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November 28, 2022

Tales No Taller Than Ourselves

By Valerie Rankin

It was august 1990. I was dating a guy we'll call Jay. Now that I look back on it, he was a bit odd, but at 17, I just thought he was cool. My mother didn't like him for reasons only known to her. (Motherly instinct?) She did some "research" and found out that he was involved in the occult. Well, as soon as I heard that, I confronted him with it. I was not about to date someone that was involved in the occult. I didn't expect the reaction I received. He just smiled at me and confirmed that he was. Well, my first thought was I had to "save" him, get him out of the occult. So, I talked to my best friend and we decided together to "help" him. Neither one of us actually believed that there was anything "satanic" or paranormal going on, we just thought he was fooling around.

I talked to him and told him my concerns. I also let it be known that I didn't believe in what he believed, that I thought it was a bunch of rubbish. Well, he got a bit upset at that. He claimed that he could prove me wrong. At this point, I'm worried that he might be a bit lacking in the marble area. However, being 17 and dramatic as most 17 year olds are, I told him to prove it. Granted, not the brightest move ever I'm sure, but I wasn't the least bit afraid of him. I knew that I was protected by my Savior.

So, that weekend Jay, his friend (we'll call Roger), my friend (Anne) and I all piled in Anne's car and headed out to a place Jay called the "Thicket". He claimed that's where his group gathered. We drove out into the country, it was about 5 miles outside of town. To get to the Thicket, one had to leave the main road and travel a small dirt road for about half a mile. Well, all was going well until we turned off onto the dirt road. As soon as the car left the main road, onto the side dirt road, it stopped running. The engine just cut off as if she'd turned the key off. Since I was sitting up front with her, I could clearly see that she had not turned the key off.

Anne was immediately concerned. Me, being the stubborn one, was determined not to let that rattle me. I jumped out of the car and instructed Jay to lead the way. He was smiling the whole time. In the back of my mind, I thought at that point he'd staged that part, but never could figure out how. He led me down the dirt road, Anne and Roger following. Keep in mind that this is August in Kentucky. It was about 90 degrees this particular day. Hot and humid.

We finally reached our destination. It was a large clearing at the end of the road. The clearing was oval in shape, and surrounded by thick woods. In the middle of this clearing was what appeared to be a large bonfire pit. In this pit were charred bones. I'm going to assume they were animal bones. They were clearly not pieces of wood. There was a portion of a skull in the midst of it all. (It wasn't human, not sure what it was though.)

Anne stopped at the edge of the clearing. She was considerably shaken up. She kept pleading with me to leave. I, being a bull headed twit, refused to let this guy get the best of me. It wasn't until the air suddenly changed that I realized something was indeed going on here. As I approached the pit, the air suddenly got cold. I'm talking a good 25 degrees cooler than it was previously. When this happened I looked up at Jay, he was standing about 5 feet to my right, smiling. At this point, I started to pray. I wasn't particularly frightened, more annoyed I think.

I said to him, "If you're trying to frighten me, you've failed."

He replied, "I'm not doing anything, but just wait. You will be."

At this point, the trees and brush directly across from me on the other side of the pit began to rustle. I thought at first it was a breeze, but I then realized that there was no wind. No wind at all. It was too still in fact. No birds, nothing. Then I noticed that the rustling of leaves wasn't in the top of the trees, but rather in the center of them. I looked from the trees to Jay, he was grinning at this point. I decided at that point that maybe leaving was a good idea. I started to turn to leave and suddenly a circle of wind started to blow around me. I could hardly move. It was like my legs were paralyzed. It's safe to say I started to panic at this point. I began to pray even more (if that were possible). I shouted at Jay, "Stop this crap! I don't fear you!" He laughed, an odd, creepy laugh. Finally I "got free" and hauled booty toward the car.

We finally got to the car. We all piled into the car and were ready to leave, but the car wouldn't start. We ended up having to push it out onto the main road. It wasn't far, as soon as all four wheels were off the dirt road, the car fired right up. As we were driving off, I looked back at the tree line. I saw what looked like big red eyes, I assumed it was my imagination, but at that point, Anne stopped the car and said, "What is that!" She said she saw "eyes" in the trees in her rearview mirror. HMMM... maybe we both were seeing things? Possible I suppose. I just know that the "thicket" was the oddest feeling place I've ever been.

It wasn't until three nights later that I actually got frightened. Up to that point, I just considered Jay to be in need of help. I wasn't really scared of him, more worried for him. The third night after the thicket incident, I had an odd nightmare. It began with me standing in complete darkness. I start walking. After what seems like an eternity, I see a flickering light in the distance. I'm drawn to it. As I near the light, I see it surrounded by people in hooded robes. (Gee, wonder who they are.) I approach the circle of people and I see they're all linked by hands. They part the circle for me to enter. As I step through the circle, I'm greeted by Jay. It looks like Jay, but the eyes are different.

They're black as coal, no whites, just solid black. He just stares at me, nothing is said. Suddenly I'm grabbed by something unseen and raised high above the fire. I start screaming at Jay to help me, and praying. I close my eyes and pray harder, more earnestly than I ever have before. Then I'm dropped. I'm falling into the fire. I can feel the horrible heat. Then, I land. But I don't land in fire, I'm sitting in a pool of cool water.

At that point, I was awakened by my telephone ringing. I answered it and heard Jay say, "Did you have a nice dream?" I slammed the phone down. I looked at the clock -- it was 3:04 a.m. It's safe to say that I was frightened at that point.

So, that's the end of that story. Sounds like a movie scene I'm sure. But, I assure you, it happened. My friend, Anne was present for all of it except for the night of the dream.

Collected by Alexandra Queen, written by the person who experienced it.
Article © Valerie Rankin. All rights reserved.
Published on 2002-06-10
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