The Swamp Road Chronicles

 

"Tunnel of Trees"

 

I used to live on Watkins Road, which is very near Swamp Road. I lived there for 23 years. For many years I used to take a 3 mile walk every night when I got home from work. It would usually be about 11 pm when I would start out and about midnight when I made it back home. I always enjoyed walking at night. It was in the country, I saw very few cars; I was surrounded by forests and fields and very few homes.

 

I liked walking in the dark and I never carried a light. By walking in the dark you get to see things that you would not otherwise see. For example, in the fall you can see glow worms lining the edge of the road. Most people have heard of them but few have ever seen them. They are very small, about 1/4 inch in length. They are the larval stage of lightning bugs. They glow a pale green-yellow color. They don't flash off and on, they just shine continuously but dimly. You won't see them unless your eyes are accustomed to the dark.

 

I have seen the bluish glow coming off of high-power electric wires high above the road when it is raining or foggy. I've seen little balls of electrical energy jumping and zig-zagging across the ground on stormy nights. You can only see these things in the very dark. But, the thing that changed my life I was unable to see at all.

 

I left my house for my 3 mile walk about 11:30 one night, it was warm, clear skies and no wind. About 100 yards south of my home you enter into a "tunnel of trees"; the road is narrow and the canopy of the trees on both sides of the road arch over the road forming a very dark stretch for about one half of a mile. As I was walking I became aware of what sounded to me as if someone was walking behind me. I looked over my shoulder, but no one was there. I walked a little further and the sound persisted, so I stopped. I thought that, perhaps, I was hearing the echo of my own footsteps, but the sound of footsteps continued to come up behind me for 3 or 4 paces. I turned completely around and looked carefully, but no one was there.

 

I saw no reason to question my own senses- there was something walking behind me that I couldn't see. It was very dark, but not that dark. If a person or animal had been following me I would have been able to see it silhouetted against the lighter area behind it back at the entrance to the tunnel of trees. There was nothing there. I reasoned that it was about as tall as I was based on the length of its stride and I could tell it was two-legged. I also reasoned that if it wanted to it could have already attacked me, because it was invisible to me. I decided to walk on and see what happened. After I had taken 3 or 4 steps it started to walk also. It was obviously aware of me since it responded to my actions.

 

I had walked on for about 50 yards when I heard it turn to our left and proceed off of the road. I stopped to listen as it proceeded over the slight embankment that bordered the road on that side. I clearly heard it walk away out into the pasture there. It made not a sound except its footsteps, which is remarkable because it had to pass through a very dense hedge of briars, trees and vines as well as a braided steel fence that lined that side of the road. If I had tried to follow it I would have had a difficult time getting through all of that stuff and I would certainly have made a lot of noise while doing it. The entity passed through all of that without a sound.

 

I continued on with my 3 mile walk. When I came back through that tunnel of trees I was very alert, as you can imagine, watching and listening for anything that might happen. Nothing happened. I continued on home and went to bed. My wife was already asleep but I laid there for a while thinking about what I had experienced that night. After all, it's not every night one encounters an invisible entity.

 

It occurred to me, as I lay there thinking, that the being, what ever it was, had been trying to show me something. It had followed me at first, when I stopped, it stopped, when I walked, it walked. It had made me aware of its presence, perhaps for a reason.

 

Was it a spirit of a murder victim, trying to lead me a dead body? Maybe its own murdered body. Perhaps. I decided to investigate, however, though I am reasonably brave, I will not, all by myself, follow an invisible being out into an empty pasture after midnight. I decided that first thing in the morning I would go and see what I could find. Discretion is the better part of valor, someone once noted.

 

Early the next morning, I went down the road to the place I estimated it had gone off-road. But, there was no sign of a disturbance to that mass of vegetation to indicate that something had gone that way. I fought my way through, climbed over that fence and walked out into the pasture.

 

The pasture was not clear, there were briar patches here and there, a lot of small trees and places of high weeds. I walked out about 50 feet from the road looking for anything that was "out of the way". I didn't see anything, but after a few minutes I heard a cat meow. I followed the sound into a thicket where I found an old, rusty milk can without a top. The milk can was the type old dairy farmers would use to have their milk collected. It was about 2 1/2 feet tall. I looked inside and found a cat!

 

That cat had been inside of that can for a few days, I guessed, it was very weak, it was shivering and meowing piteously. It had apparently climbed into that can to explore and found itself trapped. The can had a smooth steel interior and if was half-filled with water. The cat could neither jump out of that narrow opening at the top of the can, because of the water, nor could it climb out because of the can's smooth, metal interior. It was trapped and very near death when I found it.

 

I took the cat back to my house, dried it well and gave it some warm milk. It fully recovered. It lived around the farm for several years after that. We called it 'Lucky'. That cat was more than just lucky, though. There was no chance for that cat to be saved. I had not been out into that pasture for months. I would not have found that old milk can in 100 years if I had not been led to it by an invisible, benevolent spirit.

 

I thought about this for a long time and have come to some conclusions. I ask you, what walks on 2 feet, is about 6 feet tall, is invisible and helps an animal in trouble? I have decided it was what we call an 'angel'. It is apparently a good spirit that resides in that section of forest and meadow. It did not have the ability to help the cat directly apparently, but it was able to direct my steps to a place I would never have gone to if not led. Perhaps it couldn't make itself visible to me; perhaps if I had seen it, the sight would have given me a coronary. In Ephesians 6, the Bible says that we are surrounded by invisible "princes and principalities"; I believe it to be so. Some are evil, some, apparently, are good. I pray that you only meet good ones when walking late at night by yourself near Swamp Road.

 

As submitted by Mort N. Zoe Pataskala, Ohio 11-11-22


swamproad.com

 

Copyright 1992-2023, Randal Lenn Hall, All Rights Reserved