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Mom's Forest Demon


This story happened when I was a teenager to my mother, not me, but I was there to see how it affected her.

My mom, who was becoming Catholic at the time, saved up her money and flew to Minnesota to attend a Catholic conference. It was autumn and the leaves in Minnesota were changing beautifully, so on her first day there she decided to take a little nature walk. The hotel concierge told her about a nearby wilderness preserve that had walking paths, and instructed her how to get to it.

My mom is a pretty fearless person even when she is in an unfamiliar place, and since there were plenty of other people there enjoying the park she wasn't worried about walking into the woods alone. She was having a pleasant walk, but it was getting dark, and she decided to head back towards her car.

As she walked back, she noticed the forest suddenly became strangely silent, and she had an intense feeling of someone watching her threateningly. It was like she was being hunted. Feeling uneasy, she started to pray. Then something she could not see began breathing heavily in her right ear. She said it sounded like a gigantic beast that had been running hard and was panting. She could also hear heavy footsteps crushing through the grass and dried leaves next to her on the same side. In fact, she could even see the grass being parted there. When she increased her speed, the unseen creature did as well. The people she had seen in the park earlier had gone home by then, and reaching her car seemed to take forever.

Mom got ready for bed feeling quite shaken and tired when she returned to her hotel room. The next day was Sunday, so she set her alarm to wake her up in time to go to Mass in the morning. It went off at the proper time, but as she sleepily reached out to quiet it, she noticed there was a second alarm clock in the room, one she had not seen before. This alarm clock had a different time, and according to it she didn't need to get up for another hour. For some reason she chose to trust it, and went back to sleep. When she finally woke up there was no sign of the mysterious second alarm clock, and she had missed Mass.

My mom returned from Minnesota more determined than before to live as a Catholic, yet she seemed strangely altered. Her mood was troubled and solitary. I remember her spending a great deal of her time sitting in her chair by the window, praying rosaries with a pained expression in her eyes. When I would ask her what was wrong, she wouldn't tell me.

Finally after about a month of this she confided in me that ever since her experience in Minnesota she had been unable to pray properly. Her prayers had become jumbled with obscene images and vulgar thoughts. It was disgusting, and made her ashamed to attempt to pray. It was explained to her by a priest that the demon from the forest had followed her home. It was assaulting her with these visions in order to stop her from praying so that she would give up on being Catholic. The answer was to fight through the sickening imagery and pray even more. So that's why she had been spending so much time in prayer. And eventually it worked, the demon went away.

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

Zephyrin (4 stories) (19 posts)
8 years ago (2015-05-20)
To Mike: We seem to have similar views. It is consoling to know that the team we're on is guaranteed to win in the end!
Zephyrin (4 stories) (19 posts)
8 years ago (2015-05-20)
To Tweed: when you said oppressing our carnal human urges, I couldn't help imagining it as if we're like tubes of toothpaste. The harder you squeeze your carnal human urges in, the more likely they are to splatter out. Ha ha!
Zephyrin (4 stories) (19 posts)
8 years ago (2015-05-20)
That's very nice of you dear. Yes, she is doing much better now.
Tweed (31 stories) (2388 posts)
8 years ago (2015-05-20)
Hi Zephyrin,

I agree with Ms St and would add the possibility of a nature spirit in the woods that day. One that was protecting the area she wandered into. Not a demon who was chasing her from her spiritual calling.
The alarm clock may have been a dream and I'm leaning toward that it was unrelated to the entity in the forest.

I would also like to suggest, without treading on any toes here, that obscene, vulgar images can be natural especially when making a life changing decision such as choosing a faith. As Ms St said 'inner demons'. These intrusive thoughts also occur to some people when they seek help in the form of therapy.
Like Ms St has said. Not always are these images healthy. But, big but, I believe they are mostly part of being human. If we oppress our more carnal human urges and instincts we may, as a result, conjure (due to an underlying reason) and interpret such images as unhealthy and/or demonic (due to same underlying reason). Again we may experience these unwanted thoughts during moments of contemplation, such as prayer, as it's our subconscious way of processing our own feelings and, most times, nothing to worry about or feel ashamed or afraid of.
The trick, or challenge I guess, is learning to balance and merge our human ways of processing emotion with your chosen faith.
MikeArcAngel (2 stories) (21 posts)
8 years ago (2015-05-20)
I'm not surprised your mother was visited by a demonic entity after taking it upon herself to become a true catholic. Evil things such as demons seek only to corrupt and destroy, most of the time by driving a wedge between people and their religions and loved ones. The key is to hold onto your faith, and your mother, as you mentioned in the story, has done that quite admirably considering what she went through. Always remember that once you have true love for god and complete faith in him nothing can get the upper hand over you:)
Have a good one - MikeArcAngel
Zephyrin (4 stories) (19 posts)
8 years ago (2015-05-19)
Thank you for your observation, I think it is possible that psychology played a role, but I also think spirits are real. That makes it difficult for for me to say for sure how much of it was spiritual, and how much may have been mental. I do know that people are more susceptible to these sorts of problems any time they try to advance spiritually.

I have had dirty thoughts pop into my head before while trying to pray, it is frustrating. One thing that helps is to look for a geometric shape or pattern somewhere nearby, and keep your eyes on that while you pray.
ms_st0308 (6 stories) (66 posts)
8 years ago (2015-05-19)
I have an idea of what might have happened with your mom, at least with the difficulty in praying. This is just a theory, so anyone can certainly offer other opinions or ideas; but in my experience, when a person has set their mind to something that will be life-changing for them, many times they have to deal with their inner "demons," so to speak. In your mom's case, she had chosen to follow a specific faith. It could be possible that inwardly and unconsciously she was contemplating all the changes this might lead her to make in her life as well as the amount of commitment it would require of her to learn as much as possible about the Catholic faith. In other words, it was like she was at war with herself without realizing it.

Now, I cannot explain the incident in the park, as that was a very real experience for her. From your story, I can't draw any conclusions or possibilities of what it could be. My mind instantly would think of an animal, but the fact that she could never see anything but only feel and see the effects of movement makes me question the idea of an actual animal.

I am glad to hear that she hasn't had any other difficulties since this incident!

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