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I’ve lived in the town of Caulfied, Virginia all my life and I’ve never experienced anything more life threatening and horrific then when I travelled through Sarah’s Trail. I was only 16 at the time and a real adrenaline junkie. To me the trail was just a convenient path that made travels from my friend Chloe’s house to my house shorter in time. The trail began near the local Walmart where the back of the store lead into a forested area (Caulfield was basically all woods and bush) and it stretched all the way to the other side of town, where most of the housing complexes were, including mine. My history teacher had told us one day during a lecture that the trail was the remains of what used to be railway tracks, constructed for the old railway system, but rotted away after years of neglect due to the business being sued in the 1920’s. Apparently there had been a train that detrailed, killing about 200 people in the spring of 1923. This was because the track had not been lay properly and the business neglected to fix them. But that wasn’t the only dark history behind the trail. If you asked locals about the trail, those who had been living there during the summer of 1967, they would tell you the story of Sarah-Ann Bluer.
She had been in grade 12, a real ambitious art student. She had worked on the church mural downtown, her signature painted among the rest of her peers as reminants of a lost spirited youth. One night she decided to sneak out, which according to her mother in later interviews was unlike her, and attend the end of the year party being held by the prom queen of 1967. During the party, Sarah decided to leave early and make her way back home using the trail, her mind in a drunken state. People at the party claimed that they didn’t even see her leave. Of course at that point they were all probably so drunk they didn’t know which way was up. They found out the next morning at school that Sarah Bluer had not returned home that night. Posters were put up, search parties organized. My grandmother, who told me the story, had been part of the search. She told me how they searched that whole stretch of trail, all areas of the forest. The town searched for a whole month. No one could find the Bluer girl. One day, a teacher from one of the search parties stumbled upon Sarah’s bracelet, laying in the grass a kilometre off of the trail. A few centimetres from that was a severed arm, rotted and crawling with maggots. The nails were painted a lime green. Around the arm, the trees and leaves appeared to be smeared in dried blood. The creepiest part about it was the fact that one tree had the words them painted on it. Of course, they discovered it was Sarah’s blood and her fingerprints. She had been the one who painted the words. The cops investigated for years, looking for a suspect. They never found her body or the person responsible. Rumours spread around town. Some said she was murdered by a crazed local farmer and her body was grounded up into ground meat and sold on the market. Others said she was murdered by the vengeful spirits of locomotive 99, the train that had derailed. Everybody had their theory on what happened to Sarah Bluer. And they had their stories about the trail.
A few months after her disappearance, a family spoke up about hearing what sound like a girl crying in the woods in their backyard every night when they let the dog out. Of course they were ridiculed for their claims, people thinking it was just a hoax and all. But then more people came forward. A girl named Jessica claimed that she walked the trail home one evening and saw in the distance a strange light that illuminated the darkness. She said as she got closer she could hear the cries of a girl. She ended up running back to her friends house and getting her mother to pick her up. But the scariest account was the one that happened to a classmate of mine. Jimmy was coming home from a party one night, taking the trail by himself. Apparently as he got closer to the end of the trail, he could hear the screams of a girl. He described them as painful, desperate shrieks for help. Then as he got closer, he could see in the distance a girl. He said she wore a pink dress, her skin pale as day. She had reddish blonde hair and red eyes that were bleeding. She had stood frozen in the middle of the trail, staring at him. He had told me that her mouth had been open, eyes wide, as she screamed at him. Blood dripped down from where her arm had been severed off. Jimmy had ran down the trail, not bothering to stop till he got back to the party. He swore he would never take the trail ever again.
So why had I takened it? To be honest I was a skeptic. Sure Jimmy was a great guy but he always drank to much at parties. And people liked to make stuff up like that for attention. Besides, that particular night, Chloe and I had been home alone as her parents had been out of town for a party. And my parents worked out of town, so they couldn’t pick me up. So the trail had been the best option.
I had left Chloe’s late (around 10:30 it must have been) and made my way to her backyard, where the trail began. I remember that particular night had been really hot and I had takened my blue hoodie off, hanging it off of my shoulder as I walked. The woods had been pitch black, the only source of light coming from my flashlight. It was an old thing that barely lit the path. So I was pretty much in the dark. I must have been twenty minutes into my walk when I began to feel cold. I was confused as there was no breeze, or any source for the cold air. It was like all of a sudden I was freezing. I pulled my hoodie on, my body still cold as I walked faster. I was looking around now, the dark suddenly feeling suffocating. My heart began to race, adrenaline rushing through my veins. I sped up as the woods grew darker around me. The flashlight had suddenly began to flicker and the stream of light dulled. I hit it against my hand rapidly, the light still flickering. The path was black now, the outline of the trees around me. The night sounds suddenly became louder, the crickets chirping in my ears, the sounds of a twig snapping. I was extremely on edge. I gave up on my flashlight and instead began to run, my heart booming in my chest. That’s when I saw it. A light, in the distance, illuminating the end of the trail. It was a green light, smoking like dry ice. I had froze in place, the fear overpowering me. The shapes of people walked out from the lights. It had been a row of six black figures with pointy heads and pure red eyes. I didn’t know if they were human or not, it was too dark to tell. They moved slow, almost like zombies, towards me. I could hear whispers around me suddenly, like they were in the bushes on the side. Like they were surrounding me. I began to turn to run when I came face to face with bloodshot eyes and pale skin. A girl stood right in front of me, her wide eyes staring at me. Blood covered her skin. Her mouth was wide open, her teeth all missing, as she screamed. Her right arm dangled like it was lifeless. Her left arm was missing, a bloody stump in its place. I had gasped, falling backwards as I ran off the trail, into the woods. I had to get out of there, off that trail. My reasoning skills were clouded by my consuming fear. I must have tripped a couple times through the woods over branches and bushes, until I finally made it to a backyard. The back porch light was on and it looked like people were in the house. My lungs had burned from the escape. I made my way to the house, looking behind me in fear. I jolted in fear as the figures stood a couple metres away, just watching me. They were motionless, pure black.
I began to run again, tripping over the porch steps. I banged the sliding door, tears falling from my eyes. I turned around again, intimidated by the figures red, motionless stares. The owner of the home had opened the door, shocked at my fear. It was a woman, who’s husband had been out of town. Her children had been sleeping and she had been up late getting laundry done. She asked me what had happened, why I was so scared, if I wanted to call my parents. I told her about the people in the woods, how they were still out there, watching the house. She investigated, looking from behind the sliding door at the woods. I told her they had pointy heads and red eyes. She began to look at me skeptically, replying that she saw nothing. I couldn’t believe it, going to look to see myself. I thought maybe the glass made it hard to see, so I was prepared to point it out for her. But, to my surprise, they weren’t there anymore. The woods stared back at me, dark and normal. The woman had asked for my telephone number and had called my mother. She had left work immediately, coming to pick me up across town. She had interrogated me, asking me if I had takened any drugs or alcohol, got into anything I wasn’t supposed to. I begged her to believe me, that what I saw was true.
The next day she had called the local police station and I had given them my statement. They searched the woods, looking for the pointy headed people and the bloody girl. They found nothing. They concluded in their minds that I was either crazy or looking for attention. My story was also passed around school, people calling me crazy all the way to my graduating year.
That was 1999. Now I’m a 34 year old writer, still living in Caulfield. I chose a house, however, closer to downtown and away from the woods. Despite that, I find myself travelling the forest during the day, searching. I had obsessed over the experience, trying to figure out a explanation. Going through tons of articles at the library, hundreds of books on the history of Caulfield. I had discovered more about the towns history.
During the First World War, there had been a elementary school just off the trail that had burned down one day during class. It killed eleven students and a teacher, who had been trapped in the growing smoke and could not find their way out. The ages of the dead students were between 5 and 9. No one knows how it started or who was responsible.
Then, in 1950, three teenagers hung themselves out near Caulfield falls deep in the woods. A surprise to the residence, who described the students as full of life and ambitious. None of them showed previous signs of depression or suicidal thoughts.
It seems the town had a dark side, all connected to the woods. I speculated for years, trying to figure out the reason for all the death. I still don’t know why so many horrible things had occurred near there or how it connected to my encounter. The only thing I was sure of was that the girl I had saw in the woods that night was Sarah and her spirit must be stuck in those woods, suffering. It made me sad, thinking about how she had to spend eternity roaming the woods where she died. And what about the pointy headed people. The image of them painted in blood always popped into my brain. Did they kill Sarah? Did they kill the teens? Did they burn the school? What were they? Were they even human? All questions still unanswered, and did I even want to find the answer? The things that are in the Caulfield woods are evil and are better left hidden. I know that. But part of me needs to know, needs a conclusion.
That’s why I am writing this as a possible goodbye note. I know what I’m about to do is dangerous and I honestly don’t know if I will come back from my trip. I just know that if I don’t go to the trail tonight, if I don’t discover what those beings are, the unknown will make me go crazy.
So I say farewell to my family and I hope that they can forgive me for leaving and finally see that all those years I was right about the woods. I love you mom, and I know that even though you thought I was crazy all these years, you continued to care for me and stand by me. Dad, I’m happy that you and Mom are still together all these years and I hope that you can both forgive me. I just want someone to believe, so that whatever evil that’s in the woods can be revealed and that no more death or construction can occur. I can’t live knowing what I know and just standing by as innocent people die.
And for the people reading this other than family, I’m telling you now. If I die in those woods, it was the evil that killed me. You need to know that the trail is a death sentence and that Sarah still lurks, her dead red eyes watching anyone who walks past. All of their dead eyes watching. I’m telling you never, ever walk Sarah’s Trail, unless you want you blood spilled around the leaves and trees of the woods. Never ever walk Sarah’s Trail, unless you want to become part of the forest and part of them.
Credit: Emma Mae