Would you spend a month in a remote cabin?

Would you spend a month in a remote cabin?

Cabin Meme 2

It’s not a difficult question to answer, is it? I mean, look at the place. It’s idyllic! Sod the money, you’d go for free, right?

This meme has been doing the rounds in one form or another for a few years, and every time I see it I drift off into my own little world. I imagine the peace and quiet of the forest and lake, a month with no stress or pressure, no interruptions, no schedule to keep.

I see myself sipping a pear cider in the sun on that deck, just listening to the birds as I read a good book. Or writing, whittling and painting under the shade of a tree by the water. Or exploring the surroundings with my camera, taking photos of the flowers and wildlife… wait, am I allowed a camera, or is that considered an electronic device? Ah well, I’ll try and sneak it in anyway.

I have a bit of a niggling feeling about not having a phone, purely because I’m a bit of a clutz. If I were to slip on one of those rocks and break my leg, get bitten by a snake whilst rambling or mauled by an angry badger, it seems likely that the emergency services would be retrieving my animal-munched carcass at the end of the month because I had no way to call for help. Still, maybe I can negotiate one for emergency use only because, hey, it’s sensible given what an idiot I am.

Either way, it would still be a far cry from the chaos of everyday Viking life. Even now I can hear the blacksmith hammering away next door, the carts rattling up and down the road and the drunken singing coming from the Mead Hall across the way. Our world is so noisy, and thus the dream of peaceful seclusion will always be a very tempting one.

I would watch the sun set behind the lake in the evening, and retire inside to the warmth of the crackling fire as darkness falls, and then…

…well, here’s where it all falls apart.

I’m not afraid of the dark – I’ve camped in secluded fields surrounded by woodland, sat around fires with lots of lovely people well into the wee hours of the morning and felt absolutely no fear at all. But there’s safety in numbers, right? I’m not afraid of the dark. But I am afraid of what’s IN the dark, and more importantly I’m afraid of being alone with it, possibly with no frickin’ phone for emergency use only.

I have two things going against me, here:

1.       A head full of a lifetimes-worth of creepy campfire stories.

2.       An absurdly over-active imagination.

The combination of these two factors, coupled with a lack of TV, music devices or anything else to provide comfortable and safe background noise, would most likely result in me spending the entire night quivering and terrified, straining to listen out for unearthly cries outside, taps on the windows, scratching, creaking or scraping noises, or even rattling door handles.

Windows which were so wonderful during the day would have to have all their curtains drawn tightly after nightfall so that my imagination won’t have the opportunity to conjure scary faces behind them, and honestly, that cabin has a shitload of windows. It’s a complete and total nightmare window-fest. It’s more window than walls.

“But Ragnhild!” I hear you cry, “there’s nothing out there that will hurt you, it’s all in your head! Stop being such a daft sod and enjoy the experience!”

You might be right, of course, but I have read accounts from people who would say otherwise, people who have had strange encounters alone out there in the forest.

I’ve heard tales of The Rake, a spindly, white, human-esque bastard of a creature with glowing eyes, long claws and a scream that will make you throw up from dizziness. Then there’s the Goatman, who turns up on trail-cam photos looking like the baddest-assiest creature ever. There are wraiths that will silently circle your cabin leaving nothing but ghostly footprints, and Bigfoots that terrify with their size, hairiness and overpowering stench.

And what about UFOs? Surely being alone in some remote cabin miles from civilisation would make you prime abduction-fodder for a passing gang of curious aliens, yes?

Mothman, the Chupacabra, the Bruja, Skinwalkers, roving gangs of cannibalistic mountain men – the list goes on and on. Urban legends or Creepypastas they may be, but what if they’re not?

Take Slender Man, for example. He’s a tall, faceless git with unnervingly long arms, who wears a suit and tie, and only moves when you’re not looking at him (like the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who). He started out as a fictional internet meme in 2009, but now there are sightings of him all over the place. He even has his own game, one which I’ve never played because, just nope.

Here he is:


Now he may be fictional, but if there’s even the slightest chance that he’s dicking about in the woods nearby, that’s good enough for my imagination.

There are many, many accounts of folk disappearing mysteriously in national parks and forests, and as much as I would long to spend my days in that beautiful and idyllic cabin, I don’t want to become one of the disappeared when night inevitably falls around it.

So, lovely internet meme, I’m afraid I must sadly decline your generous offer for the sake of my own sanity.

However, send me there with a bunch of lovely friends who can tell me what a twat I’m being, and then we’ll talk.

By |2016-10-14T09:55:12+00:00August 2nd, 2016|Wyrd|6 Comments


  1. Erin August 2, 2016 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    You do have a point. Back in college, I lost the room lottery one year and did not have a dorm room. So I rented a garage in a friend’s house for the quarter and built myself a treehouse on campus. I figured why not? I know everybody in the dorms, and there’s my shower and bathrooms, and I’ll have plenty of money for food.

    The first night was exactly as you described it. I huddled in my hammock, sixty feet up a redwood tree. Scary cracklings in the brush and I was sure something knew where I was and was even then climbing stealthily up the tree to have me for a midnight snack. Eventually I fell asleep, though, and in the morning, reason returned. There are these large animals in the forest–I think they call them deer? They make a lot of noise at night foraging. And squirrels are everywhere. Within a week I was not only over my fears, I was enjoying the new connection with the forest I was developing.

    So yes. Put me in that cabin–please! As long as I can have my drum and guitar, my laptop (with no wi fi) or even just a few notebooks, and a few books, I could be quite happy–and I would be able to fund http://ayearinalbion.weebly.com/ with the money.

    I think that’s the best thing about that meme. It is indeed fantasy fodder of the first water…

    • Ragnhild August 2, 2016 at 6:44 pm - Reply

      It’s always fascinated me how the brain, when faced with silence, tries to fill it in and make sense of it, often with terrifying results! That reward would definitely go towards a good cause, too! 🙂

  2. Rosie August 2, 2016 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    Yes. All of this. I am not afraid of any human being, but the creepy things in the dark are what get me.

    • Ragnhild August 4, 2016 at 10:52 am - Reply

      Creepy things in the dark AND gun-weilding cannibalistic mountain men… 😉

  3. Keechy August 3, 2016 at 8:58 am - Reply

    As long as i had a dog or two, a cat, and maybe a goat or horse for company, I’d be fine. 😀

    • Ragnhild August 4, 2016 at 10:49 am - Reply

      Oh, give me a herd of dogs and I would probably be a lot braver! 🙂

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