AUGUST 16, 2022
Every summer for the last four years of so, my nephew B and I go on “auntie adventure days”. Sometimes it’s purely spontaneous local fun and sometimes we plan out trips to cool local places we’ve always wanted to visit. We’re both in agreement that we’re blessed to live in New York’s Hudson Valley area. Plenty of legends, lore, history & paranormal for us weirdos to enjoy. This trip was a planned one. We’d been reading up on NY state and Hudson Valley ghost towns and decided to visit one that was very close to us.It’s called Doodletown; located in Stony Point in Rockland County within the boundaries of the Bear Mountain State Park. It was a small rural community in an area originally inhabited by Munsee & Haverstraw Indians and then purchased in 1683 by Stephanus Van Cortland. The community took root in 1762 and played a role in the movement of troops etc in the Rev. War. Utimately it was one of several little towns that were bought by the Pallisades Park Commission to establish Bear Mtn. Park. The last residents moved out in the 60s. Buildings were razed and nature took over the area. It’s a beautiful hike accessible from a few different places. We hiked in on the 1777 trail from Bear Mountain Lodge.
This took place mid August this year; so it’s still very fresh in mind. In fact I still have a photo on my phone of the area where our experience occurred.
We each had brought *tools* w/ us. He had a K2 that I had given him last Christmas. I had dousing rods.
The hike was beautiful, uneventful except for an eagle sighting and us oohing over the beautiful scenery and frankly, talking about cryptids. We came to an open area near a small pond/lake. There’s a dam and we walked out onto it to look around. On a hill overlooking the pond/lake is a cemetery. (The buildings of Doodletown are long gone, but the 3 community cemeteries are still there) This cemetery had signs saying it was No admittance. We were on a wooded pathway near it when we came upon a starling, lying on the path. It was dead, in rigor but no wounds, no obvious trauma, no insects, etc. It was actually very beautiful lying on some leaves and moss. Just prior to finding the starling B’s K2 had gone off at least a couple times. I had the dowsing rods, which crossed in an X as we reached the bird on the trail. A few feet away I spotted two halves of a robins egg. I moved the starling and covered it with some leaves. And we placed the robins egg halves nearby as a kind of altar. We commented on how it was the beginning of life (the egg) and the end of it (the dead starling). B felt a presence very close and the K2 went off . He heard a voice say *Hup!*
The dowsing rods were pointing off trail into the deeper woods. We walked a little further and B kept feeling that there was something coming up to him to *check him out* Not aggressive. Just curious. I noticed a change in energy, but again, not in a bad or aggressive way. At that point, we were moving around this small clearing area w/ the K2 and the Dowsing rods, just generally checking energy levels. We were standing together facing the pond/lake (hiking in it was on our Left) when we noticed a kind of light almost prickly feel on our skin.
We were in the woods with bird sounds, nature sounds, a bit of wind from time to time, sounds from some other hikers, etc….. but suddenly we weren’t hearing that anymore. Someone/something had turned down the * background noises*. We were entirely surrounded by locust/cicada song; it increased in intensity and volume, and we no longer heard anything else. It felt like we were standing under a kind of ‘dome’ of the cicada sounds… in an ‘other place’ but also still in the same place by the pond/lake in Doodletown. It was not scary at all. The air felt like it had a light vibration and frankly, it felt peaceful and welcoming. I don’t know how much time passed. A few minutes maybe? Really not sure; but the cicada sounds dissipated and first we heard birds again, then the wind and then hikers and other sounds. Also should note that while we were under/in that dome of cicada sound there was no breeze touching us but we could see trees moving in the breeze nearby.
After that moment, we both poured some of our water on the ground in the spot as a thank you and said thank you’s out loud. We did not pick up any energy bursts after that, but as we walked out of that area we both felt that there was a presence in the trees just off trail, watching us. We stopped and talked to it, thanking it and telling it we would visit again.
I grew up learning Hudson Valley history and folklore from my father. Bear Mtn is somewhere I’ve visited and hiked in dozens of times. MY nephew had never been there before. These are some of the oldest mountains in the US and the world, I believe. Even though we’re about an hour or so north of NYC… these mountains don’t care about that.
The rest of the way on our Doodletown hike we joked that maybe that moment was due to the ‘power’ of two redheads. We were able to hike to a 2nd cemetery in Doodletown and felt either that first presence or possible something similar. Again, we talked to it and assured it we would be respectful of nature and the area.
I’ve had more than a few interesting nature experiences hiking in Hudson Valley… none like this one.
dead on the trail. Perfect. No wounds. No blood. No insects
Submitted by Aunt Jett W