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There is a legend in my home town about a patch of woods with an ominous vibe attached to it. This place is known as the “Forbidden Forest”. Several legends surround the woods, mainly originating from ancient Native American stories. It is said that these woods were considered to be sacred ground of which the portal to the afterlife could be found deep in the heart of the forest.
This portal was said to take the shape of a perfectly carved rock, with a color similar to the color of obsidian. Many of the particular tribe of the area were buried within the confines of these woods. Entering outside of times of burial was considered to be a transgression into the peaceful rest of the dead.
As kids we were told there was a boogeyman who haunted the grounds. Much like classic boogeymen myths, this boogeyman was said to stalk the woods, looking for bad kids who ran away from home. Of course, as kids we believed this magnificent lie. Though, what was true was far worse than the classic stories. There were also rumors of it being a sort of place in which people would go to die and to end their own lives due to the rather ominous reputation the woods have, with it also being quite a distance from the center of town.
As a grown up, I garnered interest in this place as I attempted to learn more about the place we were barred from going. As an adult, I did not believe in the silly, illogical stories of the boogeyman or forest demons. Plus, I thought it would be pretty neat to take pictures of this “forbidden zone”.
I entered the forest during a pleasant autumn day. The trees just began to change, with the smell of pine still fresh in the air. When I stepped into the forest, all I could hear was the chirping of the birds, singing their usual song. Beneath my feet, twigs and sticks cracked. The afternoon sun cut through the citrus colored leaves. I was taken aback by the beauty of this serene sight laid out before my eyes.
I whipped out my camera, and took several shots of this beautiful moment. I continued further into the forest along a kindly laid out trail. I thought it was strange how such a trail could be created in a place with a reputation these woods have. I figured it must’ve been for those who were suicidal, given the fact that I began to notice signs stating that “Life is worth living” and “If you need help, please call this number”.
I continued into the forest, taking in the sights of nature. With no one around except for the birds and the bees, I felt at peace. The ominous vibe of the forest seemed to dissipate the further I went into the forest. Further along into my trek, I noticed something fascinating. I saw an overhang of a particularly tall rock.
Next to the tall rock, there was a cave entrance. On the side of the rocks, was a carving in a writing that seemed quite foreign to me. The writing was accompanied by pictographs of what seemed to be a god-like figure along with what I assumed to be worshippers. Next to the figure, there seemed to be what appeared to be some kind of beast.
I assumed this was of Native American origin, and perhaps the origin for the urban legends of the boogeyman/demons. Once again, I whipped my camera out to take pictures of this wonder. I began to wonder if anyone else knew of this, but alas I continued. My curiosity drove me to continue, as I entered the cave, excited to see what wonders could possibly lie in the cave.
With my cell-phone’s flashlight app, I perused into the cave. Entering the cave almost felt like a sin, or a crime. I began to think to myself that perhaps I should not enter the cave, as I’m sure this is considered holy ground. However, my curiosity got the best of me, and I continued. After five minutes of perusing, I began to notice an almost over-powering scent. The scent was almost as if it were rotting food.
To my left and right, I also noticed old torches that I assumed could be lit again. I took out my lighter, and lit the torches. I noticed about twenty feet ahead of me, a hole with stairs that seemed to spiral downwards. I perused over to the stairs, as that strong smell continued to hover all around me. As I reached the bottom of the stairs, I noticed that the area was well lit with torches.
It was almost as if someone has been here within the past 24 hours. This was further supported as the ground was covered in mud, and within the mud there was signs of someone going further into the bowels of the cave. The hairs on my skin began to rise, and my legs began to turn into jelly. I began to ponder the possibility of leaving here.
However, I knew I had gotten myself too far in to turn back now. I began to follow the tracks in the mud, eventually reaching to what seemed to be a large cavern. All around me I saw torches, and cave paintings. It was an amazing sight to behold. There was another large hole in the center.
I took several more pictures of the inside of this cavern. I noticed the smell had also gotten a lot stronger now, and it was practically unbearable. I began to dwell on the thought of what this smell could possibly be. Unfortunately, I found the answer to my question.
I looked down into the hole where the pungent scent was emanating from. There I found the answer to my question. Deep in what seemed to be a forty foot hole was decomposing human corpses...
Most were freshly killed, as some had their skin still on. The corpses all had their entrails hanging out of their abdomens. All the corpses had wounds that were cut to precision in such a way that it looked like a clean kill.
I nearly vomited at the sight of what I just saw. What was also strange was the way in which my camera died shortly after the discovery of this grisly scene. Considering I could not take pictures of what I saw, I turned around and ran out of the cave hoping that whoever was responsible for this would not find me.
After leaving the cave and the forest, I immediately went to the police about this discovery. Considering my lack of evidence, I was surprised to see that they entertained my request to examine the cave. In the next hour, a police force with me alongside them entered the cave, and back into the cavern where I found the bodies. However, the bodies were gone. There was no evidence that anything had occurred there at all. No gore, no blood. Nothing.
The police left, perhaps thinking that I was crazy. Regardless, I know what I saw was true. I just hope I’m not the next victim.