Christmas at the famous Christmas Place Hunting Club is always filled with laughter, hard hunting and the sharing of good times with family and friends. This is usually the heart of the rut and the expectancy of big bucks is always in the air. This is a great place to enjoy hunting but sometimes it can take a strange and unexpected turn.
Not a half mile from the camp, I had located a large knoll that had some very good buck sign on it. The area had the look of an old houseplace with the large oak trees, some flowers growing here and there and lots and lots of cedar trees. Large scrapes covered the hill and large hooks were all over the cedars there. Late that afternoon which was two days before Christmas; I set my climbing stand on the SE corner of this area with a clear shot on the trails leading up to it and a good lane to catch a deer slipping across it. My setup was perfect and as the holidays came closer I was anxious to get to this new stand.
That morning the wind was completely wrong and I had hunted in a different area with no success. The wind shifted that afternoon and by 2:00 PM I was in my tree relaxed and waiting. I did see a couple of deer that afternoon, a four point and a couple of does but no shooter. At 5:30PM it was pretty dark and I carefully worked the climbing stand down the tree, turned on my flahlight and started back to the truck.
I worked up and along the center of the knoll and as I walked up a trail, I became aware of a slight glow in front of me about fifty yards away. I could not tell what it was, but knew it was not supposed to be there. I turned off my flashlight and silently moved forward through the woods until I could clearly see.
In an opening near the road a Christmas tree was shining. I could clearly see candles on the tree and presents underneath. There was movement and two children darted up to look at the packages. They were laughing and talking while they played with the wrapped packages. I then became aware that a woman was seated in a chair near them while a man moved behind her. She was pretty and pointed to different areas under the tree for them to look as she laughed and talked to them. The man stood behind her with his back to me and then a quick movement of his arm and tinny Christmas music sounded from a phonograph. The people, tree, and wall all were slightly transparent and all I could do was watch from 20 yards away.
One of the children looked up and saw me, then both children waved at me. I do not know what you would have done, but I raised my hand and waved back.
The man and woman both looked at me then and that is when I saw the side of the mans' face. It was burned and blackened and seemed melted down the side. They stared at me for aminute as I just stared back in wonder. anger seemed to flood the mans' features and in a second the light went out, and they were all gone. I stood alone on the edge of the clearing.
Who were these strange ghosts and what is their story? I do not know their tragic story yet.