L O S T   D E S T I N A T I O N S:

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls... (George Carlin)

B Y   T H E   L I G H T   O F   T H E   M O O N

This is a story that I have hesitated to make public for over 20 years, because of the ridicule and disbelief that I know it will incur from many. I do not claim to know exactly what happened on that particular night decades ago, I have never fully understood my experience and doubt that I ever will. I just remember what I remember of that bizarre night- it is highly doubtful that I could EVER forget it.

I make no claims either way as to an explanation of these events, but here, for the first time ever (after a lot of trepidation), I am going to share this story with the world. Make of it what you will.

I was about 9 years old when this happened (so this was maybe around 1982 I guess), and living in my hometown of El Paso, Texas. My parents had just purchased our very first real home, a newly-built house that was a bit beyond the outskirts of the city, out in the desert. This was a brand-new subdivision, and there was not even a paved street yet at the time... no sidewalks, no streetlights, no fences... nothing but a few other houses along a dirt road. It was extremely dark and isolated out there, but we were all really excited about having our very own home so it didn't bother us. We had just moved in a few days prior so we didn't have all of our furniture yet... there were boxes piled up in the rooms, the windows were curtain-less, and the lamps were sitting on the floor... we still had a ton of unpacking to do. But it was a fun time for a kid of my age and I was having a real adventure with it all.

The event took place late one night. My father, a musician, worked nights and usually did not get home from his gigs until after 2 a.m. or so. My mom usually stayed up to wait for him, and if it wasn't a school night I was allowed to stay up too. This night in particular, it was maybe between 10-12 (I am not sure of the exact time) and all was quiet. My mom had decided to go take a hot bath, and had left me in the den with a pile of coloring books and crayons. As there was not really any furniture yet, I was parked in the middle of the floor with a pile of blankets and pillows, laying on my stomach and coloring my little heart out. Off to my right, the den had a sliding glass door that led out into what would eventually become our back yard. There was a full moon that night, it was bright enough to cast a rectangle of light onto the floor where I was laying. I could hear the water running in the bathroom and I felt very calm and content.

I had been coloring for awhile when it happened. A shadow slowly edged into the rectangle of moonlight on the floor. As was a natural reaction, I turned my head and looked to the sliding glass door to see what had blocked the moonlight... and that was when I saw it. Something I will never, ever forget as long as I lived. I saw a wolf. A very very BIG wolf. In fact, I can very clearly remember that thought blaring through my mind, 'A WOLF!", a split second after I saw it. There was no doubt of what I was seeing whatsoever. It was of course the most startling thing and I remember literally lying there, frozen, wanting to call my mom, but unable to make a sound. I was terrified that if I made a noise or a movement it would see me. It was just a few feet away, on the other side of the glass. But that was not the worst part. And here is where it gets crazy, the part that if I hadn't seen for myself, I would have never in a million years believed...


T E R R O R   &   D I S B E L I E F
I saw it in profile, clearly lined by the moonlight behind it. It was moving very slowly, with it's head slightly moving from side to side as if listening to the night around it. Although extremely large to my terrified eyes (I do remember thinking it was taller than my father, who was the tallest being I knew in my life at that age, and he tops 6 feet), it did resemble a regular wolf, the only exception being the way it was walking, hunched over slightly and taking steps on only it's hind legs the whole way. It was extremely muscular. The fur appeared a darkish gray (it was hard to tell in the filter of night & moonlight), and the eyes were glowing yellow, the way an animal's do in moonlight. I lay there, frozen, and watched the thing as it walked past the glass doors on my right, from the right to the left... it stopped, paused- very still- a little more than halfway across the width of the door, before moving again. It was right on the other side of the door, very close. I watched it the entire time, which was probably only a few seconds but felt like a lifetime to me... I couldn't move, I couldn't make a sound, I just lay there trembling, watching, and hoping the thing would not turn it's head and look at me. I will never, as long as I live, forget the profile of it's face.

Finally it disappeared beyond the left edge of the sliding glass door, toward what was the back corner of the house. My paralysis broke, and I jumped up and ran down the hall and burst into the bathroom, just about giving my poor mom a heart attack. I was so hysterical that she could not understand what I was saying beyond that 'there was something outside' and I was terrified out of my wits. She tried and tried to calm me down but I was beyond calming. It started to scare her really badly, she even thought that maybe I had seen an intruder or something, and so being that we were all alone out there she decided to go call my dad. After telling him what was going on he told her he was going to leave work early and get home as soon as possible.

B L O O D   &   F U R
I remember sitting with my mom in her bedroom, cringing at every sound from outside, so scared I thought my heart was going to burst, while she hugged me and tried to calm me down. Finally, my dad got home and after a quick look around outside, he came back into the bedroom to try to make sense of what had scared me so damned bad. By this time I had calmed down enough to talk and I told them both what I had seen. My dad got pretty annoyed, he didn't believe me at all and was irritated that he'd had to leave from work early just because I'd imagined something. My mom didn't necessarily believe my whole story (understandably) but she was still worried that maybe I had seen an intruder lurking around. My parents knew I was still terrified so they decided to let me sleep in their room that night. I barely got a bit of sleep... jumping at every noise in the night, and seeing wolf-like shadows on the windows (most likely at this point my imagination, because I was scared to death) It was a very long, tense night.

I must have finally fallen asleep because next thing I remember it was morning, and my dad was not in the room. I went down the hall to the living room and saw that the front door was standing open, and that my dad was out in front of the house. I ran out the door and to my dad's side. When he saw me, he suddenly turned me around and told me sternly to go back inside the house, 'NOW'. At this point my mom was at the front door and asking what was going on. My dad just shook his head and told her to take me back inside the house and to stay inside. As she took me in I looked back around over my shoulder (yeah I always was- and still am- wayyyy too curious for my own good!) I remember seeing some of the neighbors out in their yards, looking around and shaking their heads. I remember seeing odd piles of furry vagueness dotting the ground in our yard and in some of their yards. And I remember seeing blood on the ground. Before I could make any sense of anything I was whisked inside.

Later, after my parents had one of their grownup 'quiet' talks, they came in and sat me down. I remember my dad telling me how they had found some animals outside- (mostly rabbits from what they could tell, but maybe some cats too, I didn't find these details out until I was much older and I MADE my mom tell me everything about that night); they had been torn apart and killed. The official consensus in the neighborhood was that some kind of a wild animal- most likely coyote- had come around the houses and killed the animals, leaving blood and parts of the bodies strewn everywhere.

Nobody wanted to talk about it again (probably because of how freaked out I was when it happened) but when I was older I asked my mom about that night because I wanted some kind of corroboration. She (with great reluctance) reiterated many of the details for me- the dead animals, the fact that it was on the night of a full moon, my extreme terror and hers- she remembered it vividly as well. Other than my mom, nobody else in my family took it seriously or believed me when I said what I had seen. Everyone pretty much thought that what I had seen that night was a coyote, which yeah- would make sense... if the thing wasn't walking on it's hind legs. I knew better though, because I remembered vividly what I had seen, and I still do. I will never forget it. Also, I know it wasn't a coyote because even at that young age I knew distinctly what the difference between a dog, coyote and wolf was... we had owned tons of dogs, and I had seen many coyote before; we even owned an orphaned coyote that became a pet and was with us until it died of old age. So, based on what I remember seeing, I don't think it was a dog or a coyote (unless it was a type of coyote I've never seen)

I still have no idea WHAT it was I saw that night, or how it could have been walking upright, it makes no sense to my logical mind. But I do know that I saw it. And I will never forget it.

(As I have stated, I have had major reservations about sharing this publicly. I expect to be ridiculed and disbelieved. I even considered adding the story anonymously instead of claiming my experience. But after years of exploring weirdness in general, and coming across many, many stories- from what I believe to be credible people- of encounters with various bizarre anomalies, I have finally decided that if these folks can trust me with their stories, I will take the plunge and share mine. If it incites some ridicule, so be it)

T H E   'W A L K I N G   W O L V E S'
Something of interest that added a whole other element to this story occurred some years later, when I was about 16 years old. A high school friend had a grandfather who owned and ran a very old ranch in the desert outside of El Paso, in the middle of nowhere. He invited us all to come and hang out at the ranch one night, to meet his grandpa and see all of the horses and livestock there. We were all interested in seeing the historic old place (and the horses!) so we jumped at the chance.

We spent a whole day and evening out there, being shown around by the grandfather and the ranch hands and it was really fascinating. But then something I never could have expected happened. This was after dark, a few hours before we left the ranch... we were looking at where they kept the horses at night, and someone remarked on how high and extremely reinforced the fences were in that area. The grandfather replied that the fences were there to keep something out at night... he said what the 'something' was in Spanish, and my friend translated it roughly to the 'walking wolves'. As soon as he said this all of the hairs stood up on my body. This was coming from a man who had been around animals of all sorts- wild and domesticated- for his entire life. Hearing him say such a thing floored me. So of course everyone wanted to hear more about these 'walking wolves' and began begging to hear the story. He obliged. He told us that when he was younger, when his father ran the ranch, they began to have a problem with horses being killed by something in the night. They wouldn't hear anything, yet in the morning, they were finding horses torn apart and partially eaten. He said it happened with chickens, pigs, and other things occasionally but mostly it was the horses. It got to the point where it was causing a financial strain on the ranch. After the usual coyote/predator precautions failed they decided to do something about it.

So, one night, he, his father, and his brother went up onto the roof of one of the tool sheds, armed with rifles, lights, and blankets, and lay down flat on the roof to pass the night and watch over the horses. They did this for several nights without seeing anything until one night, the night they finally saw 'them'. For most of the night all was quiet, until suddenly they heard some of the horses begin to neigh nervously. They all tensed up and watched the perimeter to see what was out there. That is when, as the grandfather put it, they first saw 'the walking wolves'. He said there was one in plain view, a very large wolf that was walking upright on it's hind legs around the outside of the fence... it was so tall, he claimed, that it could be seen easily above the fence line. And they could see another shape behind that one, which may have been another one but it was in shadow and could not be seen distinctly. His father shouted at the thing, and it reacted by coming to a stop and looking right at where they lay on the roof. He said it seemed unafraid. Then his father pointed his rifle at it and took a shot. He said it bounded off into the night... STILL on two legs.

Both he and his brother were extremely shaken by what they had seen but their father, who was part Native American, told them he had heard stories of such things before (this could have been in reference to the Skinwalker legend), although this was the first time he had ever seen personally seen one. Being a no-nonsense kinda guy, his focus was on heightening the fence rather than on further speculation, so as soon as it was light enough that's what they did. And they did not lose any more horses, although they still lost smaller livestock from time to time and repeated their rooftop vigil more than once.

I had never told anyone about my experience (for fear of ridicule) so I know this was not a joke at my expense. This old man was very matter-of-fact when he told us this story... he even said that he never expected 'city people' to believe it but as a witness, along with his father and brother, he didn't doubt what he had seen. He also told us that he had seen many strange things in the desert at night so this was just one of many unusual experiences he had had in his long life at the remote ranch.

Everyone else that night just took it as an interesting story, and I'm sure most didn't believe it. But I did, and I still do. I have no earthly idea what I saw that night, but I know that I saw it. And I know I'm not the only one.

Article by Heather Shade. All Rights Reserved.

There is a lot of interesting info on upright wolves/bipedal canids- news, stories, sketches, sightings and so forth- on Linda Godfrey's blog...

Also, see Linda's awesome website on the infamous Beast Of Bray Road (this story fascinates me especially because the descriptions of the Beast are similar to what I saw, from the upright-walking right down to the eating of roadkill. Check it out)




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