January 2004 Page 34
by Jeff B.
This is a true story about a long walk home late at night through Doris Duke's estate (Somersette Co., N.J.). About 30 years ago (after leaving my girlfriends and missing my ride) I had to walk aproximately 15 miles through the woods on a small road that was so dark, because the trees grew out over the road and met in the middle, that I had to use a stick to tap on the edge so as to keep on the road.
So, about 3:00 a.m. I was tapping and singing to myself, loudly at times, when I noticed that as I tapped a sound like an echo, very quietly, was following me! In the woods, about 50 feet away, something was not only following me, but it was keeping pace exactly at my side, and only moving when I moved! I was so afraid that I tried to be absolutely quiet, because I thought that if it couldn't see me, that maybe I could crawl away. So, after a long time, I cupped my hands to the side of my head, so I could hear better and moved away, and it instantly moved with me!
At first it was far away, but as time went by it got closer and louder. And I became more and more scared. Until this point I tried to keep my head, but when I was sure that it was really there, and that it could see me, and that it was under intelligent control, I jumped up and ran in full panic, falling down scared sh**less! Whatever it was had been reasonably quiet up until now, but as I ran, it kept right up with me, crashing through very thick under brush and making a lot of noise.
It sounded big and agile - and very close! When I couldn't run anymore, I got down on the road, felt around for another stick, and tried to control my breathing in the hope it couldn't see me... and it just stopped, and didn't make a sound or a movement. I was so scared that I decided to just sit there and wait for daylight.
After what seemed like a long time, I stood up, facing the direction where I thought it was, and It came straight at me! At the moment that contact should have come, I crossed the two sticks in front of me and stiffened for the blow, and fell over backwards on my butt, as it went right over top of me , and it ran directly away at a good clip, until I couldn't hear it anymore. Almost like it was letting me know that I could go home now.
This happened about 29 years ago, and I have told this story all my life. But I hadn't heard about the other tales about the Doris Duke Estate, and her sad life until many years after this happened. Somebody had once told me that there were other stories about a wild man of some sort living on the vast properties of The Dukes estate in New Jersey.
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