Evil In The Forest - Christmas Eve Special

Today we are pleased to present Webster McNally as our guest poster on the paranormal/supernatural topic.   Webster is an assistant superintendent of a school system in the southeastern part of Nebraska.  His wife, Jana, is a principal at an elementary school in that same school system.  Both Webster and his wife are involved in "Pencils for Students" an activist group seeking more funding for student supplies in school systems throughout the nation.  They are the proud parents of a son, age 25 and a 1st Lieutenant the U.S. Air Force and a daughter, age 27, an accountant for a Fortune 500 company.  Webster has hobbies consisting of golf to skeet shooting to chess (Master).  Webster and Jana devote time to the Sioux Nation of Nebraska in their spare time.


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Even though I have lived in Nebraska my entire adult life (moved here with my parents at age 14), I grew up in Kentucky.  We lived very near Tygarts State Forest.  My sister and I had many great adventures here.  This forest has great beauty and is nature at it's finest.  But, there is something else here that few people mention.  I guess one reason for that is that few people have experienced it like I did one Christmas Eve when I was 12 years old.  My sister Laura (my elder by 2 years) and I were always the adventuresome two in the family.  That adventuresome spirit got us both in trouble more times than I care to talk about. But, this one Christmas Eve, it was if the devil himself had come up from hell to take our very souls from us.

It started out as our usual walk in Tygarts.  It's a beautiful place, a place with all the sights and sounds of a forest.  But, we started this Christmas Eve a bit later than we should have.  As Yogi Berra purportedly said once, "it gets late, early here".  That was true of this forest.  But, Laura, I could tell, seemed uneasy on this walk.  "Laura, are you okay?  You seem a bit uneasy, sis," I said.  "Something seems wrong here, Web.  I don't know what it is.  It just doesn't feel right today," Laura answered.  I admitted I felt uneasy as well.  I suggested we cut our walk short since it was starting to get dark rather quickly.  It was just after 4 PM.  That was about 2 hours later than usual for us.  We were in the densest part of the forest now.  I told her to let's take the shortcut back to the road to where we had left our bicycles.  Laura reluctantly agreed but insisted we pick up the pace.  "If we get home late, you know mom is going to be upset," Laura said.  Dad would frown and huff, but rarely said a mean word to us.  Our mother was another matter.  Mom would berate us the entire night for worrying her.

We turned toward the shortcut to take us back to the road in about half the time it did on the trail.  But, as I said, this was  Christmas Eve and it was getting very dark.  Too dark, in fact.  I lost my way in the quickening darkness.  Laura stopped.  "We're lost, aren't we Web?  Now, you got us into this and you better get us out of this predicament," Laura angrily said to me.  "Laura, we're not lost!  Calm down, I think we need to just go about fifty yards down this hill and we'll be just fine," I replied.  I was lying.  I had gotten us lost.  I wasn't sure where we were now in the forest.  You can go to a forest a hundred times.  But, when it's dark, it's like an entirely new place for you.  I found that out the hard way.  "Web, we're lost, dammit. Admit it!" Laura furiously said.  Laura rarely cussed.  I knew she was mad now.  We were arguing when we heard the first THUD.  It was like a giant footstep if you can imagine that for the moment.  We instantly stopped fighting.  "What was that Web?" Laura fearfully asked.  As if to answer my sister's question, we then heard a loud HISSSS.

Laura drew closer to me and we both looked around our surroundings and saw only the large, dark trees of the forest.  For a brief moment, I thought about the trees in the Wizard of Oz.  And then I noticed the trees nearest us start to bend in our direction.  They didn't start throwing apples at us, mind you. There was no wind to speak of.  But, they seemed to be bending at us about 15 degrees from a 90-degree angle.  Then, a whisper so low, I could barely hear it.  "If you wish to live to enjoy another Christmas, you will leave my forest....now."  I was frozen in fear.  Laura must have heard the same thing I did because her eyes were as big as the moon looking down upon us.  We both started running in the same direction.  I didn't know where we were running.  But, at the moment, it didn't seem to matter.  Laura and I must have run for a good 15 minutes before we both gave out.  We were holding each other up now.

It was now dark.  I'm guessing it was after 5PM and it was midnight dark in the forest.  Laura was now crying.  "What was that, Web? It sounded so...so evil.   We have got to get out of here!" Laura said.  "I don't know what it was and I don't know where we are right now," I said.  That is not what Laura wanted to hear.  "You better find us a way out of this.  It was you that didn't want to take the trail home.  No, you wanted to take a short cut!" she sarcastically replied.  Then as I was about to equally reply in kind...something dark....something darker than the forest itself came near Laura and I.   "Relinquere saltus nunc vel ego assumam te, et in visceribus inferno EXIRE!!!"  Laura had taken Latin for two years with a language tutor.  She later said it was Latin  She wasn't positive what the entity said at the time.  But, she was pretty sure it wanted us out of the forest.  "We are trying to leave!  Please help us!!!!" I pleaded with the entity.  In reply, I was slapped nearly unconscious.  It might have made me senseless for about 10 seconds.  But, I quickly regained my bearings as I heard Laura screaming.  Laura grabbed me and we, once again, we were running for our lives.  We stopped out of pure exhaustion after only five minutes.  "I can't go on, Web.  Leave me here and save yourself," my sister cried to me.  I wasn't about to leave Laura, especially considering I had gotten us into this.  I was still feeling the sting of the slap from this evil entity earlier when I was again slapped, this time, on my left cheek.  This time, I was knocked out.  Cold.  I woke about five minutes later, according to Laura.  We didn't know what to do.  This evil entity, this demon from hell, was after me.  It was only a matter of time before it would turn its attention to Laura.  Laura helped me to my feet.  I wasn't sure I could take another slap and live at this point.  Laura knew that.  I felt so sorry for her.  This was my fault.  But, I was at a loss of what to do  This was all surreal and it appeared we were in the middle of a nightmare.  My head was still spinning when I noticed the faintest of glints of light just behind Laura.  She saw me looking behind her.  We didn't know what that glint of light could be.  But, it was better than being lost, it was better than facing an unseen evil presence in this forest.

The glint of light was the moon shining on the rear fenders of our bicycles.  We got on those bicycles as quick as we could.  It was like reuniting with an old friend.  But, we didn't take time to hug those dear bicycles (Laura still has her bike as a keepsake from that terrible incident in the forest).  I was still a bit unsteady.  But, my legs were moving like pistons in a V-8 engine.  We arrived home without further incident.  As expected, we caught hell (no pun intended) from our mother.  She wanted to know why we were so late.  We told her half the truth.  I told her about me taking Laura on a short cut that caused us to become lost.  Neither of us saw any reason to tell her what happened in Tygarts.  Mom would not have believed it and she would have thought it was simply a lie.  In fact, we never told our parents about the evil entity that slapped me unconscious.  It was our secret...until now.

Laura and I never went back to Tygarts State Forest even though it was just a twenty-minute bike ride from our house.  Mom asked us why didn't we go back to the forest.  We just told her we were afraid of getting lost again.  But, that was far from the truth.  Whatever it was that wanted us out of that forest could possibly still be there.  Was it a demon?  The devil himself?  All I can say is it was pure evil.  It was an evil that I wanted no part of ever again.  We enjoyed Christmas Eve with friends and family that night.  I really wasn't into it.  But, I enjoyed that Christmas like no other.  For about two hours that fateful day, it seemed I would never see Christmas....again. 


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