I am a firm believer in the supernatural, the paranormal, mystic beings or whatever your favorite term is. I believe in good and bad spirits and higher beings. When I say this in conversations, it always leads to the issue of, “But is it really real? Or are you imagining it?”

And to that I say, I know what I feel, experience and see. So, I take my experiences as truth. This next story, I wish was made-up. If I was the only one who went through it, I would chalk it up to my delusions and crazy imagination. But two other people felt and saw what I saw, so, it was not my delusion this time. 

Early in March, my friends, Krisha and Chris, and I went to a nature trail here in the Acadiana area. Prior to this trip, my friends and I were all feeling weighed down by school, life and other stressful factors. We needed something to cheer us up, and decided that walking in the woods was an amazing idea. 

When we got to the Nature Station, we walked around the small paths they had. The trails were small and boring, and I saw that there was a large walkable bridge connecting the small trails to the large trails in the woods. So, I had the bright idea of forcing my friends to go with me. In retrospect, this story could have been avoided, if my friends would’ve stood their ground and said no. 

As we reached the trails we saw that there were three possible routes to take. We argued for a moment and came to the conclusion of taking the trail that had a butterfly flying towards it. We followed the trail and for the most part, it was calming and relaxing.

In the trail, we reached a part where we could divert off the trail and walk towards a river. Chris and I went towards it and over a small hill. As we got over the hill, I got a weird feeling. A feeling that something was watching us.

I was feeling creeped out at this point, but I didn’t want to seem like I was frightened. We were deep in the forest, so I chalked up my uneasiness to me being paranoid. We were already an hour into our walk and the trail should be almost done by now. 

After another half hour of walking, I saw the sun start to dip into the trees, and I knew we had approximately half an hour before the forest went dark. I checked my phone and with the little service that I had, I was able to see that we were on the complete opposite end of the forest. It took us an hour and a half to reach the point in which we decided to turn back. It should have taken us the same amount of time to make it back out, but as we were walking back the trail seemed shorter.

To me, it felt like we were in some sort of sped-up time warp. Trees, flowers and other landmarks that we saw seemed to be flying past us. The trail is small, and we have to walk in a single file. I position myself in the back of the line and continue walking. I can “see,” more like feel, a tall, matte black, skinny, Slender Man-looking figure trying to reach my right shoulder. 

Already paranoid by being in the woods, I can sense we are all feeling uneasy. At the time, I didn’t know that my friends also felt a weird presence whenever they walked in the back. We played this silent game of switching places in our line formation.

As we arrived back to the beginning of the trail I realized we made it out of the woods in 30 minutes, that should not have been physically possible. We all look at each other with an understanding expression, mutually sensing what we all felt.

A few days passed, and we got bored, again, and decided to drive around River Ranch. Chris mainly wanted to see if there were any cool looking cars parked out. As we drove through innocent people’s fancy neighborhoods, we managed to drive into a dark, poorly lit dead end. Mistake number one. 

I felt this heaviness on my shoulders, and it was the same feeling that I had in the woods. I told Chris to turn around and drive. Krisha said she felt “the thing” coming closer and walking on all fours. Chris jokingly says, “Why? Is it the thing from the woods?” As he says that, I turn around and see a tall and skinny shadow-like figure standing in the road. It’s safe to say we now know how fast a car can go. 

After that, we couldn’t deny that it was something paranormal. We all sensed and saw it. It was a school night, but we were all so scared that we stayed awake the entire night. From 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., we stayed in the car and rode around Lafayette. 

We have since then hashed out the details of those two instances. For our own mental sanity, we like to say that we all hallucinated the same thing. Maybe we stumbled across a weird mushroom and smelled it for too long. Whatever it is, it is now everyone’s problem. We like to joke now and say we are the main characters in a teen horror movie, unable to tell people around us what happened. They’ll think we’re lunatics; maybe we are.