Read the complimentary story, “Be Careful of Those Woods”, when you sign up for the newsletter.
(The stories in the Tales from the Woods series have no particular read order. Read The Shack for free when you sign up for the Newsletter. See the sidebar for details.)
When I was a child, I loved being in the woods. My father had a camp, on my grandfather’s property, that had trees all around. And my grandfather’s land at camp was surrounded by woods. As a teenager, the trailer park where my siblings and I lived with my mother and stepfather was also near the woods. We and our friends used to explore the wooded area from our backyard to the University of Maine located between Old Town and Orono. And there were plenty of woods out behind dad’s trailer in Greenbush when I lived there.
Even my first apartment had a heavily wooded area for a backyard. Later in my adult life my sisters, Sheila and Katie, and I spent a couple afternoons roaming the woods surrounding my grandfather’s camp again, as did my nephews and I.
Some of the few memories that I have of me growing up are of sitting in the woods by myself, and many of the stories I have written had there start in heavily wooded areas. These areas were where stories began in my head. Story ideas emerged back then, and are forming themselves into complete stories now. It has been quite an adventure for me.
Some of the story ideas that I came up with back then were dark in nature, and have stayed dark during the process of completing each story. Others, while having dark moments, are heartwarming stories.
The weird thing is that I have never been afraid of the woods. I don’t really know why some of the crazy ideas that emerge when I am in the woods present themselves to me. I have never found the woods scary.
I still walk in the woods every so often, here in Orono where I now reside. Ideas pop into my head like they used to, and I come up with numerous story starter, and sometimes full outlines, while enjoying a walk where no one else is. The deep, dark wooded areas are the best for scary story themes.
We all like a little scare sometimes. Right?
November 1, 2012
Wooded areas are often beautiful to behold. The plant life. The animals. Even the scent is pleasing. And what better way to unwind than by taking a walk along a wooded trail.
Bear Wood is an enchanting site, by all outward appearances. People come to Maine from other states just to photograph the woods from the nearest access points. They walk the paths behind the city limits, taking photographs of all they see.
However, deep inside this seemingly magical forest are small communities where the inhabitants know the truth. These people know the dangers that reside deep within Bear Wood. Dangers that the outside world would never believe. How could it? Even the inhabitants second guess what goes on in the woods most of the time.
People within the depths of Bear Wood rarely venture outside the forest limits. Small, old houses, trailers and shacks dot the woods, many without even a road to the small communities within the area. The communities themselves are often linked together by miles of dirt roads, where you will see only the occasional residence along the way.
During the winter months the inhabitants cannot even travel between these small communities without a snowmobile, which most families do not even own. They are lucky if they have snow shoes to take them outside their immediate area.
Actual communities have a general store, a church/school-house and a cemetery, and up to six houses in ‘town’ along with other homes within the woods themselves. They do not have much else. People residing in these areas depend on each other to survive, but can they really trust each other?
The people living in Bear Wood are afraid of the woods. They see spectral scenes in graveyards, and strange lights in the woods. Creepy shadows play along the woods’ edge, and people go missing every so often.
The woods are scary, day and night. The horrors occurring within an area would be unexplainable, if there were anyone outside the community to explain things to. Indeed, there are not many people outside Bear Wood that are even aware that people live within the forest.
Welcome to Bear Wood…