The Thing in the Woods
This story happened to me about 6 years ago and the memory of that night is still strong.
I've always been proud of the fact that I'm not scared of much of anything,but the night this
story took place changed all that !
It all started when we were asked to check out a story that had been going around for years
about a strange happening in a place nick-named "TOAD HOLLOW". It seems there have been quiet
a few people frightened by something unseen but very much heard in a large backwoods area in
East Tennessee.Most of the stories people were spreading around was accounts of strange noises
and of being followed while in the forest.One man even swears that while walking in the woods one
night he was struck on top of his head by something very large jumping over him as he walked.
Although many had heard this "thing" in the woods,no one had ever seen it,and that's what brought
us there.We wanted to get some sort of proof that there was indeed something lurking in the darkness
here in our area.
It all started out well,the weather was nice and it had not rained in a few days,and the nights were cool,
just great weather to work in.We got to Toad Hollow in the early afternoon and started things off
by walking around the wooded areas trying to get a feel for the place.We then started setting up recording
gear in different areas of the woods so that we could listen for the "strange noises" that people had said they
heard.We also brought along video gear rigged with night vision as well as hand held listening gear so we could
hear distant noise.So after getting everything ready for the night to follow we waited for darkness.
When darkness came we quickly found out that the noise people had reported so often was indeed real.It was
around 1am when we started hearing something walking in the nearest part of the forest.We could tell that whatever
it was was walking on two legs by the sound,and going by the breaking sounds of the underbrush,it had to be
quiet heavy as well.So knowing that this "thing" was big and close by,and also knowing that in order to do what I
was there for I had to go to it's location,I started thinking to myself "Damn,I wished I'd brought a gun" but
I had no weapon and was nowhere near anyone who did,so I only had two choices,either go out there and see what's
in the woods,or leave ! I didn't want to let this one get away from me,so I put the fear in the back of my mind
and walked out of the cabin and into the night.
As I made my way down a narrow path through the center of the forest I noticed how quiet it was.You know the old
saying "it's quiet,to quite" well that's what I was thinking as I walked slowly into the woods.There was no sound
at all other than me breaking a twig or two under my feet as I walked.No night sounds,no wind,no nothing !
I stopped to listen even harder for any noise,nothing.I turned around and listened in all directions,nothing ! I used my
hand held radio to call the cabin and ask Terry (my partner for this adventure) if he was still picking up
any noise on the field recorders.The radio sounded back with Terry's voice."Hell yes I'm still hearing it" he said,sounding
thrilled that whatever it was,was still there.He was thrilled I on the other hand was not because I was now nearing
that very part of the woods.
As I got close I thought I heard some grunting noises just up ahead of my position.I slowed my walking and tried to
look through the darkness,but couldn't see a thing.I stopped and took my night vision gear out and quickly zoomed in
on the area where we had placed our field recorder.I couldn't see anything moving,and I hadn't heard anymore grunting
since I stopped walking.Everything had grown quiet again around me.I stayed in my position for the better part of two
hours before I started back to the cabin.
As I was walking back I heard what sounding like underbrush breaking just to the right of me.I stopped and listened
but could hear nothing.As soon as I started walking again there was the breaking sounds just like before only now they
seemed to be close by.I stopped again,and just like before so did it.Now at this point I'm starting to feel scared,because
I had no way of protecting myself if this thing whatever it was came running out of the brush at me.
This time the thing didn't wait for me to start walking again,the walking noise started up again as I stood there and this
time it seemed to have quickened it's stride,and worse than that it sounded like it was now behind me quickly closing
the gap between us.Without even thinking I burst into a run and was hell-bent to get to that cabin.As I was running
I could still hear whatever it was behind me and it seemed to be gaining on me now.It seemed like I could feel the
ground vibrate under my feet from the weight of this thing.
As I looked up ahead I could make out a faint glow of the porch light from the cabin,and with everything I had in me
I ran and ran ! I was within 200 yards of the cabin when I tripped over something on the path and fell face first into
the dirt.The pain from the fall had made me forget for a moment that I had company.In just that few seconds of
my fall this thing,this nightmare had made it's way into the thick underbrush off the side of the path,and I could hear
what sounded like breathing coming from the shadows.It was still now,but I knew it was watching me.I didn't wait on
whatever it was to make it's next move,I jumped up and burst into a run and made my way back to the cabin.
I nearly broke down the door as I made my way in.Terry was standing there looking out the front window towards
the woods I had just came out of,and I noticed he never even looked my way,so I walked over and looked
out the window in the direction he was and just did catch a glance at what looked like a very large figure walking
back into the forest.Terry then turned to me and said "did you see that?" as if I hadn't been the one who had just
knocked down the door getting away from whatever this thing was.The rest of the night went by very slow.We couldn't
sleep after what we had been through on this night.Soon morning came and the sun was out and everything that had
happened the night before seemed somehow movie-like if you know what I mean.It felt a lot like the way you feel
after you exit a dark theater and walk out into the daylight after sitting through a two hour horror flick.It just all seemed
so unreal now.But I know now that something indeed walks the backwoods of East Tennessee,something big,and most
of all,something that seems to have little or no fear of man.So the next time you're out in a forest near you,try to keep
in mind that you may not be alone.
So,was it Bigfoot we saw and heard in the woods that night ? I really can't say,but I will leave you with this thought,I will
never laugh when I hear someone telling their stories of such creatures anymore.Nope,from now on,I'll listen to these folks
and I'll be listening with an open mind !