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Reader Submission: The Shack


“Hey, there. I was Googling Hunting Island and saw your post about the light house. I thought you might be interested in an experience I had at the park.

My family and I recently spent a week in Beaufort (South Carolina). We did the typical touristy stuff – carriage rides, history tours, lots of shrimp and grits – but one day we got bored with the scene in town and drove to Hunting Island State Park.

The first thing my parents wanted to do was explore the nature center and the connecting pier. That was fine for about 20 minutes, but my sister, Kate, and I really wanted to visit the beach. After some whining and complaining, we finally convinced our parents to turn us loose.

We followed the first trail we saw and eventually crossed over a boardwalk and down to a torn up portion of the beach. I say torn up because there were chunks of concrete scattered around as well as several uprooted trees. I also saw what looked like large, plastic pipes. It was a little strange, but the strangest thing we saw was a blue shack looming above the ocean on wooden stilts. The shack was all alone, several feet out in the water, and from what I could see, completely inaccessible. There were no stairs, no ladders, no way up. Here’s a photo I found online (above).

My sister and I debated what it could it be, guessing it was an old ranger station or something, but we soon lost interest and explored the beach for awhile, collecting shells and killing time. Then something in the shack caught my eye. We could only see one small window from our vantage point on the beach, but I could have sworn a figure in white was pacing inside. I looked at my sister, and she said she’d seen it too.

We were confused, because like I said, the shack was several feet out in the surf and there appeared to be no way inside. I caught sight of the figure again and saw that it was definitely pacing – back and forth, back and forth – but the longer I stared at it, the more uneasy I felt. It looked like a person, but…not. Its edges were oddly blurred, and it appeared to stagger. Just as I was about to tell my sister we should leave, the figure stopped directly in front of the window.

“It’s looking at us,” Kate said. And though the shack was too far out to see the figure in the window clearly, I knew she was right. And for some reason that terrified me. It must have freaked my sister out too because without saying a word, we both turned around and hurried back the way we came. All the time, I had the feeling of being watched by something…malevolent. I know that sounds corny and dramatic, but there’s no other word for it. I was sure whoever, or whatever, was watching us from the window wished us harm.

Though it’s embarrassing to admit, at this point I began to run. I took one last look as we got to the beginning of the trail, and when I did, I saw a large, white mass hurl itself from the window and into the surf below. The crazy thing is that there was no splash. Whatever it was penetrated the water like a knife. I didn’t stick around to see if it resurfaced. I ran faster than I’ve ever run in my life, practically dragging Kate behind me.

When we got back to the nature center and told our parents what we saw, they laughed and said it was probably just a pelican or some other sea bird thrashing around in the shack. And I admit that makes sense. But I don’t believe it.

When we got back to the hotel, I Googled Hunting Island Park and, amazingly enough, found an article about the old shack. Turns out it’s an old rental cabin. It was once one of several rental properties on the beach but is now the last cabin standing due to severe beach erosion (hence all the rubble we’d seen). According to the article, the family who owned the cabin was very happy there. There were no sudden deaths in the property, or anything like that, though several people have drowned at the park over the years. Honestly, I don’t know what we saw that day. And I’m pretty sure I don’t want to find out.”

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Ghost and Ghouls

by cnkguy
Reader Submission: The Shack

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