The Halloween Hunt
We usually spend most weekends during deer season hunting at our camp on the edge of the Mississippi Delta. These few weekends each year are totally committed to hunting and the camaraderie that goes with it. Every few years though, we make sure to cut our afternoon hunt short. The local people in the area had warned us to be careful at that time and none of them go into the woods on that day.
This is always a Friday or Saturday afternoon when it falls on Halloween. Late in the evening on that day as the sun falls behind the hills and shadows grow deep in the woods, you will hear a bone chilling howl and you will know that the Halloween Hunt has started.
The year we learned that it was real, I had set up at the head of a long wide hollow to hunt that afternoon and Dad was below me a few hundred yards in a big Hickory. Trent was hunting down near the end of it at the Pond Stand and just at dark that afternoon we learned first hand about the Halloween Hunt, the terrifying Hell Hounds and the Wicked Creatures that drove them.
The sun was falling, and the woods seemed empty and lifeless that afternoon and it was right at the time to get down from my stand when I heard the blood curdling howls start. not the baying of hounds but something filled with hate and longing that instantly froze me in my stand. It was so evil and terrifying that I was afraid to get down; and then I heard the cry of the dogs getting closer to me. I could tell it was a pack of dogs but their sound left me with my mouth dry and heart pounding as they poured over the ridge and down into the hollow in front of me.
One terrified deer came by so fast that I could not tell what it was in the fading light, but a few seconds later I could clearly see the enormous black hounds that came after it. They were large and rangy beast that seemed to shine with a greenish glow. Evil looking, gigantic wolf-like creatures with enormous fangs and red eyes caught the deer’s trail and moved as fast as the deer through the woods.
Seconds later a flicker of dark movement behind them and three mere shadows seemed to move purposefully through the woods behind them. Dark twisted shapes with large claws that held whips. I did not move or even dare to breathe. I thought I had been scared before but these shadowy shapes paralyzed me. They passed within 20 yards of my stand and I felt I had escaped death as they moved on. I waited till the howls had moved a mile down the hollow and ran out of the woods to the truck where I hoped Dad waited.
He was out of his stand and had seen the hellish hounds at a distance. He had felt the same overpowering fear as I did and had hurried back to the truck. Trent had heard the awful howling but they had turned before reaching him. Back at camp we talked about the horrible looking hounds but I never mentioned the dark shapes that followed them, but several of our neighbors talked of the rumor of demons that held a Halloween Hunt each year.
Some of the members and guest laugh about it but we don't. Halloween afternoons are for relaxing, drinking and listening to ballgames. We do not hunt on the Halloween afternoons of October 31st.
Labels: Campfire Stories