Apr 20

Allegheny National Forest Screams

A listener writes “It was the summer of 2010, I believe in August. I was visiting with my younger brother. We’d go up a lot in the summer because it was the perfect place to go camping, kayaking, canoeing, swimming hiking; basically anything you wanted to do outdoors.

Since I grew up there I’d always been comfortable by myself in the woods and often would take my kayak out and island-hop over the course of a day. I’d also camp out on our property, though sometimes I would get an eerie feeling and head back to the house early if I was alone. At the time my only fear was really other people, as the property is right next to a road (otherwise, it’s mostly wooded and riverfront).

But I’d wander the woods, lay out and swim, and ride my 4wheeler. I felt pretty safe because I’d always have one of our big dogs with me, or if closer to home, my dad or brother would come out and join me or check on me.

As far as wildlife, the area has black bear, bobcat, coyote, foxes, deer, etc., and we learned young how to behave when encountering such animals, and have a healthy respect for them.

The house itself is situated as a long rectangle, With the longest side facing the river and the opposite side butting up by the road. On the far end of the house is my dad’s room, in the middle is my brothers room, and my room is closest to the front door. All bedrooms are on the second floor.

That night, our two dogs were outside in their pen closest to my dad’s side of the house. We’d often let them be outside overnight if the weather was nice. We’d also sleep with our windows open.

In all my years living in this area, I’d learned what various nightime sounds were as I’d drift off: deer crossing the river to the island, beaver tail slaps, fox calls, bear chuffs and footfall. I’d also learned people sounds in the woods and on the property because again, people were the only thing I feared at the time.

Everyone was in their rooms in their beds. It’s absolutely pitch black at night because it’s remote, and the only sound through my open windows was of the river flowing by.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to fall asleep, so that night I was just laying there for a bit and staring up at the ceiling.

At some point, I heard footfall. I was on alert thinking maybe someone had pulled into our driveway and was poking around our garage. But the location of our house is such that you can hear any car come or go, there’s no way of just sneaking up on us.

The footsteps were getting louder, and I could tell they were now coming toward the front door (right below my open window). I started to calculate if I should run and get my brother, but my bed was old and creaked so loud that whoever was out there was close enough to definitely hear it. But before I could even process my thought fully, I heard THE most blood-curdling, otherwordly scream I have EVER heard in my life. It was long, loud, and came fron the base of my window. I can only describe it as a person actively dying the most painful way imaginable, mixed with a roar, and with the depth and reverberation of a lion. Absolutely primal and horrifying.

I froze completely solid, every muscle tensed. I genuinely feared that if I moved, whatever made that noise would easily break through my window screen and get me. I knew it was big, it was close, and it wasn’t a human or any animal I knew.

The dogs on the entire other side of the house had started barking right after the scream. What signalled to me that this was absolutely abnormal was the way they barked: frantic and fast. Normally our Golden Retriever was mellow, and our Great Pyrenees was a stoic and quiet softie. What they heard totally awoke a different instinct in them.

The proximity of the scream and the dogs’ reaction kept me frozen in place. I didn’t move the rest of the night, and thankfully, I think the dogs scared off whatever was outside my window.
Early the next morning I asked my brother and dad if they’d heard anything: my brother described the same thing I’d heard, and my dad said he’d heard the dogs going nuts (his hearing wasn’t the best and also usually had the tv on low in his room).

The rest of the trip, I refused to go anywhere near the woods or even certain parts of the house or garage outside. My brother and I started researching animal noises, bigfoot sounds, and tried to match and make sense of what we’d heard.

When we returned to my Mom’s a few days later, we came across the craziest recent (at the time within about a week or so of our PA trip) news story. A news station out of Liberty, Ohio had a report of “Mysterious Screams” heard in the woods. The report included audio that was as close to the awful scream we’d heard that night. We got goosebumps hearing it, and my stomach dropped. The story included a wildlife expert’s response to the audio: that it was not explainable as a sound any animal known to science would make.

That solidified in my head that it was probably a sasquatch/bigfoot. (I used to be able to find the news report link and have shared it in forums in the past, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to track it down since). The closest to the sound I can find currently is the 1978 Snohomish, WA screams combined with the more recent Conklin, Alberta screams. And it was one long “RAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH” kind of vocalization.”

3 Responses to “Allegheny National Forest Screams”

  1. HD H

    Terrifying to hear from directly underneath your open bedroom window! I’ve been woken at 3 am to elk bugling right outside my (closed) bedroom window, a sound which I’m accustomed to hearing through the autumn. I’m surprised I didn’t have to be peeled off the ceiling. I can’t imagine the rest of your night. Whew!

  2. Charles R

    I’ve heard that sound and from close, no more than 50 feet away, and it is all you stated listener, at my best friends house. I still remember the date Sept 1, 1996. On the other hand, that property and woods and river must have been a terrific place to visit in the summer.

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