; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Horrifying Deadly Cryptid Encounter (Possible Wendigo) in Central Montana

A horrifying account of an encounter with an unknown cryptid, possibly a Wendigo, at a Girl Scout camp in central Montana. The result was the death of a counselor and a terrible maiming of one of the girls.

I recently received the following account:

"This occurred in 2008. I was 10 years old and a Girl Scout in central Montana. They did a cool thing every summer for two weeks at a time. I was super excited because mostly the only thing we had done was stay after school to talk and do arts and crafts. For two weeks every summer; a bus system would go around to a bunch of small towns in the area and round up Girl Scouts at 7 in the morning, and then drop them back home at 7 at night. It took two hours to drive to the campground this was situated in.

It was a really obscure campground, with a single road in and out. There was forest for miles and miles in every direction, except for south; which was where the road led. If you drove about an hour south; you'd see farms and then the small town I lived in.

The campground itself was a huge field, with a lodge in the middle. The lodge was two stories and old, but just barely big enough to fit a small gift shop run by a nice old Native American lady; a mess hall, and a huge kitchen. A staircase led to a balcony that went all around and faced down into the mess hall. There were a bunch of beds there for us to stay the night.

Around the huge field were trails scattered to what we called 'stations.' Every mile or so, a small campground would come into view. Each small troop of Girl Scouts (sorted by age, level, town, and then school) would have a station to itself as a waypoint to relax and gather after nature hikes. Every two miles or so was a porta-potty.

I remember my station was one of the nicer ones, and we had a small troop. The station itself was within twenty feet of a porta-potty, which we decorated with stay-out signs so no one would use it (it was OUR porta-potty, that's for sure). It also had a sturdy wooden rain cover over the picnic table, a fire pit (we only used it once) and a small dirt clearing that we played in. The girls in my group were Emily, my next-door neighbor (we were best friends at the time) Samantha, Alice, Lizzy, and then Princess. Our group leader was Ms. Malinda, a really chill senior.

Most of the day we would hike around, looking for trails and plants and sometimes even making flower necklaces from wildflowers in the field (at least ones that hadn't been cut by a lawn mower a few weeks before) and gimping.

Gimping was really important to us, and I feel it is relatively important to the story as well. Gimping was more known to us as weaving, not the computer program. We would go to the lodge every day and depending on how many 'points' we earned from our hikes and activities, we could buy a color or two as a group and weave these little strips for our backpacks. Each day a single troop did the same pattern and colors, which helped keep track of everyone and if someone lost a gimp, it could be easily returned. The more gimp you had on your backpack, the more authority you had.

There used to be a guy who would walk around and check on the groups every once in a while. He was super nice, and he always wore dark black hiking shoes, white socks, shorts, and his army green backpack. It was covered, COVERED in gimp, so everyone looked up to him and respected him. I think he was a park ranger or something, but I don't remember seeing his badge. He was really nice, and everyone trusted him. If he wasn't a park ranger, he must have been a frequent camper or a Scout's grandpa or dad.

That's pretty much all of the important details out of the way.

So, one day at the end of the first week; I am begging and begging my mom to let me stay. She was working a part-time job, and taking care of me and my two-year-old brother. My dad was on his second mission in Iraq, which made her even more stressed. Finally, once my mom heard that Emily's mom was giving in, she allowed me to go under the condition that I made sure to brush my teeth and put on a lot of bug spray.

I very happily agreed and rushed off to my room to pack everything as soon as possible.

The next morning, with envelopes in hand, I and Emily got on the bus. When we arrived, we were jumping around Ms. Malinda like monkeys. She seemed happy for us and showed the envelopes to the old lady at the gift shop. The old lady smiled at us, and we got to choose our own gimp colors to work on that afternoon while we waited in our bunks. She led us upstairs to where some older girls were cleaning up their bunks, and we got to choose ours. We were really excited.

That night, after all of the kids who weren't staying left, we all went out with four other group leaders and the gimp guy. We were each sorted into groups of three (I was with Emily and a Cadette named Jessie) and were told that we were going to play some version of hide and seek. We were each given maps of the area, flashlights, and glow sticks. I think that if we were tagged, we had to go back to the field and wait until the horn was sounded. The last team standing won. Afterward, we were going to have a huge fire and roast smores.

That sounded good to us, and we all split off. We led Jessie to our station, but after we realized it was much too crowded, we slipped out and started going further. We planned on hiding in Jessie's station. It was farther out, and would be much harder to find, so we were fine with it. The gimp guy and the other leaders were supposed to be out monitoring the edge of the campground.

Halfway into the game, it started getting dark. This is when we arrived at Jessie's camp. Me and Emily where kind of getting scared at this point, so we stayed close to her and sat at the picnic table, while she showed us how to gimp a swirly design. We were set on sitting everyone else out.

By the time it was dark enough that we had to turn our flashlights on, I could see Jessie was getting a bit nervous. She was a bit pale, which made me and Emily super quiet all of a sudden. We had been out here for an hour, maybe an hour and a half. "Is a group coming?" Emily asked. Jessie shushed us both, looking out into the woods with her flashlight.

We all sat, pretty stiff for a good ten minutes. Me and Emily stopped gimping and looked around too, ready to spring up and bolt if a group came out of the bushes.

That was when we heard a growling sound. It was low, and if we had been talking we wouldn't have heard it. I felt my little heart start beating, fast. "Is it a cougar?" I asked softly, looking at Jessie. "Shh!" She whispered. "If it is, I need you guys to start screaming and hold out your arms, okay?" We both nodded, now thoroughly scared.

We all jumped and squeaked when we saw movement, and I remember dropping my gimp. I quickly leaned down to pick it up. That's when I heard Jessie gasp. I quickly looked up and froze.

It was huge. It looked like a bear, but it stood on its back legs like a weird-looking deer. Its face looked vaguely human, and it looked like its mouth had been ripped open. Its face was covered in blood. It had a longish neck, and thick shoulders, and looked deathly skinny. I could barely make out tiny horns poking out from scraggly brown hair. Its hair was falling out in clumps. Its arms were much too long, its knees bent. It looked kind of like it had paws, but I couldn't see that well because Jessie kept the flashlight pointed at its face.

Two things scared me about it the most though, as if I wasn't already terrified enough. Its eyes were a milky white color, and in its bloody claws was the gimp man's bag. He never took off that bag. EVER.

We stared at each other for what felt like ages, and I realized that it wasn't growling, it was breathing. It sounded like it had a frog in its throat, but it physically couldn't cough.

When it stepped forward, Jessie screamed and pushed us under the picnic table. We both started screaming too as she practically covered us with her body; throwing the flashlight out first, attempting to hit it as it started trying to claw away at the concrete table. Then she threw the glow sticks, and whatever we could scrounge in our hiking bags. Books, first aid kits, gimp balls, rocks, bags of food; anything.

It's really hard for me to think about this all because it was just terrifying. Most kids are scared of something under their bed, but having something like this throw itself at you from the far reaches of a forest you had once thought safe, in the middle of nowhere, it's a whole different nightmare.

It was making a broken, cracked wailing or howling sound every few minutes, before grunting and growling and heavily breathing as it tried to squeeze its claws and head under the table, or through the holes of the seats, or even through the holes of concrete that had been chipped out of the table. We were all still screaming too, and that was when it stopped.

We all went deathly quiet, and I peeked out past Jessie's arm and saw it raise its head, before looking around and marching around the table. It looked at the table every once in and while, and by now we were all just crying and covering our own mouths to stay quiet. It paused and looked back.

I can still see its eyes. Just thinking about it makes me pause and shudder. Suddenly, it bounds towards the table and over it, almost like a dog. But when it landed again on the other side, it took off on two legs, and then on both its arms and legs, and then on just its legs again.

We waited there for an hour in pitch blackness, under that picnic table, until an Ambassador found us. We were all shaking and crying and trying to explain, even though Jessie was 13 years old she was terrified. That just scared us more. We were rushed back to the lodge, and we didn't do a fire pit that night.

I didn't see Jessie again after that, but I heard some other Seniors talking about a bear attack or something, and that her back was all messed up. Me and Emily curled up on the bottom bunk under the sheets.

We went home the next day, and apparently, everything had been already explained to worried parents. I remember that before I got on the bus, a real park ranger-looking guy pulled both me and Emily aside to ask about the bear. We tried to tell him, that was NOT a bear, it was DEFINITELY NOT a bear, but he didn't seem to believe us.

He asked us about the gimp man too, holding up a picture and asking us if we'd seen him or anything to do with him. We told him we'd seen him yesterday night, and that the 'bear' had been holding his bag. We told him about where Jessie's camp was, and we both got stickers and were ushered onto the bus.

To this day, I'm really thankful to Jessie. If it weren't for her quick thinking, we could have died in those woods that night. I haven't heard about the gimp man since either. I don't know if he's alive or not, and I haven't been back to that camp since. I now live in Canada, far away.

It feels better to get it out in words, and gives me some peace of mind." SY

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