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To this day, I still cannot comprehend what had happened in that old God-forsaken town of Angel Lake. The fear and horror one felt going there was already severe enough, but what my friend and I witnessed and experienced is one I wouldn’t dare wish on anyone else. We are still shaken by it, and even hearing the name “Angel Lake” makes us shudder with regret and loathing of that place. Often, I have night terrors from the dreaded thing I saw there.
None of this had started due to some morbid curiosity or some sort of legend-tripping we wanted to take part in. In fact, all of this had happened just because my friend and I were curious.
I was a student who had an appreciation of anthropology and history, while my friend was a passionate lover of folklore and mythology. We both bounced various factoids of knowledge about what we specialized in. We also shared a taste for the macabre, so we often did our own research into darker and mysterious subject matter, such as Roanoke Island’s Lost Colony or the hideous murders that took place in Hinterkaifeck.
One interest we’ve shared our entire lives was the subject of ghost towns. To us, ghost towns held mysterious and fascinating stories of the past that no textbook could ever capture. What made them even more enticing was that they were often left untouched, so everything was as still and silent as the day the villagers abandoned it. It is as if the forgotten town was a graveyard for the former life that used to have. My friend and I also enjoyed speculating the cause for the departing, if indeed we can call it that.
Sometimes, we’ve read that there is little to no evidence as to why a town is utterly abandoned. There are the obvious more logical explanations; shortage of crops, famine, drought, rebellion, or sometimes simply the desire to move on.
However, the ghost town of Angel Lake is notorious for having absolutely no explanation as to why it was abandoned. There are a large number of ghost towns in the world that have been abandoned by their original denizens, but this one had a peculiar history.
Very little is actually known about Angel Lake itself. My friend and I searched high and low to discover more about it. Other than a very small number of online articles and one or two history books, the most that’s been said about it is that it was established sometime in the 1800s, the town is named after the lake that resides by it, and was mysteriously abandoned in 1936.
It’s also unknown what truly happened to the people who lived there because it seems they had just disappeared from history. No one ever figured out what happened to them or why the people suddenly left it.
What little we’ve read detailed the so-called logical possibilities but it also highlighted the more curious aspects. It’s believed that dark occult practices had gone on there for centuries and that may be the cause for the elusive disappearances and subsequent abandonment.
What is known in recorded history was that the area was shunned by the indigenous people of the area. Tales of evil essences dwelling there were frequently recited amongst themselves. Spanish explorers who visited the region also briefly wrote accounts of strange and frightening happenings in the area. So much so that they called the place El Lago de Los Diablos, the Lake of Devils, due to the strange and sometimes horrifying occurrences that happened. They never truly described what had happened that led them to leave it.
The Spaniards found it so frightening that they quickly abandoned the place for hundreds of years until it was renamed "Angel Lake" by English-speaking settlers who learned of the name and changed due to it offending their religious views.
Legend has it that numerous Witches’ Sabbaths happened near the area of Angel Lake and that it ultimately led to the people being kidnapped and flown away into the night by gargoyles and winged devils. Others say extraterrestrials came down from the stars and abducted the human populace.
Stirred by this strange tale and being lovers of history and folklore, my friend and I decided to travel to Angel Lake to explore it and perhaps discover why the folks of the place had moved elsewhere. It wasn’t too far from our hometown so it was possible to make it in a few hours.
We would end up regretting that decision for the rest of our lives.
This foolish decision did not come from just the urge to explore. We had planned on taking a few snapshots of old artifacts and perhaps touring the old decaying buildings. What awaited us is nothing I can truly explain to this day, nor is it something I wish to relive again. I would highly advise anyone to steer clear of Angel Lake and let it rot. It is a breeding ground for nightmares and evil, and I wouldn’t dare wish this experience on anyone else.
During the drive, my friend and I eagerly discussed our theories about eerie Angel Lake. Being students, we were trained to study and analyze situations with rationality and critical thinking. Naturally, we were willing to take anything with supernatural qualities attributed to it with a grain of salt.
Between the two of us, however, my friend was the more superstitious. It wasn’t in the sense of him reading and following horoscopes or believing in magical horseshoes or something ridiculous like that.
Instead, he seemed to believe that not everything had a truly scientific explanation and that there were many things in this life that the scientific method alone couldn’t explain no matter how much we wanted to.
But after I explain what we had seen, I don’t think either of us can truly choose to believe anything “rational” anymore whether it was scientific or otherwise.
The further we drove on, the more decrepit and strangely silent the place seemed to get. In fact, at one point, I had rolled down the window, only to hear nothing but the deathly silence of the area. If any animals were making noises, they were hardly detectable other than a brief rustling of grass.
We had traveled during the late afternoon hours so that by the time we arrived at Angel Lake, it would be evening. I can say now that this turned out to be our gravest mistake along with even daring to travel to this accursed city. We did it for the sake of creating a foreboding and haunting atmosphere, but what an idiotic move.
It wasn’t until we were close by that we suddenly began to feel the true loneliness and isolation of this old town. Miles and miles of road stretched on, and with each mile, the road became less maintained, cracked, and cared for. We drove past forgotten valleys and shadowy mountains and the grass became unkempt and overgrown.
Eventually, we began to spot unpleasant little ancient run-down cottages here and there scattered around the now-dirt roads. Our vehicle rocked violently against the bumpy and ragged path. We became excited as a few of these old cabins appeared authentic and rustic, perhaps dating back to the 19th century. I quickly snapped a few pictures of it with my phone.
These must have been folks who decided to have a simple living during the time and not move into the industrialized portion of Angel Lake.
At one point, my friend had no choice but to park the car and we had to continue our travels on foot, seeing as the path became too difficult to traverse through by driving.
The moment we shut the doors of our car, we immediately felt the atmosphere of decay. The trees, plants, and grass appeared gloomy and moist from rain that had fallen a few days earlier, and any animals we heard around were furtively scurrying or climbing up tall, black trunks. The ground was very muddy and we could hear the faint twittering of unknown birds in the distance.
Finally, our eyes landed on a small, dark town located at the end of this virgin forest. Originally, I’d thought we’d be thrilled to explore this age-old town and investigate what had happened to it. But for some reason, both my friend and I felt hesitant to step inside.
As outlandish as this sounds, we felt a sort of unwanted presence emanating from it. The more we gazed at it, the more we felt slightly afraid. I did my absolute best to hide it, and I noticed my friend’s fears because he was as fretful to enter as I was.
He turned to me and asked if I was coming along and what I was waiting for. I lied and made up the excuse that I was simply observing the town. We both exchanged unsettled laughs and went in as if we were both untroubled.
The streets were filled with old architecture and desolate houses. There were still signs from old shops hanging up, and the residential homes still had wooden furniture on their verandas. It felt so strange to be here. Often, when we walk through neighborhoods, we often expect to see the windows lit up or people walking down the road.
But here, it felt so empty and forlorn. It was very unnerving to imagine what had caused this little place to be forgotten. We knew we could go inside any of these buildings that we liked and rummage through the things they contained, but there was something curious about these houses that left us feeling fearful of them.
It was as if there were things still dwelling in here, hiding in the darkness and waiting for someone to enter it. It sounds silly, yes, but it felt that way. The fact that the sun had gone down and the sky was beginning to darken made it seem even more grim and devoid of life.
As we marched our way through the dead streets, we snapped more photos and pointed out the little stores and houses we found interesting and remarked on their archaic appearances. I believe that secretly my friend was pointing at places and objects just to fool me into thinking he wasn’t afraid, but the truth is, it was so powerful I could sense it. We were both very afraid and I believe we both began to regret coming here at this late hour.
Regardless, there was something that enticed my curiosity and that I simply had to search it. It was an old rectangular building in the town’s plaza.
The sign on top of it read, “Angel Lake Newspaper Agency”.
I pointed it out and my friend became excited as well. Inside, there would surely be valuable sources of information revealing how life was here and perhaps shed light on some of the citizens and its history.
We both pushed open the decrepit old door and entered into the small office-like place and stared in complete amazement at the old tables, typewriters, and file cabinets that were knocked over and scattered all over the room.
We instantly began scavenging through old papers and furniture. We found numerous unfinished newspaper articles detailing the events going on in the nation and many tidbits of local news during the 1930s. It was evident by this that the journalists who were writing these must have got up and left suddenly. It left us with a slight unnerved feeling as we continued to look through everything.
I then ventured inside another room, and I believe this to have been the editing room. There were numerous front page articles taped to the walls and two windows looking out into a large tarn.
The tarn was Angel Lake itself, which this town was named after.
I got to what I believed to be the newspaper editor’s desk. There was a large stack of newspapers on top of it neatly arranged and untouched. I looked back at my friend and saw that he was just tossing papers around and going through the contents of a desk.
It felt amazing for a brief second. I was holding in my hands a newspaper that had been written nearly eighty years ago. It still felt as fresh as the day it was off the press. I read the headline, the year being 1936 according to the paper's date, and I felt a pang of fear churn inside of me.
“STRANGE FOG SPOTTED IN MIDDLE OF ANGEL LAKE”.
As I finished reading those words, my eyes shifted over to the large lake at the window. As I studied it for a moment, the water appeared more shadowy and still than any other lake I’d seen in my life. It had a sort of haunting quietude to it. I then tuned my attention back to the newspaper once again and began to read.
“On October 11th, an unexplainable fog was spotted growing in the middle part of Angel Lake. People say it seemed to have come from nowhere and witnesses who live nearby claim to hear strange and frightening noises coming from the lake itself. Unexplainable lights seem to radiate from the core of the fog that is building in the water. Local law enforcement and fishermen have attempted to go out and see what the source of this unexplainable mist is, but they claimed there seems to be a horrible odor emitting from it that prevents them from getting closer. They will attempt to explore it at a later date in which they hope that the terrible scent has subsided.”
This story had me captivated. As I looked down to read more of the newspapers, I realized that there were more articles of this event. Each article was dated only days later from the one I just read, and I quickly snapped them all up in chronological order. I was both excited and unsettled by what I had just read.
The next article said the following:
“On October 19th, the fog has nearly covered all of the lake and has reached the shore and even extended into the neighboring woodlands. People are beginning to fear that it will enter the town itself. It seems that way as it is not receding at all but has instead grown thicker. Citizens are complaining to the mayor and other elected officials that the awful scent has begun to disrupt their everyday lives. Furthermore, people continue to claim that bizarre, multi-colored strobe light effects flashing inside the mist are making them feel nervous. In the late hours of the night, they claim to hear discordant “Hellish” noises coming from the direction from where the fog is approaching. A public announcement has been made that people should remain indoors until the fog has dispatched”.
I am not normally one to get superstitious or frightened by something like this, especially since I knew that this could have easily been a case of yellow journalism. But what made me begin to get afraid were the circumstances surrounding this old ghost town. It had become abandoned and everything was dropped as if something sudden had happened.
But what if it wasn’t “abandoned”? What if something horrific happened here? As those thoughts filled my mind, I suddenly looked down at the newspaper I was holding and noticed my hand quivering nervously. I didn’t even notice that at first, and I quickly put it down and picked up the next newspaper. This one was dated November 5th.
“The fog has still not disappeared since it was first spotted on October 19th. The city government is still uncertain of what it is and how to get rid of it. The fog has now reached Angel Lake and has begun to crawl its way onto the streets. Denizens are beginning to disappear under mysterious circumstances. People are claiming that a few of their loved ones have gone outside to stare at the mist and, as if under some sort of hypnosis, went into the foggy depths and never came out. The last thing they’d hear would be their loved one let out a horrible shriek of terror and then no trace would be left of them. The bodies of cattle, birds, and various other assorted animals are discovered dead near the deadly mist. Plants and trees are also beginning to decompose, wither away, and die when the fog approaches them. It is unknown what will be done at this time.”
At this point, my friend entered the editor’s office and I immediately cried out and dropped the newspaper as he called out to me. He noticed my alarming expression and my demeanor and asked me what the matter was. Trembling, I picked up the newspapers I was holding and read them aloud to him.
When I looked back up at him, he was just as pale and terrified as I was. I could see the fear in his eyes and he too appeared stricken with dread. I saw him nervously make his way over to the window, press both palms against the window pane, and stared out into the lake. I joined him there at the other window.
I noticed that the trees and plants around Angel Lake appeared dead, grotesque and lifeless. It was then that I realized that that was giving this strange old town such a haunting feeling. Everything appeared barren and without life. The lake itself appeared like a lonesome, cold abyss. The more I peered at it, the more I envisioned unspeakably abominable things hidden beneath it. Was there any validity to these newspaper pieces? Was it just an elaborate hoax? They appeared so authentic. It just didn’t make sense.
I went back to the desk and picked up the next newspaper. Surprisingly, this newspaper appeared to be the last one that was fully completed.
I read it aloud to my friend who had rejoined me at the desk, only now he appeared more colorless and nauseated than before. This last article was dated November 14th.
“The infernal mist has begun to overtake Angel Lake. The authorities have promptly begun evacuations of the town. The fog, although of unknown origin, has been considered dangerous by the town officials. Crops have become deformed and non-edible. Animals have also grown deformed, dying as their flesh rots away. People of Angel Lake seemingly fall under some sort of inexplicable trance that lures them into the deadly fog and do not return. It is uncertain where they go to or if they’re even alive anymore. The foul odor has been speculated to come from the mist itself, and has become completely unbearable. The fate of our town will be left unknown.”
I placed that nerve-shattering article back on the table and arranged the newspapers back in the way I found them, and perhaps the way they had been for decades. I suppose I did it out of the respect for the original inhabitant who had done it that way.
My friend and I exchanged very nervous glances at each other. Suddenly this once scholarly and anthropological journey had turned into an ominous and weird mystery. It left us both vexed and with far more questions than answers. I felt myself grinding my teeth in nervousness. My thoughts were muddled with the perplexing accounts I had just read.
My folklorist friend turned back to the window to gaze out into that Hellish lake again while I began to scan the room for more evidence as to what had happened to this ghost town. As I was searching through the desks and ground, my eyes suddenly landed on an old typewriter at the corner of the room.
It piqued my interest because it seemed to have a half-finished piece of a manuscript of sorts wedged in its platen. Not wanting to touch it due to me desiring to leaving everything as authentic as possible, I stood over the device and read the hardly legible text smeared on it. To my surprise and horror, it seemed to be a sort of note hastily written up by some unknown typist. It wasn’t formally typed to be in a newspaper.
I began to read it, and after this, I began to truly feel the overwhelming essence of pure horror.
"The damned fog is not just vapor. It is a living thing. It is not just taking people. It is eating them. The toxic fumes are killing the flora and fauna. It has some sort of Devilish power. It is overtaking Angel Lake. I leave this note here to warn anyone who is foolish enough to come here. If you are reading this, get out of Angel Lake NOW! You absolutely need to. If you wish to stay another moment, may God have mercy on-"
That was all that’s written on the sheet before it abruptly stopped. I just stood there, quaking like a miserable coward at the words on the paper. I felt the slightest noise would make me jump at this point, and I was intoxicated with dread.
Then there came the horrid shriek of my friend who was still looking out at that terrible lake. The moment I heard his scream, I stood there frozen with absolute paralyzing fear. I had never felt such a horrible coldness stop every part of my body. Even my breath felt restricted.
I heard him calling my name repeatedly and frantically, and the tone in his voice sounded as if he were ready to start sobbing hysterically.
I managed to break out of that grip of extreme fear, and I sprinted over to my friend, and I demanded to know what was wrong. All he did, with a terrified expression on his face, was point his finger towards Angel Lake. Before I even looked, I had the feeling of just wheeling around and running out of this demonic town as fast as possible.
With the horror beginning to take hold of me, I stared out the window and I observed the most bizarre and unexplainable phenomenon. I don’t think I’ve ever read or seen footage of something like this. Instead of being fascinated by it, it filled me with a putrid dreading and loathing as I recalled the frightening accounts in the newspaper articles and that final message.
It appeared like a milky-white fog was beginning to swirl over the tarn’s water, but it moved unlike any sort of mist I’d ever seen. It seemed to slither like a giant snake, as if searching for something or some other horrible thing.
But what gave this fog a most terrible and bizarre quality was the eerie shifting of colors flashing vehemently inside of it. It was like multi-colored lightning shining furiously inside a storm cloud. The fog seemed to be crawling towards the shoreline at a rapid pace, as if it were intentionally doing it. I just stared at it, mindlessly and wide-eyed. I couldn’t figure out if I was too fascinated or too petrified to move a muscle.
All I remember was my friend screaming something at me and I instinctively whirled around and ran along with him, tripping over what I formerly thought were treasures of this old town. I kicked aside furniture and forcefully shoved open doors.
As we ran outside, nightfall had already arrived. But what added even more fear to this already horrible situation was that, in the air, there was a noxious, vomit-inducing odor that I had never smelled before. The scent was enough to make me cough and gasp and my eyes water. I covered my face with my sleeve, but even that wasn’t enough to block out the grotesque scent.
Behind us, strange strobe-like lights began to flash intensely and somewhat menacingly, as if it had located us and had a purpose of catching up to us. This encouraged my friend and I to sprint even faster, and it was near the exit of Angel Lake that we began to hear the strange guttural groaning and nerve-wracking screeching erupting from behind. They sounded like howls, but were unlike anything from this Earth. The sounds were enough to drive anyone mad if they heard them long enough.
Just as we reached the arboreal area and finally managed to exit that witches’ town, I dared to turn my head as I continued running for my life. It was there that I spotted the supernatural fog swallowing the entire town, every building from the smallest to the most lofty. I saw the nightmarish vortex of colors twisting and writhing inside of it, and for one terrifying brief second, I thought I saw a horrible, distorted giant face in the fog as if it belonged to some sort of enormous humanoid beast gazing at us with bulgy, unearthly eyes hungrily.
Once my friend and I reached his car, we sped out of there, paying no mind to the speed limits. We drove out of there, grave and quiet from our ghoulish encounter with the unknown. We were so disturbed from that experience that we never truly did speak of Angel Lake again.
Whenever a common fog rolls in, I find myself growing very afraid. I am not sure if I am afraid because it reminds me of the mist from that devilish lake or because I feel that the one coming in will behave in the same way. At night, as I lay there with my mind filled with horrible thoughts, I wonder if the people who inhabited Angel Lake had indeed escaped from that monstrous fog or if it had “eaten them” as that mysterious message in the typewriter had said.
No one has ever come forward to claim that they had lived in Angel Lake, not even an interview. No one also has ever claimed any lineage from there either. It makes me nervously consider the possibility that perhaps the people had indeed disappeared within that fog and not fled. The thought fills me with terror and paranoia.
I know I will never live that experience down. I can only hope that no one dares disturb that horrible fog of Angel Lake ever again...