A runner from Hawaii has claimed that she was left with literal "goosebumps" after unexpectedly encountering an alleged "nightmarcher" demon during a challenging 100-mile race through a rainforest in Oahu, as seen in a spine-tingling video.
Kay Borleis was running the Hawaiian Ultra Running Team's Trail 100-Mile Endurance Run on the Honolulu Mauka trails in Oahu in January 2019 when she had the eerie encounter. "To this day, we still don't know what it was," Borleis wrote in a blog post detailing the alleged shadowy entity. The event, popularly known as HURT 100, involves a 20-mile loop through the rainforests, with participants completing this circuit five times during the race.
An avid runner since the age of 14, the art director and designer has a focus on ultramarathons, which are characterized by distances exceeding 26.2 miles. The reported incident took place in January 2019 during the HURT 100-mile race.
The challenging race demands a 20-mile loop through Oahu's Honolulu Mauka trails, which participants must complete five times.
Borelis' friend Cassie was running the fourth lap of the race when she captured the photographs of the encounter. Cassie later shared these images with friends and family.
"After dinner, we drive back to our Airbnb and Cassie receives a text from her mom. It was about one of the photos Cassie had sent," Borelis said.
"It was a "live" (moving photo) that showed a dark figure dressed in a cloak moving past me while I was running."
"Now, I know my memory is quite shotty after the race and even while racing, but I did not remember passing a person on that strip of trail. Cassie didn't either and she had her wits to her."
Describing the race as exceptionally "brutal," Borelis highlighted the multitude of challenges, such as thick mud-caked roots, numerous water crossings, cliffs, and steep, rocky inclines. The competition progressed smoothly until Borleis suffered a foot injury during her second-to-last lap, forcing her to withdraw from the race – a first in her ultramarathon career.
The situation took a frightening turn when, upon returning home and regrouping, Borleis' pacing partner, Cassie, shared a series of photos from the race with her mom and friends.
Still in Shock
Soon after, Cassie received a text referencing one of the evocative photos, capturing "a dark figure dressed in a cloak moving past me while I was running," as mentioned in the blog. In the accompanying video footage, Borleis is seen jogging along a shadowy jungle trail when an enigmatic figure emerges from the foliage and walks past her.
Interestingly, neither the ultramarathoner nor her running partner could recall encountering or passing a person on that particular stretch of trail, adding an element of mystery to the incident.
"The reason why no one was on that part of trail is because all runners had to run in a clockwise direction," she wrote in the blog.
"And tourists weren't out that early. We didn't see anyone for hours while running together. So, we were — and still are — positive there was no one there."
Disturbed by the eerie encounter, Borleis conducted some research into the area. She uncovered a local legend suggesting that the region is haunted by the spirits of dead Hawaiian warriors known as Night Marchers.
"According to legend, there are ghosts of Hawaiian warriors that roam the island and they're called, Night Marchers. They are, "murderous shades, demons, revenants that haunt the island. They are the rabid galvanized specters of ancient Hawaiian fighters, heroes, and warriors,'" Borelis said.
According to Honolulu Magazine, the Nightmarchers, described as rainforest revenants, were believed to travel at night to protect individuals so sacred that common people were forbidden to gaze upon them. Breaking this taboo was said to result in death.
Legend has it that if a mortal found themselves in the path of a Nightmarcher, the recommended course of action was to strip naked and lie face down, avoiding direct eye contact. Folklore also suggested that urinating on oneself could potentially spare one's life, as could sharing a bloodline with one of the spectral procession's members.
Borelis said: "Luckily, we did not see the supposed Night Marcher."
However, the Hawaiian community accused Borleis of fabricating a story. Upon sharing the photos on social media, the cross-country runner faced a barrage of criticism from detractors who labeled her and Cassie as "haoles" (a local pejorative for white people) and expressed wishes for them to encounter a Nightmarcher for real, meeting a "violent death."
Accusations ranged from claims of image manipulation to claims that the mysterious figure was merely a "druggie" wandering along the trail. The incident sparked a wave of skepticism and negative reactions within the community.
However, the running enthusiast continues to claim that she saw something out of the ordinary.