Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wild NIght in the Woods

Years ago, when I was a much younger pup than I am now, I thought I was invincible, and I used to enjoy backpacking at night.  If the sky was clear and there was a large moon, I wouldn't even bring a flashlight.

 There was something freeing in the limited way I could take in the world through my eyes.  My other senses were freed to run wild.  I could hear better, smell better, feel the air and the ground underfoot better. 
There are many reasons why most people don't backpack at night.  If you're familiar with the woods in the slightest, then you probably could explain to me why my hobby was in fact very stupid.  It is very easy to get lost while hiking at night.  You could trip, twist an ankle, and then what would you do?  That, however, wasn't what finally stopped by from hiking alone at night. I stopped because it's at night that the woods come alive.
I was hiking a short trail in a national forest. It was a trail I'd hiked many times before.  I had a light pack on my back with just the essentials: tent, sleeping bag, food and some water.   

The trail was a three mile loop, and I knew it by heart.  I was about 1.5 miles in when I heard a rustling in the underbrush near the trail.  I don't live in bear territory, and there was very little animal life in the woods I frequented that could harm me.  So, I wasn't worried.  I figured it would be a opossum, though it sounded larger,  or possibly a raccoon. 

I paused, and watched for a moment, and the sound stopped.  After a few more seconds, I turned to continue, but when I turned around there was a dog on the trail. 
 He was some sort of mutt, and he was big, around German Sheppard size.  His hackles were raised and he growled.  Then suddenly I was surrounded by another five or six dogs, of various sizes and breeds.  They were all growling and barking and generally pissed off.  

At that point I was scared.  I had a walking stick that I used, and old hockey stick cut to size, but it was my only option as a weapon. At that point, an idea came to me.
                I took a swing at a dog to my right and he easily dodged out of reach.  However, when he dodged my swing a hole opened in their perimeter and I snuck through, jumped, grabbed a low hanging tree branch, and pulled myself up.   

The dogs barked, and growled, and leaped at branch on which I was perched.  I climbed a couple branches higher, and watched in disbelief as they ripped apart my discarded backpack.
                The wild pack of dogs didn't stay long around the tree in which I perched.  They seemed to realize they couldn't get to me and they trotted off.  

I slept in the tree until morning.  From the safety of the tree I searched the woods around in all directions, but saw no sign of any dogs.  In the daylight all things seem safer, so I hopped to the ground, gathered up the remains of my pack and walked back to the trail head and my car.  
                 I stopped by the ranger station on my way back home and notified them of what happened.  It was the first they'd heard of the dogs, and for the next several months when I'd go hiking, in the day time, there were posters up at trail heads warning hikers and campers of the wild pack of dogs.  I haven't had any problems since my experience, but I also don't hike at night anymore.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Blob

{Staff note: We at Alone at Night don't normally publish ghost stories. Frankly, we just don't believe in them, but since this submitter is a follower of the site and kind enough to write their story up, and because we haven't had many submissions lately, we're going to let this one slide. So, thanks to Aidan for submitting this one and for being a loyal Alone at Night follower.}

When I was in the 3rd grade my mother moved us into a decent sized new house. Although I got used to the move very quickly, I didn't like being downstairs alone. As soon as I would get to the bottom of the stairs the air would feel thick, like I was being watched. Now, in our house, our dining room was directly above our living room. In the dining room we had 4 metal chairs, that when they moved against our hardwood floors they made a very distinct and loud scraping sound. After a couple of months in the house, virtually every time we'd be in the living room watching TV, and only at night, we would hear the sound of our chairs being moved across the floor. And this wasn't a quiet little scrape here and there that could be our cats or something. This was a loud, nonstop, unmistakable movement for 5-10 minutes. The first time it happened we were freaked out and ran upstairs to see what was happening, but there wasn't a chair out of place. We went back downstairs and not a minute after we sat back down it started again. After a while it still weirded us out, but we'd just turn up the volume on the TV till it was done. The sounds eventually stopped after we began ignoring them.

But then we started seeing really weird things. Now, my kitchen was upstairs and parallel to the top of the stairs, which gave me a clear view of my front door. On this particular day it was sunny and bright, so I had my front door wide open to let some light and fresh air in. When I went into the kitchen to get a drink from my fridge I turned my head to look downstairs and saw a shadow standing in front of my door. Keep in mind this isn't someone outside casting a shadow or anything, this was just a floating black blob that was maybe 6 feet tall. As soon as I saw it I opened the fridge, took a deep breath, then shut the door and looked back down to see if it was still there, which it wasn't. I bolted to my room and pretty much counted down the minutes till my mom got home. It wasn't a surprise to her, though, since she'd seen the blob several times before.

(Last story, I promise!) A little while after this happened I had a friend sleep over. I hadn't told her anything about the hauntings since I didn't want to scare her, and she lived hours away so we had no one in common that could tell her about the ghost. But one night she went to my kitchen to grab something to eat. As she was leaving the kitchen she looked down the stairs and saw the huge black shadow floating on the landing. It definitely freaked her out good, I can say that for sure.

We told our neighbor about the strange things going on, and apparently an old lady had died in the house. Since then we've moved to a new home, which has had disturbances of the criminal kind instead of paranormal.


Desert People

                Two summers ago, I took a trip across the western United States with my girlfriend.  We'd both quit our soul-crushing jobs and, almost on a whim, decided to drive across the country looking for adventure with the ultimate goal of finding jobs and eventually settling down in California.
                We were making our way to Carbeza Preita National Wildlife Refuge when, much to my chagrin, I realized we were almost out of fuel. We weren't too far from the small hamlet  of Ajo, about 100 miles south of Phoenix. I passed the idea of driving up there to get gas, but it was already late, and the girl and I decided to just camp, and pray that we had enough gas to get the car started the next morning and get us to Ajo.  We found a dusty gravel road leading off into the desert and drove just a short distance amongst the sparse desert hills until we were out of view from the road.
                We set up camp, sleeping bags but no tent, fire, the whole thing.  I remember we were eating top-ramen noodles and just really enjoying the sounds of the wild when my girl first heard the sound of tires traversing the gravel road.  Someone was coming.  Having encountered all sorts of people on our trip, both good and bad, neither my girl nor I were concerned at this point.  Then, slowly, a police cruiser comes around the bend.
                It is at this moment that I start to worry.  You see my gal and I enjoy the use of some recreational substances every once in a while, and though I'm pretty sure we've used all of our stash, at this point in time, I'm not 100% certain.  I'm a little nervous now.
                The cop walks up to us, hand on his pistol, and asks us to stand up.  He says he's received complaints, from a couple of campers in the area of people shooting guns off.  My girl and I explain that we don't have any guns and that it wasn't us.  The cop says he needs to check our car.  My heart drops.  If we have anything in there...
                Just as the officer opens the car door, and begin his search, his radio cuts in.  My girl and I both hear clearly when dispatch says they received another call saying the people are still shooting off their guns, just a few moments ago.  It can't be us the cop realizes, tells us to be safe, and then drives off.
                A few hours later my girl and I awake to what sounds like sixty people coming our way. We hear some gunshots, and cursing and laughter, the crush of feet, and a cacophony of voices and it is all getting closer. Freaked out now, the girl and I grab out sleeping bags and run to the car.  We jump in and as I put the keys in the ignition, I remember that we're almost out of gas.  I turn the key and the car starts.  I flip on the headlights and see a hoard of people rushing toward our car. 
                I don't know who they were, what they were doing, or what their plans were for my girl and I, but it sure a hell didn't look good.  I throw the car in reverse, turn around, and get the hell out of there.  We made it to Ajo, but all the gas stations were closed.  We parked in a small strip mall parking lot, and tried to get back to sleep.
                In the morning we bought gas, and I mention to the clerk as I'm paying for gas what happened to us last night, the clerk just laughs and then gives me this smile like he knew exactly what was going on, but he wasn't telling. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Stephen King's IT

Hey, all! We thought we'd break from the scary stories to recommend a book, today.  Currently, we're reading Stephen King's IT for the first time.  I know, I know, you're asking "How can this be the first time you're reading IT?!"  Good question.  Answer: no idea.

If you haven't read IT, then we highly recommend it.  We're reading it before going to bed, and let us say we aren't letting our legs dangle off the bead anymore.

As always, thanks for taking the time to visit Alone at Night Scary Stories blog, and also for taking the time to comment on the stories, and submit your own true scary stories. 

Stay Safe and Get Scared

Alone at Night Staff