The woods are a weird place, and the Internet can be an even weirder wilderness. There are countless forums of people claiming to have come across a wide variety of bizarreness out in the wilderness, and many of these may certainly raise eyebrows, but are still compelling nevertheless. One poster on several Reddit forums who has come out of the woodwork in recent years is a person who claims to be a search and rescue worker, and has quite a few tales to tell of encountering completely terrifying paranormal entities in the woods that are really hard to classify.
One case the poster, who calls himself "searchandrescuewoods," brings up involves some sort of hairy entity that seems to have abducted a child only to vanish. He says that this happened on a call to search for a missing little girl and her brother, who had gone out into the woods near their home to pick berries with their parents and seemingly vanished off the face of the earth. The parents apparently looked away for just a second, only to look back to find both of the children missing. Things would get pretty weird from there, as the poster explains:
He and his sister were together, and both of them went missing around the same time. Their parents lost sight of them for a few seconds, and in that time both the kids apparently wandered off. When their parents couldn't find them, they called us, and we came out to search the area. We found the daughter pretty quickly, and when we asked where her brother was, she told us that he'd been taken away by 'the bear man.' She said he gave her berries and told her to stay quiet, that he wanted to play with her brother for a while. The last she saw of her brother, he was riding on the shoulders of 'the bear man' and seemed calm. Of course, our first thought was abduction, but we never found a trace of another human being in that area. The little girl was also insistent that he wasn't a normal man, but that he was tall and covered in hair, 'like a bear', and that he had a 'weird face.' We searched that area for weeks, it was one of the longest calls I've ever been on, but we never found a single trace of that kid.
This particular report is interesting in that a few of the elements mentioned have become almost legendary among some of the stranger missing person cases, like those covered by researcher David Paulides in his Missing 411 books. Here we have the mention of the berries, which is an odd detail that pops up in quite a few vanishings, as well as the mention of some sort of hairy animal or beast-man, also surprisingly common in some of these cases. The poster also gives some reports on what can only be described as “faceless men,” which are even more bizarre than the “bear man.” One strange report he has to tell reads as follows:
I was teamed up with another SAR officer because we'd received reports of bears in the area. We were looking for a guy who hadn't come home from a climbing trip when he was supposed to, and we ended up having to do some serious climbing to get to where we figured he'd be. We found him trapped in a small crevasse with a broken leg. It was not pleasant. He'd been there for almost two days, and his leg was very obviously infected. We were able to get him into a chopper, and I heard from one of the EMTs that the guy was absolutely inconsolable. He kept talking about how he'd been doing fine, and when he'd gotten to the top, a man had been there. He said the guy had no climbing equipment, and he was wearing a parka and ski pants. He walked up to the guy, and when the guy turned around, he said he had no face. It was just blank. He freaked out, and ended up trying to get off the mountain too fast, which is why he'd fallen. He said he could hear the guy all night, climbing down the mountain and letting out these horrible muffled screams. That story bothered the hell out of me. I'm glad I wasn't there to hear it.
Another report from what seems to have been a similar "faceless man" was apparently relayed to the poster by a friend and colleague, who was at the time repainting an information sign along a darkened forest road. As he went about his chore, he claimed that a man had come up to the bottom of the ladder and called up to ask for directions to the nearest campsite. The colleague said there was one around four miles down the road, but never took his eyes off of his work to see what the stranger looked like. Throughout the whole exchange the witness said that he had been overcome with a deep sense of creeping unease, and things would get steadily more bizarre from there. He explains what happened next:
The second he came up and talked to me, the hairs on my neck stood up, but I wasn't sure why. I just had this really uneasy feeling about the whole thing, and I wanted to finish painting and get out of there. I figured maybe part of it was that I couldn't turn around to look at him, but something just felt off. There was also this weird smell floating around even before the guy talked to me, kind of like old period blood. I had looked around to see what was causing it but I didn’t find anything. So I waited for the guy to walk away, but I didn't hear him leave, which made me think he was just standing there and watching me, so I asked again if I could do anything for him, and he didn't answer.
I knew he was there though, because I hadn't heard him leave, so I did this awkward turn on the ladder to look down and see what he was doing. Now I admit it could have just been my brain fucking up, but I swear to you, Russ, for a split second when I turned around, that fucker didn't have a face. Like he had no face. It was almost concave, and totally smooth, and I just about had a fucking heart attack because I couldn't even wrap my brain around what I was seeing. I think I started to say something but there was this kind of 'pop' inside my head and suddenly he was just a normal looking guy. I must have looked weird because he asked me if I was okay, and I was just like 'yeah, I'm fine.' He asks about the campsite again and I point to where he has to go, and he's like 'I'm not from around here, can you help me get there?' Now this is when I know something is really up because there's no way this guy got out here and didn't know where he was. And for that matter, there's no car around, so how'd he get here in the first place? I said I was sorry but that I couldn't take him anywhere in a company vehicle, and he's like 'please? I really don’t know where I am, can you come with me and help me get there?'
So now I'm seriously weirded out, and I start wondering if this is some kind of ambush or whatever. I told him I could call him a taxi to come out and take him where he wants to go, and I pull out my phone and he just goes 'no' and walks away really quickly. But he doesn't walk out of the park, he walks back into the fucking trees and I got right in my fucking truck and start to get out of there, fuck the paint or whatever. I looked in my mirror to see where he was as I was leaving and he was standing right at the tree line again, I don't know how he got there so fast, but this time I know that fucker didn't have a face. He was just watching me leave, and right before I turned the corner he took a big step back into the trees and kind of dissolved, I guess. Maybe it was just dark so he blended in, but it felt more like he just melted away.
Yet another faceless man encounter was purportedly relayed to the poster from another SAR worker, this time a senior officer. The officer claimed that this had happened a few years’ prior while out on a training mission deep in the woods. At one point he heard someone walking about the camp from inside his tent. He at first thought it was one of the rookies who had gotten up to go pee out in the woods, but apparently whoever it was just kept going deeper and deeper out into the trees, so the officer got out of his tent to see what was going on, and this is where things would get creepy, indeed. The witness would say:
I went to the edge of camp and I called to whoever it was and told them that camp was this way. But they kept going back out into the woods, so I went after them. I know it was stupid but I was half-asleep and I just really didn't want to deal with some idiot getting hurt. I followed this thing on a dead-straight course for about a mile, and then it stopped on the edge of a little river. I could see the outline of it because the water was reflecting the moon, and it looked just like an ordinary guy. He had a pack on, and it looked like he was facing me. I asked if he was okay, if he needed help, and he cocked his head like he didn't understand me. I always have my pocket knife on me, and it's got a little thumb light attached to it, so I turned that on and lit up his chest, so I wouldn't blind him. He was breathing slowly and deep, so I wondered if he was sleepwalking. I went closer and asked him again if he was okay. I moved the light up, and something didn't seem right, so I stopped. He kept breathing in this real slow, deep breaths, and I sort of figured out gradually that that's what was bothering me. It was like he was pretending to breathe, but not actually doing it. His breaths were too even and deep, and all his movements were exaggerated, like his shoulders going up and his chest moving.
I told him to identify himself, and he made this muffled noise. I moved the light up and I shit you not, this guy had no face. Just smooth skin. I freaked out, and I sort of fumbled my light, but I saw him move toward me but he didn't actually move. I don't know how to explain it, but one second he was at the edge of the river and the next he was five feet from me. I never looked away or blinked, it was like he moved so fast my brain couldn't keep up. I tripped and fell on my ass and I could see this line open up on his throat. It stretched up to his ears, and his head tilted back and he smiled at me with his throat. There wasn't any blood, just this gaping dark hole, and I swear he smiled at me with this gash in his throat. I got up and I ran as fast as I could back to camp. I couldn't hear him following me, but I felt like he was always right behind me, even though when I looked back I couldn’t see him. I calmed down when I got back to camp; the fire was still going and I guess that pack mentality of being with other people made me stop and breathe a little.
The poster has plenty of other stories along these lines that are quite hard to classify. One very eerie experience happened to him when they successfully found a missing woman they had been searching for. They were happy to have found her, but things were a bit stranger than they were expecting. The poster says:
One of the scariest things I've ever had happen to me involved the search for a young woman who'd gotten separated from her hiking group. We were out until late at night, because the dogs had picked up her scent. When we found her, she was curled up under a large rotted log. She was missing her shoes and pack, and she was clearly in shock. She didn't have any injuries, and we were able to get her to walk with us back to base ops. Along the way, she kept looking behind us and asking us why 'that big man with black eyes' was following us. We couldn't see anyone, so we just wrote it off as some weird symptom of shock. But the closer we got to base, the more agitated this woman got. She kept asking me to tell him to stop 'making faces' at her. At one point she stopped and turned around and started yelling into the forest, saying that she wanted him to leave her alone.
In another incredibly weird report, he says that another team member told him a story that had happened while they were out doing a recon for mountain lions, which are very dangerous for hikers and campers. They go out and scout for signs of the big cats in order to warn people in the vicinity of their presence and close off trails or campsites if need be.
He was out on his own in a very heavily forested part of the park toward dusk when he heard what sounded like a woman screaming in the distance. Now, as most of you know, when a mountain lion screams, it sounds almost exactly like a woman being brutally murdered. It’s unsettling, but far from abnormal. My buddy radioed back and let ops know that he'd heard one, and that he was going to keep going to see if he could figure out where its territory started. He heard the mountain lion scream a couple more times, always from the same spot, and determined the approximate area of the mountain lion’s territory. He was about to head back when he heard another scream, this time within only a few yards of him. Of course, he freaks out and starts heading back at a much faster pace, because the last thing he wants is to run into a god damn mountain lion and get mauled to death. As he got back on the path and started heading back, the screaming followed him, and he broke into a jog.
When he was about a mile from ops, the screaming stopped, and he turned around to see if it was following him. It was almost night by this point, but he said in the distance, just before the path rounded a corner, he could see what looked like a male figure. He called out to them, warning them that the paths were closed, and that he needed to come back to the welcome center. The figure just stood there, and my buddy started to walk over. When he was about ten yards away, the figure took, as he described, 'and impossibly long step' toward him and let out the same scream my buddy had been hearing. My buddy didn't even say anything; he just turned and sprinted back to ops, never looking behind him. By the time he got back, the screaming had moved back into the woods. He didn't mention it to anyone else, just said that there was a mountain lion in the area and that they would need to close those paths until the animal could be located and moved.
Very similarly to this report is another mountain lion recon that supposedly went bad, or at least went very weird. The poster claims this came from a colleague of his who had been out doing the same thing, looking for signs of mountain lions in order to keep the area safe. The colleague said that he and his partner had gotten a call that there were indeed mountain lion screams being heard in the area, and when they checked it out he says they found signs around the area like dens and broken branches. He called it all in and explains what happened next:
I call in and they tell me to confirm if possible, which you know just means they want to you to step in a big pile of shit and use that as proof. I'm not seeing any, though, so I basically just tell 'em to shove it, I'm done. We know that damn thing's out here somewhere, even if I'm not stepping in its shit or inside its mouth or whatever. Guy I'm with wanders off to take a piss or whatever, and I stay behind watching this little burrow under a tree to see if maybe a fox or somethin' is living under it, 'cause I love foxes, man. They're cute as hell. But anyway, I'm watching this tree and I start hearing branches crackling and it's coming from the direction my partner went opposite of. Now I've got my pistol, but you and I both know that’s not gonna do shit against a cat. I cock it and holler for my partner to get his dumb ass back, but he's too far and he can't hear me. I stand up and get my sights on where the thing is approaching, and I shit you not, man, I just about peed myself. This guy is coming toward me, and he's back-flipping through the fucking woods.
Like, instead of walking, he's doing these crazy fucking back-flips, and I swear to God he cleared every fucking log and bush in his path, it was like he knew right where he was going. I yell at the guy to stop right where he is, that I'm pointing a gun right at him, but he keeps coming, and I just kinda lost it. I shot at the ground in front of him, and it was a dumb fuckin’ thing to do, but man I didn't want this guy anywhere near me. When I fired, he was about fifty yards from me, and as soon as the gun goes off, he whirls around and goes off, back-flipping back into the woods. My partner hears my gun go off and runs back and asks what's up, and I tell him there's some fucking weirdo out here hopped up on God knows what, and we need to get the hell out of Dodge. I let the cops know what happened, and I didn't get in any trouble for firing, but man, I don't know what that motherfucker was on but I've never seen anything like that before. Shit was absolutely butt-fuck crazy.
What in the world was going on here? Finally we have a report that is labelled as a possible Black Eyed Kid sighting, but which seems to be way weirder than that. The poster explains of this particular case:
So many stories of black-eyed people, wandering around the woods and calling out in the night, mimicking the sound of running water or a bobcat screaming. One man in particular goes to every news station he thinks will listen to him and tells the same story. He was deer hunting, had camped out in a very remote area, and woke up because something was scraping against his tent. He thought it was a raccoon or a fox until the thing pressed its face against the door of the tent, at which point he could very clearly make out a human nose and mouth. He kicked at it, but it leaped back and was gone by the time he opened the tent flap, gun at his side. He fired two warning shots, and when the sound had faded, he heard a snap behind him. A man was standing at the edge of the campsite. This man was not wearing any clothing, but he also didn’t possess any kind of human flesh. As this hunter described it, the man was made of some kind of amalgamation of raw meat and hair. As if someone had scooped up roadkill and molded it into the vague shape of a man. The face was lumpy and only a rough approximation of a human face. The thing opened its lopsided mouth, and from it came the sound of the gun the hunter had fired. It did this twice before mimicking the sound of the tent zipper and fleeing into the night.
This is quite a lot of extreme insanity to digest. What are we to make of all of this? Are any of these reports real in any sense at all? There has been much skepticism aimed at this particular poster, because he has posted these not only on normal forums, but also on the NoSleep forum, which is typically a red flag for being fiction. However, some of these tales have been confirmed by others outside of this particular forum, and they have been discussed and picked apart, with the poster becoming nearly legendary in some circles. It seems certainly to take these tales with a grain of salt, but at the very least they are a fascinating look at Internet legends in the making. They are entertaining, at the very least, and if they are real, then well, you have something else to look out for the next time you are out in the woods.