The forests of our planet have always attracted to them stories of the weird and wild. Ghosts, hauntings, mysterious vanishings, UFOs, and all manner of high strangeness call these secluded places home, and it is sometimes not hard to see why. The twisted branches, the feeling of isolation, the sense that we are not where we belong, all of these can contribute to woodlands being considered places ripe for tales of the weird. Might as well add demons to the list of strangeness in the wilderness, because according to some reports out there, something is stalking the wilds, and it is not always something that can easily be put into any category. Here we will look at some truly weird tales of something very evil, malicious, and quite possibly demonic stalking the wilderness, and which prove that the forest can be even darker than we imagined.
One very odd report appeared from a witness named Jennifer Gosnell, on the site My Haunted Life Too. She describes how when she was 15 years old her family lived on a rural property bordering a cornfield and a forest, and that it was not uncommon at all to see deer wandering around. Indeed, on this day she says she had wandered out into the surrounding wilderness to see if she could see a buck, as her and her brother had a sort of competition of who could spot a buck with the most antler points. She noticed as she walked along that the area was unusually devoid of wildlife on that day, nothing stirring, and she did not see any deer or even a rabbit, the whole forest oddly still and silent as if stuck in time. She decided to head back through a cornfield, and this is when she says she saw a hulking, black thing standing near the tree line, seeming to just stare at her. She at first took it to be maybe a hunter, and she also had the weird idea pop into her head that it might be a man in a gorilla suit. Yet as she looked more closely a certain dread crept up on her when she realized that this was no man. She explains the series of strange events that would then unfold before her eyes:
I was about 50 feet away from the tree line where it was but it was staying so still now that I began to squint and look really hard to see what he was doing. Then as the sun shown down, I saw the dark red in the hairs all over it and the face with it’s black empty looking eyes staring back at me and I suddenly realized this was no hunter in a moss suit. This was some type of animal/man thingy and I was alone in a cornfield about 3/4 of a mile from my home with this thing. I picked up a clump of mud and tossed it towards the creature without thinking and yelled at it to go! That’s when this thing moved for the first time as the clump of mud landed feet in front of it and it stood up looking very menacing and I realized it had been squatting down all this time and it was scary how tall it was. My heart was beating so hard and I knew I’d never outrun it if I ran as fast as I could but I had no options. It let out a horrible scream just then that rumbled in my chest like bass from a speaker and it turned and began to recede into the forest screaming the entire time.
I don’t know why but I quietly followed to the edge of the woods to try and get a better look as it walked away and by the time I reached the entrance, it had already made it back up the deep incline and was well on the other side. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It must have known I was watching because it stopped and turned its upper body and looked me in the eye for a moment. Its face was a grey color and its eyes were large and black but the nose was almost pig like and the evil looking grin was so knowing and intelligent. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Then I heard a strong voice say “don’t follow me “ but the creatures mouth didn’t move at all? Shocked by everything I turned and ran as fast as I could losing my shoe in the mud by never stopping till I was inside my house and I ran to my mom and began telling her to call the police because I had just seen an apeman as I called it.
This might seem as though it was all a particularly odd Bigfoot sighting, but according to the witness’s grandmother, what she had seen was what they called a “Forest Demon,” which was a sort of supernatural and very aggressive force that she claimed had lurked in the woods there for a long time. The witness explains of this:
“Years before, there was a large log cabin on that property where she (grandmother) lived in growing up. They were all hunters back then so she was very familiar with the woods around the area and she said they all knew where they could and couldn’t go because those things were in specific areas of the forest and were capable of great evil. Her family home had burnt down a few years before that’s why we were living in a trailer at that time on the property. My mom did end up calling the police that day and they found the tornado straps that trailers have in Indiana that are concreted into the ground, had been ripped in half. They were kinda amazed at that and took pictures. That same month in Rockville Indiana a few teenage boys were in a car and one was almost pulled out his window by something they all described as a gorilla looking thing. Rockville is only about a 20min drive from where I lived.
Another bizarre encounter was given by a witness on Your Ghost Stories, who says that this happened to her mother in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It was autumn at the time, and the mother, who had recently become a Catholic had travelled to Minnesota to attend a Catholic conference there. One day the mother decided to take a stroll through a nature preserve area near the hotel she was staying at, which she had been informed held numerous walking paths through the trees, which were changing color at the time in all their glory. The area was not particularly remote, crowded with people, and it was a lovely day, so the mother stayed there until the sun started to dip down in the sky. This is when things would become very weird indeed, and the commenter says of what happened next:
As she walked back, she noticed the forest suddenly became strangely silent, and she had an intense feeling of someone watching her threateningly. It was like she was being hunted. Feeling uneasy, she started to pray. Then something she could not see began breathing heavily in her right ear. She said it sounded like a gigantic beast that had been running hard and was panting. She could also hear heavy footsteps crushing through the grass and dried leaves next to her on the same side. In fact, she could even see the grass being parted there. When she increased her speed, the unseen creature did as well. The people she had seen in the park earlier had gone home by then, and reaching her car seemed to take forever.
Mom got ready for bed feeling quite shaken and tired when she returned to her hotel room. The next day was Sunday, so she set her alarm to wake her up in time to go to Mass in the morning. It went off at the proper time, but as she sleepily reached out to quiet it, she noticed there was a second alarm clock in the room, one she had not seen before. This alarm clock had a different time, and according to it she didn't need to get up for another hour. For some reason she chose to trust it, and went back to sleep. When she finally woke up there was no sign of the mysterious second alarm clock, and she had missed Mass.
What in the world was going on here? This apparently affected the mother profoundly, and she would often sit alone in prayer, and had become uncommonly sullen and withdrawn. It would turn out that whatever she had encountered in that forest had followed her home, and that it had begun invading the woman’s thoughts and nightmares, exerting a mysterious negative force over her. The commenter continues:
She seemed strangely altered. Her mood was troubled and solitary. I remember her spending a great deal of her time sitting in her chair by the window, praying rosaries with a pained expression in her eyes. When I would ask her what was wrong, she wouldn't tell me. Finally, after about a month of this she confided in me that ever since her experience in Minnesota she had been unable to pray properly. Her prayers had become jumbled with obscene images and vulgar thoughts. It was disgusting, and made her ashamed to attempt to pray. It was explained to her by a priest that the demon from the forest had followed her home. It was assaulting her with these visions in order to stop her from praying so that she would give up on being Catholic. The answer was to fight through the sickening imagery and pray even more. So that's why she had been spending so much time in prayer. And eventually it worked, the demon went away.
An even more surreal and downright outlandish encounter is claimed by Reddit user "kittenrainerxx," who says that this occurred approximately 10 minutes outside of Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island BC, Canada, near the end of the Juan de Fuca river. At the time she was with her partner trying out a new camper they had recently purchased and explains that they had an eerie feeling of being watched as soon as they arrived at the spot, but just wrote it off to the isolation of the place and nerves. That evening they were sitting around in the camper having a chat when the witness went out to relieve herself says she noticed what appeared to be “sparks and flames coming up from down by the water.” Things would spin wildly into the realm of the truly bizarre after that, and she explains:
I was a bit freaked out as it’s really close to our spot and there is absolutely nothing and nobody out this way, so I headed back in the van to tell my partner. I got back in and that’s when things got completely fucked up. I started to see flashlights coming from the woods, it looked like a group of people and I was starting to get really freaked out. I started to see flames coming as well, as if these ‘people’ were holding both a mix of torches and flashlights. They were coming towards us and started surrounding the van, I thought we were never going to be able to leave. The same flames from a fire I saw coming from the river , were now also surrounding the ground of the van. As if they set fire either below it or just surrounding it. From these flames I saw the reflection of fire off of the figures, it was not pitch black like it should be, I could see the figures, their clothes, their outfits, their faces.
The first I saw was an archer(?), they were in green and it almost looked like an armor of sorts, they were wearing a mask. The mask was green with no special or intricate design, just the outline of a face. It grabbed an arrow from its back and aimed it at the van. I thought we were going to Fcking die. Shadows were everywhere surrounding as far as I could see each way. As they got close to the van I could see them and their faces. Multiple red armored figures (a mix of knight armor and scales) came around and they had guns on their backs. They had masks on too but they looked red and made of wood, again not intricate but not as simple as the green ‘face’ one. There were hooded figures, they would walk in the deeper parts of the forest and just stare. 3 or more of them came to the front of the van and just stared in. They saw me and I saw them. They were violently pointing at me and a few would point and then point at the exit of the site. I told my partner that they wouldn’t stop pointing at me and indicating we should leave. He couldn’t see any of them, he saw pitch black.
There was so much going on, besides these ‘things’ I saw dark almost purple ‘knights’ , they had the full attire uniform and faces covered. Larger figures , too large to be human were in similar outfits, but their armor had spiked coming from every limb and angle. They all would take turns staring in and pointing. The ones in hoods had cellphones or cameras of sort that would show me their screen through the window, on their screen was just a view of the van and us on the inside. It was seriously messed up. Animals began running behind them, if I could describe them it would be a mix between an oversized lion and a demon. They stayed farther away. All while this is happening, there is what looked like woman and children (but mainly children) being brought through the forest and were helped up the hill by these bear looking creatures. 2 were black and the other grey, they had four limbs but were the height of a truck.
What is all of this? It is all so completely outlandish and absurd, so what could be going on here? The partner apparently didn’t see any of this, but from her reaction of pure terror he believed her, and told her to cover her eyes and to not look at any of it. However, no matter what she did, these entities continued to torment her relentlessly, and did not stop until the sun began to come up. She says of their departure:
I sat up all night terrified either waiting for them to leave, or the sun to come up. It was the longest night of my life. As the morning broke they began walking back into the forest. They didn’t fade or disappear, they left. All until there was one hooded figure left, he stayed until the sun came just past his hood, showing me the terrifying pale and hairless face. They were gone and so were we, leaving at about 8am when it was finally bright. Before we left I saw symbols painted on the trees. I have searched everywhere online to find what they mean, but no such luck. I just don’t know what that night means. The site and forest itself felt extremely evil and I am unsure if something terrible happened there or was once a place of satanic worship.
This account is odd beyond reason, making one wonder if any of this happened or not, and if it did, what it could have been. Finally, we come to a very spooky account from an article on the site The Paranormal Pastor, and which apparently happened on the island of Balangkayan, in the Eastern Samar province of the Visayan Islands of the Philippines. Here a group of missionaries had a compound in the wilderness on the fringes of a nearby settlement, and one day they were approached by a scared group of villagers who claimed that they needed the missionaries’ help. They said that just a few days before, a group of guerrilla fighters had stumbled into their village bloodied and displaying gaping wounds that seemed as if they must have been inflicted by some powerful animal, but the soldiers had said this was no animal, that it had been a demon of the forest called the Hantu-Rimba, and it had even violently killed one of their comrades. The villagers knew well of this creature, because it had once terrorized them as well, but they had not heard from it in years, that was until this day.
According to the villagers, the frightened guerrillas had told them that they had been on patrol when something had leapt out of the shadows at them, a “half a man and half a ‘creature of the wood’ in so much as its limbs seemed to be coated with fungus and its nails more barbed thorns.” Although they had not seen their team member actually die, he had been snatched away into the woods by the beast to be found later little more than torn flesh and broken bones. According to them, this demon had once been a hermit by the name of Pharell, who had become possessed by the supernatural entity. As the villagers excitedly told their story, the lead missionary, David Fletcher, listened on with a mixture of skepticism and curiosity, and he decided to go to their village and investigate.
With the help of some village guides and accompanied by a village shaman, he was led toward where the demon was said to have its lair, at a remote cabin out in the woods. They arrived to find no sign of the Hantu-Rimba, and indeed the cabin did not seem to have been occupied in many years, almost totally swallowed by the encroaching, hungry jungle around it. So sure was Fletcher at this point that this was all a bunch of spooky superstition and mumbo-jumbo that he decided to camp out there in that dilapidated weed and vine choked cabin that evening. It was a decision he would soon regret. In the very early morning hours the men were awoken by a hideous, unearthly shriek from the wilderness, followed by what sounded like large stones pelting the cabin. This, the shaman said, was the demon itself, and Fletcher was so startled by the intensity of it all that he put all skepticism out of his head and began consecrating the cabin with prayer, but the screaming allegedly continued all night. In the morning they made their way through the jungle towards a clearing that the shaman said he had seen in a vision the night before. The article explains:
Although skeptical and a bit gun shy Mr. Fletcher and the other Elders trusted the man’s spiritual gifts and followed him. Mid afternoon they came upon the grove of the elders vision. It was a dark area covered in jungle growth, but there seemed to be some symmetry to the general lay out of the area. It was as if the canopy of foliage covered a secret hidden earthen work of unknown proportions. In the center there was a medium sized niche in the rock. The elder felt compelled to pray before it. As they did so there seemed to be a shape forming in the darkness of the niche. And two cold red eyes stared back at them.
An ungodly howl echoed through the woods. But undaunted Reverend Fletcher and the Elders prayed and confined the spirit to the niche. Then they commanded it to leave. In a furry of violent sounds and a wind that seemed to lift the rotten growth from the ground the evidence of a spiritual battle rattled the landscape. After a time the wind and the prayers settled down. The Elders went forth to the niche and immediately called to Rev. Fletcher.
According to this account, they found within that niche the skeleton of the man once known as Pharell, and not far away was the ravaged and mauled body of the missing guerrilla. Fletcher and the others then consecrated the ground and blessed the area, the shaman performed a ritual, and they gave the remains a proper burial. After that there was apparently no more heard from the menacing Hantu-Rimba. What is going on with this bizarre story? Was it ever even real at all? Here we have looked at just a sampling of some of the most off-the-wall bonkers accounts of what are described as "forest demons." These are so incredibly odd that it is hard to even know where to begin in unraveling them, and they add to the sheer high strangeness that the forests of our world generate from time to time. Are they real stories or just rantings and imaginings? I leave it for you to decide.