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The following account was submitted to us anonymously and describes an encounter with a giant ape-like creature (possibly a notorious bigfoot) in the woods of Quebec. The story is claimed to be true, with the author stating that their life was forever changed by their traumatic experience.
Editor’s note: The following account has been edited for grammatical mistakes and increased clarity of information.
“I will never go back to those woods ever again.”
We live in the Quebec province of Canada, in a small village of roughly 2,000 inhabitants. My grandfather had land in a remote area of the region, and part of it extended to the shoreline of a lake called Lac des Iles.
Some of my earliest childhood memories are of visiting there. During summer, we would drive up to my grandfather’s prized location on his land. It was a quiet lake shore, made out of big rocks. We would go there almost every day that the weather permitted, even though it was a 45 minute drive each way. We would bring coolers full of food and beverages and we would spend the day there, jumping from the highest rock (which was 5 meters tall) into the deep, dark waters. It was always so refreshing and we had a lot of happy memories there.
On my grandpa’s land, there was also an old house that we would sometimes spend the night in. It was an old building with an old shed, and when it was cold at night we would warm the place with a fire. We would start in an old iron stove that people used before the invention of electric stoves.
I was always fascinated by the stars there. At night, my father and I would share this passion, looking at them together. The sky was magnificent due to the lack of light pollution so far in the wilderness. We would spend hours watching the stars and I would listen to my father explaining everything he knew about the cosmos (which was quite an extensive knowledge for someone who does not study in this field). I remember listening to him and asking a lot of questions. Sometimes we would fall asleep on our sleeping bags next to the fire, my young mind blown away by all the mysteries of the universe.
My father was a game warden. He roamed the forests all year, watching for poachers, doing check-ups on important wildlife hot spots, giving out tickets to hunters and fishermen who didn’t respect the quotas. Because of this, thanks to my dad, I was always very comfortable in nature. He taught me everything he knew. I could identify an extensive array of trees, animals, fish and plants. My father taught me to respect nature and its inhabitants, as well as how to survive in the wild and all those things. Those memories are also very precious to my heart.
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One night, when I was 16, my dad and I were staying at the house for the night with one of his cousins. We planned to go fishing at dawn. I loved fishing and it is the only thing that would get me to wake up at 4 a.m.!
It was about midnight and my dad asked me to make sure the fire we started in the firepit outside was out, telling me to pour water on the embers if needed. I went outside and the embers were glowing, so I went to the water pump and started pumping water in the bucket. It was a partially cloudy night, with an almost full moon. While pumping I heard rustling in the woods behind me.
At night in the woods a raccoon roaming around the camp can make a lot of noise. I was not scared as I had plenty of experience with wildlife. I knew it could have been anything, from a squirrel to a bear, and that in the eventuality of a bear (there was a large population of black bears in the area), the best thing was to remain calm. My dad always told me that your worst enemy while being lost or stranded in the woods at night was not wolves, bears or even the weather… it was panic. Panicking will make you do dangerous things and will cloud your judgment; remaining calm was vital in the wilderness. Besides, I knew my dad was a shout away with a firearm if needed.
I turned to try and see what was making the sound. The woodline was around forty feet from where I was standing. Just for a second, I saw a big shadow. The clouds opened at that instant and I could see the outline of something big. It was BIG, big. I was used to seeing bears, and a bear would have looked small next to it. I realized that I was looking around the height of what a bear would be up on their hind legs. But what I was seeing was taller still – it was a massive animal. I looked up and what I saw froze the blood in my veins. Time stopped.
I saw two, big reflecting eyes.
They were orangish and giving the typical glow of light refracting off the tapetum lucidum, a layer of cells in the back of animal’s eyes that reflects light and helps them see in the dark. I felt a chill run down my spine and then my legs. The eyes were at least ten to twelve feet up – way too high for a bear. I could also see the outline of massive and wide shoulders. Bears do not have large shoulders. The animal was huge, at least twelve foot tall, with massive, wide shoulders and long shaggy hair. The hair was outlined around its body, and was maybe a foot long. There were no ears sticking out of its silhouette, like you usually see in bears. I was trying to make sense of what I was seeing. I had never seen such an enormous beast in my life and I was certain nothing like this existed in all the books on fauna I had ever seen, and my dad had never mentioned encountering something even close to this.
I tried listening for telltales sounds, but all I could hear was my own blood rushing to my ears.
I was dumbfounded and paralyzed.
I tried looking over to the house for reassurance, but I could not move a muscle. I don’t know how long we stood there, just looking at each other. It felt like an hour, but it was probably no more than a couple seconds.
The moment broke when I heard my father’s voice calling my name. All at the same time I heard my name, a horrible smell hit my nostrils and that seemed to snap me out of my paralyzed state. I dropped the bucket I was holding in my hand and the thing turned its head around towards the direction of the house. That move brought its head into the moonlight. I could now see it had a flat face with almost no hair on it. The color of its skin was hard to make out, but it was dark. There was no snout – it was flat. A big, flat forehead with a big, flat nose. A wide mouth with almost nonexistent lips. And the eyes. The eyes… They were round and big. It looked like a gorilla and a human face mixed together.
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After turning to the house, the creature turned its face towards me and its upper lips went up like an animal baring their teeth in a snarl. I could see large teeth. I then heard a deep, loud, but low growl. I could feel it as much as I could hear it. It felt like a vibration going through my entire body, like a sound wave so strong it makes your flesh vibrate. That woke my body up. I had never felt such terror in my entire life, before or since. It was a primal fear. I’m not sure how to explain it, but it felt like every cell in my body was screaming at me to move. “MOVE. RUN. DO NOT LOOK BACK.”
I ran. I ran so fast that I was inside the house before I even realized I was moving. I never screamed. I couldn’t. No sound could be made. It’s like my vocal cords were frozen.
My father saw that I was in a state of shock and asked me what happened, repetitively, as I didn’t and couldn’t answer. I was crying silently, my breath ragged as I trembled like a leaf.
My father and his cousin then grabbed their guns and made a move to go outside, but I hysterically screamed at them to stay inside. My father looked at me with worry in his eyes, but stayed inside. After a while, I calmed down enough to be able to tell what I saw.
My father told me I had seen a bear and that my imagination got the best of me. I wanted to believe him very much, but I knew that what I had seen was no bear. It was way too big and the silhouette was very different. It had a roundish head, with a slight conic top and apparently very little to no neck, and no ears. Its fur was longer, its shoulders wider and its height taller. It was no bear. Its eyes had an orangish glow to them. Every bear I have ever seen at night has a more greenish color to them. The smell was also overwhelming. And that feeling of dread – that primal fear and deep urge to run away… I had always been curious about fauna and liked to observe all animals in the wild. But I did not feel that on that night. All I felt instead was pure terror.
I started sobbing like a five-year-old. My father rocked me in his arms, singing me the lullaby he sang for me every night when I was younger. I fell asleep in front of the fire as the dawn came. We did not go fishing that morning. I slept for part of the morning and when I woke up the truck was all packed up. My father’s cousin went in the woods around the house to try and see any sign of animal activity but found nothing, except for broken branches in the dense, wet forest.
On the route home we talked about it more. My father was trying to convince me that what I think I saw didn’t exist. He said that if such a creature was around the forests there, he would have seen it, or at least seen signs of it, in his twenty years as a game warden. After all, if he had seen the elusive mountain lion with his own eyes multiple times, he would have surely seen, or at least caught a glimpse of, such an enormous animal.
He put a smile on his face, saying again that I had misidentified a bear, repeating that my imagination had played tricks, but you could see that he was disturbed. Maybe it was disturbing to see his child in such a condition. Maybe what I said made him think.
I refused to go to the lake for at least a year. Then, I agreed to go swimming there, but we never slept there again, and I always made a fuss to never stay past dusk.
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I have hunted for information about what I saw ever since. I am not sure if what I saw was a bigfoot or maybe a giant ape-like creature… but one thing I am sure of is that this was no bear. I am thirty-two now and I still dream about what I saw when I was sixteen from time to time. Now, every time I am in a forested area, I have that gut instinct to turn around and get out. I live in a big city now, and I will never go back to those woods ever again.
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