While many people flock to Florida to enjoy their white, sandy beaches, there is no denying that the sunshine state has many lush parks scattered throughout the state.
One of those parks is the Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park in Keystone Heights. Gold Head consists of over two thousand acres of lakes, sand dunes and lush marshes, home to thousands of different species of animals and insects.
Academic Studies in Keystone Heights
For insect lovers, the state park is a great location to study different kinds of bugs in their natural habitat. Gordon (Name changed for privacy), a Florida State University student, had heard about the diverse wildlife at the park and decided to spend his spring break exploring the area, with his camera and notebook in hand.
“I’ve completed a couple of successful internships, but it shows true dedication to future employers when you spend your vacation time looking for bugs under rocks,” he laughed, running a hand through his shaggy brown hair.
“Anyway, I spent a few days at the park, recording my observations and taking pictures. The first day I was there, everything seemed normal—the weather was perfect, and I managed to see dozens and dozens of insects. But the following morning things started to get a little strange,” he said, a frown beginning to form on his youthful face.
“It started with a nosebleed first thing in the morning. I never get nosebleeds, but all the same, I didn’t find the incident particularly alarming. As the morning progressed, I started feeling an immense pressure behind my eyes…the beginnings of a migraine.
“I decided to crawl into my tent and sleep it off for a couple hours. But when I was asleep I dreamt I was inside the body of something evil, looming down to look at me while I slept. I woke up in a cold sweat, frantically looking around my tent.
“I didn’t see anybody, but I couldn’t help but feel like someone really had been in my tent with me. I spent the rest of the day trying to remind myself of just how unlikely that was. I ventured a couple miles from my campsite, all the while looking behind me to make sure I wasn’t being followed.
“I kept feeling watched,” he shuddered. “That night, I had the same dream, and when I woke up in the morning, I saw that a huge rent had been torn into the side of my tent, right near where my head had been.
Demons in the Dark
“I left the tent early that day, trying to lose myself in my work. But as I wandered, I became convinced that I was hearing a strange, dare I say demonic-sounding snorting that never seemed very far from me, no matter where I went. I got so freaked out, I kept turning to look behind me.
“And that’s when another nose bleed began. I fled back to my tent, and crawled under my sleeping bag as if I was nine years old again. As I trembled under the blankets, I heard that snorting noise again, slowly circling my tent.
“I was afraid I was going to die,” he whispered. “I don’t know what it was in Keystone Heights, but it scared the living hell out of me.”