In the early years of my career as a Pediatric Nurse, I thoroughly enjoyed healing and helping young children. As time went by, I became increasingly troubled and dismayed with the sadder cases and occasional deaths. After a particularly sad case, I reached a point where I wondered if I could continue with my career choice.
My Supervisor told me to take a break before deciding whether or not to resign, seeing as I was already burnt out. I booked a cabin in the woods and my friend Stacey came along for a fun, two-week vacation – just the girls! It didn’t take long for us to settle in, cooking hotdogs over the open fire and drinking homemade margaritas.
On the third morning, I woke up around four thirty a.m. and decided to take my coffee out to the back deck. Watching the sun rising over the mountains helped rejuvenate my spirit, so I ventured into the forest for a walk. I loved the scent of spruce and pine as I walked along the path, stopping occasionally to pick up pebbles and leaves.
I froze when I heard giggling coming from the trees
The laughter sounded like several children and for a moment I wondered if I’d stumbled on someone’s property. I called out, “Who’s there?” but no one answered. I continued strolling and for a while, the woods stayed silent.
Soon I began to sense a presence, which became more than one, as the giggling started up along with many footsteps. I spun around and moved off the path, racing through the trees trying to find out who was following me. The laughter was spirited and obviously coming from children running through the forest, playing hide and seek.
For a moment, I got caught up in the fun of it, calling out to the children and laughing along with them as I ran. When I broke through to a clearing, I was surprised to find that I was on my own, never once seeing them. I stepped into the meadow and looked up to feel the warm rays of sunshine on my face, until I heard the chuckles.
This time the laughter was more menacing and my hackles rose as I realized that I might’ve been in danger. I retraced my steps and went back into the forest, doing my best to find my way as the laughter followed me. Then I stopped in my tracks. Several small hands wrapped themselves around the trunk of a tree right in front of me.
I took a few steps back and saw some of the other trees being hugged by small hands but I couldn’t see the children. The giggling reached fever pitch as something was thrown directly at my head, making me duck and scream in fear.
When I looked down I saw that it was a pine cone. I stood up and started to run away from the hands on the trees. No matter how much I dodged, the pine cones continued to be thrown at me while the evil laughter continued.
Every time I turned around to try and see the children, all I saw were flying pine cones and hands around the trees. I finally reached the path and ran for all I was worth on my way back to the cabin, not stopping until I saw it.
Out of breath and freaking out, I turned around at the edge of the forest and heard many little voices whispering. Stacey came out and asked what I was doing and why I was out of breath. Trembling, I pointed to the forest.
“I was just attacked by children. They threw pine cones at me!” Stacey laughed loudly and gave me a hug.
I couldn’t convince Stacey about the ghost children
After going over the event with Stacey several times, she continued to tell me that I’d imagined the whole thing. She reasoned that the stress from my job was what instigated the whole hallucination, but I didn’t believe it. The next day I managed to talk her into going into the forest with me, so she agreed and brought a picnic lunch.
It annoyed me that she wasn’t taking me seriously and I was even more ticked off that the ghosts didn’t appear. We spent several hours walking and after we ate our lunch, we wandered back to the cabin in peace. I started to wonder if I had hallucinated the attack, so I set off the following day making sure that I had my phone.
As I slowly walked down the path, I felt the familiar sensation of being followed and soon heard the giggling. I yelled out, “Show yourselves!” and held my phone up to try and capture the voices, then took a few pictures. When I played the audio back there was no evidence of the laughter and the pictures only showed the trees.
I was shaking but decided to continue on. It wasn’t long before the childish whispering started up, all around me. By this stage, my temper was growing thin and I yelled again and again as I stomped through the forest wildly. Half expecting more pine cones, I picked up a fallen branch and started whacking the trees in a terrible fury.
I screamed. “WHERE ARE YOU? SHOW YOURSELVES!” The chuckles and giggles grew louder as I raged and ran. Then I skidded to a stop when I saw a ghostly child step out from behind one of the trees, wearing a tattered dress. She had the look of a neglected child and I took pity, until she began to laugh and point to the space behind me.
I turned around and saw several hands wrapping around the trees, with small heads occasionally peeking out at me. They were transparent to the point of almost being invisible, as I could see the other trees and hands behind them. I was shocked to see more children stepping out from behind the trees, laughing and pointing in every direction.
They were all under the age of ten and dressed in rags, seemingly lost and forgotten as they continued taunting me. Screaming again, “WHAT DO YOU WANT?” I nearly fainted when a small boy with black eyes came over to me.
The chill coming off him froze my flesh and he reached his hand out, saying “We need a new Mommy!” At first, my heart sank as I knew that this would be impossible – unless I just happened to die and join the children!
With that thought, I was propelled into action and turned around to flee, but the ghost children had other plans. While I ran through the forest, many little footsteps charged after me and tiny hands grabbed at my arms and legs. Screams of terror and cries replaced the laughter of the children as they followed close behind, matching my speed.
Something told me that this was a message about my thoughts of changing my career, as much as I love children. They followed me all the way to the end of the forest and it took ages to shake off the feeling of their icy hands. I talked Stacey into leaving. I didn’t want to give the ghostly children a chance to lay their chilling hands on me and drag me into their haunted world.