I recently found the following account:
I have no idea what we saw exactly that night. I have searched everywhere for sightings or even myths around the area we saw it and have found nothing. My husband and I think it could be a wendigo? But I don’t know. I haven’t heard anyone else say they’ve seen anything like it in Red River Gorge, Kentucky. I guess I want help figuring out what we saw and what to do. After the night I’m about to describe but I think we’ve had some close encounters with it since.
My friends and I go camping a lot. And my favorite place is in Red River Gorge, Kentucky. We go there often, and I’ve been ever since I was an infant. I’m 28 now married with a kid and still go. It is the closest place to where I live where you can see the Milky Way pretty much every night. It’s perfect for stargazing and I’ve seen a shooting star every clear night I’ve been there. When we go without our kid we will night hike to a good look out point and stargaze for hours.
Our first experiences night hiking we would go to trails we knew well and were used frequently during the day. Ones with log fences and gazebo resting places. The most used trial is a trail in Natural Bridge State Park that leads up to the ‘natural bridge’. This trail is around two miles uphill depending on your starting point. I’ve done this trail every summer of my life and could do it blindfolded. It has wooden steps, carved rock steps, log hand rails, multiple sitting points under a roof, trash cans, but after reaching the main trail head it has no lights at all. It’s used often and while it is uphill the difficulty is low. As long as you have good grip on your shoes and water you’ll be fine. My friends have done it with me multiple times and are confident in it as well. Hiking this trail at night is not allowed. But it’s the woods and I’ve never really been one to care about closing times for the literal outside.
When we used this main trail to hike to the top we would park in a lot designated for the pool and hoedown island. You walk across the road that leads to the pool and your at the first trail marker. You go up gravel for awhile and pass the Natural Bridge State Park lodge. There’s a waterfall and some lights so it was best to go fast and watch out for rangers that would tell us to leave. Then you walk across another road and there’s a mini shelter to sit in or a small rock wall to rest your legs. Then it’s the beginning of the trail to the top.
The night was weird to begin with. As soon as we started the hike the clouds took over and it appeared we’d be walking for nothing to even stargaze at. But we went anyways just in case it cleared out by the time we got up there. In the beginning it was just normal paranoia that was keeping us stressed and quiet it seemed.
You know you’ve reached the bottom of the bridge when you see a giant wall of limestone. During this time there was a gazebo that set to the right of this wall and the trail continued and followed next to the wall. Where you come from is a fairly steep part of the trail and the gazebo is welcomed. My husband, my best friend at the time, and I all sit on the gazebo steps (the bench is under a roof and even darker than the rest of outside so we just stayed on the steps) facing to where we are looking down the trail that follows the limestone wall. We each have a bright LED headlamp and a handheld flashlight. We don’t usually look at each other when we night hike because the lights are so bright. We sit in a line like the Lord’s Supper and walk in a line or staggered so we don’t blind ourselves.
It is after hours at this point. No ski lift rides had gone on for hours and the rangers had already done there sweep and left right before we got out of the car and headed up. We left no time between them making sure the trail and top were clear and us starting our hike up. The ski lift takes you up the top but there are workers that stay and do counts and only leave after it’s clear. I guess I have to make these points because that’s what I was thinking when what seemed out of nowhere a girl with a headlamp begins to walk down the trail we are looking out at. She is in a sundress and flip flops. This hike is uphill and while it is a fairly easy hike it is not easy with no water or real shoes. She’d have to have hiked up and down to this point with no food or water. Her light was bright and when she reached where the trail turns from in front of the gazebo to down where we came from she stopped. She just stood there straight on like how a human is presented in an anatomical drawing. She was looking directly at us all sitting there and her light made me bring my hand up to shield my eyes. She didn’t turn away from our lights at all, or even seem bothered she had 6 LED lights aimed directly at her face. I said, “hello” She said kind of with a pause between every word something like, hello how are you. I said something like good how are you and she took even longer pauses and said, “Oh… I’m fine.” She then just stood there still with her hands to her side and facing and staring at us. Her light made it impossible to really see her face and it was so bright I had my hand up the entire time until she just turned and walked slowly down the trail part we had just came up. She got to a part where the trail turned and we saw her light just stay in that one spot for a minute until she turned and the light faded out of sight.
We wait for a while before continuing up. I kept making comments about how weird that was and everyone else just made it out to be me always being afraid. But no one ever came after her. She had done this hike alone. At night? And somehow without being found by any ranger?
We got up after a bit and started back up to the top. It felt like it took much longer than it ever had in the past. But we made it to the top. There’s stone steps named ‘fat man squeeze’ that get you to the top of the bridge and you can walk across it and whatever. Going up and being on the top we could hear twigs snapping, almost alternating from the left then the right. We lay down and try to stargaze but the clouds are even thicker now. It was miserably hot. We could hear voices at times and my husband kept checking for people we heard. He never saw anyone. We saw a light flash. Never saw anyone attached to it. And then we heard a bird call? But it wasn’t like a real bird noise at all. It sounded like a person making bird calls. Like rhythmic and not really natural? I was convinced we weren’t alone and hadn’t been alone but also I am the most easily spooked. I asked to leave as soon as they were ready to and they were ready right then and there. And that scared me, that they were just as afraid as me at this point.
We began going down the way we came and it felt like it was taking so long. We were going steady and quick and it was downhill but we were not making any ground it seemed. It’s hard to explain but it was so weird that at one point I even said it out loud. I said, “this feels much longer.” And they agreed with me. I kept looking behind me with the flashlight. And my husband kept looking out to the sides and my friend kept hers mostly forward.
I kept feeling watched and couldn’t figure out what footsteps were ours or if they were all ours that I heard. I would turn in the direction of any noise but not see anything. When my husband was walking he kept saying he was catching eyes in his flashlight, usually you can catch raccoon eyes spying on you or some animal like that. He was afraid maybe a bear or big dog or something. And he never got his lights on whatever eyes they were long enough to see an animal size or shape.
Now we’re hiking down semi flatish area, compared to the downhill hike we’ve been doing at least. The log fence or hand rail or whatever it’s called is on our right side. We are in a row walking within reaching distance of this barrier. And my husband just stops walking altogether and says, “what’s that,” but the question is more of like an alert and I move my hand lamp in that direction and don’t see anything at first. Then both of his lights catch a shape, and then my head lamp catches it and I move my hand lamp to center and catch it while my friend simultaneously finds it in her lights as well. All six lights shine onto and kind of reflect off of a light grey creature. It is bent in a crouching position kneeling on its right leg and starts turning towards us. It starts to slowly stand and mind is racing still. It looks human but it is too big. People mistake human shapes for what’s actually bears in the woods often but this is skinny. It is thin and big and almost white it’s so light grey and it’s skin resembles dolphin skin. There’s a shine to it and our lights get reflected a little when they’re on it. It gradually comes to a full standing position in front of us. It’s head is long and its eyes are in a human position on the face in front and not on the side like animals but I could not see any other facial features. Just big almost empty holes or pits that were it’s eyes. It looked directly at us and our lights. The way it stood was intimidating, almost like when a snake raises up and flex their necks all crazy to show prey that they’re stronger and smarter. It was like it was stepping up to a fight. From crouching then turning then standing front on in front of us, the arms hung down low and the hands seemed long too. It’s hands had to be by its knees? I’d guess it stood 9 feet or so and not that far in front of us. No hair at all and it’s head was large as well. I couldn’t process what I saw and was frozen.
Then I just feel my husband hitting me on the back and yelling, “run run run.”
I start to understand we have to get away from this thing and it pivots and runs to the right. Going backwards on the trail so it could get around the barrier and onto the trail behind us. We take off running the rest of the way down the trail. Knowing that this thing just took off much faster than us and after it had crossed from behind the barrier it would be gaining on us quick. We didn’t talk at all, because when we tried it felt almost like we would get caught. We keep running as we can but some areas are so steep. It never felt like we were out of sight from this creature. As we made it to the trail beginning with the gravel we could hear something to the side crashing down through the forest. We ran until we got to the car and then we drove as fast as we could and as soon as we got to the main road the any cleared up, and the Stars were out.
When that thing looked at us I knew it was smarter and faster than us. I knew that if we hadn’t have seen it that it could have easily taken one of us and gotten away. I think the only reason it hesitated was because so many of us saw it at once and we stayed together.
When we made it back to where we were staying all of us took out our phones and wrote a note for what we saw happen. We hadn’t spoken about it until after we looked at each other’s phones and the stories were the same. Without a doubt we had all seen something real. KK
NOTE: Very bizarre account. Here is a link to another weird encounter in the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. Lon