Stay Out of the Woods in the Alleghenies After Dark

📅 Published on August 15, 2020

“Stay Out of the Woods in the Alleghenies After Dark”

Written by Jessum Gui
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 5 minutes

Rating: 9.25/10. From 4 votes.
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It was late when I saw the creature, running flat out down the middle of a country highway somewhere up in the Alleghenies. I had gotten off the interstate. Hitchhiking on the four lanes was illegal. Last thing I needed was to get myself picked up by some state trooper. I had a bit of a record, see. Might have been an outstanding warrant or two, as well, and I needed to be in Phillipsburg by that Saturday. There was an opportunity there a fella like me just couldn’t pass up. So, I left the interstate and followed an old country highway that seemed to be going in the right direction. After it got to twisting and turning all to hell and back, though, I wasn’t so sure. A few vehicles passed me by, mostly rusty farm trucks with sour-looking men in battered ball caps behind the wheel. Not the types to pick up a hitcher, no matter how big I smiled. When night fell, I found myself still walking along the berm of that rough patched asphalt, surrounded by nothing but old-growth forest. There was no choice but to just keep going.

I figure it was sometime after midnight (I didn’t have a watch or phone in those days) when I heard it, a rapid thudding. At first, I didn’t pay it any mind. In my experience, there’s a lot of strange noises in the woods at night, most of which amount to nothing, but this noise was getting closer. When I did turn to look, I nearly screamed. Maybe a hundred and fifty or so yards back, visible in the light of a half-moon, was something like no man or beast I ever saw. Lanky and tall, with impossibly long arms. Its head was broad, triangular in shape, centered low between wide shoulders. It was running to beat the band and straight at me.

I did not freeze. I was not paralyzed by terror. Not that I’m a particularly brave man, mind you, but some primal part of me flooded my brain with a chemical that screamed “RUN!” I obeyed. Vaulting over the guardrail, I tumbled down an embankment, gathered my feet underneath me, and sprinted off into the woods. It was dark under those trees. Moonlight was blocked from reaching the forest floor. Low hanging limbs slapped my face, leaving scratches and welts. Roots snatched at my feet, making me stumble. Something hooked my rucksack. I spun free of the pack straps and plunged on, leaving all my worldly possessions hanging from a deadfall branch. Behind, I heard the creature slide down the hard-scrabble of the embankment and come crashing into the trees. It was gaining on me.

It was either an eternity or just a few seconds later (I can’t rightly say) that I came across the path. No animal trail, this was hard-packed and almost wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side. It made for faster running, so I took it. Soon after, even over the sound of my rasping breath, I heard the thudding footfalls of the creature behind me, closer still. Just as I thought my heart was about to explode in my chest, I broke into a clearing. Moonlight silvered the long grass. A weathered picnic table sat under a shade tree. Battered lawn chairs surrounded a fire ring. On the far side, just a hundred feet away, was a cabin. I ran for it with everything I had left.

I knew the door would be locked. The windows were shuttered and no light seeped through the gaps. This was somebody’s hunting camp and it was closed for the season. The creature would catch me on the porch, I had no doubt. It would tear me to pieces while I banged futilely on that sturdy slab of wood standing between me and safety, but I ran for it anyway. There was nowhere else to go.

Now, I’ve never been much on religion, it tends to get in the way of things I need to do to get by, but maybe there is a benevolent force in this universe that occasionally takes pity on a guy like me, because when I leapt up on that porch and grabbed the doorknob, it turned. The door swung open. I had just ducked inside, throwing my weight against the door, when the monster hit. The impact knocked me to the floor and stole my wind.

The creature stood in the doorway, silhouetted by the moonlight. It loomed over me, bigger than I had thought, all teeth and claws. Sinew rippled under its skin. Its chest heaved as it drew in gulps of air. It swung the door shut behind it. The cabin became very dark.

I felt a vice-like grip on my ankle. The creature’s touch was icy. Before I could even draw breath to scream, it flung me aside. I heard scraping noises, wood dragged across wood. As my eyes adjusted to the deeper darkness inside the cabin, I saw the creature piling furniture against the door, a plank table, a threadbare sofa, rocking chairs, even a bookcase full of moldering paperbacks. When it was done, it leaned back against the barricade and released a long breath. Crab walking backwards, I pressed myself into the furthest corner. I think I may have whimpered, because the creature’s head snapped around to look at me. A shaft of moonlight slipped between the shutters of the window, illuminating half of its awful face. The thing regarded me with yellow eyes. It pressed a scaly finger, tipped with a wickedly barbed claw, to its lips.

“Shhh,” it hissed “They’re coming.”

I fainted.

When I regained consciousness, the sun was up and I was alone. The creature’s barricade had been shoved haphazardly aside. Light streamed through the open door. Outside, the grass of the cabin’s clearing had been trampled flat, by who or what I have no idea. Following the path from the night before led me to a turnout along the highway. From there, I made my way back to the interstate, where I caught a ride with a trucker headed east. I never did find my rucksack, but then again, I didn’t really go looking for it either. I didn’t want to be in those woods any longer than I had to be and I sure as hell didn’t want to be in them after dark.

Phillipsburg didn’t pan out like I had hoped, but hey, that’s the story of my life. There were other opportunities in other places, some good, some not so much. Life goes on, you know?

The only reason I tell this story now is because my court-appointed therapist thinks it will help with the nightmares. I’ve told this story I don’t know how many times before, in dive bars, flophouses, and homeless camps. Talking about it has never done me a lick of good. My therapist seems like a nice kid, though. She’s young, eager to help, and still thinks she can make a difference. Life will crush that out of her in its own sweet time, don’t need me for that, so I’ll humor her by posting this. Believe it if you want, or don’t. It’s no skin off my nose either way. But, if you’re smart, you’ll stay out of the woods in the Alleghenies after dark.

Rating: 9.25/10. From 4 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Jessum Gui
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Jessum Gui


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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