A western Nebraska man recalls his strange experiences as a boy near his home. These included the constant odor of death, a hunter apparition and a peculiar oak tree formation.
I recently found the following account:
"Where I grew up as a child, behind our house, was the end of our town in western Nebraska. It was nothing but open valley floor and sparse patches of forest. I was always a very explorative child, a trait I got from my dad, and constantly found myself spending my summers exploring all the land behind our house had to offer.
There was an open field about 2 miles from my parents house that had 3 very large Oak trees that formed a peculiar triangle. I had been there many times before, and with each visit there was this odd odor that hung in the air. I would only notice inside the large triangle of the trees (I later in life learned that the smell was of death). One of the last times I ever made my way to those trees was when I stumbled upon a pile of dead ducks. It must have been at least 50 or 60 dead ducks in the middle of the three trees. I didn't know where they came from or who put them there. There weren't any lakes close by and no roads led to the site. It wasn't until my late teens that I saw a similar pile of dead ducks out in the canals that border my home town. I came to find out from a friend that it was some sort of local cult that performed the killings and pilings of the ducks.
My second experience took place a mile or so away from the Oak trees. It was an abandoned farm that I only visited one time. On the property was a white 2 bedroom farmhouse, wrap around porch, dinner bell, red trim and lots of windows. Adjacent to the house was a very dilapidated barn. As I entered the house, what appeared to be a "hunter" came walking around the corner from the kitchen, rifle in hand. He was just over 6' tall, short brown hair, mustache and beard, dressed in a plaid long sleeve, jeans and boots.
He was very nice and introduced himself as Jim, and said that he was hunting rabbits in the area. He began to tell me about the house, the barn and the family that lived there. He said the family just up and abandoned their farm one day and were never seen again. They left all their belongings and took nothing with them. This was clearly evident in the house. We walked out to the barn where he showed me old black and white photos of the farm and the family. I couldn't believe everything was just left behind! Well we said our farewells and he invited me and my parents to join him and his wife for dinner sometime. He said you could see his house from behind the barn and that it was just a couple miles away.
As I was walking away from the barn, I got this terrible nagging feeling. Something in my head was telling me to go back to that house and look around some more. I went back, snooped around a bit. I realized Jim was gone. I looked all over the place, outside and in the barn. I walked behind the barn to see if I could see Jim walking back home, and there was nothing. Nobody was around. I looked in the direction that Jim told me he lived, and there was nothing. A couple days later I braved up enough to look for Jim's house. I found it alright. Or at least where a house once stood. All that was left was a burnt out foundation. There was nothing else around the area, just plane fields and low grass.
Lastly, because I was just a kid and had to share these stories and places with my dad, we went out one weekend so I could show him what I saw. I took him to the three Oak trees and confirmed to him the smell of death in the area, and we went to the abandoned farm followed by a short walk to the burnt out foundation. My dad was very intrigued by all this because he had similar, albeit much more frightening experiences, when he was my age at that time.
We ran into some Union Pacific railroad tracks and decided to take them in a roundabout way back home. On our way we found another abandoned (or so we though) shanty. We started walking towards it, when about 50 yards from the front door, every fiber of my being was screaming at me to stop. My dad got a little stiff legged and before I said anything, told me we should just leave this one alone. I never could make myself go anywhere near that shanty run down place. I've been out there a couple times since, and it's still standing, and to this day, I can't get close to it. The feelings get so overwhelming sometimes that I can't even stand to look at the structure.
So those are some of my scary tales of the outdoors. I have a couple more, even a legacy creature that involved my dad when he was younger, and me, many years later, many many miles away from what happened to him. But I've written plenty for now." C
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Taunia Derenberger graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Business with a concentration in marketing and public relations.
She was born on March 22, 1963 in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and is a mother of five. Her father, Woodrow W. Derenberger, worked for Union Carbide before becoming an appliance salesman and world-renowned UFO contactee.
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