Three Creepy Tales of Halloween

Photo: Jillian Lochner / Photodisc / Getty Images

THERE'S A REASON that Halloween takes place in autumn. If it was celebrated in the sweltering summer or at the height of winter, it wouldn't be the same, would it? No, Halloween -- or All Hallow's Eve -- is perfectly timed: twilight comes early, the air is chilled, the trees shed their decaying leaves, and the earth prepares for its dark sleep... for death.

It's no wonder we all get creeped out this time of year.

We become more aware that there are things -- unknown things -- out there in the dark. Here are three true stories of Halloween-time encounters with the unexplained.

THE EVIL BLACK DOG

J.F. lives in a small area of Texas called Del Valle, where there is little more than gas stations, schools, houses and cows. She usually considered this place rather boring, but one night a few days before Halloween would change all that for her.

On this night, J.F. was driving her boyfriend to his house at about 8:30 p.m. Being a person who says she can almost always sense imminent danger or evil, J.F.'s heart began to beat rapidly. For some unknown reason, chills ran down her spine and she began to perspire, even though she had the car's AC on full blast. "I was getting an eerie feeling that something evil was up ahead," she says.

We are all familiar with how an animal's eyes glow in a creepy way when a light is shone into them.

"Up the hill about two minutes from my house, a black dog walked right in front of my car," J.F says. She thought it was peculiar that the animal was just casually walking across the road without any apparent fear of getting hit by her car. "I hit the brakes and managed to stop about five feet from the dog," she remembers.

"It just stood there and stared at me. I turned on my high beams, and when I saw its eyes, they were a golden reddish tint. It stood there for about a minute, then walked away. I hit the gas and sped off, terrified. But when I looked back, the dog was nowhere in sight."

J.F. proceeded home but could not shake the weird feeling of dread that overcame her before and during her encounter with that black dog. Was it a harbinger of something more terrifying? J.T. believes it was a catalyst for a very disturbing dream a few nights later.

"I dreamed that I was in my room listening to music when it all of a sudden stopped," she recalls vividly. "I looked at my iPod and it was still playing, but there was no sound. I looked at my door and there was a man in a black trench coat staring at me. It wasn't the fact that there was a man in my room that freaked me out, it was his face. It was red with black cracks all over, and he had horns. His eyes were a deep gold with no pupil, and he had long fangs coming out of his mouth.

"I just sat there staring at him. Then he said, 'It's time....' And that's when I noticed a watch in his left hand. When he spoke, his breath came out as smoke and reeked of burning spoiled meat.

He made a grab for my neck and that's when I woke up. The first smell that came to me was burning spoiled meat."

J.F. continues to be haunted by these connected experiences. "I can never be outside now -- not at night. Demons and ghosts exist outside. I have purified my room because it seems that's where I'm the most vulnerable. These entities seem to appear when I'm trying to enjoy life."

Next page: The fairy and the troll

HAPPY HALLOWEEN FAIRY

Storybook fairies have been traditional Halloween costumes for many years. What Richard N. saw at Halloween time in 2008, however, was no costumed child.

It was the night of the elementary school Halloween party, and Richard had taken his children to the school in central New Jersey to attend. The party was held in the school's large cafeteria, which was decked out in Halloween decorations and orange floodlights.

A DJ played music and a costumed teacher greeted the children with her Halloween bag glowing with orange lights.

As the children enjoyed the festivities, Richard ducked outside to the parking lot to catch a quick smoke. He could still keep an eye on the kids from outside through the windows. As he was standing there smoking, Richard noticed a tiny but intensely bright orange light dancing about at the treetops near the treeline past the end of the parking lot. At first he didn't think much of it. Perhaps it was just a reflection of the orange floodlights, he thought. But the more he watched it, the more puzzling it seemed. "What is that, anyway?" he asked himself.

The glowing orange light was fluttering around like a butterfly in erratic up and down motions and from side to side. "I considered that perhaps someone had a Halloween light suspended from a string on a pole," he says, "and was bobbing it about because that's what it looked like."

But that didn't make sense either. This fluttering light was twenty feet off the ground. Could it have been a remote-controlled flying toy of some kind? "While I pondered this," says Richard, "it flew toward the treeline and disappeared. I went down to the end of the parking lot to see if there were any people on the grass near the trees.

"Other than what appeared to be a person sleeping in one of the cars, there was nobody in sight. I can only conclude that it must have been a fairy enjoying the holiday festivities."

THE TROLL

Amanda's Halloween experience took place in 2008, right before the holiday, and no matter how much she tries she cannot forget it or convince herself that she was mistaken in what she saw.

"I was driving to my parents' house for Sunday dinner," Amada says. It was a trip from Amanda's home near Pinecrest in Campbell County, Tennessee to her parents' more rural home five miles further out of town. It was a sunny fall day at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon and Amanda was driving rather fast on the winding road with her daughter in the front seat. She was a bit late.

"I came around a curve in the road," she says, "and suddenly had to swerve the car sharply to the driver's side to avoid hitting something sitting on the edge of the road on the passenger side. I slowed down and got a good look at it... and I have no idea what I saw.

"It -- whatever it was -- was sitting slightly in the road with its legs stretched out in front of it. Its back was facing the road and its legs were in someone's driveway. At first I thought it was a Halloween decoration some moron had put in the road for a joke because it looked like a stuffed dummy or something.

"I saw it back-to at first, and it wore all black, a black hat, and had straight black hair coming to just past its collar. I say it looked like a dummy because it was sort of slumped over and the back of its coat looked lumpy, like it was stuffed with leaves."

Amanda passed it slowly in her car, rather annoyed at the prank because it nearly caused her to wreck her car. But then it became apparent that this was no Halloween dummy.

"It turned and looked at me!" she says. "The best way I can describe its face is that it looked sunken and wrinkled, like a dried apple. Its face was also solid black like the rest of it, and it didn't move except to glance over its shoulder at me. My daughter looked at me, shocked, and I hit the gas and sped away.

"I was horrified and told my mother about it when I arrived there, describing it as a -- as ridiculous as it sounds -- I called it a troll.

She laughed at me, even though my daughter supported my story, and insisted that it had to have been someone in a costume. But why would they be sitting in such a dangerous spot in the road like that?

"I don't have a clue what it could have been, but I've never seen it again. Neither have I forgotten it, unfortunately. I think about it every time I pass that driveway! My family still teases me about my troll sighting, so I don't tell anyone about it anymore."