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Featured Horror Mystery and Lore

50 Years of Sasquatch Experiences in Clackamas County, Oregon

As most people are aware, Bigfoot or Sasquatch is a notorious cryptid that has been reported to roam throughout all of North America–one state, however, that seems to have an abundance of sightings is Oregon. While it’s impossible to cover all of these sightings in one article, these are some of the highlights we found during our research.

Timeline of Sightings

1971

June – Motorists see Sasquatch at Nighttime Near Boring

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY near the town of Boring, a witness was driving in the wood when a large bipedal creature ran up onto the road from the right.

First-Hand Experience

After seeing the car, the creature ran away from the car on the road approximately thirty to forty feet before it ran up the small embankment to the left and out of eyesight. The driver and their companion jumped out of their car to investigate, but couldn’t see anything else—they estimated that it was at least six feet, covered in hair, and they also reported that the creature ran as if flat-footed. It reportedly paused to look at their car when it first came up onto the road, before it turned and ran—it was dark, so they only witnessed what could be seen with the headlights of the car.


1974

June – Sighting From a Hunting Platform Behind Skyline Mobile Park

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY two brothers witnessed a cinnamon-colored creature walk by them while sitting on a hunting platform in the woods behind Skyline Mobile Park off of Sandy Heights Road.

First-Hand Experience

Behind the Skyline Mobile Park are woods, with a small stream at the bottom of the hill called Tickle Creek—an area that these two witnesses used to frequent, but noticed after having been absent from the area directly before the sighting, that the area had grown immensely. Just six feet up on a platform in the crook of a tree, the two brothers, both in their teens at the time, were using their BB gun to shoot a stump down the hill from where they were sitting in their tree. Just as one of the brothers was about to shoot the BB gun, something passed right in front of the tall stump, but everything except the creatures head was obscured by the surrounding trees and brush. The witness got a good look at the head though, as it had short cinnamon-brown fur covering the head, and a flat nose.

The view of the creature was quick, as it disappeared into the brush without making a sound due to the bed of fir needles that covered the ground. While there were two boys there, only one of them actually witnessed the creature, the other only having seen the disturbed brush that the creature had disappeared into. Once they were sure the creature had gone they decided to investigate what they believed they had seen and estimated that the creature must have been approximately 7 1/2 feet tall. The witnesses went to an adult and related their story, but weren’t taken seriously. Later that same day, during the evening, they looked up to where the tree platform was and they saw a silhouette of a bipedal creature—they were unable to make out any facial features.


September 1 – Foul Odor and Unusual Sounds Near the Northfork Bridge on the Collawash River

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY while camping, a witness reported a foul odor and unusual sounds at 2:30 am, then found tracks the next morning.

First-Hand Experience

A short distance off of a sandy shore, a family was camping in a small bushy clearing. Right before the encounter, the family’s dogs woke suddenly and frantically began to bark for several minutes—after a short while their barks stifled into whines and then whimpers. Eventually the dogs were so frightened that they lay there silent and trembling—this of course awoke the witness who reached for the gun he had resting under his pillow. He began to hear something wading through the water, which he noticed smelled utterly foul—this witness reported it smelled as if it were urine-soaked fur. The witness pretended to sleep, hoping that it would pass by without attacking and said that the encounter lasted approximately four minutes. He also reported that it brushed against his head which greatly frightened him. The next morning, he investigated the shoreline in which he found very large foot prints in the dryer sand, as well as all around their campsite.


1978

August – Nighttime Sighting by Motorist Between Barton and Carver

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a motorist driving between Barton and Carver encountered at nighttime.

First-Hand Experience

A motorist and their roommate were driving along Highway 224 between Carver and Barton around 10 pm when they saw a pair of eyes reflecting the car’s headlights on the side of the road nearest to the river. The two frequently traveled up to Estacada at night in order to visit a friend who was working at the Safari Club. As they got closer to where the owner of the reflective eyes, they began to see the creature they were attached to standing near a maple tree. The creature enormous, dark brown and hairy—and simply stared at them as they drove past. After driving another mile, the driver finally asked their roommate if they had seen the creature on the side of the highway, which they had.


1984

August – Molalla River Sighting by Tree-line

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY past Molalla in Dickey Prairie, there is a small store that sits alongside the river–just three miles further is a bridge that crosses the river where some girls viewed an unidentified bipedal creature that happened to be retreating back into the tree-line.

First-Hand Experience

In 1984, a fifteen-year-old who lived just outside the town of Molalla in Dickey Prairie where her home sat just on the river. One evening before dusk, she and her friend were hanging out near the bottom of the bridge where they swam regularly during the warm summer nights. Something–perhaps a sound or just a feeling–made the two girls look across the river where they saw a flash of a man-like creature running between the trees. She described it as being dark brown or black and covered in hair, she also estimated that it had to have been at least 7 1/2 feet tall.

Having been a resident tomboy, this young girl had roamed all over the woods, the abandoned logging roads, and knew the forest well. She reported having never been more scared than that evening, where she and her friend promptly ran all the way back to her home. It wasn’t until they reached the safety of the house did they even try to talk about what they had both seen, but when they tried to tell her parents they weren’t taken seriously. They noticed that the creature had wanted to get away from them as much as they wanted to get away from it.


1987

June 20 – Couple Hears Strange Vocalizations on Troon Drive

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a couple hears what sounds like a woman screaming.

First-Hand Experience

During a construction development of homes, a couple had just moved into the first completed house—after two weeks of living in their new home, they left their windows open overnight and began to hear strange sounds. They couldn’t identify them at first because it was a low rumbling sound, which eventually got louder and louder—very soon they believed it to be a woman screaming or yelling. At first they believed that it may have been a woman or teenage girl being attacked by a potential rapist and the wife was told to call the police. The husband threw on clothes and ran down into the newly paved cul-de-sac and as soon as he got outside he realized there were no cars or teenagers that he could see, but the vocalizations got much clearer. After about five minutes the screams stopped and the police arrived, they checked it out but found nothing.


1991

July – Sounds Heard at Skookum Lake

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a group of friends went camping near Skookum lake when they had a strange encounter and heard unusual sounds.

First-Hand Experience

Four friends went camping near Skookum Lake, one of whom had a father who worked for the Forest Service and set up their camp as soon as they arrived near the lake. They decided to go on a long hike up Thunder Mountain and upon returning, the sun had already begun to set. The four friends were exhausted after such a long hike and all decided to go to sleep right away. Sometime during the night, one of the campers woke up to strange sounds—not the type of forest sounds that they were used to hearing. They heard rocks being thrown down from the ridge above them, and heard them banging off the other rocks on the way down.

During the hike earlier in the day, they had noticed a large pile of boulders near the top of the ridge where the rocks were tumbling down and speculated that it sounded as if there was someone hunting for something. The witness sat up in their tent and realized that they weren’t dreaming and then they tried to wake up their friends, but no one else would wake up. The noises of the rocks falling stopped and the camper fell back only to be woken up to the sound of foot steps outside of their camp. The camper didn’t believe it was a bear, because they heard that the foot steps were too spaced out to be a four-legged animal. None of the other campers friends heard anything that night.


1993

June – A Family is Approached Near Cabin in the Forest

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a family was approached near their forest cabin outside of Rhododendron.

First-Hand Experience

A woman’s fiancé had a cabin on Mt. Hood near Rhododendron and while visiting their cabin, she had their Rottweiler tied to a tree. While she was outside doing some work, the Rottweiler started growling towards the forest, which is when she looked up and saw a big and hairy creature stepping between the trees. She didn’t register what was happening at first, so she yelled at the thing to leave the property, or else she would let the Rottweiler loose.

When the hairy creature continued to step behind and between trees, she called out her kids and told them to keep an eye on whatever it was while she got her work done. All the while, the creature continued to move closer and closer, before her fiancé pulled up to the cabin and the creature disappeared. This was when she realized that what she had seen was not actually an intruder or a bear.


1995

May – Campers Hear Vocalizations Near Timberline Lodge

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a group was camping within walking distance of Timberline Lodge near Mt. Hood when they heard strange unidentifiable sounds.

First-Hand Experience

Three friends were invited to go camping, just below Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, by mutual friends who worked at the ski resort. They had gotten there on a Friday afternoon, but on the following evening while sitting around a campfire they began to hear strange sounds coming from the woods directly below them. One of the campers, who was less knowledgeable than some of the others asked if any of them knew what had made the sounds, but after listening for several minutes, none of them could identify what could have been making the noise. They all agreed it sounded like a scream or a yell that could not have been coming from a human due to the volume of the sound. The sounds lasted for approximately a half-hour, but they could also hear the sounds of something large walking through the brush where the vocalizations were coming from. They jokingly discussed the possibility of it being a Bigfoot, but after returning home from camping, they heard audio from a Discovery Channel program where they were researching the legend of Bigfoot and the sounds presented as evidence in the show were identical to the ones that they had all heard while camping.


July – Camp Counselor Has Daylight Sighting Near Molalla River

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a camp counselor was doing trail work near the Molalla River when they sighted a Bigfoot during the daytime.

First-Hand Experience

A sixteen-year-old was volunteering as a day camp counselor when they took a friend for a walk on the trails within the camps—they were cleaning the trails and brought their lunches to eat while on a break. A half-mile away from the main camp, on the outskirts, the two friends were near a swampy area when they stopped to eat lunch, one of them realized they had left something back at camp and left while the other ate their lunch.

Expecting only to be alone for around ten minutes, the volunteer counselor heard something in the woods to their left and stood up to get a better look at what it could be. What they saw was a massive hairy man-like creature that was standing next to a large cedar tree approximately fifty feet away. They estimated that it was about eight feet tall, very wide, and bulky. They perceived the creature as having long thick fur that was approximately six inches long and medium brown in color. The creature looked at them for a few seconds of solid eye contact before it immediately ran away. The witness knew it was not their friend pranking them, due to the fact that they ran into their friend on their way back to the camp after their disturbing encounter.


November – A Dusk Encounter in the Woods Off of Hunter Road

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a bow-hunter reported having an encounter around dusk in the woods off Hunter Road.

First-Hand Experience

A witness was bow-hunting between two deer trails, facing west into the wind at around dusk—he noticed that the night was eerily quiet considering it was usually a hot-zone for deer activity. By the time it became too dark for the bow-hunter to see through his aiming sights, he heard footsteps crunching along the forest floor behind him—at first he believed it to be a buck and that it seemed to be following his scent to where he was hidden in some blackberry bushes. That’s when the witness realized that the creature was actually what looked like a Bigfoot standing approximately 75 feet behind him; the Bigfoot looked to be approximately 7 1/2 feet tall and around 600 lb. Eventually after staring at each other for what seemed like forever, before the Bigfoot turned around and walked in the direction that it had come from. When the hunter went to look for tracks the next day, there were no tracks due to the thick layer of leaves on the ground.

Dark Creepy Forest
Photography by Harrison Broadbent

2000

June – Strange Sounds Heard on a Property Outside of Molalla

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a sixteen-year-old experienced something strange while walking home.

First-Hand Experience

A teenager who had lived in a wooded area all of their life, had been accustomed to walking alone in the woods in the dark without worrying about their safety or being anxious about creatures being in the forest with them. This particular night, they had been using the computer at their grandmother’s home before they walked to their own home which was less than a football field away. For some reason that night they had a a strange feeling that they weren’t alone in the forest and adrenaline rushed through them as they walked home, terrified. Thirty feet to their right they heard a loud thumping and crashing sound. They broke out into a run and believed they could hear bipedal movement quickly following after—the teen got to their house and threw the door closed behind them and locked the door.


July 22 – Vocalizations in the Morning Near Sandy

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY a visitor to the area heard unusual vocalizations in the early morning near Sandy.

First-Hand Experience

While looking out of a second-story window of the Sandy Inn Hotel, a witness in a room on the north side of the building was looking upon the woods and the Columbia River in the distance. During his three day stay, on the night of the 21st, this particular witness couldn’t sleep. The rest of his family was sound asleep; it was a humid night a few hours after a thunderstorm and was awake around 3 am on the 22nd when he heard the strange sounds. The witness was attempting to cool off and had their head out of the second-story window, enjoying the breeze while looking off into the woods. Otherwise a silent night, they suddenly heard a sound that they could not quite describe—it was too long for it to be the sound of tires screeching, but then thought it might be a man screaming or wailing—but it was definitely a high pitched and inhuman sound. Admittedly the witness emphasized that they had never heard a Bigfoot sound previously, but from later research, they believed them to be a match to what was heard.


2001

March 18 – Tracks in Table Rock Creek

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY within the wilderness of Table Rock, once again near Molalla and Dickey Prairie, nearest to the town of Glen Avon. Two Hikers came across tracks during their hike near the Table Rock Wilderness.

First-Hand Experience

While hiking near Table Rock Wilderness, near the end of the winter season in March, two brothers came across footprints in the snow. They were surprised to find that their size 12 and 13 boots were dwarfed by these veru large, bare, human-like footprints. The men took pictures using a digital camera, where they used a dollar bill as a size reference of not just the track, but also the length of the stride, the latter of which they measured to be approximately four feet.


November 29 – Sighting in Neighborhood Near Mt. Hood

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY an Oregon resident near Mount Hood caught a glimpse of a Bigfoot in his neighborhood.

First-Hand Experience

This sighting was approximately forty feet from a small outhouse building in an area near Rhododendron off Highway 26. The witness who submitted this report said that they saw the creature from a distance of about 130 feet, from a window in their home. Although this sighting was at night, a car’s headlights backlit the creature as it ran from the left side of the road to the right side from this witness’s perspective. The here unidentified occupants of the car also sighted this creature, all witnesses stated that it was around seven-feet-tall hairy bipedal creature, running quickly. The neighborhood dogs were apparently all barking excitedly, which is what initially caused the witness to look through his window. A limited search for footprints with a flashlight were unsuccessful, despite a moist evening with light precipitation. Upon going out to investigate what he had seen, the witness also reported noticing a bad odor where the sighted creature had been.


2003

November – Bigfoot Experience in Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY on the property that bordered the Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness—a witness that was living off of Elk Park Road in Welches believes they experienced a Bigfoot attempting to come into their residence, as well as having witnessed several vocalizations.

First-Hand Experiences

A forty-year-old had an experience with what they believed was a run-in with Bigfoot. This person was living in an apartment just above a garage that overlooked the Salmon River. That particular night at 6 pm, there was a loud bang on their (thankfully) locked front door, which prompted them to call 911 and report being alone and scared after something hand banged on their door. After calling 911, they heard grunting on their deck, and looked out to see if they could see anything. When the witness came face-to-face with a set of eyes from what would have had to be a huge creature. They made eye-contact and just watched each other for a moment—it was described as having been furry.


2004

June 19-22 – Off of Highway 211 Northeast of Colton

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY just off of Highway 211 Northeast of the Colton area, around midnight, the witness heard strange vocalizations and discovered footprints.

First-Hand Experience

While visiting a friend in the Colton area at the base of Goat Mountain in a reportedly known Bigfoot area; a witness reported that around midnight, they began to hear strange noises in the tree-line which was approximately 100 yards from the friend’s house. These noises also seemed to be coming from three different locations, as if communicating back and forth, but it was clear that these calls were coming from something very large. After listening for around thirty minutes, when the witness finally had everyone else at the house come outside to bear witness to what the original person had been hearing. Not a single one of them could identify what the noise was and all agreed that the noises were strange.

They decided to shine a light at which point the noises ceased until the flashlight was shut off—they couldn’t identify anything due to heavy brush. The calls back and forth lasted until about a half an hour before dawn. The witness was an experienced outdoorsman, as was the owner of the property and neither could identify anything other than a Bigfoot that the creature could have been. That morning after day broke, they went and were able to discover two possible tracks that were also unidentifiable after comparing them to other animal tracks from the same area. They also noticed that the grass was pushed down in what looked to be heavy three to four foot strides. The property owner has heard the same noises ever since that night, as well as thrashing sounds from within the brush. There is a speculated link between the sudden frequency of the sounds and logging that may have pushed them out of their habitat.


September 26 – Tree-shaking Display near Molalla River

In CLACKAMAS COUNTY campers were greeted by an unexpected tree-shaking display near Molalla River.

First-Hand Experience

Thirteen miles south of the Glen Avon Bridge on the Molalla River, two friends and their two large dogs took a trip to check up on a campsite that they were planning on using during the summer. They had only walked approximately twenty-five feet from the gravel road and a huge sound of bushes and trees crackling and breaking came from their left. One of the witnesses saw the disturbance out of the corner of their eye and looked over where they saw brush moving violently ten feet off of the path. No creature was visible, but it was clear there was something large moving the trees—they could all feel the vibration of footsteps under their own feet and the distinct sounds of heavy thumping strides. They felt as if they had been startled by something that was enormous, close, and very fast.

If you happen to live in Clackamas County and you have encountered a Bigfoot or Sasquatch, let us know below!

Categories
Featured Indie Horror Short Horror Stories

Frequency – A Short Cosmic Horror Story – by Tritone

Alaska Triangle Airplane Flying into a Storm art

“Come on… Come on!” The scent of electric smoke wafted up from the soldering iron on the circuit board as Larry hastily laid down bead after bead connecting the new resistor to the board. He knew if he did not get the power connected back to the ham radio that the signal would be lost forever and the passengers of the Cessna likely would be as well–at least they would be lost to him. He squinted through his thick coke bottle glasses and at five-foot-six his face just peaked over the magnifier on his father’s workbench as he worked the soldering iron. “Yes! There we go…”

 At seventeen-years-old, Larry was dually obsessed with his ham radio and science fiction; despite his mother’s desperate plea for him to find a girlfriend and go out on dates, his preferred mistress was science and his deep desire to discover something heretofore unknown. His father, an electrical engineer, was indifferent to the struggle and disappointment his wife was enduring and instead encouraged his boy to follow his passions.

As a result of his passion-turned-obsession, the garage looked as if it were a Radio Shack fire sale. Wires of all gauges were organized according to size on the walls, circuit boards were haphazardly stacked on the workbench, and there were drawers of neatly organized resistors, capacitors, inductors, transformers, diodes, and transistors were all within the arm’s reach. The noticeable hum of the fluorescent lights kicked on and it was a sound that had grown comforting to Larry–this was his space and in his opinion, there was nothing else like it in the world. Unlike the precarious hallways of his high school, where letter-jacket jocks regularly singled him out for hazing, he was in control in this space. In this place, anything was possible.

The world of technology in 1982 was mostly limited to pre-made kits and their assembly was predetermined by fine-tuned direction manuals–these had never been in Larry’s wheelhouse. In truth, Larry’s pride-and-joy was his ham radio and he spent countless late nights scanning the airwaves for signals, for proof that he could show-off to his friends. Just like his father, he had no love for athletics, he inherited his passion for electronics and radio signals through the bond he had formed with his dad. Due to his father’s pursuits, they had a homemade dedicated high-frequency radio and antenna mounted on his roof that could reach as far north as Alaska given the right weather conditions.

Through countless hours of connecting to other Alaskan radio operators, Larry had acquired a deep knowledge of the wild country–it had quickly become one of his favorite locations to scan. Sometimes he was unfortunate enough to overhear the desperate calls from people far out in the bush begging for loved ones to return home after a death in the family, but aside from those depressing transmissions, he would listen to plane operators as they crossed the most dangerous passes in the unforgiving terrain. Quite often, as Larry learned, bush pilots would go down in the wilderness. The weather could change in the blink of an eye as the wind whipped off of the glaciers at breakneck speeds.

Alaska map including the Alaska Triangle

The wall next to the small desk where the radio sat boasted a large map of Alaska where Larry had pinned all of the locations he had isolated from coordinates of the pilots he had overheard through his transmissions. Over the past year, Larry had learned of what pilots and local Alaskans would refer to as the “Alaskan Triangle,” much like its Bermudan counterpart, it was an area where an inordinate amount of disappearances took place. More than one dinner chat had ended with his mother sighing in exhaustion over the topic, then excusing herself as Larry continued to elaborate on the impact of negative energy fields. His father, still listening intently, would be captivated as Larry shared stories of the pilots he had overheard before they would simply go dark. Larry’s father insisted that it was likely air conditions that had changed and interfered with the signal, but Larry stubbornly continued to compile his little red pins on the map of planes that he believed had disappeared–at least that’s what he could gather in the communications and from the other radio operators who had far more experience with these things.

This time things felt different–it was around seven o’clock in the evening when he had started scanning the channels according to his usual evening routine. This transmission was coming from a twin Cessna, having left Anchorage and was en route to Juneau. That’s just on the outer edge of the triangle, he thought to himself, but other than that initial gut reaction the transmissions sounded fairly standard despite some moderate to mildly unfavorable conditions. Larry assumed for an Alaska Bush pilot that was something along the lines of light snow, winds, and possibly some icing of the instrument panels–he overheard the pilot announce that things were going to be VFR until further notice and they had only been in the air for about a half-hour.

“Approximately one hour till touch down–,” Larry heard the pilot buzz in over the radio, but what came next always made his stomach churn, “six souls on board.” 

The weather took a sudden turn for the worse, the pilot signaled he would be making an emergency landing at the short airstrip in the port town of Whittier, in an attempt to wait out the storm. The pilot must have not released the PTT, because Larry could overhear the pilot being verbally accosted by one of his passengers, it sounded something like–are you crazy? I need to be in Juneau now, campaign deals don’t wait for the weather! The pilot didn’t seem to pay much mind to what Larry had dubbed “the angry politician,” or the other passengers who seemed to also be pressuring him to get them back into the air. With, what Larry assumed was, upstanding ethics, the pilot continued to note the change of flight plans over the radio. Larry could feel his brow scrunch together–he felt an almost sympathetic annoyance for the pilot, for his having to deal with such nasty attitudes.

Larry may have been slightly envious about the pilot’s ability to fly–something he had always been oddly fascinated with, despite his proclivity for tracking plane crashes–what it must be like to be in control of a metal bird defying gravity in the most astounding way. Fifteen minutes after landing the plane, the pilot’s voice buzzed back over the air. From what Larry could make out from between the crackling of the white noise and the pilot’s voice, it seemed as if he was modifying their route further inland in hopes of avoiding the storm when they headed back up. I guess that guy won the argument–he sounded like a dick, he thought to himself.

He absentmindedly scanned the other channels, but there was nothing else coming in at all. From his experience in listening in on these fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants pilots, that meant that no one else was crazy enough to fly tonight. That meant conditions in Alaska tonight must have been especially abhorrent, there weren’t many times where the most experienced bush pilots doubted their ability to keep their birds in the air. Regardless of whether or not this particular pilot had the moxie to brave the skies, this plane was going up–and they were about to fly directly into the sea of red pins on Larry’s map.

“Larry!” he heard his mother summon him, “it’s time for dinner!” He hunched a bit deeper over his workbench and pressed his headset harder against his ears, unsure of whether he would be able to eat, knowing exactly where this pilot and his persistent passengers were headed. Through the buzzing white-noise and whirls, he heard his mother’s high pitched call once again–no, I have to know–but when he heard her use his middle name, he knew that she would just get louder and angrier until he appeased her and god-help-him if he were to make her come get him herself. He’d be lucky to be back on his ham radio again for a month. Ok, ok, I’ll just eat fast and get back here to try to get back on track with this Cessna.

Larry plowed through his hungry man TV dinner, a Wednesday night special at the Donahue’s house, with barely a word. His father, pensive and deep in thought, barely noticed. His mother tried to make some small talk asking about school, friends, and of course hinting about girls. Larry placated her with the general, everything is fine, so he could get back to his radio. He dumped the remnants in the trash and tossed his used fork sloppily into the kitchen sink before he took off back to his sanctuary.

Once back in the garage he turned off the fluorescent lights, sat down at the desk with the warm glow of the radio and small table lamp then donned his white pioneer headphones and stretched the spiral cord to connect the ¼ inch jack to the silver radio. He felt like an astronaut ready for takeoff as his chest grew tight with excitement. Is this plane still up? He felt trepidation as he hunched over the radio and began to scan the range he had first found the plane in. Nothing. Just static. He switched over to 1145, a frequency that several other operators in Alaska frequented.

“This is Larryhue–come in–over.” Again, there was nothing but static, “Larryhue–radio check–come in–over.”

The frequency crackled, more white-noise, there was radio silence until, “Affirmative. Read you loud and clear,” A familiar feminine voice buzzed in through the frequency. “Sharon145 here–how are you tonight? Over.” Larry’s heart quickened, there weren’t many female radio operators and in his teenage daydream, he imagined her in that split second to be a young, beautiful redhead who admired intelligence over height. She sounded about his age, or at least she did in his fantasy image of her.

“Did you catch that Cessna out of ANC about an hour ago? Over.”

“Affirmative. I can’t believe they went back up,” the radio crackled with her concerned tone, “I got a ping as they headed west, but they’ve been silent for about fifteen minutes now. I’ve been checking the other frequencies since–there’s not another pilot in those skies, weather is too choppy. Over.”

Larry was torn between continuing the back-and-forth with Sharon145–something he was all too fond of–and trying to chase the signal that he had caught from the Cessna. His curiosity over the mystery Cessna weighed heavily on him and trumped his desire to talk to what-he-imagined-was his dream girl. “Uhh–thanks Sharon, I’m going to change frequencies to see if I can catch the Cessna again. Stand by. Over.”

“Wilco–Over that,” Sharon’s voice disappeared when Larry quickly turned the dial to scan for any signal from the Cessna. White-noise. Static. Silence. Larry huffed and continued to scan.

“MAYDAY! MAYDAY–This is White Cessna NOVEMBER-357-GOLF, VFR no longer viable–I repeat, zero visibility and high winds–RADIO CHECK–DO YOU READ ME? OVER.” This sudden break in the static knocked the wind out of Larry, he could feel his palms break out in a sweat. “MAYDAY! MAYDAY! Left-engine faulty after mid-air collision–”

WHAT WAS THAT?” Larry thought he heard the angry politician scream in the background.

“–IS ANYONE RECEIVING?” The urgency of the pilot’s voice scared him, he was unsure of what to do, he had never been in this situation. “Flying blind–heading South-Southeast approximately fifty miles out of IEM. Requesting heading for emergency landing. Over.”

A deafening silence followed the pilot’s urgent pleas for help and then he heard the pilot repeat his message, the desperation overrode his professionalism. Larry sat there, his thumb hovering over the PTT, unsure if he should respond, get his dad, or wait to hear if there was an official response by flight control. He froze, his jaw slacked, and his vision blurred–he heard the third and fourth round of the message, each time the passengers could be overheard panicking in the background.

“Cessna NOVEMBER-357-GOLF–” Larry heard himself respond before he realized his mouth was even moving, “this is–uh–ham radio operator Larryhue. Go ahead. Over.” Suddenly Larry felt as if he had never used a radio before in his life–what the hell am I doing? What am I supposed to say to this guy? I can’t help him!

“Larryhue, we need to prepare for an emergency landing–need a heading,” the pilot seemed to have relaxed if only slightly, but Larry was in full panic, he couldn’t possibly be the only one listening in–he waited a moment, hoping beyond hope that flight control would take over the transmission. “Radio check! Larryhue–there’s s-s-something outside of our plane, we need help, do you read me? Over.”

“W-what’s your bearing? Over,” he was just a kid, but he remembered hearing that over the radio, or maybe it was in a movie. Either way, it felt like it was the right question to ask.

“No bearing, VFR until we hit a whiteout, I believe we’re headed South-Southeast, but wind is knocking us off course.”

“I think I see–,” Larry heard another passenger’s voice interject over the static of the transmitter, but instead of the sound of utter fear, it was one of awe, “what is that swirling mass of light–is that the aurora? Is the sky clearing up?”

blank

“No, Senator Boggs–that’s impossible,” Larry heard the pilot respond to the interruption, he hadn’t let go of the PTT. A blood-curdling screech echoed over the static into Larry’s ears, and then a sickening crunch of metal, “what the fu–”

Larry stumbled back off of his stool, ripped his headphones off, and in the process pulled them out of the auxiliary jack completely. All he could hear now was a crackle from the radio, then what sounded like a faint plea for help.

“Crap, I am losing the signal,” he said out loud. “Think Larry… Think.” Then he got the idea to modify the radio. He quickly unplugged the radio, unscrewed the casing, and brought the board over to the workbench. He plugged in the soldering iron and began removing the resistor. He figured if he could amplify the power by adjusting resistance maybe he could catch the signal and at least find out where they were going to crash to send help. Larry expertly swapped the resistors, skipped re-attaching the case, and plugged the radio back in. 

The radio lit back up, the light only slightly stronger than before. “Cessna are you there, this is Larryhue, over.” Silence. Then a crackle. Then the ear-piercing shriek again.

“Help, we need help” cried out a terrified voice. The sound of wind rushing into the cabin made it evident that the pressurized cabin had been breached. “The pilot.. The pilot is dead. Something smashed through into the cabin and took off one of the wings! We’re going down, please help!” The passenger sobbed, horrified, and hysterical.

“I’m going to call for help” Larry replied.

Then a calmer voice came over the radio that stopped Larry from getting up “We’ve stopped descending, I can’t explain it, we’re just level–we’re–we’re surrounded by light in what looks like a swirling mass of color.”

“I think we are in the eye of the storm…” Then another loud crash, louder than before… Beeping… Screaming and a tremendous crash as if they hit another plane. Static. 

“Cessna are you there, Cessna say again.” Nothing. Radio silence and white-noise again. Five minutes passed by and there was still nothing, no transmission. There was just, nothing. Larry sat there, unblinking, and finally realized he needed his father, but he couldn’t move. “DAD! HURRY… PLEASE!” He could barely choke out the words to explain what had happened when his father arrived, they sat there in silence and listened. Larry was grateful that his father believed him, he had heard what he had heard–it was real. He knew it was real.

After a short while, Larry’s father told him to stay on the frequency while he called the authorities to report the transmission, but when his father returned the frequency was still eerily quiet aside from the normal ever-present static. After a few more hours, Larry sighed, his hands had finally stopped shaking and he stood from his stool. He picked up a red pin from the small bowl near his map and placed the pin with resignation in the location in which he believed the plane had gone down. When he stepped back and looked at the broader spectrum of his placed pins within the confines of the Alaskan triangle, it looked like it completed a symbol and it was almost familiar.

Over the next week, Larry scanned the papers for any news of a crashed plane–he even went so far as to call the Alaskan Aviation board, multiple times, but they had no new reports of missing planes. Then it hit him–the pilot had mentioned the name of that angry politician, what was his name? Baggs–something like that. Larry was resolved to find out and the next morning he called the operator, who knew his voice by that point. When Larry retold his story to the annoyed operator, he got a verbal lashing. “What do you think this is, kid? Some kind of joke? I’ve got a job to do here!”

“No–please, I know this sounds crazy, but I heard a name–Senator Baggs, or Boggs, or–”

The operator cut him off, laughing almost maniacally. “Ok kid–I’m done with you pulling my leg, so unless you’ve got a time machine, then this has been fun.” CLICK. The line went dead.

Time machine? Larry was thoroughly confused, but he proceeded back to the library to go through the newspaper archives again, but this time he could narrow it down to Senator Boggs. Or was it Baggs? It took a few hours, but he found it. A headline about the mysterious disappearance of Senator Boggs. His airplane, a White Cessna, had gone missing in Alaska en route to Juneau from the port town of Whittier, but it was the date that made his mouth go dry. October 16, 1972. The plane was never found, but the Senator and the other five souls lost that day had long been assumed dead. It was impossible, but maybe it was just because his eyes were tired after three hours of searching–he rubbed his eyes and checked the date again, 1972. Ten years ago to the date, he had been hearing a decade-old signal.

Of course, when he told his father everything he had found, his father just shook his head, “that’s just not possible Larry. You must have misheard him,” and after that Larry gave up hope convincing his father about what he had heard. Maybe Sharon145 would believe him, after all, they had discussed the Alaskan Triangle more than once before and had passed some harmless conspiracy theories back and forth. It could be a vortex to a parallel universe, or an energy field that could displace time. Larry sat down on his stool in the garage and fired up the radio, but since he hadn’t touched it in the last week, it was still tuned in to the channel from the Senator’s plane.

“MAYDAY! MAYDAY–This is White Cessna NOVEMBER-357-GOLF, VFR no longer viable–I repeat, zero visibility and high winds–RADIO CHECK–DO YOU READ ME? OVER.” There was a brief static-riddled pause. “MAYDAY! MAYDAY! Left-engine faulty after mid-air collision–”

WHAT WAS THAT?” Larry heard the words echoing back to him again and his heart sank indeterminably, through his stomach, through his feet, through the floor–he clicked the radio off. He thought of the passengers in that plane, a ghost signal that echoed over and over again throughout time and space. An infinite loop of living in terror and he simply couldn’t bear listening to it again.

Larry unplugged the radio, set it on one of the less cluttered shelves. He walked to the door that led back to the house, turned to look over his shoulder–the once comforting hum of the fluorescent lighting now made him feel as if his stomach was in a vice. Larry flicked the switch off, then closed the door behind him.


This story is based on the The Alaska Triangle and one its most famous unsolved disappearances – Senator Boggs Plane.

Categories
Best of Movies Featured Scary Movies and Series

Scary Documentaries: Paranormal and Urban Legends

You’ve likely seen the Instagram memes about the millennials who go crazy any time a new serial killer documentary drops on Netflix. But have you met the eye-rolling horror fanatics who are eager to tell you that they loved horror documentaries way before they went mainstream? And not just about The Night Stalker or Zac Efron’s version of Ted Bundy, but also the demon house, killer clown, and paranormal investigation that didn’t make the news. These chilling tales happen every day, and many have been made into terrifying horror documentaries that indulge your passion for true crime while frightening you way more than Making a Murderer or any scary documentary ever has. Why? Because while many horror flicks claim to be “based on a true story” (don’t get us started,) the things that transpire in paranormal documentaries actually happened. Truth is stranger than fiction, and you’ll be kept up at night after you watch the most terrifying horror and paranormal documentaries below. 

Demon House

Demon House Paranormal Documentary

Released: 2018

If you thought the Amityville house was haunted and terrifying, just wait until you watch one of our favorite paranormal documentaries and true crime stories about the Ammon family. This tale of paranormal activity and demonic possession took place only a decade ago in Indiana, and while some had their doubts about the Ammon family’s claims of levitation, death threats, and ghostly shadow figures… you can’t ignore the facts of Demon House. Paranormal investigator Zak Bagans shot this documentary on the property, only to have it demolished just two years later due to the terrifying events. Dread Central’s Steve Barton calls Demon House “one of the single most compelling horror documentaries on the existence of the supernatural that I’ve ever witnessed,” and Puzzle Box Horror definitely agrees. 

Beware the Slenderman

Slender Man Scary Documentary

Released: 2016

Slenderman, the infamous creepypasta character with mile-long limbs and no face, stepped out of the shadow of internet forums and into the spotlight with this documentary – and the crime that inspired it. Remember the two 12-year old girls from Wisconsin who stabbed their friend 19 times in 2014, only to say that it was an order from the Slender Man? This documentary tells you all the details of that horrifying day – with interviews, creepy footage, and background on the Slenderman. How did he go from being a supernatural, suit-wearing stalker that only lived on internet forums, to one of the most terrifying fictional monsters of the 2010’s? They aren’t kidding when they say that the internet is a scary place!

Cropsey

Cropsey Terrifying Documentary

Released: 2009

Without giving too much away, anybody who has seen Cropsey knows that it’s not a supernatural tale in its entirety. It’s also a bit confusing – mixing true crime with the paranormal to leave you wondering who is the true villain in this tale. Is it Cropsey, the boogeyman-like urban legend of Staten Island that people used to scare their kids into being good? Or Andre Rand, the real-life version of the monster who began kidnapping kids and causing terror left and right? This is one of the best horror documentaries that was made before Netflix and Hulu started pumping them out on a regular basis, and you’ll want to watch it five more times just to get every last detail. 

Hostage to the Devil

Hostage To The Devil Horror Documentary

Released: 2016

Exorcism stories aren’t exactly new in the horror genre. There’s only about a million horror movies about possessed children and the priests who try to free them. But horror documentaries about real-life exorcisms in which the devil literally locks you in a room for days on end? That’s a little more rare, and exactly why you need to watch Hostage to the Devil on Netflix. Based on the book of the same name, this terrifying documentary shares the details of a battle between good (okay, this is debatable) and ancient evil as they fight for the soul of a possessed child. After you watch the documentary, be sure to start Googling all the extra details that didn’t make it on your screen. You’ll never be able to watch horror movies about exorcisms the same way again. 

My Amityville Horror

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Released: 2012

Amityville isn’t just your typical haunted house story, it’s the demon house story. Any real horror fan knows the tale of the original demon house – how Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered his entire family in cold blood, one year before the Lutzes moved in and went running after experiencing insane amounts of paranormal activity and ghostly events. There has been an entire lineup of horror movies (and a lot of skepticism) in the decades since the Lutzes ran for their lives, but there’s something that sets My Amityville Horror apart. It features Daniel Lutz, the oldest member of the family who experienced these horrific events in the demon house firsthand. While he stayed silent for nearly 40 years, he doesn’t hold back in this documentary about America’s most famous haunted house, and you’ll have chills running down your spine with every word he speaks.

Killer Legends 

Killer Legends scary documentary poster

Released: 2014

If you loved reading the Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark book series as a child (and who didn’t?), then you’re going to love Killer Legends. Ghosts, demon houses, and serial killers all come together with this documentary that dives into the real-life origins behind the world’s most famous urban legends. You know – the murderous mental patient with a hook for a hand, the killer clown, the babysitter who gets a call coming from inside the house. Some are paranormal, and some aren’t… but each one will give you a glimpse of real-world terror that brings back major memories of telling these stories around the bonfire. This is the meta scary documentary if you are looking for variety.

Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror 

Horror Noire- A History of Black Horror film

Released: 2019

“Delving into a century of genre films that by turns utilized, caricatured, exploited, sidelined, and finally embraced them, Horror Noire traces the untold history of Black Americans in Hollywood through their connection to the horror genre.” Perhaps one of the most modern horror documentaries on this list, Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror features a lineup of Black horror enthusiasts (including scholars like Tananarive Due and creators like Jordan Peele) to tell the story of Black Americans in a supernatural world. While it’s less scary and more informative, this eye-opening documentary will help you see films like Get Out and Blacula in a whole new way. Grab your popcorn and save up all your mental energy, because you’re going to need it for this mind-blowing horror documentary.

The Nightmare 

The Nightmare horror documentary poster

Released: 2015

Sleep is an escape from the horrors of everyday life, right? Not when you have sleep paralysis, a terrifying condition that makes you unable to speak, move, or have any control over their body while waking up or falling asleep. The lack of control is frightening enough, as it’s the foundation in which we live our lives – but what do you do when you start imagining ghosts, shadow figures, and supernatural beings in the corner of your bedroom when you can’t move a muscle? That’s exactly what you’ll discover with The Nightmare, a mix of real-world and supernatural horror that interviews those with sleep paralysis to discover the terrifying worlds they’ve created in their minds. You’ll never want to fall asleep again after watching this horrifying documentary, and we mean that literally. 

A Haunting in Connecticut

A Haunting in Connecticut 2002 documentary poster

Released: 2002

No, we’re not talking about the super underrated 2009 scary documentary The Haunting in Connecticut… as this 2002 documentary told the ghost story from your living room first. The Snedeker family moves to Connecticut and finds a beautiful house that they think is a major steal, only to discover that it used to be a funeral home as they experience terrifying visions and paranormal activity from every corner of the property. Awesome. Unlike the movie, this paranormal documentary details how the family called in expert ghost hunter Ed and Lorraine Warren (of The Conjuring fame) to rid the house of demons. Like most demon house stories, the Snedekers haven’t gone without a bit of skepticism… but this is a tried-and-true ghost story that any paranormal lover will love watching on a Friday night. 

The Enfield Poltergeist

The Enfield Poltergeist frightening documentary poster

Released: 2002

Even the Brits have their ghosts and supernatural fixtures, and The Enfield Poltergeist is definitely proof. Back in 1970’s London, two young sisters started acting strangely – and that was just the beginning of it. There was also moving furniture, levitation, shadow figures and disembodied voices that many came to believe was a poltergeist. Or in other words, a troublesome ghost that has nothing better to do with its time. As one of the original poltergeist tales, this scary documentary is a must-have for any ghost enthusiast. 

Categories
Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore

Urban Legends: The Legendary Shanghai Tunnels of Portland, Oregon

The city of Portland, Oregon is known in modern times as America’s most “livable cities,” but it wasn’t all too long ago that the seedy underbelly cause it to be one of the most dangerous port cities on the west coast—possibly even the entire world. During the second half of the nineteenth century, the ports of Portland saw all of the criminal traffic that filtered through from the ships that docked with supplies—every time a new ship hailed the arrival of the opportunity to make money. Drinking, prostitution, and general criminal activity reigned supreme due to this exceptionally active port.

The Shanghai Tunnels in Portland are talked about all over the world—they’re often said to be one of the most haunted places in all of America—and their dark, creepy nature draws in the skeptics and phobophiles (someone who loves dark, nightmarish, and macabre things) alike. The tunnels are located under the streets of the old town and the tunnels were in constant use for nearly a century, between 1850 and 1941 with illegal activity including human trafficking and prostitution. So many people died in these cheerless, filthy tunnels which visitors believe have left the ghosts of their tormented spirits behind. Nowadays, tourists are led through these dreary tunnels; many investigating the possibility of hauntings, where they hear disembodied voices, moaning, and screaming.

The Shanghai Tunnels of Portland

Downtown Portland has more of a draw than the simple shops and restaurants that tourists tend to enjoy visiting, in fact, there is something that lies just below their feet that they might not even be completely aware of. The 150-year-old tunnels that connect the basements of the city’s oldest buildings to the Willamette River and Portland’s own Chinatown are known across the world, but at the same time, there is a mystery and ambiguity to them. It’s said that the tunnels were originally built by Chinese workers during the time when Chinatown was the center for trade business. They were designed for transporting goods from cargo ships to the inner city so that the crews of the ships could avoid the hassles of traffic within the inner-city—this was excellent for the businesses of Portland because many of them used their basements to store their goods, which meant their deliveries would be sent directly to their storage space.

The Criminal Underground

Shanghaied Sailors

Once a small town, the port of Portland was quite large and was able to host several ships—these ships would have sailed for long periods of time to cross the Pacific Ocean before they would be able to unload in Portland. This long travel time meant that they had quite a bit less downtime after their months at sea and would spend most of their time in bars and saloons, drinking or fighting. Some of them took this downtime as an opportunity to abandon their career at sea, because of their increased fear of death by disease or injury. This abandonment of their post meant that ship captains would be left with a post unmanned and an inability to leave port without filling this position—the shadier of these captains would use crooked tactics to “shanghai” replacement sailors, capturing them through the tunnels and paying $50 a head for each man.

The way it was made possible, is that any man looking to make a quick buck would watch men who were drinking alone, then creep into drug their drinks—after the lone-drinker was sufficiently drugged or unconscious, they would be abducted and carried through the series of tunnels that led to the waterfront. These poor unsuspecting men would awake once they were at sea, with no way to escape and having been sold to the ship’s captain as slave labor—the only choices they had were to work or die of starvation. While it may seem as if it’s no more than a cautionary tale, but these stories are backed up by real evidence and are trusted as fact.

Cannibalism

There have also been some incredible tales regarding the shanghaied victims—disturbing tales of ship crews eating some of them—with trapdoors and pits within the tunnels filled with corpses. There is particular reference to the local legend of Bunko Kelly, the Kidnapping King of Portland, as being the first local reference to the plague of cannibalism.

Human Trafficking and Prostitution

Eventually, men traveling alone became wary of Shanghaiers and as a consequence became more difficult to abduct—instead these Shanghaiers began kidnapping women instead, since solo women who frequented drinking establishments were easy prey. Many such women had trapdoors opened out from under them and they would fall into the tunnels without any possibility of getting back out. These women were abducted into prostitution rings and ended up being held as groups in cages over long periods of time, which gave them enough time to secure buyers outside of Portland.

The Mob and Prohibition

During the days of prohibition, the Shanghai tunnels became an underground expressway—they would be used to transport shipments of liquor and spirits from ships on the Willamette River to bars, hotels, and taverns all over Portland. Bootleggers used the tunnels to conduct their illegal activities away from the eyes of police and prying eyes, but law enforcement would regularly raid bars making the day to day operations impossible for bar owners. In an effort to get around those difficulties, they would stash their liquor supply deep in the tunnels in order to avoid arrest for maintaining a supply of alcohol—this led to hidden doors being installed within bars so that when they were raided, there was an escape route until the police officers would leave the premises.

The Hauntings in the Tunnels

Unsurprisingly, these tunnels and their history of abduction, abuse, and corruption has caused them to be of huge interest to historians as well as the supernatural and paranormal investigators as well. To be honest, there is no better venue for ghosts than the musty, neglected, underground sites of this century-old criminal underground. The Northwest Paranormal Investigations teams have declared the Shanghai Tunnels to be the most haunted location in all of Oregon—and the Cascade Geographic Society regularly offers the “Shanghai Tunnels Ghost Tours,” as well as the “Heritage Tour.”

First-Hand Experience

In 2013, Ghost Mine hosts Kim Lunman and Patrick Doyle decided to conduct a ghost hunt inside of the tunnels due to the sheer number of reports of paranormal activity. Many visitors have shared that while on tours they have experienced ghostly encounters both in and around the tunnels—it’s common for them to report the sounds of people crying, moaning, and screaming while in the tunnels, but there are also experiences from the locals. In the nearby tavern and pizzeria, there have been reports of hearing, seeing, and smelling odd things during their visit to the business.

Dark Dreary Tunnel
Photography by Casey Horner

Experiences of Claustrophobia in the Cinema

While these movies might not exactly be about Portland’s infamous Shanghai Tunnels, they are great horror movies that give us that claustrophobic feeling and send chills down our spines. We invite you to check them out and let us know what you think!