Two years ago I wrote a story on Darkness Prevails about a werewolf encounter I had in the woods near my house during the first week of 2017 (I wrote it under my old username WerewolfEngineDriver). Since these two years I've got a few, perhaps interesting details to mention- as well as a whole new, strange experience in those woods. 

In spring last year, there have been reportings of sheep farmers along the Dutch-German border- especially in the eastern Dutch provinces and way down in the southeast of the country. The shepherds have reported several cases of their sheep, and on some occasions even their sheepdogs being slaughtered, but not eaten. These cases have been on the news several times- especially since if the killers would have been wolves, they did display some off behavior.

Wolves namely don't just kill their prey and then leave it behind, neither would they even think about fighting one or several sheepdogs on a normal occasion, and lastly they would never invade human territory- especially not on their own, and the territory being guarded by dogs and the meadows having electric fences. Still there have been reportings of sheep and sheepdogs being killed and sometimes being partially eaten. In the southeast there were 11 sheep, of which 6 lambs, slaughtered but furthermore untouched.

There was no trace found of the killer, except from deep tooth marks in the torn throats of the dead sheep, as well as one pawprint with a length of about seven inches. 

After those killings there was a period of silence, until there were some new reports of the killings in the east having been done by wolves, this was said to have been confirmed by DNA- tests coming from the bite marks on the dead sheep. Roughly a year later, there is now a small pack of wolves living on the biggest Dutch national park Veluwe (pronunciation: VAA-lou-wa), and there have been no more reports of sheep getting killed. Not in the news, anyway. The killer of the 11 sheep in the southeast has also been 'confirmed' to have been a wolf, but this was never supported by DNA results or further arguments other than "Young wolves that are looking for a territory kill sheep on farms to show other wolves who's boss" (thus kind of contradicting the statement that wolves wouldn't dare to approach human settlements guarded by dogs and an electric fence).  Sounds a bit suspicious if you ask me... 

Now on to my update on my werewolf encounter back in early 2017. I loved going to the woods at nightfall so much that I've done it at least three times this year- though visiting a forest after sunset or before dawn is still illegal here. I would often take a short walk right before sunset and leave when it was almost completely dark, wearing dark clothes so the forester or creepy people wouldn't spot me that easily. 

I don't know why I'm addicted to walks, especially nocturnal walks in the woods. I've felt a really strong "call of the wild", if you want to call it that, since the first time I went off-trail in summer 2017. When I'd visit the woods, either going off-trail or not, not even the time of day would matter, I'd get energetic and excited about it. I would even dare to say that I wanted to go hunting at some occasions, when I'd see a deer or a rabbit run by. But I have neither a license nor weapons, so pretty sure I wouldn't catch anything. 

So a few weeks ago, at the start of autumn, I went for another night hike in the forest. I had to bring my flashlight since it was cloudy and rainy outside. As always I went there on my mountainbike, chaining it to a pole before I'd set off into the darkness between the trees. I saw just the last people walking back to their cars and homes, as I walked into the opposite direction. 

It had become completely dark when I reached the middle of the forest. I silently enjoyed the cold, the scents and sounds of the woods and had almost forgot about my encounter in these same woods almost two years ago. After having set myself down on a wooden bench nearby, I heard the faint bleating of sheep from about 200 meters away from me. I stood up and started to walk in the direction of the noise; mostly because the bleating sounded rather distressed- as if the sheep were panicking about and trying to flee from something. I was already surprised that I could hear it from that far away, but what surprised me at least just as much was that I could smell the scent of the sheep now as well. The wind was blowing in my direction, but still... I didn't know I was capable of this. 

By the way, it's quite normal that you encounter a flock of sheep here in these woods- as local shepherds have their sheep stay in several places to control the weeds growing there. One you might find them on a moor, and the other day they'd be stationed near the bank of a lake. A low, fairly easily removable makeshift electric fence would hold the sheep from wandering off and losing the flock. 

Tonight the flock was placed on a small moor about 200 meters from where I was seated on a bench. It took me some time walking toward the pen before I could see the sheep- as the flock was hidden by bushes from my direction. Though what I saw when I arrived at the pen kind of shocked me- cause not only were the animals running around frantically and trying to escape, but there had been two sheep slaughtered, lying in a small puddle of blood. I could see that their throats had been torn open, by jaws that seemed bigger than those of a dog, or even a wolf. There were no signs of the fence having been touched, though. What I did notice were a scramble of enormous, canine-loooking pawprints around the sheep's corpses and around the pen- as if the killer had carefully been walking around first, carefully choosing its prey before stepping inside and making its move. 

The sight was, of course, shocking and terrifying- but weirdly enough, not for me. I wasn't as shocked and scared as I'd expected myself to be. I felt more... Frustrated. Frustrated about someone or something havng been roaming around in -my- woods. Yes, I'd started to see these woods as my second home, as my...territory. I would have no idea why, that's just how it is. 

As much of a reckless idiot I was, I decided to follow the tracks- out of curiosity to see who/ what was roaming the forest at night. If i wouldn't have known better, I wouldn't have realized that I might have just been walking into the jaws of Death soon enough. But I kept following the huge tracks until the trees surrounding me made the environment hard to see.

I changed my mind, as I could no longer see much at this point- the trees blocking out pretty much every possible light entering my eyes. So I whipped out my flashlight and shone it around, while I could still hear the sheep panicking in the distance- just maybe 55 meters behind me. Though I got back on the edge when a new scent entered my nostrils- a scent which seemed to be a mix of wet dog and fresh blood. The scent would soon be accompanied by footsteps on the forest floor. Calm footsteps, as if something was walking up to me to check me out. I directed my flashlight toward where the scent and sound was coming from, and what I saw first were...eyes. Goldish yellow eyes, about 4 foot above the ground.

Now this already meant that whatever this was, it was bigger than a dog or wolf. I froze as the beast stepped closer, and at this moment I could make out its face and front view of its body.

It seemed to be a wolf, though in proportion slightly bigger and sturdier than a normal wolf. It's fur was dark on it's back and lighter on it's belly, and it even seemed to have short, dark mane on it's neck. The animal appeared to be staring at me cautiously, but it didn't seem to be aggressive. From the blood on its snout I could tell that this must have been the beast that killed those sheep, and now I was indeed scared, on the edge and cautious. It was not like I stood much of a chance against a wolf with huge teeth and claws, but till now my intuition told me to fight, rather than flight, when needed. The reason for this was probably because I saw the woods as mine, and this beast as an intruder.

Still showing no aggression, the creature came closer- until it stood about five meters away from me. Then, it rose up and stood on its hind legs, like a bear- now towering over me at about 7ft in height. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and I took a more sturfy, defensive stance- not showing the beast how much it's appearance intrigued me. It bowed forward a little, and sniffed the air to smell my scent.

It then quirked its ears- as if the wolf  was reconsidering it's choices on facing me. I read somewhere that if you make yourself appear dangerous and big when facing a predator, there's less chance that it will try to kill you. For a human I might appear intimidating, since I have a standoffish attitude in daily life and I'm tall as well as pretty muscular, but that wolf-like beast still looked down on my mere 6'3 while it stood upright. Still, I tried to make the best of it and attempted to not look intrigued and scared, which- to my surprise- seemed to work. The wolf stepped backward slightly, breaking eye contact with me as if it was rethinking its encounter with me.

I took a tiny step forward, and tried to look defensive and as territorial as I felt at that moment. And as it seemed to be the wolf's turn to get intrigued, I decided to take my chances. I breathed in deeply, and then said with my most intimidating voice: "My woods. Get. Out." 

Again, I was genuinely surprised that this happened to work. The beast turned it's head away from me, and growled softly- what seemed to sound like a protest. It then went down on all fours, and turned around to disappear into the darkness. Before it completely vanished from my sight, it gave me one last, awfully...human glance, its eyes reflecting in the beam of my flashlight. 

Soon as I could no longer see, hear or smell the wolf I let out a sigh of relief so loudly that I was afraid the wolf could still hear me (and that it would come back). Only now I started shivering on my feet, as the realization that I just survived an encounter with a werewolf- again- which might as well just could've ended in certain death, seeped into my mind. Cold shivers went down my spine, and I grew a little nauseous after I got startled by a piercing, but distant howl coming from behind me. It was such a beautiful yet haunting sound- it reminded me of the howl from the werewolves in the game The Hunter (Classic).  The sound chilled me to the bone, and all I wanted now was get the hell out of those woods and back to my safe home. 

After about twenty minutes of speed-walking back to my bike and continuously looking around me and pausing, cautiously peering into the darkness at every sound I heard, I got back to my bike. Quickly I unlocked it and raced home. 

Back at home the realization hit me once again; I might as well have been as dead and torn up as those dead sheep. When I calmed down, the questions started coming in too. Why didn't the werewolf attack me? Why did it react like that once it sniffed my scent? And most of all, why did I manage to drive it off so easily? Does that beast know something about me that I don't know myself? 

What's also strange, is that I haven't heard anything in the news, even the local news, about the two slaughtered sheep in the woods. It's as if it never happened, with perhaps even the shepherd completely denying that his flock lost two of it's members to a supernatural predator...

All I know is that I won't be telling anybody in my family or friend group about m experiece. If it comes in the news after all, I'm sure people will just think it was a wolf, just like it happened with all the other sheep killings in the Netherlands over the past two years. And I'm quitting my nocturnal walks in the woods for sure- because next time I encounter a werewolf, I might not be so lucky.
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