Late one October day I was hunting high up Green Mountain. I had found a nice oak shelf to sit on. One that let me look out over the whole valley to the East. Between two giant oaks was a nice table sized rock and I plopped right up on it.
I sat there for about an hour just watching the squirrels.
Blue jays would call through the trees.
As the afternoon wore on I thought about which way the deer might come from and on how funny a squirrel looks running around for acorns. I mean did he act like that on purpose so I wouldn’t shoot him? And the few that did notice me barked and flashed their tails. Like that would help their cause.
When the sun started dropping behind the mountain, the shadows and evening chill moved up towards me. I hadn’t seen or heard any deer so I started thinking about calling it a day. But, I never could just leave, I always had to wait until I knew light was gone and there was no chance of seeing anything before I headed home. Since the air was sinking down the mountain I turned to watch that direction.
As I looked up through the oaks into the thicker trees I saw movement and my pulse quickened.
It was no deer. Down the ridge an old man in faded overalls and felt hat moved like he’d walked that ridge a thousand times.
Well, that did it for me, no chance of a deer now.
I was surprised at first to see another person but realized he was probably like me and headed down the mountain to head home. He must have been up there all day.
I whistled to let him know I was there and when I did, he turned his head and met me eye to eye. I threw a hand up and he just tossed his head at me. He angled towards me and I turned to watch him ease down the mountain. He wasn’t hunting, he had no gun. That made me wonder what he was doing up here just walking around. He eased to a stop next to the rock and leaned against the tree.
I looked at him closely trying to figure who he was, I told him my name and asked if he was headed to the house.
“No!” he replied, “I’m heading down to the river to try and get some help!”
“Whats you name old timer? You call the police? You need an ambulance?”
He looked at me strange, like he was seeing me for the first time.
“Police? Ambulance? My names Wallace, Henry Wallace.” He replied.
My first thought was this old man has lost his mind. Up here on the mountain and not a clue about where he really was.
“You need help? We can walk down to my house and call? Where you live?” I said.
“Call? You can yell louder than me boy!”
“I got a small spot on top there but they burnt us out last night and I’ve been hiding most of the day until I decided to make a break for it!” He answered.
“You house burnt? Wait! Who burnt your house and what are you hiding for?”
He had to be out of his mind for sure I thought. Poor old man.
“What are you talking about boy? Where’s you people at?” he rattled off real quick.
“Come to think of it, what kind of rifle you totting there?”
“People? A Remington, you sure you’re not hurt, maybe hit your head or something?”
As I said this, he eased off the tree and angled his body a little and stared back up the ridge. Something was really wrong with this old man.
“Naw, I aint hit my head boy and we aint got time to be standing around here swapping stories. We got to get moving. I dropped my rifle!”
“Dropped it where?“ I asked.
He just pointed up the mountain.
I figured there was no need to argue, so I decide to walk him down to the truck and call the police and get him some help.
As I jumped down from the rock, he looked like I had lost my mind.
“Why don’t you just ring a bell boy!” He hissed.
I started walking but he stood there.
As I turned he said, “If you’re stomping off here, I’ll walk my own way. You loud enough to hear a mile off!”
I stood there and motioned for him to go first then.
He eased past me without a sound. I wondered how many years this man had moved thru these woods.
He’d walk twenty or thirty yards then pause against a tree and listen. I decided to not say anything to agitate him. I figured to just appease him until we got out of here.
As we neared the tree line at the bottom, he turned and looked up the ridge again. This time, I could see terror in his eyes. I looked to where he was staring and couldn’t believe what I was looking at.
Standing up above us was about 20 men, lined all along the last ridge we had just came off of. But these men, well, they looked like Indians I’d only seen on television. Im talking leggings, paint, bows, spears.
They stood stone still and silent.
As I stood watching the ridge, the old man yelled from behind me to run and took off.
I turned to see what he was doing and as he started to clear the trees into the field he faded into nothing with his scream echoing from nowhere.
I couldn’t understand or believe what was going on.
I stood there, staring at an empty field, in total shock.
Coming off the ridge behind me now was the most chilling screams I’d ever heard. I turned just in time to see one of those guys running right at me.
He had a lance raised and was heading right for me. I would like to tell you I raised my rifle to defend myself but I didn’t. I ran. Ran like I never had before.
Just as I was about to clear the tree line, I felt a cold pain in my back and lost my breath. The spear must have found me.
As I spun around and fell into the field, I could see him running towards me and sure enough his hand was empty. Just like the old man, though, as soon as he started to clear the tree line, he faded with only the yells echoing.
I lay there for a while assuming it was the end as the others started moving silently down towards me. I was trying to sort in my mind what was happening. Laying there in the edge of the field with what felt like ice in my back just looking up the ridge. But, just like the other two, as soon as those guys tried to pass the tree line they just faded into nothing.
I’ve never hunted up on that mountain again, nor will I.
Ive thought about that day a lot since then.
Read books on haunted places, tried to find out if a Henry Wallace ever even existed. Hoping to prove to myself that I wasn’t crazy.
After months of searching at the County library I found records from the 1830 census listing:
Henry Wallace Head of Household farmer 62 Born NC
Elizebeth Wallace Wife housewife 60 Born NC
But never another record after that time.
I’ve had friends drive up there right at dark and they sat in the back of that field and watched that tree line. Most never go back twice and none ever crack jokes about me after they go. Usually the subject never comes up again. They don’t tell me what they saw and I don’t ask.
I tell you this, I was changed that day. I’ve never stepped foot into the woods again and doubt I ever will.
But if you’re willing to risk it, you can go there yourself and sit in that field to this day. I won’t guarantee you’ll see anything but I will guarantee I aint going with you!