The following is a story that happened to me about two years ago. I couldn’t explain it then and I can’t explain it now.]
I live in Oregon City, Oregon. It’s a short drive south of Portland. I live on the outskirts of where it sits somewhere between suburban and rural housing. I have neighbors, but they’re not exactly “next door”. I was 19 at the time of this story.
I used to have a problem with sleep. I don’t know what it was, but I’d get mentally crippling anxiety and I’d go for a walk to calm my mind. I live on a single lane road that follows a stream through the woods so, needless to say, the scenery mixed with the quiet trickle was always quite calming. It was summertime and I remember it to be a particularly rough night for me. I remember telling my dad that I was going for a walk as I hurriedly slipped on my shoes and hustled out. I still remember the look on his face as I tried to escape in the midst of my own mental panic.
He looked worried about me. My late night walks had gained frequency at the time and I knew it was starting to concern him. Nevertheless, I shut the door behind me and proceeded into the dark. I remember it being clear skies but I don’t remember stars. The moon must have been full as well because I could see the road without light but I don’t remember seeing the moon itself that night either. I remember I just started walking.
Talking to myself about everything that had my anxiety spiked. I’m sure I looked insane, rambling to myself, but sometimes it helped me process the issues by just talking it out. From my home to the main road is about a mile. I was about 2/3 of the way to the main road when I heard something rustle in the bushes to my right. This wasn’t uncommon.
I’d jumped deer, raccoons, a bobcat, and even a few coyotes on my walks, but I still liked to know what was around. I pulled out my phone and flicked on the light.
For context, there’s a hill to my right that goes up. This is where I heard the noise. To my left is a 10 foot drop into the creek. I shined my light into the bushes to see what I was dealing with. Usually these things either freeze or scamper off in my experience which helps me know what it is. Nothing.
There was nothing there. I don’t know what set me off but my hair started to stick up. I felt scared. I tensed and I realized that the creek should be audible as the water ran over the rocks but I couldn’t hear it like I normally could.
Something clearly was wrong. I heard a branch snap in the bushes again. I moved my light back and just saw lights looking back. Two small red lights, like eyes. I moved my light to see if it was a reflection off something. It wasn’t. Instead it started to get closer. I ran. I fucking RAN.
I ran in near silence. I don’t know if I screamed. I know it didn’t matter. I couldn’t hear my own shoes hitting the road. I couldn’t hear my own breathing or my heartbeat pounding in my ears as I ran faster than I ever had. All I heard was what sounded like an animal with human bare feet chasing me.
I don’t know what primal survival instinct kicked in but something told me I needed to find light. Not the light on my phone that could be squashed but something bigger. The first place I went for was home. There’s a large barn light out front of my family’s house. It’s bright and covers the whole driveway.
I ran like hell was on my heels because for all I knew, it was. I just remember hearing it getting closer as I ran. It was running me down but I feel like it was toying with me.
Its footstep pattern didn’t sound like an all out sprint. More like a light gallop. It wasn’t until I rounded the last corner and the light became visible that it all of a sudden picked up pace and started to close the distance. I ran full sprint to the light pole as it gained. I heard it’s furious steps come to an abrupt stop, but I didn’t turn back.
I tackled the tar covered wooden light post as best as any 19 year old kid can. I stayed there clutching that disgusting, sticky post, waiting for the end. Waiting for this thing to tear me apart.
It never did. I sat there for an hour in the silence until my phone rang. I had three messages and two prior calls. All from my dad asking where I was. I lied and said I fell asleep in a field up the road. I realized I could hear the world again and assumed that meant it had left.
I ran inside the house and locked the doors. To this day, I don’t walk alone on my road. Day or night. I know what you’re probably thinking, “it was probably just your mind playing tricks” or “it was probably just an animal”. I’ve seen animals. I know what animals are near my home. This was nothing that has ever lived here.
This story made me think back to some of the other things I’d seen and experienced out here. Things I couldn’t explain. A fully grown deer, burned from the inside out for instance.
The only way you’d have known is from the single area in the ribs that had burnt through the perfectly preserved flesh and bone. Moments where I’d find myself seeming to slip through time. My alarm would go off at 6AM and I’d wait outside for my ride for three hours just to come back in and see it was only just turned to 5AM. Shadow Figures by the side of the road. A couple unexplained deaths. The list goes on.
I’m telling you, something strange and terrifying is out here. Some nights I wonder, do my doors and windows really keep whatever it is out, or is it still just toying with me?