Guardian of the Cemetery

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In 2007 in the New Hampshire town of Monroe, my friend Tom, his brother, and I were walking along an old dirt road that led into a fairly dense forest. We passed some houses on the way, but we wanted to go out into the boonies, as we intended to shoot our .22 rifles and camp out that night. Tom and I were 15, his brother was 13.

At one point along the road we passed an old single-room schoolhouse, long abandoned, which shared the same location as an old run-down church, with a cemetery behind it. The entire scene looked really creepy, and we were primarily interested in getting to the place where we were going to be shooting, so we just looked and kept going.

We were pretty good shots with the rifles, and we were going to be hunting bullfrogs; we ended up bagging quite a few. When it started getting dark we set up camp, built a fire, and had frog legs for our supper.

As the night wore on, it got much colder than we had expected; it was usually fairly warm in that part of the country during the summer months. We built up the fire but we couldn’t manage to get warm. We were wrapped in our sleeping bags, but even with those and lying close to the fire, the cold just seemed to swallow us.

After a couple of hours of being unable to get warmer, we decided to pack it in and hike back into town, which was about five miles away. We figured that the walk would help warm us up too.

We were walking and talking, thinking about the comforts of our homes, and started to pass the fence that encircled the school and church. The property was full of high weeds, almost as tall at the fence, and several large trees also.

As we were walking along the fence line, we started hearing footsteps moving along with us! But they were coming from behind the weeds, on the other side of the fence. When we heard it, we stopped – and so did the sound. Remember, this was around midnight, and we were three teenage boys walking in the dark along a moonlit dirt road.

As we started to move again, we heard a groaning sound and then a deep coughing sound coming from back the same area. Then, from behind the church, toward the old cemetery, we saw a large figure walking toward us. All we could make out really were its arms and legs moving as it walked in our direction. We could see its shoulders, but none of us could make out a head on the figure.

Since it was moving toward us, we grabbed up our rifles and started yelling at the figure to stop, that we were armed and that we would shoot if it kept coming closer. The thing didn’t even pause, but instead seemed to quicken its pace a little.

We pointed our .22 rifles and started shooting at it. We could see pretty well in the moonlight, and could tell we hit it. But our shots didn’t have any effect. It kept coming at us, and in fact it seemed like it had broken into a run!

At this point I guess we all decided that it was getting too close, and our bullets didn’t seem to be making a difference, so we just started to run. We dropped our camping gear but held tight to our guns. We could hear the thing getting closer. Then, within just a few moments, we had reached the other end of the property line, which also ended with a fence. And there the chase seemed to stop, although we kept going.

We couldn’t hear it anymore, but occasionally we would glance back to see if it was still chasing us. It was gone – nothing there at all. Regardless, we kept running for probably another mile or so. By now we were sweating, and had no problem keeping warm, although the experience had chilled us. When we finally did get home we swore that never again would we be out that way after dark.

The next day, I told my dad about the incident and where it had happened; he wanted to drive out there just to look around. Feeling safe with my dad, I rode out there with him. We climbed the fence and started looking around. The only thing that we could find were places that appeared to have been stomped down, as if by a heavy person walking through the tall weeds. We went out, gathered the camping stuff we boys had abandoned on the road, and left. To this day, I have never gone back there, and never will.

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