All of these stories take place in the same general area.
The first incident I can clearly remember happened when I was four or five. After speaking to others in the area, I learned that the events I experienced were far from the only things to have ever happened in that area; but I digress.
It was a typical summer night and I was settling down to watch SNICK. My dad was doing some work outside and my mom was in the kitchen cleaning up from the dinner we'd all just finished eating when my dad came in pale as a sheet. My mom asked him what was wrong and he replied, "I heard something outside. Get me my gun."
My mother, of course, complied.
With the gun securely in hand, my dad went back outside and my mother, brother, and I watched him from the doorway. Then we heard it, too. It sounded like a woman screaming or something. I know that a lot of animals sound that way, but I've lived in the country my whole life and never heard that sound before. The closest I've come is some videos of big cats, but that raises the question of what a big cat would be doing in the middle of Indiana.
My dad paused for a second when he heard it again but, not wanting to look like a pussy in front of his wife and kids, he proceeded to the section of the field next to our house where the sound seemed to be originating from, his pistol held ready. Now, it's important to note that when this happened there was no house in the field next to ours. It was pure country darkness at the time.
My dad vanished into the gloom where the sound seemed to be originating from and, for a few breathless seconds, we heard nothing. Then my dad screamed, "OH FUCK!" and we heard the sound of gunfire. At this point my mom shoved my brother and I into the house and closed the door on us. I heard my dad yell, "Are the kids in the house?" The panic in his voice was evident.
Once my mom assured him that we were safe, they both came back inside, drew the blinds, locked the doors, and refused to speak about it. Later that night I was eavesdropping on my parents through the vent in my room and heard my dad say," I don't know what that was, but I never want to see it again. If the kids ask, tell them it was just someoneplaying a trick on us."
I never asked when I was younger, but once I was older I asked him about it on a few occasions. He always refuses to talk about it. After that night, he began drinking heavily (He's thankfully given it up now).
Some strange things happened after that, though nothing as major as that noise was. In retrospect, they all seemed to be building up into some sort of crescendo.
My mother walked into the kitchen one night and saw an Indian (feather) lady standing at our back window, crying. She was alone in the house with us at that time. I did some asking around and apparently the land we lived on was used as a trading ground of some sort before the settlers came. I don't know any more than that, or even if it's true.
One winter, my mother saw someone looking at her through our bathroom window. It's important to note that our bathroom window was a good nine feet off the ground. She got my dad to look outside. Despite the heavy snowfall, there were no footprints leading away from or to the house. But there WERE a set of footprints in a circle right outside the bathroom window, again, with no footprints leading to or away from them.
During this time, my dad's drinking was increasing exponentially. This seems to be common in those who had experienced things in the woods, as it happened to a friend's father as well.
We would often hear heavy metal coming from inside the walls. This happened up until we moved out fifteen years later. No one who lived near us listened to heavy metal.
My brother, two years my junior, began talking about how he would see our dead great-grandfather in our house all the time. I wouldn't give any credence to his, due to his age, except for the fact that he apparently described the suit our great-grandfather was buried in in detail. He wasn't at the wake or the funeral.
My father's drinking culminated in abuse to my mother and they got divorced when I was ten or eleven. That's the last you'll hear of my family problems, though I do feel what I've shared is relevant to the story. My father was the nicest guy in the world before that night. I have to wonder what it was he saw that brought him to that point.
After the divorce, my mother bought my brother a dog. It was the sweetest dog in the world. We kept him chained up outside. Every now and then he would break loose, but he would never be gone for more than an hour or two.
One day he broke free and never came back. My brother was, understandably, heartbroken. My mother promised him a new dog if that one didn't come back within a week.
A week to the day after we found out what happened to the dog. Well, sort of.
My brother's screams woke me up that morning. My mother and I walked outside to see what was wrong. Well, it was pretty obvious what was wrong: the skin from the top of the dog's head was laying on our back porch. Just the skin, just from the top of its head. It looked as if someone had ripped it off; the cut wasn't clean at all.
We never did find the body. We buried the skin in the backyard.
Once I entered middle school, I made a friend in the grade above me. He lived about a half-mile down the road, so that was very convenient for me. One night, I was over at his house and he began telling me stories that his brother had told him. Stories about a beast with red eyes that lived in the woods and would get you if you weren't careful.
He told me he'd seen it a few times. Once watching him from the top of a mulberry tree that grew across the road from his house. Once while walking back from another friend of his' house, watching him from the treeline across a cornfield. Again at the same friend's house, on the roof of the garage. The fourth time he saw it, he said, was right outside of a screen door at his grandfather's house. he said it was crouched down on all fours, like some kind of animal. The other times had been too far away for him to make out its shape; apparently it was humanoid, but comprised entirely of darkness and shadow, except for the burning red eyes.
I, of course, didn't believe him. But I still looked over my shoulder the entire way home.
When I got home, I was greeted by my brother's sobbing. I told him to calm down and tell me what happened. He told me that he and a friend of his were walking back from another friend's house. It should be noted that this is the same house my friend claimed to see the beast on top of the garage. My brother said they'd gone down the trail we took through the woods on a daily basis on their way home, but it sounded like someone was following them and keeping pace. He turned around and saw two glowing red eyes set close to the ground. They then rose up to a height of over nine feet and started coming toward them.
My brother ran all the way home, presumably being chased.
It should be noted that he ran all that way in the dark.
My experience with the beast was to come later.
After hearing about my brother's experience, I had my friend tell me everything he knew about the thing in the woods. He told me the story of his father, who had also seen it. I believe it drove his father crazy, and I also believe that my own father saw it as well, given the parallels between the two stories. The only difference was that my father and mother divorced and my father moved away. His father ended up getting shot by his mother due to the abuse his drinking brought about.
Being young (15-16) and fearless at this time, I naturally thought it would be a good idea to fuck with the thing - whatever it was - to see what it was made of.
This proved to be a mistake.
I went into the woods with a dagger, which I thought would protect me; I don't know what I was thinking. I sat in a clearing until it was dark, when I started to taunt the thing. You know, general stuff a teenager would say, like "You're a fucking pussy and I don't believe in you," and, "Looks like everyone is afraid of nothing because the only ghost here is a gigantic fag." I know, I was cool, you guys haven't got to tell me.
The only problem for me was that what I was doing worked. The woods went quiet. Quieter than I'd ever heard them. Then, in the distance, I heard the "snap...snap...snap" of something heavy taking slow, methodical steps toward me, breaking branches under its feet. "Snap...snap...snap." I was still brave. I stood my ground.
When the sound got to about thirty feet away from me, I heard a tree crash into the ground, followed by the same "snap...snap...snap." I started to get nervous at this point. If it could push a tree over, it could seriously fuck me up. The walking started to get faster. "snapsnapsnapsnapsnap." A sense of dread came over me at that point, which I experienced later with my face-to-face encounter.
I pissed myself, dropped the dagger, and ran home.
Did I mention I was home alone that night?
I got inside, slammed the door behind me, locked it, deadbolted it, got a clean change of clothes, and hopped in the shower. While I was showering, the noises started. It was like something with large claws was scratching the side of the house. Sometimes it would hit the house hard enough to shake pictures off of the walls.
I put on my headphones and huddled in my room until my mom got home, which is when the noises stopped. I didn't tell her anything.
The next morning, I looked outside and there were no scratches on the side of the house, nor were there the dents you'd expect from something hittting it that hard.
I walked out to the clearing I was in and found my dagger lying on top of a tree stump, bent at a perfect ninety degree angle. I took it, but it has since been lost to me.
I never went into the woods at night again.
Things were as calm as they ever were after that, though the heavy metal coming from our walls was as loud as ever. By this point I had begun listening to metal, so it didn't bother me as much as it did the rest of the family.
But I digress; I want to get to the meat of this section right away.
We were at my grandfather's house the Christmas Eve after my experience in the woods. We left and were driving through a wooded section when my mom caught something in the headlights.
Time seemed to slow down when I saw it. It was walking across the road, from one wooded area to the next. The whole encounter couldn't have lasted more than fifteen seconds, but it seemed more like fifteen minutes. It stood around nine-feet tall. Its body was humanoid in shape, but it was made up entirely of darkness. Tendrils of darkness drifted off of its body when the headlights struck it. I'm unsure if that was caused by the headlights or if it was simply some strange aspect of the beast. Its arms noticably moved, though in a manner that is hard for me to demonstrate adequately. Its entire range of motion seemed alien and unnatural to me.
I was filled with dread. It turned and looked at me, its eyes two glowing coals floating in the physical darkness that was its body. The head turned, but not in the way yours or mine would. It was more as if the eyes shifted...it's very hard to describe. I made eye contact with it for what seemed like eternity. Then it looked forward and walked back into the woods on the other side of the road. Time sped back up and the sense of dread left me.
We all looked at each other with a, "did you just see that?" look on our faces. We didn't speak a word about it until we got home.
These days, when I bring it up to my mom, she says it was a raccoon. But the look in her eyes lets me know she remembers; that's all I want, to know I'm not crazy.
I haven't seen it since.
We moved a year after that. I went to college, but kept in touch with my friend who lived in the area.
He became obsessed with the thing in the woods during that period. He would often go out into the woods at night with nothing but a tape recorder and some candles. I don't know if he ever picked anything up on the tape recorder, and to be honest, I wouldn't want to hear it if he did.
The last words he said to me were, "I went out into the woods and promised it my soul if it would give me [name of the girl he loved]."
He got her, but she destroyed him.
He's now a broken down junkie who lives day-by-day eating from trash cans and stealing for a hit of whatever drugs he can get his hands on. He was the smartest person I knew.
I've since moved back to an area that's a ten-minute drive away from where these events occurred. I'm interested in going back sometime, but not without backup.
(This story is credited to a person called Macho Man Randy Savage.)