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Tall Dark Sranger


This happened to me when I was fifteen. I have a cousin who is two years younger than me and when she hit puberty, or when she became a big girl, as we say here, my uncle and aunt decided to have a party. (In Sri Lanka, it is a matter of celebration when a girl hits puberty.) It was a dinner party and it went well. There was a lot of food and music and dancing and not to mention, a lot of booze among the adults.

After ten, one by one the crowd started to leave and just after midnight, the last one of them bid his farewell. Mom and all the aunts were busy cleaning up and dad and uncles were having a chat in backyard and half the kids were asleep and the other half were going through leftover sweets. I was in a tent to the front of the house, having nothing good to do, sat there all by myself except for Tarzan, the pet German Shepard of my cousin, beside me.

My cousin lived in a rural area. Houses here have large properties to go with, at least a couple of acres big, so the houses stood well apart from each other. From the main road (Buttala-Katharagama road), starts the wide gravel road which leads to my cousin's house and goes further in leading to other houses. Alongside this gravel road, there was a neatly cut hedge, acting as a fence, stretching for 100 yards or so, which was the length of that side of the border. Hedge was my chin high then, which was about five feet tall and I was sitting about 30 yards away from the hedge in that tent.

I sat there petting the dog and staring into nothing as it was pitch black out there although there was a porch light and a light bulb in the tent, darkness was so thick I could barely see the hedge. Suddenly, the dog was startled. Though he didn't stand up, he raised his head, sniffing the air, ears all pointy and was looking at the direction of the gravel road while letting out a low growl. I looked out but obviously I couldn't see a thing so I listed keenly to see if I could hear anything the dog might have heard.

For a while I didn't hear anything except for the racketing of bugs but then I heard it. It sounded like a bell, a cow bell. Ringing of the bell wasn't continuous. It rang in quick but regular intervals as if in sync with a cow walking so I thought someone forgot his cow out in the field and now at this time of the night, he is herding her back. At first, the ringing was so faint but after a while it became clearer but not louder. All the time, Tarzan continued growling and I realised that the cow was walking along the gravel road and soon it will have to walk that 100 yard stretch alongside the hedge. I fixed my glance on the left side of the hedge as it was approaching me from left and braced myself to catch a glimpse of a cow or a bull or a buffalo.

Now the ringing of the bell was much clearer and I began to hear footsteps. To my surprise, they were not of four hooves hitting the gravel but only two feet crushing the gravel. Now that I could hear both footsteps and the bell, I realised the ringing is in sync with the stepping and I was sure that the footsteps belonged to a heavy man and not to a four legged creature. Suddenly both sounds became clearer and now I could hear it just beyond the hedge. I tried to see something above the hedge but couldn't see anything at first but then there was a yellowish glittering dot above the hedge and then there was another dot identical to the previous one right beside the first one at same height. I sort of knew that those two dots were a set of eyes and whatever it was walking, must have been looking ahead at first but then slowly turned to face my way and that's why I only saw one dot as only one eye came to my sight and then the other as it faced my way completely. The eyes were moving quite fast as I could see but from what I could hear, the footsteps were more of a leisurely phase than walking fast or running.

Whatever it was must have taken long strides to move that fast or must be quite tall and this was supported by the fact I saw those eyes good three feet above the hedge so that the figure might have been at least eight feet tall. I never took my eyes off those two dots and after about 60 yards of hedge were walked past, the two dots disappeared from my sight. It must have turned its head forward. I could still hear the rhythmic ring of the bell and those heavy footsteps and I kept looking at that direction even if I couldn't see a thing. First, footsteps became fainter and fainter and couldn't be heard altogether then the same thing happen to the bell rings. I looked at Tarzan and he was still growling. Maybe he could hear the bell ringing even if I couldn't. After a while he stopped growling and put his head down.

I went back in but didn't mention anything to anyone. I still can't say for sure what that thing was and what those glittering eyes and that odd cow bell were about. If I had to guess I'd lean on something paranormal.

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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 Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Sanuj, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

Calamity (2 stories) (53 posts)
6 years ago (2016-03-05)

I agree. The Shepherd seems way too short to be what you saw.
All in all this was a very perplexing experience!

Sanuj (1 stories) (3 posts)
6 years ago (2016-03-05)

Thanks and I'm glad you liked it. I just wanted to say what I experienced in detail rather than what I felt.

Now that you've mentioned it, there is a folk legend about an entity related to cattle called "the Shepard". Some believe its a god and some believe it's a demon who hangs around cattle safeguarding them or stealing milk from cows.

Although I've never met anyone who actually saw it, according to the legend it has a long stick or a bell or both. So that checks out.

But the problem is the height. It is said that the Shepard is very short fellow. Not taller than 4 feet. Some say it is so small it can walk under a cow standing tall.

It could be what I saw was this fella but what I saw was very tall and I distinctly heard ony two feet hitting the ground so, back to square one I guess...

Calamity (2 stories) (53 posts)
6 years ago (2016-03-05)

I enjoyed reading your post very much. Your writing is wonderful and I could picture myself there with you and Tarzan.

I like Tweed's idea that maybe this was the first time the entity had been spotted. For a brief moment I wondered if the entity could have been riding on the back of something. Of course that couldn't be the case since you could hear the sound of its two feet on the gravel.

Have you ever heard stories of anything that resembles what you saw? Maybe something similar but not the same?

Anyway, thank you for sharing.

Sanuj (1 stories) (3 posts)
6 years ago (2016-03-05)
Well, even in daylight, if a normal person of average height say,5'10" was to walk by the hedge, I'll only be able to see his or her head from where I was sitting and that's if the person walked nearside of the hedge. So when I saw those two dots a good three feet above the hedge, I assumed whatever it was, has to be very tall.

I think what I saw were eyes. They were like cat eyes or any other nightly creatures eyes that glow in the dark or in a very little light.

I never saw anything except for those eyes and I only heard the cow bell. Never saw it.
RedWolf (31 stories) (1292 posts)
6 years ago (2016-03-05)
Are you sure of the height of the person? Unless you stood up you really can't be sure. Looking up at someone makes them look taller. He was ringing a cow bell so he wouldn't scare anyone. I have a question. If it was so dark how did you see the color of his eyes?
Sanuj (1 stories) (3 posts)
6 years ago (2016-03-04)
[at] Tweed I only told my brother about this but it was about 4 or 5 years after. I didn't mention this to anyone at that time because I wasn't sure what I was going to say or if anyone would take me seriously.

In those parts 10 is like the latest you could be out. May be it was something that someone else also knew about but though it make me wonder, it wasn't that scary of an incident. So I guess I kind of forgot the thing altogether until now that is.
Tweed (29 stories) (2362 posts)
6 years ago (2016-03-03)
Sanuj, hello and welcome.

Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed reading this. Got the impression you weren't that afraid, which is cool. Have you ever told anyone about this since?
Also, was it like your family to be up at that time of night, aside from special occasions? I wondered if this entity walked there regularly and perhaps this was the first time it was spotted by someone.

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