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Evil eyes of the Watcher in the Woods

As a boy growing up in the Book Cliff Mountains of eastern Utah, we were pretty much alone up in Kenilworth. The little coal mining camp was nestled at 7,500 feet above sea level.

All my big sisters had married and moved away with the exception of Charlotte Ann; she was six years older than me, and because I was the baby of the family, she delighted in terrorizing me.

Long had there been the spooky story of a “Watcher in the woods.” It was one of the most told ghost stories at every bonfire and camp out.

When I was seven, “Charlie” as we called Charlotte loved to watch to see the horror in my eyes as she would unfold her terrorizing tales of the Watcher in the woods, and how it had taken the lives of many a hobo that strayed into the woods at night.
My momma always told me it was just nonsense and to not pay any attention to her, because they were just ghost stories and there were no ghosts in Kenilworth or the surrounding areas. They were just scary stories told to make kids afraid of the dark.
My father was a craftsman of a unique nature. One of the things that he took great pride in was his sharp knives. I have seen him actually shave with them. They were so sharp that when you would drop a Kleenex over one of them, just the weight of the tissue would cause it to split in half.

Kathy Doughty was a friend of Charlotte Ann, and because she had no younger siblings, delighted in trying her best to scare me to death.

On a Friday night in October Kathy had been to our house and as usual told her terrifying tales, always ending with the watcher. I was too afraid to go to sleep so I spent all of Friday night in my closet under momma’s camping quilts. My bedroom was upstairs next to Charlotte Ann’s. The roof out of my window was very high, so I felt relatively safe. Charlotte’s could be scaled from below easily.
Saturday morning my mother called up to me, “Come on, Glen, time for breakfast. You get washed and get down here on the double”. I hurriedly washed my face and hands, forgetting to use soap and ran down the stairs. One look at me from momma was enough to tell me I looked like hell.

“What is the matter with you? You look like you have not slept for weeks”. I was too afraid to tell her the truth and the look that Charlie gave me was enough to send chills up my spine.

“It was….a…just a bad dream. Yeah, that’s it, a bad dream.” I was relieved when she got that all knowing look and said well it is day time now and you are safe; however, Charlie just glared at me.
Momma and Daddy were going to be gone over to Mount Pleasant for the night and would be back on Sunday night. Charlotte was in charge of the house until they got back.

The day went well. We both pitched in and got our chores done and then we rode our bikes up to the “Frog pond.” It was a pond that the slag water from out of the mine collected and served as a swimming pool and a rafting pond. There were salamanders and frogs and rats a plenty. Charlie started in on me telling me about the “Watcher” in the woods. Kathy Doughty was there along with four other kids. Everyone took a turn telling of near death experiences with the watcher.
I finally had had enough and grabbed my bike and high tailed it out of there. Glad to be home I went out on the front porch and since it was cloudy, I snuggled up in a warm camp quilt and took a long, well needed nap. It was dusk when I woke up. I was very hungry and went in to see what Charlie was fixing for supper. She was making a spaghetti dinner. Now that was a real step in the right direction.
Kathy was there and that bothered me. She started in on those damn stories again. I told her, “If you don’t stop trying to scare me, Kathy, I’ll get even with you if it is the last thing I ever do.”

“It might just be the last thing you do if the “Watcher” gets you first. He protects me and don’t you forget it."

Well that did it. I dumped the spaghetti sauce over her head. It was pretty hot and she screamed like a banshee. I did not care. I was sick of her being so mean to me.
Charlie took Kathy into the pantry and washed her hair out. It was red anyway so it was hard to see if it was clean or not. They were whispering to each other, and it scared me. Older sisters can be so cruel at times.
Well Kathy went home and I helped Charlie clean up the mess. There was still enough sauce to have some dinner.

After dinner we went into the living room to watch TV. It was dark now and I was getting tired and wanted to go to bed, but was afraid to go up the stairs alone. Charlie said she’d go up with me. Just then we heard a thump up stairs and we could see these horrible eyes at the top of the stairs. It was so dark. I ran back to momma’s bedroom and grabbed one of daddy’s hunting knives and ran back and started up the stairs. Charlotte started to laugh as the black figure with the most horrifying eyes jumped forward and began to scream and howl like a monster.
I had never thrown a knife before. I had just seen Tarzan do it in the movies. I shoved Charlie down and threw the knife. It hit the monster in the head, right between the eyes. Fortunately for Kathy Doughty, it was the heel of the knife that hit her. She let out a shriek of pain and terror of her own as she watched the knife flip and fall down into Charlotte’s foot, pinning it to the step. Now Charlie let out a blood curdling scream of her own. It was so loud in fact that the neighbor Henry came running over to our house to see what was the matter.

Well there was Kathy, with a dent in her forehead, bleeding and crying like death warmed over. She ran and jumped out of Charlotte’s bedroom window. Charlie was still there with her foot stuck to the step, crying like she had made me earlier. Henry pulled the knife out of her foot and rushed her up to the hospital.
There was blood everywhere and I was left alone in the house to clean it up. You have no idea how afraid I was at the slightest sound; however, I was happy that I was okay and could actually throw a knife.

The next morning was Sunday, and Dominick Polvey, the deputy sheriff, came by and said, “It is a good thing that you kids were home last night. We just found what is left of a hobo down by the tracks just below your house. Did you hear anything?”
My blood ran cold as I told him about Kathy Doughty. Dominick said, "Kathy was not home last night. She and her father were in Price at the movies. Are you sure of your facts, because I think you may have just saved you and your sister’s lives.

Suddenly I was unable to move or speak. What if it was………………..

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