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My Second Story

 

This is my second story I'm posting about my childhood in St. Charles, IL (STC). I've been hesitant to share it as most would think it's not paranormal, but I honestly have no explanation of how it could have happened otherwise.

I'm a female engineer who's very logical and good at troubleshooting issues that may not have an obvious cause but I can find a logical explanation where others typically can't. I still can't come up with a logical human explanation for this event. Please keep in mind that I lived out in the wooded country, on a short dead end street 10+ miles from a town, and there were 10 houses in the area spread out on 2.5 acre wooded lots or larger each. There were no large wild animals (there aren't bears or similarly large animals in the region) and people didn't meander there or show up lost. Actually lost folks or large animals wandering around never happened in the 20 years I lived there. So please keep that in mind.

When I was 6 we had new neighbors move in to the house next to ours. I was thrilled because they had kids my age. The house had previously been owned by some parents who passed away and then after living there for several years the kids (who were young adults) sold it to their cousins who were my new neighbors. The kids my age were 2 boys. One kid was 3 years older than me that I'll call T and another 1 year older. We were great friends and rarely foes.

Several years later when I was a young girl in my early teens, T (who was allowed to go out with his friends much later than I was) would sometimes tromp over to my yard after getting home late and throw rocks from the gravel area outside at my window to chat. My bed was right next to the window. I'd open the window and we'd whisper stories and generally chat for a hour or so. My second story window faced his house over the shrub trees and walking path and to his driveway so I'd often know if he was out (the light was on over the side door entrance) or already home.

One time during the summer months when my window was open I heard a car in his driveway dropping him off. I was probably 14 years old. I heard him get out talking to his friends and they pulled away. I whispered, as loud as I could without waking my parents, asking T to stop by and chat. He didn't respond as he probably didn't hear me. Then I came up with the not-so-brilliant idea to sneak outside and scare him. I'd spent many years in the woods pretending to be a spy or American Indian and learning how to blend in and be silent. As kids we'd often sneak around and scare each other.

So I silently sneaked down from the second floor and out my back garage door which led to our backyard below my window which led to T's house off the side through our gravel area then through a well worn path through the woods about 25 ft long. My parents had put in a gravel pit around the back of the house probably because nothing much grew due to the shade of the Oak trees. There were 14 inch Oak rounds set out as an uneven stepping path in the gravel and if you stepped off of the rounds the crunch of gravel/rocks would give you away. I picked my way expertly and silently across the log rounds facing T's house. My eyes got accustomed to the dark and I didn't see him. Also at that time I heard the door of his house close and the light going off signaling he went in, likely to bed.

I waited a bit as I thought I saw something move in the woods between our houses but not on the path we'd always use. If you didn't use the path there were a ton of wild rose and raspberry plants that had thorns and were painful to walk through. So I thought it was odd that he'd be in the woods but maybe he wanted to scare me like I was plotting to do to him. But I saw something human sized and dark moving though the woods slow and pausing every once in awhile like me. It was coming closer and I definitely saw it but it was strange in that it wasn't walking directly to my window to talk. Therefore I hunched down and waited in silence wondering if I could still startle him.

I watched a dark outline of a human or figure moving, but then it would stop and fade in the foliage. It seemed to be stalking slowly and listening/checking every few feet while hiding. I wasn't sure it "faded" but the only way I could tell better was to get closer and I didn't think I could do that without giving away my location. So I whispered after losing patience one last time for T but he didn't answer. I got bored of hiding and crouching so I quietly, tippy toed back to my garage door and went back inside silently locking up as I went.

I snuck back upstairs to my room above the area where I was just standing. My window was open and I definitely heard someone/something walking around the yard. I whispered again for T out my window but got no answer. Then I heard someone/something fall and grunt/moan pretty loudly in the window well right below my window. It wasn't enough to wake my parents but definitely loud enough I didn't mistake it and it sent a shock of fear through me. If you aren't familiar with a window well, it's a semi-circle hole connected to the house dug out about 3 or 4 feet deep and reinforced with metal. It allows a basement or subfloor window to be put in below ground level and the hole let's some natural light in. There is NO WAY T would have fallen in our window well. We had been playing hide and seek and many outdoor games for years since we were young around the whole neighborhood. We knew everyone's window wells and house footprints (plus paths in the woods) like the back of our hands. The grunt sounded humanish and not like an animal. It also pulled itself out quietly without a lot of thrashing.

Honestly I think my heart stopped beating for a bit. I know that's a common term but I was so startled by this event and it was not even closely expected. That's when I was startled out of thinking this wasn't a fun game and realized someone/something was out there and it wasn't T. I tried to look outside my window as best I could but there was a screen on my windows to keep the bugs out so I couldn't lean my head out the window to see next to the wall of our house directly below me.

I then heard the crunch of rocks as whatever it was stepped in the noisy gravel. Again T would know where the log rounds were and would not step in the gravel. He knew my parents were pretty strict and he was as good at being quiet as I was. Whatever it was stopped and I held my breath. I pretty much sat there with my face pressed against the screen 2 stories up for probably a half hour (it seemed like an hour but I'm sure I didn't have patience back then to wait that long). I never heard it/him/her leave but I grew tired and eventually fell asleep on my bed that was next to the window.

There are a few things I'm certain of:

- it wasn't T. I asked him later and he said he went to bed that night when he got home. He also would have no reason to lie.

- it wasn't T's friend who dropped him off that evening as he had a curfew and was rushing home himself so he wouldn't get in trouble with his parents

- it wasn't one of our neighbors and I can't think of any reason a human would be there. We had few neighbors and only 2 other houses out of 7 had kids. Again these 7 houses were spread out in 2.5+ acres per home.

- there weren't any big animals in the area. As wooded as the whole area was we only had some deer but they were hunted and didn't come close to homes.

- I don't think I'd be here telling this story but instead be a creepy, heart breaking, missing persons or murder story if I stayed outside longer than I did

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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, NewAuthor, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

NewAuthor (2 stories) (3 posts)
 
8 months ago (2017-03-17)
It's been awhile since I checked in and thanks for the comments. I actually agree with the majority of them. Everything you all are raising are things I considered (other than elemental or Big Foot). There wasn't a strong smell in the air that I remember. Logically it would seem like a an intruder but everything about this situation just didn't sit right with me. But I can't find words to explain why. I actually drove past the house a few weeks ago when I returned back to IL for my Aunt's memorial. The house is still there looking the same albeit looking a bit smaller than I remember and weathered. The current owners have been there for 15+ years if Zillow is to be trusted. But even if I were invited I don't think I'd step foot in the home. I've been fighting the nightmares and managing them too long to stir them up again.
otteer (8 stories) (398 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-04-08)
Nice to see other ideas on this. I still find it unusual that whomever was stalking in the woods, was able to do so THROUGH wild rose and raspberry bramble. I could deal with the raspberry but wild rose, that will tear you a new one, and is extremely painful to get through, speaking from experience. The stuff just arches in all sorts of directions and can be quite dense. Once you get away from one branch, one swings in and attaches somewhere else lol and is hard to get off of clothing. An animal, the thorns would just comb through the fur. My wild rose at the base of the hill is more like a 8-10 foot hedge than a bush.
2nd1st (1 stories) (107 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2016-04-06)
Sorry to double post on the same thread but I've just noticed some things in a few other comments that I can offer some potential enlightenment on.

It has been mentioned that it is unusual that something should appear to fade into the foliage at night. Actually, it's not.
-the fovea of the eye lacks rod receptors, this creates a blind spot. That is why when you look directly at something in darkness it becomes difficult or impossible to see and your brain fills it in based on other optical stimuli. It's why night training emphasises the importance of looking next to where you think a threat is rather than directly at it.

-darkness messes with your depth perception (hence the reason it is much harder to hit a small target at night even if you can clearly make it out)

-darkness reduces contrast which makes it harder to visually perceive where one thing starts and another begins

Someone also mentioned that it was strange the being was silent in the woods but made noise on the gravel.
Again, not unusual. Gravel is just plain noisy. A nightmare if stealth is your aim. Whereas in the woods the ground is usually fairly soft- noise comes into play when you step on the wrong thing or transfer your weight incorrectly. With not a huge amount of training or practice and a fair bit of patience most people can achieve silent movement in woodland/bushland at least for a short time (longer periods requires a great deal of concentration and discipline). Just relax, feel out the area you want to put your foot with the toe of your boot, once you are satisfied there is nothing there that will snap, crack or squealch slowly lower the foot and roll your weight across it.

I'm not meaning any of this as criticism of the op or others who have left comments. In the interests of objectivity I think that when the events described fit more clearly into a natural rather than supernatural explanation we need to consider that explanation too. Then again, I wasn't there that night.
2nd1st (1 stories) (107 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-04-06)
OP, I like your posting style. It is sequential, logically laid out and detailed. Makes it much easier to follow.

But I do have to agree with the last post that (based solely) on what you have said it sounds like a human intruder on the property, probably dropped off by the vehicle you heard. That is based just on what you have said, there may be details not included in your post that lend themselves more to a paranormal explanation.
Neha31 (1 stories) (5 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2016-04-05)
This is a very well written story. My guess is that the "someone" in your yard was a burglar trying to break in. He must have been a novice thief. Since he fell down and had to groan and then he crunched the gravel... He may have thought he might cause someone to wake up and then got cold feet and left. I don't think he saw you since you cleverly ran back to your house. Also, about this being a non-human thing, I think you were just frightened a bit...C'mon...you were 14! I think that is the only logical explanation that goes with your story...
RedWolf (28 stories) (1248 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-03-30)
NewAuthor,

I agree that this thing was not human. Big Foot is a Cryptid, something that scientists called crypto-zoologists have been looking for for nearly a century. For such a large animal they are elusive creatures. They are bi-pedal and so far the only proof that they exist is eye witness testimony, pictures of some large creature, claw marks in trees NOT made by a bear, trees broken like twigs, some hair samples that don't match any known species, and imprints of feet. Oh and some scat which also doesn't match any known species.

What I am thinking is that what you were playing cat and mouse with was a nature spirit, a troll, or something to that affect. Hell it even might have been a juvenile Big Foot. Wouldn't that be cool!

Regards
Red
otteer (8 stories) (398 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-03-21)
Very good points. Wonder if the op will weigh in on this theory. 'Glad you posted your idea Kitsune.
Kitsune (14 posts)
+5
2 years ago (2016-03-20)
The bad smell isn't always reported; one theory is that it's a defense mechanism if the animal feels threatened. I've read many reports where the sasquatch has simply been curious about people living on the edge of the woods near its territory and has even put its face up against a window to look inside a house, giving anyone who sees it quite a fright:) But the elements I've read over and over in sightings in the BFRO archives are here: wooded area, night-time, human-like creature in dense brush - appears to be bipedal, animal-like noises. The author of this story would be able to go to bfro.net if they wanted and see if anyone else in their county has reported a sighting, which they might find helpful. However, I'm not sure why there would be anything paranormal about a sasquatch - the evidence (when it's considered objectively and not immediately dismissed as nonsense) is that it's an animal, as real as a bear or a deer, that is darn good at hiding itself from humans and minding its own business most of the time, which is likely how it's continued to survive up to now.
otteer (8 stories) (398 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2016-03-19)
Kitsune, I was thinking that as well, possibly a juvenile. There are theory's abound that Sasquatch is an interdenominational being... Which would link him to the paranormal. I've heard him/her before, and smelled him/her before camping and on hikes in Gifford Pinchot National forest in Washington State but have never seen him.

I didn't mention it though because the op didn't mention any strange smells, which usually heralds a Sasquatch in the area (to express how bad they smell, I describe it as a cross between a wet dog that rolled in dead animal, skunk and rotting garbage.) 😉
Kitsune (14 posts)
+4
2 years ago (2016-03-19)
I think it's possible you were visited by a curious sasquatch. I'm serious, and people do take the subject seriously - see www.bfro.net for more info, and possible sightings reported near your area.
otteer (8 stories) (398 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-03-19)
Enjoyed your story, chuckled about the engineer comments, my dad was an engineer, description is dead on lol.
I have a hillside behind me full of blackberry bushes, wild roses (both with the long nasty thorns) and various other shrubs. I know if I hear movement up there and there is no cussing and cursing, its an animal, not human. Those stickers hurt like hell and pull and rip on cloths. If you didn't hear any cussing and swearing, you most likely had an animal moving through the woods, but WHAT KIND? Didnt hear it in the woods but could see it, but once on the gravel, could hear it... How whacked is that? I suppose that's one of the things that spooked you? I would have spooked me for sure.

It was someone, or something physical though, or it would have been able to come up after you, locking the doors wouldn't have mattered. But, it was unfamiliar with the area, most likely while intent on looking at you, it dropped right into the well, distracting it away from you. I say, LUCKY YOU!
EB (1 stories) (8 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-03-18)
Maybe it was a lost drunk. That would explain why it was stumbling through the sticker bushes. He was unfamiliar with the area. Could have been coming from one of the nearby properties. Found your house, decided to follow along the side of the house for stability, then tripped into the window well. That's my guess, if it wasn't something paranormal that is.
Macknorton (5 stories) (533 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-03-18)
Hi Newauthor. I concur with other members that you write extremely well and have vividly portrayed this experience, it was a very enjoyable read.
I'm on the fence as to whether it was a spirit encounter or a weirdo sneaking around the woods, could be either but thanks for sharing.
Regards
Mack
Calamity (2 stories) (53 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-03-18)
NewAuthor,

First let me say that I really enjoyed your account. I also appreciate your description of window wells. We didn't have anything like that in the places I've lived so I didn't know what they were. The first thought I had was that you saw a prowler. I'm wondering if window wells were common in the area in general? If so, then you would think that a prowler would know to avoid them. I'm envisioning someone that was attracted to the fact a girl your age was living in the house, not so much a burglar. Someone with something much more nefarious in mind than theft.

I'm also curious about how it seemed to you that the figure would at times disappear, or as you say "fade into the foliage". I think it would be difficult for a prowler to manage that. Although the woods seem to be fairly dense, what you describe is different from it just being blocked from view. I know you heard it walking across the gravel, but did you also hear it moving through the woods?

I don't know. I admit I'm stumped. If what you saw was just a prowler then it stands to reason he might have been noticed by other people in your neighborhood. Or, since it seems he was aware of your presence, he might have made other visits back to your house. I'm guessing neither of those things happened.

I'm more inclined to go with your "gut" on this one. If it's telling you what you saw was no prowler I'd have to agree. You've had enough experiences to know not to ignore that sixth sense when it starts tingling!

Thanks for sharing and I'm looking forward to more.

Jane
RCRuskin (7 stories) (232 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-03-18)
A question just occurred to me. And given the number of years that have passed, you probably couldn't answer definitively.

Did you look for any footprints, paw-prints or tracks? If so, what did you find?
Manafon1 (5 stories) (490 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-03-17)
NewAuthor--I was only throwing around some ideas. You stated that the figure you saw and the sound you heard couldn't have been the seventeen year old neighbor who was dropped off or his friend who dropped him off as he had to get home before curfew. I remember being a teenager, part of which was spent growing up on an island off the coast of South Carolina. Much like the somewhat rural area you grew up in, my friends and I spent the majority of our time outside. Commonly in the woods. We also were often bored and loved thinking up elaborate pranks for each other.

There was an abandoned lighthouse where we constructed a quite complex scenario to scare a kid we knew who had never been there. A huge back story was created, fake "old documents" (long story) were created, and one kid was seriously freaked out!

Could it be that the two boys in your account thought it would be fun to play a prank on you. Not in a mean way but as a diversion. If they did it would be natural for your neighbor to tell you he just went to bed when you questioned him later. I am only playing devils advocate here because I was a bored teenage guy at one time growing up in a rural area too. Of course everything you saw and heard could have been paranormal. However you don't mention other occurrences at your house or in your general area so it seems at least a possibility that a couple young teenage guys might have been having some, generally speaking, harmless fun. Just a thought.
NewAuthor (2 stories) (3 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-03-17)
Thank you for your comments. I am a person that naturally tries to debunk things so I take your feedback to heart. I am very familiar with raccoons and that was too small to come close to what I heard. I must admit logic says there were larger predictors like coyotes in the area but I was a wilderness girl and I never saw any. The area was wooded but there wasn't more than a few acres between houses with paths. Unlike kids today we spent a ton of hours outdoors so I knew the woods like the back of my hand. Honestly the closest explanation is a person but it has never sat right with me that this is a possibility or else I wouldn't have shared it on this site. I don't know how to explain it but my engineering mind says there was a human prowler but my gut (and a bit of logic knowing how remote we were) says it was something more.
Manafon1 (5 stories) (490 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-03-17)
Hi NewAuthor--I found your story very well written. I live about forty five minutes from St. Charles and have been there several times. I live farther east (in the town of Westmont, Illinois) and here, like St. Charles, along with deer there are also predators like coyotes and fox. It is not completely uncommon to see both of the latter, even in daylight hours. I just wanted to mention that as RCRuskin suggested there must be predators if there are deer and indeed there are.

Of course you described a human sized figure (I imagine you also mean that it walked upright) so that suggests it is less likely it was an animal walking on four legs. However, as it was dark, is it possible you thought the figure was crouching when it was in reality a coyote (or other animal) walking on all fours.

I had a basement bedroom in my teens when I still lived with my parents. This was in Oak Brook, Illinois. I had two window wells in my basement room and one night, at two in the morning, there was a mighty crash as something fell into one of them. With a bit of trepidation I approached the window well and pulled the blinds open. There was an enormous raccoon staring back at me. He had apparently been walking on the plastic cover of the window well and caused it to collapse. I think it freaked us both out equally. I mention this because although the window well was around four feet deep, the crafty raccoon was able to climb out on his own.

Raccoons can make some really weird, human like sounds. Maybe it was a raccoon you heard and another creature, like a coyote, you saw. Do these ideas strike you as possibilities?
RCRuskin (7 stories) (232 posts)
 
2 years ago (2016-03-17)
Spockie, while it could have been a prowler of some kind, it is unlikely, given the time of night, or the fact that it was night. Thieves and prowlers prefer to operate when no one is around, which statistically is more likely to be during daylight hours.

Also, to NewAuthor, I'm also curious why there aren't any 'big animals' around. If there are deer in the woods, there should be something such as a cougar, wolf, etc. That preys on them. I suspect this is what you saw/heard. A new predator moving into the area.
Spockie (7 stories) (157 posts)
+1
2 years ago (2016-03-17)
Well, you know it is also possible that a prowler was lurking around the area that night and that was what you saw and heard.

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