By Ryan Miloshewski
I love Halloween. It is my favorite holiday. Ever since I can remember, I have been interested in the supernatural and spooky goings on in the world. I can tell you everything you need to know about MoMo, the Spook Light, and virtually any ghost or monster story attached to the state of Missouri. Having a vast knowledge of these creepy stories can sometimes make my mind wander while hunting or fishing. I’ve created a compilation of less-than-normal occurrences we have experienced over the years. They aren’t your typical ghost stories, but things that go bump in the woods can be just as scary! Enjoy!
1) Screech in the Woods
-On a late December muzzleloader hunt in 2012, I heard what I still say is one of the eeriest noises that I will ever experience. It was getting dark, toward the last 15 minutes of shooting light, and I thought I heard some deer moving around me. Eventually a blanketing darkness settled in, and before I knew it I was in my stand way later than I wanted to be. It was a late winter darkness that seemed to have life. I decided it was time to leave, so I took the primer out of my muzzleloader, lowered my gun and pack to the ground, and began climbing down the steps of my stand. I got to the middle of the ladder when I heard something running through the woods close by. I stopped and listened, but whatever it was also stopped. I waited a few seconds and began to descend again. I made it to the ground when the running started again, and it was headed right for me. I felt helpless as I searched for the primer for my muzzleloader. My dim cap light as useless. “Coyote? Deer? Bobcat? Mountain Lion? Bigfoot?!” I thought to myself, trying to figure out what was rushing me. I reached into my pack and retrieved my Gerber knife and stood there at the base of the tree, waiting for this thing. By now, the woods were completely black. I could not see in front of me more than 10 feet. After what seemed like 10 minutes (which was really like 10 seconds) the running creature stopped in front of me, just out of sight. I’d say it was merely 5 yards away. I stood there, breathing heavily and shaking, waiting for it to lunge at me. Five seconds go by and I start to wonder what it is doing. Finally, it let out an absolutely blood-curdling, spine-tingling noise that I can only describe as a devilish yelp/howl. The scream resonated in my chest and rattled around in my ears, allowing me to hear how fast my heart was pounding against my chest. It sounded like nothing else I’d ever heard, in the woods or otherwise. The hair on the back of my neck stood up as I entered full flight or fight mode. Right after the animal let out that call, it turned and ran back up the hill, just as fast as it had appeared. I sat there for a minute of two, found my primer and put it in, and hastily made the long walk back to the trailer, constantly looking behind me for a pair of eyes, and listening for footfalls trailing me. I made it back without incident, and never said a word to anybody until last year. To this day, I have no idea what it was.
One spring morning during turkey season, I decided to hunt a field we called the “camper stand”. It received this name because there was an old, tiny camper nearby that had been on the property for years, even before the previous owner bought it. It had a window near the top with a cloth curtain blocking the view to the inside. My active imagination couldn’t help but think I would see the curtain move each time I drove by, like someone inside was peeking out and watching me. That thought was magnified after we learned early on in our ownership of the property that some people had been trespassing and using it for illegal activities.
Walking to my turkey blind in the nighttime, I was spared the view of the window curtain and quickened my pace as I passed. I made it to my blind and let out a sigh of relief. I was “safe” here in my camo tent walls measuring a quarter inch thick. It’s amazing how much some type of enclosure will help your psyche in the woods…
I sat in my chair and began nodding off as I waited for light to come. Just as I was entering a dream state, the sound of rustling in the leaves off in the distance behind me brought me back to reality. Whatever it was appeared to be heading my direction. I knew it wasn’t a deer from the pattern of its footsteps, but I noticed my hands were clenching my shotgun a little more tightly across my lap. As it came closer, my imagination went into overdrive.
Was it a mountain lion or some otherworldly beast hunting my location, and me? A Bigfoot, perhaps? Could it be the trespassers had returned and were making their way towards the camper? No rational thoughts were going on in my mind. Being alone in the woods at night does that to you.
The creature, or whatever it was, was now within 50 yards and closing fast. 30 yards. 20 yards. 10 yards. 5 yards. Right next to the tent. I inhaled silently and held my breath to stay quiet.
It stood less than two feet from me, only a quarter inch of fabric separating us. Suddenly, the tent didn’t feel very safe anymore. I could tell it was inspecting the fabric, as its feet made small crunches in the leaves with the shifting of its weight.
Seconds passed. The creature was silent now. My mind was racing. Was it getting ready to attack? With my back still to it, I decided to maneuver to a better position to defend myself. I spun around as quickly as I could to face it, my 3D camo making a substantial amount of noise in the process. An explosion of leaves hit the outside of the tent! When I finished shifting in my chair, the creature was gone.
Its footsteps faded away into the distance…
3) Calf’s Head
-A couple of years ago, Tyler and I were coyote hunting/exploring his land on a cold February day. I remember distinctly how calm and silent the woods were. It was almost too quiet, all day long. We acknowledged the eeriness once, but never really mentioned it again as we paraded around his property quietly. We entered a rather thick area of his farm. Underneath a cedar tree 10 yds away we both spotted something red. As we walked over, we had no idea what we were looking at. It became evident the red was blood. Then we found brown hair. We both kept looking and finally found it–the head of a small calf. It was fresh, too. Whatever killed this thing was probably still in the area. We both were a bit freaked out, to say the least. We stood there trying to figure out what could’ve happened to it. A big cat? Coyotes? Maybe a black bear? As we convinced ourselves it couldn’t be any of those, the monster theories started coming out of our mouths. Bigfoot, aliens, hell hounds, and satanists were the likely culprits. We left and never really mentioned it for a couple weeks. Around then, Tyler talked to his neighbor and asked if he had any missing calves. He explained a couple had succumbed to the cold weather and he had placed them in the woods with a camera over it. He went the next day and the calves were gone. After checking his camera, he was perplexed. One picture the calves are there, with nothing near them (although something had to trigger the camera), and the very next picture a few seconds later the calves were gone. Again, nothing was captured on the camera. Three days later we stumbled upon the bloody head. To this day, nobody really knows what happened to those calves.
4) Glowing Eyes
-I was hunting the early October new moon back in 2011. I always have success that time of year. But, man, are the walks to and from the stand unsettling. The darkness is just overwhelming. One morning I could not find my stand it was so dark–a stand I always go to. The weekend before, I set up my climber a half mile away from the trailer, in an area I thought would be perfect for the upcoming conditions. I got down to the property around 3:00 pm on October 8, so I had more than enough time to hunt that evening. I unloaded my car and got my gear together; I was on my way to the stand by 3:30 pm. It was a beautiful afternoon and I was filled with anticipation for the evening hunt. I had quite a bit of action right around 5:45 pm, passing on two does and a group of hens. It was going well, until dusk started to settle down into the woods. Now, I am fairly confident in my ability to read an animal’s body language. The deer were feeding in front of me about 5o yards, with the turkeys mixed through the woods all around me. As the sun sank, I noticed the two does staring in the direction behind me. The turkeys all began to stare, too. I slowly turned around, expecting to see a coyote trying to slink in. But I saw nothing. I heard nothing. In fact, it was so quiet I could hear the ringing in my ears, coupled with my increasing heartbeat. These animals weren’t just staring at nothing. Suddenly, one doe bolted, followed by the other doe. Immediately the hens took flight. It was a cacophony of wing beats, putts, and falling hooves against leaves. I continued to stare in the direction they were. I suddenly felt alone. The deer and turkey’s presence kept me calm, but now I was a little freaked out. “What the hell could be back there?” was a constant thought. As the woods kept getting darker and darker I knew I had to get down. However, did I really want to be ground level with whatever it was that spooked those animals? I hesitantly climbed down, constantly stopping to listen. I heard nothing. Reaching the ground, I retrieved my headlamp from my bag. It was now dark in the woods. Great, just what I wanted. I hit the headlamp and untied my bow and bag, and readied for my long walk back. I looked up, facing the direction of the alarming presence that sent the deer and turkey fleeing, and had kept me staring all evening. That’s when I saw them, a little higher than eye level with me. Two glowing eyes, not more than 50 yards away. I froze. My heart was pounding against my chest. I knocked an arrow, trying not to take my eyes off whatever it was I was staring at. I had to look down for a split second to make sure the arrow was in place. I looked back up and it was gone. I never heard a sound as it disappeared. I stood there next to the tree for 10 minutes, scanning the woods for the eyes, or any sign of movement. After I thought “it” was gone, I walked as fast as I could back to camp, checking behind me for the eyes every minute. I never saw anything on my way back, and nothing like it sense. I honestly do not know what it could have been. It was probably something easily explained, but I know I can’t come up with it, even to this day. So be ready every time you turn on your headlamp after you climb down from an evening hunt. You just never know what you’re going to see.
5) Trail Camera UFO
This trail camera was placed on MahoneyHQ near Clinton, MO. It captured many awesome videos, but none weirder than this one! – Tyler