I first heard Sean’s story almost twenty years ago, but at the time I did not realize that his story may be connected to a haunted patch of woods known as “Spook Woods.” Sean, who was living in Clearfield at the time I knew him, was the hardcore outdoorsman – when he wasn’t at work, he was in the woods either hunting, camping or fishing.
Sean was hard to scare, so when he arrived at work distracted and exhausted, I knew something was wrong. While we did not talk much, it bothered me that he was not acting “normal.” As lunch time approached, Sean asked if I had a minute because he had something he wanted to ask me about because “you’re all into that ghosts, legends and stuff.”
“I need your opinion,” he spoke nervously. “I had something happen that I really can’t explain.”
I listened as Sean talked about something that had happened the night before. “My buddy and I were up near Palestine one night spotting. We had started over near Frenchville and were making our way back to my buddy’s house at Philipsburg.
“I always hated the stretch of road from Palestine to Kylertown but we always saw deer along it.
“We’re spotting this one field when we saw something in the field that [freaking] scared the crap out of us. Our light passed over the field and there was a figure standing in the middle of it. It looked human, but it was completely black. Once our light hit it, this thing ran across the field and disappeared into the woods.
“I told [my buddy] I was never going across that road at night again”
When I contacted Sean about using his story, I asked if he could add some information about the thing he saw. He added the following: “When I said black, I’m not sure that actually describes it. You know in school when they took you to a cave and they turned out the lights? The darkness of having no light? That’s what this thing was. Complete darkness.
“I would say it was the size of a man. There were no details we could make out. I’m telling you, it was the outline of a man filled in with absolute darkness.
“And it was fast. When it took off running, it cleared close to a hundred yards in seconds.”
Although I had known Sean’s story for years and it had become a popular story in presentations, it was earlier this year that I came across an article in the October 28, 1992 edition of The Progress (Clearfield, Pa). The title – “Legend of Spook Woods” – caught my attention and I soon realized that the haunted patch of woods was in the same area where Sean and his friend had their experience.
According to the article, Spook Woods was located along Schoonover Road, which goes from Kylertown to Palestine. Exactly why the patch of woods was known as Spook Woods remains a mystery, but over the years travelers have heard mysterious growls and moans coming from it. The sound of sticks and tree limbs breaking and the sound of someone – or something – walking in the woods would send kids running in fear.
The article reports mysterious lights coming from the woods, but some local residents state those lights might have a reasonable explanation. According to some, the mysterious lights were caused by moonlight reflecting on the tombstones in a nearby cemetery.
Who or what haunts the area of Spook Woods has been forgotten over the years. I am left to wonder if the strange figure Sean and his friend saw that night while out spotting has any connection to the haunted stretch of woods? Or was this a separate, random incident that occurred in the general area?
While I have driven through the area numerous times – both in the daytime and night – I’ve seen plenty of deer, but I have not encountered anything strange. But that does not stop me from searching.