Saturday, May 05, 2012

The Trail


This is going to be the only post for today. I'm a bit 'under the weather' and somewhat miserable. I received the following email today from Danny...its quite interesting:

To whom it may concern,

I am writing this to you in order to add it to your many varied collections of the paranormal and oddity phenomena reported daily.

I am a 29 year old male from Pennsylvania and I have read through several stories on your site.

I thought I would share with you and your readers one of the many strange things I have personally experienced, and like other people I would like to know if they too had this type to experience; in September 2008 my best friend Ciera (pronounced Sierra) and I went to a park named Hocking Hills in Ohio for a day retreat from our busy lives. She and I had decided on this at random when we first got together early in the morning just after sunrise; it was a nice warm late summer day and we'd just decided to make a full day drive and hike out of it. Hocking Hills is well known for it's several walking trails, a cave or two, and several water falls and running water / creek areas. The day was very warm, sunny, hardly a cloud over head, and very nice.

We started a walk at random and found that one of the trails had been washed out so we had to take another path which forced us to cross a road; on the other side was a tall fire look out ranger's station which doubled as a Fire Tower. We had seen a lot of people out walking with us that day and a few hiker/backpackers had passed us by on their treks up until that point. We played with our phones a bit on the way to show each other some pictures we took a few days before on a different outing and noted it was roughly after 12-noon when we came out of the woods and walked across the road; it was then that we noticed there was caution tape all over the fire tower, there was a pungent smell in the air which we could not identify, the windows on top of the tower appeared to be taped up, grimy, and there were flies all over the area. We walked past it, commenting how odd it was, and continued down a seemingly new trail we hadn't seen on a previous walk in the area. The trail took us past the fire tower and then cut into the woodlands; as we walked into the forest we took notice that no one seemed to be around. In fact not only did we feel isolated from others but we felt very chilled without explanation. That day had been very warm as we both wore very cool clothing and when we entered the forest it began to feel very cool, much cooler than we expected and we both were shivering as we felt the temperature drop.

As we continued down the way my friend pointed out that it was getting darker than either of us should have expected or seemed to be - we looked around and there were nothing but trees on all sides, there should have been a forest edge somewhere as the area wasn't really that big but aside from some hills and tall pine trees there wasn't a real 'ending' to the woods like we expected as the area tends to be narrow and normally you can see the edges. She took out her phone to use her GPS because she instinctively felt lost but her battery was nearly gone, I took mine out and it had no signal, the battery was also near dead, and showed "EE:EE" for the time (meaning it couldn't update as it was a older style flip-phone with camera and when set to auto-adjust would contact the mobile phone network every 15 min).

It was only then as the light grew dimmer as we continued on our way that I noticed it was very silent suddenly. Our foot steps echoed, the leaves, grass, twigs, and our breathing just echoed. Ciera got spooked and I did too, she mentioned it was very out of ordinary. I agreed but I couldn't shake this sense of foreboding that something was amiss. I tried to rationalize it but I really, honestly, couldn't figure any of it out at all.

We continued forwards going down a small hill on trail and back up when it got darker. The world seemed to have gone from shadowy to near twilight darkness. My friend grabbed my arm and started freaking out about how weird it got - then the air grew chillier, and had a feeling of something wrong. We both took off running looking for an exit, for some odd reason we never thought to turn around at all as we ran we could hear our steps echo off the area as things just felt like they grew more gloomy.

Then ahead of us down a small hill and back up the other side we could see two large bushes on either side of the trail like a gate. We made a mad dash for the bushes and just as we pushed through the plants something odd happened - we were nearly blinded by light as sound and warmth returned all at once. It was like stepping outside of a cold, empty, and dark building to a warm busy street. We stood at the edge of a place known as Old Mans Cave which has a large water fall and a u-shaped cliff where you can look down into where the water and people gather. We turned around and the bushes were the same but the area was different, brighter, not silent for sure, and warm. In fact our skin was cold to touch which just reinforced the facts. We took out our phones and the time had finally updated, it was now 4pm. The normal trail would only have taken an hour to walk fully so it was a loss of three full hours!

Logic attempted to set in and we decided the trail we came up must have just appeared creepy because there may have been clouds over head or a storm blew by but when we went back between the bushes there was no trail. Nothing looked like it had a few seconds ago. Ciera walked around the bushes twice and it was the same bright sunny day with no darkness and no trail. We waited, it was blue sky over head and we could see the edges of the forest and other people. The trail had simply vanished as it we had never walked it.

On returning past the trail where the fire tower was located, we noticed it was normal looking and there was a blond haired young lady with her hair in a pony tail climbing the steps, the windows were not taped and very clean, and no pungent smell. We don't know what it was, but it certainly was creepy. Of course I jokingly told her later that day over dinner we had entered the faerie realms by mistake and were lucky to get away, she didn't find that funny of course but either way we felt we should share this with you and if anyone out there has had a similar experience perhaps they can provide insight.

Thanks again,

- Danny

Hiding in the Mirror: The Quest for Alternate Realities, from Plato to String Theory (by way of Alicein Wonderland, Einstein, and The Twilight Zone)

The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos (Vintage)

Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos



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2 comments :

Helvetica said...

Lon,

Hope it's just a "bug" at most and you get to feeling better.

Even though I rarely comment, I read your blog everyday!

patty1019 said...

There have always been five main caves in the Hocking Hills Region of Hocking County, Ohio. These are: Old Man´s Cave, Cantwell Cliffs, Cedar Falls, Conkle´s Hollow and Ash Cave. As a child my family walked between one cave and Old Man´s cave as there was a little known trail, off state property which connected the two. Your trip sounds the same as our own in that it was quite cold down in the bottom of that hollow. The trees were dense meaning that little sunlight and heat got through them to penetrate to the ground beneath. Our hike was in late summer before school began in Sept. I do recall a firetower near where we entered the woods to go on this little used trail. It wasn´t marked as an official trail and was on private property. We all noted as we came out at Old Man´s cave that it was quite a bit warmer. The day had been very hot but we too were cold to the touch after our hike on that trail. This isn´t anything out of the normal for the hills in southern Ohio. Anyone who lives in a clearing at the edge of the woods can attest to natural a/c coming out of the woods hours before dusk. In Sept. particularly the breezes in such areas can pick up the cold from a hollow and deposit it in a clearing that´s been hot, even sweltering. Even so, I´ve witnessed things in Old Mans Cave on many occasions as a child that caused me not to want to return to that area anytime soon. We witnessed native indian boys in leather breechcloths, moccasins, and braids, trying to start a fire in a cave. Most times, even as an adult I could catch fleeting glimpses of adult and child native indians, some carrying baskets full of food they´d been gathering along the sides of the caves. We saw many of them one day doing this. The look of horror on their faces had to have been mirrored on our own at that point when we all made eye contact. Before our eyes they faded from view and no doubt we faded from their own. You can actually sit down in the bottom along the trail when there are a lot of visitors to that cave. Watch them all pass by and wait for the screams. We did this for awhile and then went on up where they´d come from to see what was going on. We could hear these people talking about what they´d screamed about. They all said they´d just seen indians. Old Man´s Cave is quite large and not only can you see indians, you can hear them talking, hear their music and even smell their camp fires. I´ve personally seen smoke there as well. In the 1960s the State Park Rangers would rush to see where this smoke was coming from but would find nothing. Hikers would tell them often what they´d seen. In telling them what we´d seen they passed along that others had seen them in the same area as well. This is a unique place as are all the other caves in the area. Ohio was quite populated by indians when europeans came into the area. The ancestors walk among us always.

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