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I went to college in the middle of nowhere in the southern mountains. The closest city was over an hour away and our little town just had the essentials like a post office and a Walmart. Because of this we had to get more creative when we were bored. And through our means of entertaining ourselves I’ve developed a collection of, well, odd stories.

The campus is very forested and they try to take advantage of that by adding some hiking trails. I’ve been up and down a couple and they’re no joke but I had a few, more adventurous friends. They would often start off on the trails and then whenever they felt like it they would wander off. Sometimes, they found some really cool stuff and always took pictures to document.

One time, they went off the trail and ended up finding a half buried well. They took lots of pictures and took their time uncovering it, but the weird part came on their way back. They claim they left the same way as they came in but on their way back part of the forest had chicken feet hanging from the branches. If you stood in the middle of where they were hung it probably spanned a 30-foot radius and they were fairly densely hung too, at least one on every reachable limb. They said that they were only at the well a couple of hours and that they didn’t believe one person could’ve hung all of the feet in that time. The two of them stayed long enough to get pictures and video, verify the feet were real, then got the fuck out of there. I asked them about it and all the said was that they thought they may have been on someone’s property and that they will never go back.

I looked up everything I could about chicken feet being hung from trees but all I could find were some voodoo rituals about using them as protection charms. It’s not something I will ever understand but after living in this area for years I know better than to fuck around with voodoo or someone who believes in it that strongly.

Sadly, I don’t have the pictures of this incident anymore; if I can manage to get in touch with one of them I’ll see if they still have any.

Another time, some friends and I decided to go look for a local landmark but by the time we left to go find it, it was already getting dark. Now, this landmark already had some paranormal stories attached to it including some Native American lore and even some alien encounter stories, but my story isn’t anything like those. It was supposed to be about a 20-minute drive but I no longer trust anything my GPS tells me. It was 20 minutes before we got to a ten-mile-long dirt road that was only narrow enough for one car. In short, if we had met another person going the opposite direction we would’ve been screwed. No one could tell what was on either side of the road due to the fact that the sun had fully set at this point. There were trees all around us and when you opened the window you could kind of hear what sounded like a river. This led us to believe the land beside us probably dropped off into a gully.

About five miles in we started seeing private property signs and were praying for there to be somewhere to turn around. We had long given up on finding this landmark. After about two miles on this road we realized my GPS thought we were somewhere else. Also, if there were private property signs we must have gone the wrong way. Everyone in the car was a little nervous at this point as a result of being lost on such a treacherous road, but we tried to mask it by turning the music up louder.

We eventually made it to where my GPS said the road ended but in person that wasn’t the case. Up ahead the trees cleared a bit, and to the right was an old barn that was miraculously still standing despite appearing half rotten. The whole barn and clearing was surrounded by a tall chain-link fence that came all the way up to the road. The combination of an old, rustic barn and heavy-duty chain link fence gave off a weird vibe. Like they didn’t want someone getting in, or something getting out. We all watched the barn as we passed. Other than the private property signs it was the only man-made thing we had seen in almost ten miles.

“I think I saw someone,” one of my friends, G, in the back seat spoke up above the music.

“Dude, don’t mess with us right now,” I called back, playfully.

“Nah, I’m not kidding. There was someone at the barn.”

I was in the passenger’s seat and turned around. I looked him dead in the eyes and shook my head. The last thing we needed was people to be freaking out. Because if someone lived this far off the beaten path they sure as hell didn’t want a bunch of college kids in a shiny car disturbing them at this time of day.

The car clunked over a mound of rocks in the road that couldn’t be missed if we tried. You could hear the stones scraping across the bottom of the car; my friend driving, cringed. The sedan pushed on and didn’t seem to have anything broken, yet. Having a low riding car was fun when drifting around the parking lot of a KFC but not so much when you’re in fear of bottoming out in the middle of nowhere.

My GPS made an alert tone and I looked down to see the message: “GPS Signal Lost”. It had obviously misrouted so it wasn’t much of a loss overall. Though, it did mean that I didn’t have any phone signal to call for help if we got stuck.

I showed it to the people sitting in the back.

“I think we are officially in the middle of nowhere.”

Everyone checked their phones and they were all in the same boat, no signal whatsoever. At least we had stayed on the same road for probably half an hour, so we couldn’t really get any more lost than we were. Up ahead we could see the trees clearing again and another barn similar to the one before. This one wasn’t surrounded by metal fencing but it was kind of up on a hill so trying to turn around would’ve been risky. As we neared the building we spotted another barn and some fences out in the distance. Next to the rickety structures sat a car that looked so decrepit it probably couldn’t run and behind the first two barns was a building that may have sufficed as a house. The road did continue on further but there was a sign posted that read “Authorized Vehicles Only” or something along those lines. The road seemed even darker than the rest of the area and was even narrower than what we were currently on.

Had it been day time, or had we had a car better suited for the road, or had we been a little braver, we may have continued down that road since we were already trespassing we may as well continue breaking the law but it was without question at this point that we turn around and go back. We all nervously watched the buildings, almost in fear that someone would come out guns blazing. It was without question that if someone lived in these buildings that they had a whole arsenal of weapons. The thought did cross my mind, that with no signal and no one else knowing where we were, if we died out here, we might never be found.

As soon as we were turned around the driver stepped on the gas. Tires spun dirt and gravel as we tried to get out as fast as we could. When we neared the first barn and the pile of rocks that tore up the bottom of the car we slowed down. One of my friends, H, suggested that she could go move some of the rocks to try to save the car. We could see the barn from where we were and after what G had said the first time, we were all curious but scared of it too.

“No one is getting out of this car until we are off this road,” the driver snapped at her and drove over the pile of rocks. We all held our breath and prayed that the car still ran because the idea of getting stuck out here with no signal, in front of this creepy barn was worse than a nightmare.

“I didn’t see anyone that time,” G commented as we passed the building but that didn’t make any of us feel better.

Two of the people sitting in the back were trying to distract themselves on their phones. G leaned forward and spoke quietly.

“Did you guys see that?”

“Don’t,” the driver snapped.

The three of us did see it though. The road straightened out for a while and a pair of headlights were visible for a split second behind us before the ensuing car turned them off or slowed down. The vehicle behind us obviously didn’t want to be seen. I’m not sure how long it followed us for, or when it started, or where it came from but for the rest of the road I tried to pretend it wasn’t there.

We were almost free from the road when H let out a blood-curdling scream. The driver slammed on the breaks and looked back at her. She looked at him with big, sad eyes and said, “You ran over a frog.”

That lightened the mood and we eventually made it off that godforsaken road. We never saw that car again and I don’t think we ever told the other two about it. We stopped at a church that was at the end of the road and had a street light in the parking lot. Everyone got out and made sure the car wasn’t leaking or about to fall apart or anything.

My friends and I never did go find that landmark. I asked other people who had gone and seen it though. I think we missed a turn because they said it was only about a quarter mile down a dirt road. I’ve given up on my GPS now.

I recently tried to find the road on Google Maps to see if it actually leads to anywhere interesting. I think I found it but it’s unmarked. You can only see it if you have satellite images on and you can occasionally see it as a path in the woods. It would be the perfect place to hide something you don’t want found and the people up there probably didn’t have an address. My best guess is that they were moonshiners or meth cooks or something.

If you guys are interested I can try to see if my friends still have pictures of the chicken feet. Most of them were sent over Snapchat though and I didn’t think to screenshot them at the time. And if you have any thoughts on the purpose of hanging chicken feet let me know because I never found a real answer.

Written by Savvythenobody
Content is available under CC BY-SA