The month was October, which is a wonderful time to be in the western Massachusetts woods. It was a period of colorful transition and the state’s many different hunting seasons had just begun. My friend and I had planned to scout a area for the upcoming shot gun deer hunting season. The area we chose was Mt. Greylock state forest, and here is what took place on that day:
A friend and I made the long drive to Lanseborough, MA late in the morning to walk a couple of the wooded trails on Mt. Greylock. Our purpose for the trip was to ascertain the best areas to hunt for deer. Upon our arrival, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The sky above was blue and the temperatures unseasonably warm. Also, to our surprise, there was not another (human) soul in sight.
We hiked along a number of different trails and found some promising areas for hunting. Eventually we came upon a clearing decided to stop and take a rest. This is when I noticed that the surrounding landscape had fallen silent.
The animals in the woods had ceased to move about, as if danger was approaching. My friend noticed I was scanning the woods and asked “What’s the matter?” I told him about the lack of movement in the woods, which usually foreshadows some kind of threat. My first concern was that it could be a mountain lion, or maybe a bear. But I could not hear anything moving.
A couple of tense minutes passed before I suggested we start making our way back to the truck. Without hesitation, we began making our exit. I can’t be sure how far we had traveled before my friend stopped in his tracks. Wide eyed and clearly fearful he asked me “what the hell is that?” The object of his gaze was a grungy-looking, strangely-clad man babbling to himself. His speech was peppered with occasional loud outbursts, and it was clear he was unaware of our presence. His clothes resembled those from photos of the civil war era. The pants were made of wool held up by suspenders. He wore a white long-sleeved shirt that had seen neither soap nor water for a good long while.
My friend and I stood there, unable to move, as this anachronous stranger passed forty or so feet away and then disappeared. Now – to be clear – I am not saying we lost sight of him behind a tree, or he passed into a shadow and thus out of our view. I am saying that he seemed to instantly dematerialize.
I have no idea how much time had passed before my friend spoke, but it had to have been a few minutes. Most of the actual verbiage is unfit for print, but it added up to a clear expression of dumbfounded disbelief. After a few stunned moments, my friend and I regained our composure and made tracks. I noticed that the animals in the woods had resumed their former activities, as if nothing strange occurred. We did not stop walking until we arrived at our truck. We quickly jumped in and left, though we could not so easily escape the residual vibes from our experience.
As you may have guessed, neither of us returned to the area, nor have we relayed this story to anyone else until now. But some research has turned up other accounts of similar experiences in and around the same area. Each instance is different – sometimes the apparition actually confronts people and other times he is witnessed observing passers by.
It seems we were not the only ones to come into contact with this apparition from the distant past.