We all get spooked at one time or another. As a writer, I draw on personal experience when writing creepy scenes. They stick out in my mind and I can remember exactly how I felt at the time. The tension, the thumping heart, feeling so frightened I barely dare to breathe.
On one such occasion I had been out partying with a friend. I lived with my parents at the time and she was staying over. We didn’t leave the club until late and short on money, had to get the cab we’d caugh…t to drop us about a mile and a half from my home.That mile and a half was down a deserted wooded road, not at all dissimilar to the one in the picture.
It was about 3am and there was no traffic at all and I remember it was a windy night; the breeze rattling through the trees, leaves shaking and twigs snapping, making it sound as though there was something hidden amongst the branches watching us.We walked dead centre of the road, not wanting to get too close to the woods on either side, pretending to be brave, but both of us spooked and on edge. As we headed out of the woods and into my village, I remember feeling relief. We were back on safe ground and only a few minutes walk away from home.As we neared the turnoff that led down to my house, a figure stepped out into the road. He was close enough to distinguish as male, though his features were unclear, and he just stood there in the middle of the road staring at us.
I remember we both clocked him at the same time, froze to the spot and my legs turned to jelly.It was late. No one was supposed to be about and we had to go past him to get to my house.Those few seconds – and I am sure they were only seconds, even though they felt like an hour at the time – were completely terrifying.
Eventually he turned and walked to the side of the road, disappearing into the small enclosed bus shelter on the edge of the village green. Out of sight, but still there and we still had to get past him.
Slowly we crept along. Stupid, as he knew we were approaching, but we clung to each other, barely daring to breathe, let alone talk. Instead of passing the front of the bus shelter, we decided to cut around the back of it. We did so, constantly watching in case the man to reappear.
He did, just as we had passed the shelter, stepping out onto the green in our direction. All I remember from that point was both of us running and not stopping until we reached the safety of my front door.
Who was he? I don’t know to this day. My guess is he was probably a tramp and we had disturbed his sleep when he heard us approaching.
Regardless of whether or not he meant us any harm, it was still one of the most scary experiences of my life and I have never and will never go walking in the woods in the middle of the night again.