I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, where this story takes place.
When I was thirteen or fourteen, I developed an interest into the occult, which I still have. This story occurs when I wasn't even expecting it.
Like all kids, my pals and I would roam and explore all summer. One day, I had gotten a hand-me-down tape recorder from my brothers, a big suitcase sized monster, and I took it to record nature sounds and the like while we were on one of our expeditions. While wandering around, my neighbor and I found an old log cabin. We decided to explore this, too.
Around the cabin, the remains of other foundations were overgrown with weeds. I felt this was some kind of trading post or camp. We walked through the cabin, but didn't find anything. We left and didn't think anything about it. Later that night, I listened to the tape I made. There were no surprises, except until the cabin. Faintly in the background, I heard voices other than ours speaking. I thought it was bleeding through the tape until I really listened. I made out the word 'Anglais' several times. I was taking Elementary French and German in school and recognized it as French. The next day, Sunday, my neighbor listened to it and also heard the voices. I decided to take it to my French teacher on Monday, which I did.
The teacher listened to the tape and accused me of trying to pull a prank. I got sent to the principal's office but she kept the tape. Tuesday, the teacher apologized to me. When I asked why, she said I couldn't have made the voices up because they were speaking 19th Century French. What she said next really scared me. She said the three people were calling us English spies and bandits and they were planning on killing us!
I never told my neighbor what was on the tape or what I learned later. The cabin sits on the site of a French fur-trapping/trading post called Fort Belle Fontaine. It was attacked by the British in 1821.
Unfortunately, I never got the cassette tape back. It would have made a nice conversation piece.