Footsteps in the Woods, Who Goes There?

Footsteps in the Woods, Who Goes There?
Somewhere between Altnahara and Ullapool.

What do the Scottish Highlands and Marie Antoinette have in common? Probably more than we know, but in this story we have a hunch there may be a portal linked with her spirit in an unassuming Scottish wood.

Our journey continued from Altnahara, peacefully retracing the miles back to a junction where we turned on to a new road in the direction of Ullapool. The ride back took most of the day and felt like a big dose of déjà vu. Still, the views of deforested lands looked different from another perspective, and seeing this area reinforced our intention to live lightly on the planet.

A house for the fairies on the way to Ullapool

The day ended in a usual fashion with us searching out a wild campsite. We came to a small wooded area where a gravel road ushered us off the main route. The air seemed to shift as we passed through dense vegetation into a still forest.

On one side we noticed something odd.

An antique chair stood in an opening amongst the densely packed trees. The chair seemed dropped from the Rococo era and I imagined Marie Antoinette sitting daintily upon the worn upholstery. It looked somehow lonely there, abandoned but also not alone.

A chill ran up my spine.

Maybe listening to stories of strange events on Lore for many years altered my experience here. While I do not believe in ghosts in the mainstream way, I do believe in spirits and energy fields, and something felt off here. The area seemed haunted by a memory.

Steven suggested the opening was a good place for the tent, right next to the chair.

"Right there by the chair?!" I exclaimed, "No, let's move on."

I urged Steven to continue, eager for some distance from this mysterious chair.

Soon enough we found a vast gravel clearing overlooking the distant hills. This area felt more grounded and peaceful. A distant rainbow seemed to bless our presence. We found a spot here and pitched our tent, settling in for the night.

We'd only just started making wraps in the tent when a sound froze my hand.

"What's that?" I whispered. We stilled to listen.

The tell-tale sound of crunching gravel.

Crunch, crunch, crunch.

Footsteps neared us with slow and cautious precision. Coming from the direction of the chair. They came right up to our tent, growing louder and louder. Steven and I sat completely still and I tried not to hold my breath.

Then, silence.


When suddenly,


I screamed,


Not a tiny cute scream, but a real, startled, throat-scratching, belly scream.

(Foreshadowing here, I would scream again the very next day.)

A growl and another bark sounded outside the tent and soon a human voice followed.

"Come on now, leave the campers alone," his tone was jovial as the dog's companion quickly approached and ushered his suspicious furry friend on. They didn't stop to chat, intent on their evening walk.

I opened the tent door and took a cautious look. Sure enough, a large dog ambled away with a tall, outdoorsy-looking man.

Steven teased me and asked about my frayed nerves. We had a good laugh about it. As much as I love animals and spirits, I let my imagination get ahold of me and plant fearful notions.

Still, there is always something real in imagination.

Images of the chair kept flashing through my mind during the night, and I created the next day's nature offering specifically with that spot in mind. Something or someone needed comforting and I hope one day, whoever lingers there, they will find peace.

Written by Karla Sanders @karlasandersart | Photos by Steven Tiller @steventiller