Drake and Tyler lived on the west side of Pennsylvania. A small town just outside of Pittsburgh called White Oak. There was a forest near the city called White Oak Forest. It wasn’t hiked often but there were some small cabins that sat in the center of the forest. No roads led to these cabins only old hiking trails. The cabins were old and rustic. They were once ran by a small family named the Tidsdales that lived there for decades. Eventually all of the Tidsdales died off one by one from old age. No one lived there anymore to take care of the cabins. Each house filled up with cobwebs, dust and rusty nails. It wasn’t until about nine years after the Tidsdales had died that people began to find the cabins and clean them up. Word spread throughout the towns and hikers would make their ways up to spend the night.
Drake and Tyler were each in their mid twenties. Both were fresh out of college. Neither man had known one another before college but became inseparable during their time there. Surely it comes as no surprise but they bonded most over video games and drinking. Those are some of the basics to any college experience. Parties lasting well in to the morning hours while having to show up to class a couple hours later. After college was over each of them were able to find jobs in the same town. They lived in different apartments but were in the same complex. Drake went on to work for a pharmaceutical company and Tyler worked for a lumber mill as a plant manager. Four years of college, although long and drunken, paid off in the end for each of them. The men, while they worked hard, still enjoyed every ounce of partying. As each of them grew older the word party seemed to entail less and less. Beer and video games were still involved, sometimes going out, but most of the time it was early nights and less alcohol.
The two men had been discussing an outing. Something out of their late night, couch seated, normal trends they had become accustom to.Drake went over to Tyler’s one evening and had asked him if he’d hiked up White Oak Forest before. Tyler said, “No, I can’t say that I’ve ever been up there. I do enjoy being outside though so it might be nice to venture up there for a weekend. I’ve heard those cabins are still up there and most the time are vacant.” Drake smiled at the idea of inhaling some mountain fresh air and staying in some historic cabins. Cabins, that although did have stories that went along with them it wasn’t to terrifying to keep these new adventurists from staying away.
The tales aren’t the common horror story. No deaths have been reported and no one has ever went missing. Campers have heard whispers through the cabins and almost paranormal like encounters. There hasn’t been any evidence of hauntings occurring. When these events happen it’s more bizarre than it is scary. The idea that has been explained has been a deja vu type experience. Hikers who have stayed here have heard and seen things. The only problem is they hear or see something before it happens. A person would hear someone knocking on the door. The door would be opened and no one would be there. They would begin walking back and the door would knock again and someone would be there. Another report was seeing a grandmother walk through the house with firewood and light a fire in the fireplace. Except once they went to go to the fireplace there was no fire but here grandmother came walking with the firewood. Most of these types of “hauntings” have only been reported over in the Scandinavia area. This makes it more strange when people had begun reporting them here in these woods. Vardoger’s are what this phenomenon had become known as. The Vardoger is the ghost that gives the person the vision or sound of what is going to happen.
Tyler and Drake had heard the stories of these Vardoger’s and thought this would be an interesting weekend to do some camping. Encountering some crazy shenanigans was what they were hoping for. Craziness is exactly what these two men were going to get themselves into. Anyone with any sense of fear are advised not to step foot into these cabins. There are signs on the outside of each one that say “enter at your own risk”.
Drake and Tyler pulled in to the parking lot at the base of the forest. There weren’t any other cars parked around there. Drake and Tyler were heading up that trail riding solo. They strapped on their backpacks and sleeping bags. Three trails teed out from the parking lot. All of them went up to the cabins but each had different views and there own sense of adventure. The first trail was called Black Oak Trail. The second trail was named Burdens Trail and the third was Harvest Lane. None of them had any signs or plaques that showed the difficulties. Of course neither of the boys were scared but it was late in the afternoon and the names “Burden” and “Harvest” seemed a little less safe than Black Oak. Tyler was adamant of taking the Black Oak Trail. Drake led the way, walking steadily along the trail, making good time heading up to the cabins.
Along the way Tyler was looking around the trail trying to find anything out of the ordinary. The hike was about two and a half miles long. They were about a mile in to the adventure when Tyler spotted a black cat that ran across the dirt path behind them. He shook it off and knew stray cats were ordinary for anywhere in the country. They continued on for another half mile and a black cat ran across the path in front of them. Tyler said to Drake, “Was that the same cat as earlier?” Drake wasn’t sure but he was hoping that it was the same cat. Black cats often have been given the symbols of being evil or of bad luck. This is the last thing these two men needed on this already nervous adventure. Both of them moved forward and tried to pretend that they didn’t see two “demonic cats”.
The Black Oak Trail was quite a beautiful walk. There were aspen and pine trees piled together for as long as the eye could see. Spring and fall, as is suit with all parts of the world, are the most spectacular times. The colors are hard to even put in to words. At any moment the gorgeous forest can leave you speechless. Something about being out in nature with the fresh air and open skies can take one’s troubles away.
Drake and Tyler arrived at the cabins. They walked in to a two story, cob webbed, run down attraction. Once the men settled in to their cabin they began going over what plans they had to bring the Vardoger out. Little did these men know the Vardoger could not be brought out. It did what it wanted and brought fear upon it’s victims. There wasn’t a type that it catered to. Drake stepped into the cabin and knew they had a long weekend ahead of them. It was early afternoon once the men had arrived and they began to unpack their bags. Tyler went into his room and unpacked a couple of bottles of fireball. If you were stepping in to something completely unknown, fireball, was an essential necessity. Drake and Tyler came into the living room. They understood that things were going to get strange, weird and down right bizarre.
Drake asked Tyler if he had heard anything. Tyler told him there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, creeks and wind blowing noises, that he heard was different. It wasn’t until later on in the evening that things began to change. The cabin that they were staying at had a fireplace. Tyler saw a old man walking to it with a load of firewood. Tyler stepped out in to the hallway and the old man wasn’t there and the fireplace was dry. Drake went walking by him in the hallway with arms full of wood heading towards the fireplace. Tyler rubbed his eyes to make sure that he wasn’t seeing things. He looked back up and there was Drake now in the living room. Tyler asked him what he was doing with the firewood. Drake said, “Well, going to start a fire to keep this place lit up and warm tonight…” Drake said that in a very sarcastic tone of course. Little did he know that the Vardoger had just made it’s first move upon both of them. This was just the first of the games. It was common that things would become increasingly worse as the night went on.
Each of the men sat in the living room on the sofa a little startled after the first encounter with the Vardoger. How would it appear to them next. Would it come to both of them at the same time? Would it single out on or the other? They were trying to make sense of why it chose Tyler first. After they had settled down and gathered their thoughts Drake went to make some dinner. It wasn’t a five course meal just some beef stew they had brought with some saltine crackers. Tyler went back to his room once dinner was done and did some writing in his journal. He liked keeping his thoughts wrote down and it helped him sort things out that he was feeling. Drake came in to the room and asked him what he was doing. “I’m writing things down from today in my journal. I’m curious to see if the Vardoger feeds off of our thoughts and if anything I’m writing down it will use”, Tyler told Drake.
Eleven o’clock rolled around and both men were wide awake and in their separate rooms. It was time for the Vardoger to come out again. Drake was sitting on his bed and saw Tyler go walking down the hallway towards the bathroom. Drake went out to the hallway and didn’t see anything. Tyler came walking by and said that he was going to the bathroom. Drake was now starting to understand how Tyler felt with the firewood situation. Drake went back in to his room but heard Tyler call for him. He replied back, “Yeah Tyler, what’s up?” He didn’t hear anything back. Drake then heard a thud come from out in the living room. He went back to the hallway and looked down to the living room and saw the fireplace had set the floor on fire. Drake ran to the bathroom to find Tyler who was about to get in the shower. He yelled, “Tyler! The cabin is on fire!” They both went running down the hallway to the living room where everything was calm. Drake didn’t understand. Everything he saw looked so real. He could even smell the smoke that was coming off the fire on the floor. The flames were ripping through the room and burning up the furniture in his vision. Was this a premonition they saw for the future? Only time would tell what would happen.
Things were becoming a little scary to each of them. The Vardoger was going to bring the big finally in to play on both of them. Drake and Tyler went and sat out in the living room and waited for something to appear. They waited for something to happen. Two doors slammed down in the hallway. Then knock came on the front door. Tyler said he would get the front door if Drake would go check down the hall. Tyler opened the door and an old man shot him in the chest. Tyler fell back on to the floor and crawled towards the hall trying to find Drake. A trail of blood was being left behind with each movement forward Tyler made. He pulled himself around the corner of the wall and saw Drake lying in the middle of the walkway. He tried to yell for him. Drake wasn’t moving or making a sound. He looked closer and saw a knife was sticking out of Drakes neck. The same old man that shot Tyler was now standing at the end of the hallway with a smirk on his face. He didn’t say anything to either man. He turned and walked into a bedroom and shut the door behind him. Tyler laid on the floor. He turned over and looked at the ceiling. Everything around him was slowly closing in and becoming black. Coldness was settling in and he couldn’t believe this was how he was going to die. Tyler closed his eyes and then felt a tap on his shoulder. He opened his eyes back up and saw Drake sitting next to him on the couch. It was all an illusion. Both of the men had the same vision and were absolutely terrified. It all felt so real.
Drake and Tyler got up from the couch and went back to the rooms to pack up their bags. No way were they staying here for another second. All of these visions were to real and they didn’t want them to become real. The Vardoger had won and they were okay admitting that. Both men had their bags packed and came walking out of their rooms and headed to the front door. They were going to put the fire out in the fireplace when they heard a knock on the door….