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Old Cabin on Old Boonesboro Road

Posted on August 19, 2011

Growing up wild and wooly the way I did meant that my friends were few and far between, but they were each one precious to me. Two of my very best friends were Bill and Willie, and truer better friends there weren’t on the planet. Bill was our leader, he of the old and beautiful Jeep truck, his blond head set at more than 6 feet above the ground, on his broad country shoulders.

Next was Willie, the cowboy, the clown, the bronc rider. Willie was as tough as they came, and as good. He often led us into a situation that Bill tried to get us out of, and often as not failed to do so. Willie is the genius behind our VW scandal that must never be talked about. He snored loudly and chewed tobacco.

Bills Father, after months of begging and wheedling by the three of us, finally gave to Bill the old cabin set back from the road along the river front. In summer the river ran sluggishly and dipped from its spring highs, but not always. The summer of my story the river ran high and fast from several thunderstorms and it was choked in places with drifting trees and timbers. Mr. Reese often gave us the hairy eyeball when he found out what we were up to, and he always seemed to find out what we were up to. He suspected us I’m sure for our interest in the old cabin, but he never said so directly, and would find us when we were out and about, invariably showing up at our most embarrassing time, as when Willie was riding a neighbors ostrich.

Old Boonesboro Road

Mr. Reese’s only stipulation to the cabin was that we clean it, remove all the old furniture and trash, set the broken windows and doors to right and clear the brush away. Happily we all agreed, but I knew that most of the work would fall to me as my dad was the carpenter with the tools, and I the one who could borrow them. No we didn’t trust Willie with the bush hook, he got a little carried away sometimes with edged instruments. That weekend, just 3 weeks before the start of their senior and my junior year, we gathered our tools, camping supplies and as many munchies and sodas as we could afford. I mean I could afford, I was the money guy you see, and I had the dubious honor of being our ‘club’ treasurer, mostly I loaned them money and listened to their stories of woe when the ticket came due.

The morning we started was a sweltering mid Kentucky in late July morning, a cicada morning, and as we drove down to the cabin on Old Boonesboro road the mist got heavier the closer we got to the cabin. In those days, the early early 80′s, traffic was light and there were no lights along that road, so over grown with Oak and Ash and Maple that we seemed to be driving down a shadowy green tunnel. Willie of course started the ghost stories and just kept them up that whole long day. Upon arrival at the turn off to the cabin Bill pulled over and stopped, tuning to Willie he told him to shut up or he’d have to sleep outside, for we had planned to clean one room of the old cabin and ‘homestead’ there for the weekend working long hours and getting ready for next weekend when we had plans to invite the girls over for ‘roughing’ it. Ha.

Daniel Boone National Forest

The Daniel Boone National Forest grew so thick around that cabin that we almost ran into the old out house before we figured we were there, Bill cursing and calling everyone names, spooked as it were by little Willies spooky tales. We unloaded and got to work, swimming in the eddy just down from the cabin along a sand bar. We did finally manage to get the ‘kitchen’ cleaned enough to set up our hammocks and Willies Fathers old Army cot. The hard work had been to keep Bill from killing Willie for swinging the bush hook so wildly that he cut completely through one of the rotten porch roof support columns. We managed to pull enough timbers off of the boarded up windows to scab on a fix for the column, but that left us vulnerable to the night animals, raccoons rats and owls. All in all it was one of the best days of my life.

Earlier in the day I’d gone up to the single upstairs room and excavated through the garbage and broken furniture hoping to find someone’s old toy or even money. What I found was a bunch of old books, moldering and animal chewed, but mostly OK enough to read. The temperature upstairs in the loft was scorching, the air so heavy that it seemed I had to breath through a wet rag, and I heard that awful groan, like some huge animal in immense pain, and it kept rising in volume and timbre until I felt it was in the room with me. Bill called up to me and told me to come down and look at the tree in the river, breaking my stunned silence and recalling me to myself. Forgetting that I held the old book in my hand I gladly bolted down the stairs and out the back, spooked.

Willie and Bill stood on the bank just short of the old pier and Bill pointed out to me the old deadwood tree that had risen up from the bottom, no doubt due to the heavier rains and rushing water. As it tried to twist around another floating timber it brushed up against the pilings of the old pier and made that horrendous moaning I had heard upstairs. As it finally came free around the other timber we could see that it was mostly hollow, adding no doubt to the resonance and volume of that monstrous noise. I laughed at myself and told them what I’d heard upstairs and that I’d almost peed my pants, an unusual admission with that group as any admittal to any kind of weakness was grounds for extensive and thorough ribbing.

Daniel Boone National Forest

Believing that our day was over we moved on into the cabin, popped open our sodas, a local brew called Ale81, and congratulated ourselves on our day of extreme physical labor. For my part the day had been exhausting, as I’d been the one to clear out most of the debris with the wheel barrow while my ‘compatriots’ argued about who was going to actually do what. Then I’d had to stop and fix the porch column, then the out house door hinges and then… needless to say I was whipped when they finally broke out the camp stove, hot dogs and baked beans, so I set up my hammock and left the chefs to argue about who was going to cook.

We sat up long into the night, telling our stories and talking about our favorite movies, the old book I’d brought downstairs left forgotten on the ancient shelf, until I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any more and drifted off to sleep, content, full of beans and too much sugary soda. When I came to myself it seemed that I was being held down in my hammock by an invisible force, no feeling of hands upon me just an inability to move, and I tried to move. I looked around the cabin and saw Bill in his hammock, his arms draped over the side and his face turned away from me, the atmosphere seemed crystal clear as though I looked through a slight magnification so that every detail was perfect and crisp. A slight tingle began along my spine, and by the time it reached the top of my head it was a strong current of electricity that arched my back and forced my tongue from between my grimacing lips. The old cabin room faded from my vision and a new scene, hazy in the background but clear in the foreground jumped into my sight. Before me stood a tall man dressed in the uniform of a confederate officer, with mutton chops and moustache, his left hand resting upon the shoulder of a woman with black hair, dressed in the hoop skirt of a bygone era, a fan in her left hand and her right hand resting on her seated thigh.

The pain from the electricity or energy was getting worse and I could feel myself arching and shaking, so bad in fact that I feared falling out of the hammock. The pain itself though was driving me into unconsciousness, so I did the only thing I could think of to do, I started trying to use the self hypnosis that my best friend Patrick had been teaching me, slowing your breathing forcing the muscles to relax, and telling yourself to see the darkness, be the darkness. In an instant the electricity was gone and I found my self able to see the room again, but the feeling of being held down still pervaded along with a feeling of being watched, and it scared me badly.

In a few minutes the pressure let up and the feeling of some one’s eye’s on me left as well, but I was still too frightened to move much, however when I looked to the left to see if Willie or Bill had noticed anything I saw that Willie was gone and Bill was on the floor under his hammock fast asleep. I stood up and went to the door, finding it open I looked out to the truck and there was Willie, sitting up in the cab, windows closed fast asleep. I woke Bill and we went out and got Willie, who said that he wasn’t going back into the cabin thank you very much, he’d just sleep in the truck. Bill of course denied seeing or hearing anything, and he’d lain on the floor because the hammock kept shifting he said, though he’d checked the fasteners at least twice.

I never went back to the old cabin, and was told years later upon my return from the mid-east that Bills Father had died and left everything to him and his Mom, who’d had the cabin torn down and sold the land. To this day I think about that night, wondering what actually happened, and if maybe I’d been asleep the whole time? But if that were the case then why did Willie sleep in the truck? He never told us and wouldn’t talk at all about that night.

Sent in by Mike Moore, Copyright 2011

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Tags: Kentucky, Sleep Paralysis

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One Response to “Old Cabin on Old Boonesboro Road”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Great story….makes me wish I could have experienced the entire day with you and your buddies.

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