‘Beast’ of the Land Between the Lakes Encounter in Grand Rivers, Kentucky
Written by wolverat on June 23, 2020
3 cousins encounter an unexplained upright canine in the Land Between the Lakes area of Kentucky. This is a very frightening and detailed account.
I recently received the following account from a reader:
“The summer of ’88 will always be a turnabout in my beliefs of ‘real monsters’ versus the demonic or paranormal type, when a new avenue of fear introduced itself and made a permanent pathway inside my mind.
It was on one of those hot July summer evenings in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, back in 1988, when this took place. (Grand Rivers is at the beginning of Land Between the Lakes entrance.) The sun was not completely down. I was staying at my Aunt’s house with my cousins for a few weeks during summer vacation, a very welcome home at the end of a dead end road. Hundreds of acres of woods surrounded the home that had been built down a hill and into the side of a large hill of dirt.
There were several homemade trails throughout the woods that led to several places; an old abandoned railroad track that went on for miles, another abandoned place-the old sawmill, and other paths led to parts of the shore line of the Kentucky lake. They all started out as walking trails, but with the new addition of a dirt bike that my cousin Joe had the trails became well outlined and defined. As with almost every day that I was visiting, Joe was out riding his bike through the woods, exploring, and just being with his own thoughts of a 15 year old. His younger sister, Ronda, was with me outside on the porch swing. She was 10, and I was 13 at the time. My uncle was working and my aunt was at the local IGA store down in town. Beside the driveway was a huge dog pen where their pet basset hounds lodged and was at the moment quite relaxed in the shade. The woods had been filled with only the sounds of birds and the chatter of squirrels for a few hours. Joe must have been way far off on a trail somewhere to not have heard that distinct sound of the dirt bike screaming through it’s gears echoing around the trees. I knew he must be on his way home, because his dad forbid him to be out in the woods at dark, so Ronda and I was waiting to hear that familiar putt putting of the bike slowly coming down the drive as he reluctantly came home to park it for another night.
As we swung back and forth, we heard something a bit strange in the distance. It was Joe’s dirt bike screaming at almost a soprano type of gear, long, steady, and fast, with no shifting sounds, just a straight stream of one gear in motion with a full throttle, going at top speed. The sound accelerated as he drew closer at such a fast pace, and we watched from the swing up to the top of the driveway where he would appear from the other side out of the woods. I couldn’t help but think that he had better slow down or he would come flying up over the top of the hill and downwards missing a wide stretch of pavement by being airborne. The noise didn’t softened or slow. Steady and fixed was his speed. And just as I had thought, he emerged from the woods in such a tenacious movement, that he did indeed go airborne a few feet before pounding down the front tire on the driveway, continuing his descent now with a struggle of keeping the bike upright and straight. Ronda and I jumped from the porch swing and got out of the way as we didn’t know where he was going to stop or in what position. The brakes hit hard and the bike slid sideways and as it came down to the edge and end of the drive, Joe tilted his body and let the bike slide out from under him before he went down the rest of the hill with it. Instead of the bike continuing to slide to the edge it was caught in a spin that variably died down as the engine sputtered, and then quit altogether.
Everyone was wide eyed and full of adrenaline, all our mouths open in shock. But Joe’s mouth was open in a strange fearful grimace, he was sweating profusely and his breaths were coming and going in great heaves. Tears were coming down his cheeks, mixing with the dusty dirt that the trail had left him powdered with. His eyes were at the top of the hill, at the top of the drive, unblinking, searching, waiting. We followed his gaze not understanding what this escapade was all about. In silence we watched with him for a about 30 seconds and then the dogs started barking. Growling. And then whining, trying to get out of the pen in a frantic panic of digging and gnawing at the fencing.
“IT GRABBED ME!! LOOK AT MY LEG!!”, Joe screamed, making us jump with alarm at the sound of his voice. We looked down at his Levi’s and saw scratch marks going across his right thigh, scratches that tore through the tough denim and left small bloody marks on his skin. The marks were like a bear-claw-rake, not those caused by branches or sticky bushes, but a definite wide pattern of a paw print. “IT WALKED ON TWO LEGS!”, his voice startled us again, as he was trying to tell his story in between huge gulps of air. He was frightened beyond belief, and the bits and pieces of what he was striving with extreme effort to tell us was coming out in loud syllables that filled us both with the same dread. “It was following me through the woods….along the path….from the old sawmill….hairy…it was so hairy…and it’s snout was so long…and it walked on two legs….it ran on two legs…”, his voice was sputtering, slowing, his eyes were still wide, and I could see the pulse of his heartbeat throbbing under the skin of his temples.
A howling began. From the woods, not from the dog pen where now the dogs suddenly stopped their own complaining, standing deathly still, staring up at the top of the hill, the nape of the hair on their back standing up, ruffled, their noses up in the air breathing in a strange scent. Then, a wolf’s howl. It was close. It seemed it was just a few yards from the road up above. Just as the idiot in a horror movie stands and stares at something to appear, that was what I was doing then, with a mixture of anticipation and confusion. What the hell was he talking about? I thought to myself, mulling over the brief descriptions; torn blue jeans, walks and runs on two legs, stalking him, hairy with a long nose and calling the mysterious hunter an “IT”. Joe’s tears came quicker and he started to push us towards the front door of the house demanding that we go inside and lock the doors. He had a hand on each of our backs and was urging us onward when IT came out of the woods above. At first it appeared to be a very large wolf emerging from the dark outline of the trees, but as it approached the one lane road that connected to the driveway, it’s height grew to a towering shadow that stood on two legs. Much taller than a man’s height, maybe by a foot, and with the sun gone down behind the clouds, it only cast a silhouette of blackness, hairy blackness. My mouth dropped wide as well as my eyes. This was not happening, this was not what I was seeing. My mind was going back and forth from rationality to reality.
It raised it’s long snout up in the air and let out a gurgling, slow, deliberate howl. One of the creatures arms bent and shaded its eyes from the glare of the security light above it. It wasn’t an ‘It’ any longer, nor was it a bigfoot. This was a wolf-like creature that, like Joe said, stood on two legs, was taller than a man, and was staring at the three of us down the hill. Those huge, black eyes, I will never get out of my mind. They were like two sockets of ebony oil shining under magnifying glass lenses. We ran into the house, tearing the screen door in the process, slamming the main door, locking it, pushing things, anything we could reach against the inside of the door. The kitchen was right behind us and so was the knife drawer which we raided and took several with us as we tried to decide where to hide. There was a house dog inside, another basset hound, Stubby, and he met us in the kitchen wondering what the racket was. Another howl from outside, coming from the driveway. Stubby’s hair raised and he started backing up at first, then he went to the front door and was smelling around the edges. The three of us ran to my Aunt’s room and was about to slam the door and lock it when the dog tucked tail and ran after us, beating us under the bed. All of us squeezed under the four poster, knives clutched in our hands, scared half to death.
We could hear the dogs in the pen outside going absolutely crazy with barking, and we could also hear other things being knocked around on the porch, then on the side of the house, then at the side door. We heard glass break. We could tell it was from one of the bedrooms, the windows were up high and they were very narrow so we knew that it would take some effort for anything to get thru them, but still we shivered from fright. Then my Aunt’s horn on her Cadillac sounded several times as she drove down the road and approached the house. That meant for us to meet her outside and help with the groceries. We didn’t budge. We couldn’t move. We didn’t answer her yells from outside for us to come unload the bags, we didn’t crawl out and unlock the door for her, nor answer her knocking. She finally had to use her keys and then give some hefty pushes against the pile of items we had up against the door; the trash can, 25 pound bags of dog food, water jugs, and a variety of other stuff. We stayed put. She discovered us only after all the groceries had been brought in and she noticed that her bedroom door was closed and locked.
It was amazing that we hadn’t cut each other in some way or another with the immature use of the knives in our haste to hide, and we were chastised in more ways than one when it came down to my Aunt observing us slowly emerging from her bedroom with the kitchen weapons in hand. We all started talking at once in a fervor, then we finally let Joe tell his story first, then we finished with it breaking a window just before we heard her horn on the car. She must have startled it. She didn’t laugh, she didn’t respond at all at first, in fact she never said a word until she came back from inspecting the windows in the bedrooms. My Aunt said indeed there was a broken window, broken from the outside in. She made us clean up our barricade and put up all the groceries. Later that night, after we were all in bed and my uncle came home, she related that evenings events to him. The next morning, their dad warned us, “Stay out of the woods.”
He went on to say that he himself had went down in the woods earlier that morning and found several pits dug and filled with animal bones and parts of carcasses along the path that led to the old sawmill that couldn’t be explained. There were also holes dug in the sides of the bluff along the hills that over-looked the old mill that looked like deep caves, big enough for a man to hide in. Then he told us that years before when the old boy scout camp use to be on the other side of Grand Rivers, that an unexplained creature with wolf features was seen along the waters edge close to the camp sites. He and his older son had witnessed it themselves one evening. I went back home a few weeks after this happened. And since then it has never ceased to be a moment of complete terror lodged inside my mind.
Not to awful long ago, in the late ’90’s, my uncle and my dad who had come down from Missouri to visit, decided to venture into those same woods in front of my aunts house. They took a couple of pistols and two rifles and were gone for several hours. These were two brave men, the bravest I know of, both of whom served in the military and fought in wartime. These two men came back ashen faced and bewildered. They had walked all the way back to the old saw mill. The pits, fresh ones, were still around, filled with the bones of forest animals. The holes in the bluff still there also. They both experienced the feeling of being watched and felt an uneasiness that ‘something’ just wasn’t right. The area where the sawmill was had no life stirring around it. No birds, no squirrels, no crickets, no bugs, even the small pond was still and lifeless. They couldn’t shake the feeling of being observed by a secret watcher and both swore they saw a large black shadow lurking in the shade of one of the mysteriously dug caves. That had been the first time they had been down that far on that side of the woods in many years, and both of them agreed that it was to be the last. My dad said there are some things you just can’t explain, that science doesn’t know about it, and these things should be left alone, they are not a part of our modern world. He felt that whatever it was that had scared the shit out of us so many years ago, still existed in the same area. His intuition has never been wrong so far.
Urban legend? Maybe some of the stories passed along the years have been added too, stretched a bit, like all local folklore, and first hand stories are over time. My story wasn’t an urban tale though. It was a first hand account of something I really and truly do not want to believe in, and wish I could forget; erase from my memory, because the nightmarish image remains real even though the events are still unexplained by the laws of science as we know it.” JT
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