"My brother and I have always been close, so it came as a surprise when I received this email from him. He's going through Alcoholic's Anonymous, and part of his treatment is confession for things. He's confessed a lot to me, things I wouldn't want to know about, but, as family, I support him and wish to help him. Last night, I got a new email from him that was different than his confessions of crimes or wrong doing. It was a story from his childhood. After discussing it with a friend, they pointed me to your email, and told me you run a blog about people having similar occurrences. If you do happen to use this on the blog in any way, please do not include my email. You're free to use the image attached as well, just again, do not include my email.
When I was in my mid to late teens (Can't remember exactly when. Wanna say 16 or 17) me and a few friends went camping out in the Everglades with one of the guy's older brothers (two of them, 20-25ish). We were off the beaten path, but still within the designated camping area, and had a small BBQ grill - the portable half-dome ones you typically use for camping. We were cooking hotdogs and burgers as the sun went down, or were going to, but one of us forgot the charcoal in the car, so me and my friend Will made the 10 min walk back to the car to get it while everyone waited back where we had set up camp.
We heard rustling all around, but that's normal. We had been out here before and had gotten used to seeing small animals running about and messing around in bushes. We joked about it, saying the Skunk Ape (a south-Florida version of Bigfoot, sorta.) was coming to get us, but, continued to the car. Everything was uneventful until we got the charcoal and started heading back.
There was a tree, a pretty old one with no leaves. It looked like it had been struck by lightning at one point. Normally animals didn't go near it, save for a few birds who might perch themselves atop it's old withered branches. Well, that wasn't the case that night. We saw something that we thought may have been a couger or something up in it. But as we got closer, we realized it was no cat.
It seemed to be about six to seven feet tall, thin - almost malnourished looking - had wild, matted hair, very long and slender arms that it bent at odd angles, moving them around almost like a 'raver' would 'dance'. It's face was hidden by what looked like a stitched leather or sack 'bag'. It had one eye hole, the other was stitched shut. We were curious and thought it was just a guy fucking around, so we got closer. When we did, we could smell this horrible stench. It was sweet but nasty like rotting fruit, along with a slight metallic scent (Best way to describe it would be that it was like the way blood tastes, but this was a smell.) Will gagged and said we should just keep going. So. We did.
I don't think it noticed us - at first - because we just passed with out incident. At the camp, we didn't talk about it to everyone else, we just ate, joked, set up our tents and slept.
At about 3am, I woke up having to take a piss, so, I got out of my tent, forgetting about the 'man' in the tree, and went out to the edge of our campsite, to another tree, where I releived my self.
Once done, I turned back to return to my tent, when I saw the 'man' stalking around near by. It looked like it had a duck or goose or something in one of it's odd arms and it moved around slow and calculated. Through the light of the lamp we had in the center of our area, I could see it looking directly at me, walk forward a few steps, then bound off in the other direction.
The next morning, Will asked me if I was pulling a prank on him, saying that he saw the masked man come up to his tent when he got up to piss.
I haven't been camping there since. And neither of us have ever brought the subject up to eachother again.
I'll include a sketch of what I remember, though it won't be great quality, I'm no artist.