Bow hunters describe encounter with a "screaming banshee" file# 00450


Date:August 30, 1986
Jefferson county, OR
Nearest town:
Nearest road:
Hwy 20, Santiam Pass
Round Lake, off Hwy 12


Description of event: I interviewed the witness and his brother on August 31, 2002. We were camped next to these two men. They were bow hunters who had been hunting thise area nearly all their lives. When asked about Bigfoot, the witness was skeptical. Later that evening, however, the men joined us at our campfire and the subejct came up again. The younger of the two said, "Well, did you tell her about the banshee that screamed at us?"

My ears immediately perked up. "Screams?" I asked.

The older brother looked at his younger sibling. "Hmmm. I'd forgotten about that." And he began to tell the tale of a hunting trip during the last weekend of August, 1986. The two were scouting a fresh location less than a mile south of there, where their father had shot a buck from the road the previous day.

It was right along First Creek. The young men took their bows in the late evening and hiked up the logging road beside the creek, hoping to find a perfect location to set up tree stands. They found it. A steep ridge covered in dense pine trees provided a cool shady area for the deer to bed down during the day. At the base of the ridge was a clearing which the road ran through, perfect for moonlit grazing. The road had turned to the right and paralelled the base of the ridge for 50 yards or so. The brothers set out to set up their ambush, reveling in the perfect spot they'd found. Then the screaming started.

The men looked at one another, terrified. They began backing down the road, scanning the treeline for any sign of the cause of the commotion. "At first, we thought it was a cat. But I've heard cougars and they don't sound like that. Then I thought, 'Maybe the cat is killing something'." But that didn't explain it either. It was like a woman was being murdered, only the screams were deeper and louder."

Then men began to run. The sound paralelled them, staying with them, never coming closer, never diminishing, and there was no sound of crashing brush. Only when the road turned 90 degrees and headed back toward the main road, and they reached the main road did it stop.

They hightailed it back to camp, the younger of the two joking that "maybe it was Bigfoot". The subject was brought up briefly around the camprfire, but when none of the hunters would say much about the "banshee" they heard, the subject was dropped. I asked the men if it ever occurred to them, being seasoned veterans of the Oregon woods, exactly what a "banshee" might look like... they laughed and said they never really thought about it. When asked if they had ever tried hunting that direction again, the eldest brother grinned sheepishly and pointed over my head in the opposite direction of First Creek, saying, "Nah. We've hunted over that way ever since."

I asked the brothers if they would be able to recognise the screams if they heard them again. Both were emphatic that they would, that they would never forget the sounds they heard that day. I brought them over to the van, put in a CD, and cranked up the Klamath recording. They both went white, their eyes as round as saucers. "That's the sound!" the eldest exclaimed. "The screams we heard were longer, they were sustained for, like, 4 seconds, but that's the sound!"

The brothers agreed to take us up there the following morning. We drove down, following them. They had admitted the night before that they were both a little aprehensive about visiting that part of the woods again. The eldest brought his bow, carefully explaining that "every time I don't bring it, I see a deer".

The area was virtually unchanged, they said. We hiked up the road, which took a 90 degree turn to the right. They took us to the exact spot at which the screams first started. I started up the road from that point on, realizing that the road took an immediate LEFT and paralelled the prior portion of the road, allowing the screamer to paralell them without making brush noise.

I was greatly impressed by the men's knowledge of the woods, particularly of that area, and of their genuine emotional reactions to hearing the recording.

To view photos related to this encounter, click here

record updated:2002-09-16 00:00:00