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German folklore speaks of a being that wanders darkness, seen only by its victims. Hiding in shadows, shrouding itself in nightly blackness.
Some see it in mirrors, others through windows. Some in dark corners, out of the corners of their eyes, or in the crack between wall and door.
However, on the occasion here being recorded, a large group of people encountered it.
A family of American tourists were staying in a lodge, on the outskirts of the Dark Forest of Bavaria. While enjoying the quiet evening breeze, together with immaculate scenery and delicious barbecued food, they slowly started feeling strange. The feeling wasn't quite fear, or anxiety, but they were certainly unnerved by it. Soon, it was spreading through the father and two sons, acting as rage and resentment. The youngest son stormed off into the forest, to sulk in peace. His sister, who hadn't been angered, but saddened, followed him, to try to bring him back.
Around half an hour later, the family back at the cabin had calmed down, and were worrying. Both children, the boy nine, the girl thirteen, had been gone in that forest for ages.
But, just as the father was gathering a torch, and a hired hunting rifle, a scream split the silence.
Heart racing, torch on, the father and eldest son raced off into the trees, leaving the mother to dial 112.
Once in the forest, their sense of panic and unease increased, and continued to do so, as they trekked into the increasingly oppressive foliage.
The silence rang, the fog pressed up against them. The torch was on, but seemed not to be emitting any light. The dark acting as though here alone, it could destroy light, as though it was attracted to that place.
Then suddenly, the dark seemed to lift, as the torchbeam revealed a clearing. The daughter was lying, spread-eagled, in the middle of the floor. A few feet away, her brothers small form sat hunched against a tree, eyes wide and staring, a trickle of some iron liquid protruding from his mouth. They were both dead.
Or, were they both dead?
The son was shivering, as if cold. He looked up all of a sudden, staring at the two eldest. He smiled, a wide, unnatural smile, and opened his mouth to speak. Only a faint gargling sound came out.
Then, his smile turned into a look of utmost horror. He was staring, as if transfixed, at a point some 3 ft to their right. They whirled around, and saw... a pair of gleaming, black, well-polished shoes.
Beneath a pair of dark trousers.
At the waist, a tailored suit, so dark black that it seemed not to be coloured, but absorbing the light around it.
About its neck was fastened a tie, which barely hid the white shirt, pale as the head above it.
Then? Well, perhaps, in fear, their minds had blocked out what the face could possibly have been, perhaps it was the fog, intensifying around its head, or perhaps, what they figured was true.
This man had no face.
The son screamed, the father simply stared, as the fog around them seemed to laugh, mocking them.
Mechanically, the thing tilted its head to one side, as if sizing them up.
"We don't wanna hurt you!" said the father, his voice shaking.
"That's a shame," replied the voice in the fog, "because I really want to hurt you..."