Lost and Alone in the Woods
Some of the eeriest places on earth are the woods at night and they are often a setting for horror movies. From The Blair Witch Project to Cabin in the Woods, whenever the characters step into a dense forest, you suddenly get a foreboding feeling in your stomach. From the snap of branches to unknown animals eyes in the dark, it no denying the woods are frightening.
Each year, over 2,000 people get lost in the woods. Just one step off a trail and suddenly all the trees look the same and as it gets darker you can't recognize a thing. Even experienced explorers can disappear in the woods. Among these is James Harrod, an explorer in the 1800's who went on a hunting trip with two of his friends. Or at least two people whom he thought were his friends. Apparently the real reason for the trip was to find a silver mine but on the way, one of the men claimed Harrod was attacked by Native Americans. Harrod was never seen again. Although, one of his travel buddies were spotted selling silver buttons and an unidentified skeleton was found with the buttons on his coat missing. However, this is just speculation and the truth of Jame Harrod's disappearance has never been made clear.
Another story that will make you uneasy the next time you're camping is that of Jared Negrete,a 12 year old boy that went camping in the early 90's with his boy scout troop in the San Bernardino National Forest. Some point during the hike to the camp group, Jared made a wrong turn and separated from the rest of the group. Although his backpack and food supply was later recovered, his body was never found, despite an extensive search. The last trace of his was a picture he took of his face, showing his intense fear in his eyes.
Another small child to get lost was eight year old Katherine Van Alst who was missing during a family camping trip to Devil's Den State Park in Arkansas. Like Jared, she wonder off and got lost. The bizarre part of this story is that after wandering the woods for six days alone, she was found. She emerged from a cave and was eerily calm and simply said "here I am." People speculate that she was abducted but the mystery of exactly what happened to her was never discovered.
The woods can be a scary place and many unsolved mystery occur in them. This week's podcast delves deeper into the topic with Steph Young, who wrote the book "Panic in the Woods" along with several other books. Check it out and comment below!