I went outside the tent again. AGAIN no drips, and nothing was hitting the outside of the tent. For some reason, at this point i was terrified, and I
mean TERRIFIED! It made no sense to me. I had camped out by myself plenty of times, and knew these mountains very well. Nature was literally my
best friend. I had never felt scared even once while camping alone. But for some reason i was absolutely terrified, and i didnt know why. I was so
scared, that i grabbed my little collapsible .22 rifle and decided to fire a few shots off to scare away any animals that were near camp. I was
actually thinking, "If a deer walks by camp and breaks a stick i'll die of fright". So i rationalized that if I fired a couple shots, it would scare
away any animals near camp, and then I could be sure a racoon or whatever didnt scare me to death before i fell asleep -- which is a crazy thought,
because like i said, i usually enjoy camping alone. But I couldn't deny the causeless fear I was feeling...so I fired off a few shots into the dense
tangle of scrubbrush willows that my tent backed up to.
That's when all hell started to break loose. It wasn't more than a ten seconds after I fired the shots that a BLOODCURDLING SCREAM rang out about
10-15 feet behind my tent in the same bushes. i can only describe it as a loud shrieking scream, that had a laughing, whooping sound to it. At the
time i thought, "holy shiz! its a laughing hyena!," before i could even realize, "thats crazy because those are in Africa not in the pacific coastal
That screaming, laughing shriek lasted a good 5-6 seconds, and it literally sent chills down my spine. That thing was no more than 10-20 feet away
behind the willow thicket, and it was LOUD! By loud, I mean it was louder than I could scream in my loudest voice. I realized that whatever this
thing was, it was SHRIEKING/LAUGHING/WHOOPING at me AFTER I FIRED THE GUN! THIS THING WAS NOT AFRAID OF THE LOUD GUNSHOTS!
After the screaming hyena, i started to trust my fear. I waited silently for a few seconds after the howl, listening for any movement in the willow
thicket, but it was silent. I fired three more shots directly into the ground inside the thicket, thinking I would hear the movement of the hyena or
whatever it was, knowing nothing could move around in there without making noise... But the only response to my gunshots was silence.
i wasnt really thinking straight, because my fear was now inexplicably primal. Honestly, it is almost impossible to scare me usually, but I was
experiencing an almost uncontrollable, primal fear. It was very, very dark out by this point, and putting rationality aside, i decided this campsite
was a bad place, that there was some bad spirit here like my mentor had warned me about, and i had to get out.
Dear reader, if you want to understand the extent of my fear at this point, consider this...I was mentally ready to LEAVE my totally built up
campsite, to hike alone into the forest away from camp at night, leaving the campfire, leaving my tent and gear behind...and THERE WAS NOWHERE TO GO!
I was literally two days hike, without trails, from the nearest human being. AND I STILL DECIDED TO LEAVE CAMP and walk alone into the forest at
night, that's how badly I wanted to get out of there.
So I grabbed my sleeping bag and tossed it over my shoulder, and grabbed my gun and held it in the other hand and just started walking out of camp,
leaving my tent, food and gear behind. I didn't have a plan, but knew I had to get out of camp. I was two days hike from the nearest house, and
unbelievably, I had forgotten to replace the batteries on my flashlight, which was dead. but I didn't care, I just started walking and feeling the
deer trail with my feet because the forest canopy made everything too black to see.
before I started walking out of camp, I again fired a couple shots in the air because I really didn't want to meet the hyena thing while I was
walking. Again I felt that if I came across even a deer I would die of fright, so I hoped the gunshots would scare away ANY animals. This is when
things got scary. I wasn't more than 50 feet outside of camp when my feet lost the deer trail... Every few steps I would walk directly into a tree.
I tried to calm myself, and moved in slow circles, bumping against trees in the darkness, until again my feet found the hardpacked ground of the deer
trail between the grass. After 2-3 minutes I was still only about 50 feet outside of camp...and then the Breather came.
I honestly cannot describe the size of its breathing...THIS THING BREATHES BIG HUGE SLOW BREATHS.. there is no animal that can breathe that big. It
was very close to me, maybe 5-10 yards away, but it was too dark to see. It was breathing BIG, slow and I don't even know if breathing can be
described this way, but its breathing was "angry". I thought about firing a shot in its direction, but realized that the little gun I had couldn't
kill anything that big. I have been very close to bears and deer - they breath quietly. This thing had to be the size of 4-5 bears by the sound of it.
I kept the gun pointed in the direction of the impossibly huge breathing sound, and kept moving very slowly so I wouldn't lose the trail again,
feeling the trail with my feet. The Breather continued breathing steadily and powerfully, AT ME! The thing was breathing AT ME!
I kept walking, inch by inch, foot by foot in the blackness, realizing that at this point if I let the fear get the best of me I would lose my sanity.
The Breather followed right alongside me about 5-10 feet off the trail moving at exactly the same slow pace I was moving. I remembered from daytime
that along the trail where the Breather was standing there was a dense thicket of thimbleberry and salaal. Nothing could walk through that, I
thought. But the Breather was walking right through the middle of the thicket...the sound of breaking sticks as it slowly moved was maddening. The
weirdest thing is, it made the sound of 1000s of breaking sticks as it moved. It made this HUGE, loud, steady breathing sound, and it made the sounds
of sticks breaking...ALOT of sticks breaking... It literally seemed to make the sound of more sticks breaking than there were sticks there.
It followed me parallel to the deer trail and literally only a few feet away from me for about 4-5 minutes, which was only about 200-300 feet because
I was going so slow, and it made the sound of breaking sticks and breathing the whole time. I kept the gun pointed at it [without firing] and
concentrated on keeping my feet on the trail. I was sure if I lost the trail again I would go insane bumping into trees with this thing on me.
After about 5 minutes of this insane dance, I broke free from the dense overgrowth of the tree canopy and there was enough light to see the deer
trail. It stopped following when I got out from under the darkness of the trees, and I could walk faster. I hiked for a mile or two [I was still two
days from the nearest people] and dropped my sleeping bag in the deer trail and went to sleep. nothing bad happened after I left that place, and
amazingly I was able to fall asleep.
edit on 15-12-2016 by jayfkntee because: (no reason given)