The Creep Show


Our rural road

A creepy thing happened on my way home from The Belle Writer’s Studio the other night.

Sunlight was waning, giving into darkness when I heard Sade, our pittie, scratch on the office door. I got up to let her in, only to see her walking up the driveway toward a vehicle parked by our gate.

Although it wasn’t completely dark, I turned on the porch light, thinking it may be a neighbor coming to collect Buddy, our once foster dog, who has been staying with us while his dad traveled for the holidays.

After a few seconds when the car neither advanced nor left the driveway, I stepped off of the porch and began walking up the hill.

Sade had also stopped, but began walking with me when I approached. As I got closer to the vehicle, I could tell it was a white or off-white nicer SUV, not  the car I initially thought.

Sade was very apprehensive of the vehicle, sticking by my side, instead of running and barking as she normally does. Maybe her behavior made me feel that something was not quite right, but the closer we got, the more bad vibes I felt.

In years past, we’ve had problems with vacation homes at our end of the road being broken into during the off season and unfortunately, the Ozarks depicted in the movie, “Winter’s Bone,” is not far off the mark with regards to the meth problem in this region.

I could see well enough in the fading light to know the driver and passenger both looked up and saw Sade and I approaching.

That’s when they put the SUV into reverse, backing out of the driveway and then threw rocks speeding up the road.

Now I was really creeped out. Although people sightings are rare on our road, those who do find themselves here are usually lost, but knowing how wary property owners can be here, drivers always stop to explain what they’re doing, if they don’t ask for directions.

I called both of the full time neighbors at this end of the road to ask if they had visitors or were expecting any one that evening. They weren’t, so I relayed my story and both thanked me and said they would take extra precautions and lock up.

I’ve only been creeped out one other time here. When Dale was still working in the city, our dogs acted strange, growling and barking one night at something unseen behind our garage. Later, Emma,  our Shepherd/Rottie mix, lunged at the door barking her fiercest bark.

We learned that fall, upon discovering discarded camping equipment along the shore not 150 yards from our house, that someone had been living near the lake.

I thought of the irony of this once city girl living in a place where just the appearance of people on a road becomes suspect and the presence of wild animals is normal routine.

Yes, we’ve beefed up security at Our Little House.

Do you have any stories when something about someone just didn’t feel right? This story actually leads into a great book giveaway beginning tomorrow. Come back on Friday to learn how you can win a copy of a cool new true crime book. Great reading for those long winter nights.

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39 Responses

  1. Jane Boursaw says:

    I think it’s important to trust your gut on this stuff. I guess you’d call us in the country, but we have good neighbors at the bottom of our driveway (we live on a bluff) and are about 10 minutes from town.

  2. sarah henry says:

    I’m with Ruth: Sometimes the isolation of the country can seem scarier than the hustle and bustle of the city, where you can feel like there’s safety in numbers.

    • Kerri says:

      That’s probably why all of those horror flicks, such as Friday the 13th, with the setting in the deep woods, are so successful at being scary!

  3. lisa weekley says:

    Years ago my great grandfather was living in the little town of Stoneburg Tx ( where he had lived at the edge of town for years) when a strange man knocked on his door and wanted to use the phone. State he lived on an old chicken farm within sight. Granpa Ely did not let him in. Good thing too..because they found little bits of bones from his live in girlfriend all down the railroad tracks down the hill from the house. I do not think they ever found out how many people he killed. I Believe his last name was Lucas.

  4. Merr says:

    It’s amazing how dogs can alert us, or bring to our attention perhaps what our deepest instincts know…that something is a bit off, not quite right, etc. I’m glad you are safe. I remember when my parents (who lived in the suburbs) had installed those automatic flood lamps outside the house, that illuminate via sensor, so when someone comes within a certain distance to where they are mounted, big ole lights come on. Maybe be something to consider?

  5. Thank goodness for your dog. My dog has a bad habit of barking at anyone coming near our door. For awhile I tried to train it out of him, but now I like that people understand if they come anywhere near the door, I’ll know about it. Granted, my dog could never scare anyone away once they saw him. What a freaky experience!!

  6. Sheryl says:

    Creepy for sure. We live in a quiet area and whenever I see a strange car, I get suspicious. One reason to have a good, loud watchdog!

  7. Alisa Bowman says:

    Oh that sounds so scary! Next time get the plate # and call the cops to report the suspicious behavior.

    • Kerri says:

      Thanks, Alisa, but they were too far away and sped away too fast for me to have been able to catch up and get a plate number. Plus, it was getting dark and I don’t think I could have seen it anyway.

  8. Donna Hull says:

    Creepy? At our house in Montana, we can see visitors coming from far down the road. Since there are only three houses at the end of our dirt lane, we’re always scrutinizing for cars we don’t recognize. Our biggest problem is illegal hunting.

  9. Very creepy, Kerri. Unlike most people, I find the country to be more threatening than cities. It’s the isolation, I guess.

    • Kerri says:

      I guess bad things can happen anywhere, we’ve all read the stories where someone was robbed or killed in the streets of a city when there were hundreds of witnesses who did nothing.

  10. Living in the suburbs – not the big city nor the semi-rural area where I grew up – I’ve learned to be on edge for BOTH creepy people and creeping wild animals. Run-ins with possums and rabid raccoons are preferable to human intruders, I think!

  11. Alexandra says:

    How fortunate to have the dogs as warning! I always notice when something unusual happens on our rural road in winter. To answer your question, once we were on our way to the beach in a car and we passed a car that was acting strange. At this point, I cannot remember all the details. It was speeding, at first, but there was also other weird behavior. Sven stopped to ask if the person needed help. It turned out that the person was some sort of criminal whom the police were actively seeking. A custody battle of some sort. I thought it curious how I had picked up the strange vibe right away.

  12. NoPotCooking says:

    This is weird. I’m glad you are ok. Once when we lived in the middle of nowhere and I was home alone with a baby, there was a scruffy looking hitchhiker on the street in front of our house. I kept an eye on him. The baby cried so I turned around to pick her up and when I turned back he was gone. I had not heard a car. I called the police who came and checked around the house but found nothing.

  13. Jacq says:

    I think your senses definitely become heightened when you live in isolation. We have no full-time neighbors for about 5 miles, and if we hear a car, we listen to see where it’s headed. We have two public dirt roads nearby, but you can’t see our cabin from one of them and you have to be visiting us if you’re on the other one.

    In our case we have to keep tabs of who knows about our place, as we’re moving to the U.S soon and won’t be around to keep an eye on it. We’re looking to rent it out and have already had one couple through who I don’t want within 50 miles of it. So there could also be people known to you who become creepy in the right context.

    Its funny, when I first told someone we were moving out here, he joked about all the ‘scary hillbillies’ (he’s seen Deliverance too often I think). But the scary ones are actually the outsiders. Stay safe y’all!

    • Kerri says:

      I agree with people becoming creepy who are known to you. You stay safe too, Jacq! And I agree, it is the “outsiders” who are more scary than the neighbors.

  14. Nanci Bliss-Kelley says:

    Oh that IS creepy. Thank goodness you have the doggy AND the weapons training. Our two dogs are a major alarm system for us, thankfully! YOU BE CAREFUL!!!

  15. Heather L. says:

    Just three words – Trust your instincts.

  16. Wendy says:

    I don’t think anyone…anywhere…can be too careful. Unfortunately, gone are the days when you can leave your door unlocked.

    Take care!

  17. Lindsay says:

    My father will be 72 this summer and he has been an avid outdoorsman, if not leaning towards mountain man, all of his life. He has told me some stories of his strange encounters while being in the woods, some being extremely remote where you would not expect to run into anyone. His stories always make the hair on my neck prickle. He always carries a firearm with him. I guess I also have the ‘outdoors bug’ and I have done a lot of hiking, exploring etc…alone, without ever having a firearm or any other protection aside from my dogs. I’m married now however and my husband would never be ok with me hiking alone lol. I’ll be 29 this year though, and maybe I’m wising up a little as well. My husband and I are finally considering adding a firearm and some training to our backpacking supplies. Anyway, here’s to being smart, listening to your gut and another great summer of adventuring, esp for my dad, who may be turning 72 but has the heart and spirit of an 18 year old : )

    • Kerri says:

      Yes, definitely, Lindsay, here’s to you and your dad and continued fun adventures outdoors. I’m a true crime junkie. I read it and I watch the shows on television. The stories I find especially creepy now are people who have been abducted or killed while hiking or camping in our National Parks. (Shiver) Be safe. Get that firearms training.

  18. Teleia says:

    When a dog stops behaving normally, I take notice. Even if someone seems nice to me, but my dog’s hackles rise or he watches them intently, I become much more careful around them. I think dogs know things that we don’t.

    This is actually one of my fears of living along in the middle of nowhere (which is my dream). I don’t want to own a gun, but I also want to be safe. While the dog I have now is very protective and makes me feel safe, I won’t always have that to rely on. What do you do when you live in the middle of nowhere?

    • Kerri says:

      We have guns, Teleia. Dale and I both have had training (Dale has been handling firearms all of his life) and have taken safety courses in order to qualify for concealed carry permits. I personally would not be out here without them, even with our dogs. If that’s not an option, maybe some courses in martial arts?

    • Karen says:

      If you really want to be living in the country, even on a small plot of land, it is extremely likely you are going to need a gun–and be well trained with it. There are many kinds of predators-both animal and human, and most of them do not stop with a warning shout or empty threat. Most of the information I’ve read about moving to the country, living off the grid and otherwise taking up country living says a gun is a necessity, not a luxury, and training is imperative, not when you ‘get around to it’. Just a thought if that is really what you want to do.

  19. V Schoenwald says:

    When I first moved to my trailer park ghetto, about 2 weeks after I moved in, during the night, someone/thing was trying to force my south kitchen window open. I also have a cat that growls at strange noises and things. Trying to keep my composure, I got up, and walking quietly to the kitchen, and before I went in, I grabbed my 9mm from the night stand.
    I got into the kitchen, and watched the window for movement, and yep, had a black man trying to force the window open, I let him pop it, it broke, and he was balancing on the gas meter to jump into the window and then I stood there with the 9mm visible to his face, and told him he had 3 seconds before I shot him. All I could see was eyes and teeth, and he fell back onto the gas meter and ran so fast, down the street. I called 911, and as usual, the cops are slow, and told the dispatch, the cops could probably catch him running down the street. They did.
    Now, I will tell you, I have had weapons training, and my dad is an ex-cop, so firearms are something I do not take lightly. And yes, I would of shot him, if he proceeded into the window and got in the house, I would of not hesitated one bit.
    I live in a drug, crack, meth trailer park and that is all I have around here, also pedophiles and other assorted creeps, so I am aware of what goes on around me at all times. The owners of the park have put 3 pedophiles in here, all level 3’s.
    People who live in the country around here have terrible issues with creeps also. It is all around. I would say that what you ran into was a scouting trip to see what was down the driveway. Please keep a weather eye around you.

    • Kerri says:

      Ohh, that is creepy, Vicki, and reminds me of the time in the city when Dale, gun in hand, forced a kid, probably barely out of his teens, out of our house. He had walked on in at 4 a.m. looking for “the party” and then refused to leave. We both also have firearms training and concealed weapon permits, but that is also only part of our security around here.