It was about 14 years ago on a mild October evening in a small town in called Gann... The six of us boys had decided that it was a perfect day to camp out. Greg just got a brand new tent, but his dad wouldn't let us take it into the woods. His house was surrounded by tree's, and he had ample area that we could get away from it, so we decided to pitch the tent in his backyard behind the garage. As always we waited till dusk to start putting it up, so it was dark when we finished.
Once complete, we went into Greg's house to raid the kitchen. All we seemed to find were AMWAY Nutri-grain bars and a bag of Doritos. So with sleeping bags in hand we headed back out to the tent where we would settle in and tell some ghost story's for a while before we ventured out into the night. So we did, venture that is, into the small town armed only with a few bars of soap and some duffle- bags full of toilet paper.
As kids often do, we proceeded to toilet paper the neighborhood, soaping windows and throwing TP over anything that would hold it. After about a solid hour, we reached a house on the corner of town near the Council building and old jail. We started on this house, no different than any of the others, throwing rolls and soaping windows.
There was an old set of steps set into a hill that lead up to the house from the road below. After we finished with one side of the house, we decided to sneak around to the road and up the steps to the porch. But as we climbed the stairs, our gaze was drawn up into the heart of this quaint village... to a silhouette under a street lamp, suspended, hovering as if held up by it's own power. None of us could move. None of us could utter a word. Despair reached the depths of my soul.
He wore a black cloak and a stovetop-hat. I noticed a golden pouch hanging from his waist by a rope belt. Just a I thought I might muster up the courage to move, he opened his eyes. They shone bright red, and bored deep into my already speeding heart. I felt powerless against it's gaze. I collapsed. Somehow, several surreal minutes later, we managed to escape it's gaze behind the council house away from the apparition.
We stood in wait... helplessly trying to come up with a plan to reach safety. None of us wanted to look back up in the direction of the apparition we'd just seen, and fortunately for us, Greg's house was in the opposite direction of the street-lamp. So we all decided together that we would count from three and run! As Frank counted, 3 - 2 - 1 ... no one moved. We were still to shattered inside to move and face the possibility that we could confront this thing again! But we knew we had to.
Frank counted again, and this time we ran. I never knew I could run so fast. We ran until we reached Greg's house on the hill on the far end of town. Ignoring the tent with our sleeping bags and such, we went straight into the house and told his dad what had just happened. He insisted that we had imagined it all. He said though, that if we wanted to sleep inside, we could all get our sleeping bags and put them out on the living room floor. But none of us wanted to go back out to the tent. Greg's dad encouraged us and told us that as long as we all went together, we could get our stuff from the tent and get back inside in no time.
So, inclined to believe him, we went back out to the tent to get our stuff. But we didn't expect to see what we did when we got there. The brand new tent had been clawed at, cut or something... There were four tears in it. As if someone who had knives on their fingers had slashed at it. We knew for a fact that the cuts had not been there. The tent was less that 5 hours old.
We went inside to tell Greg's dad. He thought about it logically, coming to the conclusion that the dog had probably gotten loose and clawed it. This time we were determined not to go back out. He went by himself to inspect the tent and find out if the dog had broken it's chain. He came back a few minutes later and told us that the dog was indeed still in it's box, but more importantly, that the tent had no tears in it! We were all stunned. We argued with him, telling him that we were all sure that we had seen the same cuts. So we all went back out to the tent, Greg's dad with us, and looked at it. Sure enough, there were no tears. We went back into the house where we remained until morning. None of us got a wink of sleep.
To this day, some people still don't believe the story of Red-eyes. But it happened. I was there. Since we have all gotten older we have taken it upon ourselves to try to find out about what we saw that day.
Brinkhaven, formerly known as Gann, is rich in history. At one time, two railroads intersected and made the town the place to be. You could find work in Gann, a mill sat by the river and all was good. Until the flood if 1913. The town was decimated by the destructive force of nature. Few in low laying area's survived. several died in the hospital/doctor's office and even more were never found.
We speculate about the possibility that this apparition was a soul who died in the flood. Perhaps a photographer. It would make sense, given the cape a photographer would have needed to protect the film from the flash and hat to keep the cape out if his eyes.
Speculations have also lead us to believe that the apparition may be Dr. Isaac Putnam. Who practiced at the Berkshire Hospital. Some say it may have been William Gann, the founder of the town, come back to haunt the living for allowing the town that was once a growing haven to become a small village that remained unchanged.
One thing we all can agree upon... The integrity and preservation of the history of Gann is alive and well. You can still walk up main street and see the town it used to be. Two-Hundred year old homes and churches made of stone are common, and they remind you of a quaint past. And you can still count on having the hairs on the back of your neck stand up on end from time to time...