A listener writes “I live in an off the grid cabin near the Buffalo River, surrounded on three sides by the National Forest. My driveway is a mile long and my nearest full time resident neighbor is three quarters a mile a way as the crow flies.
I have lived here for three years with just my two dogs. For the first few months we had no power at all and would spend my evenings reading by battery powered lights. It started with something slapping my cabin on the southeast corner. This is the spare bedroom, which is not used but for storage. My cabin is approximately 950 square feet. The slap was hard enough to make my dogs pay attention as well as move cookware near the stove.
My son and his fiancé visited me shortly after I moved here. I took them to a swimming hole about a quarter of a mile west of me. They were enjoying lounging in the pool and I walked further west along the creek to give them some privacy. I found a small sand bar on a trail coming out of the woods. There was a distinct foot print in the sand. It was only about eight inches long but it was clearly barefoot. Strange because the trail was from bottom land full of all kinds of undergrowth. The toes were splayed out not like a normal track. Mid way on the track was a ridge not like a human track walking in the sand. The location and type of track peaked my interest tremendously.
The slaps on the cabin would happen periodically and each time both my dogs would sit up and face towards the noise. I have a blue and red heeler. They normally bark at any wildlife, deer, elk or bear. They never made a sound when the slap happened.
I live on 30 acres so there’s room for my dogs to roam. Strangely, on certain mornings they will not leave within a few yards of the porch. They wait for me to walk out with them before they will relieve themselves. Not every day mind you but occasionally. Both also are keenly interested in smelling certain spots around the front of my cabin.
I put up motion activated solar lights around the front of my cabin and the porch. I also wired my cabin to run of a generator while I prepared for a solar system.
Each night before bed, I take my dogs out and turn off the generator. I had been in my cabin for about eight months at this point. Slaps on the cabin and my dogs not willing to venture far had been the norm. One night I went out to turn the power off and let the dogs due their business was the first sounds. I live in a “holler.” So I am surrounded by ridges. I turned the generator off and a few seconds later i heard a loud Whoop to the north, then the east, the south and the west. Four distinct whoop sounds around us. My dogs ran to my porch immediately without making a sound.
The whoops would happen two to three times a week. This occurred late summer, fall and winter.
The second year was no different until the fall. I was accustomed to the whoops and whistles by this point. Your listeners won’t believe me but one night I walked outside after a slap on the cabin and yelled into the darkness to leave me and my dogs alone. Sounds odd but it is what I did. I have not had any slaps on the cabin since then. Why? Who knows.
Then the acorns and small stones started. My bedroom is on the northeast corner of the cabin. The front of the cabin is on stilts so my window is not ground level. There is an eve over my window. I awoke one morning to something being thrown at the half window over my bed. The window was open but there is a screen. It sounded like acorns or small stones. The Ozarks have a ton rocks! My dogs stood up in bed which woke me up. I listened for the next few minutes as something bounced off my window. This was about ten in the morning. The sound was steady and after I realized it wasn’t a squirrel or the wind, I got up and walked outside. The sound ended immediately. This has happened numerous times.
I have been awoken several nights to a foul odor I can only describe as rancid dog mixed with spoiled laundry. Again, my dogs woke me to it. The smell lasted about ten minutes then dissipated.
One afternoon during the winter, I was reading on my couch and happened to catch movement on the north side of my cabin through a bay window. All the leaves were fallen so I could see up the north ridge which is full of mature cedar trees. There was no wind blowing. I saw a single mature cedar tree swaying side to side approximately 125 yards from me. I watched for several minutes through binoculars but could not see the base of the tree. All I could see was it was a mature tree and no wind.
Around the same time, my dogs woke me up in the middle of the night by sitting up. I was not happy since sleep is rare but soon heard what they were listening to. I heard two people talking towards the east of the cabin. It sounded like two deaf people talking and it continued for several minutes. I don’t know how else to describe what I heard but it wasn’t chatter nor was it mumbling.
I realize this is a long email and realize you must get so many so apologies. I have found a track in my front yard and periodically hear tree knocks. I spoke with my neighbors about these incidents and they have also experienced similar things. One evening we three actually heard them together.
They are not here all the time or at least they don’t tell me they are here. I use to feed out of corn feeders and had game cameras up but no longer do either. At this point I have taken the position of live and let live.”