by JenJen of Ontario, Canada
My experience happened to me during the summer of 2004 when I went to a local horseback riding camp to hone my small riding skills. The camp has a background story that goes like this:
The land's first owner had a very ill and disgruntled daughter by the name of Mody Deen. Due to a horrible wave of influenza, she was too ill to continue staying in the living world any longer. When death came to take her, her father was so upset about the loss of his daughter that he buried her with Mody's first pony under a large elm tree that towered over the entire property. That night, he wept hard and long, from-the-gut sobbing. Ever since her death, many people who have visited overnight report abnormal activity, such as barn doors banging shut without so much as a breeze, and some have seen a silhouette of a horse and rider fading into the sky.
This was a story that was passed from generation to generation, and so before the week long overnight camp ended, the counselors and riders would participate in a game called 'Firefly'. Counselors would hide with flashlights and blink them on and off. Riders would have to find the counselors, and when they did, the riders would be handed a letter on a sheet of paper. If all the counselors were found, the letters would spell out the word HORSE when unscrambled and put together.
It was at the point when I needed one more letter, and I saw a distant flashing light in the nearby trees. Naturally I thought that this was the location of the last counselor, and I ran to the tall tree. It turned out that this was the elm tree under which Mody Deen was buried with her pony. When I got there, I looked up and was surprised to see that nobody was there. "Okay, just your imagination," I told myself. But I was soon to be proven wrong.
Since I was a bit frightened with the disappearing light, I decided to join one of my friends to find the remaining letter. As we walked toward the pavilion, a sharp, panicked whinny pierced the air and we spun around to see that a glowing light was hovering under the elm tree. The light faded, and a dark shadow brought along a new wave of fright for us. A man's hard, gut-wrenching moans and sobs broke the eerie silence that had settled around us, and the dark shadow slowly moved and changed...until it seemed to be in the shape of a familiar animal: a horse and its rider! Another sharp whinny, and the figure faded while galloping into the clear night sky.
After lights-out time in the cabins, many girls reported to everybody who would listen that they saw a strange occurrence. It was described differently by each person, but the basic story was the same: a glowing light, maybe an orb or ball, was seen under the historic elm tree, and one thing was for sure: everybody was frightened. It was a sleepless night in the cabin, and the lights remained on the entire night. I have never been so terrified in my life! Nearly every week I look back on that time and wonder, 'What REALLY happened that night?'