A listener writes “So this was a couple weeks ago and as everybody knows I deliver motorcycles for work. I was on my way back from a 10-hour run, up to Buffalo, New York.
The trip was seemingly uneventful, I think I had 6 or 8 stops and I know that I had a fair amount of weight in the back of the truck. Now that journey takes me down Route 219 from Buffalo, all the way down where it connects to Route 153 to I-80. On this lonely lonesome Highway, South of 219 with the Echoes of the podcast ringing in my head, so I just turn off Route 219 onto 153. Now as you start coming up the hill – about a 6% grade- the truck starts losing momentum so I have to downshift. At this point, I’m doing about 45 and slowing down. This part of 153 has no houses or street lights and it’s a moonless night. I was on the phone with Shawni ( my wife) and as I was coming up the hill, I was saying to her that it seems like my headlights are getting dimmer.
That stretch of road, I’ve been on hundreds of times before, it never felt that dark. Now this was about 8:30 or 9pm EST and it was at this point, I noticed that there wasn’t any other traffic either. No other trucks or cars which is strange because this is a major truck route. As I continued, I got this overwhelming sense of dread like I was being watched… or hunted. Even my hair was standing on end; my eyes were watering- full on fight or flight mode. The only thing going through my head was “you can’t fight this. You need to run. You need to get out of here… Something is going to get you…” and by this point my truck has slowed to about 30-35 miles an hour. Slow enough, had something wanted to and was fast enough, it could get to the side of my truck. Now mind you the truck that I take on longer runs is a 2012 Freightliner M 2106 with a 20-foot box on it not exactly a small truck. Being that I was coming back from New York, I did not have my sidearm ( it’s really hard to get non-residential Concealed Carry Permits for New York State) and like I said I was on the phone so I kind of put it out of my head. I try and not think about it and continued driving to get home but the feeling and the road keep getting more and more sinister. I’m feeling really uneasy at this point. All I can do is continue driving and having my conversation, until I hear that very distinct notification that the call was dropped due to no service. So now I am alone, with something haunting me, at least that’s the feeling I was getting. I’m looking around, I’m watching the woods, when I noticed a shadowy figure keeping pace with my truck about 15 to 20 yards inside the tree line. At this point I crest the next hill and I start on the downhill slope. I start to accelerate but, the thing about DOT ( Department of Transportation) regulated trucks, anything over 21,000 lb- once you hit the right percent of a grade which if I remember right out here is 5% 6 % somewhere right around there- there are brake check stations where you have to stop so I stopped at the brake check station. From there, I proceeded to come down the mountain at 30 miles an hour that’s the truck speed limit on the way down- sign says stay in reduced gear- and I’m watching this thing get closer and closer to the side of the road because the wooded area drops into a ravine just off of the Eastside of 153. As I come down the mountain now, I’ve got about 4 miles down the mountain that are restricted the 30 miles an hour and at this point I’m terrified. My eyes are watering, I’m scared and I’m not a small guy- 6’2″ about 270 lb- built like a lineman.
I had the feeling that whatever I saw, I wouldn’t have stood a chance, but I continue down the mountain. About halfway the road straightens out, it’s much more windy at the top, so when the road straightens out I kind of say to hell with the speed limit I bump it up a gear. So I’m doing about 40 down the mountain and I start pulling away from whatever it is. The odd thing is, that it never came into the straylight from the headlights (you know that little bit of light that hits more beside you from your headlights) not in the beam, it stayed away from that. I finally made it down to I-80 where it was 70 miles an hour; I don’t know what it was and I also haven’t been back through there. Now whenever I go up the Buffalo, I will take route 255. I don’t go through that stretch of 153 anymore.”