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Threatened by Swamp Shadows

BY CHRIS S.

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I am not a skeptic; the word denotes the possibility of existence. I am a non-, un, a true disbeliever. As a former USMC sergeant, currently working in a highly technical engineering field, I operate in a world of data, facts, and clear absolutes.

On the rare occasion that the paranormal becomes part of my conversation -- especially with a believer -- I would always say something to the effect of the following: If other worldly entities existed, I would encourage one to come to my house for the sole motive of economics. Instead of the typical physical manifestations, such as "chain rattling, footsteps on the stairs, creaky openings of doors," I would have my ghost turn the crank handle of a generator. This would serve two functions: free electricity and the possibility of charging a fee to witness the spectacle of proof.

This comment has the desired effect on most. The subject changes and I feel vindicated and the world is right again.

That was until four days ago.

I drive 45 miles one way too work, so I am always looking for a better, shorter, or easier route. With the help of a map, I found a shortcut using some back roads, with one section passing through a three-mile-long swamp. I am in upstate New York and it is the end of October and cool here now and very cold at the time I would be passing through this swamp area, say around 3:30 a.m.

I began the first trial run in my standard commuter mode of operation. This consisted of coffee, cigarettes, and the radio on NPR playing the past day's news -- basic auto-pilot developed over the years.

As I made the right turn on to the 3-mile swamp section of my new route, I felt an odd sensation. Very hard to describe, like the fight or flight sensor in my head kicked over to flight, much like the rabbits I hunted as a teenager must have felt. Mind you, I was in my car and very much in a comfort zone. But like a wave crashing into me, this perception of impending attack put the hairs on my neck and arms to full attention and snapped my spine straight.

At 45 mph on a half mile straightaway with only light morning fog in the air, I saw NOTHING in front of me that warranted the reaction. I looked for deer, hoping that maybe my peripheral vision somehow triggered this reaction, but no. I struggled for a rational culprit for justification, but there were none.

Then on both sides of the road, just inside the swamp area, there were eyes reflecting back out at me. Some pale green, some dark red all looking in my direction. The feeling of possible confrontation now switched over to one of under attack. Inadvertently, I sped up the car, something I should have done on this type of road, and this produces the oddest effect as yet.

As I passed those unblinking eyes, they were replaced by what I can only describe as shadows. Now shadows in every physics class I ever took moved based on the position of the light source. The ones I now encountered moved independently from the only light available, my car. Shadows produced from headlights usually have a flow to them; they have a consistency of motion that is predictable and recognizable. Not like what I saw that morning. Their movement was choppy, broken, disjointed. Many moved toward the car giving me the same felling as when an animal darts out into your path.

This made me slow down, not what I felt like doing at the moment. But as I slowed down, the "shadows" lessened and then returned to normal or whatever that is... who knows anymore.

I fought every cell in my being and maintained my new speed until reaching the main road. As I drove down the main road, all was as it should be. I began to process what had happen, the facts put in order as such. The eyes, the red ones at least were all 5 feet to 6 feet off the ground, with the pale green being no more than 2 feet or lower. The "shadows" were full-on black; nothing could be seen through them. They were not influenced by the headlights position. They seemed to come and go relative to the speed of the car.

The sensation of fear came before any physical warning. Once there was visually perceived danger, the fear mixed with confutation leading to a state of panic. Also near the end there was an odd sense of indignation. More like, Why me, and why did I not do more to fight instead of pure flight?

Tomorrow I will get more answers, not tonight. I had enough for today. Has anyone, from anywhere ever had anything remotely experienced anything like this?

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