Trail of Teeth



     As a child, I was always curious of mysterious places around where I lived in my rural small town in Nebraska.  I loved hearing about scary stories and urban legends.  Sitting around a campfire listening to campfire stories was one of my favorite past times.  There was just something about listening to tales of serial killers, vengeful spirits, monsters,  and demons that always filled me with excitement and joy.  I laughed at the other camp students as they became scared by these stories and loved the thrills they gave me.  I was always the first to sit down at a campfire during the summer nights to hear a campfire story.  There was one story one night that was told to be true and was the story that ignited my curiosity with my old campgrounds.  

     The story told of a man who lived in the nearby woods in a small cabin and would kidnap kids from camp sites and would murder them back in his cabin and use their bodies as furniture.  But since the man was fairly terrible of keeping track of which trail led back to his home, he left behind a trail of teeth from the children he murdered to mark his path home.  This story chilled nearly everyone present at the campfire except for me.  For me, it filled me with excitement and curiosity that led me to want to seek out the old cabin of the campfire kidnapper.  I started asking around the camp about the old cabin, but no one knew where it was.  I asked the old counselor who told the story said that it wasn't true and that he lied about it being true.  As discouraged as I felt immediately after he said this to me, something about his tone and eye movement told me that it was real and that he was trying to hide the truth.  

     I continued to ask around the camp, hoping that someone would be able to tell me more about the mysterious cabin out in the forest beyond where the camp was.  After asking nearly everyone in the camp, I finally met a man by the name of Issac Newell who was one of the old camp counselors.  He was able to confirm the truth of the cabin kidnapper and had more information the story.  "All of the legends about the cabin kidnapper are true.  There was once a man who lived in the woods who would kidnap kids from campsites and would murder them and use their bodies as furniture for his home.  However, he left years ago and only left behind one lone chair that was made of the skin and bone."  This new realization of the story having been real filled me with a sense of dread.  I only partly expected for the story to be real, but now that I knew it was, I had to know more.

    "Is the cabin out here?"

    "The cabin is nearby, through one of the old trails into the forest.  I can take you there tonight if you'd like."

     This offer felt like a dream come true for me, to finally see one of these stories that I loved hearing so much being brought to life.  There weren't that many camp activities going on that night so I agreed to his offer.  "I'd love to see it!"

     "Then it's settled, I'll take you by there after sundown."

      I didn't realize how suspicious this offer seemed at the time because my thoughts were clouded with the opportunity to see a real house of horrors.  I made preparations for my hike to the cabin and set off with Issac down the path.  I held on to a flashlight so I could see my way down the trail behind Issac.  We walked on for two miles through an old dirt path down to the cabin.  As I passed on by the trees and bushes, I noticed occasional teeth in the dirt as I followed Issac.  Each one of them shined like a misshapen white pearl in the dirt, some of them looking very old.  We continued on until we arrived at the cabin entrance.  

     "Here it is!  The old cabin of the campfire kidnapper."

     Issac eagerly made his way up to the door and turned a key inside of the door knob.   But as the door opened slowly, I saw a bright light emanating from within the cabin.  Issac opened the door up and revealed the interior of the cabin.  The place was well renovated, with a fire in the back, and the furniture was in clear view.  In the center of a skin rug was a human skin table, in the back, was a large human chair, and two drinks and a blade were clearly visible on top of the table.  At the back, above the fireplace, was a portrait of a younger man that resembled Issac.  I became overcome with terror.  "What is this Mr. Newell?"

     "You've finally been able to see the cabin.  Surely you'd love to stay and join my company, wouldn't you?"  

     I didn't bother to answer his question and began to run at full speed back towards the camp, sprinting away from Issac as quickly as I could.  I heard him slowly gaining on me, his steps slowly closing in.  I began to throw branches and rocks behind me to slow him down, but it did little to slow him down.  I could feel his hand reaching for me when he tripped over a hole and fell along the path.  I continued running, not bothering to look back.  I made my way back to my cabin and raced inside.  I locked the door and began to barricade it.  Issac began to bang on the door,  staring in with hungry eyes at me, looking at me as if I was a defenseless animal that he wanted to slaughter.  After the banging alerted the other counselors, he backed off and made up some excuse as to why he was banging on my cabin door.  


     Fortunately enough for me, I was able to leave the next day and never went back to that camp.  My views on urban legends and fictional tales changed forever.  I no longer went to that camp.  Issac was never caught and from what I heard from some of my friends, more kids still went missing at that camp.  I learned that night that having a bit of caution when exploring the stranger things in the world is a bit helpful and that now every story is made up just to scare someone.  I'm looking forward to my little brother heading off to camp soon and me being able to be a camp counselor.  I'll be able to watch over him and make sure he's ok.  I now have a scary story to tell him and all of his friends.  I'll make sure to tell the entire story, and warn them of the cabin.  To whoever may read this note, never tread down the Trail of Teeth.

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