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My first paranormal experience impacted me in ways I wouldn’t realize until years later. Several years ago, four friends and I went to the local McDonalds. My friends were all either pagan or atheist. I was the only Christian in the group, but I was not very devout at the time. We had just finished eating. As the evening went on, one of my buddies explained to us that there was a “portal” that needed to be closed at a nearby park. I asked him what he meant by “portal”, and he explained to me that he believed a gateway between our world and hell was open. At the time, I didn’t believe him. And although I did believe demons existed, I did not believe a portal was open. I thought this guy just wanted attention. So, I explained to the group that if we really were going to go, perhaps we should be better prepared. Every fiber of my being told me this was a stupid idea, but I left with them anyway. Despite feeling weary of this trip, I was extremely curious.
We got to the park as the sun was beginning to set, and we headed out towards the back of the park. In this area, there is a bridge that you have to cross to continue along the path. Everyone told me to be wary of the bridge because Satanists had drawn various symbols all along it. Aside from the awe everyone else felt and an occasional whispered muttering of, “Wow the energy is dark here,” not much else was happening. I didn’t really feel anything, but my guard stayed up. Deep in the back of my mind, though, I felt like I was the nonbeliever. I mean, why would there be demons running around the outskirts of a town this small? I had trouble wrapping my head around it. And, I knew better than to think a bunch of symbols put together would open a “portal”, if such a portal existed.
It was on our way back when the situation turned sideways. I heard my buddy Travis say, “Wait, stop. It’s here. Do you feel that?”
Then Tracy, my ex, exclaimed, “Oh my God. Yeah. Wait, what’s that?”
Tracy’s new boyfriend mumbled, “We’re surrounded. They’re all around us. Something bad is here.”
Great, I thought. Now I’m getting paranoid. I began to spin around, looking for any sign of danger, and as I circled back to my original stance, I saw it. Right across from me, against a tree, there was a creature with two yellow eyes. And it was smiling at me.
Have you ever seen the film Pumpkinhead? Think of a creature like that build, only its head wasn’t that large. And it wasn’t that tall. In fact, I wasn’t even sure how tall it was, considering it was hunched over and against the tree... as if to blend into it. The creature and the tree were the same color. I leaned in as I said to myself, no this is not... is it? Jesus, it’s not going away. It really is in front of me. A demon. Something deep in the pit of my soul told me this thing was evil. And despite thinking all my friends were naive and stupid, they were at least correct about something evil being here. And thinking back on this story, I’m surprised I didn’t consider punching someone in their face afterward for suggesting such a stupid trip. I looked away from the creature, and I couldn’t speak. I just looked forward, and then down. I started to hyperventilate and fell to my knees.
I began to pray as hard as I could. I don’t even remember exactly what I was saying, but I know it was something along the lines of, “Give me the strength to get out of here.” I stayed on the ground for what felt like several minutes.
Now, I want to put emphasis on what happened next, because never in my life had anything like this happened before. I went from zero to a hundred; zero being scared as hell, and a hundred being ready to punch the Boogeyman in the face. I prayed for strength, and strength came. I had never had so much of it. Coming out of nowhere in one of the most spiritually dangerous times of my life, I think God gave me this overwhelming amount of strength I can’t even begin to explain. I stood up and said, “We need to leave.”
I walked back towards our van, and my friends quickly followed behind, dumbfounded—asking me what happened.
So, what did happen? What was it? For years I would say, “It’s just a demon, and that’s that. Doesn’t matter what kind.” Which is partly true. But ever since deciding to write this, my fiancé has been studying my Pumpkinhead creature.
“Skinny arms and legs?” She asked.
“And what about the height? Was it tall?”
“Honestly...” I said, “It was hunched over so I’m not sure.”
“Why was it hunched over?”
“It was trying to blend in.”
“Like it was stalking?”
“I assume so.”
“Israel, you may have run into a Wendigo.”
At first, I laughed at the idea, but I did describe it like it was Pumpkinhead. And let’s face it, a Wendigo is accurate when describing the body, arms, legs, camouflage, and stalking behavior. A wendigo, like the demon Pumpkinhead, is very skinny, tall, and has a dark brown and black complexion. The Wendigo, in particular, is usually depicted as looking sickly, with its ribs revealing. The skin is thin and tight, constricting the bones underneath.
Now, let’s break this down. If it was a Wendigo, it would have most likely been a Wendigo spirit. In Native American folklore, a Wendigo spirit is a demon that influences and eventually possesses people, giving them the urge to eat human flesh, and turning them into a physical manifestation of a Wendigo. Then it spreads. But if that were true, we’d see a lot more Wendigos caught on camera. The infection spreads similar to that of werewolves. If a Wendigo exists at all, what I saw had to have been its spirit. If it had a body, I doubt we would have left the location unharmed, and at least one of us would have been mangled. Some would consider this as a sign of weak faith by stating this, but I don’t think so.
Let’s look at it this way. What would have stopped it from going around me and attacking someone else? Would my prayer for strength have kept this monster at bay? However, these are the options we are left with. It was either a Wendigo, Wendigo spirit, or a demon of another category. And because I haven’t seen vampires, werewolves, or other types of physical monsters, I’m going to say there isn’t any such thing as a physical Wendigo. Can it possess people? Yes. Can it make them cannibalistic? Depending on the severity of one’s condition during possession, yes. Can it cause them to change their body structure? Absolutely not. In every study I’ve done on demonic possession, I have never uncovered a body changing its shape and size. But what are demons anyway?
I hope you all enjoy this chapter from my upcoming book, Theories of a Paranormal Investigator. Everything in this book is real. It either happened to me or somebody close to me. This particular story happened when I was nineteen years old.