I know, you will all question my sanity after reading this. Saying this was all made up. I know you will and if you don’t believe me, honestly I would not blame you. So many have made claims of stories so easily proven as someone’s sick imagination. But this is not my imagination. 

One summer evening, I was sitting on my laptop doing some research on a book I had to read for school over the summer, the summer had just started and I had nothing else to do. I was rather lonely as my boyfriend had went on vacation and my best friend, Tina had moved to Morgan City from our New Orleans neighborhood. I knew her since I was four years old. We shared everything together from our favorite memories to other people’s secrets. They moved after her mother wanted a divorce. Her father was broken up about this because he never understood why. He thought the marriage was perfect. He blamed the city and thus moved away from it. 

I found out through my mother that she wanted to divorce because of his over religious views that did not follow her more liberal views on life.  Her father’s religious views were nothing new, most people in Louisiana were every religious. But her father was a weird type of religious. He always blessed him before he did anything of merit or if he was scared. One time he got upset when I said, Oh my God. 

Anyway, as I was doing research, my phone vibrated. It was a text from Tina. I was ecstatic. When she moved, she rarely texted me. I assumed she moved on and made new friends or something of the sort. I didn’t blame her for that. It’s human nature to move on. I opened my phone, yes this happened before iPhones were around so opening the phone was a way of reading a text. 

The text read “Hey Sam, it’s me Tina lol. Idk if u still had my number.” With a wide smile on my face, I course responded immediately. 

“Lol, hey Tina. I still had your number. How are you?”

“I’m good Sam. Missed u so much.”

“I missed u 2! :)”

“Anyway, I was wondering u were interested in comin down to my new house. Dad is letting me have a get together here.” 

“I’d luv to!” 

“Alright, it’s at 43 3rd street. It starts at 8:30.”

“K. Can’t wait. Lol.” 

I went to my mother who was busy watching the latest in generic soap operas. I asked her if I could go to Tina’s for the party. She knew how much I missed her and didn’t have to worry about driving me as I could know drive myself.  She was more worried about who would be out at night. I convinced her I was a smart drive and could out smart any drunk who swerved. I knew she wasn’t worried about me being one of them. Plus Tina’s father was against underage drinking. 

The next day, I got my best clothes that were not formal. It was a pair of clean jeans with a tank top. It was hot night. I made sure it wasn’t to revealing. I didn’t want to be reticulated.

I got into my car and started the engine. I backed out and drove down the road. I listened to music as I drove. The night sky was dark, the stars were out but it was a new moon. Without the moon, there was a weird atmosphere, especially since Morgan City is close to the swamps. 

As I drove, a flash of high beams went behind me. It almost blinded me. The car was right behind me, I pulled over because I thought he wanted to tell me something. I was right, the pick-up pulled up next to me. 

“Hello, do you know the way to Morgan City?” I paused, did he not see the signs that pointed to all the directions that lead to the city. But I nodded and pointed to the road. 

“Thank you, say you’re very pretty.” I was pretty sure he was hitting on me, but I took the compliment. 

“Thanks but I have a boyfriend.”  

“Well, I figured. The reason why I said that is because, it seems you are a bit, revealing…” his voice trailed off. Now I felt like he was a peeper and sweat went down my back. I cringed and uneasily pulled up my shirt. He nodded and pulled away. I looked around and drove away. 

The driver left me feeling uneasy but a few minutes later and it was all over with. I continued to drive when yet another driver flashed me with the high beams. I froze in terror when I saw them. I realized that it wasn’t the same guy but it was the second time. I decided to pull over. 

The driver pulled up and I was happy to see it was a woman. She looked at me with a smile.

“What are you doing so late at night?” her voice reminded me of a nice old lady’s. 

“Going to my friend’s house?”

“Oh do you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend?” I looked confused at her before I realized that she was wondering if I was straight or not. Something looked down on by the religious. It was also odd that she would ask this, especially out of the blue like this.

“Um. Boyfriend.”

“Oh. Are you a virgin?” Her voice's sweetness was drained away and she sounded like a witch. I nodded and I went to go step on the gas. 

“You weren’t drinking right?” I nodded. This lady was creeping out more than the potential creeper. She was intrusive. I was sweating again

“Well I saw you swerving.” I thought she was seeing things. I wasn’t swerving I knew that for a fact. But I nodded politely. Things were getting weirder. She just drove away.

I felt more and more uneasy. Those two were making me wonder if I was being watched. A part of me wanted to back up and go straight home. However I wanted to see Tina and I knew that she would be upset if I wasn’t there. I was almost there and plus she probably wouldn’t be able to hear her phone. 

I went closer into the swamps. The mist was heavy now. I could barely see. I turned on my high beams. I went a little further feeling uneasy. Once again, I was hit with high beams. I was more and more nervous. Sweat was pouring all around me. I went to the side of the road. A man walked over toward me.

“Hello ma’am,” he said in a kind southern gentleman’s voice. It was weird. 

“Hi,” I said, shaken. I couldn’t tell if he knew about it. He gave a slight laugh.

“Well, one of your tires seems to be coming off.” I froze. I had heard about the Zodiac using this trick to unscrew a woman’s tire. Without flinching I sped away. I most have ran over his foot as I heard a crunch and him lying on the ground in the rear view. 

As I drove down the swamp, I saw something strange to my left. A faint yellow light was far away. I didn’t know if it was a camp fire or something like that. But I didn’t plan on stopping. I kept increasing speed than I saw something. Two cars were blocking the road. My heart began pounding out of my chest. I could hear my blood flowing through my blood streams. I stepped on the breaks. I saw two men step out and walked toward the car. I adjusted the stick and went in reverse. My foot became a block of lead as the tires kicked up mud. I didn’t look back for a second. I hit something behind me, it smashed my bumper. I was stunned from the collision. I saw another man come at me from behind, the two in front didn’t stop. I went to scream but the clench of fear grabbed my throat. 

I went for my door but they broke my windows. They reached grabbed for them. One managed to wrap their hands around my throat. I struggled but I didn’t want to get killed. I figured playing dead would help, so I froze and then blacked out. 

I woke up in a horrible scene. I was in a wooden cage made out of branches and vines, completely made by hand. It was impressive. I felt sick to my stomach. I looked to my left and saw similar cages, they were more broken down. I looked at my hands and saw my hands were bound. There was a gag in my mouth. I wanted to chew through it, but I was much too weak. I looked out to the sky, I couldn’t tell what time I was. I was stripped of my phone, my watch, my necklace and my earrings. I checked and luckily, I had all my clothes on and, although being muddy, were not torn. 

I blinked heavily, still trying to figure out what was going on. I thought if Tina was wondering about me. I looked out and began to silently pray. I was sweating, making my cold body even colder. The mud sent chills up my spine. I heard the cage open. Two big men with mud plastered on their faces and they had weird markings on their chests. They grabbed me by the arms and forcefully dragged me out. One picked me up by the arms, one by the legs. I was scared, I began to cry with trying to hide it. I felt like I was in the middle of torture horror movie like Hostile. I could barely see in the fog but what I did see was just like the light I saw as I drove. Five homemade torches were put in a circle. 

That’s when I saw something horrifying. It gives me chills to this day when I think about it. My nerves were turned up high as I approached it. It was a stone altar with a crocodile on top of it. The crocodile was dried and cut open. Its jaws were ripped open to an unnatural size. Its vital organs were removed. They laid me down, I tried to shake free but it didn’t work. Blood went up and down my back which meant one of two things. One, they had done this recently and the blood hadn’t been cleaned or two, they have done this before... and recently. 

More people showed, I couldn’t tell who these people were but based off the figures, I noticed the creeper, the woman and the tire repair man. But there was more. All men or women. That’s when, even though I was upset down, I saw what shocked me more than anything else. In Native America style body painting was Tina’s father. He was leading this. This sick ritual was led by one of the most religious people I knew. I went to scream but I was muffled. I was all confused. It made no sense unless. No she couldn’t be. She wouldn’t. That’s when I swallowed my thoughts and a piece of me, had just been shot in the forehead. 

Tina walked next to her father. She looked at me with a straight face. I was in complete shock. I was not prepared for this. Sadly, it began to make sense. Why would she come out of the blue, why so late? It started to make sense but I wouldn’t have guessed that before. I felt betrayed but I had to figure out how to get out alive. He raised his hand and they were silent.

“Do you accept safety with God?” asked Tina’s father. I nodded. 

“LIAR! You indecent, inhuman virus!” He gave Tina a small torch and she placed it at my side. I wailed in began to cry. I thought I was not going to make it out alive. She removed the torch. I was sobbing. I shook my head. 

“Are you a sinner?” I nodded. I doubted my escape. In fact, I thought I knew I was going to die. He began speaking Latin. I was getting nervous. I had no idea what he was speaking about. Finally the nail was in the coffin. Tina took knife and cut my upper chest. I sobbed as I felt blood escape me. I closed my eyes. I felt two men grab my arms and lifted me up. I was feeling weak as they shoved me in the swamp. I was thrashing but than an idea hit me. Playing dead, I closed my eyes and stopped moving.

Luckily, it worked. I stopped moving and I was lifted up out of the water. I laid motionless, eyes opened. I prayed they wouldn’t check my pulse. I guess they didn’t see that as important. I was still bleeding however it was covered by mud a bit. It was a swamp. I was dragged away and tossed onto a pile. 

I knew just want the pile was made of. It was a pile of bodies. They were all sacrificed in this sick ritual. I was scared I had to find a way to escape. I heard a weird prayer ceremony going on. I pushed off the wet skin of the dead. The cloth they used to bind me were soaked and weak due to the water, so I easily ripped them off. It was a disgusting scene, they were pale, cut, and in torn clothes. The smell. I will never forget the smell. They were rotting away, in the open. Repulsive, absolutely repulsive. I looked at saw what made this all the more strange. At the bottom of the pile, but facing out toward me, was Tina’s mother. She was one of the first. I throw up in my mouth but kept to down in order to keep quite.  I heard the chanting get louder. I knew that they wouldn’t hear me. I ripped my shirt and quickly ability pressure to my wound. It was painful but at this point. I had too. I was in full survival mode. With my knees weak and this stab wound, I had to force myself to run. 

I was sick to my stomach but I ran. I made a dash, the mud slammed underneath my footprints, making small splashes. I didn’t care. I wanted to survive. I didn’t look back but I did hear something. I heard the chanting stop.

“Sinner! The sinner is a demon!” 

Those sick bastards, they thought I was a demon. I tried to think how or what caused them to be this way. But I focused on running. I started to sprint. The trees were thick as was the fog. I hope they couldn’t see but I heard them rush at me. I sprinted further, my lungs were burning. I felt that they were melting. 

When I stopped, I saw an area of rusted cars. Some have been here for quite a while, others are just as fresh as maybe weeks, maybe days. One of them was my car with a busted bumper. I heard the footsteps come. I slid under a car and they rushed past me. I took slow breaths. I felt something grab my leg and my heart sank. I kicked and was about to scream, but it let go. I looked and saw a snake slithered past me.   

I caught my breath only to begin to run. I ran into the dirt road that led to the swamp were I was found. I don’t really remember the rest because I collapsed. I went into shock and collapsed. All I could get out were the words, crocodile, Tina and why. 

I woke up three days later. The police interviewed me and I told them everything. It was painful, I felt like crap, totally beaten up. I had bruises and the stab wound was infected due to the mud that, ironically, probably saved my life. 

A week later the police came back with news. They couldn’t find the cult. They couldn’t find anything. However, they found the bodies. No evidence with them and if they did find them, they couldn’t charge them. They did find my phone and gave it to me. It was dead. I pulled it, thankful I didn’t need a new one. When I turned it on it had two messages.

The first was from Tina saying “Where r u?” sent at 8:30 of that night. The second was from my other friend, Abby. It read “Tina invited me to a party at 8:30. Her place in Larabee. Did you get the invite?” That was sent two days ago, while I was out. 

They had moved again… they lured another victim... I cried that night. I felt the pain in my gut. 

So this is why I write to you all now. I know you all think I’m crazy but I swear I’m not. This was my experience. If you don’t believe me, like I said, I won’t blame you, in fact, I understand. But I know what I saw. I want to warn you however, sometimes things aren’t as they seem…