Friday, September 30, 2016

Twitter

Hello, Alone at Night Fans. You can follow me on Twitter @KobbDavid to get info about the book, updates to Alone at Night, and, of course, the sharing of all things scary.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Jersey Devil

When I was a kid, about 12 or so, my dad would always wake me up in the middle of the night to go hunting. I fucking hate hunting.

A few weeks prior to this night I saw an episode of "are you afraid of the dark" about the jersey devil. I was on edge because I knew my dad would make me go hunting soon and we sometimes hunt in Jersey.

Sure as shit, he wakes me up one morning at like 3am and we are off to the woods in Jersey in pitch black so that he could be there and all set up before the deer come out.
I'm up in the stand, starting to calm down, when I see a little figure on the ground. It's human, with a face I can barely make out since it's a bit far in the distance, but I know it's human, and it's like 2-3 feet tall.

I'm losing my shit but don't want to say anything because I know my dad will just tell me to suck it up.

I stare at this fucker for at least 4 hours until we get down from the stand and walk towards it to leave.

It's a fucking lawn gnome. Miles and miles into the deep woods. There's no roads for a looooong while and certainly no houses. How the fuck did a gnome get there? The stand we were in wasn't even a permanent stand. It was one we out up when we got there.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Man Who Wasn't There

I was camping with family over a three day weekend. A few of us didn't have to get back to work so we decided to camp an extra night. What had been a full campground was now down to just us. It was my brother, his young son, me and my young daughter.

About 3AM my daughter woke up and said she had to go to the bathroom. She had to drop a deuce so there was no getting her to squat outside the tent. The outhouse was like 100 yards away through the pitch dark campground, The fire had gone out and there was not really any moonlight. I got up with her, grabbed a flashlight, and we headed to the outhouse.

She did her business and I stood outside the outhouse, I'd be lying if I said I weren't a little scared standing out in the woods, in the dark, miles from anywhere with my 7 year old daughter inside a dark outhouse by herself. Luckily she was quick and we stumbled back towards camp in the dark, with just the flashlight to lead us.

The walk back was uneventful, we chatted little, I tried to reassure her were safe out here in the dark as she had gotten a little scared as she realized how alone we were in the empty campground. As we got to about 50 feet from camp, my daughter suddenly grabbed my hand tight and said in a scared whisper yell - "Daddy, who is that!?!"
"Who is what honey, I don't see anything!?!"
"That man, right there, who is that?"
I shined the light where she was looking and I couldn't see anyone. I grabbed her hand tighter and picked up the pace to get us back to the tent which was the only safety there was out there, and I knew that in the dark like this, we were really in trouble if there was some sketcher out there messing with us.

We got back and I got us in the tent and we got in our sleeping bags and I laid there and listened for any sound outside of the tent. Of course there were millions of sounds I hadn't noticed before and each one made me more and more terrified of whoever it was she saw out there. As she started to get sleepy she asked if we were alright. I said yes even though I was completely freaking out. I asked her what the man had looked like and she said he looked like a Native American.

I laid there for what seemed like hours but was probably only 15 minutes until I couldn't take it anymore. I woke up my brother and told him what happened. He is a lot more comfortable in the woods than I so he got up and got the fire going again. We sat by the fire until daylight and nothing ever happened.

The next day I asked my daughter about the man she saw and she didn't remember it. To this day she doesn't remember the event. The area we were camping in was well known for being a historical place where Native Americans had lived and flourished until they were forced into reservations or killed. Neither my brother or me could find any sign that anyone was out there, If they had been walking around the woods we would have heard them for sure. My only explanation is that she was so tired that she fell asleep walking back in a little micro sleep or something and dreamed it, but to this day it still freaks me the fuck out.

A few short Scary Camping stories

I used to spend a lot of time solo camping in and around the Indian Peaks wilderness in CO and experienced some weird stuff. Nothing that was outright supernatural, but just unsettling. I love those woods but they give me the creeps. Here are some notable examples from 4-5 trips up there in all seasons.
1 - After thinking that a particular area under a tree and against a rock looked like a great place to set up for the night, I found a shredded sleeping bag and old (must've been 20 years or more) camp supplies. Found a lot of bones around the site too, ribs and vertebrae -- probably elk, but maybe not. I camped elsewhere.
2 - Found a deer skull out in the middle of a (recently) frozen over lake/pond. Major snow the night before, and the skull was sitting on top of the fresh powder with no tracks anywhere I could see and no other bones. Odd.
3 - Woke up to a squirrel literally nailed to a tree outside my shelter. I had made camp late and tired and in dying light, so I might not have noticed it the night before, but I think I would have, which means it happened sometime while I was asleep.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Disrespect

Just a few weeks ago we were on a roadtrip from BC to San Diego and we came upon a campsite just outside of Crescent City California. We drove through, one side of the campground was relatively empty, I noticed a few scattered tents but nobody close to the location we ended up picking. We had tons of space.

We wanted an early night so I started a fire while my girlfriend started cooking. We ate, had a few beers, and climbed up to our rooftop tent (tepui) with our dog by 9pm or so. I had a rough time sleeping and woke up a few times but finally fell into a decent sleep.

In the pitch dark with all of our tent windows and canvasses closed i was awoken at 1am by someone whistling outside of our tent the tune of "when the saints come marching in". After a few minutes of this repetitive whistling I nudged my girlfriend who awoke and was obviously freaked out as well.

The whistling then turned to chanting things like "when you sleep here you disrespect me, and when you disrespect me you disrespect the US Marines!" The person would then start spelling out words like "F.L.E.E". The verbiage and tone kept getting more aggressive so we decided we had to make a move.

I slowly unzipped the tent while our guard dog was snoring and got my head out if the tent. I took a few seconds to let my eyes adjust and figure out where the person was. I felt more confident once I could somewhat see and hear so I climbed down and the girlfriend passed me the dog and she climbed down too. We flipped the tent up without securing it and we jumped into a truck (while the person was still whistling) to a motel in Crescent City.

The next morning we drove back to get the few belongings that weren't in the truck and a family who had been camping a few sites over said it went on for another 2-3 hours and it was the scariest thing their family had ever experienced.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Coyotes

Camping in a national park up north a few weeks ago. I was sleeping in a tiny cabin, two friends outside in their tent, friend's dog sleeping on the ground outside the tent. Around 2 or 3 am my friend started hearing a yipping sound. A coyote was trying to get her dog to come to it so the whole pack could jump in and eat the dog. Fortunately the dog was dumb/smart enough to stay where he was, and the friend put him in the cabin with me. Coyotes didn't like this at all, and started howling and howling all around us for several minutes. It creeped me the fuck out, but at least the dog is okay.

This happened in the Yukon, where you have to be constantly aware of wildlife trying to eat you. Also he's an 80 lb dog, but still a puppy so not sure how well he would have done.

*This is from a different person but also about Coyotes, so we decided to include it here*

Here in Canada, coyotes are famously bold (something they've only been doing in recent years for some inexplicable reason). Packs will stalk hunters through the woods, even if they're shot at. A young woman was killed by two coyotes in Nova Scotia a few years ago (the first ever known coyote attack and fatality ever, AFAIK).
Shit's going weird with the coyotes here. They've also started wandering into towns; about ten years ago here, a coyote greeted two school-age children as they got off the bus in the middle of downtown. They pet the fucking thing and went home to tell their parents about it. Someone had taken pictures, it was later confirmed as a coyote and rounded up by the city after other people reported seeing it. It tried to attack someone's yorkshire or something.
I live near a large park, and coyotes often go in there at night (nowhere to be seen during the day, not surprising since it's a dog park and full of dogs all day). My dog chased one off once from our front lawn (we live in a fairly dense suburb). Every once in a while you can hear them killing someone's cat.

Rainbow People

Happenings in my area are blamed on the so-called Rainbow People (not the Rainbow Family, they're fine). According to local legend, they're a group of vagrant hippies who started a simple living cult in the 70's-80's, went up into the woods and just never left. More colorful tellings say that years of isolation and hippy philosophizing warped their minds. The police in small mountain towns like Nederland and Ward acknowledge the existence of small groups of people who may or may not be these folks, and warn that they should be considered dangerous. Apparently they wander around breaking into remote cabins for food/supplies and taking any drug they can manage to get their hands on.

A close friend has a pretty creepy story about an encounter with a Rainbow Person. He was living in his father's house, a cabin off the grid near Nederland (no running water, plumbing, heat, electricity), where he had a room on the ground floor with a bed directly underneath a large glass sliding door that directly faced thick woods. One night, he was woken up by the sound of something tapping at the glass. He checked his watch and it was around midnight. Half asleep, he blamed it on the wind and - without looking - rolled over to go back to sleep. Later, he is woken up again - watch says it's about an hour later - to the same tapping. He realizes something -- there is no wind tonight, the trees are still. Suddenly awake, he grabs the handgun by his bed (mountain kids, amirite?), sits up, and turns to look. There, not 5 feet from him on the other side of the glass, is a frail, hairy, dirty, ghastly man with tattered clothing and bloodshot eyes, staring right at him. At the sight of the gun this guy scampers back into the woods, but apparently he had been standing there, tapping and staring, for an hour or more.

We used to go out into the woods and party during our high school years, since nobody would bother us and it was easier than staying in town. More than once, we'd be discussing the night the morning after and realize that in a group of 30-50 kids, there were 2 or 3 people who nobody knew. They showed up out of nowhere, talked with people, got high, and then seemed to vanish. Not hard to get away with when everyone is drunk and stoned out of their minds, but unsettling. Once, one of them gave my friend a necklace made of a piece of (allegedly) wolf jaw, and told her to wear it in the woods so the spirits didn't "hunt" her. She didn't realize nobody knew the person until days later.

Friday, September 2, 2016

My Uncle owns land in Zion Pandarosa Ranch in Utah, so 4 of us went to go camp there for my birthday weekend. Zion Pandarosa ranch is kind of like a camping community in the woods. There's a bunch of families there and they all know each other and it's a pretty friendly little place, everyone knows who owns what part of the land and stuff. While we were camping, this average looking hillbilly looking dude came to introduce himself to us. Told us his name was Brian and that he was staying up the road in a cabin. Nothing to weird so we welcome him and give him a couple beers and feed the dude some tacos.

A friend of ours, let's call him Tim, who owns land next to us came over to hang out. Tim knows everyone around, but has never seen this person before. This time "Brian" introduces himself to Tim as "Justin", maybe a middle name ? Mystery dude excuses himself to "feed his neighbors cat" and leaves on his ATV like a bat out of hell and comes back in 5 minutes completely drenched wet. We didn't ask any questions. In the 5 minutes that this dude was gone another neighboring family came over and asked , since we were hanging out with the guy, if we could tell him to be more careful since the family had children running around. Completely understandable.

The dude comes back and we tell him about the families concerns and that his driving could be a danger to the children. "Fuck the kids! Who the fuck are they to tell me what to do?!" Replies weirdo. That was more than we were comfortable with so we politely asked him to leave because he was drinking a lot and had a gun and we didn't know this dude. we were all already uncomfortable. He apologizes and leaves back to his cabin or whatever. Less than a minute later we hear gunshots coming from his direction. We all kinda freak out a bit. And guess who comes back to greet us?... Morgan freeman. Not really. That same freaky dude trying to apologize and we asked him about the gunshots and he replied with "so you Heard gunshots? So what?" And so girlfriend was getting really frightened by this guy and so we decided to use my uncles atv for a ride, while leaving my uncle to talk to this dude. I blocked out their convo but I definitely heard him say that he "needed to take a Hitler stance on the subject, so they wouldn't walk all over them and destroy the country."

When we got back the dude was gone and we went to sleep for the night. At 4Am I was woken up to the sound of an ATV coming very close to our camp and stopping there for a while before going back to the same direction he came from. I'm like 90% sure it was from the direction of the crazy dudes cabin. In the morning we went to the administrators office to warn about weirdo guy and no one seemed to know about this guy at all. Never saw him again for the next few days we were there.

Who'd I Punch?

Camping with 2 friends, middle of the night, all 3 of us inside square dome tent, just chilling out, chatting, lights are on. One side of wall begins to cave inward, as if there's strong wind or something/one pushing on the side of the tent. Everyone is freaking, but I assume wind, "Chill the fuck out guys!" proceeds to jump up and punch tent wall... connect with something/one - feeling of punching flesh is unmistakable. Now I freak the fuck out, what/who did I just punch through the tent wall?! Convince friends it's smartest to have a look outside the tent, but it's 15 minutes later by the time they agree, and there's nothing there.

Series of Scary Camping/Hiking Stories

Hello, Alone at Night fans. We're starting a series of scary stories that involve camping and hiking. It's the best time of the year to go camping (in North American, at least). So, we thought we would send you into the woods with a few new stories, and a few more reasons to jump at the noises in the night. Enjoy.