Sunday, June 12, 2022

The Stairs in the Woods

I recently started watching the YouTube channel of a gentleman who goes by the moniker of Wendigoon. He does really in-depth, well-researched videos on topics such as the paranormal, weird history, biblical tales, angels and conspiracies. I was humming away watching his vids and flipping digital houses this week when I came across a video of his that freaked me the eff out. Like, gave-me-chills-and-made-me-feel-like-there-was-a-cold-finger-on-the-back-of-my-neck kind of freaked me out. I got totally sucked in until I thought about it rationally later and realized that the whole story had to be a fiendish hoax, but boy did it ever work on me until then. The video was about the mysterious phenomenon of stairs in the woods. Apparently, a few years ago, a story popped up on Reddit, supposedly posted by a Search and Rescue professional, about coming across a set of stairs in deep in the woods while on a rescue mission. The whole tale got more and more elaborate over time, but the gist of was that he was told in no uncertain terms never to go near one of these staircases or even to touch them, and his higher-ups warned him not not to talk about them publicly.

According to the post, these staircases are very deep in the woods and always show up within a few miles proximity to where a person has gone missing. They lead to nowhere and they are usually in pristine condition, free of moss, dirt and droppings. Some of them have even been reported to be covered in clean, white carpeting. Those who come across such stairs report feelings of deep foreboding, dread and fear, and instinctively stay away from them. After this person posted his story, more and more people began posting their own tales of coming across stairs in the woods while hiking in national parks or while deep in the forest for work expeditions or humanitarian missions. A cursory Google search reveals that a stairway sighting is often accompanied by some sort of paranormal phenomenon or even sightings of aliens or cryptids. There are tales of people ascending these staircases and losing a hand, or thinking that just a few minutes have passed when in actuality, they went missing for five years. There are some eerie tales out there, my friends.

The whole thing had me really weirded out. Then I realized the stairs-in-the-woods thing has all of the perfect secret-sauce ingredients for cooking up a giant hoax to goose gullible people like me. It has deep forests (spooky) and a weird, anomalous out-of-place structure (scary). People are told by authorities not to talk about it, thereby adding a conspiratorial element that increases the sense of a cover-up, and you throw freaky but totally unverifiable tales of paranormal happenings and alien sightings in and boom—you got yourself a class-A click-bait bamboozle. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. Between that and the giant freaking spider I found in the kitchen sink this morning, I’m a bit on edge, folks. I’m going to head out to my nice, well-lit gym where the only staircases are automated ones that belong there. I have to shake these heeby-jeebies.

If you enjoy quirky history, you will love this video from Windigoon about the short-lived country of Fordlandia. 


--Kristen McHenry

1 comment: said...

Fascinating, Kristin, and a great read! The Fordlandia video is awesome too!!