The decision for me to share this story was a hard one, as it’s too easy for others to label you insane (or worse). The event I’m about to share happened a long time ago, when I was living a free and easy life as a transient hippy. It was nothing for me to be homeless or couch-surfing as I hitchhiked my way back and forth across the country.
Always being able to land on my feet and make enough money to get by, I never took anyone or anything for granted.
One particular summer, I found myself travelling with friends in a van through an isolated part of the countryside.
Heading into the mountains, we decided to find a secluded spot to camp so that we could conduct our workshop.
We were all musicians so we were excited to find a beautiful place where we could sample the sounds of nature.
The van served as the nerve center while we pitched a couple of tents and set off to find water and wood for the fire.
I made the idiotic decision to set off on my own so that I could have some quiet time and prepare my musical “vibe”.
I had no idea that I was about to enter a dangerous trap.
I stumbled across an abandoned shack that had a sloping, rusty, tin roof and was set in a dusty clearing in the woods.
What appealed to me was the fact that several families must’ve lived there over the years and I had to investigate.
I was already composing music in my mind – humming a tune that I felt was expressive of the spirit of the land.
When I got close to the shack, I felt my hair prickle, but I attributed that to the fact that I was on my own.
Looking through one of the broken windows, I saw what appeared to be quite a clean interior and old furniture.
Creeping around to the front door, I hesitantly knocked and waited for a response, but no one answered.
Slowly but surely, I opened the door and saw that it was empty, so I walked in to find a neat and tidy home.
I wandered from room to room, eventually realizing that someone must’ve lived there, so I turned around to leave.
I stopped in my tracks when I heard the front door slam shut and heavy footsteps stomping in my direction.
My mind scrambled with excuses for the intrusion, hoping that whoever it was would take mercy on me.
I freaked when I saw a large man built like a bear and wearing a dirty, leather apron with a mask made of iron!
For a minute I thought that I was in a nightmare and I prayed to wake up when he bellowed at me through the mask.
“WHO GOES THERE?!” He was clutching an axe dripping blood on the dirt floor, which made me scream in terror.
I could hear his labored breathing and grunting, but I did my best to calm down enough and answer his question.
“I’m so sorry! I thought this place was abandoned – but I’ll go now!” I didn’t move as I waited for his response.
I felt a horrifying chill run through me as he laughed like a demon and tossed his axe aside – before charging at me!
For the life of me, I don’t know why I just stood there and it wasn’t long before he had his large, grimy hands on me.
He picked me up and threw me across the room. I slammed against the wall, thinking that my back was broken.
I screamed and pleaded for him to let me go, but then I heard other voices along with his – laughing insanely.
He grabbed me by the neck and forced me to walk out the front door with him as he led me behind the shack.
He took me to a large shed and I knew that my time was up.
It didn’t matter how much I begged for my life, he ignored me and laughed maniacally as he pushed me in.
Once inside the old shed, I could hear many chains clinking and saw a variety of tools and weapons on the wall.
He threw me on a steel table and shackled me to it as many more voices joined his in jeering and mocking me.
I looked up and saw many dead bodies swinging from the chains – butchered and dripping blood all over the place.
What shocked me even more was that some of the bodies were still alive and looking at me with terror in their eyes.
I continued to scream and plead while he sharpened the blade of a nasty looking scythe on an old whetstone.
Every now and then I heard voices teasing me, saying “Trespasser!” and “Fresh blood!” while the monster closed in.
I could see a large, red eye peering out of the hole in his metal mask – smeared with dirt, sweat and blood.
He leaned over me and growled, “Some guts, some glory – makes a girl all dead and gory!” Then he laughed again.
My fear was so intense that I couldn’t even scream anymore. I could only shudder and weep as my teeth chattered.
When he raised the scythe above his head I realized that I could see right through him, to the chains above me.
In that split second I wondered to myself, “Could this be a hallucination or even a residual haunting?!”
With that thought I quickly opened my mouth and yelled, “YOU’RE DEAD! YOU’RE ALL DEAD!”
He froze on the spot with the scythe still raised in the air while his red eye opened wide with anger and indignation.
He roared, “I AM THE HANGMAN! YOU ARE MY VICTIM! YOU FELL INTO MY WEB AND NOW YOU DIE!”
I heard the other voices laugh and repeat his last statement, “NOW YOU DIE! NOW YOU DIE!” over and over.
Growing bolder, I yelled again, “YOU CAN’T HURT ME! YOU’RE DEAD! ALL OF YOU! THIS ISN'T REAL.” Then I felt the shackles fall.
I was shocked when he brought the scythe down hard on my neck as his eye twitched ferociously.
At first, I felt that my throat was terribly constricted, but then I realized that it was simply mind over matter.
For some reason, I began to laugh hysterically, which infuriated the Hangman and the voices in the shed.
He lifted the scythe again and began striking me many times, which only made me laugh louder and harder.
Then he strode over to the wall and chose another weapon, which was a huge Bowie knife with a broken handle.
I leapt off the table and confronted him with a surge of energy that seemed to come from nowhere.
Somehow I knew to scream, “GO BACK TO HELL AND TAKE YOUR ARMY WITH YOU!”
He roared for the last time and finally disappeared in a cloud of black smoke as the other voices screamed in horror.
All of a sudden I realized that everything was back to normal! The shed was messy and full of old farm equipment.
I raced outside and met up with my friends who said they’d heard me shouting. They thought I had lost my mind!
Facing a monster and his army of invisible tormentors brought forth a side of me I never knew existed, although I really believed that I was about to die.
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