I am now 18 years old and live in Minnesota, but I lived most of my life in a little holler called Chapman Branch, located on North Fork Road just outside of the town of Chapmansville. I was about 17 when this occurred. It was early fall, around the first week of squirrel season. It was about noon and I was walking through the woods just beyond my uncle’s house when I heard a strange noise like a low growl coming from the under brush about 100 yards ahead of me, around a curve in the hillside. It stated out as a low growling noise, but then it got louder and the pitch got higher. It got so high that it was like a scream but much louder. I’ve heard panthers, bears, and just about every other kind of animal in those woods, but this was like nothing I’ve ever heard before.
I was so frightened. I clenched the grip of the 12 gauge shotgun I had so tightly that I thought it would break. I could think of nothing but to get ready to shoot if anything came around that hill. I stepped about two feet over the side of the road and put my back to a tree to keep myself standing. I watched the bend in the hillside for about thirty seconds that’s all the time it took me to decide to get the heck out of there. I slowly stepped back onto the road and began to ease my way back down the road toward my uncle’s house, with the thing, whatever it was, still screeching like crazy.
When I got about 20 feet from were I had been standing when I first heard the thing, I took off in a dead sprint right past my uncle’s house toward my grandmother’s house which was on down the holler. My uncle met me halfway there on his horse. He jumped off his horse grabbed me and asked what had happened. I told him what I had heard and he said it was probably a bear. I agreed with him, not wanting him to think I was nuts. But neither my uncle nor I went into the woods for the rest of that day. Even now, living here in Minnesota, when I’m in the woods alone, I never feel really alone.