The Howler In The Storm

This incident happened way back in the '70s, but it has stuck with me to this day. I was ten years old and my Mom, Dad, Sister and I all lived with my Grandmother in a 100 year old farm house in upstate New York. My parents and my sister slept in bedrooms upstairs while my Grandmother and I had rooms on the first floor. One night in early Autumn, when bad electrical storms can still roll through the Hudson Valley, I was raised from a sound sleep by an oncoming storm. Lightning brightened my room like a strobe light. The thunder rolled and the wind picked up. With the wind there came this other sound. It made goosebumps race over my body. It was an ungoldly howling. A wailing that didn't, couldn't have come from human lips. No animal I knew could wail like that. The Howler seemed to be right outside my window.

I was terrified. I jumped out of bed and raced to my Grandmother's bedroom. She was already sitting up in bed. I climbed in next to her and pulled up the covers. "What is that, Grandma?" I asked. She assured me that it was just the wind. I knew it wasn't the wind. And I knew she knew it wasn't the wind. The wailing came around the house. It got closer. It had to be right on the front porch, right outside Grandma's window! Grandma put and arm around me and held me tight. The hollowing was right outside her window now, just a few feet away from us. I burried my face in her shoulder. After what seemed like an eternity the sound began to move away. It faded into the distance as the storm hurried on its way down the valley. Somehow, I managed to fall asleep.

Early the next morning I woke to sunlight streaming in the window. Grandma was already up. I climbed out of bed. And peaked out the window. I saw her outside already with a mop and a bucket, cleaning the porch floor. I hurried to the front door and stepped outside. From there I could see what my Grandma was cleaning. There were muddy footprints all over the floor! They were little, tiny footprints. The kind that might be made by a tolddler. I got goose bumps again. I asked Grandma what made the foot prints. She didnt' answer and she kept cleaning.

At this point my sister, a year younger then I, came out to see what I was doing. She saw the foot prints too. I mention this because thirty years later when I was telling my wife this story, my sister was able to confirm seeing those tiny foot prints. She didn't hear the Howler in the storm.

Dave748 Dave748
46-50, M
51 Responses Aug 20, 2010

Spooky indeed. I don't think there is anyone to confirm my stories. It's good you had your sister even if she didn't hear the Howler. I'm hoping you have more stories of supernatural nature. I'm off to explore your stories. LOL


I did enjoy both. Thanks. Has anything else happened to you since those two encounters?

I've had a couple of experiences, yes.

Oh do share please....

I was in the sanctuary in Church alone one evening. I was sitting the dark meditating. I heard the distinct sound of rustling robes and footsteps going up the center isle. I could tell where the person was by the squeaking floorboards, but I could see no one! I think it could have been one of former Ministers.

I imagine you don't get concerned anymore when these strange occurrences happen. I've gotten used to mine in a way.
Many years ago I was walking to work. I was exhausted since I'm an insomniac. I was not concentrating but instead just mindlessly walking, following my usual path. Suddenly an arm grabbed my waist and held me back from crossing the street (I wasn't paying attention). Right there a taxi flew by me. Had I stepped into the street I would have surely been hit. I quickly looked behind me to thank the person. I was shook up. But no one was there. Nor was there anyone on the other side. I can only believe that it was my guardian angel.

I think that was your guardian angel. Ghost encounters don't faze me any more.

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Nice story Dave, enjoyed.


Sounds like a banshee encounter

Does indeed, I agree.

The Ban Shee. People here in Ireland swear that she exists. She forewarns of death. Ive never heard her, but my dad said he did on the night a neighbour died. The 3 knocks on the door, was a warning that followed my mothers family. There would be 3 knocks on the door and when they tried to open it, it would stay jammed shut for a few minutes. It happened quite a few times. I have had two experiences and one where there were others around who heard it too.
Who knows, but its interesting and nice to think that in this modern age there still this spiritual thing in our make up.

I agree. I never heard of the three knocks phenomenon.

I was raised in the Hudson Valley too :)

Where did you live?

Dude. That is an amazing story. :) Scary sh** right there. :D

Scared me, I'll tell ya.

I would imagine. That world of unscientific stuff exists. I've had lots of weird stuff happen, too.

What has happened to you?

Albany. Are you familiar with the area?

Thank you! I've never encountered the howler again. I live in that same old house now. My Dad left to me when he passed in 2007.

Good luck Dave!

Nope! I'll just have to rely on my Louisville Slugger and prayer! :-)

They're not going to alert you to the Howler! lol

I have four cats, actually. :-)

I don't like the City either. But suburbia suits me fine. I always took my kids up to her farm during the summer. I found all that darkness too much. I love Chatham downtown. Very artsy. Lots of great little shops. I hope you have a dog or two living with you up there. Great place for them to live and to protect you.

Not too far from Chatham! It is a nice place to live. You know, my experience was the opposite of yours. When I lived in the city for a while I could never get used to all the lights!

Is that anywhere near Chatham, New York? I have a sister up there. Very isolated but beautiful. I don't think I could be comfortable with all the darkness at night. I need my streetlights!

I've heard all of those animals at one time or another. This was different.

Well that's just plain old creepy. That's why I prefer suburbia. Could it have been a wolf, coyote or a bear?

Hudson Valley.... Ulster County?

North of Ulster. Albany county.

I went to Albany county yesterday.Was up and around Berne .Your story surely fits that landscape.

It is lovely this time of year. I hope you enjoyed your visit.

Very lovely !We were going to Vorman's nose

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I envy you that. I am very interesting in my Celtic heritage. When the Coughlins came to America they married into the Kelso family. So I've got Scots and Irish in me.

wow , I love your stories, very interesting!

Thanks. I have a few more experiences to share.

awesome, I look forward to reading about it :) thanks for sharing.

You are most welcome.

Very good story, it kept my interest throughout. The goosebumps while reading were a plus, too :)
Thanks for sharing :)

Good read. Thanks for sharing.

You are most welcome.

Good story-will you be in my circle?

Thank you and yes I will

who do you think was the little toddler?

I think it could have been one of the shee.

Very scary experience, and your writing skill is very good! Even a bit poetic!

Thank you, I'm pleased you enjoyed it. My Grandfather was born in Quebec.

You are welcome. Quebec is such a nice place isn't it?

Yes, it is a lovely place.

yikes, i can imagine that would be scary for an adult, let alone a small child!

It made a huge impression on me.

I want to read more that was good

I will be posting more soon. Thanks!.

Welcome I'll have my hubby tell me when you post more. Looking forward to it


Wow! I have a similar experience at my great grandmother's house when I was a kid.

Did you? Tell me about it.

It sounds like a lost soul,it sounds like a small person was left out in the cold and could have died,totally forgotten,it probably happened a very long time ago,when intense emotions are released they imprint themselves on the atmosphere,that soul had not found closure and was still crying for help.You sound like a very spiritual and sensitive man,so as a child you heard it when others did not,as you must have guessed I believe in ghosts.

I believe in ghosts as well. And thank you for the compliments.

Cool story

Thanks. And true to boot.

I believe you. I wander what entity was there? Quite a unique story.

I've looked into the possibilities. There are "storm spirits" in Native American lore. But I also have Irish heritage, so it is possible that we experienced a banshee.

Too scary-great writing. Very creepy.<br />
<br />


It was a scary situation.

There's a knack to telling a good ghost story. You've got it. It certainly helps when it's grounded in a real experience, I think. Nothing like authenticity to make it compelling.

Glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks for reading it.

Hooked from first to last word.<br />
I love the way your set the scene in a leisurely conversational way, until suddenly I am only ten. <br />
The concrete experience confounds me.<br />
Thank you!

Glad you enjoyed it!

I adore your story, my friend..*SMILE*....:)

Unless you encounter it again.

hope not

i heard a sound like tht too whn i ws like 10 or something me n my family were up in the mountain staying at our family house whn late at nite iheard frm this weird wailing sound outside our house which was also surrounded by a jungle i was soo scared n i dunno y bt i pictured a huge lizard doin tht lol wud never knw whtever tht ws

Wow, intense content, described so well! I'm thanking you now for your artistry .. I may curse you tomorrow for the disclosure........

I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks for the compliments.

Check out my story Footprints in the Snow.

And that really happened.

I shouldn't have read this. There's a storm right now in the place where I live and I'm home alone. I have to take care for my parents' home and cats and the village is quite deserted, you never hear someone nearby on the street. While it's getting darker, I'm getting more afraid. <br />
Stupid me.

I know it was owned by the Boyce family originally. I suppose thats a good place to start.

you should deff try to find more out about the history behind the farm

Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Wonderful entry,thank you for sharing,it is an excellent piece of writing and left me wanting to hear more and more.You set the scene as good as any writer and I have read a lot of books,wonderful,fantastic,you do have a real talent.<br />
I could imagine myself in that setting,how terrifying.

Gave you quite a scare! I'm told even familiar animals can make some odd sounds at times. And, if weren't for those crazy little footprints, I'd probably have put that wailing down to some critter.

Dave 748, I had an experience sort of like that when I was about 16. It was in August. I still remember my mother and I sitting on the edge of my bed and we were looking at something she or I had bought that day, a blouse, maybe. We had no air conditioning and my two windows were up. I had never thought a thing about it, as we had lived like that all my life. We lived near my Grandparents house separated by a creek and woods. We lived really close to the creek and woods. Woods were all around us. I had never been afraid and had wandered up and down the creek and into the woods since I was 4. They, my folks, always said to make a lot of noise to scare away the snakes. My grandfather said nothing in the woods would hurt me except for two-leggeds. He was half Cherokee and he worked in the fields and kept his pasture and woods clean. Well, that night, mother and were talking and all of a sudden, we heard the most horrible wailing scream that went on for about a minute. I've NEVER heard anything like it since. We jumped up and ran into the living room where my Dad was sitting and reading. He didn't hear it, but we both jumped into his lap and gave him a scare and sort of made him mad. We told him what had happened and he just calmly said, it's gone by now. Anyway, he said, it was probably a couger, or mountain lion in heat. Anyway, it was an ungodly sound. Since then, I have been told that it was probably a mountain lion, or couger and it was following the creek to find a mate. Sheesh! I will remember that sound the rest of my life and never want to hear it again. Your situation was different and I wonder what it was. Sounds as though your grandmother had heard that thing before. Ugh! I, at least, can come up with somewhat of an answer, but yours sounds bad. Either way, I never want to hear that sound again.

Perhaps, I will try to contact the spirit. It seems to come with storms.

I never did find out who, or what, made those little footprints. I did encounter them again though. Glad you liked the story.