; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Late Night Angry Roar Terrorizes Indiana County, Pennsylvania Family

The late night angry roar and damaged screen door generated by a cryptid beast disturbs a rural family in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. Without saying, they knew what it was. 

The following account was in response to an earlier post:

"This incident occurred during the summer of 1983 as I was about to begin my senior year in high school. My family lived in rural Pennsylvania, in northern Indiana County. Our farmhouse was built in the mid-1800s. In the early 1900’s an addition was added to the back that more than doubled the size of the original house. The original house was a 4 square house, so-called for the 4 square rooms, two on the first floor and two on the second floor, with a stair case in the back. The house as a whole was sturdy, albeit a bit cranky. Every night in summer I fell asleep listening to the pops, cracks, creaking, and groans as the house cooled off in the night air.

The house was built on high ground, next to the mouth of an ancient ravine that ran for over a mile, deeper and darker and rockier as it went down, down to the north branch of the Little Mahoning Creek. The ravine was heavily wooded at the beginning, then the trees sparsened to a few old ones tenaciously rooted into the eroded rocks and glacial till. It was dark and cool and damp down in there, even on the hottest summer day and I spent many summer days down in those woods. I knew the plants, the trees, the birds, and the deer. I heard much I couldn’t see, like the rabbits running through the brush and the squirrels high up scolding me as I walked. I could sense the ones that hid and made no noise: the bobcats lurking and the nocturnal critters in peeking at my back after I passed their burrows.

Sometimes sudden waves of total silence would descend on the woods. The air would be still. The birds would silence themselves. I taught myself to stop at these moments and to observe. I knew it wasn’t me that made the animals go silent, so I figured something, a bobcat perhaps, was close by. I never saw what it was that caused the silences, but I loved to imagine myself as a skilled tracker. Nothing of the sort of course, but I will claim to know those woods. I also had a bosom friend and companion as the roamed the woods and ravines around my home; a big male German Sheppard named Chap. Chap loved to run and roam and chase groundhogs. We prowled along through the woods for years.

This particular night I awoke suddenly, very awake and alert. The wind was blowing against the open window. Our room had the crank-out windows that were popular in the 70s, when the house had been remodeled. The bottom of the window tilted out and the rain ran off. There was a low rumble off in the distance, the thunder of a summer storm blowing in from the west.

I was laying on my belly, my face on its left side on my pillow and my arms around and under my pillow. I listened to the rain. It was not unusual for me to wake up in the middle of the night. It’s been a regular occurrence in my life since I was very young. By that point, at 17 years old, I was used to my 3:00 AM ritual, though still very irritated by it. Across the room, I could hear my brother breathing. I could hear our dog, lying on the foot on my brother’s bed, sniffing at the rainy night air blowing in the window. Across the hall from our room, I could hear my dad’s low steady rumbling snore.

Then I heard something that made my eyes fly open in the pitch black room. From down in the ravine, off in the distance I heard an animal call unlike any I had ever heard. It was a roar, an angry roar. To the best of my knowledge, the apex predator in those woods was the bobcat. This was too deep, too throaty, for a bobcat.

Then I heard it again. Surprisingly closer. A lot closer. I listened for my brother’s breathing. Silence. He was awake.

“What is that?” I loudly whispered.

“I don’t know!” he whispered back. There was obvious concern in his voice.

Then we heard it again. It had to be no more than 75 feet from the house, down at the corner of the yard where the trail led into the woods and down to the ravine. First of all, it was no damn bobcat. It was not a dog. Not a coyote. And it was most definitely not a man.

Next to my bed was a softball bat. Still have it, as a matter of fact. That night, all I wanted in the world was to slide my hand out from under my pillowed head and reach down and grab that ball bat. But I couldn’t move. Everyone in the house seemed paralyzed. I kept expecting to hear my dad throw his bedroom door open, but he never made a sound.

Then two things happened, in rapid succession. There was a tremendous crash, like something or someone had ran headlong into the house. Then there was another roaring screaming howl, this time right next to the house. It was an angry roaring shout so loud I felt like it was next to my face. I had never, in all my life, heard an animal make a noise that loud. It was like a V8 engine with straight pipes was running wide open throttle. At the same time, there was a throbbing, a low frequency growl that seemed to make the house vibrate.

All I could do was close my eyes and try to scream, but nothing came out.

I must have passed out. The next thing I know it was morning. The sun was shining. The house was still there. I slept in, which was very unusual in my family. I went downstairs. My dad and brother had already left for the day. My mom stood at the sink, washing dishes. I looked at my mom wide-eyed. Surely she heard what happened. She met my eyes and pointed to the back porch of our house, a small side room that housed the washing machine, dryer, and coat closet. I walked to the back porch to see that the door that led to the outside had been ripped from its hinges and lay flat on the floor of the porch. In the coat closet, with his nose pressed as far back as it could go, laying in a puddle of his own urine, was Chap. He lay there, whimpering, for two days before he finally came out.

I was given the task to fix the door. When it was up and repaired, I went to my mom and basically asked, “Are we going to pretend that nothing happened last night?” My mom sighed with obvious exasperation and said something along the lines of, “Well, what would you like to know? You know what that was. Your dad knows. I know, we all know. Not much to talk about, other than how scary it was, and frankly, I don’t need to talk about that, thank you.” And for my family, that was pretty much the end of it. I brought it up once not long ago. My dad shrugged. “I know as much now as I did that night.”

Me? I drive by there on occasion, when I’m in the area. I stop on the old country road and listen a while. I listen to the wind and the birds. I listen a while, and then I drive on." FP


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