Friday, April 21, 2017
One little girl walked up to me and asked me why we were not arresting the "ghosts" in the haunted house. Jokingly I told her that was the Ghostbusters job but since they were all the way over in New York I would see what I could do. By now a small group had gathered around and they all had stories about the same haunted house (which was along a street adjacent to where we were). The complaints were typical, banging, voices, screams. Typically in the afternoon/evening when the kids were walking home from school or out in the area playing.
I assumed it was just one of those school yard legends that grows out of nothing, but there were enough of them who swore they heard something I decided I would check it out. The house turned out to be owned by a family in Colorado (at the time I worked in a smaller Oklahoma town). The mother had passed away many years ago, and though the family owned the house and paid taxes they did nothing with it. It was a good size two story house, but years of neglect had made it look pretty rough on the outside.
It took my front office folks a day or so to find the owners. We called them, explained we had received some noise complaints, and upon inspection had located the rear entrance was unsecured. They gave us permission to enter the residence and asked that we secure it if possible when we left.
I worked the swing shift, 8PM to 4AM normally, so I drove by that evening at around 10PM. I parked out front and approached the house and sure enough there were some muffled voices inside. I called it in, and made entry (my other two units were tied up and the noise was getting louder). I knew what I was hearing by now and had a good idea this would be a quick in and out.
Sure enough I cleared the first floor and moved up to the second, where I found a couple of high school kids on a nasty looking mattress, you can guess what they were up to. I told them to get their clothes on and meet me down stairs. Did a cursory check of the remaining rooms and went on down. Turns out the house that the grade school kids thought was haunted had become a love/party next for a group of high school kids.
The kids were of age, so I sent them on their way. I did have to ask the owners if they wanted to press charges, but I was glad they didn't. The house had been left to rot and it was in seriously bad shape. Who knows which group of kids first broke the windows and/or kicked in the back door. They demoed the house and sold the lot about a month later.
Monday, April 17, 2017
My girlfriend had heard the usual creeks and moans of an old house adjusting to the weather before but apparently not like this. She slept in a bedroom downstairs, and her parent's bedroom was upstairs.
She was awoken from her phone vibrating with a text message. She groggily saw it was from her dad and she read it. The text said to get out of the house because there were people in the house. She opened her window and snuck out. Meanwhile, her dad went into the kitchen armed and ready to find out what was going on.
So, he goes downstairs to where he thought her heard the noise and finds no one. There was no sign of entry. The doors were locked, and there was not a soul in the house besides my girlfriend's dad and his wife who was behind the locked door of the bedroom.
All three of them had heard the footsteps and whispering, but as soon as my girlfriend's dad went to investigate, the sound stopped.
They never came up with a realistic explanation.
Friday, April 14, 2017
We head out from the motel an hour or so into the bush. Middle of nowhere along deactivated logging roads. Closest town is miles and miles away.
We hike out to this one area we had found a site a few weeks previously. For some reason the whole area just felt...off. So, we get down to business and about 15 mins after being hunched over mapping, there is this WEIRD deafening "WOMP" sound. Like, I could feel pressure in my ears.
I immediately looked at my boss about 20 feet away and he is white as a ghost staring back at me. Standing, it fucking happens again "WOMP!" ear pressure and chest pressure like I was just squeezed. Chills all over my body and every hair is standing on end. My boss just looks at me and says, "let's go!". We grab all of our shit and speed hike back to the truck.
We never discussed it.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
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.
Friday, April 7, 2017
One day a fellow shows up and tells me that they were going to clean up the dump and burn some of the junk so I better move my tent. So I gathered up all of my belongings and moved a few hundred yards back into the woods. That day they started burning the garbage and I thought nothing about it until I climbed into my tent at night.
As soon as it got dark and I was falling asleep my tent became covered with hundreds of rats. I guess they had moved out of the dump because of the fire and we're just wondering around looking for food. They were everywhere climbing up my ropes and over the top of the tent. I shook as many as I could off and started a fire and stayed up all night hoping they wouldn't return.
They seemed to be gone so the next night I stayed in the same place thinking they had moved on to another dump or something but no, again as it got dark they all returned bringing some of their friends as it seemed there was more than ever now. I again shook them off the tent and got a fire going. When the morning came I packed up my tent and headed for a new place far from those rats.
As I was walking down the highway wondering if I should return to another camping spot where I had been previously, there on the highway near to that place was a dead 11 foot alligator which had crawled out from the mangroves only a few feet from where I had been camping a few weeks previously. I decided my Florida camping adventure had gone on long enough and headed back home.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Dr. James Cole, an archeologist from the University of Brighton in England, did a little digging (pun!) and discovered the amount of calories one would consume if one consumed a human body -- as, I'm sure, one does on occasion. The end result of the study showed that if you were to eat an entire human body, you would consumer 125,000 calories, which is a lot. Pro tip: cut back on your cannibalism if you're trying to get ready for swimsuit season.
The article is interesting and macabre, which we at Alone at Night believe to be a winning combination. So, head on over to the Gray Lady and give it a ready.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Here are a couple of creepy videos posted by a man named James Rankin. I'll let you read his own words describing the scene...
"This is something I stumbled across while hiking in the woods this afternoon. There's like 25 missing persons posters taped to the trees, along with some ratty old bedding, a shovel, a large tent, and a collapsed handmade wooden cage surrounding a filled-in hole. I tried to get as many of the posters in frame as I could but the video was aborted when I heard voices coming from the direction of the adjacent residence. Recorded on the afternoon of October 3rd 2016 ("Mean Girls Day") in Suffolk County, NY."
The police were called for this incident, but the owners of the property explained it all away as Halloween decorations for a party. Regardless of that being in terrible taste if true, James Rankin had some other problems with the excuse. Again, here are his own words
"On October 30th, I returned to the park to film a brief and mostly harmless update video for those who may have been wondering what's been going on since the events of earlier this month. As my narration attempts to explain, I had previously visited the woods on the preceding Tuesday by myself, and been unsuccessful at taking video, and Wednesday, when I and a couple of friends did make a video, which was dark and hard to see, not to mention kind of long. Longer even than the 12 minute runtime of this one. Recent discoveries include a stash of what appear to be (but might not be) weapons at the other fire pit, as well as some logs laid across one of the trails by persons unknown. Most of the logs had been removed by the time I returned to make this video, but can be seen in the long dark one from Wednesday that I haven't posted (yet). As you recall from earlier in the month, the missing persons posters had been explained away as being "decorations for a Halloween party" which was said to have either taken place back in August, or was set to be held at the end of October. Based on casual observations on the Friday and Saturday night of "Halloween weekend," no parties were seen to have been held at the location. However, people identifying themselves as party guests have said on facebook that a small gathering with pizza and beer took place at some point this past weekend. I am not here to judge, or to declare conclusively what happened. I'm just being the eyes and ears of the greater population. Sift through the evidence and decide for yourself. If for some reason you guys really want to see the longer, dimly lit video from Wednesday that I shot when I had some friends with me, let me know in the comments. "
One night, he's making his rounds and this house-size prisoner (henceforth referred to as "House") tells him to check on another prisoner because it sounds like he's choking.
He goes to check on the cell and there's no one in it. He goes down and tells House that it's empty, everyone else seems ok, and he must be hearing things.
This goes on night after night and my relative is thinking House is just fucking with him. So, he tells House to shut up and go to sleep. House says he can't sleep.
One night, House is freaking out. My relative goes over and House has terror in his eyes. That's when my relative hears the choking noise. Then a couple other inmates start asking "what the fuck was that?"
House looks like he hasn't slept in a month and despite being at least 350 pounds of meat and potatoes, this guy looks like a scared kindergartener. My relative said he heard the noise for a solid 5 minutes, clear as day. He went around, but just couldn't hear where it was coming from because "it was like it was coming from everywhere."
When my relative reproduced the choking noise, it sounded like one of the zombies from The Walking Dead.
He said they never found a physical source for the noise, but after talking to other guards, he discovered that an inmate had been strangled to death in the empty cell years earlier: Apparently, while being strangled, someone stabbed the inmate in the throat below the rope and he was gurgle-choking-drowning through the throat stab wound. So, they beat him to death instead.
As we interviewed them, we heard it once, they screamed and burst into tears. Their RA, bless his heart, tried to help by offering the advice that at least the ghost wasn't threatening or malicious and probably meant us no harm. We asked him to leave rather than feed into the whole hysteria.
Took us a while to pin down where it was coming from but to make a log story short, someone took one of those novelty motion activated prank things and stuck it to the inside of one of the bed frames. When we were done, we asked the girls if they minded if we disposed of the thing, to which they enthusiastically agreed, and we promptly hid it in our dispatchers locker and watched the cycle continue.
I took a few criminology courses in college. One of my professors was a retired local cop. He told us about an older woman who would call weekly because aliens were jumping around on her roof. They would send out an officer. The officer who went usually just stood outside in her front yard waving his baton and yelling at the aliens to go away until the old lady was happy.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
-- Alone at Night
About two years ago, not long after I had begun working there, there was a flood. The slaughter house was by a creek, so the place got swamped occasionally.
I was part of a small group checking to make sure that we had gotten all the animals to safety. We had most of them, but we noticed that we were missing a pregnant sow.
We still don't know exactly how she got out since the gate had a locked and chained, and there was no other way for a pig to get out. The place was filled with water so we really couldn't search for her that well.
A week passed, and the water had finally receded enough for us to go back into the barn, and properly search for her. We found her dead, lying on her side in the two inches of water still in the barn.
She was covered in flies, mud, maggots, and generally rotting and decaying. But the worst part was that somehow, we think, we hope, some coyotes came in and ripped her open. She was cut from her chin to her tail. However, the fact that there were several dead pig fetuses strewn around, and a general lack of bit marks, still makes me worry otherwise.
Friday, February 17, 2017
One we got a call to clean up some chemicals from a mental hospital in orange county ca, near diamond bar. the hospital has shutdown but they still use parts of it for helping the blind, which is still pretty freaky pulling up to the place and seeing people walk in a single file line holding each others shoulders because they couldn't see the outside world.
The director of the place wanted to take us to the morgue, which hasn't operated in 40 or so years, to pick up some formaldehyde and some hydrochloric acid that needed to be taken out. Now this morgue was straight up out of a horror movie; dark, stainless steel table in the middle of the room with drains for blood, and a big metal wall with doors and individual racks for bodies.
We start packing the materials and the director starts looking in the drawers for more waste, when he opens one drawer and inside were bloody latex gloves and a bone-saw that was all bloody. He quickly shut the drawer and said to us to hurry up and move on.
I would like to know the story behind that scene... Or maybe not.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Her teacher was a nice lady, though a bit timid and quiet. The first odd thing was that rather than use the perfectly good kitchen table for the tutoring, they used a room in the basement. The gloomy room was full of taxidermied animals; the tutor's husband was a champion big game hunter (crossbow).
She was a bit creeped out by it, but she ended up taking grammar lessons there for about a half a year.
Every few months, the tutor would go on 1-2 week vacations by herself. Then, during one of the vacations, my teacher's mom picked up the paper and saw that the tutor's husband had been arrested for 15 counts of murder. He had preyed on young homeless or run-away women, locking them in the very room my teacher took her tutoring lessons in for several days without food, then taking them in his plane, releasing them, then hunting them down with his crossbow. more info
She pulls in the friend's driveway and an old man in the pick up truck pulls in behind her, blocking her in. She locks all the doors and refuses to get out of the car. He comes up to the window (it was cracked about an inch) and mumbles something about them having similar license plates. At this point, she's really freaked out and has her phone in her lap calling the guy who's driveway she's parked in.
The old man lifts his hands and he has a rope in them. He asks her if she knows of a good place to walk his dog. She looks back toward his truck - there's no dog. At this point, her friend answers the phone and she tells him to get his ass outside. The friend opens his front door with a baseball bat in hands and immediately the old man starts to retreat. The guy chases him back into his car and partially tears the sideview mirror off the old truck.
Friday, February 10, 2017
The hike initially began without a hitch; it was really, really hot so getting deep into the canyons was a welcome respite from the heat. This particular season had been extremely dry. Normally, when you're trekking through this system of canyons you can expect to go through sections that have water. Some of these flooded section of canyons are so prevalent that they are named features, like the 'Cesspool'. When we went through, it was bone dry. We didn't even need to get our water shoes out.
Now, what you need to know about slot canyons is that they are extremely prone to flash flooding, and thus can be extremely dangerous. Storms well over 50 miles away can send water cascading down these narrow, 2-foot-wide-in-places canyons in giant walls over 100 feet high. Not a lot of wiggle room for torrents of water, or for a hiker trying to feebly run away from the wall of death behind them. A morbid reminder is the presence of these giant logs wedged between the canyon walls, dozens of feet above you, indicating the height to which flood levels rise. This also means you can't set up camp just anywhere. It is vital you find a sand bar elevated above the floor of the canyon in the sparse sections where the canyon widens out, just in case you're unlucky and a transient flood just so happens to pass through. You can tell it to be safe by the presence of vegetation growing on the tops, unable to be washed away by floods. But as I said, it had been really dry up to that point, so we weren't really worried about that.
When we stopped for lunch about halfway through the trek, I looked up and noticed little cute cumulus clouds floating by. Fuck. The deserts are known for their random thunderstorms. As we continued walking, the sky began becoming less and less blue percentage wise, instead filling up with more and more grey. As it became overcast, there was a true sense of despair rising up within me. Total helplessness. In this sort of situation you have no control; there is nowhere to go, nowhere to run. I felt this vividly sad sense of acceptance, like as if a judge had sentenced me to death to be carried out that day, with no chance to tie up any loose ends in my life. This whole time my friends were oblivious to the dangers, and were joking, which made me feel worse due to the extreme juxtaposition of the situation, but I didn't really want to ruin their fun. And then it started drizzling. You know when people jokingly say they were so scared they shit their pants? As soon as I felt the drops on my cheeks, my bowels were seriously coming loose. That feeling of first-date nervousness x1000. I actually had to stop walking to regain composure and control of the muscles responsible for that function. At this point I pointed it out to my friends and the march down the canyon became a lot more serious. The drizzle continued for 20 minutes and this whole time I was listening intently to either ends of the canyon for the inevitable roar signaling our doom, fervently looking for little, green islands of safety. Thankfully, the drizzle abated, and the task at hand was to find a place to rest our poor bodies.
But finally, after a physically exhausting trek of 22 miles in the sand, made mentally exhausting by failed pack winching up rock falls (resulting in major loss of water), and most of all the surreal drizzle scare, we finally reached a section of land that could accommodate all of us (about 10ish). Too happy to put the trials of the day behind us, we wasted no time in getting dinner prepared and getting ready to turn in for the night. Little did we know. This was the start of the most bone-chilling experience I have ever had. To this day just the memory of it evokes a goosebump reaction similar to that which you get in horror movies.
As we lay in our tents one of my friends told us all to shutup and listen to something he heard coming from one end of the canyon. He said that it sounded like a rape whistle. Sure enough, there was some shrill noise faintly coming from where we had just trekked. We kind of wonder what the noise could be, and we thought maybe someone needed help. Maybe they broke an ankle or were cornered by an animal. I jokingly threw out the possibility that maybe it was the ghosts of the native americans angry at us for disturbing some sacred ground of theirs, and the sounds were of them tracking us through the canyon. Then a friend suggested maybe due to the shrill nature of the noise it was a banshee stalking us. As we were discussing the possibilities I heard something coming from the other end of the canyon. I pointed it out to the other guys and as we fell silent I could immediately tell it wasn't an echo due to the noise being in a completely different register, yet still very shrill. However, it was still rather faint. But then a third noise popped up, and a fourth! And all the while the noises were getting louder, and louder, and louder, and louder. As it got louder, it became far more human like, but extremely angry. We were all scared shitless at this point, completely seriously referring to these noises as banshees. These sounds got so loud that eventually we couldn't hear ourselves talk, and the sound penetrated through our skulls into our thoughts. An endless barrage of extremely high pitched screaming, yet with it all seemingly completely in harmony and slowly undulating, like the breath of the ocean. It took up all sensation and all feeling. The moonlit night flooded this canyon with light, revealing the patterns created by dark streaks on the sandstone walls. After a while the fear subsided, and the noise, with its extremely pervasive quality, along with the scenery, completely freed me from my mind's stream of conscious thought that was the source of all worry.
It was hauntingly beautiful the way I remember it and this otherwordly sound we experienced in nature is what brings back the chills everytime I think of it. As weird as it sounds I am so thankful to have had experienced them. I will remember them as long as I live. If anyone is able to find sources of this sound I will be forever grateful. My friend recorded it but lost his phone a couple months after the trip, and everyone I have asked since can't identify what may have caused this sound. I want to hear them again and relive that experience.
Thursday, February 2, 2017
- Here are some interesting tales from "Searchandrescuewoods" we recommend reading the stuff below and then following the link at the end to see more from SearchAndRescurWoods.
I have a pretty good track record for finding missing people. Most of the time they just wander off the path, or slip down a small cliff, and they can't find their way back. The majority of them have heard the old 'stay where you are' thing, and they don't wander far. But I've had two cases where that didn't happen. Both bother me a lot, and I use them as motivation to search even harder on the missing persons cases I get called on. The first was a little boy who was out berry-picking with his parents. He and his sister were together, and both of them went missing around the same time. Their parents lost sight of them for a few seconds, and in that time both the kids apparently wandered off. When their parents couldn't find them, they called us, and we came out to search the area. We found the daughter pretty quickly, and when we asked where her brother was, she told us that he'd been taken away by 'the bear man.' She said he gave her berries and told her to stay quiet, that he wanted to play with her brother for a while. The last she saw of her brother, he was riding on the shoulders of 'the bear man' and seemed calm. Of course, our first thought was abduction, but we never found a trace of another human being in that area. The little girl was also insistent that he wasn't a normal man, but that he was tall and covered in hair, 'like a bear', and that he had a 'weird face.' We searched that area for weeks, it was one of the longest calls I've ever been on, but we never found a single trace of that kid. The other was a young woman who was out hiking with her mom and grandpa. According to the mother, her daughter had climbed up a tree to get a better view of the forest, and she'd never come back down. They waited at the base of the tree for hours, calling her name, before they called for help. Again, we searched everywhere, and we never found a trace of her. I have no idea where she could possibly have gone, because neither her mother or grandpa saw her come down.
- A few times, I've been out on my own searching with a canine, and they've tried to lead me straight up cliffs. Not hills, not even rock faces. Straight, sheer cliffs with no possible handholds. It's always baffling, and in those cases we usually find the person on the other side of the cliff, or miles away from where the canine has led us. I'm sure there's an explanation, but it's sort of strange.
- One particularly sad case involved the recovery of a body. A nine-year-old girl fell down an embankment and got impaled on a dead tree at the base. It was a complete freak accident, but I'll never forget the sound her mother made when we told her what had happened. She saw the body bag being loaded into the ambulance, and she let out the most haunting, heart-broken wail I've ever heard. It was like her whole life was crashing down around her, and a part of her had died with her daughter. I heard from another SAR officer that she killed herself a few weeks after it happened. She couldn't live with the loss of her daughter.
- I was teamed up with another SAR officer because we'd received reports of bears in the area. We were looking for a guy who hadn't come home from a climbing trip when he was supposed to, and we ended up having to do some serious climbing to get to where we figured he'd be. We found him trapped in a small crevasse with a broken leg. It was not pleasant. He'd been there for almost two days, and his leg was very obviously infected. We were able to get him into a chopper, and I heard from one of the EMTs that the guy was absolutely inconsolable. He kept talking about how he'd been doing fine, and when he'd gotten to the top, a man had been there. He said the guy had no climbing equipment, and he was wearing a parka and ski pants. He walked up to the guy, and when the guy turned around, he said he had no face. It was just blank. He freaked out, and ended up trying to get off the mountain too fast, which is why he'd fallen. He said he could hear the guy all night, climbing down the mountain and letting out these horrible muffled screams. That story bothered the hell out of me. I'm glad I wasn't there to hear it.
- One of the scariest things I've ever had happen to me involved the search for a young woman who'd gotten separated from her hiking group. We were out until late at night, because the dogs had picked up her scent. When we found her, she was curled up under a large rotted log. She was missing her shoes and pack, and she was clearly in shock. She didn't have any injuries, and we were able to get her to walk with us back to base ops. Along the way, she kept looking behind us and asking us why 'that big man with black eyes' was following us. We couldn't see anyone, so we just wrote it off as some weird symptom of shock. But the closer we got to base, the more agitated this woman got. She kept asking me to tell him to stop 'making faces' at her. At one point she stopped and turned around and started yelling into the forest, saying that she wanted him to leave her alone. She wasn't going to go with him, she said, and she wouldn't give us to him. We finally got her to keep moving, but we started hearing these weird noises coming from all around us. It was almost like coughing, but more rhythmic and deeper. It was almost insect-like, I don't really know how else to describe it. When we were within site of base ops, the woman turns to me, and her eyes are about as wide as I can imagine a human could open them. She touches my shoulder and says 'He says to tell you to speed up. He doesn't like looking at the scar on your neck.' I have a very small scar on the base of my neck, but it's mostly hidden under my collar, and I have no idea how this woman saw it. Right after she says it, I hear that weird coughing right in my ear, and I just about jumped out of my skin. I hustled her to ops, trying not to show how freaked out I was, but I have to say I was really happy when we left the area that night.
- This is the last one I'll tell, and it's probably the weirdest
story I have. Now, I don't know if this is true in every SAR unit, but
in mine, it's sort of an unspoken, regular thing we run into. You can
try asking about it with other SAR officers, but even if they know what
you're talking about, they probably won't say anything about it. We've
been told not to talk about it by our superiors, and at this point we've
all gotten so used to it that it doesn't even seem weird anymore.
On just about every case where we're really far into the wilderness, I'm
talking 30 or 40 miles, at some point we'll find a staircase in the
middle of the woods. It's almost like if you took the stairs in your
house, cut them out, and put them in the forest. I asked about it the
first time I saw some, and the other officer just told me not to worry
about it, that it was normal. Everyone I asked said the same thing. I
wanted to go check them out, but I was told, very emphatically, that I
should never go near any of them. I just sort of ignore them now when I
run into them because it happens so frequently.
Read more http://searchandrescuewoods.tumblr.com/post/135815264734/master-list-of-stories
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
The Spooklight, also called the Hornet Spooklight, Hollis Light and Joplin Spook Light, is light that appears in a small area known locally as the "Devil's Promenade" on the border between southwestern Missouri and northeastern Oklahoma west of the small town of Hornet, Missouri.
Even though it is named after a small, unincorporated community in Missouri from which it is most commonly reached, the light is most commonly described as being visible from inside the Oklahoma border looking to the west. The Spooklight is commonly described as a single ball of light or a tight grouping of lights that is said to appear in the area regularly, usually at night. Although the description of the light is similar to that of other visual phenomena witnessed throughout the world, the term "Spooklight" when standing alone generally refers to this specific case. Numerous legends exist that attempt to describe the origin of the Spooklight, one of which involves the ghosts of two young Native American lovers looking for each other. In 2014, a professor from the University of Central Oklahoma conducted an experiment and explained the Spooklight as car headlights from the junction of Highway 137 and E 50 Road outside of Quapaw,
Friday, January 20, 2017
Cracked has a lot of great articles about all sorts of scary shit. We at Alone at Night personally recommend the article "6 Archeological Discoveries Scarier Than Any Horror Movie" but that's just one of so many options to choose from.
There is an article currently on the front page about true stories that put horror movies to shame. Go read it now. Then come back and tell us your thoughts.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
You can also help Alone at Night grow by sharing your scary story with us (email it to AloneAtNightBlog@gmail.com or by commenting on a post.
Finally, don't forget that I have a book out, and you can support me by purchasing either the e-book of paperback copy. The book is Terrifying Tales: 13 Scary Short Stories for Children and can be found on Amazon.
Alone at Night
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Seeing as I had friends that were out drunk, I didn't think twice. I called out, "Hold on!" because I was in the back room furthest from the door. When I got there, I opened the door and there was no one there. The silence was haunting. I've never encountered a silence like that before in my entire life. My stomach literally turned to ice water.
I immediately shut the door and locked it up. I stayed in the living room (where the front door was) so I could make sure no one knocked again. Somewhere between 2 and 3 I dozed off, but I was startled awake by muffled voices. I remember this really low voice that seemed right beside my ear. I jolted awake and I realized no one was in my apartment -- they were standing right outside.
I looked over to a large sliding glass door we have (that leads out into the back quarters of the complex) and there were two figures that were shadowed in the porch light. It was incredibly frightening. I knew they weren't my roommates because the voices were so different.
Needless to say, I freaked and called security and they came and found no one but they did find that my door frame had been worn down because whoever it was really wanted inside.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
He was also hyper-competitive.
We were playing ping-pong on the lake house porch and I let him beat me a couple times. He got cocky and started bragging, telling me I sucked, etc. I got really angry and didn't let him score a point for about 4 straight games, insulting him the entire time. I really lost my cool, really laid into him. He responded in kind, and then started threatening me. I told him to bring it on. He ran at me. I was a lot bigger than him so I just pushed him over backwards, hard, and laughed in his face. His mom rushed out to break it up, and took me down to the lake house basement. I was at the bottom of the staircase and she was about two steps up, interrogating me and trying to figure out what had happened.
And I'll never forget how time completely stopped and how cinematic it was, seeing first the long, thin barrel of a rifle, and then the rest of the gun, and then the kid, and then the look in the kid's eyes as he slowly descended down the stairs behind his mom
Turning, the mom saw this, screamed, snatched the gun out of the kid's hands and called for the kid's father. He came and took the gun away. They sent the kid to his room.
And then... it was like nothing had even happened. The kid stayed in his room. I stayed in the basement. A couple hours later, the kid came down and apologized, and we just kept right on with the weekend.
Thinking about it now, I completely de-realized and dissociated the event while it was happening. I completely denied its plausibility. And everyone else did too. The kid literally tried to shoot me with a hunting rifle and no one said a fucking thing. I haven't even thought about it 5 times since it happened, over 15 years ago.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Monday, January 2, 2017
For this trip, I had planned a fairly strenuous 18 mile round trip from where I had parked my jeep going NW to Aden Crater. I had spent enormous amounts of my time while in college driving around out here and I had mapped out where all the old jeep trails and cattle trails and cattle tanks and wells were located. (I was a biology/ecology field worker as a student and I had extensive experience with GPS mapping and orienteering.) So, I had a number of waypoints along the way where I knew I could filter water.
I don’t remember exactly what time of year this was but I don’t think it was very hot out but it was the usually bright and clear blue skies. I made my way out and it is fairly rough volcanic terrain. I made it about ¾ of the way to Aden Crater and I was stopped to take a short break -I needed to go over a barbed wire fence so I had my pack off. So, I was just standing there, letting the sweat cool on my back where my backpack covered and I was looking around. Again, there was absolutely no reason to freak out but I did.
As a solo backpacker, I have had this experience many times before and it usually passes quickly- that feeling of being in the middle of nowhere and just getting freaked out. The area has deer and tons of coyotes (the 4 legged kind) and rabbits and lizards but no predators that would have given me that sense of being watched. While this was within 20 miles of the border, back then I had never seen any illegals or druggies or even many border patrol agents. The main roads were fairly well traveled and many people would go out there but I have never actually seen another person while I was hiking away from the roads. I was in the middle of the lava fields and there were not even any cattle trails within a square kilometer.
So, I stood and was quiet and tried to figure out what was wrong. I heard the usual train going by on the tracks a couple of miles north. I could hear the vague sounds of a helicopter down south near the border. But there wasn’t anything else. I looked toward Aden Crater and it was probably less than 2 miles away. What to do? Press on and hope the feeling would go away? I looked back the way I came and I could see the Gardner Cones. That was my safe place- I had spent many, many nights there before. After a few minutes I said the heck with it and shrugged into my pack. I took a quick bearing on the Cones, even though they were prominent enough to clearly see my way, but it always made me feel better to concentrate on my compass work. So, I headed back. I thought I was nuts to turn around and go back and do more miles than I planned on that day but I felt very comforted to be heading back to “my” place.
It was a long slog back there. I had passed the cones within a couple of hundred meters on the first time out and now I was tired and leaning hard on my trekking poles as I went up the side of the cones and into the middle area. I was tired but I felt good. It was a very sheltered area and I always felt safe in between the 3 cones. I made camp and had my dinner and settled down for the night. I did my customary sitting on top of the one cone to watch the sunset and then went and settled into my sleeping bag. I had picked up the custom of listening to my shortwave radio at night when I camped (from reading the book Bravo Two Zero) and I probably read a paperback book for a bit as well before falling asleep.
Back then I wasn’t too terrible concerned about my safety when camping. I had my Glock 23 that I carried in my pack and I set that out next to my sleeping bag. I had the general rule to always camp away from major terrain features- roads, hills, water tanks, etc… but the cones were my exception because it was my area where I had first camped alone and I had been coming here for years at this point. I was in my trusty Kelty Vortex 2 and I feel asleep. The only problem that night was the sound of the helicopter getting progressively closer and I thought that it was going to keep me up that night.
After sleeping for an undetermined amount of time I was woken up suddenly. I am always a light sleeper while camping and now I was awake and wondering what woke me up. I grabbed the Glock and I was laying there in my sleeping bag, tucked into a fetal position when the night turned bright white and there was an overwhelming amount of noise. Dirt was flying around in the tent, the fly and the inner tent were violently shaking, and the noise and hurricane like winds were buffeting me. I had my eyes clenched shut against the flying dirt and debris and a death grip on the gun and I thought “you have got to be kidding me!!”
The sound of the US Customs Blackhawk and the blinding light of the Nightsun searchlight became even worse as I wondered how far down on top of me the helo would come. I didn’t think that they could land in the area in between the cones but they got damn close. I froze and thought that if I moved with the gun in my hand I would be dead. I don’t know if they said anything over the speakers because the sound and downdraft were overpowering. Then it stopped as they gained altitude and left.
I looked at my watch and it was something like 2 or 3 AM. I was wide awake and shaking and in disbelief. I thought “to hell with this!” and started breaking camp as quickly as I could. I set my compass bearing by my GPS and started bushwhacking in the darkness, afraid to put on my headlamp. I managed to do my best ever night compass navigation and managed to hit my Jeep right on without an offset and started the long drive home. I still have the tent and the poles have a bend in them from the force of the Blackhawk’s downdraft. At least I can say that the Kelty can stand up to near hurricane winds! And I was never bored camping.