I’m going to attempt to tell this story without getting distracted by meaningless details. I’m known for over explaining. So I’ll do my best to not run astray from the main story. And fair warning, it’s rather long.
In 2008 I was 18 years old. A couple friends of mine decided we were going to start ghost hunting. I have and still do have a deep interest in the paranormal. But at this point; I had people to indulge in it with. And we wanted to go somewhere away from the small Wisconsin town we all grew up in. I live about 30 minutes away from Green Bay. And one of my friends was looking for haunted locations around this area. Somewhere far; but not too far. Far enough to make an event out of it I guess.
We decided on a small town called Shirley. There was a reported haunted cemetery there. Where you could see a light floating in the corner of the cemetery. Hear voices. crying. Typical haunted cemetery stuff. We had a good ol' fashioned VHS camcorder that we recorded with. It had a old school light on it. It got the job done for a group of 18-20 year old's who just decided to go ghost hunting.
The mention of this camera has importance. Either way; one of the 3 friends I was doing this expedition with was very excited about this. We stayed up all day and the night before the trip talking about it. Making jokes of “what if” situations that ended in humorous ways. Her and I have and still do get along very well. The other two friends were a childhood friend of mine, and her boyfriend at the time.
Anyways. Let’s try to skip all these details and just get to when things started getting notably strange.
We’re driving to the destination. Now I’ll start with giving these friends of mine “names” friend 1 (who is in the back seat with me) will be called “Cece” friend 2 (who is in the passengers seat) will be “Momo” and the boyfriend (who’s driving) will be “Lewis”. I’m sitting behind Lewis and Cece behind Momo. This is notable.
We’re driving in the car towards Green Bay; our destination Shirley is about 15-20 minutes passed Green Bay. I’m not good with my directions. So I’m sorry I can’t say which way we were driving.
It’s night time. Stars are out. We’re all excited. In a good mood. Smoking cigarettes. Making jokes. Cece and I can’t stop laughing at each other in the back seat. Her and I had developed an inside joke by saying “ya know what’s fucked up?” Meaning “I was just thinking the same thing” or “the same thing happened to me” there was a tone to the way we said it that made it either funny or serious.
It got to a point where we kept saying it so much that we basically were starting to just say the same stuff at the same time. We both noticed how strange this was and we did our best to avoid it. We tried engaging conversation with Momo and Lewis. Cece and I started a hypothetical situation in the cemetery where she would be holding a rubber chicken in her hand, and at the same time, in the same rhythm in the same way, her and I both made a ridiculous gobble noise. It was literally in sync. And it kept happening. We stopped talking for a while because it was stressing Cece out.
During this car ride everyone was noticing shooting stars. A lot of shooting stars. I didn’t see any. But every 5 minutes or so one of the other 3 would say they see one. I started thinking they were just fucking with me. I looked out the window and saw plenty of stars. But all stationary. I grew frustrated. I said in a jokingly angry tone “just show me one shoo-what the fuck?!” Before I could even finish my angry plea a star shot across my line of vision. I was in awe. It was impossible. I didn’t even believe it. The timing was perfect. As if the cosmos were saying; shut the fuck up.
I also couldn’t help but notice on the way there that we had no cars behind us. We were on the highway. Green Bay is a popular city. But never did a car pass us. Or we pass a car. Or see headlights behind us. Maybe taillights in front but that’s it. Never close.
Now I couldn’t tell you what any of the signage leading up to Shirley said but getting on the road to this town was almost surreal. It’s like parts of the road didn’t make sense. Trees in strange places. Signs in strange places. I remember we drove through a very small town that consisted of a gas station and not much else. A couple street lights. A veterinarian or was it a chiropractor...a dentistry? I don’t remember. All I knew is we had to turn left to get onto the road that lead to Shirley. And this wasn’t even the main road to the town. The main road to Shirley was a long straight road. It had a lot of hills. Notable hills. Also noting that still no cars had appeared behind us or in front of us. Or driving opposite us. It was as if we were alone. This is what it made it so surreal on those roads. There was a dear at a point that was just standing on the side of the road. Watching us drive by. Then another one. Then another one. All males. It was very strange.
The center of Shirley consists of a mill of some sort. A bar. Another bar. And old buildings that may have been turned into apartments. It looked like there were lights on in the windows but it was hard to tell.
We drove down the road the cemetery was on. We drove by a church. Which had a cemetery next to it. But not the one we were looking for. In all honesty we didn’t find the right cemetery on the first trip to Shirley. Yeah. We went back. Once. Twice? I don’t remember. It all runs together. Except the first time. The first time was something straight out of the twilight zone.
The roads of Shirley were pretty bare besides the occasional farmhouse and barn. The fields separated the houses pretty well. But still. It seemed like there were a lot of lights in this town...for such a small population it was like every house had 5-6 lights outside. Not including decorations or solar lights. But actual lights. Bright lights. On the house. The garage the barn. A pole. In the fields. Lights just kept showing up. Some of them disappeared the closer we got to them. The whole time still no cars around us. No movement in the town.
We park outside the cemetery/church and try to film something from the car. None of us feel like getting out. Mostly because we all couldn’t help but notice that it didn’t feel normal outside. We stuck our hands, and heads outside. And it just felt; wrong. Like if we got out of the car we couldn’t get back in. So none of us wanted to even attempt to get out. There was a cornfield to the right of us. With tall corn that was ready, if not beyond ready to get cut down.
Momo takes the camera and passes it to Lewis who films the cemetery. Then passes the camera back to Momo. This happens a couple times. When out of nowhere we notice a car is driving away from us. Lewis decides he’s going to follow it. For no reason. He wants to catch up to it. But he can’t. He’s going 45, 50, 65, 70. The car ahead of us is keeping its distance. I guess it’s possible that they thought we were up to no good, or they thought we wanted to do them harm. But to us it was like no matter how we tried, we couldn’t get close to this car. It seemed like it didn’t have a backplate on. Which is of course illegal. We then see the car take a curve in the road that goes to the left. We’re driving...and we never come to this curve in the road. We’re all saying, it turned here right? The road should have curved already. The car was gone. There were no roads to the left. Just fields. I don’t know how to explain it.
Eventually we saw a car driving towards us. Not a car. A truck. Always a truck. A dark truck. You couldn’t see who was driving it. But you just always knew that if you saw headlights coming towards us, it was a truck. The same truck. I swear. It had no plate on the front. And it kept driving by us like it had multiple streets to turn down and surprise us with. But there were probably only 4 roads in this town. Maybe 3-4 street names. It was all fields like I said. But this truck. Then we saw 3 cars coming towards us. I felt almost relieved. No way it’s gonna be 3 trucks on after another. But. Fuck me right? One after another. 3 of the same looking truck in perfect intervals drove by. All with no plates. All going the same way. All taillights disappeared behind us. Still never was there a car behind us.
The excitement was starting to die out as none of us wanted to get out of the car in fear of falling into the false reality that was Shirley. So after attempting to follow another car which disappeared on the same road as the last one; we decided it was time to go. But I insisted that I wanted to go back to the cemetery and that I would get out of the car if we did. But then as if to defy my wishes; out of nowhere headlights appeared behind us. They felt; evil. Angry. They didn’t seem like just some car that popped up on a casual drive. It felt like; an evil pair of fucking headlights.
Lewis was freaked out and said we were leaving. He turned onto the road we took in and was driving well over the speed limit. The headlights were still behind us. Keeping up with us. He drove faster. So did they. Faster. Faster. We could almost feel the car catch air on the many small hills on this road. The lights behind us started bobbing in and out of sight behind the hills of the road. Until they just didn’t come back up. There was no way they turned. There was no road. We drove by all the houses. Even if they turned off their lights we would have seen them. No one could have stopped that suddenly and switch off their lights without something happening. I know we were going over 85 mph. And so were they.
We got to the road we turned on to leave Shirley. It felt relieving. There was an old car that was about to turn into Shirley. They waited for us to turn out on the road they were on. They didn’t have to. No cars were coming. We saw them for a while. They had time to turn. The headlights of our car hit the side of the car. I looked into the car to see who was going to Shirley at this time. I saw nothing in the car but a black silhouette. I asked if anyone saw the driver of the car. They all said no. They either didn’t notice or didn’t care to look. But I did. How would headlights; blacken someone’s features out?? I should have seen their face. I’ve tested this theory many times. I should have seen them. Also note, this would have been the first actual sedan to have drove opposite us. The first NOT truck.
I kind of felt relieved to be on that road. I for some reason feel like a deer or two watched us leave. I was confused. And frustrated. And had so many questions. But who could answer them? What was with this town? I couldn’t help but think about all these things. everyone was silent. Like everyone was drained. I was looking at my phone. Or something else. I’m not sure. Phones weren’t very entertaining yet. But I remember I was texting a friend and he was at my apartment. I then noticed out of the corner of my eye that Cece was slowly turning her head to look out the back window. She then started crying. Hysterically crying. I was so caught off guard. I asked her “what’s wrong?!” And I looked out the back window of the car.
There. From the road we just drove from; was a dead end road with an old ball top street lamp right in the middle. Trees all around it, Surrounding the dead end. The dead end...we just came from??...and under that light, stood a being in a white cloak and gown. Like a white grim reaper. I couldn’t see their face. The hood covered it. But I felt them looking at me. It felt like I was staring at them for minutes. But it was only seconds. I then remembered why I looked behind us to begin with.
I look at my crying friend and I put my hand on her shoulder and I ask her “What did you see?! Tell me what you saw!”
She said between her sobs “I saw a man. In white. On the side of the road. He tried to open your door. I saw him out of the corner of my eye in Lewis’s window. When I looked up he was reaching for your door. Then I followed him with my eyes. And the road changed. Then I looked away”
I couldn’t believe it. But I told her I saw the same thing.
It was reaching for my door? How did the road change? She said he just went from being on the side of the road to being in the middle of it. She couldn’t understand what she was seeing. I couldn’t understand either. It was like we were the only two in the car. Lewis and Momo both said nothing. They didn’t ask anything. If she was okay. They didn’t even look behind the car. I don’t think they wanted to. It was almost like something was telling us. “Now stay out”
Momo and Lewis both said they didn’t say anything because they felt like they didn’t care. They felt...nothing. They didn’t look behind them. They didn’t utilize their mirrors to see behind us. They just looked ahead. Like everything went black and white.
We went back a couple times. Nothing compared to the first time. I don’t know what was so special about it. Maybe the day. The energy. The want for something paranormal. We went to Shirley looking for a cemetery that we never found. And we left with a really fucked up story to tell. Some people don’t believe us. It doesn’t matter. We know what happened. I just wonder if it ever happened to anyone else. And if they got out of the car. Or if they were chased out the way we were. Either way. When we got back to my apartment we watched the little bit of video we recorded.
We saw the trucks. The taillights. The many random lights in the town. Even a few moments where the lens flare from 3 barn lights resembled the white hooded figure that saw us out. Which made Cece cry hysterically again. But what made my skeptical friend rewind the video over and over, was when Lewis handed Momo the camera when we were parked next to the cornfield. On the video, you can clearly see a man with a straw hat and overalls walk out of the cornfield, looking at us. With no legs.