I've been living in Cornwall for just over 5 years now, I've learnt about loads of different spirits and monsters in Cornish folk-law. Well, I have unfortunately had a few experiences and actually have stories to tell.

About 4 years ago, I learnt about the 'beast of Bodmin'. It is supposedly a large, black wild cat who lives on the Moors of Bodmin. It's been said to have killed masses of live-stock in the early 1900's and has turned it's attention to people every once in awhile. I've always been interested in Cryptozoology, so this kind of thing really grabbed my attention and I started doing my own research. After some time, I kind of got bored of the idea when the sighting of this creature dried up, so I lost interest in it for quiet a long time. Well, that was until I went on a camping trip with my family and some friends,

I spent a couple of nights in an open field near the home of these family friends. It was very fun, and we all were having a really good time, we just relaxed and shared a few stories by the campfire and had a few drinks, that was until one of my friends (I'll call him Charlie) started telling us about how some of the tree's in the neighboring woods had large scratches up to 6 feet up the trunks. We all threw theories back and forth, that's when Charlie brought up the beast of Bodmin. Being the scaredy cat I am, I decided to go off to bed and ignore the conversation taking place outside my tent.

The night was thankfully uneventful and we woke up early for a hike on the Moors. We had been given time to look around standing stones and some other landmarks, then Charlie took me and my family to a small woods. After about 10 minuets of walking we came to a group of trees, most of which had what I thought was claw marks. I knew what he was trying to show us, but both me and my younger brother (I'll call him Ali) didn't want to stay around for too long. I'll be honest, I was scared. So, with much pushing, my mum, me and Ali left and started walking towards camp. The thought of having a huge man-eating beast practically next door to our camp gave me the chills and made me feel physically sick... I wanted to just go home.

On the last day of our camping trip, me and Ali decided we would stay together in the same tent. We were still really scared and didn't want to sleep alone. We both lay down and were fast asleep in only a few minuets, my brother was only 8 or 9 at the time, but I felt a lot more comfortable knowing I had someone by my side. That feeling went away quite quickly. At about 2 in the morning I woke up needing the bathroom, so I made my way out of the tent, trying super hard not to wake Ali and did my business. To my surprise I saw the glare of eyes in the torch light, Me, being the idiot I am, thought it was my dog (Bella) and called her over. The low grumble that followed instantly made me shut up and reassess the situation. I realised after a moment I was looking at a large black shape, not a small white dog. I didn't wait around to find out what it was going to do, I ran and jumped into the open tent and right on to my brother. I zipped up the tent and grabbed hold of a now really angry and sleepy eyed Ali. He later told me he had been trying to push me away and ask me what the hell I was doing, but I guess I wasn't really listening. I spent about half an hour listening out for that noise again, but thank God, it never happened. Ali eventually fell back asleep, but I knew I wouldn't be able to, not until I was safe back home. I'd never been so happy as to see the sun rise and hear my parents waking up.

The next morning, needless to say,I didn't tell anyone... I knew that if they hadn't seen what I'd seen then they wouldn't have believed me. I didn't even believe me, I still don't sometimes. We got home, and I tossed away any thoughts of the camping trip, I didn't want to remember it. I didn't think I'd ever have to remember or think about that trip again until 3 nights after our return home.

I sat in bed watching an anime and having hot chocolate when I first heard it. The padding sound of something running back and fourth in front of my house. I tried to ignore it the first few nights, but then I realised, it can't have been a dog or badger, It couldn't have even been a fox. All these animals have non-retractable claws, which means I would have heard the sound of claws scraping on the road... But I didn't, and it was far too big to have just been a cat. Just the heavy repetitive padding of paws brushing away stones and dirt. I told my mum and her partner, but they told me it's probably just some farm dog, but I'd listened countless times to the noise, I knew the difference. I never brought up the courage to look outside and see what it was, but after a few weeks, it just stopped.

I still have no idea what it was to this day, nor will I claim it to be anything, but I know what I heard and saw. I'm not even 100% sure if its all connected. I'll keep these events in mind when and if I ever go camping again... I really hope if anyone comes to Cornwall and goes camping here, keep these in mind too.
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