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The Demon of Wilderness Creek
For five Oklahoma teenagers, one night at a summer youth camp marks the beginning of terrifying conflict with an entity known only as Ara.

Nestled deep in the Arbucle mountains of Oklahoma, is the isolated retreat of Wilderness Creek. Known for its beautiful, lush scenery, Wilderness Creek is a densely wooded area veined by an inviting, boulder-strewn creek that provides the perfect setting for a youth camp. Every summer, kids from several Southern Baptist congregations gather at the campgrounds for fun, exercise, fellowship and spiritual instruction. For Ami and a few of her friends, however, the summer of 1995 would mark the beginning of a terrifying episode brought about by a mysterious encounter with a malevolent entity.

This was Ami's first summer at Wilderness Creek. She was there with several of her friends, all of them about 14 years old, including Sherry, Anne, Mandy and Byron. "Everything was great for a few days," says Ami, until it came time for the Wednesday night tabernacle. It was a warm June evening when the kids gathered as usual for the evening's hour of ministry and prayer. But there was, perhaps, one uninvited guest at the meeting.

Standing about 35 feet from the tabernacle was a boy no one had ever seen at the camp before. Byron was the first to notice him. The strange boy seemed to be about 17 or 18 years old and was dressed all in black. Byron pointed fearfully at the boy, who was then also seen by Ami, Anne, Mandy and Sherry. "He had black hair, and he was wearing black pants and a black sweater, which I thought was odd for summer," says Ami.

Upon seeing him, the youths immediately fell ill. Ami, Mandy and Byron had difficulty breathing. Sherry doubled over with stomach pain. And Anne's pains could have been a sign of something far worse. All of the youth leaders within five rows in all directions could see that something was seriously wrong with these kids. They rushed the five of them to the camp's infirmary. Even though he was at this point coughing up blood, Byron was told that he had asthmatic bronchitis. Bronchitis was also blamed for Ami and Mandy's breathing problems. Sherry told the staff that she was experiencing the worst stomach pain of her life. Anne had worse problems. For several days, Anne feared that she was pregnant and that her pains meant that she was having a miscarriage. While the other kids were treated at the infirmary, Anne was rushed out of Wilderness Creek to a nearby hospital.

Upon seeing him, the youths immediately fell ill. Ami, Mandy and Byron had difficulty breathing. Sherry doubled over with stomach pain. And Anne's pains could have been a sign of something far worse.

The five kids made no mention of the strange boy in black that they had seen near the tabernacle. And no one else, neither the other campers nor the adult leaders, seemed to have noticed him.

Byron was especially troubled by these strange events, as if he knew more than he was letting on. As soon as he was released from the infirmary, he ran off into the dark. When the other girls were given the okay to leave the infirmary, Ami and Sherry headed for their bunk house, but Mandy decided to go off and look for Byron. It was a short distance from the infirmary to their bunk house, Ami says. "It was impossible to get lost." But Ami and Sherry didn't get to the cabin right away. The two girls inexplicably wound up in the middle of the woods surrounding Wilderness Creek. "When we finally made it back," Ami says, "it was nearly an hour later, and to this day neither of us remember what happened. We separated, I think, but I don't remember anything specific until we came out [of the woods] just on the other side of the bunks."

By the time the two girls got back to their bunks, Anne had already been returned from the hospital, but was being kept in a separate room. Byron was there, looking pale and ill-at-ease. Sherry left the bunk house to go speak with one of the youth leaders. Ami sat beside Byron on the bunk and asked him why he looked like he had seen a ghost.

At first it was difficult for Byron to speak. The words seemed to catch in his throat. Slowly he began to tell Ami what he knew... about the boy in black.

Next page > Byron and the boy in black > Page 1, 2, 3


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