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The night sky above Mt. Philo State Park.

“All a skeptic is is someone who hasn’t had an experience yet.” — Jason Hawes 

Halloween occurs in between the sweet vibrancy of summer and the dark, quiet depths of winter. Transition bring change and uncertainty. Many cultures around the world believe that during this period the worlds of the living and the dead can bleed into each other. Although it’s been a couple of years since a major occurrence, it appears as though something might be reaching out at Mount Philo State Park.

 Mount Philo State Park is the oldest Vermont State Park and is no stranger to ghostly apparitions or bizarre occurrences (see our classic blog post on ‘Freaky Philo’ for more). Throughout the 2019 season, strange animal carcasses were found here and there in ways that made it seem as though someone (or something) was engaging in some form of macabre taxidermy. After some time, it just stopped and all returned to normal.

In late September, things quickly veered back into the strange. College students were enjoying a scenic drive up the mountain road. When, BOOM! The back window of their car exploded for no clear reason and it felt as though all the air had been sucked out of the car. When they pulled over to examine the car, they could find no reason for the explosion. There was no sound before the glass shattered and no source of damage could be found. Even more strange? The glass blew out as though something has been forced out of the car from the inside (rather than inward which would be the case if it were something falling on the car).

Trying to find answers to these strange occurrences, park staff set up a game camera in an area where several of the strange events happened. Since early October more than 2,300 images have been taken. Most of the photos are very clear and are of staff or guests (some curiously examining it with flashlights). On the morning of October 4th, something explainable appeared on the camera. These 4 shots were taken in quick succession one after another. This indicates that, whatever this was, it was moving across the lawn.




A mysterious shape moves in front of the game camera.

What do you think it was? Did something slink from the inky blackness of the unknown and onto Mt. Philo? Is the Devil’s Chair Trail even more sinister than even the name suggests?

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Have you had any unexplained happenings in Vermont State Parks? Share your thoughts, ghost stories, or tales of the unknown below!