The man seemed out of place.
Kalie Ulriksen took the provincial bus from La Ronge, Saskatchewan, to Saskatoon in 2006 when the bus made a scheduled stop in Prince Albert.
“It was the middle of July and hot. I’m talking 30-plus Celsius (near 90 degrees Fahrenheit),” she said. “So I wandered around and went to grab a coffee at a nearby shop.”
As Ulriksen sipped the coffee, she walked back to the depot and found a crowd had gathered in the waiting area of the small bus stop waiting for departure. Then she saw the man.
“I look around the room and there is this guy standing in line waiting to board the bus,” she said. “His clothes just don’t fit. He is in knee-high, jet-black boots, extremely dark glasses, a large cowboy-style hat, gloves, and this takes the cake – a huge trench coat in a tiger skin pattern.”
Sweat rolled off Ulriksen as she stood in line, staring at the man in the tiger-skin trench coat.
“I was melting in a tank top and shorts,” she said. “Strange dressing people, even in the middle of Saskatchewan, doesn’t stand for anything. I know some crazy people. Dressing like it’s Halloween in the middle of summer doesn’t shock me. I know people who go to the bar wrapped in Saran Wrap.”
But there was something about this man beyond his clothing, something strange, something Ulriksen was not alone in noticing.
“It was the attitude of this guy. Like he was a predator,” she said. “I remember thinking at the time, ‘This guy could blow up the entire bus and kill us all and not think twice about it.’”
Ulriksen watched the man as the driver gave the signal for passengers to board the bus.
“I’m staring at this guy. He stands in line to board the bus and everyone gives him a wide berth,” she said. “No one is standing close to this guy.”
A large group of people crowded in front of him, another group stood as far behind him as they could in this small room. Ulriksen, who returned late for boarding, stood near the back of the line.
“There is something about him; something hair-raising,” she said. “Literally the coolness runs up the nape and I can’t stop staring at him. He was clean-shaven, handsome, but deadly.”
Then the passengers board the bus. When Ulriksen stepped on, she found the man sitting in one of the middle rows. Seats around the man were empty, other passengers staying as far away from him as possible.
“Yes, he is dressed strange but it’s the air around him. I don’t like to label things ‘evil’ lightly. I would imagine I would have the same feeling standing before a wild animal on the hunt,” she said. “The heebie jeebies doesn’t describe the feeling this dude is giving me. It’s suddenly everyone around me is no longer on the top of the food chain. Something is very not right about this guy.”
As Ulriksen stood at the front of the bus, she felt an urge to get close to the man.
“The little voice in my head speaks up, ‘Sit with him why don’t you?’” she said. “It’s the same one that says, ‘have another smoke’ ‘play with that Ouija board.’ The little voice I don’t listen to.”
She walked past the man and sat two rows behind him.
“I keep glancing at the back of his head,” she said. “I think, ‘What’s this guy’s deal?’”
As that thought ran through Ulriksen’s head, the man turned and grinned at her.
“My heart stops,” she said. “Pure fear drops through me; the electric kind. The pulsing, I’m-going-to-die feeling. Pure primal fear. I can’t explain it in words. It was screwed up.”
Ulriksen stared in terror at the strange man’s close-lipped grin, his eyebrows rising above the rim of his sunglasses. She knew she was in danger.
“I swear this guy wasn’t human,” she said.
But nothing happened. The man turned around, the bus eventually stopped at its scheduled destination, passengers got off and went on their way.
However, the terror of that moment has never left her.
Reports of strange, out-of-place “people” are common, littering online message boards far away from the mainstream media. Men in Black, hybrids, Black-Eyed Kids; there are many human-like entities that walk our earth, insert themselves into our sense of reality, and stalk us in broad daylight.
What did Ulriksen encounter? Simply a strange man, or something more sinister?
Copyright 2011 by Jason Offutt
Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”
Jason’s newest book on the paranormal, “Paranormal Missouri: Show Me Your Monsters,” is available at Jason’s blog, from-the-shadows.blogspot.com.