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2021 – ONGOING

Growing up on the edge of a civil war battlefield was a strange one. Besides ghosts that came in and out, the sounds of cannon and musket fire in the foggy mornings or as the sun was beginning to set, there were other strange things that happened. My brother having night terrors and waking up with solid black irises, me dreaming of fire and a creature in the flames until my back yard randomly caught fire one night.

The strangest yet I had blocked from my memory until watching a documentary a few years ago. One of the rules in Appalachia is “don’t look outside at night”, especially if you live in the woods. You never know what might be looking back. Stupid teenage me, I was maybe 16, had this sudden urge come over me to look outside one night. Now, we lived on an acre of woods, so we had plenty of outdoor cats thanks to drop offs and one mama cat who we could never get fixed because she was pregnant so often. I’d also seen plenty of wild dogs, racoons, possums, and the like. Something that night made me look outside, and I had never felt true fear until that point in my life.

There was a small creature, maybe three foot or so tall, with big black eyes and almost glowing skin. It wasn’t an animal with mange, I’d seen those before. This thing had hands, and a large head. Like a little grey alien, but with pointed ears and the glow like some pale person who’d been in the sun without sunscreen too long. I couldn’t stop staring at it, and it slowly crept out a little from underneath the slide in the backyard. Its spindly fingers curling around the metal toy as it slunk out, staring at me through the doors to the house. I felt every hair on my body stand up, and I ran to my room to hide. I could hear the cats outside, since I’d fed them an hour or so before, losing their minds. Growling and hissing. They were trying to scare off something outside. Then I heard the weird tinny noises, and the cats getting into a fight. Big thumps on the back deck, and I was terrified. It eventually settled down, then I heard a knock on the window beside my bed, and the cats losing their minds again.

I’d blocked the memory out of my mind for over a decade until I heard about the Hopkinsville Goblin case, and saw the artist renditions. Ghost, goblin, tommyknocker, whatever it was, it never came back. At least as far as I know. All I know is, I hate looking outside at night even more now.

Submitted by Chris P.

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