Ghost Hunting Tales: Hell Hounds On Our Trail

HELL HOUNDS ON OUR TRAIL

So, as you readily know, I write horror novels from time to time, and I thought I would share with you the impetus for my very first — Shadows Over Somerset, a novel about hereditary werewolves that lived in a gothic mansion overlooking the Mississinewa Reservoir.

Now, I know you’ve heard me recount its origin story from the actual writing perspective. No? Lightning version is I was recently married and out of work and my wife suggested I use the downtime to finally get off my ass and put words on paper. But why werewolves along the Mississinewa?

Well, the answer to that comes from a true story, something that happened to me and my friends one dark and moonlit night in the Autumn of 1986.

We’d gone out to Goose Creek, the site of our infamous misadventure in conjuring a preternatural entity. To our surprise, the circles were still there, baked into the roadway despite several seasons underwater. The site looked the same, with the spindly corpses of long dead trees pointing upward like accusing fingers of the damned.

To be honest, we were all on edge. The site felt wrong, you know what I mean? As we kicked around the exposed road and stared into creek waters from the edge of the expanse where the bridge once stretched across it, we sensed we were being watched. Then, one of my friends spotted something along the treeline: red, glowing eyes and dark shapes, black against black.

There must have been a half dozen, maybe as many as nine. It was hard to say for sure. It was so dark. Yes, there was a substantial moon, but it was also overcast, and the woods were thick, with a canopy of twisted limbs and branches overhead, and sparse autumn foliage still clinging here and there.

The creatures were big, low to the ground. Certainly canine. They moved silently at first, then you could hear their breathing as they became agitated. We moved slowly, eyes intent on these nocturnal predators, up the road. Our pace quickened… and then the growl came. Fierce. Aggressive. Fearsome.

Suddenly, one of our number bolted, racing up the causeway hill. The growls became a terrifying cacophony, and as these “wolves” gave chase, we all turned tail and ran with the sort of urgency reserved for those facing imminent death. At the road’s headway was a barricade put up by the DNR to keep folks from driving down the lane. We all hurdled the obstruction and dove into our vehicles, but then, looking back, there were no wolves to be seen, only the black maw of the road leading down to Goose Creek, framed by the autumn trees that created a tunnel from one world to another…

The official stance of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is that “there is currently no breeding population of wolves” in the Hoosier State. Hasn’t been in 100 years. I would beg to differ…

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