Saturday, October 29, 2011

I don't believe in ghosts, but...

Some places on earth are definitely creepier than others. For example...

2003. Deer camp, just outside of Waynesboro, Georgia.

I'd woken up at 0MG30 on a cold November morning and gotten dressed in a pitch-dark cabin so as not to bork my night vision, and headed out to the stand.

I'm creeping very slowly... step... long pause... step... down the sandy trail, by the available light of the moon still up, with Spanish moss dangling overhead and the occasional burbling ripple or splash from the black waters of the beaver pond off in the swampy woods to my right...

...and suddenly this song pops into my head and will not go away.

Now, it was scary enough huddled under my covers as a middle-schooler, but it was downright hair-raising having it run unbidden through my head while standing in the middle of actual, you know, sand and black water, listening to things crawl and fly and creep around on the ground and wondering how effective a .243 100gr Sierra Game King would be on the ghost of Lucius Clay...

21 comments:

Borepatch said...

You want scary? This is scary.

;-)

Anonymous said...

What have I told you about running about in swamps at night with mason jars full of money?

Right, don't.

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

I don't know why that OMG30 walk to the tree stand is so creepy, but it gets me too.

I had that album when I was a kid. Even better, I lived in Eastern NC at the time and the woods I used to play in would just about qualify as a swamp. :)

Chris

wolfwalker said...

I don't believe in ghosts, but...

I don't not believe in ghosts, either.

...and suddenly this song pops into my head and will not go away.

Gotta admit, for those circumstances that's a pretty un-fun earworm.

Anonymous said...

Listening to screech owls and a bobcat in the dark is bad enough without the musical overture.

Gerry

Ed Rasimus said...

I guess it's Charlie Daniel's Day on the blogs. I posted Saddletramp for my Sat. Morning Rocker and you've got this one. Probably more appropriate for Halloween.

Yesterday was CD's 75th birthday. May he rock on!

Stretch said...

"I don't believe in ghost but I'm Irish enough to know when they aren't around." - PJ O'Rourke

Stranger said...

It is a lot more scary when you have driven as far as you can, so you pull off and park in a field of stubble. Bright moonlight night so you make yourself as comfortable as you can.

At 12:30 by the Dipper, the sound of footsteps breaking stubble wake you up. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

The footsteps go around the front of your truck, and back down the drivers side. The moonlight is bright enough to read newspaper headlines - but you cannot see anyone. Or anything.

Finally, after a good half hour by the Big Dipper, the crunching sounds turns at the passenger side door, and slowly fades in the distance.

I really do not want to do that again. And no, I did not wait for daylight to look for sign.

Stranger.

Alan J. said...

You probably already know this, but a flashlight with a red lens cap over it will save your night vision and give you adequate light to see. Don't know if it would spook a deer, but one of the hunters here could share some info on that.

An Ordinary American said...

OMG30 is scary enough. . .

--AOA

og said...

Until i had private property on which I could hunt, I was far more concerned with guys pointing their guns at me to determine who I was with their riflescopes. Get a pair of binoculars, dumbass.

The only song I remember having stuck in my head while hunting was this one, during a thundershower, and it was plenty bad enough.

Robin said...

Never really scared myself out hunting even in the dark, but one night in hunting camp, I woke to a godawful amount of noise, skittering across the plastic tarp tent floor and screeching.

Turned out there was a freakin' field mouse circus visiting and all three rings were beneath my cot. I had made the mistake of leaving some trail mix in a pocket of my BDU's on the ground and there were four or five different sets of holes chewed toward it through the pants and when the tunnelers reached the gold mine a mouse rumble started.

blindshooter said...

I don't know about ghost's but that 6mm 100gr SGK laid out a bunch of deer for me.

azmountaintroll said...

It's all a matter of viewpoint. As far as the deer are concerned you ARE a horrible scary thing creeping around in the dark. Any other boojums out there should be willing to give you professional courtesy.

Ambulance Driver said...

If you listened really hard, you could probably hear three young men screamin'...

... and one old man laugh.

David said...

I grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Spent most of my weekends up at our cabin in the hills with my Grandfather. I spent my days running around exploring the hills for several miles all around our cabin.

Then around 13 years old I discovered the hills at night. I loved them. As much fun as exploring and playing in the hills were during the day, at night was even more fun. Sometimes a little frightening. Over the years sudden run-ins with deer, bobcats and other critters often left my heart just pounding.

But one night I got a little careless and slipped on some pine needles in the dark and twisted my ankle. Hobbled like that I decided it was time to head back to the cabin. So I worked my way along a ridge line to a fire road that was nearby. I followed the fire road down to where it met the paved road about a mile from the cabin.

I was limping down this paved road at 2:30 AM when I heard something moving off in the trees to my right. I stopped, the noise stopped also. I started walking again, and the noise started again. It was a new moon, but the stars were usually enough light for me to see my way through the woods. But I wasn't in the woods, I was on the road, and could not see far into the tress. And it was rapidly becoming plain to my 16 year old brain that something was following me just inside the tree line.

My first instinct was to run, but my ankle immediately vetoed that idea. I tried picking up my pace to as fast as my ankle would allow. The thing in the trees stayed with me. I kept moving as fast as I could and eventually the road turned along the creek near the cabin and I was pushing my ankle as hard as I could. Knowing it couldn't take much more of this pace, I hopped into the creek, crossed it, and scrambled up the other bank and hurried up the back path to the cabin.

I laid in bed for several hours imagining all sorts horrible things that could have been following me. It was mid-afternoon the next day before I fessed up to my Grandfather about what had happened. He laughed and offered an idea as to what he thought had been following me. So I wrapped up my ankle that night and went on a short stroll to test his theory.

I had been harried, followed and terrified the night before by the sound of my own footsteps on the pavement echoing off the nearby trees.

Larry said...

Great, another "What caliber for _______" thread...

Desertrat said...

Yeah, Tam, that was a fun gathering, that hunt. Every now and then I hoist one for Byron in memory of him and that time...

Robert Langham said...

Shiprock, New Mexico. Poltergeists. Visible spirits.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing out "The Legend of Wooley Swamp." I whipped up the lyrics for a quick handout to give to trick-or-treaters for All Hallows Read, the completely-contrived-as-of-last-year tradition started by Neil Gaiman to give folks scary books/stories on or near Halloween. Together with "The Cremation of Sam McGee" it'll be handed out to unsuspecting kids tonight. I grabbed a nice, thick paper to print onto that feels a bit cool to the touch. Since it feels cool at room temp it'll probably hold/transfer heat reasonably well for a few minutes, so I'm thinking I'll keep the printed sheets in a cooler with dry ice so that I can hand out cold, steaming sheets of scary stories. Wooley Swamp gave me the idea, along with your spooktastic story.

Cybrludite said...

I'd rather be hearing that in my head in that situation than the "Dueling Banjos". Just saying.