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Extra Passenger

December 2004

This story occured as I was on my way back from college approximately 10 pm in January.

I decided to take a shortcut over the mountain to get to my house. Had I have known what waited on the mountain beforehand, I probably would have opted to take the extra twenty minutes to go around instead.

It was in the winter, so the birch trees were bare and skeletal, lining the winding roads. Snow was covering the ground, and only grey boulders stood out from the trees. There were no dark areas, other than the depths of the woods... just white snow and trees. I had my radio on and was singing along until it became too static. During this point my cell phone gets no service either, so I passed the time by lighting up a cigarette. At some point the road only allows you to go 25 miles per hour, between the potholes and turns, so I was going fairly slow when I heard a terrible womanly voice squeal out from the woods. I can only describe it as a hideous banshee yelp that began in a lower gurgling moan and then belted out in a wail at the end. I kept thinking that it could have been a coyote, but I've heard them many times before and this was humanlike.

The more I tried to clear my head from scary thoughts, the more the wailing echoed in my ears. At this point I'm freaking myself out imagining what could have made the noise, and the more I think, the more I feel watched.

On top of this mountain by my house is a reservoir that has miles of preserved natural habitat surrounding it. At one side, there is a parking lot where you can stop to walk on the paths around the reservoir. It was nighttime, so it was blocked off by a swinging gate, but inside of it i could see something tall and slender, robed in black standing in the middle of the gravel. I knew it wasn't a bear because it was upright and thin, standing very still, but facing the road I drove on. I floored the gas pedal and dialed random numbers on my cell phone for comfort. I still had no service of course, so my only comfort was the hum of my engine and glow of the headlights. Curiosity got the best of me so I peaked in my rearview mirror to get one last glimpse of the near-vacant lot. That was the biggest mistake I ever made, which says alot because I frequently do stupid things! In my backseat, I KID YOU NOT, there was a person sitting and staring at me. I thought I was going to vomit up my heart, and was so scared that I could only groan silently in reaction. I remember the sound of blood rushing in my ears, and my stomach's queasy tightening. The skin on this corpse-like face was transparent and grey, with the lips curled up in an evil smile. The eyes were staring right back at me, droopy and dark and empty. His cheekbones looked like they had a thin layer of sheer flesh overtop, resembling the thinness of old women-eyelids. I didn't stare long because by this point I was racing down the mountain like a madwoman. When I glanced in the mirror again, whoever it was had disappeared. I dared not to see him again, so I tilted the mirror as high as it would go.
Luckily, by this point I finally got service for my phone and talked to my boyfriend the entire ride home. I still remember how itchy my sweater felt against my sweaty skin, regardless of the winter cold air.

I still drive over the mountain, because it is the shortest way from the college to my house. I haven't had any more scary feelings, thank God, but I still have trouble looking in my rear view whenever I drive.

00:00 / 01:04
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