Suddenly the headlights illuminated a man standing on the side of the road, outside the clearing in the woods. I immediately moved the car over to give him a wide-berth, and slowed down, since he was right on the edge of the shoulder, and we got a pretty good look at him. Raggedy and scraggly are words that fit perfectly. He had long hair to his neck, although the headlights washed out the color, and I remember thinking that he had no coat on, and while it was warmer than average, it was still January in Michigan. He was hunched over and looked to be probably about 50 years old. He had just an incredibly peculiar posture and air to him, and even in briefly seeing him, it was creepy to see someone standing out on the side of the road like this. We drove past him and I immediately go "holy sh!t, did you see that?" to my friend in the front seat.
"That guy right there? Yeah."
I looked up into my rear view mirror. The man had moved into the middle of the road and was just standing there, but without any light, it was impossible to see which way he was looking. Since we had started to go back down hill, I quickly lost sight of him. We started to rationalize what a guy was doing outside in the woods, in January, at about 10:45 PM, but a reasonable explanation was hard to find.
About 5 minutes of uninterrupted driving later, and with multiple theories having been cogitated on, we came to where our exit to the highway was. I had to stop and get gas before we hit the highway. This was just off the overpass where we'd be getting on the highway from, and there were a couple gas stations and a McDonalds, and that was it for the area. I parked my car at a pump, and my two friends went inside to pay as I filled up...periodically glancing to the pump to see the price, when I heard the crunch of gravel behind me. I heard a door open and shut, and then saw a car come into my view and parked in front of the store. At the time, I didn't think much of already hearing a car door open and close, but after the car parked, I saw a man get out and go inside.
There was a click, my gas pump stopped, and my car was full. I took out the pump, and turned to face my car as I twisted the cap on my gas line.
I was instantaneously hit with a feeling of my stomach burning with anxiety. There, at the next pump closest to the street, was standing a ragged, scraggily man with hair to his neck, simultaneously hunched over and leaning against the pump. I was sure that it was the man from earlier. He was staring right at me. I wasn't sure what to say, and had immediately stopped what I was doing and just stared back.
After a second or two, he flashed a really sinister looking grin, and kept staring at me. I stared back still, frozen, not sure what to do. I knew he couldn't reach me before I either got into my car or into the store. That's when I heard the store door open behind me and my two friends walk out, they were talking, but immediately stopped. "Holy sh!t it's the guy," I heard one of them say.
He smiled even wider, which I wasn't sure was possible, still just standing there, staring at me. He had big eyes, and I noticed his hair was graying, and his shirt was stained and had holes in it. I didn't want to take my eyes off him, so I didn't see my friends as they approached, but the friend who had also originally seen the guy said we should get in the car and leave. We hopped in and drove off, and I remember us anxiously watching the rear view mirror as we drove the whole way back on the highway to town, and onto campus and to our dorms.
Now, the parking lot for our dorms was up a hill and around a corner, about 100 yards away from the building itself, and you can't see the entrance to the building from the parking lot, or vice versa. After I parked the car, we all just kind of sat in the car for a few seconds. Finally, the friend in the back seat goes "oh come on, we're making this into a big deal when it's probably just some prank."
We got out of the car, and I will tell you, we walked really, really fast to the dorms.