An Ohio man and his friend are hiking in Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio when they experience a possible time slip. Hocking Hills is well-known for a variety of unusual occurrences.
The following account was forwarded to me by my friends Cam & Kyle at Expanded Perspectives:
"I'm 31 years old and from central Pennsylvania. But this story takes place back in September of 2008 when I lived in Ohio. At that time my best friend Ciera and I went to a state park named Hocking Hills in for a day retreat from our busy lives. We had decided on this at random when we first got together early in the morning just after sunrise; it was a nice warm late summer day and we'd just got the wild notion to go for a drive to Hocking Hills since the area is well known for its several walking trails, a cave or two, and several waterfalls and running water/creek areas. The day was very warm maybe roughly 70 degrees Fahrenheit / 21 degrees Celsius so we had worn shorts and short-sleeved T-shirts.
We started down a trail at random and found that part of the trail had been washed out so we had to take another path which according to our phone’s GPS tool would force us to cross a small country road. As we played with our mobile phones and noted it was roughly 12:00 noon EST we happened to be passed by a group of seemingly odd backpackers before we reached the road and one of the people gripped my shoulder and turned me around to warn us to be aware of a wash out up ahead if we were going to take the trail into the woods instead the person who stopped us let go of my shoulder and recommended we follow the trail nearby which would go next to the forest fire lookout tower instead as it by-passed a small clump of downed brush.
As we crossed the road to the tower trail we noticed there was caution tape all over the fire tower, there was a pungent smell in the air which we could not identify, the windows on top of the tower appeared to be taped up, grimy, and there were flies all over the area. We walked past it, commenting on how odd it was, and continued down the trail we had been recommending to take, but it was one neither of us had noticed before on a previous walk to the area. This trail took us past the fire tower and then cut into the woodlands; as we walked into the forest maybe 1500 feet / 457 meters or so we took notice that no one seemed to be around and in fact not only did we feel isolated from others but we felt very chilled without explanation. Ciera pointed it out verbally while I was thinking it, but we just continued walking. Eventually, the air started to get noticeably chillier and damper. This did not seem unusual at first but as we continued to walk the air seemed to go from warm to what felt like the mid-50s Fahrenheit / 10’s Celsius and we started to shiver.
It was also getting darker as we continued forward; at first, I thought it was just due to the green leaves on the trees and maybe a passing cloud overhead but the darkness really did not improve as one expected. As we walked we looked around and there was nothing but trees on all sides, there should have been a forest edge somewhere as the area wasn't really that big but aside from some hills and tall pine trees there wasn't a real 'ending' to the woods like we expected as the area tends to be narrow and normally you can see the edges. My friend took out her phone to use her GPS because she instinctively felt lost but her battery was nearly gone, I took mine out of my back pocket and it had no signal, the battery was also near dead, and showed "EE: EE" for the time (meaning it couldn't update as it was an older style flip-phone with a camera and when set to auto-adjust would contact the mobile phone network every 15 min).
It was only then as the light grew dimmer that I noticed the area seemed very silent, our footsteps, the leaves we stepped on, grass, twigs, and our breathing just echoed. Ciera got spooked and I did too, she mentioned it was very out of the ordinary and I agreed but I couldn't shake this sense of foreboding that something was amiss. I tried to rationalize it but I really, honestly, couldn't figure any of it out at all.
We just pressed onwards and after going down a small hill and back up it seemed to have gotten a lot darker. The world seemed to have gone from just shadowy to near-twilight darkness. My friend grabbed my arm and started freaking out about how weird it got - then the air seemed to have gone still and we had a feeling of something wrong. We both took off running looking for an exit, for some odd reason we never thought to turn around at all and just got back the way we came. It never seemed to occur to us as we ran but the spookiness continued as we could hear our steps echo off the area as things just felt like they grew more gloomy.
Then ahead of us down another small dip in the trail, we could see two large honeysuckle bushes on either side of the trail like a gate. We made a mad dash (mostly with her pulling me) for these bushes and just as we pushed through the plants something odd happened - we were overwhelmed by a change in our surroundings as light, sound, and warmth returned all at once. It was like stepping outside of a cold, empty, and dark building onto a warm busy street. We stood at the edge of a place known as Ash Cave which has a large waterfall not too far away with a U-shaped cliff. I turned around to look back from where we emerged and while the bushes were the same the area was so different, brighter, not silent for sure, and warm. In fact, our skin was cold to touch which just reinforced the facts. We took out our phones and the time had finally updated, it was now 4 pm. The normal trail would only have taken an hour to walk fully so it was a loss of three full hours!
Logic attempted to set in and we decided the trail we came up with must have just appeared creepy because there may have been clouds overhead or a storm blew by but when we went back between the bushes there was no trail. Nothing looked like it had a few seconds ago. Ciera walked around the bushes twice and it was the same bright sunny day with no darkness and no trail. We waited, it was blue sky overhead and we could see the edges of the forest and other people. The trail had simply vanished as if we had never walked it.
On returning to the normal trail with the wash out we ended up locating an off shoot path which took us back past the fire tower. It was here we noticed it was normal looking as the windows were not taped and very clean, and there was no pungent smell. We don't know what it was, but it certainly was creepy. Of course, I jokingly told her later that day over dinner we had entered the faerie realms by mistake and were lucky to get away, she didn't find that funny of course but either way we both felt we should share this with you and if anyone out there has had a similar experience perhaps they can provide insight or share their own." DH
NOTE: I received the same account approximately a decade ago from this witness, though this version is more detailed. Maybe it's time to investigated this phenomenon. Lon
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