; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Monday, November 25, 2019

Strange Activity Reported in Ocala National Forest

I recently came across the following account:

I live out in the country on the literal edge of Florida's Ocala National Forest, of which a considerable section of lies a long a prominent river. The area is very rural, with the main 'town' only having about 800 people in it. A one traffic light town.

I have bouts of insomnia, where I can't sleep for thinking about everything going on in life, so I'm of a habit of late smoke breaks on the front porch. Usually all is pretty quiet and the crickets are chirping and most of the light comes from the couple street lamps on our road and the porch lights when I'm outside. Very occasionally you'll hear some coyotes yipping somewhere and frogs from the swampy land in the area. Recently, however, I have noticed I feel very on edge when I step out for a cigarette; that feeling of being watched. I usually have a flashlight on the porch so I started shining it into our front and back yards at random intervals in an attempt to maybe see some wildlife. I never see anything though so I have been chalking my feelings up to the natural trepidation of what might lurk in the dark. No biggie, life goes on.

The other evening however, I was up at around 12 am chatting with someone on the phone. I had just stepped out to to smoke and continue the conversation when I heard the most ungodly racket coming from the side of my garage, the side that faces away from the house. It sounded like someone had picked up some of the junk I had on that side of the garage and thrown it as hard as they could against the siding. I called out, thinking it MUST be a neighbor or something, asking them to tell me what they think they were up to. No answer. So I figure must be a deer running into something...when I hear it again. Louder and more forceful. Now I'm really paying attention.

Of course my stupid flashlight is low on batteries and I do not own a cell phone, so I couldn't use it for light. I switched on all the exterior lights and went back out and just sat and listened. Again another loud clatter. Legitimately sounded like someone breaking in. Now I don't own a gun myself but everyone around here does, so I call out that "I have a firearm and I will use it if you don't identify yourself!" No response except yet ANOTHER clatter, this time from the back of the garage, which abuts up to some VERY thick forest. It's thick swampy Florida scrub, and it is so damn dark in there you could stand six feet inside the tree line and be invisible at night.

I got nervous then, thinking it might be a pig or something so I inched back towards the back of the garage and between the house and garage proper. As I take a step back there I hear this loud 'huff' and another clatter and then something tore out into brush. I couldn't see anything as whatever it was was outside the light's perimeter.

Well, had to be an animal, I tell myself. Fast forward to last night. I have a cat that hangs out in the area and I had fed him and put the small bag of cat food inside a plastic chest of drawers on the side of my porch, by the walkway that goes to the detached garage. I sat a full 10 gallon tank of gas in front of the drawer as a deterrent to raccoon and possum getting into it and called it a night.

This morning I'm up sipping my morning cup of coffee and smoking and just getting a feel for the day when something caught my eye; the gas can had been moved back, the drawer was open and the entire bag of food was gone. I looked around and found the bag lying about 15 feet into the treeline off the back. Most of the food was gone and the bag wasn't gnawed on or torn, just unrolled and eaten out of. Now I know raccoons can be crafty, but that would have been one hell of a coon to shove that gas can back, and open the drawer; a drawer I might add that I have trouble opening because the chest of drawers is frankly a piece of junk and is warped a bit from weather. One other weird thing was whatever did this knocked over a bottle of dish soap I had out there; the soap has oozed out overnight but whatever or whoever knocked it over took the time to set the soap back upright. Weird.

One incident was something I can write off, but all this so close together kind of spooked me a bit and with the weird feeling of being watched I got curious.

So here's what I decided to do. I put more cat food in that same drawer, put that gas can back in front of it, and took a bag of diatomaceous earth and sprinkled it all over that section of the porch around where whatever critter (hopefully) would have to walk through. Think like when folks sprinkle talcum powder to try and see ghost footprints.

I did this 6 pm my time and plan on following my regular routine. I WILL report back if I find anything interesting in the morning and even if it's nothing but a huge raccoon or something. My folks should be coming over tomorrow and I know my dad has a decent cellphone so I'll hopefully be able to photograph if any of the marks look abnormal.

This post might seem like a whole heap of nothing, but in the very off chance it isn't, well I wanted to document it as it happened to me. AM

The witness later stated that he did not see any prints or anything else out of the ordinary. The witness did provide another account:

It happened in 2006, July in the middle of summer. Florida's Ocala National Forest. The forest is crisscrossed with service roads that crews go through to check for fire conditions.

My grandpa had had a stroke a couple years previously and mom moved him in to live with them. He was pretty with it still, but speech was hard to understand and he was pretty much locked into a loop of about five phrases. He was a hunter and fisherman in GA (and later when he moved to FL) for his entire life.

Anyhow, on Sundays he and mom would go on long lazy drives around some of his old stomping grounds, and sometimes they'd just pick a road and travel down it to see where it went. They happened to go down one service road and were going slowly just letting grandpa soak in the natural scenery and reminisce about stuff - pretty wholesome stuff.

As they are on one road, which was straight as an arrow for as far down you could see it, they saw what they thought was a man standing beside the road dressed all in black. Which is little weird, since it is hot as hell here in the summer. They first saw him about 100 yards distant, but kept slowly driving forward. They watched him as they rolled forward for about 30 seconds.

Then they see him take three big strides across the road and go into the brush. In that area (like a lot of the area around here) it is thick and tangled scrub and dense tree life. As they pulled up to where they saw him walk into the brush, they took a note of one particular branch that he was roughly head level with and saw it was a good seven or so feet off the ground; not an exact measurement obviously, but it was abnormally taller than a regular old dude. The brush that he went into was THICK, like you need a machete to get a trail blazed; she said that she didn't see any path pr game trail there - like it just melted into the woods. They had stopped the car and mom said she had this really bad feeling, she looked at grandpa and she said he spoke the most complete and intelligible sentence since his stroke, "Go. Let's get the go on. Go."

They sat in silence for a few minutes on the way back towards the home (about 10 miles) before mom asked him "What the hell was that?" and grandpa shrugged and refused to talk about it; he was pretty unsettled by the sighting.

Now, yeah, it could have been an extremely tall man wearing all black in the middle of July in Florida in the middle of dense and largely unpopulated forest; I can't say that that is impossible. But it really really seemed to shake grandpa up and when I asked about it he didn't want to talk about it. That man was a leather skinned outdoorsman for 90% of his life and mom told me she'd never seen him that anxious to get out and not come back that way again. AM

NOTE: Over the years, I've received a lot of reports from Ocala National Forest, Including:

'Gliding' Humanoid Seen Near Ocala, Florida

Astor, Florida: Ground Zero for the Paranormal?

Reptilian Abduction Attempts in Ocala, FL

Vicious Monkeys Roaming Ocala, FL

Beyond Boggy Creek: In Search of the Southern Sasquatch

Wood Knocks Volume 1: A Journal of Sasquatch Research and Leprechaun Press

Wood Knocks Volume 2: A Journal of Sasquatch Research and Leprechaun Press

Wood Knocks Volume 3: Journal of Sasquatch Research and Leprechaun Press

The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster

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