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Everyone has a ghost story, and everyone believes it’s true. However, the things that this Kentucky resident claims to have seen in these hills is unsettling. From creatures that reek of rotten flesh to glimpses of ghostly anomalies, one man has seen a bit of everything the supernatural world has to offer.
Wayne Baker, a Hazard County native, described some of his encounters.
“One time I was driving down the road late at night, and I saw a man walking with a bag slung over his shoulder. He looked pretty banged up. I slowed down to ask if he needed a ride. He wouldn’t talk. He just smiled. Something was just off about him. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I was kind of creeped out, so I left. When I looked back in my rearview, he was gone.”
Baker claims to have experienced several other incidences, as well. However, the one that is most prevalent in his mind is one that took a little coaxing to retrieve.
“I don’t like talking about it much,” Baker said. “I’ve only told a few people what happened that night.”
After much insisting on sharing, Baker finally opened up.
“I had just graduated high school, and I decided to go coon hunting with my buddies. We were all laughing and having a good time, until we smelled a really strong odor. Kind of like rotting meat. We were pretty close to a farm, so we thought maybe a cow had fallen into a sink hole and died. Sad, but it happened all the time where I grew up. But that wasn’t it at all.”
He tensed up.
“We heard rustling in the leaves. Our dogs started barking, acting crazy. Typical scary story stuff, but it happened. We figured it was a possum or a rabbit, until it moved closer. We could tell it had a longer gait. That’s what freaked us out so much. It sounded like a person.”
“We got our guns ready, waiting for some psychopath in the woods to come out and kill us. But nothing ever came. Moments went by, which seemed like hours, before anyone moved. We grabbed our things and got the heck out of Dodge.”
But that wasn’t the end.
“When we got back to the truck, we were able to breathe for a second. We laughed at how foolish we had acted, and we loaded up. But right as we were about to leave, that smell hit us. That stench. God, it was so bad. That’s when I realized what was happening.”
He looked up.
“We were being followed.”
Baker shook his head, as if he were still doubting what he actually saw that night.
“I looked at my buddies, and they were all petrified. I turned to look back at the tree line we had came from, and it was there. At first I thought it was a deer or a goat, but it was standing too tall. It easily towered over smaller bushes nearby. My friend shot up in the air, which must have scared it. As it moved, I caught a glimpse of the rest of its body. It stood upright like a man, and its knees were popped backwards. Then it was gone.”
Baker said the few he’s disclosed the close call to have suggested he saw a wendigo. Native Americans believed a person turns into this demonic creature after practicing cannibalism. Many sightings have been reported in Kentucky, yet no definitive proof has been presented.
“I don’t know what it was,” Baker said. “But I’ll never go into those woods again. I know that much.”