About 4 months ago I was driving back from my parents house, which requires me to drive about 20 miles on a “country road.” There is a fair bit of traffic, but it was around 10pm, so not many people were out. There are no lights on the side of the road.
About halfway home, my car’s lights start flickering… instrument lights, headlight, everything. I start freaking out because my car is newer and I’m thinking the electrical system is fucked. My car stalls. Luckily I’m near a spot where I can pull off the road on to some dirt. I manage to stop the car, without brake assist. The car is dead. I turn the key and nothing, not even an ignition click. After beating on the steering wheel, I pull out my phone to call AAA.
My iPhone, which was almost fully charged, does not turn on. I hit the home button, hold down the sleep button. Nothing. It is almost pitch black and I’m starting to freak out. I open the glove box and start rooting through it for a little flashlight I keep in there. I turn the flashlight to turn it on. Nothing.
My mind is racing now. Being the scientific atheist I am, I reason that a freak electrical storm (stupid looking back) could have disabled everything in my car.
I figured the best thing to do would be to check the battery (again, stupid looking back) so I reach down to pop the hood.
Ok, reddit, remember that though my keys are in the ignition, they are on the OFF spot. What happens next, I cannot explain to this day. I have fucking nightmares about it. The radio’s lights come on, but the display is blank. I figured it’s just a short, so I reach for the volume knob. My speakers start hissing and popping, like I have a really bad phone connection with someone.
The hair on my neck is literally standing on end and I felt like I was going to have a heart attack.
There is clearly a voice, mumbling in russian or some east european language. It sounded like a woman’s voice. It was mumbling something, but I couldn’t tell. After about 10 seconds of this, it stopped and the radio went dark.
I sat in my car, on the verge of tears and paralyzed with fear for a long time. After a while, I summoned up the courage to turn my key and my car fired right up. I drove like 90 mph home and didn’t sleep a wink that night. I still have no idea what the fuck happened.
There is a place not far from my own town that is the last dying remnant of a mining town nestled in one of the most desolate, polluted, unsettling places in the world- this place is called Picher. Don’t believe me? Google it. The place is dominated by chat piles- mountains of grey gravel and dirt that stretch up hundreds of feet, collapsed mines and sink holes, abandoned and destroyed roads and buildings. The place is an absolute post apocalyptic wasteland, other than the few people who still refuse to give up their claim of land on the borderlands of hell. And there are even less of those now, since a tornado swept through and demolished half the town a few years ago. Once again, google.
But strangest of all, there is a cult out there that hides in the chat piles and forgotten mines.
In and around Picher, things have a funny habit of going missing- pets, livestock, and even drifters. And they don’t usually show back up. Where do they wind up, you might ask? At the bottoms of water filled mines, stretching down hundreds of feet into the earth, disposed of by these people, is the most common answer. Most of the locals just call them a “Satanic cult,” but then, I know that there are a lot more things out there to worship and give tribute to than just old Scratch, who who knows. It isn’t even a scoffed at as some urban legend- the locals know that they’re out there just as surely as they know anything, and they don’t keep guns loaded by the bed for ghost stories. It isn’t ever a wise idea to go exploring the chat piles and abandoned stretches of waste at night, because the people I have met over the years that had encounters all claim that these people mean business, not hesitating to chase after or taking shots at whoever might have had the nerve to interrupt their rites. Sometimes, though, if you investigate during the day, you will come across the remains of whatever it was they did the night before. Fire pits, stone circles, dead animals, an occasionally a bit of jewelry or some other little oddity. I saw three of them once when they attempted a road trap on myself and some friends on a dirt road, but it has been much more often that I have come across those cold traces at one time or another out there exploring. A burned log here, a hollowed out dog there, and once even a ring, which upon consideration, I left right where I had found it. One thing always stood out though, stranger than the rest, that I saw.
I had seen a vertical shape in the distance, though obviously not a tree, and decided to investigate it. And the closer I got, the more and more unnerved I became at the steady realization of what it was. A wooden cross, planted in the ground, every bit of seven feet high. And there was something on it.
From the distance I thought it was actually a person on there, and that had my adrenaline racing, ready to turn and race back to my car if that was the truth of it or if I so much as heard a twig snap. But the closer I got, I realized that it was something else, some sort of animal. It was a goat.
But let me explain. It’s front legs had been cut and broken so that they could form a T, like a human, and it’s ankles had been nailed into the wood. As had the ankles of the back legs, crossed over each other. A true crucifixion. The topper, though, was the head. A crown of rose bush thorns had been wrapped around the things head, it’s horns jutting up through the center, which in a way made me think of the cartoon devil using it’s horns to hold up the halo. It’s eyes had been gouged out. And there was a silver dollar shoved in it’s mouth, keeping it propped open in a silent scream.
I turned and left, walking at a brisk pace to say the least, keeping my eyes peeled for any sign of people hiding in the trees or chat piles, my hand close to the pistol under my coat. I did hear some rocks go sliding at one point, but saw no one, and made it to my car unharassed and proceeded to haul ass out of that place.
There are reasons you don’t go out in Picher at night, or if you’re smart, not at all.