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Monday, December 11, 2023

Decemystery (2023) 11: The Creature at the Cabin Door


Oh, hey there. Welcome back to my blog; please make yourself comfortable near the campfire. Help yourself to some marshmallows, too. I don’t like them, to be quite honest; I never have. But I bought them because it’s what people do when camping—I think. Truthfully, I have never gone camping.

Anyway, enough with the silly roleplaying. I needed something to kickstart this write-up since, even though this is the thirty-ninth Decemystery I’m doing, introductions have gotten no easier. In fact, ever since I returned to writing at the start of the year, I’d dare say they’ve only gotten harder.

My bemoaning aside, I want to return to a website we visited the other day: “About,” the one that hosted the story of the Mexican Tongue Monster. I mentioned that it appeared to be a treasure trove that I would need to pilfer. Well, a few months after covering that story, I decided to return and snoop around. I was right; it’s a host to a lot of wild, jaw-dropping stories. So, in the coming days, we’ll be returning to it a lot.

The first I want to take a look at is entitled The Creature at the Cabin Door. This sounds like something akin to a generic creepypasta, but it’s a truly unsettling and bizarre story from the forests of New York. So come along; it’s time to go camping in the Adirondack Mountains!

Knock, Knock, Open up the Door, It’s Real

As I said above, I’m getting this from, which is sadly now defunct. It’s a pity, but it is what it is. At least some of it was archived. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have this to work with.

This story was posted under the name “Creature at the Cabin Door,” hence the name of this write-up, and was submitted by a man named Andy. Although it went up in April of 2004, the event occurred back in the spring of 1996 or 1997. Andy and two friends—Blayne and Brad, who are brothers—decided to “go camping and get drunk.” Blayne was the younger of the two, although I have no idea how anyone in this story was at the time. Anyways, the group’s destination was the Adirondack Mountains in northeastern New York. I think I’ve seen the mountains when I lived in New York, but I can’t recall. Still, it’s pretty cool to cover something I’m somewhat familiar with.

Their plan was agreed upon, and so they went to “an old mine with a ton of huge abandoned buildings” to camp. Quick note: mines are unsafe, regardless of whether there are monsters in proximity to them. My pro tip would be not to go anywhere near one. On a more serious note, I decided to see if there were any abandoned towns in the Adirondacks, and I actually managed to find one with mining ties: Tahawus. While I can’t prove that this is where Andy and his friends went, it’s the best possible candidate—I think.

Anyway, Andy and his friends ended up arriving at the abandoned town on their four-wheelers. When they arrived, they rode around until they “found an old shack of some sort” that didn’t look like it’d collapse if someone sneezed too hard. Thanks to the owners no longer being alive to evict them, the trio decided to make it their home for the duration of their camping trip. I hope they had some semblance of running water.

Once unpacking was done, the three left to go “hunt small game.” Only they actually didn’t; they went to play with their .22 firearms. No, I’m not doing some stupid bit here. This is how Andy wrote it; take a look for yourself.

We unpacked all of our gear and left it in the shack while we went off to hunt small game. (Actually, we were playing with guns, just .22s.) 

I’m guessing they were hunting for fun, taking potshots at small animals, or Andy, for some reason, inserted a lie followed by a truth. Whatever the case, that reads so bizarrely, and I hate it.

By 5:00 in the afternoon, the three decided to return to the shack to get drunk. What prompted such an early return? Well, apparently, they had used up all of their ammo. I want to say so many things, but I don’t want to come across as a monumental jerk. So, I’ll just say: don’t use up all of your ammo on innocuous activities if you’re going camping, especially in an area where there’s dangerous wildlife. Please, it’s not safe.

Upon their arrival back at the shack, Blayne went inside to retrieve a cooler they’d brought along. However, he began swearing up a storm; Andy and Brad went in to see what was wrong, only to see that the interior had been sacked. Everything they had brought along had been “strewn about the cabin.” This detail is something I want you to remember when we get the theories because it ties in heavily to not one but two of them.

At first, the group suspected that a black bear was behind the ransacking. Speaking as someone who lived in New York, I can safely attest to black bears being quite common; one once pawed at our porch’s window screen before realizing it couldn’t get it. It was pretty interesting to see one up close, but nothing life-changing. It’s also worth noting that it did not throw anything around in a fit of what I can only presume to be anger. Cocaine Bear, this was not.

In the case of Andy and his friends, the black bear theory was immediately thrown out the window when they “realized that none of the food was touched.” Rather, it appeared that whoever—or whatever—had done this opted to rummage through their belongings. Everything from their clothing to equipment had been rifled through, yet nothing was taken. Even odder, there weren’t any footprints or paw prints. As strange as that is, I have to wonder if the group made any attempt to lock the shack’s door from the outside. It’s never stated, nor is it said, whether or not any dirt was tracked inside.

Despite the clear sign that someone—or something—was deeply unhappy with their presence, the boys put their things away and decided to forget it happened. How they could do that is beyond me, but I suppose that’s my paranoia talking. So, anyway, after that, Andy and his friends decided to get drunk. I guess their intruder didn’t bother to make much of a mess besides throwing everything around like a poltergeist.

During this bout of late-night drinking, they suddenly heard “scratching and moving” coming from outside the cabin door. It’s here where Andy states that the door had two bolt locks on it, so whatever was out there wasn’t getting in easily. This makes me wonder why it hadn’t taken up residence inside already, but I digress. I am not an expert on wildlife. If you are, feel free to tell me why it may not have decided to take up shelter in this shack.

Although the trio were drunk, they were alert enough to theorize that it was a wild animal. Unfortunately, they had no ammo left for their rifles (and presumably anything else they brought along). So, they began to debate on what to do next. Rather than tell you myself, I want to copy and paste this next bit simply because I find it hysterical. Take a gander:

Blayne, who was always a little high strung, wanted to go out and scare whatever it was. We said no, we didnt think it was a good idea. His argument was that we were all excellent wrestlers and that we could handle whatever was out there. Our argument was rabies. End of argument.

I shared this with a friend, and the two of us found it funny; I figured there was no point in conveying it myself as a result. Hopefully, you found it as amusing as I did. Now, back to my storytelling!

Defeated by the understandable concern of contracting rabies, the group decided to weather out the scratching (which Andy says was annoying and “a little persistent”). Soon, they forgot about it, thanks to their drunkenness, and eventually fell asleep. At some point, the thing that had been trying to claw its way in retreated, defeated by a door. Don’t worry; you aren’t the first thing to be thwarted by an invention from 3,000 B.C. (or so says Google).

The following morning, Brad went outside to take a piss; prior to that, the group had “been using a large pipe in the floor.” At some point, likely when he was returning, that “he noticed something unusual.” In this case, there were gashes on the door “2.5–3 feet up the door.” For my metric readers, that’s 76–91 centimeters.

Now, presumably, these marks were made by whatever was scratching at the door; Andy himself wrote that it was “like something was trying to claw and pry its way in.” For whatever incomprehensible reason, however, he states that they “didn’t hear” this happen. Maybe I’m misunderstanding him, but they all heard this thing scratching and skulking around. Unless these were made by something that hadn’t been slowly scratching away at the door (which I think is more than reasonable), I have to wonder if Andy somehow forgot what he had just written. I can’t be alone on this, right? Or am I just that astronomically stupid?

My annoyance aside, the group also found there were “tracks all around the shack.” To the group, they “looked like the tracks of a child, with five toes just like a human.” However, the tracks were “10–11 inches long” and around 2 inches wide. This made it look like the “feet were stretched out.” For my metric readers, that’s about 25–27 centimeters long and 5 centimeters wide. 

Just for reference, the length of these feet is around the average length of the average male’s feet. Assuming you’re around 5’9” (179 centimeters), your feet would be around 10.5 inches (26.6 centimeters). Now, granted, the width of the feet is a bit off; the average male human foot is about 3.5 inches (8.8 centimeters). Nevertheless, that’s the average width. Some people can have wider feet, while others may have narrow feet; that’s just how it is.

My point is that I have no idea what, in God’s name, Andy meant by these appearing to be the feet of a child. Unless he made some bizarre error somewhere, or I’m just a monumental moron and can’t understand what he meant, then I think it would be safe to say right now that there was no “creature at the cabin door.” Rather, it was just another person. But I digress; I’ll wait until I get to the theories to continue this tangent.

Andy went on to claim that none of them had ever seen tracks like those. So, I’m guessing all of them are lizards because they’d never once seen human footprints. Way to put yourselves; the government will be at your front door soon, ready to take you to Area 51.

Rounding things off, Andy ponders what may have happened if they’d allowed Blayne to open the door. My guess is it would have asked if you were interested in solar panels, but I digress. That’s where the story ends; I have no idea if the trio left after that discovery or not. I wish I knew, but I sadly don’t.

Anyway, I want to say right now that this story is a rather odd one to me. The writing feels disjointed, and I’m left wanting to ask numerous questions, but I doubt I’ll ever get answers to them. It’s incredibly frustrating. But, whatever, there are numerous theories for us to go over, so let’s dig into them.


1. A wild animal

To kick off our theories, I want to zero in on what’s arguably the most obvious explanation. When it comes to camping or being out in the wilderness in general, you’re bound to hear a lot of weird sounds, which are more often than not animal cries. Experienced outdoorsmen will know which animals make what cries. I am not an experienced outdoorsman and can’t identify anything worthwhile.

Anyway, animals—while generally hesitant to get close to humans—are not timid to the point they avoid us all the time. If you keep your food out, you may attract a bear that desires a snack. You may also invoke the wrath of a moose who was fed by another person and expects you to feed it. Make sure you don’t get headbutted if this happens; that’s going to leave a mark.

My point is that animals and the outdoors go together like me and tangents. They’re tied at the hip, and you can’t separate them. So, it stands to reason that all Andy and his companions heard was an animal at the door—probably one that had made its home nearby and smelled their food. This would make a lot of sense since the area the trio were in was a ghost town; nature likely encroached on the place, and with it would have come a lot of critters.

So, that’s it, right? Well, no, far from it. For starters, there’s the odd occurrence involving the cabin being ransacked. Although it’s not uncommon for animals to rummage through a camper’s belongings (they usually look for food), it’s exceedingly peculiar that there was no sign of damage to anything. There’s also the noticeable absence of any prints, which is hard to explain. Unless, somehow, they didn’t notice them.

On top of that, there was an apparent lack of dirt in the cabin. Now, granted, this detail could have been omitted, but I would find that to be an astonishingly stupid thing not to mention. While I have no idea what the area outside the cabin looked like (it was presumably wilderness, given they saw human footprints outside the cabin), finding dirt or something else inside would be a massive help. That would allow us to determine who—or what—tracked it in. If there had been a porch or something else, and the dirt ended there, we may know if the intruder was a human and took their shoes off. If it persisted inside, we’d know it was that it was a human who didn’t take their shoes off or that it was an animal (unless this animal had shoes on—somehow).

I’m also not sure if any animal would close the door behind them. Unless there was a breeze that shut it, you’d think it’d be ajar when they returned. I also doubt the furry intruder wouldn’t have damaged something. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it hard to believe everything would be intact. Surely, if an animal went rummaging through things, it would have torn up something trying to get to food—even if it ended up not wanting it.

There’s also the matter of the prints resembling human footprints. This is a major stroke against the theory, but I will argue one thing. It’s possible they were made by someone else who was passing by and merely exploring the area at night. Why they’d be barefoot is beyond me, but hey, different strokes for different folks. If that’s not the case, however, then this dismisses the theory in my eyes. Bears, wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions don’t have human feet. If they do, then I’m going to lose my mind.

Lastly, Andy never stated whether or not the thing at the door made any noise outside of the scratching. Presumably, if the thing wanted in, it may have made some kind of noise. Though, again, I know nothing about the outdoors, so maybe I’m just stupid. That would not surprise me in the least.

2. A humanoid cryptid

Whether you want to single out a Skinwalker, Wendigo, Fleshgait, Pale Crawler, Goatman, or some other terrifying, unknown humanoid is irrelevant. For the sake of keeping this theory brief, I won’t go on some tangent about what differentiates the aforementioned creatures or whether or not they exist. All that matters is one of them was behind this. Whichever one is entirely on you to pick since they tend to act relatively similar in scary camping stories.

If you’re like me, then you definitely believe that there are some unusual things that lurk in the woods. You’ve also probably spent a bit too much time listening to scary stories about encounters with the aforementioned creatures. If so, you definitely know the signs that one is around. The claims of a foul odor (usually described as a decomposing carcass or, if you wish to go by popular lore, “blood and copper”) and a deafening silence. They allegedly signify that something is near. However, in this case, it doesn’t appear that any of them noticed anything of this sort.

There is one thing that does kind of point to a humanoid cryptid of some sort. In many stories of campers encountering one of these beings, they’ve been known to ransack camps and even cabins. However, in those cases, they tend to tear things to shreds, which didn’t happen here. Nevertheless, it was something that came to mind when I was reading this story.

Beyond that, this theory is on a bit of shaky ground. While some could argue that it might have been a Pale Crawler or some other humanoid cryptid, I don’t think the details line up quite as well as they do in other cases. The human footprints aren’t reminiscent of them (not that I know; humanoid cryptids tend to be more animalistic when it comes to their appendages), nor do they just cease ever returning. At least, not to the best of my memory. Still, this is a pretty fun theory to entertain. Close encounters with these types of creatures never cease to fascinate me. I may do a Megalist of some sort in the future with my favorite encounters with them.

3. A hoax

There’s aggressively little to go over here, given how much I’ve talked about it this month. So, I won’t linger on it for that long.

As you likely know, the Internet is a hotbed for hoaxes. I know, that’s a really big shock, but it’s not like that’s unique to the web. People have perpetuated hoaxes for ages. The Internet simply made it easier for them to go viral. Given the anonymity of the Internet, this allows them to be pulled without any risk of repercussion. Ah, the joys of the Internet.

As is usually the case, there’s one question that demands an answer: what is the end goal? In that regard, I can’t think of anything; unless there was some clout to be gained on About, I doubt there’d be much of a reason to fabricate a story on there. However, I will concede that that hasn’t stopped people from making stuff up for fun in the past.

There is also one thing that points to this not being a troll—to an extent, anyway. The aggressive lack of detail is, to me, a sign it wasn’t made up. Usually, the more detail added (such as word-for-word conversations and the like) points to it being made up. Unless the event happened mere hours or days ago, I doubt anyone is going to remember conversations that well. In this case, there isn’t any of that. Still, I wish Andy had tried to give a bit more detail. Oh well, I digress; let’s move on.

4. A prankster

I considered making this theory a combination of a handful of different possibilities involving other people. Ultimately, I opted against that when I realized that only this stance held any water. Still, I will touch upon the other takes at the end.

As much fun as it would be to say that this was an epic prank vlog, this took place about a decade before YouTube was made and gave us an endless amount of content to consume. If I had the ability to edit and weren’t such a terrible speaker, I would likely be making videos myself rather than posting all of these write-ups on a blog. Alas, that is not the case; I’m quite content with this as is, though, and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Anyway, this theory is arguably the most probable, if only due to the footprints around the cabin being akin to those of a human. Now, granted, it’s possible that Andy was wrong when he described them since, as it stands, they match up with human feet nearly perfectly. While they’re narrower than the average human’s foot, that’s how it is with some people. Every person is different; there is no universal foot shape or size. Some are wide, some are narrow, some have six toes, and the list goes on and on.

Additionally, it’s not unheard of for people to screw with other campers for laughs. While I can’t speak from experience here (I was by and large an outcast while growing up; my friends were into sports while I was a bookworm and more of a gamer), I can still say with some semblance of confidence that pranks can be fun. I still incessantly tease my friends by acting like a lousy court jester for laughs. So, if I had to hazard a guess, I would say that it’s more than likely some nearby campers may have decided to pull a prank and make it seem like that something was trying to get into the cabin.

With that said, there are a few issues with this theory—and they’re pretty glaring issues. The first is that we have no idea if the footprints only circled the cabin or if they came from somewhere and then departed elsewhere. If it looked like they came from a forest clearing or some pathway, then left the same way (or a different way), then I’d be able to say with near absolute certainty that this was a case of someone trying to screw with Andy and his friends (or maybe some local tweaker who wanted to try and rob them). Unfortunately, Andy never gave these details—or I’m stupid, and he was implying they were only around the cabin.

There’s also the matter of the ransacking inside the cabin. It’s possible this was the same prankster, but I find it incredibly weird how there was no dirt tracked in—assuming the outside of the cabin was surrounded by dirt. Again, Andy’s lack of detail about what the area looked like shows here, which is a real shame.

Then there’s the damage done to the cabin door. Honestly, this is one that bothers me the most. Aside from it being incredibly risky (they could have been shot through the door), I think it would have been easy to tell if the doors had been clawed at or if a knife had been used. If I had to hazard a guess, Andy and his friends were confident in their assessment that they’d been scratched or clawed.

Above all else, though, these pranksters would have had to know they were in the area—somehow. Whether they heard the gunshots and then decided to screw with them (somehow knowing they took up shelter in that abandoned cabin) or just stumbled across it is a really wild coincidence. While not impossible, it’s one that even I have to admit is a bit hard to believe. The person would have to either leave, not knowing how the folks they pranked reacted, or were stupidly patient and waited in hiding for a long period of time.

With that said, I wouldn’t label all of this irrefutable proof that this couldn’t have been a prankster. If all the prank channels on YouTube have taught me anything, it’s that there are definitely people out there who’d do something this potentially risky if it meant getting a good laugh out of it. Especially if they wanted to tell their friends at school or work.

Now, I want to circle back to the start of this theory; I did have some other ideas about it being another person. Those were that it was a psychopath, an evil cultist, or a homeless person. The final one is one I could possibly see, but without details on whether or not the inside of the home looked inhabited, the theory fell flat on its face.

As for the other two theories, I sincerely doubt that a killer or cultist who wanted a sacrifice would just bugger off. They’d either break through the windows or try to bust the door down. Or, hell, they may have gone ahead and set the entire cabin on fire. No matter what, I doubt they would claw (or slash) the door before going, “Ah, screw it, there are others out here camping.”

Of course, it isn’t impossible that the person—and I’m adamant it was one person, given the footprints were apparently the same size—had nefarious intentions. Denying that would be a bit silly in my eyes. It’s just that if they wanted to hurt the trio, they wouldn’t have let something like a door get in their way. If that were the case, then I think the murder rate worldwide would be in the single digits, and doors would come in portable sizes. Anyway, let’s move on before I go on another massive tangent.

5. A poltergeist

At first, I wasn’t going to include this theory since the only basis for it was my own opinion. Then I realized that, in the past, I’ve added in my own theories before, and I figured, “What the heck, it’s not the stupidest thing imaginable.” Besides, it isn’t like any of the theories have technically been put forward, given the lack of documentation on this account (besides the original post). I may as well lay the foundation for future speculation! Well, assuming anyone ever discusses this story ever again.

I don’t think I need to elaborate on how old places tend to have rumors swirl around about them. People will make up stories about dark and insidious pasts that led to them being haunted. While I don’t know exactly where Andy’s story took place, I do know that there are old, abandoned locations in the Adirondack Mountains. So, I wouldn’t bet against there being some places that locals claim are haunted.

Assuming that there were deaths at these locations, I could definitely see a spirit not being very happy that a group of strangers decided to bust into their former home and reside there. The group’s belongings being flung around reminds me a great deal of an angry spirit doing its best to send a message. Although not provided in English or any other language, I believe it can still be translated to something along the lines of, “Leave my damn house.” I am open to corrections, but I’m quite confident in this translation.

However, there are two issues with this theory, and both are pretty sizable. The first is that I sincerely doubt the poltergeist was behind the damage done to the door. I’ll elaborate more on this when we get to my take on the story, but the damage and footprints both sound like they were done by a physical entity and not a wrathful spirit. Perhaps my knowledge of the paranormal is nowhere near as good as I think it is, but everything about it doesn’t align with what I’ve heard throughout my life. Yes, ghosts are said to be capable of interacting with the living world, but it sounds like a living being did that damage and not a spooky ghost.

The second, and the one that I think is considerably more eyebrow-raising, is that Andy and his pals only experienced one weird happening in the cabin. If it had been a ghost that threw their stuff around, it’s rather strange it only happened once and never again. Surely, if this ghost wanted them out, it would have manifested itself or thrown things around again. It wouldn’t have just shrugged its incorporeal shoulders and gone, “Oh well, I tried,” and then waltzed off to the afterlife bar for a few drinks.

But, hey, maybe it took a lot of energy to throw that stuff around, and it was exhausted after doing so. I honestly don’t know since not only am I not an expert in the field of the paranormal, but I am not a ghost. If I were, then I’d be off scaring my friends by poking them and moving their phones and iRacing paraphernalia. I’m a great friend, the best possible friend you can ask for. Don’t ask for verification from my friends.

6. ManBearPig

Yeah, I think I’ve used this joke before, but I dunno what else to use for a meme theory. So, I’ll make do with recycling; I, too, want to save the environment. You’re welcome, Al Gore.

My Take

This is going to be an enormous, rambly take, but there is so much I want to talk about that I cannot possibly keep this short. So, I sincerely apologize in advance. There’s an abridged version all the way at the end of this section if you don’t want to read it. For everyone else, I will be talking about what was at the cabin door first; then, I’ll get to what ransacked the cabin.

However, before we get into my take, I want to talk about one thing that bothered me throughout the writing of this article: the criminally shallow detail. Let me get one thing out of the way: most of the stories on About aren’t exactly rich in detail. That’s fine; I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. Given most of these accounts are being recalled from memory and occurred years before they were written about, I don’t expect the eyewitnesses to remember every single detail.

It’s possible—heck, it’s probable—that Andy didn’t feel these details were important enough to mention. He may have also forgotten. If that’s the case, I can’t argue. I’ve forgotten to add details plenty of times. That’s basic human error, and I can’t put all of the blame on Andy since he was recounting a story from 7–8 years prior.

At the same time, however, Andy left out so much that would have helped to paint a clearer picture of what happened. I wish I knew if it looked like anyone had been inside the cabin recently since that would have helped narrow down the possible culprit. Another detail I wish was given is if the cabin door was still shut all the way when they got back from shooting. While I can assume the answer was “yes,” I’d prefer it if I could go without making assumptions. If there was an outside sign that someone entered the cabin, say so!

I’m also disappointed that Andy didn’t say how long he and his friends stayed. If they were there for more than a day, it would have been nice to know if anything else weird happened. Again, I can make the assumption that the answer was “no,” but I would much rather not be forced to do that.

The final thing I want to say is that I’m greatly disappointed that Andy and his friends didn’t explore any other buildings in the town. Now granted, it’s possible there wasn’t anything to see, or the buildings were spaced far apart. Though, on a personal level, I wish they’d snooped around a bit just to see if there was anything interesting. 

With that said, let’s get onto the theories. I’ll say right now: I doubt this was a case of a Pale Crawler or anything along those lines. There’s absolutely nothing to point to this being a case of them. No foul odor, no aggression, nothing was torn to shreds, nothing to point to one of them.

As for the hoax theory, I’m a bit torn. On the one hand, as is usually the case, I don’t quite see the gain from doing something like that. Granted, this was 2004; I don’t know how much traffic this site used to get. If it got a lot, then it’s very much possible this was made up.

However, I feel the story itself is rather low-effort. As I said earlier, the more vivid the details (unless the event happened recently), the more likely it is to be a hoax (in my eyes). I know this goes against what I said before about the lack of detail, but I wish Andy had at least tried to shed some light on certain aspects, like if the door had been closed when they returned or if it looked like anyone had recently been inside the cabin when they first arrived. If he couldn’t remember, I would have liked it if he said so.

Anyway, that leaves us with three theories; I think they all have some merit. I’ll start with the theory I’m less confident in, which is that this was a wild animal. While there was no clear sign that any animal had taken up residence in the cabin, I can imagine the creature may have come around when they went out, smelled their food, and went in to investigate. Later, another may have come around and wanted to get a late-night snack. It tried to claw its way in but eventually gave up when it realized that was futile.

This theory is, to me, highly plausible but has one major flaw: I doubt these three would have mistaken the tracks that much. It’s possible they misidentified them due to hangovers, but I can’t imagine mistaking, say, the tracks of a bear or mountain lion for a human’s footprints. Possible? Yes, human error is very much a thing. Do I think so? Ehh, maybe. I believe it’s possible the prints were made by someone who was exploring the area (as I said during the first theory’s explanation).

At the same time, I have to wonder if the prints were only around the cabin (which is implied to be the case) or if they came from somewhere and led elsewhere. I think if Andy had told us if they had hangovers and if they’d stayed after that day, it might have helped. It’s also possible they never encountered anything else, but I’d rather not speculate that much since we’d be here all damn day if we did.

The second theory, and the one I personally subscribe to, is that this was another human. Honestly, given the fact they saw prints that looked like, well, human footprints, I’m inclined to believe that it was another person. Perhaps a prankster, a homeless person, or maybe even some crazy person. I genuinely can’t see it being anything else, given the fact they saw what clearly looked like human footprints.

Of course, I can’t prove that since there was no photographic evidence, but if I’m to assume the story is fact, it sounds like it was another person. If I had to pin down a motive, my best guess would be a prankster. I think if it was a psychopath or a murderous cultist, they would have busted open a window and gotten in that way. Or, even better, stayed in the house after breaking in the first time.

There is a third theory that I think is possible but that I’m not fully sold on. The poltergeist theory is, to me, more than a little plausible. However, I doubt that any poltergeist would cause the damage inflicted on the doors, nor would it leave behind footprints (something I don’t think I’ve ever heard of when it comes to a haunting). While I know ghosts can scratch people and are capable of interacting with the physical world, this sounds more like an actual person (or animal) did it. Though, maybe I’m wrong, and there’s a ghost story out there where something like this actually happened. If there is, let me know; it would almost certainly change my mind.

With that said. I now want to address the ransacking of the trio’s stuff. This is one of the harder things to answer since there’s the factor of no prints (or dirt—or anything, really) being found in the wake of the act. I think if it was an animal, it would have surely eaten something or tried to. I also believe it would have tracked dirt in; unless the animal made sure to get the dirt off of its paws, there’s no way it didn’t bring something in.

Additionally, I doubt the animal closed the door behind it. Granted, I don’t know if the door to this cabin could have been blown shut, but I’m skeptical a bear, mountain lion, or deer dragged it shut. I’ve seen footage of bears lifting up trash cans, but I doubt any of them would close a door if they opened it. But maybe I’m wrong. It would not be the first, tenth, or one-hundredth time.

I’m also iffy about if a human did it. Again, I feel like if that was the case, something would have been tracked in. Unless the person took their shoes off and somehow, in some absurd way, covered any prints they made. Assuming they did do that, there are two questions that I have:

The first is simple: How did they know there was someone in the cabin? This question opens up a lot of unsettling paths that this story could potentially take; the trio could have been stalked, or they may have been in the sights of a psychopath. Or, if you wanna take a more controversial route, they may have been targeted by a cult.

The second is equally as simple: Why did they throw their stuff around but take nothing or damage anything? Unless it was to send some sort of message, you’d think that this would be a case of robbery. However, just rummaging around before buggering off isn’t what I would expect anyone to do. Not unless the robbers got the wrong target, but how on Earth would you get the wrong target in a ghost town? Unless you’re the world’s worst robbers, and we’re trying to pull a heist that started back in the 19th century.

I can only think of two answers for both questions. The first is that a homeless person was residing there. However, I imagine if that were the case, then there would be some sign of habitation when Andy and his friends got there. Given Andy never mentioned such signs, I doubt that’s the case.

The only other solution I can think of is that it was a prankster. This has its own problems; however, the main one is that I feel this would be a really strange prank to pull. It also lacked any payoff—at least in the sense that the pranksters wouldn’t get to see the reactions. Unless they were camping nearby or had been waiting in hiding for the group to get back.

However, in the case of the former, I feel that would be way too coincidental and require way too much luck. They would need to know that the group would be gone for a prolonged period of time and not leave any trace of their presence. I also think Andy and his group would have asked if they’d seen anything (assuming they knew they were there).

As for the latter, I cannot imagine anyone being that patient and not being spotted. Granted, I have no idea how long Andy and his friends were out (like many other things, it’s not stated), but I cannot imagine waiting in hiding for that long. Especially when you run the risk of upsetting the wrong person (or people). Then again, this was in New York; I know firsthand that the people there aren’t known for being the brightest bulbs on the planet. So, perhaps I’m overestimating the intelligence of their pranksters.

There is one other theory I have for this occurrence, which is that this was the result of a poltergeist. So, yes, I want to talk about that now. When I said this would be a long take, I meant it; unfortunately, this story had a lot I wanted to talk about. Trust me, I did not plan for it to be this way. It merely came to be that way the further along I got into the write-up.

To me, the ransacking that occurred while the three men were out sounds like something that a poltergeist would do. Mindlessly throwing stuff all over without doing anything else, all in an attempt to either get attention or send a message. Just throw everything around like you had one giant, paranormal temper tantrum and call it a day. Sounds like something I would do if I had telekinetic powers and was near someone I didn’t like, such as the people who live above me.

In all seriousness (barring the part about my upstairs neighbors), I think this is the most likely explanation for this incident—assuming it wasn’t outright made up by Andy. Assuming that the spirit of a former owner still resided there for whatever reason, I doubt they’d be too thrilled at some random person (let alone three of them) busting in and setting up shop. Never trust an abandoned building to not house a few spirits, dear reader. In fact, don’t trust anything old; it almost certainly has ghosts.

With that said, I want to echo what I said during the theories section: I find it odd how this was the only instance of something odd happening. I imagine if this were done by a ghost, it wouldn’t do this once and then bugger off without trying something else. I know that not every haunting is going to be on par with what you see in Hollywood movies, but I can’t imagine something this aggressive happening once and then never again. Not even something as innocuous as footsteps or a sudden cold draft? Unless Andy omitted that (which I’d find incredibly dumb), this makes me doubt what’s more or less a theory of my creation. Self-doubt is my specialty!

Anyway, that’s my take—my very long, very rambly take. I’m sorry I couldn’t make this shorter; it just so happened that there was an absurd amount of stuff I wanted to talk about. If you skipped everything, the abridged version is that I think it was a prankster, ghost, or a combination of the two. Or, hey, maybe it was all fake. That wouldn’t be the craziest thing to ever happen, not by a long shot.


I had absolutely no idea this write-up would end up being as long as it was. I thought it would be on the shorter side; it struck me as a story that would be short when I found it. But the more I progressed through the story, the more I found myself wanting to talk about all of the things that bothered me and the theories I had.

As a result, what I figured would be a write-up that would be around 2,000 or 3,000 words bloated into an absolute monster; the last time something like this happened was when I covered The Campfire Creature back in 2021. Only that story was a few stories rolled into one; this was one singular account, and it inflated like the budget to Fast X. At least I didn’t invest any money in this write-up, or I would be bankrupt.

Anyway, I better end this write-up now before I go on yet another tangent. If you read everything, I greatly appreciate it; it means so much to me that I held your attention for this long. I hope that the remaining articles this month do the same. Until then, however, stay happy, stay healthy, and thank you for reading!

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