Before I begin, I'd like to note this event  happened just last week as of writing this on August 2nd, 2019.  I have no idea what we encountered, and I'm sharing not only to warn others but also to get some information about what we might've seen. Feel free to judge for yourself, even give me pointers as to what it is you think we met. Without further ado, let's get started.

It was the morning of August 2nd. For two days now, me and my significant other (who I'll refer to as S.O.) had been camping far inland from Mueller State Park, a fair bit from Green Mountain Falls,  right on the edge of Crystal Creek. located in central Colorado.  It was a remote location which needed a good hike to get to. We had our tent set up at the edge of a circular clearing in the woods, which had about a ten metre diameter, with trees enclosing all sides except for a small break where a path was. As I got out of the tent, SO was sitting just outside, sniffing the air. She complained about it smelling of blood, and I took a big whiff. It was heavy ozone, and overpoweringly coppery. Probably prefix to a storm, I said. We thought nothing of it, and began preparing our tent ration breakfast. 

About six hours later, in the afternoon, we decided we wanted to make a proper fire. Making sure our tent was sealed up, we opted to forage in the woods for appropriate kindling and decently sized stones to reflect the heat. We only were about forty five metres from camp when odd things started happening. At this point the coppery smell was completely faded, and so when it came back suddenly, we noticed right away. The air grew heavy as the smell became overpowering. Me and SO both tried to cover our noses with our shirts, but it really didn't help. We continued collecting for the fire, fighting through the urge to gag on the smell. A few minutes later, we began to hear something.

Maybe ten metres away from us, there was rushing, like an animal moving quickly, and also this strange noise. It sounded like someone, or something, jittering their voice while mid laugh. If you want a reference to search up, try Peter Griffin's laugh, only it was monotone, and a lot deeper, almost distorted like it was coming from strained vocal cords. The animal was fast, and it seemed to be darting around in the undergrowth right beyond our eyesight. From the way the brush moved and the sound, it seemed large too. My SO was terrified, and so was I, seriously afraid of a potentially dangerous and weird-sounding animal. We began to walk quickly back to the camp, preparing to drop our stones and wood to run if necessary. The noise seemed to always stay close by but never close enough to see what was making it. As we got into the clearing, it seemed to stop altogether. 

We were both very shaken, but assumed it to be an animal we didn't have much experience with. We didn't lose much of our material on the rush back so we began assembling a small fire pit. The rest of the afternoon was uneventful, and when it came night we headed inside before it got too dark. A while after we fell asleep, maybe around two in the morning, SO got up and I woke up as I heard them crawling out of the tent.  When they got outside, they started yelling. "Babe! Come here! What are you doing?" This chilled me to the bone, as I was obviously right behind her in the tent. I turned my phone's flashlight on and called her name, and she turned around, and when she saw me her face turned white. "What? How- you're inside. You just called my name from outside the tent!" She grew even more pale and started shaking, and I knew she was terrified. I quickly squatted up and pulled her inside the tent.  "What are you talking about? I've been inside the whole time. No one's out there." She looked visibly stricken with fear.  "Harry, YOU'RE out there!" 

I was beyond scared. She was completely convinced that someone who sounded just like me was calling to her from the woods. Despite being afraid, I knew I had to appear confident so I didn't heighten my partners now extreme anxiety. I grabbed a flashlight and small hunting knife from my backpack. I really am not skilled with weapons, but I thought it might be intimidating enough to ward off whatever was out  there, especially if it's just some people trying to scare us for fun. I calmed her down, telling her everything would be fine and I'd go check, and left the tent, flashlight and knife in hand. I still regret not just staying there and sleeping the night away.

When I exited into the clearing, I did a quick scan with my flashlight, and saw nothing. Then, looking down, I noticed something odd. All the stones around the fire pit were moved, thrown about the camp clearing in seemingly random order. When I noticed this, I bent down to pick up one of the stones. It was extremely hot to the touch, despite the fire being out for a few hours. As I kneeled examining the stone,  the copper smell suddenly filled my nostrils again, far far stronger than any time previous, and I heard a voice from right in front of me in the darkness, opposite the direction of the tent. In my exact voice, and inflection, it spoke the words I said to my SO seconds before. "Don't worry honey, everything is fine." A sudden cold came over me. The type of cold that washes over you when you knew you really messed up.

Without thinking, I raised my flashlight up. There stood the most horrific animal (if you could even call it that)  that I 'd ever seen.  It was huge. I stand about 5'10", and this thing had at least two feet on me. It looked like an extremely decayed, tortured, elk, but it had a far longer body, like that of a horse, and it was standing on two legs. Parts of its skin were missing, and it had the distinctive cervine skull formation. It's body was draped in a loose, brown, dirty tarp and it was extremely skinny, with skin and flesh missing around the ribs completely.  I didn't dare examine it any more. I began to inch backwards, breathless and nearly paralyzed, and then the beast suddenly emits a blood curdling, high pitched scream, and sprints out of the clearing. I heard leaves rustle and branches break for a good few minutes before it finally left earshot. Finally, I returned to the tent, trying to calm myself.

My SO was on the verge of breaking down, and so naturally I didn't tell her the truth. I said I saw a deer in the camp and must've scared it enough to let out a scream. I reiterated that there was nothing outside to be afraid of, and we both went to sleep, or tried to, anyway. I'm pretty sure both of us spent the entire night pretending to rest, all the while terrified of every stray noise we'd hear outside the tent. As soon as daylight struck, we packed up and left, and as we did, I got a good look at the pattern the stones were in.  They created a narrow arch that perfectly resembled a crescent moon, bending around where our tent was as it's axis.

Sufficed to say, I never have been more terrified than that night in the woods. I still have no idea what I encountered, but maybe someone who hears this story will.  Whatever it was I saw, I hope it's native Crystal Creek, Colorado.  And if you happen to be planning a camping trip down there any time soon, I'd pick somewhere else if I were you. Good luck and stay safe.
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