Living and working in Houston, Texas can often be hectic. For those who seek to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center is the ideal retreat that’s still close to home.
Rodney, a prominent local businessman took up exploring the arboretum last year after receiving a managerial position at his work.
A Leisurely Walk Goes Horribly Awry...
The Outer Loop, a quiet, two mile nature trail quickly became his favorite oasis. Until one day where everything changed… “I remember that it was a Friday evening,” Rodney (Name changed for privacy) told us over the phone. “It had been a particularly stressful day at the office, so I abandoned my cubicle and went to the arboretum the moment the clock struck five.
"The Outer Loop was designed for distance hikers, so it doesn’t get nearly as busy as other trails in Houston. It’s a very remote feeling trail, and it’s not surprising to feel like you’re the only one there most of the time. On this Friday evening, I was quietly walking by myself, reflecting on some business plan at work that had gone awry, when I came to a bridge halfway through the trail.
"The moment I stepped onto it, I felt this strange sense of trepidation come over me, though I couldn’t figure out why. Puzzled, I pressed on, but with each passing step I felt more and more queasy. ‘Rodneyyyy.’ I turned around to see who had called my name, but nobody was around me.
"The voice was deep and gravelly, and, if I’m being perfectly honest, it scared the shit out of me,” he said nodding gravely. “An icy chill began to creep up my spine as I walked to the center of the bridge. ‘Rodneyyyyyy’ the voice howled again.
"‘Who’s there? This isn’t funny!’ I called out, trying my best to sound menacing, but my voice was shaky with fear. I expected one of my colleagues to emerge from under the bridge, or to jump out of a nearby tree—after all, who else would possibly know my name at the arboretum? ‘That’s it!’ I barked out.
"‘Come out!’ All of the sudden the icy feeling seemed to intensify, to the point where I had goosebumps forming from the top of my head down to my toes. ‘Turn arounnddddd’ said the voice, and although a large part of me suddenly didn’t want to, I knew I had to see what it was,” he whispered.
The Dead Walk in Houston
"I turned to face the way I had come, and there, walking towards me was a pair of feet. Nothing else, just feet, seemingly walking of their own accord. I was frozen with horror, I couldn’t even scream.
"The feet ran at me, and just as I thought that something horrible was going to happen to me, the feet seemed to sink through the bridge and disappear underneath. I was certain that they would reappear somewhere else, so I ran off the bridge and hurried through the trail until it was finished. Whenever Houston seems to be too much, I still like to go to the arboretum… only now I visit when other people are around,” he admitted.