Last week, a pdf was sent to me from an email address I didn’t recognize, which isn’t uncommon in my line of work. Strangers send me scary stories and bizarre documents on an almost daily basis and I encourage it. But the pdf in question was unlike anything I had ever been sent and I decided that the only way to properly convey its effect would be to simply let you read it for yourself.
BECKY TAYLOR, AGE 9 – INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT
DATE | TIME: 7/16/91 | 4:25PM
LOCATION: Mandeville Field Office
INTERVIEWER: Special Agent Graham Erickson
E: My name is Graham. I just spoke with your mom. She’s gonna be waiting right outside the door in case you need her, okay? But just so you know, she can’t hear us. No one can hear us. This room is soundproof. I thought it might be easier for you to tell me what happened if you knew that.
B: Are you also a detective?
E: I’m a special agent. It’s sort of like a detective, but it comes with a cooler badge.
Erickson removes his wallet, flashes his badge
E: Told you.
Erickson removes a photo from a manila folder, slides it across the table
E: Now, Becky, can you tell me who this man is?
B: That’s Tara’s dad, Doctor D. He’s the one who took us into the woods.
E: And how did you feel about Doctor D? Did you like him?
Becky looks down
E: It’s alright, Becky. No one’s gonna know what we talk about in here unless you say they can. I promise. Okay? But I need you to be honest with me. It’s the only chance we have of finding your friends.
B: It doesn’t matter how much I tell you. You won’t find them.
E: You told the detectives that you didn’t like Tara’s dad. Why is that?
B: Because one time I went swimming over there and Dr. D made us play this stupid swimsuit model game and we had to pose for pictures and it was really weird and then Tara started crying.
E: Did you tell any of this to your mom and dad?
B: No ’cause Dr. D said the pictures were actually for a Prettiest Little Girl contest he was entering us in and he wanted it to be a surprise for our parents if we won.
E: So when you found out he was taking you and your friends from your Girl Scout troop on the camping trip, where you worried? Weren’t you afraid he might try to make you play more of those stupid games?
Becky shrugs, looks away
E: I’m sorry, sweetie. I didn’t mean to sound like I was scolding you. I too often do things that make me uncomfortable simply to avoid having to talk about my problems and I’m a grown man.
B: You talk really funny.
E: So I’ve been told. If you wouldn’t mind, run me through what happened once you guys arrived at the designated camp site?
B: Dr. D said we were on the wrong side of the river and his live-in girlfriend, Miss Rhonda, she told him the other side was part of a Sioux reservation and that we weren’t allowed to camp over there, but Dr. D said we wouldn’t be able to watch the sunset from the side we were on, so he made us hike back to a footbridge where we could cross the river…then Dr. D found us a place to set up camp near the shore. By then it was late and he made us go to bed right after dinner. Can I have some more of that pizza? I’m still really hungry.
E: Of course.
Erickson gets up, opens door and says something, returns with pizza and a soda
E: You’re doing great, Becky. So you guys go to sleep in your tents and then what?
B: Well we tried to sleep, but then I woke up because I heard Dr. D and Miss Rhonda in their tent. They were making a bunch of weird noises and Carrie, who I was sharing my tent with, she started to laugh and that made me laugh, but then all the sudden they stopped making the noises…I thought it was because they heard us laughing, so we stopped. Then Miss Rhonda screamed. It was so scary. Me and Carrie were like, what’s going on? And then we heard a gunshot and Dr. D was shouting Tara’s name and then he starts yelling at Miss Rhonda and I look outside and I saw her running off down the shore of the river.
E: Saw who running off?
B: Miss Rhonda. I looked back and that’s when I saw Tara dead on the ground outside Dr. D’s tent and lying next to her was the thing he had shot. I thought it was a deer at first because it had those…
Becky motions above her head
B: It had antlers but it was shaped sort of like a person is shaped. You know, with arms? Really long arms and it had hair all over its body and there were more of them. The fire was still going and I could just sort of see ‘em moving through the trees. Dr. D started screaming again and he ran off in the same direction as Miss Rhonda. Me and Carrie didn’t know what to do, so we followed him because we didn’t want to stay at the camp with that thing and the rest of its friends.
E: Understandable. Were you able to catch up with Dr. D and Miss Rhonda?
B: Yeah. Us and Jodi, the girl who had been sharing a tent with Tara, followed him down the shore until we finally found Miss Rhonda, who was still freaking out. She started telling Dr. D that he didn’t understand and that she saw it. She saw it happen. And then Dr. D yelled at Jodi for letting Tara get out of her tent and Jodi said it was because him and Miss Rhonda had been making so much noise and Tara was just going to ask them to have quieter sex and Dr. D slapped her.
E: He slapped a nine year-old girl?!
E: Jesus. Sorry. Go on…
B: Jodi started to cry and Dr. D looked like he felt bad for hitting her. Miss Rhonda started yelling at him and he apologized, but then he said Jodi needed to learn to watch her sass mouth and then something about seeing his dead daughter. Then he cocked his gun like they do on TV and he tried to walk away, but Miss Rhonda held him back. She told him he was nuts and that he should wait until those things were gone unless he wanted to get the rest of us killed. Then he slapped her too and he walked back to the camp. The things had gone away by then and they had taken the dead one with them, which made Miss Rhonda really upset. She said it meant they cared and that was why she was sad, but then Dr. D pointed out that they had also taken the cooler with the rest of our food in it and Miss Rhonda stopped looking so sad. Dr. D covered Tara’s body with branches and then he just stood there and cried for a little while. As soon as the sun started to come up, he made us pack everything and start hiking back.
E: This was Saturday morning?
B: We were only supposed to be out there for the weekend, but then we couldn’t find the footbridge we had used to cross the river and we spent all day looking for it. At some point, Miss Rhonda said why don’t we just swim across or float on some branches and Dr. D told her the river was too rough to cross where we were and that we needed to hike a few miles upstream before we could even try. We hiked all day, but the river only got wider and more scary-looking, which Dr. D said didn’t make sense. He had his fishing pole with him and we took a break so he could try to catch us some dinner. We were all pretty hungry by that point.
E: I bet.
B: But he couldn’t catch anything because something kept unbaiting his hooks and he couldn’t get anything to bite. When it started to get dark, we gave in and set up camp but I guess the idea of spending any more time in those woods with Dr. D was just too much for Carrie because outta nowhere she ran into the river and started swimming across. Miss Rhonda tried to go in after her but Dr. D held her back, saying she was going to get her dumbass killed.
E: What happened to Carrie?
B: She got about halfway across and then she went under. I watched for a while, but she never came back up. I had some cookies still in my backpack I shared with Jodi later that night after Dr. D and Miss Rhonda went to sleep. That didn’t last long because there was this loud crying sound in the woods that woke them up and kept us all awake for most of the night. The next day, Dr. D said our only choice was to make our way back to the road through the side of the river that we were on, but it was really hard. Most of the forest on that side was really steep and hilly. At first, we stayed on the shore and tried to go around the hilly parts, but it was just like the river. It only got worse as we went along and it started to get dark again, so finally Dr. D told us to set up camp because he wanted to build a rabbit trap that he learned how to make on TV. He even managed to catch something, but it wasn’t a rabbit. It looked like a tiny black dog but with feathers instead of fur and really mean. It growled at us the whole walk back to camp that next morning, but I didn’t care. I was so hungry by that point, I would’ve eaten a dog.
E: I doubt anyone would have blamed you.
B: It doesn’t matter because Dr. D gutted it and the thing was somehow already full of maggots. He tried to cook it anyway but it smelled horrible roasting on the fire. The smell made us all nauseous so he took it off and chucked the meat into the river.
E: Just to keep track, this was Monday, right?
B: I think so. We were all really quiet when we started up the first hill, I guess ’cause we were all so hungry by then. Dr. D didn’t notice me looking over my shoulder at him as he was tripping Jodi. She fell back down the hill and broke her neck. Jodi was coughing up blood when we got down to her and she couldn’t move her arms or legs. That’s when Dr. D suffocated her with his hands. He said it was an act of mercy, but I saw how Jodi tripped and I know why he did it. It wasn’t just because he blamed her for Tara dying. Jodi was also a lot bigger than me and she had more meat on her.
E: Oh, god. He ate her?
B: We all did.
E: Did you tell this to the detectives?
Becky shakes her head, begins to cry
B: I couldn’t help it! We hadn’t had any food in days! We couldn’t even find berries or anything!
Erickson reaches across the table, places his hand on Becky’s
E: I know.
B: And she smelled so good cooking over the fire!
E: It’s okay.
B: It’s not okay!
E: You’re right it’s not. It’s not okay, but it’s not your fault, Becky. None of this is your fault.
Becky looks up, wipes her tears away
E: Can you tell me how you lost your arm?
B: It was a couple of days after Jodi died. What day did they find me?
B: Then I guess it was Thursday. The antler men had come in the night to take what we hadn’t eaten of Jodi and we spent three whole days walking down one hill and then up another with nothing to eat and almost no water left. Dr. D had been whispering with Miss Rhonda all morning and when we stopped to rest for a moment, he saw a cut on my arm from where I scraped it on a low hanging branch and he said the cut was going to get gangrene and that he had to amputate the limb. Dr. D brought his doctor’s bag on the camping trip in case of an emergency. I was like no way and I tried to run, but Miss Rhonda jumped on me and held me down… Dr. D told me not to worry. I wouldn’t feel a thing and I didn’t. He injected me with something and I couldn’t feel anything and I couldn’t move and after a little while I fell asleep and when I woke up, it was nighttime and I could smell them cooking my arm.
E: I am so sorry.
B: I saw one of the antler men walking toward me out of the darkness. Dr. D and Miss Rhonda were sitting with their backs to me and they couldn’t see him coming. He had a face almost like a person’s but his eyes were all black and he didn’t have a nose, just these two little nostril holes like a lizard, and he was smiling. He bent down over me and we locked eyes and I know this sounds crazy, but I could hear him in my head saying that he was sorry that his brother had killed my friend. He said it was an accident and that we were even now. I was confused at first, but then I heard Dr. D and Miss Rhonda screaming and the sound of them being torn apart. The antler man placed his hand over my eyes and I heard him tell me to sleep. When I woke up again, it was morning and I was next to the footbridge we had used to cross the river. One of the people who found me actually fainted when they saw me walking up all dirty and missing an arm.
Erickson collects his papers
E: I’ve gotta tell you, Becky, in the 12 years I’ve been working with the Bureau that is hands down the craziest story I have ever heard.
B: Does that mean you don’t believe me?
E: It means that, even if I did, I have no way of proving a word of it.
B: A lady came and saw me while I was in the hospital. She said she was a counselor and we talked for a while. She was really nice but after she left, I heard my dad tell my mom that I was going to be permanently F’-ed in the head. Only he didn’t say F’-ed. He said fucked.
Becky begins to cry again
B: Do you think I’m fucked in the head?
E: I think you are a strong, bright young lady who has been through a traumatic event no girl your age should have to endure and that possibly it caused you to imagine certain details as a means of coping. But that doesn’t mean you’re messed up in the head. Far from it. I think you’re going to be just fine.
B: Then why can’t I stop dreaming about them? Every night, it’s the same. I’m back there in those woods and I can hear the antler men whispering to me. They tell me terrible things! Why?! Why can I still hear them?!
Becky begins to sob, Erickson comforts her
E: I think that’s enough, don’t you?
INTERVIEW CONCLUDES: 4:37PM
Minimal risk of exposure. Subject is not credible enough to warrant termination. Recommending she be confined to a mental health facility until the age of 18, just to be on the safe side. On a related note, is there any way we can get these things to stop building fucking bridges?
– S.A. Erickson, 7/16/91