It happened about forty years ago.
Two young brothers had walked a couple of miles into town to go to the show. That's what we called going to the theater to watch movies back then.
Nobody was coming in the family car to drive them home, so when the movie was over they started the long trek back home. But they were young, and what's a couple of miles when you're a kid?
They didn't fear the dark---they were too old for THAT, only babies were scared of the dark---and they were walking down a road they had walked many, many times before.
The night was clear and crisp. They had left the lights of town behind and were talkin' about the movie they had seen.
During a lull in the conversation, they heard a sound. A kind of swishy sound.
They started walking again. The sound started again.
They looked behind them but couldn't see anything but the road. It was dark and they couldn't see anything in the woods on either side of the road.
Now, when you are way out in the country where there are no city or farm lights, the night is as dark as the inside of a felt hat. It can be black as pitch. The only light is moonlight. If the moon is out.
Was it an animal? Being country boys, they knew what was in the woods around their house. They had hunted and fished there all their young lives.
Deer don't follow you around as a rule. Most other animals would either remain still or run away from man.
Coyotes? Well, maybe, but you can hear a pack of those when you're standing dead still, listening for them.
Could a panther be stalking them?
The only sound was the sound of their own breathing.
They were beginning to feel the fear. Just a little bit.
They began to walk again, a little faster.
The strange sound started again.
A ghost??? Ghosts aren't real...........are they??
Home is still a long ways off. It's still dark, and whatever it is is keeping up with them. Unseen.
The faster they walk, the faster IT walked. If they stopped, IT stopped.
When the last of the bravado failed, they RAN for it. Bravery be damned!
IT, whatever it was, was keeping pace, and IT chased them all the way down the road. They ran faster and faster.
Finally, they saw the lights of their house! But IT was STILL there, chasing them across the yard, and IT was still coming when they ran across the porch and burst through their front door.
They collapsed in the living room floor, gasping for breath and scared to death. Crying.
Their parents had heard them pounding across the porch and it sounded as if they tore the door off of the hinges. They tried to calm them down enough to find out what had happened.
Were they hurt?? Was there an accident of some sort??? An emergency of some kind, maybe? Were they in some sort of trouble?? Was someone after them??
When they finally caught their breath and saw that they were safe, they got up, still shaking.
THERE IT WAS AGAIN!!! THE SOUND!!!! OH MY GOD, IT WAS IN THE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Of course it was in the house. It had been with them all day.
It was the brand-new corduroy pants that they had just gotten. Caught up in the excitement of new clothes and going to see a movie---rare treats indeed--- they never noticed the sound that the new, stiff material made when they walked. The sound material makes when your thighs rub together as you walk.
I got that story years ago from one of those two brothers. He said that if the front door had been locked he would have died on the front porch from fear.
Always remember that the worst fright of your life may be the one you create for yourself!