Don't Wander Into The Woods

When I was fourteen, I made a friend who was obsessed with ghosts or just about anything mildly creepy. We live down the street from each other and to the backs of our houses there is a rather large wooded area that we often played in or rode on ATVs. This also meant that we rode the bus together and drove past those woods everyday, and everyday I would stare out the window and down one of the paths occasionally peeking a glance at what I thought was another kid’s clubhouse they had built in the woods.
When I told Dana, my friend, about this we had to go check it out; of course with the distinct intention of taking over the place if it we found it to be useful.

Dana's stop was first and I got off with him; then, throwing our things onto his couch, we set off to the woods.

There was a concrete drainage ditch we had to cross to reach the other side and once we had, I got the distinct feeling that we (or at least I) were not welcome. I looked to Dana but he seemed unmoved and eager to press on. So, sucking it up, I followed him up the side of the hill over a path the lay on the edge of the woods. He lead me to a path that lead straight back to where we thought the structure was and, after twenty minutes of searching, we found an old burnt out shack laying about thirty yards to the wire fence of someone else's property. Dana glanced at me nervously but stepped into the shack pulling me in behind him. All across the floor debris and dirt covered what little of the floor was left, but even more disturbing than the shack itself were the several dead birds (or bird pieces) that were strewn about in a gruesome mess and I noted that the majority of the birds appeared to have red feathers.
Stepping back out I walked over to the fence and was met with the roar of an angry ranch owner telling me to get away from his property and to stay out of the old shack. When I asked him what it was, he told me that it was his grandfathers smoke house. I turned to leave and took one last look at the shack, it certainly didn't look like a smoke house to me but I was not about to press the man.
I called out to Dana, wondering where he could have gone, but after receiving no reply I grew frustrated and decided to just meet him back at his house. Retracing the winding path we took to get there I spotted what appeared to be Dana's dark blond head moving swiftly down one of the side paths. Deciding to get even for leaving me I began to stalk my friend deeper into the woods and soon began to wonder why on earth he was heading deeper into the woods away from his house and the shack.
Dana turned the corner around the trees and I quickly ran to go jump out at him to scare him. Grinning evilly I jumped out into a large darkened clearing and to my surprise found nothing, not a trace of my friend. I called out to him laughing but when he did not reply I got worried. I called again, and received no reply. By this point I'm on the verge of panic, concerned that my friend may have hurt himself. I screamed his name at the top of my lungs and to my shock and horror heard his faint reply, all the way from the other side of the woods towards the entrance we came through to the shack. A chill went through me as I just realized what had happened and without thought I began to scream Dana's name at the top of my lungs, too scared to move.
Within a few minutes he came running around the corner, out of breath, and looking panicked. After, we found our way to his house I told him what happened; he in turn told me that he could not find me after I left the shack and that he had gone straight back to the entrance to the woods to look for me.

Swallowing hard I walked home the long way just to avoid being near those woods. When I got home I went straight to my room, careful to avoid all the windows that faced the back. I do not know what I saw that day but I have yet to neither walk into those woods alone nor walk away from whoever I am with nor have I actually stayed for more that ten minutes without nearly running away. Whatever or whoever they are for some reason does not like me and I constantly feel like I am being stared at even after four years.

Occasionally, I see a small stature figure run past my fence at night but I usually just close the curtains, not wanting to antagonize whatever it is anymore than I already have.

Submitted by Lindsay, TX, USA