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Monday, August 12, 2019

Wendigo Encounter at Pine Basin, Idaho

I recently came across the following account:

I've lived in Idaho all my life and spent a lot of time outside or in the wilderness as a kid. My grandparents would take me camping and my older brother and I would always hike up whatever trail we could find to get a view of the sunset. On one of these occasions, something terrifying happened.

We were up at a campsite I only know as "Warm River" (the river there never freezes over) and my brother and I were on a regular evening hike. There was an old tunnel bored through the mountain at one part of the trail, probably an old train tunnel, and we were walking through it when the I heard something I'll never forget. After walking through probably 2/3 of the way through the tunnel, I heard a terrible screech at the end we entered through. The screech wasn't like anything I've heard before. I've heard the screams of animals on dark and windy nights. I even think I've heard Bigfoot calls a few times, but never the metallic, grinding screech I heard that day. The point is, whatever the sound was it did not sound natural in any capacity. I probably jumped 5 feet in the air when I heard it, and my brother shouted a few choice curses before shooing me quickly to the exit of the tunnel.

At this point, my brother decided we should just continue walking and head back after whatever made the noise hopefully cleared out. We didn't have any firearms on us, so I was pretty upset. My brother reassured me we would be fine, and we made the walk back without incident. However, I didn't get any sleep that night. Whether it was the thing that screeched at us or just my imagination, I heard things moving around the campsite the whole night, as well as whispers echoing through the darkness outside the trailer. I woke my brother up a few times to check out what it was, but he refused each time, telling me that it was probably just other campers staying up late and enjoying themselves. The rest of the trip was pretty normal. We packed up the following day and my life continued as normal. I was disconcerted but chalked what happened up as a harmless event that I must've been exaggerating in retrospect.

A few weeks later I went up to Pine Basin, an old ski lodge my family rented each year for family reunions. Here I would mess around with my cousins, our favorite activities being "night games". We would play hide and seek, a game called "ghosts in the graveyard", and other games like that. On one instance, I was chosen to be the seeker for a hide and seek game. Because I was one of the younger cousin, I got a flashlight as an advantage. Normally, all the younger cousins hid close to the lodge and the older cousins hid in the trees or at the base of the nearby mountain. As I was searching near the bottom of the mountain, I heard a familiar whistle up the mountain a bit (we would always whistle as a hint at our locations). It sounded like someone was hiding way up near a tree known as the "underwear tree" (you can guess why) so I began trekking up toward the the whistle.

As I climbed closer, I got an uneasy feeling in my stomach. I continued on warily, and convinced myself that I would be fine. I hated walking in the night alone, but figured whoever I find would walk me back to the lodge. As I neared the tree, I noticed that it was deathly silent. This alerted me that something was very wrong, because you could always hear the adults having fun back at the lodge. I was anxious to hurry back, so I called out "I found you Scott (I thought the whistle was my older cousin's), come back down with me". I got no reply, but I wasn't planning on waiting. As I began walking back down the path, I heard a voice call "you almost had me", so I ran back up to investigate. I flashed my light in the branches of the tree, and saw a monstrosity that was not my cousin. It looked like a poorly drawn stick-figure made into a human with its emaciated figure and lifeless eyes. I remember it's face looked like the skin on its head was being pulled from behind: it had torn and stretched features. As soon as I saw the creature I screamed, dropped the flashlight, and ran back to the lodge.

The entire time I ran I was overcome by an overpowering smell and I could hear the thing running after me. As I approached the camp I saw a few people (my cousins) at the bottom of the mountain waiting for me. I was crying and shaking and they took me inside. I told my dad what happened, but my cousins all said they didn't see anything following me. The adults kept us inside for the night, and I kept hearing sounds drifting in from the mountains. I never played night games after that happened, and was always terrified that my cousins wouldn't listen to my warnings.

Ever since that night I have always felt uneasy up in those mountains. I used to be really religious and figured it was a demon of some kind trying to kill me or something like that, but those mountains have never felt the same after that incident. A few years ago the game “Until Dawn” became really popular and I watched a walkthrough of it on YouTube. When the Wendigo first appeared in game, I got chills down my spine. It was exactly what I saw, and I did a ton of research on them. I figure someone must've gotten snowed in at that old lodge and resorted to cannibalism, but that doesn't explain what happened at Warm River. I still hear that screech from time to time (it never occured to me until watching 'Until Dawn' that they might be from the same thing) and it scares the hell out of me every time. I heard it earlier tonight, and that's why I decided to finally write my story down. MV

The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures

Dangerous Spirits: The Windigo in Myth and History

The Monster Book: Creatures, Beasts and Fiends of Nature

A Menagerie of Mysterious Beasts: Encounters with Cryptid Creatures

Monsters Among Us: An Exploration of Otherworldly Bigfoots, Wolfmen, Portals, Phantoms, and Odd Phenomena

Humanoid Encounters Series - Albert S. Rosales

Lon's Suggested Reading List - Books & Films / DVDs