The region now known as Clearfield County, and specifically the city of DuBois, was once known to the Susquehannock tribe (a branch of the Lenni Lanape) as OTOCSIN which is roughly translated as “Land of the Devils.” They called it this for many reasons. First, the forests were dense and dark giving a sense of eeriness and anxiety. Also, the region was plentiful with predatory animals that the Native Americans did not what to deal with like bears, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes. Next, the Native Americans believed that the trees held evil spirits which thirsted for the souls of men. And last, but not least, the region was thought to be inhabited by monstrous creatures that would feast on the bodies and souls of anyone entering the Dark Woods. The Native Americans knew that the monsters would remain in the Dark Woods, and remain there if they were unprovoked and undisturbed. Despite many warnings, the white man chose to settle OTOCSIN, and in doing so released the Devils from the Land.
That is the reason that DuBois and its surrounding environs are now a gateway to the supernatural, monsters, demons, and ghostly presences. The things that go bump in the night are now free to roam, play, and devour. There is an interesting contrast between the general air of “normalcy” and the underlying menace of Evil that festers beneath the Façade.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, my friends. DuBois is a wonderful place to live. It’s a quaint little town with a rich history. It’s close to miles of forests, making the small town a haven for nature-lovers, hunters, hikers, and anybody seeking the quiet of the outdoors.
And DuBois is also home to antiques, inns, country stores, and golf, making it a popular tourist destination. Restaurants and shopping abound. Nearby Driftwood is the ancestral home of a famous area resident – Tom Mix, Hollywood’s “King of the Cowboys” in the silent era. The home of the Penn State DuBois campus, the town is accessible by DuBois Regional Airport in Falls Creek.
But when night falls, and the Darkness creeps in, things change in DuBois. The creatures of OTOCSIN awake from their slumbers in the dark, forgotten places and walk the streets looking for whom they may devour.
Evil thrives when good people do nothing. And that is part of the problem within DuBois. Most people don’t want to acknowledge the bad that is lurking just under the surface. They don’t want to see the homeless, the abused, the mentally ill, the meth fiends, and the crack houses. And they certainly don’t want to notice the creatures that prey on these individuals like vampires, ghouls, warlocks, and faeries.
And so the world keeps spinning and the community as a whole lives their daily lives unaware of the creatures that lurk just under the surface. They are very much like a swimmer within the ocean, unaware of the huge shark swimming below them. And until the teeth tear into their flesh, they swim along merrily enjoying the moment, blissfully unaware of the thing about to shred them into little bloody bits.
And when the shark comes, it is too late.