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I was hiking in the woods the other day near my house. It was nearly dusk because it was a hot summer day and I wanted to hike when it was a bit cooler during the extremely late afternoon.

I’d forgotten to bring my cellphone with me, and when I realized I didn’t have it on me, I’d figured it wouldn’t be a big deal. Because I wouldn’t be in the woods for too long. Plus I would stay strictly on the path I’d known as the back of my hand so I wouldn’t get lost.

A few minutes into following the trail, I encountered a young woman. She told me that her sister was stuck on something just a few hundred feet off the trail. She asked if I could help her pull her out. I agreed obviously and began to follow her toward where her sister was. I kept following and following for a couple of minutes. Then I slowly began to realize she was walking farther and farther away from me the more we kept walking.

This was strange since she didn’t seem to walk faster than me. Yet still, we kept widening the gap between us. I called out to her to slow down. She gave no response. I called her out again to slow down a bit louder this time and yet she still ignored me. I yelled at her to stop, yet she still gave me no answer.

I begin to bolt toward her. Try to grab her and make her stop. At the same time, she began to run away from me and deeper into the forest. I desperately tried to catch up to her, but it was to no avail. I shortly lost her and desperately began to call out to her. I ran frantically in any direction I could think of that she might have gone to. In a few short moments, while I was running, I bumped into something, something big.

I got knocked back on my rear and saw something that would haunt me for the rest of my days. There right in front of me. I saw a tall man. But there was something different about him. Something uncanny. Something unnerving about him. He was probably seven feet tall at least.

He had arms that looked too long for a normal person. He also had a face that looked like a normal human face at first. However, when you took a closer look at him it looked wrong somehow. It was just something that I really can’t explain. But I can tell that something was definitely wrong. What scared me the most about him were his eyes. They seemed to pierce into my soul every time I stared at them.

I hesitantly got up and asked the tall man if he’d seen a young woman recently. He’d didn’t answer my question for a few agonizing and nerve-wracking moments. Then he said in a deep and unnerving voice “You should turn back.” I didn’t understand what he meant by this. I asked him what he meant and where the woman had gone.

He didn’t answer for a few more moments until he pointed toward the way I came from. I asked again what he meant by his answer and where the woman was and again, he pointed the way I came from. This happened several times over and I got frustrated and walked past him. I then walked along the trail for a few moments until I stopped dead in my tracks once I saw it.

On the bottom of the cliff below me was a dead body. But it wasn’t any dead body. It was the dead body of the woman I was following before a few moments ago. I stood frozen like a statue and began to slowly walk away from the scene.

I turned around and saw the tall man staring blankly at me. He then began to reach his long gangly hand toward me. I bolted out of there as soon as I could and refused to look back or slow down until I thankfully got home. I immediately called the police about the dead body I just found and where I thought it was.

A few days later, after the police found the body and interrogated me about what happened that late afternoon, they found the body was that of Rachel Matthewson, a 26-year-old woman. She had gone missing a day before I found the body. They’d ruled her death as an accident caused by her slipping off the edge of the cliff and breaking her neck during the impact of when she hit the ground.

I’d asked the investigators that if there was anybody else with her when she died. They’d said no. They told me according to her roommate she would daily hike in the woods on her own and that the day she went missing didn’t seem to be different than any other day she went hiking.

I then asked that if she had a twin sister and or some tall guy she knew. They said she was an only child and she didn’t know any tall man that I’d just described to them. They also tested me to see if I was on any alcohol or drugs at the time I found the body, because of how unbelievable and far fetched my story seemed to be. Thankfully the results came out all negative. Still, they seemed to be skeptical about what I said. I really don't blame them either. I would be skeptical too if I heard this story from some random stranger I just met.

Still, I’m just glad that it’s all over. And that Rachel’s family can put her body to rest and start emotionally healing from this personal tragedy. Though sometimes during the night, I see a vague tall dark figure standing near my house.