I don't know if anybody else had heard of this so-called "Flatwoods Monster"... but I believe that it's about time that someone heard the truth behind this creature. Some say that it was an alien, something from a different planet or universe, even a monster you'd find underneath your bed if you weren't careful enough to check before slipping into your bed at night.
All but one of those are false, and I am here to prove it to you all.
Quite a few years ago, when I was only ten years old, I was visiting my grandmother in West Virginia. Right in the middle of Braxton County, to be exact. My parents left me at her home a quarter to 9 at night, since it took quite a while to drive from Michigan to West Virginia. Let me remind you, this was a while ago, around the 1950's. It may have been 1952, I don't quite remember. Since it was getting close to such a late hour, my grandparents rushed me to the guest bedroom to get dressed and ready for bed. Since they were always so strict on their rules to stay in bed, they would always lock the door from the outside to keep me in my room. Both for the rule, and security purposes. The neighborhood they lived in wasn't quite as reliable as you might think. As I laid down in the cold bed, shifting around in a struggle to wrap the thin blanket around me, I stared up at the dimly lit window. The moon was so bright that it hurt my eyes, even when it peeked down to me through the trees in the small forest that hugged the side of the house, and since there were no curtains to cover it, I was forced to stare until I felt drowsy.
I was hungry for adventure at my young age, and never felt tired at all, unless I was going to be going on a road trip or airplane. So as I stared at the moon, I had the smartest idea I've had for a long time. Why not open up the window and sneak out for a little bit? It wouldn't harm anyone if I did, and it felt just like a nice thing to do on a cool September night like this one. So I slowly slid out from underneath the blanket and into the oversized slippers I kept on the side of the bed, and grabbed the brown leather jacket I had hanging on the bedpost at the foot of the bed. I put it on as I made my way to the window, opening it as slowly as possible; being careful as not to make any loud noises and wake up my grandparents. As I slowly climbed out through the window, I kept my arms wrapped around the windowsill in my room, just in case the drop was too far for me to reach safely.
As I kicked my feet around a bit until I felt my foot bang against the grass, I let go of the windowsill and dropped to the ground. I covered my head protectively, just in case I would hit something along the way down. I slowly rose back onto my feet, looking around the dark environment. It was calming to have that aroma of the cooling breeze and fluffs of piled leaves surrounding me. I took in the calmness around me for a few moments before carrying on with my small journey to the forest in my mind. I tried my best to stay as quiet as I could, staring down at the illuminated green grass underneath my feet to avoid branches and twigs as much as possible. It felt like forever before I glanced back up, accidentally bumping my left shoulder into a tree gently as I did so. As I looked around me, I was just engulfed with the beautiful scenery that I longed to be around. The moon highlighted every branch and leaf that was near the top of the forest, which made it an almost instant Polaroid moment for me. As I stared at the trees and the atmosphere around me, my breathing stopped for a near thirty seconds as I froze in surprise.
There was a fireball-like object quite a few feet away from me, hidden in between two trees. I was so afraid at the time that it was my grandparents with their lantern trying to find me, so I quickly ducked and pressed my back against the nearest tree to hide myself. After a while, I realized that it wasn't moving, other than the flicker of the flames every now and then. I stared at the flickering flames for a bit as I peeked around the tree, shifting my weight a bit. I slowly inched away from behind the tree to get a better view of the bright flames, trying to find what even caused it. It looked as if it were a meteor that crashed down, but that was just too illogical! As I stared at the burning ball, I realized that there was someone standing in front of it. Could they have caused it? Without thinking, I quickly dashed out halfway to them, hoping that they would see me as I did so. I waved my arms frantically, trying to get them out of the way of the ball of fire. As I drew closer, I realized that it wasn't human at all...
The silhouette turned to face me, its head turned up into a spade-like shape, its head pulled to either side in a sideways diamond. It didn't seem to even touch the ground as it moved, the long cape-like clothing dangling just a mere inch off of the ground. As it did so, it quickly dashed towards me, their arms outstretched towards me with claw-like fingers - leaving me frozen in fear. What was I even supposed to do in a situation like this? Run? Call for help? If I yelled, my grandparents would have me grounded until my parents came back to pick me up. I made a quick decision to turn on my heel and run in a different random direction, away from the spade creature. The strong smell of something burning and metal surrounded me, making me feel like I was suffocating. It was so hard for me to breathe, even if I was breathing perfectly fine. My head ached as if I had hit it against a rock, causing me to hold my head with one hand as I ran. As I continued on, I caught the tip of my slippers underneath a protruding root or branch, causing me to fall forward. The aching sensation in my head spread throughout my body, making me want to scream, even if I moved just a simple muscle. As I opened my eyes slowly when I rolled onto my back when I fell, the last thing I could see was that creature standing over me, staring and observing. It leaned in close to my face, its huge, yellow, saucer-shaped eyes staring down into mine with curiosity. It opened his mouth to let out a soft hiss as it looked me over, standing upright. I closed my eyes as it stood upright, not feeling it move away at all.
I must have been knocked out for some time, because once I had opened my eyes, I realized that it was nearly sunup. The sky was a bright pink, purple and red, something that you might find in a painting in a museum. The only thing that I could think of is how fast I had to get home before my grandparents unlocked my door and found me missing with the window open. As I slowly sat up, I could feel my head pound with waves of annoying pain. I massaged either side of my temples as I hunched over, slowly helping myself stand up. I glanced around, only to find that once beautiful, serene forest that surrounded me was turned into a dark patch of burnt leaves and ghosts of what used to be large, older trees. The ground was coated with a thick black ash, except a large circle and where I was sitting. Did that thing save me, or was it just my imagination? I raised an opposite hand, staring at it to see if it had any ash on it, only to find that I, in fact, did not. Did that thing in the woods save me? I held my breath as I struggled to climb up to my feet, wobbling a bit as I did so. On my way home, all I could think about was how strange that was. It was gone in a blink of an eye, and all I could imagine was falling down in pain and passing out in fear. The strong scent of the burnt scenery and metal still lingered in the air as I shuffled my way home. Once I finally crawled back into the guest room, I stared at the calendar. It was September 12th. I kept a mental note to write down what I had been through sooner or later, but I guess I forgot to until now...
After reading claims of people having seen this mysterious creature, I immediately debunk them as false. I know what I saw, because I was there. It felt all too real to even comprehend the thought of it being staged or faked as a prank. No human can hover above the ground like that creature did, and the smell of that forest still sinks into the clothes that I wore on that day. Every year on September 12th, I've made it a ritual to visit that same forest every year in hopes of finding that figure once more. I insist that none of you visit the Flatwoods around that time of year, because God knows that thing is still lurking somewhere.