I decided to do a mini-series of true, unexplained events that me and my family have experienced. This one is my story. I would love to hear any similar stories that you have! Just leave it in the comments.
I jumped out of bed and started packing. A few years before, my grandparents had moved out to the country, and we all loved it. This was my week of the summer to stay at the old farm house on Cemetery Road. I couldn’t get there fast enough.
Expect Us to Arrive Late
We pulled up and parked by the front gate. My cousin’s family was already there, as usual, we were always late. The times I stayed with Grandmaw and Pawpaw was usually with my cousin that was closest in to me in age. We would spend hot summer days canoeing in the pond, making hidey-holes in the hay loft, finding old graves in the cemetery, and looking for four-leaf clovers. This stay would end up being a little different.
“I got a tent for y’all”, Grandmaw said as we went into the house. I loved this house. Small and cozy with the constant smell of good food. We usually made tents with the dining room chairs and sheets, so we were happy at the idea of having a real tent to put outside. “Can we sleep in it outside tonight?”, I asked, “Sure”, said Grandmaw. Pawpaw helped us set up the tent outside their bedroom window, and we started to play.
Playmates to Strangers
My cousin loved to play school and office, and so did I. We were used to playing together, so it came easily. There were times when my Grandmaw would get three cousins together, but that would usually end in a third wheel. Kids are mean, my child self included; when there were three, bullying and alienation would occur. For that reason, it didn’t take my Grandmaw long to learn that kids staying in pairs was the best way to go. Sometimes I still remember times when I was mean and nasty; I feel bad, but I can’t go back. I am not close to any of my cousins now, with Grandmaw and Pawpaw gone, I only see them once a year…sometimes not even that.
A Normal Night in the Woods – at First
Dark was falling so we finished up supper – hamburger steaks with A-1 Sauce, mashed potatoes, and snap beans – a regular in their house with ingredients coming from the backyard garden – watched a little TV, and then at bed time, we headed back out to the tent.
At first, we weren’t scared. We were used to the sounds of nighttime in the woods – screeching owls, screaming panthers, crickets, frogs, and bats. We started playing again. We had the mesh “windows” open, but it was a little freaky as we couldn’t see outside. It was just black when the lantern was on and we would look out, so we closed them. My grandparents lived on Cemetery Road. They were the last house before the road dead-ended into the cemetery with graves that dated back to the late 1700s. It is still in use, with my grandparents and dad being buried on our family section.
This road wasn’t like you see roads now. The last time I drove out, it had been black-topped with asphalt, but at this time it was still pebble – little pebbles of all different kinds held together with tar (I’m assuming). The pebbles were of all different shapes, sizes, and colors. On the sides of the road and in potholes were loose stones. There wasn’t much traffic with only four houses, and rarely did anyone come all the way down. We just had the occasionally cemetery visitor passing. I spent many hours sitting in the road collecting quartz and other shiny unusual rocks, but I digress.
Other Sounds in the Night
Around midnight my cousin and I started hearing a strange noise.
“What is that?”
“I don’t know.”
We could hear a sound like something dragging over the pebble road – maybe a metal wagon being pulled over it, or chains dragging down it. Our eyes were as big as saucers. It continued, so we unzipped a window and peered out, but even with the streetlight at the road, we couldn’t see anything.
The dragging sound was very distinct given the material the road was made of. It was a sound that we had heard before while playing on the road with things in the past. The sound was coming from the direction of the cemetery, but it was moving towards us.
We turned off our light and tried to keep quiet.
Finally, when it sounded like it was in front of the house, I unzipped the tent door and stood up looking over the tent.
Nothing was there.
Screams and Screen Doors
I could clearly hear the dragging sound; I was looking straight at the area it sounded like it was coming from, but I could see in the moonlight that nothing was there.
Screaming, my cousin and I ran through the back door and into the house. As the screen door slammed behind us my grandparents were jumping out of bed saying, “What is going on?!”
“There is something out there!”
“On the road – someone on the road!”
Pawpaw runs out with his shotgun, disappearing into the night, front door flung open. He walks back in, “Nothing’s out there. I didn’t hear anything”. We walk out and sure enough, the sound was gone.
“It was probably the chickens.”
“No, we swear it was someone on the road!”
“They were dragging something!”
“We could hear it passing on the road!”
In our fear and excitement, my cousin and I were talking over each other.
“Well, whatever, just go to bed”, said Grandmaw.
We headed into the spare bedroom. No way were we going back out to the tent.
Light of Day – Memories the Same
That morning, we awoke to the smell of blueberry muffins. My Grandmaw was a phenomenal cook (a trait I did not inherit). She would bake these muffins from scratch using the blueberries that grew on the bush by the side of the house. They were gooey deliciousness. Of course, we couldn’t stop telling the story of the noise on the road.
My grandparents just stuck to the, “It was the chickens”, “They were probably just flapping their wings in the coop”, story.
Today I can still remember that night very clearly. It wasn’t the chickens. The chicken coup was on the other side of the catch pen that was on the other side of the house. The dragging sound wasn’t coming from our right, it came from the left and ended up straight in front of us. It was definitely on the road. To this day, no one can convince me that it wasn’t a brush with the “other side’.