In the aftermath of the blazing fire, local residents and tourists and hikers alike began to report of hearing outlandish wails and shrieks echoing out from the forest of South Mount Hawkins, as well as seeing strange apparitions darting about. Wandering the woods were seen birds, rabbits, and cats that seemed to have something off about them. From a distance they were seen to have odd, disjointed movements, and upon drawing closer it could be seen that they had hair missing, odd hardened flesh, and eye sockets devoid of eyes, merely gaping black holes that stared into nothingness. Some hikers even reported being stalked by these prowling apparitions. Rumors quickly sprang up that these were the spirits of animals killed by the cult in the ritual that had led to the fire, that it had awakened some primal evil, and there were those who refused to go anywhere near the area.
On top of this there have also frequently seen tall shadowy figures standing top ridges on the mountain, very similar to the Dark Watchers I wrote of recently, as well as furtive dark entities flitting about and lurking in the trees. Apparently these zombie-like animal specters and shadow people have still been spotted from time to time right up to the present, and whether it is all an urban legend or not, South Mount Hawkins certainly seems to have its share of creepy stories.
Speaking of forest fires and ghosts, there are cases where the fires themselves appear to have been ghosts. According to a witness named Ludwig Wittgenstein, in the summer of 1976 he was working as a U.S. Forest Service employee in a rugged area of central Idaho by the fork of the Salmon River. The witness had a lookout vantage point in a lookout tower high atop a place called Pilot Peak, in the Payette National Forest, in an area so remote it was only accessible by helicopter. One evening he was camped out there when he woke up at 2AM unable to sleep. As he looked out over the horizon he noticed what appeared to be a “bright orange triangle” near the crest of a mountain about 6 air miles away. He would say of what happened next thus: