by Dylan - first posted May 26, 2015
By Anansi, Sep 28th 2012
Here’s my story:
>be black and have family down in Alabama
>they farm and own a huge amount of land down in Huntsville
>uncle owns a big house and a bunch of trailers they put out in the woods for hunting or camping
>down south cousins suggest that we go out there to camp
>know I’m a city kid from Chicago so they tease the fuck out of me
>collect food, kill a pig and some chickens, and bring necessities to camp out for a few days
>we get to the camp and it’s obvious something is weird
>air has this weird electric smell like right before a storm, like ozone
>we think nothing of it and unpack and go down to a little creek to swim for a few hours
>All of a sudden some older white guy and a white teenager come out of the bushes
>he has a shotgun in the crook of his arm and says hello and ask us what we’re doing this far back in the woods
>tell him about my uncle, who he knows, and say we’re camping out
>he tells us we need to be real careful out here and stick together there was a big animal in the woods
>His son, who is my age asks if he can stay and hang out with us
>he says OK
I’m going to stop greentexting because the story is fairly long and the format is harder to write in.
So we end up playing football. Dicking around with me, there’s the white kid “Tanner”, five of my cousins, and then four of their friends. In total, there were five girls and six boys. We all were around 15-17.
We ended up just dicking the day away. So, we head back to the camp and pulling out some stuff for a campfire, even though the trailers both had kitchenettes. Tanner says that his family’s property sits up against my uncle’s. He wants to run home and ask his dad if he can come out camping with us. My cousin Rooster says he’s going to go with him since it’s going to get dark soon. One of the girls also wants to tag along.
It’s about 7 o’clock, and it’s starting to get pretty dark. They take flashlights and take the trail toward Tan’s property. The rest of us chill. We make smores, drink and kiss on the girls.
About thirty or forty minutes later, there’s the smell of ozone again. You could smell it over the smell of the fire we had started. This really nasty, coppery smell like right after you’ve had a nosebleed and it’s stopped. It wasn’t exactly like dried blood, but it was that nasty metallic, back-of-your-throat smell.
We immediately think that it’s some kind of electrical malfunction, or someone left a hotplate on or some shit. We search the trailers and nothing is on, and we can all smell it. All of a sudden, we can hear people booking down the path toward us, and Rooster, Tan and the girl all come running into the clearing, out of breath. And they don’t even break stride; they all run into the trailer, right by where the fire is.
We all get the fuck outta there and into the trailers. They end up calming down; even Rooster is crying his fucking eyes out at this point. All the while, the fire is guttering lower and lower, so my other cousins say fuck it and are about to go outside to get the generator out of a shed between the trailers.
Tanner goes, “Fuck no! Lock the front door, ain’t nobody else going outside!” He’s been crying too, and his eyes are bloodshot and puffy and his pants are dirty as shit.
He goes on to tell us that they went up to his house. His father said sure, he could go out camping, but to make sure they were careful on the way back, and that maybe they should take one of the hunting rifles just in case.
Evidently, Tanner had seen something in their yard a few days before. One of their pigs had come up, ripped up and half eaten. They assumed it was just some big cats or coyotes, even though they don’t usually fuck with live animals.
He had gone upstairs and packed his stuff, and told his dad they would be OK without the rifle because coyotes avoid people. So they started walking back toward where we were camping.
So, Rooster finally stops crying and shaking; the girl already had, but she was just staring out the window with a dumb look on her face. He says they had gotten halfway into the woods toward the camp when they started to hear shit in the forest. It was almost pitch black by this time, so they weren’t sure at first what the fuck it was. The girl says that she heard something in the bushes right off the trail and they all beamed their flashlights over there and there was someone standing back in the woods in a little hollow. Rooster said they shouted at him and told him that he was scaring the fuck out of them and what a dick he was.
He says that’s when he realized that the guy was facing away from them. So they keep walking, and they start smelling the nasty coppery ozone smell. They say that they look off into the forest on the opposite side, and it’s a dude standing in the forest, backward slightly closer to the path.
So now they start powerwalking and Tan keeps going, “I should have taken the fucking rifle.”
As they’re telling the story, the smell is still super strong even inside the cabin.
They say that after they started walking faster, a kind of low gibbering had started coming from both sides of the wood. And as they started booking it back to the trailer, the girl said she had flashed her flashlight out into the woods to the side of them and had seen something jerking itself through the woods. The gibbering just got louder and louder, and when they could see the light from our camp fire, something had come out of the woods about 40 yards behind them onto the track, and they had just flat out ran as hard as they could to the trailer.
So we’re out in the fucking woods, and we’re assuming at this point it’s some rednecks or some shit trying to fuck with us.
All of a sudden, my other cousin, Junior, starts going on about how he went to school with a native kid that was telling him about the ‘Goatman’ or some shit. We promptly tell him to shut the fuck up because we don’t need any spooky talk right now.
But he just keeps going on and on about how it’s the fucking ‘Goatman,’ and how we’re in his woods and blah blah blah. Now at the time, I had never heard of this goat man or any of that, but then a couple years ago — the year before I graduated from college — I had a Menom for a roommate and I ended up asking him about it. And to sum it up, it’s basically a fucking man with the head of a goat and he can shape shift and he gets among groups of people to terrorize them. It’s also supposed to be kind of like the Wendigo, and it’s bad mojo to even talk about it and even worse if you see it.
Keep in mind, I didn’t know this back when I was sixteen. So my cousin is going, “The goat man’s going to get in and fucking get us.” The girls are all terrified and my cousins and I are all fucking trying to figure out if it’s just some hillbillies or if it’s some animal.
So all of a sudden the smell just goes away. Like to this day, I haven’t even experienced anything like it. Like, usually smells fade away or lessen. It just literally was there one second and then not the second.
So it’s after an hour, making it around 9 or 10. We’ve stopped shitting bricks enough to go back outside and stoke the fire again. We figure it was just some assholes trying to fuck with us, so we don’t go back home, because we think if we do, they’ll chase us through the woods or some crazy shit.
Nothing else weird happens that night. And we stay another night, and for the main part of the night nothing happens. At about 1 in the morning, we’re outside getting drunk and telling ghost stories. As someone is finishing some 2spooky story — I don’t remember what about — the smell comes back. It’s so fucking strong, that one of the girls literally starts vomiting.
I stand up, and you can actually feel how clammy the air is. I say we should get inside and this isn’t right; we should have just fucking left.
We all go back inside, and we’re standing around. My cousin just keeps going on about how it’s the goat man. And my cousin Rooster tries to shut him the fuck up, and all the while I’m just feeling that something is wrong, and I can’t figure out what the fuck it is.
We end up sitting in there for a while; the smell is just as strong, and we’re terrified and all huddled in this camper. We end up cooking brats for everybody because nobody wants to go outside. It’s one of those packs with 4 brats. We have a total of 3 packs. I grill them up on the stove and give everybody a hot dog. I get mine. After a while, one of my cousins gets up and goes over to the pot to get another one.
He starts grumbling about about how I get two brats and everybody else only got one, and I look at him like he’s fucking stupid. I tell him that everybody only got one because there were only 12 brats, if he wants more he should open up a new pack and cook some more.
That’s when the girl that had been out with Rooster and Tan just starts screaming, “OH JESUS, OH LORD, GET IT OUT!” She’s crying and shivering, and then it dawns on the cousin standing up what the fuck is wrong. Me and him both glance around the room, and then I feel my heart fucking sink. I run the fuck out of the cabin and the girl runs out with us. The trailer door is banging against the side of the trailer as everybody books out of the cabin.
One of my cousin’s friends ask us what the fuck was wrong. I start counting us. There’s only 11 now.
“I shit you not,” my cousin verified. There had been twelve people in the cabin. But being that everybody didn’t really know each other well, nobody had really noticed the whole fucking time that there was an extra person. And then I realized earlier that I had kind of noticed something was off. You know how when you’re just dicking around having a good time that you don’t sweat the smallest shit, and you don’t always keep track of certain stuff? I’m dead sure that someone else had been in the trailer with us, and that they had been there for at least a fucking day, eating with us. What makes it worse is, I could figure out which one because I don’t think anyone ever actually interacted with the other person/the Goat-man.
The girl kept praying to Jesus and we’re all sitting outside; eventually we get big-ass sticks and go back in the cabin, but there’s nobody in there. We count again, and there’s 11 people. We go back into the trailer and lock the door. We explain what the fuck happened, and the girl says that she realized too, and that when he was about to say something, the person sitting next to her had grabbed her leg hard and leaned over toward her and said something she couldn’t understand.
So we are pretty much scared as fuck as we huddle together, and I fall asleep. When I wake up, the sun is just coming up, and half the people are asleep and the other half are packing our shit up.
We all want to walk back home, but like 4 people want to stay until the sun is all the way up. And some people think that we’re just fucking around and still want to stay at the trailers. I just want to get the fuck out of the woods.
The girl’s name was Keira, the one that the Goat-man had touched. Anyway, I asked her if she really thinks it was something bad, and she says she just wants to go home and she doesn’t want to be out in the woods alone for another night.
So we decide to split up; the 4 that want to go can go, but I have to stay because I have the keys to the cabin and it’s my uncle’s and I have to lock up. I’m super pissed at this point, because I feel like people aren’t taking this shit seriously, and I definitely didn’t want to be out in the woods for another night. I spend the rest of the day trying to convince the rest of the people — now 4 girls and 4 guys — to get the fuck out of dodge. Tanner leaves with them to go get a rifle and says he’s going to be back. So there are just 7 of us left by 4 PM.
At around 5 PM he hasn’t made it back yet, and we’re getting extremely fucking antsy, and the only reason I stopped begging them to go back was because he went to get a gun.
it’s about 5:30 PM or so, when the one cousin that did stay says that the girl Keira is outside. We all look outside, and sure enough, she’s standing by the firepit with her back to the cabin.
I’m thinking to myself, if she was so fucking scared, why the hell would she come back? And then I get this nasty feeling in my gut. Keep in mind, the whole time the coppery smell has been gone. Now I realize I can smell just a twinge of it.
I say this to the rest of them and everybody — and these are the people that wanted to stay in the fucking woods after we had the goddamn Goatman in our midst — is laughing at me and asking if I set this up to scare them.
I’m looking at them like, “I’m not fucking bullshitting you at all right now.” I ask them why the fuck would I play like that? So one of the girls goes outside to get Kiera. She gets halfway to her and stops cold. Keira starts heaving; I don’t know how the fuck to describe it. Sort of like if someone with their back turned was laughing without actually making any sound. It was this fact that made me realize there was not a fucking sound in the whole woods; it was dead silent.
This was like later in September, so it was still fairly hot at the time, but it was super chilly some days too. And you could usually hear big-ass geese honking or some kind of birds or squirrels chitchatting.
So I step out the door and tell her to come back in the fucking trailer right goddamn now.
She backs up into the trailer and we lock the fucking door. We pull down all the shades except one, and put a guy there in a chair to watch her. She stands there for another 20 minutes or so. The guy turns to say that she’s still there. And there’s a HUGE fucking bang on the door.
We all jump the fuck up and scramble around the living room of the trailer. The banging is super fucking loud.
So now my cousin is holding one of the girls and the other two are kinda giggling with nervous laughter and me and the other two guys are shitting brix.
Then we hear Tan. He’s screaming.
LET ME THE FUCK IN STOP FUCKING PLAYING!
So we go over to the door and open it, and he stumbles in with a rifle. There’s nobody else outside.
Evidently, he had walked up to the campsite. Nothing weird happened in the forest, but he had seen a girl. Mind you, he said it was not Keira standing there. When he had gotten to the edge of the clearing, she had turned toward him with the slackjawed look and just stared him down, slowly tracking him as he walked around the outside of the clearing towards the camp. He said it wasn’t till he was almost halfway to the trailer he had realized that she was getting closer to him. She had started off by the fire, and without him even seeing her move she had been turning, inching closer. He said he just ran the rest of the way back to the cabin thinking it would open. And when he got to the door and it was locked, he turned and it was about half the distance to the door.
He looks around the room and then gets super pale. He pulls me to the side and whispers in my ear, “You know there are only seven of us in here, right?” I get that feeling where you stomach drops to your nuts. It had been back inside the trailer while we were sorting out who was going where, and then when we all went outside to talk earlier in the day. It has just slipped right back in.
We looked out the window and there is nobody out there. So we recount everyone and then basically, I go over and ask everyone how many people were here earlier. And everybody says 8. I say, “Well, how many are here now?” They all do the count and then realize there are only now 7 people in the cabin.
So Tan had brought back a couple boxes of ammo and his rifle. And he had told his dad that there was some kind of animal in the forest because he didn’t think his dad would believe him if he said it was Goatman. He says that his cousin is supposed to be coming down in a few hours and that in the morning we can all go back to his place and his cousin will drive us home.
Now I’m really fucking terrified, but I at least feel better because we can be American and shoot the fuck out of whatever it is if it comes back. But then my cousin gets into this huge argument with one of the girls because she thinks that I’m trying to be funny and prank them, and that she’s getting really scared and that I’m not funny. He keeps telling her I’m not that kind of person, and she says, “Well, how do we know the girl wasn’t just Tanner in a wig? Or if it’s really the Goatman, how do we know that this is the real Tanner and that Goatman just didn’t kill Tanner in the woods and take his gun?”
So we fucking get into a huge argument about this, where me and Tan are like, “we could seriously be in danger because at the very least someone has been sneaking themselves into our fucking trailer without us knowing and mingling with us, and at worst, something bad is in the forest fucking with us.”
One of the girls is crying and saying she wants to go right now, and we’re trying to tell her we shouldn’t because none of us are walking through the woods in the middle of the night. At this point the sun is starting to go down and it’s getting a little cloudy out.
We eat something and turn on the radio for a while, but we can’t really get a station out there with anything decent. So we turn it off at about the time that Tan’s cousin shows up. He was like 19, I think. At this point, the sun is just barely over the horizon and he has one of those heavy duty lantern flashlights and another rifle. He walks up to the trailer and we whisper to Tan asking if he’s sure that’s his cousin and he says yes.
The guy looks behind him and all around the camp, then walks in. He kind of glances at all of us and looks a little confused.
He says, “Where’s your other little buddy at? I figured she would meet me up at the cabin. Is she a little slow or something?” He also asked whether we had been cooking blood in the cabin, because it smelled like blood and hot pans all the way up the trail. We are all like fucking “NOPE.” But we ask him what the fuck he’s talking about with the girl he saw.
He had come down the same trail Tan had been using and he had come up on “one of youse guy’s buddies” standing in the middle of the trail, looking at him slack jawed. He had asked her a bunch of questions, but all she did was just look at him. Then, she smiled at him and he said he kept walking. She couldn’t seem to keep up with him and kept lagging a little behind him. He said he asked her if she was hurt or something, and if she needed any help. But, she had continued to stare. Eventually, he had been walking and turned around a bend in the trail. But when he turned around and went back to see if she was okay, the trail was empty. He’d assumed she had taken some short cut through the woods to our trailer.
We tell him the whole story of what’s been going on. I half expected him to say we were full of shit, but he just listened and then sat down on the couches in the living room.
Tanner’s cousin gets back to the girl. He says, when she had kept trying to lag behind him, it had kinda weirded him the fuck out, so he tried to keep her in front of him, but no matter how slow he walked, she was always lagging a little behind. And that he smelled this nasty smell, and it got stronger as he got to the camp. Eventually it got really strong. She had said something really low that he didn’t catch, and when he had turned around she had been right the fuck up on him, and he stepped back from her.
It was at this point he asked her if she was okay, and if she wasn’t, him to carry her back the rest of the way, and she just kept staring. He said he reached out for her, as in to grab her on the shoulder, but he must have “misjudged the distance” because she was off to the side of where he had put his hand, like she had moved while he was looking dead at her.
So at this point, we know this shit’s real, unless Tan is playing a joke, which we can tell he’s not because he’s almost pissing his pants.
So they load up their rifles, we eat some more, and we just kind of sit around until about 11. To this fucking day, every time I think about this, I really pray to God that it’s some huge prank that my cousins played on me and just never revealed so I would shit for the rest of my life.
At ’round 11, the stink of copper turns into an actual nasty gross blood-like smell, like cooking blood and singed hair. Tan and his cousin, Reese, get the fuck up instantly and grab the rifles.
There’s like a half-knocking, half-clawing at the door, and I shit you not, there’s this voice, and it sounds like when you see those YouTube cats and dogs whose owners teach them how to “talk.” It says in this halting, weirdly toned voice, “Let me the fuck in, stop fucking playing.”
It made my fucking nuts creep up against my body, and one of the girls just starts crying and calling on Jesus.
It was so fucking obviously not a person talking. It didn’t have the right cadence, and that’s some shit that I never realized until that moment, but all people have a certain cadence when they talk, no matter what language. All people have a certain kind of rhythm to talking.
This shit didn’t have any kind of cadence or rhythm. One of those YouTube cats, that’s what the fuck it sounded like outside the door. So now I’m in full on terror mode. We keep yelling outside “Who is it? Stop fucking around man!” and it just keeps saying, “in” or “Let me the fuck in” for almost 15 minutes.
It sounded like this almost, just not funny. Sorry for being on a tangent, but if you can’t imagine how this shit sounded, then you can’t imagine how fucked up the whole situation was.
So then the smell goes away for a while. And for the next hour or so, you can hear someone basically creeping around in the woods and shit. Every couple minutes it’ll come back into the door, and say something.
Finally when the smell fades away, it’s around 2 in the morning right now. Reese says, “Man, fuck this!” and opens the door and walks outside with his rifle.
He fires a shot into the air, and says something to the affect of, “In the name of Jesus Christ, go away!” He fires two more times, and then from the woods right up against the river across from the trailer, it sounds like something is slowly jibbering and hooting.
Then it starts screaming and it sounds almost like a woman and a cat in a bag screaming together. Like I seriously have never heard any shit like that, and you can hear the brush over that way start to shake, Reese fires over into the treeline and then starts backing into the house.
We lock the door, and we can hear this shit keening and screaming. Reese says something had come out of the bushes, super low to the ground and crawling toward the cabin. He had shot at it.
Pretty much, that was how the rest of the night went; it was literally screaming constantly for the next 2 hours, and we could hear shit moving out into the treeline. But it never came back up to the cabin until everyone had finally fallen asleep.
Tan had been sitting in the chair watching the door with his rifle; nobody else heard or saw this, and he told me two days later, after the whole thing was over.
He said he had been nodding off after the screaming and noises finally stopped, and he had been almost asleep when he saw someone come out of the bathroom and then lay down in the middle of the floor and go to sleep. He just assumed it was one of us and he had nodded off.
Then he said he kind of realized something was wrong, and while pretending to be sleeping, he counted us. There were 9 people in the cabin. He basically didn’t want to try to shoot at the fucking thing in the cabin and have it kill us all then and there, or have Reese wake up and start shooting and then we kill ourselves. So he just stayed awake all night, pretending to be asleep.
He said sometimes, it would stand up and kind of do this weird jittery thing, or heave like it was laughing. But then it would lay back down.
The story closes pretty weak, because from my perspective nothing happened. We woke up. And I noticed that Tan was a little jittery, and that he was avoiding looking at all of us. But we ate some breakfast, packed up and started walking to his house. He stayed last in the cabin and said he’d lock up and bring me my uncle’s keys; to just start walking and he’d catch up. Which I didn’t really want to fucking do.
We got a little bit up the path, and when he came running up, basically we just jogged back to his house. His cousin took us home.
There was a window in the bathroom. Tan had gone back to lock up and looked in there. We were too stupid to lock a screenless window. The window was fucking up when he went in there.
I’m guessing it had been doing that all along, waiting for us to fall asleep or slip up and then getting in among us. It walked with us all the Goddamn way back to his house, and then he said it lagged to the back of the group and looked him dead in the eyes before walking into the woods.