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HomeOpinionColumnI want your spooky and strange stories

I want your spooky and strange stories

By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

I love stories of the paranormal and the odd. Stories of boogers and haints. Of weird critters in the woods and strange lights in the sky.

I’ve been studying the Fortean (the catch all term for strange phenomena, named for journalist Charles Hoy Fort, who collected such tales) since I was a child. Over the years I’ve interviewed UFO witnesses. I’ve gone Bigfoot hunting in the Ouachita Mountains and the Big Thicket with some of the most respected researchers in that field. And I’ve stayed in purportedly haunted houses.

Despite having some fairly odd feelings, and even finding what some might take as a Bigfoot track, deep, deep in the swamps of southeast Texas, I’ve never had what I’d call a paranormal experience.

In fact, sometimes I think I’m the only one in my family who hasn’t had some sort of encounter.

Some might say that’s due to my deep skepticism – if there is a logical explanation, I’ll usually take it over the spectacular one any day. But I’m not closed-minded, and in my youth I was much more of a “true-believer.”

Still, even then, I didn’t assume every stray noise was a ghost or every foul odor a skulking wood ape. And while my sisters saw disembodied glowing feet moving around the neighborhood, and my parents both claimed to see my father’s doppelganger in my grandparents’ old (reportedly haunted) home, I never saw anything.

But even though I’m mostly skeptical, I don’t think most folks are lying when they claim to have experienced something spectacular. They may be interpreting something differently than I would. Or they might be experiencing things that my mind is filtering out for whatever reason.

Even if I don’t believe in aliens from another planet visiting Earth– the extraterrestrial hypothesis is just too easy to explain away with both science and folklore – I still believe that sincere witnesses have experienced something.

Just not extraterrestrials.

Extraterrestrials, especially the now ubiquitous “grey” aliens, are just the modern way of interpreting and experiencing a phenomenon that has always been with us.

Maybe it’s mostly psychological. Maybe there is some material reality to it.
I’ve never experienced it and I really can’t say.

What I can say is that I love the stories. I love what they tell us about ourselves, and the culture and society we come from.

And I’d love to hear yours.

As Halloween creeps up on us, I’m asking you again to reach out to me with your favorite spooky story. It doesn’t have to be about ghosts. It can be about a UFO. It can be about a black panther that prowls your papaw’s woods. It can be about the oversized footprints you found while fishing Tygart Creek. It can even be a made up (or heavily embellished) tale your grandparents used to tell you to keep you well behaved.

I promise to treat anyone who shares their story with me with the respect they deserve, and to keep their identity a secret if they so wish.

So, don’t hesitate. If you have a strange story to share, one particularly suited to our current spooky season, please reach out to me with the details. I know I’m not alone in wanting to hear them.

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

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