It’s Halloween! As we stumble through the darkness to and from our favorite hunting spots, every sound jumbles the nerves. Every shadow grows into unimaginable things.
Many generations ago our ancestors had a heightened awareness of their surroundings. The sudden flush of a flock of birds or a shift in the wind held meaning that is lost or ignored by people today. In our world of electric lights, air conditioning, and electronic communication we dismiss our gut feelings. We ignore danger signs as we chat away on our cell phones or rock out to the latest songs from iTunes.
Hunting reconnects us with our heritage. As we become predators, our senses heighten and become attune with things we no longer understand. With electronic distractions gone, previously ignored warnings from our surroundings become loud and clear.
In continuing with the tradition of telling scary stories around the hunting campfire, here’s a few strange but true tales from fellow Hoosiers.
Most paranormalists feel that a strong emotional event leaves an imprint on the physical world; a recording that is replayed again and again through time. Fear, anguish, anger, and hatred are powerful emotions and may leave strong undercurrents. Even to this day many cultures shun areas where tragic events took place, fearing the vengeful spirits that may still linger.
One such area may exist in northern Indiana where J. Miller spends many fall afternoons. “I hunt a swamp that was once Potawatomi Indian territory. I am just downriver from where the Potawatomi Indian camp of Chief Five Medals was destroyed by US troops in the war of 1812.” As no one truly knows where the camp was, evidence might suggest it was even closer. Over the years many arrowheads and pottery pieces have been found within sight of Miller’s tree stand.
“One evening the first week of archery deer season, it was a dead-calm evening. The temperature was around 75 degrees and bugs were everywhere. The sun had sunk below the horizon and that time of night that every deer hunter loves had arrived.”
“It wasn't minutes after the sun had disappeared that a strong, cold gust of wind came from the swamp. It wasn't a normal early October breeze. The tree tops were bending and the temperature seemed to plummet. After that gust of wind passed it was dead silent again. Not even a slight breeze rustled the leaves.”
“In the following silence I got that uneasy feeling that I was being watched. I don’t usually get scared, but the hair on my arms stood up and got the pit feeling in my stomach. I got down from the stand and high-tailed it out of there. It is a great stand to hunt out of but that gave me the heebie-jeebies.”
Since that time, Miller often gets that same feeling about that same time of the evening.
There are old stories of creatures that man’s limited eyesight can’t see. It is a fact that there is an entire spectrum of light that doesn’t register to our eyes, but can be seen by animals, such as hummingbirds and deer. Some woodsmen speculate that there are rare predators that are of a color that we can’t see. Perhaps that’s the explanation of the next story from Brad.
“I was deer hunting down in Greene-Sullivan State Forest several years ago. I’d never hunted that area before because it’s so far from my home. It was before dawn when I went into the woods. I remember passing a pond that was “glowing” in the moonlight. I figured that it was caused some sort of algae, but it gave me a bit of an eerie feeling as I headed for my tree stand near a field of crops.”
Brad sat the entire day and didn’t see much in the way of deer. As the shadows grew long he started thinking about heading for home.
“Suddenly, I noticed some does that were heading toward me from slightly uphill and to my left. I didn’t want to shoot a doe that day so I kept my bow in my lap.”
“The does kept slowly moving toward me, until they were about 20 yards away. Then they stopped. I was watching them, admiring how beautiful they were when suddenly all of them turned their heads to look back uphill along the path that they had just come down.”
“I immediately thought that there may be a buck coming so I slowly stood up and got ready. As I waited, I scanned the field for movement. To my amazement, I didn’t see a buck, or anything else, but the deer did. As I watched the deer, their heads followed “something” coming down the trail. They weren’t looking at the ground or up in the trees. Judging from their gaze, whatever they were watching was at their height or just above them.”
“They slowly turned in unison as it came closer and closer. Then, whatever it was that they were watching, moved right through the middle of their group and out into the field. Every one of those deer was watching the same thing at the same time.”
“The hair on the back of my neck prickled and I have to tell you, I was a little spooked.”
“After a moment the deer all stopped watching and went back to browsing, slowly moving out into the field to feed.”
Brad never saw what the deer were watching so intently. It wasn’t dark yet and Brad was close enough that he should have seen something. “Whatever it was didn’t spook the deer at all, but not one of them ever took their eyes of it.”
“I’m not one to believe in ghosts or the paranormal, but that event made me think that maybe there are things in this world that we just don’t understand.”
Remember that the next time you step into the dark woods. Happy Halloween!
For more stories check out http://sportsman-mag.com/ghost-stories-two-tales-of-haunted-hoosier-hunting/