When my brother and I were younger, we lived waaaaaaaaay out in the boonies on a fam in West Virginia. I believe I was about twelve that year, so my brother would have been eight.
Our dog, Annie, a black, Gordon Setter, had had a litter of puppies, and we had kept one, and named him Blaze for the little blaze of white on his forehead. One day, Annie got loose, and her puppy followed her right off the property. We searched and waited and sat on pins and needles waiting for our pets to come home. We had just about given up when Annie finally came home. But to our dismay, little Blaze was no where in sight. A puppy out in the woods wouldn't last for very long, and painfully, our mother tried to help us accept that we probably would never see our little buddy again. My brother and I, however, didn't give up, and would go on long walks down the country hollows, calling for Blaze, and hoping we might find him.
On one such occassion, we were walking down a country hollow not far from our place. At the mouth of this hollow were two neighboring properties, the Turleys and the Caricos. The Caricos had two kids, Lisa, and her brother Luther, and both of them were good friends of ours. Further down the valley were more properties, but there were only three others that had kids, and we knew all of them. As we were walking down this hollow, we got to a long stretch where there were no houses, it was just a hollow that went on and on. I didn't know anyone in the valley that had been to the end of it. When we heard a puppy whimpering, we got excited, my brother and I stepped off the road, and started calling Blaze. We were replied to by a panicked whimper. Yelp, yelp, yelp! Whine, whine, whine, all the while, my brother and I pushing through weeds, thickets, and bushes to get to our puppy. My brother and I kept calling following the sound, venturing further and further into the woods.
Now, I know sounds travel funny when surrounded by hills or mountains, but when we were a good ways into the woods, the sound of the yelping suddenly changed directions from where it was coming. My initial thought, at that time was that Blaze was runing around trying to find us, but now that I am grown, I know for a fact that a dog's sense of hearing it more accurate than a human's, so in hindsight, if you were calling a puppy, and he heard you, he'd come right to you. But at this moment, the yelping was more to our right, versus directly in front of us. So, we starting baring to the right. More yelping, more whinning, and my brother and I calling our puppy. Again, the sound changed direction, now it was from the left, and so we started going left, calling Blaze. We hadn't been going left for very long when the sound of the yelping came from right behind us. It was so prominant, and such a change that it stopped us abruptly, and my brother and I looked at each other. We became aware of a very strong, and forceful sense of dread. It was so thick, and heavy that I reached out and grabbed my brother's hand. That in and of itself was quite a feat, considering that my brother and I had a tendency to fight like cats and dogs, and holding hands was a rarity.
"Did you hear that?" my brother asked me. I just nodded my head, and both of us had these wide eyes.
"I don't think we're following our dog." I said, in a whisper.
"Me either." he agreed, and without another word, we made the unspoken, unanimous agreement to get the hell out of there! Whatever that feeling was, it was apparently mutual, because what we felt was scaring us, and was nothing short of pure evil.
To our surprise, we had traveled further off the hollow than we had realized, and had a difficult time finding our way back to the road. A few times, we were afraid we were lost, and was in big trouble, and all the while that omious feeling of hideous fright looming about us. We got scared, and sat down to try to get our barings. After what seemed like hours, finally something looked familiar to us, and we started walking again, only to hear the yelping, beckoning us to turn back and find our dog. We didn't dare follow it! Under that helpless cry of a lost puppy was a huge feeling of danger that neither of us really said aloud, but both of us were feeling. It was louder than any sound could ever register, and yet you couldn't hear anything, other than a yelping puppy.
We made it back to the hollow, and went home, scared, confused, and pretty upset that our search had returned no puppy safe, and back home. However, that feeling was so terrifying, we were just happy to be home, and away from whatever inhabited that part of the woods.
The next day, I started thinking that [i]perhaps[/i] we had over reacted. After all, the day before it had been getting dark, and we probably made a big deal out of nothing. So I went back to where we had heard the yelping to try to find Blaze. It was a little after three in the day, you know, just after getting home from school, and I knew I had enough daylight, so I was sure that I wouldn't be scared. I guess at twelve you still have that silly idea that scarey things don't happen in broad daylight.
I found where my brother and I had stepped off the hollow, and started trudging through the woods, calling our dog. When I could no longer see the road, I heard a giggle. Instantly, my head snapped up, and I started looking around. Here was that feeling again, real as life, and loud as a thuderbolt.
It was not uncommon for the kids in the neighborhood to go trapsing through the woods, so I called out to see who it was. More or less for the sake of quelling my fear, and hearing a familiar voice. It sounded like Lisa. I called her name, and got no response. Then I called some of the other children that lived in the area.
"Ashley? Garret? John? Who's there?"
Another giggle. The fear that hit me made my neck get hot, and my palms go sweaty, because just as the yelping a day before, the giggle that I had heard went from one direction to another. It was scarey to think that whatever that was could move so quickly, or even worse, had me surrounded!!!
I turned around and started making my way back to the road, as quickly as I could. I was scared and ended up running, and got swatted right in the eye with a twig. It hurt like hell, and as I stumbled about, holding my eye, and trying to get back to the road, I heard another giggle. Now I was mad, and certain that it was Lisa.
"LISA!" I shouted. I stood there for a few seconds, and then, right in my ear, I heard, "Not Lisa." in a whisper.
I screamed and started running for the road. I didn't stop until I got to the end of the hollow, where I bent over and tried to catch my breath. I was all set to march over to Lisa's place, and tell her Mom what she had done, hoping to get her in trouble for scaring me when Mr. Turley came walking down his yard to the road.
"You alright?" he asked me. I was out of breath, and my eye was still red, and I must have looked like I was crying. I told Mr. Turley that Lisa had been out in the woods and scared me. That's when he frowned at me.
"They aren't even home. If someone scared you, it wasn't Lisa. I saw her and her parents leave just about, oh, say five, ten minutes ago."
There were three girls in that hollow. Me, Lisa, and Ashley. Save from the thought that I scared myself, I said it must have been Ashley.
"Nope, her and her brother are right there, been there playing in the water hose since I saw you walk down the hollow." He was pointing up the hollow to their property, and when I looked up, there was Ashley and her brother, Garret, in the water hose just as Mr. Turley had said.
"Somebody was out there. I heard them." I said.
"Oh, I believe you." Mr. Turley told me, "I hear all sorts of stuff out here all the time."
That struck me as odd. Perhaps it was the way he said it, or the subtle look on his face, but it made me get butterflies in my stomach.
"What kind of stuff?" I asked, feeling a wee bit faint.
"Oh the wind, owls, twigs snapping..." He said, and he was looking at me like he felt sorry for me. He also looked like he was trying to keep from having to give me the bad news.
"Oh..." I said. I was glad he was there, and sort of felt like he was bringhing my head back down to reality, and all the while I was telling myself that it was, once again, my imagination that had gotten the better of me.
"I heard ya'll lost your puppy." Mr. Turley said.
"Yeah." I answered.
"You and your brother been looking for him?" he asked.
"Yeah." I answered. I sighed, and just as I was getting ready to leave, Mr. Turley said, "Well don't do looking for him all by yourself. It's not safe." The feeling of being brought back to reality vanished, and I had the sudden sense of dread that Mr. Turley was about to let the other shoe drop.
"Okay." I answered. He started walking away, and I just stood there, because he was saying things, but I couldn't hear him very well because his back was towards me.
"...could be more than just an owl, or the wind. Once I even heard some little girl giggling out there in those woods." he said. I felt a huge wave of fear. Mr. Turley turned around, and looked at me.
"Don't follow it. It's a lure. And if you heard it, don't go back over there." he said. He had a look on his face that was genuine. It was a knowing look, like he knew from experience. To be a child and be afraid is one thing, but when you see that sort of fear in an adult's eyes, it does more than register. It's a big, flashing, neon sign that pretty much renders any form of the unexplained a Case Closed!
I just nodded my head, my mouth hanging open, and scared as a cat in a dog pound, and ran home. I never found out what that was, or what the sounds were luring you to, but I sure as hell wasn't curious to find out. I never explored that part of the woods again. I was too scared, even when I was with others. We still played in the hills and went on hikes, but that area of the woods was off limits. Funny thing was, all the other kids in that area knew that, and no one ever told my brother and me.
A week later, some people that owned a property a mile or two away brought Blaze home. They had been keeping him until they had found his owner. They had had him all this time, so what we heard in the woods that day wasn't even our puppy. I can't say I want to know exactly what it was...even to this day.