Edit: It's long, but give it a read. It's worth it, I promise.
Edit 2: First gold?!? WOW Thanks!
Personal story, this happened to me, my brother and our friends. Not a "my sister's uncle's best friend story". I tell 100% truth, make no assumptions. Here are the facts, you make up your own mind as to what happened.
I grew up in a small mountain town in Utah away from civilization up a canyon. If you walk out my back door and through a 200 yard field, you will come upon a river and small wooded area. We always called these the River Bottoms, for obvious reasons.
Summer of 2004, just before I turned 16, our house was the go-to party location. Always clean parties, lots of people would show up, and most nights we would end up having a bonfire in the back yard with guitars and just chill and watch the fire and stars. One night, we decide to start telling ghost stories. One of my close friends lived a mile down the road, with his house the same distance away from the same river bottoms. Discussion turns from the fake ghost stories to real talk about weird things that have happened to us and my friend quickly takes the attention.
He tells two stories. The first was when he was younger, 10 or 11 he says. He wakes up in the middle of the night in the dead of winter and decided to go downstairs for a glass of water. His kitchen sinks faces the river bottoms. While drinking, he looks up at the window and sees a man's face looking at him from outside. He drops the glass, it shatters on the floor, and his mom comes in to see what happened. The turn on the porch light and look outside, where there had been fresh snow, and there was no man or any foot prints. Ok, must have been a reflection, sure.
A couple of weeks later, he is outside playing in the snow just after dark and his dog starts barking and growling towards the river bottoms. He looks out, can't see anything, but get's a weird feeling in his stomach and starts to go inside. He's about to the back door when he hears his dog behind him yelp, then he comes running towards him. Again, turns around and can't see anything, runs inside. He finishes this story saying that he has always had this fear of the river bottoms and doesn't want like going out there.
Naturally, as a bunch of young men with something to prove, a few of my friends decide they are going to go out there and explore. It is nearly a full moon and a clear night, so visibility is pretty good, I think 5 made this first trip. They leave about 15 or so of us just chilling around the fire for about 10 minutes, definitely not long enough to really get to the bottoms and explore anything and they come running back to the fire. A few of them say they saw something out there, which isn't too out of the ordinary. The field between my back yard and the bottoms frequently has cows and it is really common to see deer, coyotes, or other wildlife in the area. We talk them down and resume the guitars. One of my older brother's friends is sitting with his back facing the bottoms has been unusually quiet since he got back and keeps turning his head and looking behind him. At 6'5 and 240+, it was very out of character. Eventually, a second group decides to go out. This time, we go inside and gather up flashlights, hockey sticks, baseball bats, whatever we can find, just in case. This time we have a group of about 10, which includes myself. We get about halfway to the river bottoms when I started to get a really dark feeling. I relate it to fear, but it was so much more, just like something was not right. The only time I have had fear like this was when I had a gun pointed at me a couple years ago and had a genuine fear for my life.
Then we start to hear this faint whistle. Almost like you would hear with the wind in a wooded area, but we weren't in the trees yet. Then we heard it again in a different direction. Then directly behind us, much faster than a person could have moved without being heard or seen. We get freaked out and clump together. We hear the whistle again and the two with flashlights both zero in on the spot to our left and what we see for just a fraction of a second is a dark silouette, maybe 3-4 feet high, and red reflection in the eyes, then it darts away at insane speed and we lose it. Knowing that EVERYONE saw this thing, we all make a mad dash for the house.
Getting back to the fire, we decided we didn't want to stay there any longer. We put out the fire (in typical youth fashion, all the boys stood in a circle and pissed on it until the coals were gone) and climbed in the cars and left. About an hour or so later, my brother and I get home. As we're pulling into the driveway, we see the fire in a blaze again. Still feeling creeped out, we go to put it out with the hose and all of the wood that we had in the stack a few feet away had been thrown in the pit. Mega weird.
Here's where the story really gets interesting
The next day, we are having sunday dinner with my parent's. (Quick side story. My dad grew up in the 50s in neighboring house to where we currently live.) They ask if we had fun last night, and my brother said,"Yeah, but I don't know if anyone will be coming back any more" "Why's that, did you guys see the Boogie Man?" "Yeah Dad, we saw the boogie man" chuckled my brother sarcastically. "Really, I saw the boogie man once. I was really little, probably 8 or 9. I remember I was really sick and had a fever, but I remember looking out my front door one night about dusk and seeing this dark shape next to the our mailbox. It's head was just below the mailbox and it was looking at me with glowing red eyes."
My brother and I both look at each other like,"Did you tell him what happened?" and we both knew that he had to have been telling the truth.
A few weeks later, we are again having a bonfire at the house when we notice that the river bottoms seem to be glowing a little ways away. We hop in the car and get almost to my friend’s house when we see that the bottoms are on fire. We call 911 to report it (it is government land) and decide to go out and see it for ourselves while waiting for the FD to get there. It wasn’t super out of control, and as we get close we see that it is just the grass burning in a small clearing. We decide that we probably could even stamp it out, it just looks like a few lines burning in about a 10 foot radius. We get it out and one of my friends starts walking in a circle following the burned ash and looking towards the middle. He then starts to climb a tree and as he gets a few feet up, he says, “Guys, this is a pentagram.” The super weird thing is that it had been burning for at least 20-30 minutes before we got out there, but the grass was still burned in a perfect pentagram, no spreading at all. Super weird.
A few days later, we hear about how there were people arrested a couple years ago for performing devil worship in the river bottoms. They would regularly burn pentagrams into the ground and slaughter animals in the center.
So over the next year, the story spreads through the town and it becomes this sort of legend. My brother has this mythology class in the spring and the final project is to create a myth. The teacher, knowing this story, suggests to my brother that he uses this as his story and give it some depth. Greek mythology integrated with real life, my brother give life to the name of Neiphus Gowfin, or "Gow" for short, about a mortal cursed by Zues for an affair with Hera, doomed to be a river demon for the rest of time. But the background story is not enough. He decides that he needs evidence.
We decide to start the night off the same way we did that first night. Bonfire with about 15-20 people, guitars, ghost stories, then Gow stories. We called this the ritual, and it seemed to invite whatever it was. After a couple of hours, we decide it is time. We head towards the bottoms with a video camera (in night mode), a spot light, everyone has their own flashlight, bb guns, you name it. We get about half way out and the dark feeling comes back. Again, I really have to stop and stress this feeling. Fear, like you know something wants to dead. This time, we don’t hear the whistling, but we do hear a rush of something moving quickly, and very close. We can’t manage to get it in the light or on camera, so we decide that we have to keep going. We are about 20 years from the bottoms, and there is a small hill ridge that separates the field from the river. The front person stops moving and asks for the spot light. He shines it up on this ridge, and standing next to a tree is the black shape. Glowing red eyes, probably 4 feet tall, looks just like a child wearing a hooded trench coat, but so black that it seems to be made of a black hole. It stays there and stares right back at us. It felt like forever it was there, all of us looking at it, “DOES EVERYONE SEE THAT?!?” with our camera man just saying, “FOCUS DAMMIT, FOCUS.” Then it slowly takes two steps towards the tree, disappears behind it, and doesn’t come out the other side.
Screw the project, screw everyone else, panic sets in and everyone starts running towards the house. We get to the back yard, where we have to cross a barbed wire fence. Our house does have a lot of outdoor lighting, so we figure once we cross the fence we’ll be safe. The camera man is on the field side, still pointed towards the bottoms, when he realizes he is the last one on that side of the fence. Quick panic and he turns to hop over. We all get inside and after trying to calm down we decide to look at the footage.