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Nightly Walks

Jess, New South Wales, Australia
July 2006

40km South west from Newcastle nsw there is a small town called Rutherford where for over sixteen years I have lived. So you can only imagine the number of things I have heard through the grape vine, secrets, scandals, affairs and of course the in town ghost stories (every city and town has one I'm sure).

Rutherford is a quiet town or in other words boring, so you wouldn't exactly call it party central. Naturally, us being bored kids swapped ghost stories when conversation was scarce. Mostly these stories where told at school, more interesting than listening to the teachers anyway (with the amount of ghost stories that where flying around, the high school was drenched in 'ghosts').
The most popular ghost story is told of a strange creature/thing that lurked between the trees that separates Rutherford High School from the Norm Chapman Oval. Rumor states that if this thing sees you it would follow you home. Many students claimed to have come at night and seen it, but seeing that most or all of the stories were mere fiction I didn't believe them.
A year later the time had come for me to face the real world and move out of home. My boyfriend David had found a nice and fairly decent sized house for myself, Kate (my friend) and him to live in. Let me tell you now I have never come across cheaper rent, for eighty dollars a week including all bills. I thought we hit the mother load.
Our house was located just behind Rutherford High school and Norm Chapman Oval funnily enough, but seeing I didn't believe the stories it didn't faze me one bit.
After we moved in it soon became somewhat of a habit for me to go for a nightly walk through the oval with a cigarette and a diskman and sit at the grandstand that faced the high school. Hey it was a nice, quiet and peaceful walk.
Eight uneventful months later I was getting ready for my nightly walk through the oval. It was about nine o'clock, give or take when I walked out the front door, It was a still, cool night and I was at peace as I always felt as I finished climbing the small hill that led to the oval. I was half way to the grandstand when I began feeling a little strange. The cool peaceful night suddenly felt alive, I can't explain that feeling but it felt like I had just gate-crashed someone's party that I definitely wasn't welcome to.
My body seemed a little weaker and for no apparent reason I was a little scared. It felt as though I was being watched (you know the feeling).
Thinking I was being a twit I trekked on to the grandstand like a trooper. I sat down to finish the last of my cigarette trying to shake off this strange feeling when I noticed something rather odd. Among the trees between the oval and the high school it looked like a wonky looking man was standing just a little behind a tree (wonky as in it looked like he had little or no neck, and his head way more to the left of his shoulders instead of the centre). I stared at it for a minute before coming to a conclusion that it had to be a tree branch, seeing that if the "wonky man" was real he would be standing at 10 to 11ft tall. Nether-the-less I was no longer in the mood to linger so I walked.. ok I power walked back through the oval towards home.
At the gate I stupidly couldn't resist one more glance at the tree and what I saw chilled my blood.
My so called tree was beginning to pace back and forward in an eerie kind of way. It was slumped over and its arms sort of swung at its sides as it continued to pace. I am not one of those brave idiots in horror movies so like the hero I was I ran home. I didn't really want to bring my little encounter to the attention of Kate and David so I kept it to myself for the time being. Though I could never shake off that strange feeling I gotten when I first reached the oval.
Unfortunately we had run out of toilet paper and had to go to the Service Station to buy some more, which of course happened to be located on the other side of the oval. By now it was about eleven and I wasn't keen to join Kate and David for the visit to the Service Station but liked the idea even less of staying at home by myself. The three of us had nearly passed the oval (I chose not to walk through it) when Kate said the night felt strange and in a dark way, festive. David laughed at her, I fell silent. We had reached the top of the oval again on the way back from the Service station, David and Kate arguing about what she had said earlier (me walking with my head down) when Kate let out a gasp. I turned and looked at her. She was staring at the trees on the other side of the oval. She asked if we could see it, David couldn't but I did. The "wonky man, tree thing" was pacing once again. But this time it was slowly edging toward us. Kate who is as brave as me began to run, with David and myself close on her heels.
We got to the front door, and yes I dropped the keys while attempting to unlock it. We hurried in, not before taking one more glance. To my horror the thing was pacing back and forth towards us so fast it was almost inhuman, it was about a hundred meters away from us now. I slammed the front door and hurried to the lounge room to a very pale Kate. We swapped and confirmed what we saw, and I told them about what happened a few hours before. David wasn't having a bar of it and just laughed at us as he walked into the kitchen. David was walking back to the lounge room a minute later then suddenly dropped to the floor with a thunderous 'bang'!. Kate and I stared at him both of us frightened as he lay on the floor under the window. We asked him what was wrong and he told us to shut up. Kate and I sat there in silence for a few minutes, David still on the floor, when he slowly began to stand up and looked out of the window. Fast as lightning he ran through the house, got a ton of blankets, nails and a hammer and covered all the windows with our doonas. He was speaking a lot of gibberish when he finished nailing the blankets to all the windows and had the shakes something chronic. It took Kate and I quite some time to calm him down, he was very pale and sweaty.
After he calmed down David told us what he saw through the window that almost made my heart jump out of my throat .
He told us that when he walked out of the kitchen he had an odd feeling of being watched, and naturally looked out the window. There staring at him, was a white thing! not a monster but not human either. He said its face just wasn't right, it was disfigured and insanely white with the scariest red eyes he'd ever seen.The head of the creature was sitting to the far left of its shoulder, its neck looked badly broken. It was just staring with no expression on its face. Whats more is that that window is about 9ft high, he said that the "thing" stood at about 11ft. There is no ledges, window sills or trees to climb up on so it was impossible for anyone to be just standing there. Plus David isn't really one to lie, and isn't that good of a actor to fake being that frightened. Needless to say we all sat in my room and did not sleep that night. I guess the thing wasn't quite done scaring us because we could hear heavy scratching noises coming from the outside of the house. The scratching noise would follow us from room to room, as though it knew where we were and was following us. This sounds stupid but we all agreed that whatever it was, was insane and angry. Us three brave heroes waited till daylight before we went outside to investigate. To confirm what happened was real there were deep scratches in the painted wood of the house.
Not a very nice creature, my landlord made me re-paint that!
Needless to say I don't go for my nightly walks anymore.
If you have any idea of what this thing is e-mail me.
Thanks for reading my experience.

Jess, New South Wales, Australia
00:00 / 01:04
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