In 1897, the McKennitt family climbed Mt. Hobs for a day of picnicking, taking with them a heavy quilt to serve as a picnic blanket. The father, Sean McKennitt, billowed out the quilt in preparation for laying it flat. Instead, the quilt settled over something in midair–something man-sized yet invisible. Thinking he had snagged a hidden branch, McKennit removed the quilt and tried again, this time clearly noting that nothing occupied the space. Again, the quilt draped itself over something unseen.

When it began to move, the McKennitt family fled in a panic.

After hearing his wild stories in the valley, a group of curious locals, including Sean McKennitt himself, located the picnic site but were unable to find the quilt. Though the site’s disarray and the unfinished, still-packed picnic basket lent some credence to his claim, the prevailing opinion was that McKennitt had simply been seeing things and mistaken a gust of wind for some kind of phantom.

But over the years that followed, the McKennitt quilt was seen all over Mt. Hobs, often from a distance but nearly always apparently draped over something unseen. The quilt became bleached, and patchy, but it never fell apart. And whatever sort of thing Sean McKennitt had stumbled upon that day, it never deigned to remove the blanket that made it visible to a fearful world.

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