If you asked my grandmother if she believed in supernatural things, she would likely respond with a question of her own.
“You mean you don’t?”
If you told her no, her next response would likely be a grunt.
“Well, you just a-keeping on,” she would say. “One day, you’ll find out.”
If the person scoffed at Granny’s belief in the things that go bump in the night, she would tell them that was the best way to end up haunted -- or worse.
“I don’t believe in any of that nonsense, Helen,” someone said once, shrugging off my grandmother’s theories.
“It ain’t nonsense. You just go right ahead. I know better.”
So, I grew up having a firm respect – and belief – in the spooky, scary stuff.
It didn’t mean Granny didn’t go to church. Heavens, no.
Granny was the president of her Sunday School class and in her earlier years, up until around age 70, she ran the church nursery.
She just knew a healthy relationship with the Big Guy was important, especially if you happened to run into some of these unnatural beings.
“Granny, do you really believe in ghosts and stuff?” I asked her once.
She nodded solemnly, the look on her face that of someone who had maybe encountered enough to know better.
“I do. I know some people don’t, but that’s alright. I know what I have seen and what I’ve heard.”
“Why do you think some people don’t believe?” I asked.
She thought for a moment. “I am not sure,” she began. “It’s better to think ghosts and such ain’t real, than think something might really exist. Maybe if they believe in it, it will get ‘em.”
Granny didn’t elaborate on what she thought may ‘get ‘em’ and I was too scared to ask.
But I knew she took this kind of stuff seriously.
You did not mock ghosts or anything that had to do with the dead.
“What about Bigfoot?” I asked her randomly one day years later.
“What about him?”
“Is he real?” I asked.
Again, she was hesitant to respond, weighing her words quietly.
“I think he is,” she finally said. “I know some people don’t, but I do.”
I nodded, agreeing with her assessment.
“Have you ever seen one?” I asked.
She paused again. “I ain’t sure it was a Bigfoot, but it was something. It was big, tall, and hairy. May have been one of your uncles. It was behind a tree, looking at the house. When I made eye contact with it, it ran off into the woods.”
She thought for a moment. “Someone told me it was probably a bear. I don’t think so. I ain’t sure what it was, but I am pretty sure it was a squatch.”
Now, making eye contact with a Sasquatch would probably terrify most people, but for Granny, she was probably worried it was getting some of her good squash out of her garden.
And hearing that the creature ran off into the woods was just further verification for me to never wander off anywhere in a nature setting. Horror movies did after all usually involve either abandoned houses or some remote wooded area.
I never personally had the opportunity to see a Sasquatch, but Granny’s encounter made me believe he was real.
I usually kept my opinions on such things to myself as I didn’t want people to think I was weirder than I am.
Plus, where I grew up, we didn’t have many Bigfoot sightings.
When I moved up to this area, I started to notice there were a lot more people that believed in Bigfoot.
“What have they seen?” Granny asked one day.
“I don’t know,” I said honestly. “Maybe nothing.”
“Oh, no,” she began. “They’ve seen something if they’re being so open about him. He’s up there.”
There were tons of Sasquatch web cams seat up and some had been able to capture some grainy scenes on camera.
It still wasn’t conclusive.
One morning about a year ago, I was feeding Sexy Frank down at the barn as a thick fog rolled through the woods and across the creek. I happened to look over and saw a tall, loopy figure walking.
At first, I thought it was maybe a neighbor hunting or a bear walking upright.
Sexy Frank growled and dropped down low to get a better look at it.
I didn’t need to get a closer look; I had goosebumps all over. It wasn’t human, whatever it was.
It was walking in an area that no person could navigate, as it stepped through patches of vines and fallen limbs with ease.
“Let’s get up to the deck,” I said to the cat. I didn’t have to tell him twice as we ran quickly towards the cabin, Sexy Frank looking over his shoulder the whole way. Once safely there, he went to the edge to keep an eye on whatever it was, his tail twitching the whole time.
Just recently, a neighbor posted something about seeing a possible Sasquatch near his home.
It was the second time he had posted something about this. His other occurrence happened last year around the same time – in the Fall, usually around dusk or dawn. About the same time Sexy Frank and I saw what we saw.
“You know that’s fake, right?” someone said when I was talking about my encounter. “Bigfoot does not exist. It’s been proven that all the sightings are just someone playing a prank in a costume.”
“I know what I saw,” I said simply. “And there’s no way it was human.”
“Then it was a bear.”
I knew it wasn’t a bear.
The possibility of Sasquatch was too much for some to take seriously.
But I believe. I really, truly do.