In fairy tales, the woods are a place of danger and darkness. The film The Blair Witch Project scared an entire generation officers out of the Maryland wilderness. There’s an entire cottage industry of “creepy pasta” (scary stories on the internet) that purport to be from woodsmen who have come across something scary. But are these stories the stuff of folklore and legends, or is there really something to it? This Twitter user claims that it’s all factual, and that whatever is lurking in the woods, it’s very real, and very dangerous.
“It’s crazy how if you talk to any serious hiker they’re like yes demons are real, make sure you don’t walk along a stream for too long, sometimes a witch trails me for miles, avoid wearing bright colors, and pray [before] entering the forest,” writes Will Manidis, a technology worker from New York. The hit tweet garnered thirty-four thousand likes and hundreds of responses agreeing with his thesis.
Many people shared their own scary stories from time spent in the wild, from dreams of a monstrous water horse near a Scottish loch to the ruins of old demon summoning spots in Pakistan. There was a debate about which forests have worse vibes, the ones in the American West or the ones in Appalachia, and of course plenty of naysayers from wilderness lovers who were offended by the shade.
Still others took a moderate path. “People get creeped out in old houses, but forests are older,” replied author NJ Simonds. “Think of all that's happened there, what the trees have seen, the blood the soil has drunk over the years, the secrets the forest keeps. Respect it, and I'm sure it will respect you too.”