Phantoms and Monsters - Real Cryptid Encounter Reports - Fortean Researcher Lon Strickler

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

'The Thing in the Woods' - Bigfoot Confrontations in Rural Western Pennsylvania


An eyewitness recalls her family's clashes with local Bigfoot in western Pennsylvania. It got so bad that two lifelong outdoorsmen vowed that their hunting days were over.


I recently came across this interesting account:

"Within the past 2 or 3 years, I put pieces together from my childhood and concluded that the creature we all feared when we were kids (which we simply named "the thing in the woods") was in fact a Bigfoot. There were just too many similarities to a lot of incidents and descriptions that I've heard from researchers and eyewitness accounts. I also looked up sighting reports and couldn't believe it when I saw that my area (western Pennsylvania) was a literal hotbed of activity! And I can commiserate with others, having something like this lurking in your home area is terrifying, especially for kids. I remember these occurrences didn't really start happening until I was around 11 and my sister was 8.

I remember when we first acknowledge our "thing" to a couple of our cousins when they were visiting for a day. We were sitting on my Gram's porch, who lived next door to us in a rural area. It was going to start getting dark in about an hour or so, and we started getting nervous. Our cousins kept asking why we were saying we had to go down home and be in before dark. We finally told them that there was something that would come through the woods after dark that sounded like a freight train and broke tree branches and (I guess this was the vital clue) that it stunk awful. The best way to describe it then was like burning rubber. That's when my older cousin, very calmly but matter-of-factly simply said "Oh well it sounds like you have the thing in the woods here too." We were shocked and asked what he meant.

He recalled a story he'd heard his dad and uncle talking about to their wives the previous hunting season (about 2 or 3 hours from our place this was). They always went deer hunting, and in summer went fishing. They had this little tin trailer they bought for that property that was about a couple hours from their houses. They had it for only about 3 years. He said that this past hunting season they cut their trip early, coming home after only about 3 days. And they got home at some crazy hour in the morning, because they'd left in the middle of the night to come home. Their reason was the following.

My cousin said that his dad and uncle had been up at camp and everything seemed normal at first, though it seemed that there were fewer deer that season. Populations change so they didn't think anything of it. The first night they were there one of them thought they heard some tree breaks while he was out relieving himself, but thought nothing of it since there are bears up there too. Trees can break naturally and fall. That night they slept well but when they left in the morning they saw some odd pine cones and a couple small rocks around the trailer. They couldn't figure out where they came from.

The second night they both heard pinging on the roof and back of the trailer that sounded like really heavy big hail. It only happened randomly, but it was enough to pique their interest. They looked outside, but didn't see anything. They commented that they smelled something awful, like a skunky-type smell. It was my cousin's uncle that had said it reminded him of "burning tires on asphalt in the heat of summer" (that's why when we said that it tipped my cousin off).

Outside that next morning they found more rocks behind the trailer. They climbed a ladder to the roof and there were rocks on top. This definitely perplexed them but they thought maybe it was some stupid kids messing with them. So they hunted that day and that (final) night they were talking and listening to see if something would happen again. Sure enough they heard some large rocks hitting the back of the trailer. They went out with guns and yelled whoever it was to stop, that they had a right to protect their property and they'd do it. But he rocks kept coming. They went back out and smelled that awful odor again. Very strong at that point. Then they heard what they described was a loud, powerful 'slap' on the backside of the trailer. Now they were mad. They ran out again with their guns to confront the pranksters. They said that all they saw was a dent in the trailer and as they panned their flashlight they caught a glimpse of something large taking off through the tree line. They said it had dark fur, like a bear, but they both said they saw it 'running upright like a person.' They knew no one in a fake suit could move that stealthily, or put that dent in the sidewall of their trailer. They went inside and one of them said, "We just saw a "f*cking Bigfoot!" They packed up their things and left within the hour, feeling very threatened. That was the last time they ever went to that property.

So something terrified these lifelong hunters/woodsman into giving up something they loved. Hearing that story made me a believer. We were terrified all through growing up of the thing in the woods. Even to this day, after more recent encounters, I'm just as scared and won't go there at night. And what truly solidified my belief that Bigfoot were around here was when I started to live with my ex (not living there now because he passed away unexpectedly). He insisted that there were Bigfoot coming around the property. He had weird habits too, which made me feel he was serious. He was a very well-respected Army vet and active duty policeman." RK

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Bigfoot in Pennsylvania: A History of Wild-Men, Gorillas, and Other Hairy Monsters in the Keystone State

The Essential Guide to Bigfoot

Don't Look Behind You: Following Ghost Roads Into the Unknown

Beyond the Seventh Gate: Exploring Toad Road, The Seven Gates of Hell, and Other Strangeness in York, Lancaster, and Adams Counties

Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook

Astonishing Encounters: Pennsylvania's Unknown Creatures, Casebook 3

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

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