Creepy Things That Seem Real But Aren’t is a series that explores modern urban legends, bringing you a new tale each week.
The previous summer, one of ducttape’s friends bought a house in the backwoods of Vermont. And when I say backwoods, I do mean backwoods—it was miles away from anything remotely resembling a town. It wasn’t unusual for the friend to find various forms of wildlife in his yard—deer, moose, coyotes, and so on—and he and his wife would often hear the animals’ cries and howls. Occasionally, though, the noises would sound… kind of odd. But ducttape brushed his friend’s claims off as just typical woods sounds—until he heard them for himself. One night during a buddy movie night, what ducttape described as “blood-curdling inhuman screams” began emanating from the woods. The next day, the friend called up ducttape and said that there were tracks in his yard. Snow had been kicked up, as if there had been a fight, and a path lead out into the woods behind the house. The friend had strapped his snow shoes on and headed into the woods to investigate—and found blood everywhere. A little further on, he saw a dead deer in the snow. The deer hadn’t been eaten; rather, it had been torn apart. But that wasn’t all ducttape’s friend found: Behind the deer’s ravaged corpse, broken pine branches had been stuck in the snow. There was no way they had simply fallen there; they were sticking straight up, having been driven into the snow, and they looked “almost like a shrine or a tombstone made of branches.”
Ducttape’s buddy wisely got the hell out of there.
The noises didn’t stop, though, so once spring came round, ducttape decided to help his friend investigate. In his post, ducttape told the reddit community that he, his friend, and a couple of their other buddies were going to hike the woods behind the house and camp out. Naturally, they would be bringing a camera with them. He asked the other redditors if they had any advice for him. “Have you ever heard of anything like this happening? Is there some crazy backwoods cult or folklore that I haven’t heard about?” he asked. No one really did, though, and off he went.
Two days later, he posted report of their trip. The hike was tough; they went through the woods, up the mountains, and off the path, eventually setting up camp by an old campfire pit. Though ducttape says they (happily) never felt like they were in danger, the did find a number of odd things:
- There were bone fragments around their campsite.
- They found what they called a “ghost radio station”—a strange signal popped up on an AM frequency that later disappeared. Later, he wondered if he’d stumbled upon a numbers station.
- Their electronic devices kept malfunctioning—they would say that the batteries were dead and shut off at weird times. In the morning, everything was working fine.
- They heard what sounded like a kid telling in the woods.
- They captured the screaming sound that started the whole mystery. It happened twice; the first time it was further away, but the second one was “definitely closer.” They managed to catch it briefly on their camera before the camera died.
- Finally, when they all went to bed, ducttape says he swears he heard voices in the woods, but he was too scared to investigate; furthermore, without a functioning camera, there was no way to document the noises.