A Monster In The Mountains

Each Halloween, my friends and I go camping in the mountains. Every year, each of us is to bring two terrifying stories — a fictional one that we write ourselves and one true story (from family). This was one of my stories.

Me, emailing my Uncle: “What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you?”

Uncle Daniel:

“I was 17 and I had just gotten out of school for the summer. A bunch of my friends were gonna go to a huge end of school party that was gonna be wild and I was super excited to go. As the weekend, and the party, drew nearer my parents began arguing and fighting loudly (as they usually did) over who would stay in the cabin where my bum of an Uncle lived, and feed the dogs while he was away.”

“Something you have to know is that my parents were getting a divorce and I had heard them fight so many times and I just hated listening to them so much that I volunteered to stay at the cabin Friday night as long as I could take my Dad’s Mustang to take to the party on Saturday night.”

“They agreed, stopped fighting, and let me take the Mustang. I thought it would be fun to make a vacation out of it and decided to invite my friend Jake to come with me.”

“I loved to go camping in this one spot by the cabin where nobody goes and watch the sunset while roasting s'mores. Usually, I would go alone, sometimes with my Dad, but this time I thought it would be fun to have a friend with me.”

“So Friday came, we packed up all our things and went back into the house because I had forgotten my camera… which would have changed this whole experience.”

“We drove to the cabin. The first thing that I noticed that should have made me turn around and go home was that there was a truck that wasn’t my Uncle’s parked on the side of the road about 100 ft down from the cabin. I figured it belonged to one of my Uncle’s friends who went on the road trip with him. We went in the cabin, found my Uncle’s dogs, fed them and left them in the shed/dog house and started the short hike to my camping spot.”

“The second thing I noticed that should have had me running away was that the fire had been used recently and there were still some coals smoldering there. I didn’t really think anything of it cause my Uncle also was a camper and knew about this spot. By the way, I have no idea if the coals or the truck had anything to do with what happened later but they kinda freaked me out after.”

“The camp was pretty awesome cause it had a cliff that looked over where the cabin was and we could basically just see everything. So we set up the tent and kinda just sat there watching the sunset and talking until the night came. We had started a fire and were eating our snacks talking about and counting all the girls Jake had frenched over the last school year and we started counting mine.”

“The third thing that happened that should have had us packed up and running was by far the weirdest. We were still talking when we heard shouting coming from the cabin area. We went to the cliff to see if we could see anything but the cabin was like 500 feet down into the valley and it was way too dark and we had just been staring at a fire so it was super hard to see anything but we did manage to see the truck that was parked there turn on and speed away. We were super weirded out cause it obviously wasn’t my Uncle or his friend and there wasn’t another cabin around for miles.”

“The people had been shouting so me and Jake were kinda riled up and freaked out but time passed with no noise or commotion so we just kept talking — what else could we do? The experience made us think of scary stories so we started telling some. I don’t remember everything we talked about but I do remember talking about what had been going on at the time about the girl who had gone missing from the St. George area, which is where we lived. I remember Jake telling me that he knew the missing girl’s cousin, that she had told him about how she disappeared, and that it was super weird because she had been at her cabin when it happened.”

“Anyways, so that was the state we went to bed in. Freaked out. Every noise made us scream and then laugh hysterically — we didn’t actually think anything would happen. We went to bed; that’s when the crazy stuff started happening. I woke two times during the night. The first is when I heard Jake get up, unzip the tent to go pee or something then come back in. Also I was super pissed at him cause he kept making a ton of noise outside like he didn’t even care like I was asleep. I gave him a little kick as he came back in the tent.”

“The second was probably like 4 in the morning. I’m not sure exactly what time it was but it kinda felt like I had been asleep for awhile. But anyways, I woke up and remember feeling super anxious without knowing why. I felt like something had woke me up but I had no idea what and to this day I don’t know why I woke up. I sat there just looking at the door of the tent cause I just kept imagining the zipper coming down. I was psyching myself out hardcore.”

“Jake was still asleep and decided I’d go outside and see if there was like a raccoon walking around or something else that could have woken me up. I remember seeing my camera sitting on the picnic table and remember thinking, What the balls? That was in my backpack, I put that in my backpack.”

“That was super weird but it only confused me more than anything. I swear it was like the second I grabbed my camera I heard something move in the trees. I grabbed the flashlight by the door of the tent and started shining it into the trees. I kept moving it back and forth across the tree line hoping I would scare whatever it was away.”

“That was when I saw a face in a bush. No joking, he or it was smiling at me — he had this huge freaking smile. He was bald, didn’t look like it even had eyebrows and I couldn’t really see any teeth even though his mouth was open with that freaky smile. Just to describe him better, when I first saw Voldemort in Harry Potter I immediately remembered that face in the forest. I screamed so freaking loud.”

“It was only a split second but I can still see it to this day. I shined the light back at the bush where I saw the face and all I saw was the bush shaking and maybe heard something running away. I immediately ran into the tent and told Jake. He didn’t really seem all that startled. I don’t think Jake really believed me at the time. We had been telling scary stories all night and he thought I was just trying to scare him. We sat in the tent for another hour or so. By then it was like 5 am and it usually started to get lighter outside at that time so I was starting to feel a little bit better, like I wasn’t going to get murdered anymore.”

“That’s around the time I asked Jake why he was being so loud when he went out in the middle of the night. He told he hadn’t and he thought that I did. I started freaking out and I kept saying he was in our tent and Jake didn’t believe me. We packed up everything as quickly as possible. Me because I was scared. Jake because he was mad at me cause he thought I was making crap up.”

“On the ride home Jake was going through his camera silently when he asked me if I had a picture of the cabin at all. I told him I have pics on my camera so he grabbed it from the back seat and started going through my pictures.”

“He stopped flipping through pictures and I kinda noticed he had gone all rigid and silent so I turned to him. He kept saying Oh sh — , Oh sh — He was in our tent. He was there. He was freaking out. I pulled over so I could see what he was freaking out about.”

“He gave me the camera and what I saw still keeps me up at night when Im alone. There were 14 pictures all of me and Jake sleeping. In the last 3 pictures the camera was turned looking up at the tent and in the picture was the same freaking face I saw in the forest, just with that same nasty smile. Sometimes I wish I’d kept the pics but when I think about it Im glad I deleted them. I have never been camping since that day, it’s not worth the risk.”

Thanks for reading my uncle’s story. Was this my true story or my false one? Also, what’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you guys?