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The SUV Phantom
By Casey Unger, MA, LPC
TFC Founder

On a dark and stormy evening in 2005, I got in my Xterra (TFC’s trusty mascot Ace) and headed home from my counseling office. It had been a particularly difficult day of therapy with clients with all manner of heavy issues and I was mentally drained.

After I turned and headed down Finfeather road towards home I tried to unwind my analytical mind and slipped into deep thought. The deep thoughts were of the weekend’s lineup of paranormal pursuits that me and my paranormal group, TFC, were to embark upon the next night.

As I drove home I pondered all manner of things that my group had experienced since it was organized by myself not even a year ago. One particular thought that lingered in my mind was the concern over something evil actually coming to get me one day, something that I had taunted, provoked, or purged at some point in my paranormal wanderings or even something I’d seen on all of the countless horror films I’d seen and even laughed at over the years.

There was a show that aired on television briefly back in 2001 called “Freaky Links." The show was about a guy named Derek Barnes who ran around in a big, clunky SUV with 3 other folks and researched paranormal or otherwise “freaky” occurrences. They did all of this for documentation and presentation on a website that he and his group maintained called “Freaky Links.”

At the beginning of the show was a song with the line in it that said, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you but what you look for might get you!” This was the theme song for the show and needless to say I was pondering this point as I headed home. Foremost in my mind was the idea of some type of X-Files type creature someday just getting me and all they would find of me would be a bloody tuft of platinum hair and maybe my vehicle. It could happen. Needles to say, I was engrossed in very deep thought.

As I drove along I suddenly heard something rustle in the rear cargo compartment of my Xterra. The sound was very noticeable. I gripped the steering wheel firmly and nervously glanced into the rearview mirror. Nothing was there. Trying to convince myself I did not hear that, I calmly kept driving. Then again, even louder! Trying to rationalize, I told myself there couldn’t be anything in here because the alarm system had been set the whole time. I kept on driving while nervously glancing into the rearview mirror.

I pride myself on being an excellent driver and one of those rare females who has driven just about every archaic piece of vehicular equipment you could imagine. I learned to drive on a truck that had a “three on the tree” and then perfected my standard driving technique by going through high school driving a “four on the floor.” I also pride myself on being able to scream bloody murder when things happen and I’m at the wheel while not freaking out and simultaneously holding the steering wheel steady. I’m sure you get the picture.

To go on with my story, as I drove along slowly there was a loud rustling in the rear cargo compartment and there suddenly appeared a huge black hulking figure that rose up from behind the rear seat row! It covered the whole rear window area and totally obstructed the light.

I never get scared and I rarely scream but as I firmly gripped the steering wheel, eyes locked upon the rearview mirror, wheel completely steady I must brag, I belted out a rapid succession of blood-curdling, stoking screams. All of this I did as I somehow calmly pulled off the road without wrecking my prized TFC mascot Xterra and bailed out of it like a bat out of Hell.

As I stood there in a parking lot staring wildly back at my Xterra sitting there, engine running, and nothing coming out of it after me, all kinds of things raced through my mind. I was in a cold sweat waiting for that X-Files creature, demon, elemental or whatever else you could dream up that I’d pissed off over the years to emerge from the vehicle and give chase. It would then reduce me to that tuft of bloody platinum hair which would be the last known traces to ever be found of me. The line from the song, “What you search for might get you!” was actively running through my mind.

After what seemed like forever, I managed to collect myself and cautiously slinked back to the vehicle. I nervously peered into the vehicle and saw nothing. Then I eventually managed to open the rear cargo hatch and there it was!!! Right there in the cargo area was a very menacing X-Files type creature indeed!! It was that stupid big black umbrella with the duck head handle that I hated so much. It had a habit of opening up by itself and it had done just that. I had forgotten it was back there.