The Shadow in the Trees

By: Jacqueline Shandler

These trees line  Squirrel Road in Bloomfield Hills, MIchigan. This location is close to where I saw the figure.

These trees line Squirrel Road in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. This location is close to where I saw the figure I talk about in this post.

This story is one I haven’t told anyone. It can be interpreted as frightening and supernatural or just a typical night where your eyes make shapes out of darkness. I am still trying to figure it out myself.

Last summer, my friend and I went out to a movie and were driving back home around midnight. We talked, listened to music, and repeated the funniest lines from the movie on the drive. However, as we drove through a back road, my eyes found a white shadow to the right of the road, in the dense trees. My heart stopped for a split second. I can’t describe how or why I reacted so strongly noticing this figure, but it gave me the chills all over, through my spine, making me shiver. Immediately as I notice the figure, we were past it. The car went quiet, my friend and I stopped talking at the same time. I broke the silence and muttered, “Did…did you see that…or…?” My friend responded instantly but softly, “Yes. Drop it.” And the silence continued. Part of me wanted to bring it up so I could stop thinking about it but I knew she was scared too so I told myself it was nothing. If we saw a horror film that night, I could have convinced myself that I was just primed to be scared because of the movie. However, we saw a comedy and were in positive, goofy moods before noticing the figure. It seemed random and out of nowhere, especially because our attitudes changed completely and the car took on a different, creepier atmosphere. I was sitting in the passenger seat shaking, holding onto the handle of the car and telling myself not to look behind me. It felt as though that shadow would follow me and appear again in my worst nightmares. However, I convinced myself after that night that our eyes made something out of the darkness in the woods and it was our imaginations. But how did we both notice the same shadow at the same time way off to the right of the road? In the back of my head, I realized the feeling in the pit of my stomach had to stem from something.

Watching Slenderman in the Marble Hornets videos reminded me of this night. It made the videos more realistic to me because I had this similar experience. At the moment, I’m trying to convince myself that the white shadow in the trees wasn’t the white face of Slenderman.

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9 thoughts on “The Shadow in the Trees

  1. To experience this is and know about Slenderman is really frightening! When I first learned about Slenderman, I couldn’t decide if I thought he was real or not. He’s probably not real, but there’s still a little part of me that wonders if he is real. What you and your friend saw was probably just a play of light from the moon or maybe someone was walking along the road. In other words, it was most likely nothing scary or supernatural. But again, there’s that little part of me that wonders if it was real..

  2. What I think is important to acknowledge is that even if it wasn’t Slenderman or any other supernatural figure, it was something. It is extremely likely it was a real person wearing a white mask. But does that make it less scary? If anything it makes it more scary and more realistic. Why would a person be in the middle of the woods wearing a white mask? Could this be another proxy of Slenderman? You’re knowledge after taking this class about what horror can exist in real life is what I think triggered the memory of this story.

  3. In reality, this figure could have been anything, a trick of light, the wind blowing the trees, a deer. However, that doesn’t stop our imaginations and minds from filling in the blanks, particularly when we have been recently scared. I have convinced myself that the creaking noises in my home are footsteps of someone breaking in. It’s interesting that we can twist things in this way and convince ourselves that we see or hear things that may not be there.

  4. It’s always interesting to see how different people react when in scary situations. Some run and try to forget that anything happened, while others are intrigued and go looking for answers to questions. Curiosity usually effects what people do in these situations. Personally, I think I would’ve turned around or looked back to see what that was. I’m more of a person who needs to know, even though it may not be the smartest thing.

  5. This reminds me of the story I brought up about the road in Mexico. I feel like no one would ever believe it unless they were actually there with me. The worst part is I never realized what or why it was happening. I will always remember the day our truck stopped moving and i can never really be calm while in any kind of vehicle at night that is driving by woods. This is very similar to the scene I was at except we could see nothing but trees for miles both ways which made it ever scarier.

  6. How strange that your friend would respond to your question with “Drop it.” Maybe she recently found out about Slender Man and was desperately trying to repress memories or forget about the creature. Coincidentally, in one of my psych classes we are currently talking about repressed memories and how certain memories can be triggered by related details (in your case, hearing about Slender Man in class triggered the memory of the white shadow that looked like Slender Man). On a more disturbing note, “drop it” sounds almost as if she knew about something that she did not want to reveal to you… which is even more frightening in my opinion…

  7. I thought watching the Marble Hornets videos were by far the scariest part of this class. I can understand how watching those could bring back this memory and make you completely reevaluate it. Reading your story helps me to better understand how people can believe that Slenderman is real. I am sure everyone has had that moment when they feel like they have seen someone or heard something. The next time this happens to me, I am sure I will automatically think of Slenderman.

  8. Similar to what our classmates have mentioned before me, the fact that there WAS something to begin with is scary enough. You knew it was there, and you knew you weren’t imagining it. Especially since your friend told you to “drop it,” which, might I add, was an interesting response. Clearly, you both didn’t want to think about it. But clearly, you both couldn’t help it and wanted to know whether or not you were in danger. Sometimes, when we look back at certain memories, we leave out important details. Not intentionally, but because we only remember what we want to remember, or, in your case, what your brain allowed you to recall. So maybe there was more context to the situation that your brain didn’t pick up, since you were so fixated on the white shadow? Just a thought.

  9. Yeah, the fact that your friend had such a stark reaction to the figure would lead me to believe that you definitely did not imagine it. If I had experienced such a sight in a relatively short timespan after viewing the Marble Hornets videos, I may have actually cried. That is so scary. We have read, or watched many cool texts in this class, but I stand by saying that Slenderman is the only one that has scared me. I feel as though it almost made it worse for you that you had never told anyone about the experience since it happened. I’m glad you finally shared it.

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