Someone in the Woods

I really think the best ghost story I've ever read is the 'Amityville Horror': the boathouse, the red room (painted with 'goat's blood' and 'not on the floorplan' no less), the brass band in the living room, the stench from the cellar, the black slime in the toilet, the bleeding walls, the flies in the sewing room (in winter), the demonic face on the fireplace wall, 'Jaimie' the little girl's anthropomorphic pig playmate, the dog incessantly digging at the basement floor...YEA!!! Unfortunately, IT WAS ALL A MANIPULATIVE CRAP FANTASY! Oh well...

Here's a supposedly true story a friend from America told me a few years back. It may not specifically involve 'ghosts', but it sure involves SOMETHING WEIRD!! This friend says that a friend of his nervously recounted this tale and framed it as a 'meeting with the Manson Family'(?), although it sounds more to me like a meeting with a bunch of FREAK DEVIL WORSHIPERS---or it could merely, and much more likely, been a chance encounter with demonic entities...

This friend-o'-a-friend was out poking around in the deep woods in a remote part of northern California (near Mt. Shasta--which supposedly barfs fleets of flying saucers on a regular basis, but that's another story) while in the midst of a solitary hunting trip. After an hour or so of walking he was VERY surprised to come upon a creepy old one-room shack with painted windows and a generally off-putting stylistic flair, if you know what I mean?. He tried looking in but the door was well secured and the two small windows had been completely opaqued. This place exuded an intense air that was definitely not 'cozy' and, although equipped with a very manly firearm, this young man went totally...oh, shall we say--CHICKENS**T, and began a disoriented retreat. Unfortunately, when he turned around and began pushing up the pace, he heard the soft, furtive crackling of twigs and leaves coming from the dense woods behind the shack, as if some animal were loping after him. Realizing it may be better to squeeze off a few warning rounds than show his fleeing hiney to a predatory creature, he turned and took up his rifle. But sheer terror staid his manly trigger finger as he saw his persuer(s) break through the tangle of trees--it was two very large BLACK panthers (the kind that aren't supposed to exist but have a nasty habit of showing up from time to time anyway). As if that weren't enough to place a brick in his skivies, this unfortunate woodsman suddenly realized, as the panthers paused and fixed their gaze upon him, that SOMEONE (a group of someone's) was emerging from the woods all around him. There was at least seven or eight of these unlikely nature lovers and they all wore black robes with huge, gaping hoods obscuring their shadowy faces. One of them seemed to command the panthers with a gesture of the hand, causing them to sit and wait. It is unclear at this point what exactly happened next, but it seems these 'people' were satisfied to merely menace the young man (probably because of his gun) rather than wrap him up special delivery to BEEZELBUB, and he managed a hasty exit, stumbling the long way back to the road and his truck.

Needless to say he hunts no more in this forest and warns everyone he knows of this menacing 'family' and their exotic, zoologically impossible pets.

Submitted by Fred Hendel, Whitehall, England