The "Swamp Road Chronicles"


"My Personal Brushes With Evil"



I want to share with The "Swamp Road Chronicles" readership a few of the things that I have personally experienced that may shed some light on the paralyzing fear some people experience when encountering entities of a paranormal type.


Certainly, as editor of a website dedicated to archiving reports of a paranormal nature, I have heard hundreds of stories from people who had encountered Sally or other entities on Swamp Road and had fled in uncontrollable fear. When they relive that experience with me they are often embarrassed by their mindless fear. They can't understand how they could have been so illogical. We all like to think that we will stand up to any threat with courage and resolve, however, sometimes, our instincts for survival take over completely and our brains take a back seat. I can relate. Back when I was about 11 (I'm 74 now) I had my first experience with a palpable sense of evil. The events I am about to relate are true and as accurate as I can recall.


It was about 1959, I lived in an apartment complex in Columbus, Ohio with my mom and siblings; I was the eldest. I used to go play with the kids of a family who lived in an adjacent apartment building. Their family had four children, (it may have been 3 children, it's been a long time) one of them, I recall, was a girl who was also about eleven whom they called "Bea"; I have always assumed her real name was 'Beatrice'. One of the kids was a teenager of 16, I don't remember his name. The father of the family was an Ohio State Highway Patrolman.


One evening, I was walking home from their apartment building when I saw the teenager of the family walking up the sidewalk with a friend of his, apparently from the parking lot. I do not recall him ever speaking a word to me or behaving in any sort of unusual manner. He just seemed a normal teenage boy. However, the sight of HIM, not his friend, scared me very much. I hid behind a conveniently placed dumpster and as they passed I stayed on the far side of the dumpster from them so they couldn't see me; the way a squirrel stays on the other side of a tree as you walk past it. Once they had passed by me I sprinted home, very much alarmed, but for no apparent reason. Let me stress the point that I had no reason to be afraid of him, I had never seen or heard anything to cause me to fear him. As I was hiding I remember asking myself: "Why am I hiding from him? Why am I afraid?"


A few months later, Bea's family moved from the apartment complex to a new home they had purchased in nearby Grove City. A few months after that the family was on the evening news.


Apparently the teenaged son had forced his family to kneel beside their beds and shot his mother, father and all of his siblings with his father's service revolver. He then proceeded to drive his father's patrol car out into the country where his shot himself in the head. An unimaginable horror and tragedy.


What would compel, or even enable, an apparently normal teen to murder his family in such a cold, cruel way and then, in total despair I assume, take his own life? What would cause me, just a child, to be very afraid of that same teen without any discernible reason?


I thoroughly believe that teenager was filled with something so malevolent that it radiated evil strongly enough that I could sense it fifty yards away and then seek safety behind a dumpster. How else do you explain it? Coincidence? I doubt it.


I believe that God has given us the ability to sense evil, the greater the evil, the greater the sense of alarm your instincts will exhibit. I have found myself sensing evil on other occasions and I have learned from my experiences to trust my inner sense of danger. In the case of evil, what greater danger could you be in than when your very soul is in peril? Pay attention to your instincts!


If that boy was possessed by an evil spirit, do you think that evil entity died when the boy shot himself? Of course, not. I believe that it moved on to infest another human being and then proceeded to use that next host to perform some monstrous deed as well. Mass killing continue to occur, don't they? Prisons are filled with people who can't understand or explain how they were capable of doing the horrific acts of murder they perpetrated. Some do, however, swear they were forced to do those acts by a voice inside of their heads, or an entity that visited their bedroom at night.



Another incident reinforced my belief in the idea that we have a "sixth sense" designed to help protect us: It was about 1980. I was teaching a teen how to drive. I owned and operated a driving school for 25 years and I had a route that I used very consistently. Sometimes, however, a student lived in an area that would take me out of my normal paths. There is a road near Pickerington, Ohio called Tollgate Road, it once had a great old covered bridge spanning a creek. The bridge was moved to a nearby location many years after my experience. Built in 1890, the bridge had a floor of wooden planks that rattled cheerily as you drove through. Whenever I had the opportunity, I would go down that road and through that bridge because there are very few like it left in the world. The picture above is of that bridge.


That particular evening, as my student drove through the bridge, the floorboards rattled as always, but the familiar sound caused a chill to run through my body. I said to my student, "Didn't that sound spooky?" It sounded spooky to me. Remember, I had gone through that bridge many times and the sound never before struck me as being anything but pleasant. Well, I shrugged it off and after I dropped my student off at his home, I headed home myself.


That evening, on the TV news, they reported that about one hour after my student and I had driven across that bridge the police recovered the body of a murdered man from beneath it. The man was an older gentleman and he had been kidnapped by a couple of losers who forced him beneath the bridge a couple of nights earlier and there they shot him to death. They had robbed him and stolen his car. The police had been looking out for the car and when it was stopped in Kentucky the murderers confessed and told the police where to find the body.


Why did I sense something "Spooky" when driving across that bridge? I believe that I somehow sensed the dead man's presence, or perhaps I sensed the evil that had visited that place two days earlier. In any case, I knew something was wrong, without any evidence presented to my normal senses.


I've had other occasions when my "Spidey Sense" was activated, and I trusted it. Was it just an overactive imagination? Perhaps, but "Discretion is the better part of valor", someone once said. Trust your senses, if you feel uneasy about something, or someplace, or someone, go the other way. Better safe than dead, or worse.


(As submitted by Randal Lenn Hall, 3-15-2020 (The Ides of March) Etna, Ohio


Copyright 1992-2023, Randal Lenn Hall, All Rights Reserved.