Needless to say, he suddenly felt nervous and decided it was time to cut his walk short, head for home.

However, it was at that point he saw something through the trees a distance away. He saw “it” and fervently wished he hadn’t.

Standing off in the trees was something that looked like a woman with a kind of thickset build. She had incredibly pale skin and she was naked. Most importantly, the “woman”, if you could call it that, had antlers protruding from where her face should be. Antlers like that of a deer, like ten or twelve pointers, only they curved back somewhat over the top of her head and whatever weight they were was no problem for whatever sort of being this was.

She raised her arms and even worse, he could see that her arms ended not in hands, but vicious looking antlers jutting from her wrists. Well, that was enough for him and whatever had kept him rooted to the spot dissipated and he ran. He ran and leapt and scrambled back the way he’d come not daring to look behind him to see if he was being followed, all the way until he reached the safety of the house. He hadn’t mentioned this incident to his relatives but he was unable to keep it inside him for good. Eventually he related this sighting with our mutual friend, and then me because I was open to listening and because I understood.

What had bothered him most about this brief encounter was the impossibility of the being he saw. Nothing like that could be a living creature. At least nothing of flesh-and-blood. Told me he’d done a little research, found nothing quite like it mentioned in any reports of cryptids or legends. He had considered and dismissed the idea of any connection with the so-called “deer woman” because what he saw didn’t fit with the traditional descriptions.
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My mother used to work for the forest service back in the 1970’s-1980’s. She was a timber cruiser and a smoke jumper. I asked her about stairs and she confirmed that she’d seen some. She wouldn’t say much more but she got really distant and quiet. I asked her if they were associated with anyone going missing, and she confirmed. Weird stuff. It’s really chilling to think of this as happening so close,and impacting people I know personally.
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Holy shit, the faceless man with antlers in the woods scared the crap out of me because I saw something about 2 years ago that sounds similar.

One time I was camping with my family and some family friends at this cabin they own. So my friend and I went out of the cabin because we wanted to walk around and explore and stuff. So we went out there quite a bit, to the point where the cabin was a tiny little dot, and we we’re next to this frozen over river (it was winter). I looked across the river and in the distance there was this thing moving between the trees. At first I thought it was some sort of animal but the more I started focusing on it the more I realized it wasn’t an animal and it was something else. And I asked my friend if she could see it and she could, and as soon as I said anything it stopped and then started coming towards us. It wasn’t walking, but more like staggering… I have no freaking clue what it was, but it did NOT have a face and it was coming right towards us. It got to the river and started breaking through the ice and going into the river to cross it, coming towards us. At that point my friend and I just ran as fast as we could back to the cabin… but it was the scariest thing I have ever seen. It had no face, 2 legs, and something on it’s head… I don’t know if they we’re antlers or what, but it was terrifying.
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Have you noticed how in the spiritual world, beings generally will not (or, more likely, CANNOT, for some incomprehensible reason) interact with you unless you allow them to?

I wonder why is that. I suppose that they need an empathetic connection to be able to reach out to us. If this two-way link isn’t established, they lose their hold on us. Perhaps when we ignore them they see us as fading away in the distance, so they create the stairs in the woods as traps and target children and disabled people because they’re more trusting?
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The misunderstanding of materialistic cultures is that we are powerless random accidents.

We are individually an expression of the consciousness of ‘all that is’, which is working through us. You influence and can be influenced, but you decide. Other aspects of the the greater consciousness decide how to act and think for themselves, while also expressing the all that is. That is how God gets to know itself. You have a say in what happens. Always remember that.

In our meaningless scientific lifestyle we are irresistibly drawn to the presence of the unallowed (paranormal). It represents a truth to us. Scientific forbidden fruit?

We influence and attract through vibrating with sympathetic frequency resonance. Be aware of what you really want. All experience is merely lessons and ends in knowledge.
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I didn’t know these things had happened to anyone other than myself. I’ve never told anyone the things I’ve experienced, and its been a very long time, but I’ll try to recount as best I can. I grew up in a very small mountain town in northern Maine. When I say small, there are no traffic lights, no corporate businesses, and the nearest hospital is an hour away. No police force. One small school. Only two roads in and out. Fucking secluded. Anyway, from the time I was seven or so on I would wander the forest, just pick any direction and go. I never had to pay much attention or worry about getting lost, I’ve always had an unbelievable sense of direction. I remember a family friend taking me up in a plane once and the sheer vastness of forest surrounding this teeny town is entirely overwhelming. It’s a wonder how they cultivated the place, so far from everything else. I’m Native, doesn’t really make any difference, but I grew up with an instilled knowledge and respect for nature, and heard lots of stories that I chalked up to “shit to scare kids into behaving.” So, I’d spend my days, especially summer exploring the woods. I’d wake up, eat breakfast, and I’d be gone until sunset. That was the rule. Another rule, that I often broke, unbeknownst to my family, was to never venture too far. And never, ever, go alone. I was alone often, there weren’t many kids my age in the town and I’ve never feared the woods, even in the dark or alone. If I got stuck out there after sun down I’d tell myself, “whatever is here at night is here during the day.” I’m very familiar with the local fauna. A week rarely went by without seeing a bear, moose, coyotes, bobcat. A lot of what happened I pushed to the back of my mind, maybe in an effort to keep my sanity from the fear and reality of what’s out there, I dunno. I’d venture miles and miles in, I’d follow deer trails and collect bones and such. There were, and I’m sure still are, parts of the forest I knew not to enter. As many others have stated, all noise stops. You don’t usually even realize it at first, its so sudden. Something’s just wrong. You can feel it. You’re not alone, though there’s no other signs of life. Mind you, although I never made mental note of where I was I knew these woods so well I didn’t have to. I could tell by the foliage, the trees that grew, or the kinds of rocks, where I was in relation to home. I never got lost. Never. The first time it happened I can’t ever forget. I can picture it, clear as day. I was headed way out, to one of my favorite spots with a clearing that usually had a heard of deer and some crab apple trees. Something wasn’t right. I noticed I wasn’t where I thought I was, and I had never seen a part of these woods that looked like this. It was pristine, untouched. Moss blanketed the floor and the further I went in the closer together the trees got until the sun was all but blotted out, though it was a clear, sunny, summer day, mid-morning. It was so unfathomably quiet. You can always hear something, but there wasn’t even birdsong. Nothing. I keep going, at this point I’m just trying to get the fuck out of there, when I hear screaming. It shattered the deadening silence. Like I said, I’m very familiar with the local animals. Bobcats scream, coyotes scream, bears even make some creepy sounds. Not this. This chilled me to the bone. And I’ve been face to face with bears and moose on a hand full of occasions. It just wasn’t natural. And I knew nothing capable of making such a loud noise would be in there. I was a small kid and could barely squeeze between the trees. I got an overwhelming fear, like I knew somehow that if I didn’t leave right then and there I wouldn’t leave at all. I felt paralyzed. I knew I had to go but my feet wouldn’t move. I can hear it, whatever it is, ahead of me. The blood curdling shrieking has stopped and now all I can hear is some heavy, contorted breathing. Almost grunting. I can smell death in the air. Heavy, metallic, putrid. Anyone who’s smelled it knows you can’t mistake it. It’s getting closer. I finally snap to and just shout as loud as I can, thinking maybe this thing will see that I’m gonna put up a fight and decide it’s not worth it. When my yell dies down I can hear the birds again. I don’t feel uneasy anymore. It didn’t take me any time at all to get the fuck out of there, but when I finally came out of the woods the sun was setting. I’ve also seen a staircase, upside down, in the same forest. I could never find it again though. This turned out much longer than I intended, but I just wanted to add my experience. There were a few more, but I’ve rambled enough. I can’t believe someone else, let alone so many people, have experienced things like this. My entire life I’ve told myself there’s no way that could have possibly happened. I did “see” a man with no face once as well, same place. I say “see” because if you ever encounter it every single fiber of your being will tell you not to look. Not to acknowledge it or provoke it. You instinctually know that it’s unnatural and you need to avoid it. At the time you may think you’re going crazy, you’re not. It’s very real, and you need to be very cautious. I think they prey on the weak, and I believe they try to take children most often because for some reason kids can see them much easier than adults can. The only thing I do know for sure is, don’t show fear and do not acknowledge them.
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So I talked to my bro about this. He LOVED the stories and we laughed and freaked out. Apparently he learned about stuff like this in of all places the church of Scientology. He went on and on about it but here is what he told me in a nutshell. He learned about these “beings” and their traps. Which honestly is right in line with what a few people are saying on here.

We are apparently pretty old nonphysical beings who just recently started using physical.bodies. by recent I mean by millions of years.

Well it turns out there has been other beings who don’t like that and they have been controlling and trapping lots of us over the eons before and while we have bodies.

They have developed special strong magnetic technology “like the stairs” that basically steals your soul.

So he said he thinks the stairs are these traps, and all the weird wndigos and no faced giys are the beings.

So going off of what someone else said basically there guys are the apex predators of humans, And they use fear and our curiosity to prey on us.
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Part 8 (final part)

This will be my final update for now.

Things have deteriorated here to a degree that I didn’t foresee. I didn’t know how much writing about the things that are happening out here would affect every single part of my life, and maybe that was stupid of me. Maybe I should have considered it more seriously, but honestly I just thought I was writing about things that a few people would want to hear. I didn’t think it would get this much attention.

People ask me about the stairs now. It doesn’t happen every day, but when it does happen I never really know what to say. My bosses know someone is talking about them, and I’m sure that if they know, the higher-ups know. And I can tell you that they aren’t happy about it. I’ve been formally told that I am not to speak a word about them to anyone anymore, which is part of the reason this has to be my final update. I can’t risk my job for this; as much as it’s been wonderful to get a lot of these things off my mind, I still do love my work, and I need to be out here. If anything, my being aware of what’s really going on is enough reason to stick it out. I may not be able to tell people that they’re out there, but if I see them, I can direct traffic away to somewhere safer.

Because of the amount of attention the stories have gotten, I’ve heard a lot of stories being swapped back and forth. I’ve heard so many I can’t even remember most of them. The ones I do remember are the ones that I wish I could forget.

One story that’s made the rounds here was about a young woman who disappeared upstate. Initially, everyone assumed she was a runaway. She didn’t come from a great home life, and so it really wasn’t any kind of surprise that she’d choose to cut and run. But people started coming forward saying that they’d seen her around the park shortly before she vanished, so some of the Rangers in the area were sent out to make sure she hadn’t hung herself or something on any of the back trails. It took them a while, but they did find her. Well, not all of her. Just half of her tongue and a quarter of the lower jaw. Very clean cuts, from what I heard. They’ve never found the rest of her.

So many stories about children. So many of them going missing and turning up in caves, wedged in between impossibly tight spaces. So many of them found on mountain peaks, or at the bottoms of sheer gullies. Missing shoes, missing socks, or found with both in perfect condition despite them being miles and miles away from where they vanished.

So many stories of black-eyed people, wandering around the woods and calling out in the night, mimicking the sound of running water or a bobcat screaming. One man in particular goes to every news station he thinks will listen to him and tells the same story. He was deer hunting, had camped out in a very remote area, and woke up because something was scraping against his tent. He thought it was a raccoon or a fox until the thing pressed its face against the door of the tent, at which point he could very clearly make out a human nose and mouth. He kicked at it, but it leaped back and was gone by the time he opened the tent flap, gun at his side. He fired two warning shots, and when the sound had faded, he heard a snap behind him. A man was standing at the edge of the campsite. This man was not wearing any clothing, but he also didn’t possess any kind of human flesh. As this hunter described it, the man was made of some kind of amalgamation of raw meat and hair. As if someone had scooped up roadkill and molded it into the vague shape of a man. The face was lumpy and only a rough approximation of a human face. The thing opened its lopsided mouth, and from it came the sound of the gun the hunter had fired. It did this twice before mimicking the sound of the tent zipper and fleeing into the night.

A young couple, out for a hike in the rocky areas of my park, reported to me yesterday that they had seen something strange out on a peak I’m very familiar with. They were taking turns looking through a pair of binoculars when the man noticed a hiker climbing up a very steep part of the cliff face. He watched the man scale the slope, and it didn’t occur to him until the incident was over that this person had no climbing gear. When the climber reached the top of the peak, which was about five miles away, they turned and faced the young man. He said whoever, or whatever, this person was, was looking right at them. The climber waved in an exaggerated manner before snapping in half at the waist, sideways, and leaping off the peak. The young man didn’t see where the climber landed. I sent them on their way with assurances that I’d check it out. I lied. I won’t be turning in a report, because there are ten others exactly like it. The climber is well known in that area. I don’t question it anymore.

There are so many things I won’t ever be able to understand about my job, and it would take me years to relate all of the things I’ve heard in the last few months. When I feel like my job isn’t in jeopardy, I will come back. It may be in a different format, but I will come back. Thank you all for sticking by my side, and enjoying the things I’ve talked about.

If you go out into the woods, I encourage you to be safe. Bring water, food, survival equipment. Let people know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Don’t go on uncharted paths unless you know exactly what you’re doing.

And above all:

Don’t touch them. Don’t look at them. Don’t go up them.

Original source

Comments for Part 8 (final part)

Me and my friend used to go out to the outskirts of this forest highway get dropped off by one of our friends, and go “survive” for a week. We’d always mark where we were going and we’d go deeper and deeper every time. It was really fun at first hiking for a couple hours marking trees with our knifes, then making a shelter, fire and then do it all again. On the last day we’d hike back to the road and our friend would pick us up. One time we were looking for food, berries or like a chipmunk or something when we found this random pond… just picture huge pine trees and then some bushes, go through the bushes and then this random pond, about 50yrds long, but no creek running up to it and it was waaaay out in the middle of nowhere. We didn’t think too much of it because it was our 3rd night out and we haven’t really eaten anything good, so we thought there might be some fish or something so we camped out next to the pond for the night. We built a little shelter in a couple of hours, and then we got a little fire going. We stayed up looking at the stars through the clearing that the pond made in the trees, and then we drifted off to sleep. I woke up to a huge splash, so I got up really quick to look, the moon was giving off a little light and I saw these ripples going through the pond like someone jumped in, look to my friend T, and he was gone. So start to freak out and call his name, he comes out from behind be saying what’s going on, he had to take a piss. I told him about the splash and he laughed and said I was dreaming. He said we should go to sleep, so I laid back down and stared at the pond, which was reflecting the quarter moon that was out. Just as I’m about to drift off into sleep I see something dark from the opposite side of the water scurry into the pond… I couldn’t make out what it was though, so lean over to T and asked if he saw that, and he was fast asleep. I wanted to write it off as a turtle or something but it looked a lot bigger, and we were deep in the woods so I didn’t think turtles would be here, so got more freaked out. I didn’t want to seem like a pussy so I just stared at the pond hoping to drift to sleep and wake up and start to hike back. As I was staring I see something dark poke out of the water and start to very very slowly come towards our side. It was getting darker now as the moon was breaking over the tree line and I wasn’t going to find out what it was in the complete dark so I looked for our emergency flashlight on the ground, found it, picked it up, turned it on in the direction of the pond and nothing… no ripples, nothing in the water… at this point I thought I was crazy, but I was freaked out so I woke up T and told him we had to go, he was groggy but he didn’t like the feeling around the pond either so we decided well just get an early start on going back, since the sun should be up in a couple hours. About 3 minutes into walking back on our trail we made, we heard a huge splash! looking around to see what it was, we thought there is no way it could have been the pond were too far now unless something huge was was making that splash… at the same time we looked at each other and got this awful feeling that we should just run, like instinct kicked in and without saying a word and just nodding at each other and we bolted. I have never run so fast in my life using our flashlight now to look for the marked trees and just running and running. About 5 minutes later we stop and take a breath and hear a loud but faint low bellowing howl like a wolf but with so much more bass and depth, it seemed very far from us but so creepy… The worst part is we still had about a days hike to get back to the road. We jogged what seemed like the whole day because we just wanted out of the woods. Finally around dusk we finally reached the road, turned on our emergency phone and called our buddy, took him about a half hour to get there and we never went back.
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idk about you man but i’m from Malaysia and there always an advice for people who want to go into the forest. If you suddenly found yourself a beautiful place in the middle fucking nowhere (that cant be any logical explanation behind it), just nope the fuck outta there. There are some other thing lives there and there dont like people fucking around at their place. never gonna end well…

here that thing called Orang Bunian . just imagine it as invisible people who lived in jungle/remote places. because of they are invisible (but they can see us) usually people accidentally doing stuffs that pissed them off such as disrespecting the jungle or so on.here are some stories that i have heard ;

  • there is one dude went into the jungle and really needs to pee. so he peed without telling the area (its an advice we usually told if u want to pee/poo in the jungle, u need to ask permission or at least tell them that u gotta go so that they would move away). unfortunately he peed on those thing and his penis swollen really bad.
  • this story told by my army instructor while he doing some routine patrol in some jungle. there is one time while they patrolling, they saw this areca palm tree. u know this tree normally in reddish color but this one is like silvery and a lil bit shiny. so somebody decide to take it and cut into 2 pieces and give the another half to another guy. u know how the army while usually moving in single file where distance between men is in visible range. so while moving out of the jungle they notice that they are lost and the squad is separated into 2 groups. they tried to find their way out but still cant make it. they realized that this might be because of the tree they took. so somehow both of the groups managed to find the tree original place and put back the tree. after that they manage to find their way out.
  • this story almost like the army but this time about a fish in a small pond in the jungle. i think this involves groups of hikers and while they are hiking out of the jungle they found a fish in a small pond in the fucking nowhere. there is no river or creek or anything indicate there is a water source nearby. out of sudden there is a pond with a fish in it. some genius decide to take the fish with him and go figure they hikers lost and cant find their way out. then they realized that the fish is actually the thing’s pet and place it back into the pond. after that they able to find their back home.
  • there is one other thing. this thing seems to love to hide people who usually pissed them off. the victim will be hide at some place like under a tree or something. the thing is the victim know that they are hidden but the victim are invisible to other people but the victim can see other people.
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we have similar superstitions in Brunei as well. My country is like 70% jungle and mostly unexplored so the only ones who have shared with us these tales of meeting these things are the jungle police (who deals with illegal loggers from the Malaysian side of Borneo) and the natives who live deep inside.

One story stood out and it’s widely known in Brunei - there is a town called Badas in the district of Belait. it takes about 30 minutes to go into town and it’s heavily surrounded by the jungle. the kicker is that there is a strictly enforced warning where the men are prohibited from wearing red clothing on them when venturing into the jungle in that part of Brunei.

legend has it two men from the turn of the 20th century went inside the jungle looking for food source. one of them was wearing red. in the middle of the night, the non-red wearing guy stumbled upon a beautiful lady (in the middle of the fucking jungle, by the way) and was killed when she got close. unaware of his friend’s death, the red shirt guy was approached by the same lady. somehow some warning bells rang in his head, and she told the lady he needs to clean himself up. he left his red shirt with her as a promise that he will be back shortly. he proceeded to wade into the river and silently swam downstream in order to leave any scent. as he escaped, he heard a scream of anger which he figured was the mysterious lady’s. ever since then, men who wore red have been known to die specifically in that part of Brunei jungle, leading to the assumption that the lady or whatever that thing was pissed she got tricked.

yeah it’s not as impressive, but damn, i’m not taking any chance of by wearing red and getting killed just to disprove a local legend
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on the topic of those "beings" killing you, a few elders i have the chance of sitting down with have some very interesting "laws" that these things abide:

  1. No killing of humans. These beings have their own set of laws and they are prohibited from taking another’s life (similar beings or humans). Otherwise they will be damned in limbo and are not allowed to enter either heaven or hell. Those that kills are normally have been subjugated to witchcraft and are ordered to obey commands.
  2. just like our Malaysian commenter above, yes there are places, objects and animals in the jungle which you should not be too curious with - a beautifully maintained locale, an exotic colorful wild animal or a very beautiful looking flower. many of these happens to be under the ownership of the beings. disturbing them will always cause the person/s to get lost or severely sick.
  3. hearing, seeing and smelling things that should not be in the jungle at all. a whiff of pizza in the middle of jungle? don’t say shit and point it out. saw a lost person who dresses or looks weird? same thing. it’s just plain rude and the difference between these beings and us humans - if they get offended, they see it as justification to mess with your head
  4. when entering parts of the jungle off the beaten trail? always give the salam or hello before you step foot. in our culture, you identify yourself as the son, grandson or descendant of whomever the furthest you can think of down your family tree. some of these beings may know your ancestors and less likely to cause mischief. but most importantly, always state your intention of why you’re entering the jungle - much like you inform someone why you need to enter a controlled area in a building. it doesn’t to ask for “permission” but it will hurt when you get lost and run out of ration just because you think it’s all nonsense

that’s all i can remember regarding the “laws of the jungle” as the elders put it roughly. i’ll gladly answer more if you have anything else to ask. oh and we do have various names of these beings i just mentioned
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In my country (also in southeast asia), every time you enter a remote place in the wilderness, even if it’s just a clearing full of grass, you always have to say “Tabi, tabi po”. Its a way of saying that you’ll be passing by and that you don’t want any trouble. You should announce it so that who ever is listening will know that you are not intruding or trespassing in their territory and that hopefully, they will leave you alone. It’s an old teaching in our country, mostly because everyone is aware that when you are alone in the wilderness, you are never really alone. So we should be mindful of the Others. Its just a precaution, i’m not saying it will work all the time . . . like us, they also have good ones and bad ones. So it doesn’t actually protect you, but its a form of respect. But when you do come across the bad ones, that’s a whole other story.
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When I was 9 or 10 years old I went into the woods with my dad a lot. He collected some plants, insects and other things there while I was playing around. We once were very deep into the woods when I was getting bored and told my dad I wanted to go home. But he just found a small river and wanted to follow it to deeper parts where he could look for something under the stones. Well, there was a cool place to wait (looked like a big cave entrance without a cave) and I told him I will stay here until he comes back. He left and I tried to make a fire with two sticks. It didn’t work. After what felt like an hour it started to get dark and I heard weird noises in the trees. It sounded like if you play a sound backwards. Birds, snapping branches etc all backwards. I was freaked out and tried to shout out for my dad to come back, it took some time until I finally could get out A simple but loud “papa?” Which is the German version of daddy. Only 10 seconds later something shouted back from the trees: “?apap”. I just hid in this cave like thing and cried, not looking up a single time. I was never that scared in my life and never followed my dad into the woods again.

He came back just a few minutes after the incident. He didn’t hear anything and said it was just the sound of the woods, he seemed like he knew something was out but just told me that there was nothing (I noticed because he always looked around and up in the trees which he normally never does).

Is was in south germany, about 150km away from the south side border. Theres a big trail going through the forest because there’s an old ruin of some castle, we were far away from that trail.
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I have a story that my aunt told me beside a campfire a long time ago. It is about when my aunt and her boyfriend went travelling through Europe. My aunt’s boyfriend bought a vintage bus and converted it into a camper van; beds, kitchen and all so that’s what they travelled in. He had been previously travelling alone and had many really strange things happen to him while he was camping so he was not a man to be easily frightened by weird occurrences. I can’t remember exactly what country they were in , maybe France, but they stopped beside a wooded area one evening to settle down for the night. When they got out of the bus, my aunt noticed something very strange. Someone had taken hours upon hours to lay out hundreds, thousands, of little twigs in criss-cross, overlapping patterns (sort of like hundreds of st. brigid’s crosses) down along a little trail towards a small house in the woods. It was crazy that someone had put so much time and effort into such an obscure thing. My aunt and her boyfriend followed this trail curiously and it went on for at least 100 meters to this house. So when they saw the house they noticed a man standing nearby and watching them. I remember my aunt describing the man as sort of young with dark hair and he was staring at them. Like just standing there in the trees staring my aunt and her boyfriend out of it. I recall my aunt saying that something felt wrong but her boyfriend just told her that the man was probably nervous seeing people so near to his home since he lived in the middle of nowhere and probably wanted to keep an eye on them. So the two of them made their way back to the bus and started to settle down for the night, my aunt’s boyfriend reassuring her that it was safe. After a while when they were settled they went back outside to sit down in the open air and they noticed something completely unnerving. The man who lived in the house had followed them and was standing about 10 feet into the treeline, again just staring at them. They tried to talk to him to ask him if he was okay but he didn’t respond at all. My aunt’s boyfriend passed it off as a language barrier and that he was just a hermit in the woods. My aunt tho was feeling really spooked out and said to her boyfriend “Look I feel like there is something really wrong here and I know it’s late but I think it would be better if we found somewhere else to stay for the night”. Her boyfriend though, having experienced strange things while camping before, still reassured her that it would be okay, they would lock all of the doors on the bus and would drive off first thing in the early morning. Now I can’t remember exactly what made them realise, since I heard this story a long time ago, but after a while, after the sun had gone down, my aunt’s boyfriend realised something minor was wrong with engine or something (I don’t know a lot about vehicles so I can’t remember specifically) so he got out of the bus to have a look under the hood. My aunt recalled that he was only out there for a few seconds when he ran straight back into the bus and told her that they had to leave the area right then. My aunt asked him what was wrong or what had happened but he only said that they had to get out of there and my aunt quickly agreed since the area gave her a really really bad gut feeling. Her boyfriend started the engine and began to drive back onto the highway. He wouldn’t say anything and just drove for miles without stopping to settle down. Only hours later when dawn was near did he tell my aunt that when he went out to open the hood, the man was standing directly in front of the bus in the clearing and just stared at him with a really messed up expression on his face. Wide eyes and a really unnerving smile. He just stared at him. My aunt’s boyfriend agreed straight away then that they had to get the fuck out of that area.
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You know what this story makes me think of? In ancient times it is believed or hypothesized that the magical and the mortal world lived much closer to eachother. Supernatural or paranormal beings walked the earth more commonly than now. As modern man grew distracted and advanced we began to forget “the old ways”. man stopped worshipping gods, and making sacrifices to appease other beings. eventually the magical and the supernatural no longer had a place in our modern world, so they (the magical or supernatural) retreated to the forests. This series kind of proves that, in my opinion. There are things we do not understand that are hiding in forests. When we enter their realm, we have to play by their rules.
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Im in the UK and used to be interested in wicca. One of the ‘rules’ that come to mind, is to leave a strand of your hair or a ribbon when taking anything from a tree or beach etc. As a respectful exchange. Came to mind when reading about asking permission or stating your intention, when entering these wooded areas people are talking about on here. Just a thought :slight_smile:
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When I was around 10 or 11 my extended family and my immediate family would go out “camping” in the woods, but really it was a campsite for people with RVs and travel trailers. It was surrounded by wilderness though, but it wasn’t necessarily separated from civilization. One night a pretty big group of us, maybe close to twenty people, were playing hide and seek out in the woods. I remember wandering around alone feeling a little uneasy but not enough to stop playing. The only people who had flashlights were the small team of people that were “it”, so the only light we had was the light from the campsite which added to my uneasiness. I spotted my mom and my little sister hiding behind some bushes right at the edge of our campsite, facing the trailers. I didn’t look beyond them, I was only focused on getting to them so I would feel less uneasy from being alone in the dark. I remembered that I didn’t want to scare my mom, so instead of reaching out and touching her, I whispered “Hey mom”. My mother jumped out of her skin and shrieked from hearing my voice and it startled my little sister and I to death. She took a few seconds to recover and seemed to be completely bewildered, but then told us “sorry, you just scared me”.

We went back to the campsite the next summer but unfortunately, I got sick and also lost my contact lenses so I couldn’t walk around without assistance (I have terrible, terrible eyesight). I basically spent the entire trip sleeping inside the tent we had set up outside the trailer for the kids. It was miserable.

Well a few months after we got back from camping the second time, my family was talking about fun moments from the trip and whatnot. My mom asked us if she remembered playing hide and seek at the campsite during the first trip. We said yes and I recalled how she freaked out when I came up from behind her. She told us that the reason she screamed when she heard my voice from behind her was because right before I came up, she was looking towards the campsite. She saw me hiding underneath one of the travel trailers, waving and smiling at her while she waved and smiled back. After I came up, she looked back but the thing that looked like me was gone. After my mom told us this, my older brother piped up and said he also saw me hiding underneath the trailer that night and when he asked me a question, I never responded to him. I never hid underneath the trailer that night. My stepdad started to say something, but stopped. We urged him to continue. He said one night on the second trip, he was standing outside the travel trailer with his brother-in-law drinking beers and just talking. He saw me come around the side of the trailer and walk towards the woods. He and his brother-in-law called out to me and tried to get my attention but I never responded. He said he wanted to follow me, but something made him think that it was bizarre so he immediately went inside the trailer to ask my mom where I was and she said I was sleeping in the tent. He came to check on me and there I was, sleeping away. He didn’t mention it to anyone at the time because it was so weird. We tried to chalk this up to sleepwalking, but he said I was fully awake and we all know there’s no way I could have walked around when I didn’t have my contacts in. We never went back to that campsite.
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I take a class called Enviromental Literature and we recently had to do a project consisting of “Nature Journals”, they are pretty straightforward and just consist of us going out into nature and writing every month. Now I wouldn’t really consider myself soft or easy to scare but I would be lying if this project didn’t become the one thing I dreaded doing. It all started on the second journal (at the time I was just going out at night time on the weekends to areas that were an hour and a half away at most), I was setting up a spot with a lantern and chair plus a snack when I got an eerie feeling. I really don’t know if eerie is the right word but you all know the feeling, the feeling of being watched by something. I tried to dismiss it as nerves and began to write in my journal but about 10 minutes in the feeling came back but this time I knew it wasn’t just nerves. I could hear what sounded like labored breathing and faint, incoherant whispering. I told myself it was just the wind and started slowing my breathing to relax. I zipped up my jacket a bit to cut out the bitter cold, pulled my knit hat over my ears and put in my earbuds to listen to Spotify. No signal. I dismissed it as a dead zone and settled on music in that was already on my phone and cranked the volume to the usual obnoxious level that teenagers love. I couldn’t have been more than a song in when I realized my lantern was dimming/flickering which was weird because I had just replaced that batteries that week. I decided to just cut my losses and start packing it in because that damn feeling was back. I got up from my chair and turned so that I could fold it up when I felt something warm and moist on my neck, something was breathing on me and I just froze in fear. I am by no means a small guy, I am about 6 feet 5 inches and clock in at around 175 pounds (not fat, I play lacrosse and lift because I’m a douche) so whatever was breathing on me was at least my size. I hadn’t even realized my music had stopped playing and I just noticed that everything but the sound of that thing breathing had stopped. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes and I was contemplating what my move would be. But then I heard the most gut-wrenching noise I have ever heard just explode from behind me. I can only compare it nails on a chalkboard but distorted. I couldn’t help myself, I just swung my body around with the intent of bludgeoning whatever caused that sound with my folded chair (not my best idea but I blame the adrenaline and pure fear) but I just whiffed. There was nothing there, at least not anymore. I was equal parts terrified and confused. My eyes darted everywhere until something, it, caught my eye. All I can describe it as is being similar to the faceless being that you have discussed. All I could see was it’s “face” peering at me from behind a tree. It let out that godawful sound again but this time I thought I heard another that came from a way out. I didn’t wait around to find out and just ran and ran to my car. I was sobbing uncontrollably by the time I got to my car and my vision was blurred.
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My ex-father-in-law was an old logger.

He told a story once, about accidentally cutting a tree that wasn’t supposed to be taken. He swears the damned thing spun in place for a good 3-5mins. The whole crew witnessed it and swore it was true. When it finally started to fall, they all ran like mad to get away in case it chased the one who cut it down.

There were several different than explanations.

The most popular was that a type of wood nymph or “spirit” inhabited that particular tree; which is why it was marked specifically not to be logged.

The person that owned the land had a fit and in a rage over that special tree and threw the entire company off the land and refused to let anymore logging go on.

Needless to say, the “offender” had to preform several bizarre “requests” to appease the land owner and that trees inhabitant.

Mind you; this is back in the days of hand logging. Not with chainsaws or mechanical gadgets, it took two men (one on each end) of a large, long saw, to cut trees down back then. Both men’s hair turned white overnight, and neither man lived to an old age. Both were plagued with “freak accidents” a lot, up until their deaths. The logging company even went out of business within 4 to 6 months afterwards.

The thing most of the men called it was a " twister tree " and that it was a " tree witch ". A couple of guys said they’d seen it happen before… I don’t think I’d ever want to see something like that in my lifetime. Nope.
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tips on how to avoid these things (old customs from non-Europe, since my family is quite knowledgeable with them), plus i have encountered them before numerous times.

this is a guide, use if necessary - dont look for them (my hands trembling just to write them off).

  1. to move through forest, you need to ask permission from them, just ask them quietly, wait a minute or two and go through.
  2. never go into jungle with open wound/on period.
  3. never separate from your partner.
  4. if you got partner, take note of their last name. each one of you.
  5. if you got separated, you can communicate by code (sender need to mention his first name, receiver reply with sender’s last name) - verification. make twice with each other’s name.
  6. never turn your head back, instead you need to turn your whole body.
  7. never pick anything, if necessary just ask them in simple question, if there’s nothing strange happen, you can pick them, if not leave them alone.
  8. if you see anything strange, better to ignore them (weird trees, weird people), never reply to any sound, just ignore them.
  9. sleeps on ground (open ground, not under trees).
  10. if you need to fight anything, take off your shoes and fight on ground with barefoot (but avoid fight).
  11. if you need to run, please climb onto trees.
  12. do not pee into clear lake, pond or open space in woods.
  13. if you got clothes with blood/or corpse of animal/leftover from hunted animals, please bury them deep enough far from your encampment and never look back again.
  14. when there is a pop sound in your ear, followed by ringing sounds, please beware of your surrounding area. (applicable to all place, not only woods).
  15. when there is crossover between time (such as night to dawn). be careful.
  16. 6th sense can be closed off, at least in my custom. but it can holds only for a while. you wont feel anything supernatural for a few years. it wont hold off. ty.
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I’ve heard “they” will ask you for help, and as long as you refuse helping them they can’t harm you. Helping them is more or less inviting them in. (old wives tale my father would tell us). My dad called them “Wampus Kitty”.
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Summary and conclusion

The original posts don’t give specific locations, and the author doesn’t identify herself/himself. So although the original accounts are very detailed and seem genuine, there is no way to validate or confirm the content, so it is possible that they are just works of fiction.

However, as mentioned in the introductory post, the main posts stimulated a large amount of replies from people around the world reporting similar occurrences. It is these accounts that are most intriguing.

There are documented cases where people go missing in wooded areas in unexplained or unexplainable circumstances.
David Paulides published the film Missing 411, and several books on the subject. The cases he records are in the USA, and are unexplained.
He has conducted various interviews, many of which have been compiled into a Youtube playlist here.

There is an active Reddit community that discusses these cases and others here.

It has to be noted that the vast majority of visits to woods and forests do not include any strange, unexplainable or paranormal activity. Any bad things that happen are normally just accidental or are perpetrated by other humans or animals.

People living, working or otherwise spending a lot of time in wooded areas have more exposure and therefore a higher chance of experiencing something unexplainable. Its interesting that some of the most intriguing stories come from people like this, that are well adjusted to the woods, and know what is normal and what is not.

Summary of guidelines

There are some fascinating comments giving advice on how to stay safe in the woods, these have been summarised in the following check-list:

  • Always tell someone of your plans, so that they can raise the alarm if you are not back on time
  • Do not travel alone, and do not wonder off
  • Don’t take small children, the elderly, the weak or injured into the woods
  • Don’t be cocky, arrogant or boast in the woods, and don’t disrespect them or the plants
  • Keep within sight of each other
  • Don’t become distracted or consumed by electronic devices such as smartphones.
  • Do not leave the main trails
  • Don’t be too loud
  • Maintain a good pace
  • Stay away from boulder fields
  • Take notice of the reactions of any animals that are with you
  • Do not enter into the woods with open wounds or when on your period
  • Burn anything that has blood on it
  • Keep a smartphone with you and make sure it is turned on (can be on silent)
  • Don’t wear red clothes
  • Keep orgonite on you at all times
  • Ask permission before picking fruits or urinating, do not continue at that spot if there is a bad response or uneasy feeling
  • Asking for permission to pass through can be done whenever the landscape changes, do not continue if there is a bad response or uneasy feeling
  • Don’t enter the woods at night
  • Do not pick fruits, smell flowers or hang around under trees after dark
  • Don’t camp/sleep near to berry bushes or fruit trees
  • Don’t stray from your camp fire
  • Listen to your gut feeling:
    If something doesn’t feel right,
    If you feel like you’re being watched,
    If you smell something out of place,
    If you hear something out of place,
    If all sound around you suddenly stops,
    … turn back.
  • If an object seems completely out of place (such as stairs, gemstones, buildings, doorways, arches, beautiful clearings, ponds and small lakes), try not to look at it, do not acknowledge it, do not explore it, do not speak about it until later
  • If a person or creature seems completely out of place, try not to look at it, do not acknowledge it, do not engage with it, and do not speak about it until later.
    Do not help them or follow them

On the subject of guidelines, the following was posted on Reddit recently, recounting advice given by an old grandmother after a lifetime of experience living on the edge of woods:

I wanted to share some things that my grandmother taught me, did, or said in passing that I have never seen anywhere else.

First, background. She was born in 1914 or 1916 (I can’t remember which). She lived alone until she was 90 or 92 in a solitary house at the edge of the woods. She was spry and maintained her yard and garden religiously until she had the stroke that killed her. She was Christian, and watched “preaching” every Sunday. Her home was in the lee of a mountain.

  1. She buried metals at the four corners of her property. I don’t remember exactly, but I think it was Iron, Copper, Gold, and Silver. The directions, I think, were North - Iron, South - Copper, East - Gold, West - Silver.
  2. She loved trees, but would not allow trees to grow closer than 10’ apart on her property. When I asked her why, she said: “I like the trees, but I don’t want my yard to be the woods.”
  3. She put lines of salt across the entryways to her home and at the gate into the fence around her property.
  4. Speaking of which, she maintained a fence around her entire property (about 2 acres). When I asked why, she said: "Good fences make good neighbors." There were no neighbors for hundreds of yards.
  5. One day I was stacking rocks. She knocked over all the stacks and told me: never stack three rocks together. If you find them stacked together in the woods, don’t touch them.
  6. She told me that I should never be in the shadow of a mountain during the "blue hour" at sunset, except inside a place that is "well kept." Her yard and gardens, she defined as well kept.
  7. She told me that if I felt uneasy in the woods during the daylight, to stand still and say: "I will walk here! It is my right." Being in the woods at night, on the other hand, she said, was stupid.
  8. She said not to wear bright colors in the woods, that “things can see you, same as people.” She said also not to wear camouflage, “you’re not a tree and you ain’t fooling nobody.” She herself wore old-lady blouses in floral prints, so those were apparently acceptable.
  9. She told me to take berries from the verge, in the sunlight, but never to eat berries that are in the deeper woods.
  10. She told me that if you see white berries (baneberry or doll’s eyes), obviously don’t eat them, but also do not go near them. She actually told me to step back several steps after I spot them, without turning around, and then turn around and get away as fast as possible. I never knew why.
  11. She said that if you are walking along the bank of running water, make sure to turn away from the water and walk into the woods for a few feet sometimes, to "stay on track." I am not clear on what this means.
  12. If she found a ring of mushrooms in her yard, she would set a smoky fire in the middle. I don’t know the logic behind this.
  13. She maintained a margin around her property where she didn’t allow any plants besides grass to grow. If vines tried to grow in, she called them “feelers,” and would set a fire in that area to burn them back.
  14. Lest it sound like she was at war with nature or something, she also had the greenest thumb of anyone I have ever met. Even in her heavily shaded yard, she grew vegetables in quantities I have never seen before or since. She had six tomato plants one year that produced literally bushels of tomatoes, whereas when I try to grow them I’m lucky to get three tomatoes off three plants.

So, what does this have to do with Missing 411? I couldn’t help but think about all the things that she told me that seem related to the “common themes” (what to wear, what not to do, etc.) in the mysterious cases. I don’t know what knowledge or superstition my grandmother was drawing on: she wasn’t a Native American, she wasn’t a witch (that I know of), she wasn’t some kind of druid (as far as I know). But she definitely had opinions and told me directly what I should and should not do, and I’ve followed them to the T and have always had pretty good experiences in the woods.

Edit: I thought I’d add: she lived directly next to the south Appalachian cluster.
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There were some other things that she said, but they don’t seem related to the missing people:

  1. If you are lighting the night, make a light that does not cast shadows. If you can’t, just leave it dark.
  2. A house should always have alcohol brewing in it, even if you don’t drink it. (She made blackberry wine and sold it.)
  3. If you see a shadow that looks wrong, point at it and say: "I see you."
  4. Conversely, if you see glints of light or hear sounds that you don’t recognize, never look for/follow them.
  5. If you smell dampness in a dry place, hold your breath and run.
  6. If you are carrying food from the car, never put it down outside to open the door. Go, open the door, then go back and get it. (Little me said: “So it doesn’t get dirty?” and she said: “No, it’s in a poke. But things might get in.”)
  7. If you cut yourself, before you bandage it or wash the blood off, drip some on the ground outside your house.
  8. If you look at someone and feel queasy, or disconcerted, then leave the situation immediately.
  9. If someone smells like sour milk, don’t let them in your house.
  10. If someone walks through your garden, even if you can’t see any tracks, rake the paths between the rows to “settle it.”
  11. The best place to sit outside is under a cedar tree.
  12. The worst place to sit outside is under a black-gum tree. (I don’t know what makes it “bad.”)
  13. Don’t deviate from a path unless you have a good reason to. (This meant that her yard, despite being very green and alive, was covered in dirt paths where she walked every day.)
  14. Don’t wear more rings than you have to. (She thought anyone married must wear their ring at all times.)
  15. If you hear your name called, and you don’t recognize the voice, never answer.
  16. If it rains but the wind doesn’t blow, wait until dawn, noon, or sunset (whichever is next) before going outside.

There were even more, but I don’t remember the specifics, or garbled them in my memory.
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A few more stories posted recently:

I was living in Brazil and a friend and I decided to do a one night out-and-back through mountainous rainforest terrain in one of the southern states. We mostly wanted to get some exercise and do a gear shakeout before going on a longer trip in Patagonia.

The experience started out really tough. We were doing almost constant climbing and it was hot. Humidity was near 100% through lush vegetation. Eventually we were pretty much in clouds and completely drenched from sweat and humidity, it was kind of hellish - soaked to the bone with no chance of drying out. Fortunately, at that altitude it gets below freezing frequently at night so there weren’t many insects or animals, only birds. We hiked for probably 8 hours with little progress, it was slow going through tough terrain.

At early evening we came to a flat spot (the first we’d seen in hours) and decided to make camp as it was starting to pour. I basically made camp in several inches of standing water. I was beat anyways so I just sat in my tent reading.

Around 3 AM I woke to a girl singing in the distance. The singing kept coming closer, until she was singing right at our tents. She pushed past us and the singing drifted off. She was singing (maybe a lullaby, or children’s song?) about rain in Portuguese, but it sounded very strange.

An hour later, I got woken up to the singing in the distance again. She was coming back towards us, singing the same rain song. As she passed us, I could hear a little exasperation in her voice. She continued singing and went back in the direction of the trailhead.

Another hour later, I was again woken up by her singing as she was again coming back towards us, except now she was also crying. She continued to cry and sing as she moved past us for the final time.

We woke up that morning, looked at each other, said “what the fuck was that?”, and then got on our way. It was very eerie at the time, and I don’t have an explanation for it. We were in an extremely isolated location and the trail was definitely only used by recreational hikers, so I really can’t say why this woman was out wandering, singing, and crying at 3 AM.
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Okay, so I have a story that happened to me and my friends. To set the scene: We were on a boyscout camping/shooting trip. There were 20-30 of us. We were in a little cabin thing with windows on the front and back, and a front and back door. There were wooden tables all around the area. The adult cabin (with the bathroom) was about an 8th of a mile down a gravel road in the dark. There was obviously a buddy system, because its boyscouts.

So it’s around midnight, and everyone had been telling scary stories, like normal camping trips. Well, I had to go to the bathroom, and asked my friend to come along. He said sure, and he got our knives (we knew that there were bears in the woods, and it made us feel safer). Well, we went to the bathroom, and began our walk back. This is where it got scary.

I felt an instinctual (not sure if thats the right word) fear. I look to my friend, and he had the same look as me. We begin to walk a little faster, and unfold our pocket knives. I then turn around, and see it. It looked similar to a cat, but it was ~6 feet tall, and was on its hind legs, kinda hunched over. I freaked the hell out, and started running. My friend sees it to, and we sprint back to the cabin. It began making a moaning/howling noise (it was somewhere between the two), and followed us slowly.

We pound on the door, and the guys let us in. We tell them what we saw, and they actually believed us. So we lock the front door, and look at the back door. It had no lock. we pushed a table up against it, and had a kid there with his knife, for safety. We draw the blinds on all the windows that had them (one of them didn’t), and we sat there, with all the lights on. Then we see the eyes outside of the windows without blinds. We all are shitting ourselves, and the thing slowly walked to the back door. We heard it bumping up against it (maybe trying to open it, we think). It then left, but we still thought we were going to die. No one slept. When the adults came to wake us up, we told them and they laughed and said we were making it up. We know it happened, even if they dont believe us.
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When my dad and I go hunting we have a specific whistle to call to the other to come. So one time my dad and I went hunting and he told me to just hangout for a second while he went to the left up a hill to scout. I waited for about 15 minutes then I heard the whistle straight ahead and followed the sound. I walked for 10 minutes following the whistle until I heard my dad come from behind yelling at me. When asked why I left I told him that I was heard his whistle. He never whistled. We went back home. Found our local shaman, he said my lover from past life was trying to lure me and take my soul. So thats how we invested in some good walkie talkies.
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In the Army. During an exercise where we had to dig a pit at night, multiple people saw my buddy in my pit digging when he was definitely not there. He was on picquet out the front of the position.

That wouldn’t really spook anyone except at one point my section commander saw him standing stationary in the pit at night when he was supposed to be digging. My seco went over to speak to him and said “what are you doing?” At which point he got out of the pit and SPRINTED OFF INTO THE BUSH without a word, IN COMPLETE DARKNESS. That is simply not something you do in an army position. There are pits, barbed wire etc everywhere.

At the time he was actually on picquet (guard duty) with another soldier.
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