A small orange flame sparked in the night as Travis White lit a cigarette. White stood outside the Maryville, Mo., house on that night in August 2010, the air fresh from rain, nearby streetlights casting a yellow glow over the neighborhood.
“It was 3 a.m.,” White said. “I’d just gotten off shift.”
Smoke rolled from his mouth and he noticed something move in the yard near a copse of trees.
“Out of my periphery I thought it was a dog,” White said. “A really big dog; but when I looked at it straight on I was scared. Not one of those immovable scareds, just a little freaked out. I just didn’t want to be there right now.”
The dog, “about as long as a horse,” loped across the lawn as a dog would. Its tail long, tan and bushy “with a white tip. Like a fox.”
However, it was the eyes that frightened White.
“I don’t remember much about its facial features, but I remember the eyes,” he said. “It had glowing green eyes.”
The “dog” stopped next to a neighbor’s fence and watched White; its eyes glowed the entire encounter.
“It stared at me until I finished my cigarette and went inside,” White said. “About three to five minutes; just long enough to smoke a cigarette. I was little freaked out. I didn’t want to move. I just maintained eye contact.”
The “dog” disappeared between two houses and White went inside. White, who lives with his father and step-mother, took his father outside to look for tracks the next day, but they found nothing.
But, when White saw how tall the fence was, he knew something was wrong.
“I didn’t realize how tall it was,” he said. “I just thought it was a big dog or a wolf. The next day Dad went out there and stood where it was.”
The “dog” would have come up to the middle of White’s chest – he’s 6’2”.
That wasn’t the last time White saw the “dog.” He saw it twice more, and always at night.
“I saw it a couple of weeks later. Very briefly,” he said.
White parked his car on the street behind the house after work around 3 a.m. He sat inside the car smoking cigarettes when he saw eyes staring at him through the darkness.
“The street light back there flickers,” he said. “I was sitting in the car smoking a cigarette. I saw those green eyes.”
When the streetlight flicked on he saw the “dog.”
“I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me because of the green glow,” White said. “But it was the dog. It was lying down, just staring at me,”
In the intermittent flickering the “dog” inched closer.
“It was freaky as close as the dog was when the light flickered back on,” he said. “I wanted to go inside. It was one of these, ‘in need to go inside,’ but I was frozen. I’ve seen big animals that freaked me out back when I lived on the farm and I just ran.”
But that night he couldn’t. Eventually, the “dog” stood and loped away. There were no footprints the next day.
“Dad calls it ‘Wolf Boy,’” White said. “We joke around about it being a werewolf.”
The third and last time White saw the creature was in April 2011, “It had been months since I thought about the ‘Wolf Boy’.”
White had fallen asleep in a chair watching television when something strange pulled him from sleep.
“I woke up to my name whispered in my ear,” he said. “As I started looking toward the door, the lights came on and I heard this scratching from Dad’s speakers. Nails on a chalkboard.”
White yelled at whoever had turned on the lights and stereo, but no one was in the room.
“Then I saw a figure standing just outside the door,” he said. “In my just woken-up mind someone had broken into the house and I caught them so I, of course, got my gun.”
When he stepped outside with the gun, the dark figure he’d seen looming outside the door was gone – but he wasn’t alone.
“I searched outside and I see the green eyes,” he said. White stood outside the door, armed, and watched Wolf Boy back off into the shadows between two houses. “That’s the last time I saw it.”
Through those three encounters, White’s still not sure what the beast could be, something normal, or something paranormal.
“My first impression was it was a big dog,” White said. “But the eyes. These eyes glow in the shadows. That’s the only inkling I got it was supernatural. The eyes and the first time I saw it, it was wet and there were no tracks in the mud.”
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.