Encounter with the Trickster


The term ghost story in current times has become a catch-all, and understandably so, but there are things in the paranormal world that defy simple classification. For those with more than a passing interest in spectral subjects, there are somewhat definable categories, classical haunting, residual haunting, poltergeist-activity, etc. Sometimes however, there are others, one offers, for lack of a better term. These are seemingly random, and somewhat “nonsensical” occurrences. The following is such an encounter.

We were visiting our family cemetery, my father and I. This was a fairly regular thing, usually once every couple of weeks or so. On this particular occasion, I had decided to walk the ridge and do some none serious squirrel-hunting, none serious in that it was the middle of the day, and just more-or-less just a reason to take a short hike.

The entire trip, along the ridge, down to our grandpa’s old place would be maybe a mile, mile and a half. 

About 15-20 minutes in, I was walking along the trail that ran along the ridge line, puffing away on my cigarette when I heard what I took for two children excitedly talking back and forth to each other, and what sounded like a pig snorting and grunting coming from down the hill to my right. 

I thought perhaps some children were chasing a farm escapee, a pet or the like. I walked back on the trail a few yards thinking I would cut it off and head it back towards them. When I got back to where I had a clear view down that side of the hill there was nothing there. No sound, no bird sound, no movement, not even a leaf of a tree was moving. I stood there perplexed for several minutes, looking and listening, but there was nothing. Not knowing what to think, I chalked it up to “oh well” and started back on my original path. 

I hadn’t taken a dozen steps when right behind me there was the sound of thundering footfalls, or that’s the best way I can describe it. It was so forceful I could feel the vibration of the ground move up through my legs, all the way up my spine. If anyone has ever been close to a galloping horse or large animal, that’s what it felt like. There was also a growling-bellowing sound, like one may expect from a really pissed off something. I spun around and fired my shotgun empty, expecting to be trampled by, I didn’t know what, but there was nothing there. I shot into thin air. I then turned and took off as if Satan himself were hot on my heels, reloading as I went. 

After running till I just couldn’t anymore, I slowing walked along calming down bit by bit, and tried to rationalize what had just happened, but I could not then, nor can I now. I did get the distinct feeling that I had just been the victim of a not so funny (for me anyway) prank. 


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Having a lifelong interest in all things paranormal, especially in the beliefs and experiences of the Appalachian region, it is my desire to share my own and those related to me by friends and family over a lifetime. As well as collect and record those of others.