Thar be ghosts and goblins on my mountain

I live in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, overlooking the Shenandoah Valley, and as the skinny, twisted trees shake in the wind that punishes the mountainside, I swear I hear them. Not far from my house (literally 1/4 mile), a jet crashed in the early 1970s, killing more than 250 people aboard on a foggy night. The nosecone came to rest against a large boulder that now holds memorials and a small headstone. Houses now dot the forest where once there was only charred bits of metal and humans, my own house built five years ago on the scarred face of tragedy.

As my husband built the house, he'd tell me of being in the forest near twilight and hearing the branches snap. Footfalls far heavier than deer or woodland creatures would echo to his ear. After my family moved in, he and I would see flashes of light outside our windows, snagging the eye and fading just as quickly. I've written before about random hauntings but this was different. These, do not wander. These were at home in the forest and we were but a momentary blink in their reality.

So what the heck was that I hit in the road last week? I could have sworn it was a dirt-covered snow chunk... except it hadn't snowed yet. Square and at least eight inches tall/wide, it straddled the yellow dividing lines on the mountain road; my eyes were strained from the weak winter sunlight at dusk -- perhaps an animal -- couldn't be sure. A square, rock-solid beast that didn't squish when I winged it with a tire. I thought little of it aside from a "dang it" when I heard the knock against the car door as I passed.

My daughter and I returned thirty minutes later, discussing the subtle nuances of the song Dancing Queen (there are none) when I came upon the rock again. This time, I slowed so I wouldn't hit it... but a few feet from our passing, the rock turned and stared at me with eyes not apparent before. I yelped, to put it mildly. Then feeling horrible that I had inadvertently hurt something and we turned around to see what it was and if we could help. It had vanished. The animal/rock/goblin was gone and nary a roadkill was to be found.

Paranormal? Probably not. Freakishly weird and hoping this thing doesn't have a grudge. You bet. I know enough about Elementals* to wonder if I'd chanced upon another one of the mountain's other residents, however. Something tells me this ain't over.

What roams around your neck of the woods?

*Elementals are spirits of the Earth such as pookas, fairies, banshees, goblins, etc.

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