For the last year I have been investigating reports of a very distinctive creature sighted in the deep woods of Arkansas. It is my hope to use this forum to spread awareness of what I believe presents a very real threat to the local populace. The first sighting I was made aware of involving the creature I have since dubbed The Birch Man came to me in an email from a former associate and occasional assistant of my research. If somewhat reluctantly.
This is what he sent me.
“I may have mentioned it once or twice, but I consider myself a professional game hunter. I’ve hunted everything from Bears to Lions and after my tour in Desert Storm, even men. I had always believed I had seen what real darkness and danger this world had to offer, and that all you people telling ghost stories were just doing it for the naive thrill of fear without actually being in danger. Now I’m not so sure. What I’m about to tell you took place just last weekend with the details still fresh in my mind, no matter how much I’d prefer otherwise.
My sister had asked me to come out to her place. She lives about 40 miles south of Little Rock, in a densely wooded patch of land. Apparently two of her three dogs had gone missing some days prior, and the day before she had found the body of one of them mangled by the tree line. My sister never married and both our parents had passed at this point so all we really had as far as family was each other.
I came down Saturday morning, half hoping I’d get the chance to take down a rogue black bear that set up shop too close to humans, and the other half accepting I’d probably be doing little more than shooting up some mangy pack of coyotes. We sat down and had breakfast together, catching up on all the recent happenings. Then I asked her to show me where she had found Bruce, her pit bull discovered by the tree line. We walked out to the spot, she has since buried him and the almost steady rain had washed away almost all of the blood. I asked her if she had drug him to his grave and she told me she scooped him up in her arms and carried him over. After that she became emotional and I told her to go back inside and that I would take care of whatever had been attacking her hounds. I didn’t mention it to her, but the way the wet leaves and dirt was mounded up against where the body lay, and the lack of drag marks leading out of the forest made it seem like Bruce had been thrown out of the forest with some force pushing up leaves and dirt as he came to a stop. Needless to say this piqued my interest.
I went back to my truck and grabbed my ruck, my AR, strapped my trusty 1911 .45 to my belt and headed off into the woods, following a narrow game trail in. I must have been trudging through that misty forest for 3 hours or so, following game trails looking for tracks that hadn’t gotten washed away or s**t to at least give me some idea of what I was hunting, but never found anything larger than rabbit droppings. I stopped on top of a hill and pulled out an energy bar as I surveyed the land and tried to figure out my next move when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. I pivoted, weapon in hand only to see a man in a grey coat calmly making his way through the trees some 100 yards off.
I stuffed the rest of my bar in my pocket, and started to creep after him, starting to suspect that my sisters troubles might have more to do with a violent neighbor than they did a beast. That did not last long however. I don’t think he ever saw me, but as I crested a ridge he had gone over just a few minutes earlier I lost sight of him, I tried to listen for any twigs snapping or leaves rustling but the constant patter of rain made it impossible to hear anything else. I searched for another two hours, even doubling back at one point to see if he was near my sisters land, but I never found him. I had about two hours of daylight, if you could even call it that, left at this point and nothing to show for my work. About 50 yards from where I had stopped looking was a grouping of smooth Birche trees with several game trails splitting off from them.
I decided this was as good a spot as any, so I busted open my ruck and pulled out my bait and traps. Two of them were smaller, smooth clamp tracks meant to break the legs of smaller animals, but the third was a big nasty work with jagged teeth to dig into and trap large game. It’s on top of this one where I laid my bait, with the other two covered with leaves close by. If there was any predator in these woods, this was the spot he’d pass through and this was the spot where I’d kill. I made my way buck up the hill and set up my lean to shelter and pulled out my sleeping bag.
The rain had started to turn to a slow drizzle at this point, so I laid down with my rifle on my chest just listening and waiting. I’m not sure how long afterwards I was woke by a snap. Not a branch kind of snap, but metal striking metal. One of my traps had triggered. I sat up and looked down the hill towards the birche trees, it was too dark by this point to see much of anything but I sat there straining my ears as much as my eyes for any cue. Silence. If I had gotten anything there would be rustling and scampering, if not outright cries of pain. I brushed it off as a fallen limb and laid back down when I heard it again. SNAP!
My blood ran cold. Still no cries or sound of a struggle. I sprung to my feet, now convinced that the stranger I had seen earlier had followed me. I shouldered my weapon and aimed into the darkness calling out, “You sure you wanna do this? You’re a long way from home bub.” I got a response, it sounded like the voice of a life long smoker mixed with the sound of crushing gravel, and it said, “You’re a long way from home John.” I got a feeling in that moment, one I hadn’t had since the war, a feeling you get when you know you’ve stepped into something beyond you.
This person knew my name, had stalked me through the woods, and judging from the sound of its voice, was up in the tree line behind me. In one fluid motion I flicked the flashlight on my barrel on as I whirled around to face him, and there he was, half hidden behind an old oak tree, but what I could see was more than enough.
He, it, was 8 or 9 feet tall, extremely lanky and its skin was pale white. Its fingers hung down past its nobby knee and ended in vicious looking claws, and the face, god the face. It had no nose, a mouth, a big wide mouth pulled back in some kind of mocking excuse for a smile filled with sharp-looking teeth, and its eyes, they were black and reflected no light. I got the impression this thing was as old as it was dangerous, and without a second thought I fired off 5 or 6 shots in quick succession. It darted behind the tree then I heard the rattling of chains coming from back down the hill behind me, towards my traps.
Panic started to creep into my bones at this point and I had to fight it with everything I had, because either this thing was impossibly fast to cover that much ground in a matter of seconds, or I wasn’t dealing with just one creature. I’m not sure which prospect scared me more, but I wasn’t able to wonder for long. I saw a flash of white right at the edge of my light, followed by horrible laughing, like a panther scream mixed with a cackle, and something hissing through the air, and then darkness.
I woke the next morning, soaking wet and filthy with a headache the likes of which I’d never experienced. It didn’t take long to realize why though. Beside me was my large bear trap, and on my temple was a gash that still hadn’t stopped bleeding. I threw my s**t in my ruck and made a bee line back to my sisters place. When I got there I told her I had taken a tumble down a hill and she cleaned my cut as I told her about my hunt. Not my real hunt of course, I wouldn’t even know where to start. I told her I found a pack of coyotes and killed most of them but to keep her dog inside and stay away from the tree line. It’s been hard to sleep since then, every time I close my eyes I can hear that laughing, sometimes randomly when I’m going about my day as well. I don’t know what I saw or why it didn’t kill me, but make no mistake, there is something in them woods.”
I received that email about two months ago. Since then there have been multiple bodies discovered in the area, most notably Nancy Harris. What follows is a press release from local law enforcement. I urge you to look into these cases yourself if you have any doubt about what is happening here. And if you live here, stay away from the woods. I think I’m close to figuring out why this is all happening now, please be patient, and please be safe.
Nancy Harris 50, was reportedly last seen on the evening of Friday, December 7, 2018 in the vehicle with her husband and daughter. While traveling along Highway 54, Harris began acting erratic and abruptly got out of the vehicle. Harris began walking towards a wooded area, when Harris’ husband and daughter lost sight of her.
On Saturday, December 8, 2018 at approximately 4:59 p.m., deputies were dispatched to Highway 54, just east of Middle Warren Road to the report of a body later identified as Harris. Harris’ body was discovered by her husband and son, who had made another attempt to locate her.
Deputy Coroner Jason Duren pronounced Harris dead at 6:05 p.m. The cause of death was not immediately apparent and remains under investigation by our Criminal Investigation Division (CID) as a death investigation, said Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Operations Commander, Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.