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The Giant Forest Jumper

 

(Before anything I would like to inform the kind readers of this story that, being French, English is not my mother tongue. Consequently, I apologize in advance for any misused word or oddly coined sentence you may -and surely will- find in the following account. I did my best.)

As far as I can remember, ghosts and paranormal events have always been subjects I would eagerly bring up during a conversation or read books about. However, as much as I wished it, I never was a gifted medium nor had anything that could allow me to be described as a ghost magnet or of the sensitive kind. All of the "odd" happenings in my house could usually be brushed off as common disturbances such as a creaky wooden house, little animals running around at night in the attic or jack-o'lanterns by the riverside.

All, but one. No matter how hard I think about it, there is one event in my teens for which I cannot find an logical explanation.

It happened in 1998, when I was just 16 years-old. At the time, me, my mother and my two sisters (respectively 10 y-o and 12 y-o at the time) were living with my step-father and his two children (a 14 y-o boy and a 8 y-o girl).

This particular year, we had to spend Christmas with my step-father's family, in Verdun. Verdun is a medium-sized city mostly known for its importance during the WW1, due to its strategic location, but on the whole a rather dull and sad place. There we were, about one and a half hour ride from the place we lived, and not having so much fun in a family we didn't like very much and wasn't really paying much attention to us.

Needless to say that my sisters and I were quite happy on the 25th of December, when around 5pm we could get back to the cars and head home.

To drive from Verdun to my hometown you have to use those typical small two lanes roads curling around in dark and deep hilly woods. Those very dark forests are patched with swamps and old bunkers, and you always have to keep in mind that a family of boars is likely to cross the road right in front of the car. In summer, such a drive on a road basically roofed by tree branches is nice and refreshing; in winter it's plain dangerous. Most of the time, fog stays around, the roads are slippery and you have to be careful if you don't want to end up stuck in the ravines running along the road.

My step-father and his two kids were in the car in front, and my mum was following close, with me next to her and my little sisters asleep at the back.

We weren't driving too fast, considering how poor the weather was, and my mum and I were chatting about this and that, when, all of a sudden I saw a solid black figure jump out of the woods on the left side of the road. It was huge, about, 2,5 meters tall, it had arms, legs, torso, and head, just like a human being, but unbelievably stretched, skinny, and featureless. Moreover everything about it seemed square and stiff, like it was a wooden imitation of a human body carved by someone who had only a very faint idea of what a human being should look like. In barely two huge steps this thing crossed the ravine on the left and stopped like a scared deer would do, right in front of my step-father's car.

Said step-father drove right through it.

I gasped.

My mother, on the other hand, had already hit the brakes. She didn't stop completely, nor did she swerve, but she slowed down enough to allow the thing to clear the way if it felt like it. By the time we reached the figure standing in the middle of the road it had... Turned its head toward us. It is a weird feeling to feel a pair of eyes watching you intently, but not see them. As we were approaching I could see that this huge thing was carrying in it's arms, close to his body, a big square object attached to his right wrist by a chain. Time seemed to slow down as I looked at that thing in the eyes. Doing so, I felt filled with sorrow and despair, I wasn't scared, I was flabbergasted, curious and worried we were going to hit it, but not scared, this being however felt terrified and did convey it toward me quite efficiently. As we were about to reach it, gone it was, jumping again on the other side of the road, and back into the woods in a couple of hurried bouncing steps.

My mother sped up to catch up with my step-father's car and nothing was said until my sisters both woke up saying they were cold and fell asleep again.

After a few minutes more of silence, my mum said: "Did you see something?" and I said "Yes". "Did your step-father drove through it?" "Yes." "Must have been a optical illusion, it's foggy." "Most certainly."

And that was about it.

Until a few months later, when debating about ghosts and apparitions with a couple of guests at our house. I started describing the 'illusion' my mother and I had that night. When I was done my mother stared at me blankly and said: "I saw a thick white mist. It behaved like you said but it did not have a human shape, it was just a very "lively" white mist...". Then, I knew that I had not been a illusion. I had felt for the shape when my step-father drove right through it and the feeling I had when it turned to "look" at me could not be washed off as mere surprise. This road-crossing thing was scared, painfully scared and I felt it. The fact that my mum and I did not witness the same thing was somehow a proof that it was not a natural happening. Eyes see the same reality, souls might beg to differ...

I never could find out what this thing was, and we never drove back there again.

They are many stories concerning this forest: about soldiers from the previous wars, about car accidents and what not. But nothing related to a ghost chained to a square rock or box. The only tale I can relate this adventure to, is one concerning those landowners, who in the past, used to move the rocks marking the limits of their properties to gain a few acres of land. Legend wants that they have to remain earthbound until they can put the markings back were they should have been.

The habit of moving one's property boundaries was common in this area, so it wouldn't be surprising to meet one, carrying his burden for so long that he barely know anymore how to show himself in a human form. That being said, if anyone has a more convincing explanation for what my mum and I witnessed that night (natural or supernatural) I'd be happy to hear it.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Cohendy, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

jerryhend1 (3 stories) (136 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-04-25)
You saw something very different, what it is, I cannot say, the whole slavemarket and landower thing I really do not buy into, but maybe what you saw was somithing that just needs to let go, its time has passed. Buy the way your English was very good
Cohendy (1 stories) (20 posts)
 
6 years ago (2012-04-07)
aman_yooo: Well, I don't usually pass out (unless I just violently slammed a door on my right thumb). That being said, I takes long to describe but everything happened so quickly that by the time we realised what was happening, it was over.

Rook: I didn't dig on the slave market, so nope I didn't know what they were meant to become. That's quite interesting. And indeed, unfortunately I'll never find out what it was for lack of similar experiences. The only stories I've heard about paranormal experiences on that road are common "White Lady" spotting. In a constantly foggy area. And posting here has just widened the possibilites. (thanks to you:) )

MissyM: I can only see the beginning of your comment, the website ate the rest of it.: (

Isandhu: I honnestly would have never though that two brins could appreciate a optical illusion in such different ways, but why not. In any case you are right, optical illusions don't send feelings toward people. Had those feelings not been here, the experience wouldn't have remain so vivid after all these years.

TechnoDawg: I think Rook answered for me on that one. Plus I didn't know that being Christian made people sensitive to otherwordly beings. There was three of them in the car in front of us and they drove right through it...

Pjod: Having lived a good part of my childhood near a river and a forest, I've had my share of optical illusions. They had me freaking out just like you a good many time, until my parents explained me exactly what I was seeing (what would we do without them?). This one didn't look like any I ever faced.:)

Casper: Stilts? Well... We have a great bunch of actors playing monsters on stilts in my region, they are called "la meute" ("the pack"), I do like them a lot, but I doubt they impersonate their characters (various pagan gods/figures from the region) so well that you can drive through them.:)
Nice thought though!
Casper_the_ghost (9 stories) (180 posts)
 
6 years ago (2012-03-31)
Hi Cohendy, no need to apologise as your english is perfect 😊. You must have been so frightened of what you seen! I was thinking could there of been a festival near that forest? Only from that description, I could only think of a man on stilts! 😆. And when your step-dad drove through him, he prehaps spread out his legs for him to pass? Just a suggestion. 😆
Pjod (3 stories) (978 posts)
+1
6 years ago (2012-03-28)
I enjoyed this story very much. I can't say if it was an illusion or not, obviously. It does remind me of an incident when I was about 12 years old. A shed behind a neighbors house recently had a small light attached above the door. The first dark, foggy night- I walked outback and looked over at that shed. The doors of the shed, from my point of view, looked exactly like your classic Scooby Doo looking ghost. My folks had to take us outback and point that out...
In your case, there would be no way to go back and set the conditions just right to rule that out (illusion)
rookdygin (24 stories) (4323 posts)
+1
6 years ago (2012-03-27)
TechnoDawg,

Graffiti and a fire pit under a bridge do not equal 'Satanic Worship' to me... Sounds more like a 'Homeless Hideaway' so the odds are AGAINST it having anything to to with what you saw.

Another thing to think about... A foggy playground sounds like a place that has streetlights around it... Shadows cast by people 'far away' tend to look 'stretched out and elongated'.

Let's rule out the ALL Possible and Natural Causes before jumping on the Paranormal... Much less the Demonic Bandwagon.

Respectfully,

Rook
TechnoDawg (1 stories) (18 posts)
-1
6 years ago (2012-03-27)
I have seen something like this before, I was fishing by a bridge with my parents and behind the fishing area was a playground (also this night was very foggy) and I looked back at the playground and saw the silhouette of what you described (except no chains) and they were about 3-4 of these things and they were huge and just randomly walking around the playground... As soon as I saw these I was almost paralysed in fear, as soon as I snapped out of it I went to my dad and told him what I had seen and that we needed to leave now. I am a Christian and I am very sensitive to seeing demonic spirits and lately my friend told me that one time while he was at that same bridge he saw a bunch of satanic symbols and a fire-pit under a more secluded part of that bridge... So I figured that the symbols and the creatures I saw were connected... I hope this helps.
lsandhu (2 stories) (360 posts)
+1
6 years ago (2012-03-27)
I don't agree that you can write off the optical illusion theory based on viewpoint. Some illusions or aspects of how we interpret visual stimuli are subjective to the viewer, and depend on how your individual brain interprets the information and what individual experiences your brain calls on to interpret what you are seeing. I think the feelings you describe are more significant in helping to categorize this thing. If it was just an optical illusion, then why did you feel inexplicable sorrow and despair? It doesn't seem like an expected reaction to seeing something shocking and bizarre, and that makes me think the feelings must have been coming from something external to you. I'm just bouncing around ideas here. It's really up to you to decide what this experience means to you.
MissyM (2 stories) (152 posts)
+1
6 years ago (2012-03-27)
Vous avez
aman_yooo (17 posts)
+1
6 years ago (2012-03-27)
Wow I mean wow, I would have passed out if I was in your place. I wonder what exactly that creature was, please let me know if you find anything about it.
rookdygin (24 stories) (4323 posts)
+2
6 years ago (2012-03-27)
Cohendy,

The Ancient Romans and others of 'their time' were more 'aware' of, let's cal them non-human spirits. While their roads may have 'cut a path' through the woods in most cases they 'paved' even older travel paths with stone keeping things 'all natural' so to speak. The 'Earth Spirits' 'bondage' to that area may have began as far back as that, due ti the loss of life during the Battles with the Romans...it's a pretty sure bet that the whole sale destruction in the area caused by the use of 'Fire Arms and Explosives' during the 'Big Wars' caused it even more distress... Due to the utter destruction caused.

Interesting Thoughts on the Slave Market... Did you realize that Verdun was the centre of a Europe-wide thriving trade selling young boys to be enslaved eunuchs to the Islamic emirates of Iberia? So it wasn't a 'labor force' that was being sold per se.

There is no 'real way' to tell just what you and your Mother saw crossing the road that evening. But it makes for some interesting discussion.

Respectfully,

Rook
Cohendy (1 stories) (20 posts)
+2
6 years ago (2012-03-27)
Rookdygin: This is actually a very interesting theory, which would fit both with the "wooden" appearence of the being, like a makeshift dummy and its odd fear.

But this particular road has been in use since roman times. (a lot of the raods around are drown over the trails romans used when they started to venture in the area (I've done my share of research, this kind of information is easily available in any good library (Even on Wikipedia, that's how available it is)

So this poor Earth Spirit must be disappointed in us since quite a while. I don't think the war could have triggered its will to bound itself to the area, field and villages where destroyed, forest remained rather untouched at the time. They were hiding place for many people at the time. (soldiers, runaways, poor people who had their places destroyed and had to live off the forest to survive) If your theory is right, and it might very well be, then it must be an very Old one.

In my reading about the area I also noted that Verdun was a huge slave market during middle ages. - that could account for the chains and the fear. And that's one more theory to add to the basket...

I guess I'll never get out of it.:) Even though my pagan self is happier at the idea that I could have met a Earth Spirit trying to do his job than a poor lost human soul unable to get to the light.

Thanks for not refraining to comment!
rookdygin (24 stories) (4323 posts)
+3
6 years ago (2012-03-27)
Cohendy,

I've read this and re-read this and talked myself out of commenting and I find I can't.

My opinion what you and your mother saw was not an 'earth bound spirit' as you have mentioned... I do not feel this was an old farmer who moved a boundary marker. My 'gut feeling' is this was actually an Earth Spirit who has taken on the burden of the damage done to the land during the war. It has 'bound itself' to the area because it feels as if it 'failed' in it's purpose of protecting it. It also 'fears' it will happen again... After all these roads and the cars driving through the area all came after what happened during the war and it feels powerless to stop them. It feels powerless to stop them because 'mankind' has become desensitized and many no longer see, react to or feel the presence of the 'Old Earth Spirits'.

Just an alternative theory to think about.

Respectfully,

Rook
Cohendy (1 stories) (20 posts)
 
6 years ago (2012-03-27)
Isandhu: I'm afraid we'll have to discard the optical illusion theory, because what my mum saw was so different from what I saw. It cannot be explained by the difference of viewpoint (especially when the shape was right in front of us.) As for something from a different reality, well, maybe, I'm not very informed about vortex or different layers of reality. (Nor am I too keen to learn about a world where beings jump around chained to a box/rock.)

My mum slowed down for two reasons, First: she's an excellent driver and wouldn't risk to drive at full speed into something she's not sure about. Yes even though my then step-dad drove right through it. And on the other hand, she didn't stop, because it would have been too violent, and risky considering how slippery the road was. (there was still some snow and frozen patches)

Secondly: he's of the empathic type, and actually, if she spoke English she'd have a fair deal of stories to provide to this website, so even though she washed it off later as being a simple optical illusion (white mist in white fog after all...) in the spur of the moment, she certainly felt the fear coming from the tall being too. (she later told me that she thought she was feeling MY fear, I'll try to have her explain me what she saw again next time I see her)

One a side note: we asked my step-father: he saw absolutely nothing, nor did his son who was next to him (which, coming from them is not in the least surprising.)

Grimm_dolly / mannerizms: thank you. (I'm cheating, I've lived 3 years in the UK, but I feel my English getting so rusty now that I thought I would warn people) :)
If we really met an earthbound spirit and my theory is the right one, in this case I just wish I could have stopped and tell it "Just put it back where you took it." Unfortunately, I don't think it's been waiting at the same spot since then.

50ftqueen: feeling and understanding the emotions of a featureless being is the most disturbing experience I ever had. You know something is conveyed to you, but how? If you had similar experiences indeed you certainly understand. (and it feels nice to be understood:) )
Mannerizms (9 stories) (167 posts)
+1
6 years ago (2012-03-26)
Votre anglais est magnifique! I would have been just as scared as you were, as for the legends I would believe this would be the right thing to follow. Mostly because the fact that the would move the marks to their land, being earthbound and unable to pass over to family would be heartbreaking... Thank you for sharing!

Keep Safe ❤
50ftqueen (5 stories) (33 posts)
 
6 years ago (2012-03-26)
this story sent chills running down my spine. I totally understand the empathy and despair you felt for that creature.
grimm_dolly (2 posts)
+1
6 years ago (2012-03-26)
Well firstly for english not being your native tongue and writing this story, tres bien (sorry no accents for the letters). The only thing I could think of while reading the humanoid description was something/someone carrying the burden from one life to the next thus being changed to it and craddling it. Can't think of anything else though 😕
lsandhu (2 stories) (360 posts)
 
6 years ago (2012-03-26)
I wish I could help you, but I can't think what it could be other than, perhaps, a glimpse of something from a different reality or an optical illusion (which doesn't explain the feelings you got from it). Question: if your mom thought it was just a thick and lively mist, why was she so surprised your step-dad drove through it and why did she lay on the brakes? Was she trying to stop or just slowing down because visibility would not be good driving through it?

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