I got this idea while reading a thread on another forum where members were posting their experiences that were strange, creepy, and often simply mysterious. Most of the stories were very bizarre, though many could probably just be chalked up to the oddities of the human brain. For example, one member "missed" several days of his life, and has no recollection of any events that may have occurred during that time. Friends and coworkers later told him they couldn't get in touch with him and so on. Very eerie but apparently there is some sort of medical condition that can cause just such a thing. Some of the other stories had no plausible explanation, and others were simply terrifying. Mostly, I was amazed at just how many strange experiences were being posted and it was a lot of fun/creepy to read, and I thought it might be interesting to try the same thing here in Foo. So feel free to post up your odd experiences, mysteries, or even ghost stories.
Most of the odd happenings in my life aren't nearly as crazy as the ones in that thread, though I've had a couple of somewhat strange, slightly creepy experiences:
1. When I was younger, my dad and I would often go hiking in the winter around the lake just 10-20 miles away. This is a man-made lake (TVA) and is quite large. When he was a kid he lived in a log cabin somewhere in the area before they dammed the river to create the lake, and sometimes we'd explore the woods trying to find the location of the cabin (we never did). But other times, we'd simply walk along the shore, usually finding random trash and even occasionally cow bones. In the winter they would open the dam and drain the lake a bit, and so the "beach" around the perimeter would be considerably wider than in the summer. I enjoyed going, but this area was always a little creepy to me, and the local news would report bodies being found there more often than you would expect.
Well one time when we were walking along the shore close to the water, we glanced up to the treeline that was probably 100-150 feet away, and there was a man standing in the woods, just watching us. There was nothing especially unusual about him, except for the fact that hardly anyone came to the lake in the winter, and especially alone. But my dad nodded and waved to be polite, and the guy very slightly and slowly nodded back, almost reluctantly. I'd say he had a slight look of surprise on his face, like he was shocked that we had seen him. We kept walking and the guy was gone. Another mile or so of walking, and we spotted him again. Exactly as before, just standing in the woods staring at us. Okay that was a bit odd, but he disappeared into the woods again and we didn't think much of it. Until we saw him staring at us again later. Granted, I guess it's easily explainable. The guy was probably just out walking in the woods alone, in the dead of winter, um...intently watching a man and his son, for no apparent reason, and acting rather awkward and creepy when greeted. It may have been nothing, but there was a very weird vibe about the whole situation.
2. At my parents' house where I grew up, the back yard was bordered at the rear by a fence row. There were several large trees, an old wire fence, and a bunch of weeds, shrubs, and basically just typical Tennessee thick underbrush. It was incredibly difficult to walk around in that mess, and the reason I know is from living there all my life and occasionally having to fetch basketballs, footballs, frisbees, etc. It was doable but a HUGE pain. But the patch was fairly narrow, and despite being such a mess of brush you could still see through to the neighbors' yard which backed up to ours. One day my younger brother had been outside in the back yard working on his truck or something, and he claimed he heard someone walking in that brush but didn't see anyone. I mentioned it was probably a squirrel hopping around or some other animal, but he said the footsteps sounded distinctly bipedal, and heavy like a person. I just assumed he was imagining it, until a few days later my mom heard the same thing. Okay, that made it a little creepier, but I still assumed they must be misjudging the heaviness of the foot steps, and that surely it was some sort of animal they simply couldn't see.
But then a few days later while working on my car, I heard it. The sound was distinctly that of heavy, slow footsteps crunching through the leaves and thick brush, one foot at a time, exactly the way a person would walk. There was simply no mistaking the sound, and I walked up and down the fence and for the life of me could never see anything moving. I peered past the brambles to the yard behind the brush, but couldn't see a soul. I was walking in grass so my steps were pretty quiet, but occasionally I'd stop and listen again, and every time I'd still hear those footsteps. Keep in mind this was a fairly small area, maybe 80 feet long and no more than 12 feet wide at its widest, and the part where I first heard the sound was the thinnest, least tangled section, which makes it all the more baffling. After I heard it that one time, none of us ever mentioned hearing it again. I never have figured it out. I'm generally a skeptical person, and I figure there must be a rational explanation for it, but for the life of me I haven't come up with one yet. At the time I don't remember being frightened at all, just baffled!