; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Saturday, August 07, 2021

Strange Man at Butter Pot Provincial Park, Newfoundland

2 sisters are hiking to the beach at Butter Pot Provincial Park. When they arrive, they notice a strange man quietly staring out at the ocean. After that, things become a bit weird.

The following account was forwarded to me a few years ago. I recently received confirmation from the witness with some added information:

"This is a real experience that happened to me when I was around ten, camping with my family at Butter Pot Provincial Park in Newfoundland, Canada in the mid-1980s. In Newfoundland there is a lot of traditional folklore about fairies and being "fairy-led" - i.e. being sort of mesmerized and stolen away by the fairies - and although I've never really believed in that stuff, whenever I hear those tales I can't help but think about this experience.

We arrived at the campground around mid-afternoon. I remember that it was strangely empty – we saw no other occupied sites as we drove around, looking for the perfect spot. We picked our site and as my parents were setting up my older sister asked if she and I could go check out the little beach area, which was a short walk along a clearly marked downhill path through some birch woods. Our mum said yes, but told us to be back in two hours.

We found the sign pointing us to the beach trail, and headed down the path. Almost as soon as we were out of sight of the campground things started to feel “off.” It was weirdly quiet, with a sort of muffled feeling - no birds calling, no breeze, just a thick, velvety silence. I also noticed that there were strange-looking ferns growing thickly along the path all around us. Ferns are not an unusual sight in the Newfoundland woods, but these were different from the ones I'd seen before - bright, almost luminous green, and very, very large – some were as tall as I was. I couldn’t shake the feeling that there were people or animals hiding in them, watching us pass by.

Although it had been a lovely, clear day, the weather started to change as we walked. A low-lying fog rolled in as we descended, first in tendrils close to the ground, then gradually rising around us as we went lower toward the water. Even living in Newfoundland I'd never walked into a fog like that before, and it did nothing to relieve the eerie feeling that I was trying to ignore.

Finally we arrived at a steep set of wooden stairs, and following them we emerged onto a small, foggy beach. With the woods behind and above us it felt very closed in, and I started wishing that we were safely back with our parents at our campsite. My sister made a small noise beside me, and I turned to see what had caught her attention – although I'd thought we were alone, I now noticed that there was a man, several meters away, standing very still and gazing silently out over the water. My sister called out a friendly hello (it was Newfoundland in the eighties, people did that sort of thing), but he didn’t move or appear to hear her. After a minute or two I started to feel nervous, so I talked my sister into heading back to our campsite.

This is where things get a bit fuzzy. I don't remember leaving the beach, but the next thing I knew we were on a wide, unfamiliar dirt road. It seemed like no time had passed, but I was tired and my legs and feet felt like I’d been walking for a long time. The sun was also pretty low in the sky, which was strange because I thought we’d been gone for less than an hour.

I felt disoriented and had no idea where we were, and I started to panic a bit, thinking we were lost. My sister immediately went into protective older sibling mode, saying not to worry because she was pretty sure she knew the way back. We headed off down the road in the direction she suggested, and walked for about forty five minutes or so until we finally emerged at the campground, not far from our campsite.

It was now almost completely dark, and we ran to our trailer to find our dad there worriedly asking where we had been. Although we thought we’d been gone for less than two hours, my dad said we’d been gone for more than five. He said that our mum had headed to the beach to look for us while he’d stayed to wait for us at the campsite. By now full-on darkness was setting in and our dad was worried that our mum had not returned with us. As he prepared to go out looking for her, she burst in the door, frantically saying that she'd run up and down the trail multiple times and still hadn’t found us. She was amazed when she saw us – the only way to access that beach, aside from cutting through steep, thick woods, was to take that trail, and we had not passed her.

Once we'd all calmed down we ate dinner and headed to bed. As I lay in my bunk I remember hearing my mum quietly tell my dad how creepy and strange the trail had felt. Although we'd planned to stay longer, we packed up and left quickly the following morning, and never returned to that campground." DB

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