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A Really Bad Trip


This MAY have been a ghost story. All I can say for sure is that we were not alone out in the woods that night.

This was the summer of '82, and it was the usual crew for camping then: Dave, Fernando, Frankie, and myself. We'd hiked to our usual campsite, had gotten there early, before 3:00, and were set up by 4:00. So, we were just taking it easy, taking turns target shooting with Dave's.22 revolver and carbine, and Fernando's.357 handgun. We'd taken guns along before, without incident.

We'd been at this for about a half hour when a Jeep with Sheriff's Dept markings came out of the brush across the river from us. They forded the river, and pulled up in front of our campsite. There had been complaints about the gunfire, they said, and though we didn't have to leave, we had to surrender our weapons, which amounted to the three firearms, and the hunting knives we each wore. Hey didn't count the stick I'd sharpened into a spear.

They left, and we decided to cook some dinner. No sooner did we start to break out our food, than it began to rain - worse, it began to POUR. By the time it stopped, our fire was out, the firepit was flooded, all the wood was soaked, as were we, because the local wasps had eaten holes in the lean-to.

We just sat there, with our sleeping gear hanging between trees, hoping to dry it somewhat. We ate what we could could, unable to even make coffee.

As it was getting on towards dark, we crashed; no real reason to stay up. However, no sooner did it reach full dark when we heard a weird sound coming from down stream, like a cross between a howl and a scream. We each had flashlights, and we produced them, only to see them die, one after the other. I'd changed my batteries in the car on the way down; the others all swore their batteries were new, as well.

The "whatever" would crash through the brush to within 20 feet of us, hoot-screaming all the way, then turn and run back the other way, then do it again, all the while making that unearthly noise. With no lights, and no weapons but a sharp stick, we weren't going away from the campsite to get a better look. We never saw what it was.

I don't know when I finally drifted off to sleep, but in the morning, the sun was bright, our stuff had sorta dried, and we were ready to pick up the guns at the Sheriff's station, and get the hell outta there.

There was a trail worn back and forth in the grass, but no tracks that we could see. The flashlights, when checked, worked perfectly.

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

alandhopewell (28 stories) (145 posts)
9 years ago (2013-12-10)
TOMTOM- kind of bothered us, as well; however, we had reasons not to raise too much of a fuss. We had a small quantity of herb with us.
tomtom1983 (8 posts)
9 years ago (2013-11-25)
What I find disturbing is the confiscation of your fire arms. They were under no legal ground to ask for them.

Don't get me wrong, it's great you and your friends came to no harm but I find the fact this Sheriffs Department granted themselves such unfounded authority to seize your guns, unprovoked, without any rational basis other than some complaint of noise to be completely unjustified and illegal.
alandhopewell (28 stories) (145 posts)
10 years ago (2012-12-10)
In my humble opinion, what we experienced was an evil spirit.
rockangel13 (guest)
10 years ago (2012-12-08)
It kind of sounded like an animal, but animals don't temporarily kill flashlight batteries! Could it be a phantom or something? I've read in the book "Goosebumps:Phantom of the auditorium" that a phantom also made a similar howling like an animal... Not sure...

sacul (1 stories) (71 posts)
10 years ago (2012-10-04)
I originally came to this site looking for similar encounters to mine, and yours is one of the closest. I too heard what could -NOT- have been a person trudging back and forth in the woods, and noises that could be described as "unearthly" as well. Anyhow, just thought I'd post to say 'i believe you' and can relate to the fear involved (though we had the option to run away). I don't care if alcohol and-or drugs were involved, btw.

If you'd like to swap some details I'd be -very- interested in speaking with you. My email is: sacul001 (at) gmail dot com
I look forward to hearing from you, man! 😊
alandhopewell (28 stories) (145 posts)
10 years ago (2012-09-05)
JS-No, we weren't THAT high.
There were questions about the guns that I never addressed. We generally carried firearms, for target shooting, but also because of the packs of feral dogs that roamed the area-generally, they were not a problem, but they have been known to attack people, 4-X, one made a run at Dave's wife on a hiking trip, and he had to shoot it.

I've never owned a gun, although I count myself as a "Second Amendment Christian".

Anyhow, that's the only time we had a problem with the authorities over firearms.
Jesus_soldier (guest)
10 years ago (2012-09-04)
Were you guys high as a kite on this trip? I know how stuff can sound totally weird when your high. I used to think my voice was weird or different when I was high. Who know's though, nature is a whole new different ballpark. Thank you for sharing.

JS aka Brandon
alandhopewell (28 stories) (145 posts)
10 years ago (2012-09-04)
Thank all of you for your comments.
As far as what made the noises, we were familiar with the fauna in that area, and the sounds thereof; this was like nothing we'd ever heard.

We hadn't been drinking-although we all used alcohol to one degree or another, we never did out in the woods. We usually brought along a small quantity of pot with us, but we didn't smoke to excess.

I have since heard of a thing called the "dog man," which has been sighted in Ohio, and produces a similar sound-I believe the COAST TO COAST AM website may have audio of it, as I heard it on the show one night, and it was eerily similar.
zetafornow (4 stories) (447 posts)
10 years ago (2012-09-04)
angelus...must say I agree with part of your comment. Yes, if there are a bunch of guys shooting off guns for no reason, particularly if there is alcohol involved, the weapons and possibly the people would be hauled away.

However...we do a lot of camping in the woods. We have a permit to carry a gun and the last time we camped at Yellowstone you would have not caught me without a gun. So, I don't think that it is that unusual for people to bring guns with them. I do believe up in the north country (I'm there too, just not as north), you must have lots of bears and creatures that go bump in the night. Now granted, most wild animals will leave you alone if you respect them and use common sense, but there is always that chance.

Thanks, zeta.
angelus_crudus (3 stories) (35 posts)
10 years ago (2012-09-04)
Just a comment about the guns. I live in Canada and if a police men came upon four people shooting guns off in the woods he wouldn't have just taken the guns with him, we all would have been in jail! So strange to me that you would bring guns camping with you... Diffrent culture intirely down that way for sure! Cheers, thanks for sharing your story, very interesting.
zetafornow (4 stories) (447 posts)
10 years ago (2012-09-03)
Just read the other comments. Must say, don't think it was Bigfoot either because he lives up further north. Also, were you all drinking that night and maybe that is why the weapons were seized?

Thanks, zeta.
zetafornow (4 stories) (447 posts)
10 years ago (2012-09-03)
Just curious... Why did you have to give up your weapons? I mean, sounds kind of weird. Weren't you camping in the woods. Most people, or should I say many people bring guns with them while camping in the wilderness.

Thanks, zeta.
trademekfc (3 posts)
10 years ago (2012-09-02)
dosent really sound like a haunting to me maybe a little to much to drink haha 😕
ashan (1 posts)
10 years ago (2012-09-02)
kinda scary 😢 mayb it was a bigfoot... But I don't thnk bigfoot has super powers to make your flashlights die...hmmm...if its a ghost, make sense... Unexplaimed mystery 😕
Sywren (29 posts)
10 years ago (2012-09-02)
Another animal that comes to mind would be a fox. They make very interesting sounds and screeches, almost like Owls. However, they would be large enough to leave a trail in the grass. If you still care about it, look up fox noises on YouTube. But seriously, Fox's make the eeriest noises.
Sywren (29 posts)
10 years ago (2012-09-02)
Upon first investigation through Google, all I got was Big Foot links. Unfortunately, I'm going have to rule that one out... Which leads me to researching potential animals (of course ones that pertain to America, specifically Ohio, based on your profile).

"When a coyote calls its pack together, it howls at one high note. When the pack is together, it howls higher and higher, and then it will yip and yelp and also do a yi-yi sound, very shrill, with the howl."
Perhaps there was one that was going back and forth wanting to get at your food supply since you had not eaten most of it?
Reza84 (1 stories) (9 posts)
10 years ago (2012-09-02)
Might have been the drunk guy whom was recently killed whilst trying to hoax a bigfoot sighting. Aha

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