The idea of camping creeps us out, being out there in the mysterious woods where anything could happen and being vulnerable inside a tent. Maybe we’ve watched too many horror movies, but the woods can be a creepy place indeed. You may also reconsider going camping after you've read some of these creepy confessions.
Camping should be a fun experience, fit for the whole family, but sometimes, our expectations of camping aren't always met. Creepy things, occurrences you would never have expected, can happen when you're out in the great unknown. Some of these stories would make for some pretty great horror movies. What scares us most about these weird instances is that we're far away from civilization and are basically at the mercy of whatever may be in the woods with us, and you never know what might be in the woods with you. If it happens to be something dangerous, what are the chances of you getting help? Slim to none. There's truly nothing like being out in the middle of nowhere, and hopefully, you can enjoy your next camping trip without something weird and unusual happening.
These stories, however, are a good reminder that anything can happen in the woods and that it’s always best to keep both eyes open at all times. You may think that you've heard it all, but you haven’t. Tune into these terrifying encounters that may just have you canceling your next camping trip.
15 There’s Something in the Air
Many people have gone into the woods and then realized they weren’t alone out there.
“A few years back we were doing a massive survey in the middle of nowhere in the interior of BC. All the crew had gone home, and it was just my boss and myself left for a few days to follow up and confirm some coordinates and finish some mapping. We head out from the motel an hour or so into the bush. Middle of nowhere along deactivated logging roads. We hike out to this one area we had found a site a few weeks previously. For some reason, the whole area just felt … off. So, we get down to business and about 15 minutes after being hunched over mapping; there is this WEIRD deafening ‘WOMP’ sound. Like, I could feel pressure in my ears. I immediately looked at my boss about 20 feet away and he is white as a ghost staring back at me. Standing, it f*cking happens again, ‘WOMP!’ ear pressure and chest pressure like I was just squeezed. Chills all over my body and every hair is standing on end. My boss just looks at me and says, ‘Let’s go!’ We grab all of our sh!t and speed hike back to the truck. We never discussed it. No clue what it was, but I have never been so freaked out in my life. Ten years later, I still get the chills. There have been a lot of theories and sounds, the best I can describe: You know when a large bird or an eagle takes flight? That initial woosh/whomp sounds of the wings pumping in the air?” (The Lineup)
14 A Man Hanging
What would you do if you stumbled upon a man hanging in the woods?
“While hiking the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania for a week, my brother and I came across a young man who had hung himself. We sprinted up to the bluff where he was strung up. I wrapped my arms around his waist to take the weight off his neck while my brother cut him down with his Leatherman. He had thrown the rope up over a tall branch and lashed it off with a clove hitch at the trunk like you’d hang a bear bag. Must’ve climbed the branches and dropped once laced in. We probably shouldn’t have even tried; he was dead for some time before we happened across him. Fortunately, no critters had come to tear him apart before we found him; it would’ve only gotten grislier from there. Called 911. Ended our trip pretty damn quick. I don’t know why we tried; it was very obvious he had been dead for some time. Don’t know how long; he was very cold and smelled pretty bad. Intuition to help someone and adrenaline that clouds your judgment, I guess? It was kind of a f*cked up day, so I don’t really remember my thought process.” (Thought Catalog)
13 Who’s Outside the Tent
The last thing you want while you're sleeping is to hear someone walking around your tent.
“We had two tents, next to each other, about five feet apart, in the middle of the mountains. Had my three little brothers in one tent and me and my girlfriend in the other. It’s nighttime, and we have just put the fire out, so it’s dark. Everyone is in their respective tents snoozing off into dreamland. About an hour later, I’m the only one awake. Suddenly, I hear soft human-like footsteps circling our tents over and over. Confused, I ask who's [sic] there with no response but continued footsteps, so I stepped outside. No one. I go back into my tent. Footsteps start again…. I make my presence known and go back out. No one. Of course, I check on my brothers, but they are asleep and sound. I repeat this same process about 4-5 more times, believe it or not, lol. Footsteps always stopped. Ended up just going to sleep to the footsteps and not giving a f**k. When morning came, I asked my brothers how they slept, and they responded with: ‘Fine, except for you walking, loudly, all around the goddamn campsite all night!’” (The Lineup)
12 The Mysterious Man
We’re not sure what we would do if we saw a twitching man alone in the middle of the woods. These people knew what to do, and that was to get away from him.
“When out exploring an old abandoned quarry with some friends, we found this dude stood staring at this rock, occasionally twitching, but he never turned around. We were pretty creeped out so didn’t investigate and left pretty soon after. Later on that night, we found out that another friend was driving down the lane that runs parallel to the quarry found a guy in a black coat stood in the middle of the road, and wouldn’t move. She was pretty freaked out and had to reverse all the way back up the lane in the dark because he was still there. Pretty sure it was the same guy; otherwise, it was just a big coincidence.” (Thought Catalog)
11 A Ritual
There are plenty of strange things that go on in the woods. But a ritual involving tuning forks, that has to be a new one. There have been many stories over the years about witches and Satanists going into the woods so that they could do rituals in peace.
“I was backpacking in New Hampshire and camped out for the night after a day hike. I wondered [sic] off from our fire to take a piss and stumbled upon a circle etched into the ground with tuning forks surrounding the circle standing up straight…It looked like a creepy ritual circle, and it bugged me out, so I booked it back to the group.” (Thought Catalog)
We can’t blame the guy for getting out of there; we would've done the same thing. In fact, we would've moved our camp to a completely different location.
10 The Devil
Being in the woods can be a scary place without having to see mysterious faces as well.
“When I was a kid, my dad would always wake me up in the middle of the night to go hunting. I hate hunting. A few weeks prior to this night, I saw an episode of 'Are You Afraid of the Dark' about the Jersey Devil. I was on edge because I knew my dad would make me go hunting soon, and we sometimes hunt in Jersey. Sure as s**t, he wakes me up one morning at 3 am, and we are off to the woods in Jersey in pitch black so that he could be there and all set up before the deer come out. I’m up in the stand, starting to calm down when I see a little figure on the ground. It’s human, with a face I can barely make out since it’s a bit far in the distance, but I know it’s human, and it’s like 2-3 feet tall. I’m losing my s**t but don’t want to say anything because I know my dad will just tell me to suck it up. I stare at this f**ker for at least 4 hours until we get down from the stand and walk towards it to leave. It’s a f**king lawn gnome. Miles and miles into the deep woods. There’s no roads for a long while and certainly no houses. How the f**k did a gnome get there? The stand we were in wasn’t even a permanent stand. It was one we put up when we got there.” (ThoughtCatalog)
9 Chinese Burial Ground
The last thing you want to do is stumble on a burial ground; now that’s how you piss off some spirits.
“While prospecting out here in the Cariboo region, I came across a set of rock piles known as Chinese piles out in the middle of nowhere. These being here means someone did a lot of digging back in the old days, so I started working, and after half an hour had about 10 grams of gold and was having a happy dance when I noticed the small standing stones on each of the rock walls. Each stone had several Chinese characters on them, and in a moment of dread, I realized they were graves. I put the gold in a glass bottle I found nearby and left it behind; I also took down drawings of the symbols to show a local historian who later confirmed my suspicions that yes, they were graves, and they likely hadn’t been seen in 150 years. Chinese miners believed that if a miner died on site, the ground became cursed by the fallen miner’s spirit, so they wouldn’t continue to mine the area and would tell anyone they met that the area was worked out. I’ve been back several times, but I won’t dig there out of respect, the sites [sic] super creepy in the morning fog; you almost can see people’s outlines sitting around the piles.” (Warped Speed)
8 The Blair Witch
This camping story kind of sounds like something from The Blair Witch Project. Hopefully, it was just someone playing a prank, but usually, you'll be able to see the people if that was the case.
“I once went camping up in Allegheny National Forest. Me [sic] and some buddies were all sitting around a fire bullshitting. As it got a bit later, we kept hearing things landing on the ground all around us. There were rocks being thrown at our tents and towards the fire. Nothing too absurd; could’ve been some hooligans at a nearby campsite. But looking around the area, we saw nothing. Anyway, it eventually stopped, and we went to our tents. A few hours later, we heard this ear-piercing noise that sounded like a woman screaming while running through our campsite, but much raspier. It was a pretty unsettling experience, needless to say, but nothing more came of it.” (The Lineup)
7 Serial Killers' Stomping Ground
The woods are a great place to hide bodies because it takes a long time to find them.
“Bushwalking in NSW (Australia) me and my friend [sic] came across this weird platform-looking thing made from rocks. Later that year, the cops arrested some bloke on suspicion of the murders of a series of backpackers who had gone missing over the course of a few years, and at the sites of several of the murders slightly off in the bush were these ‘altars.' Current affairs show runs footage of one (the trial and run up to it were all over the news) and yeah, it’s that thing we found. The ‘altars’ were typically no more than 300 yards from the victim’s [sic] shallow graves. The guy who was arrested and subsequently convicted of the murders is Ivan Milat, Australia’s worst serial killer. The cops are pretty sure that at least one other person was involved in the murders than the one now in jail for the crime; they just couldn’t prove it.” (Thought Catalog)
6 Burying a Body
What would you do if you saw what appeared to be people burying a body in the woods?
“Was solo backpacking and decided to stop for the night. Got everything set up, and I heard a car on a road about 1500 ft. from my position. Honestly, I didn’t even realize there was a road there because it was up a steep embankment, and I couldn’t see it. So, I hear this car, then it slows, then it stops, then the doors open and close, and the car drives off. I hear a group of men talking, but they were too far away to make out what they were saying. By now, the sun has set, and the men begin using flashlights. They appear to be descending the steep embankment towards me. I’m a little concerned as nothing about this is adding up. I figure if they get any closer, I’ll try to quietly escape and leave my gear. They stop about half way [sic] down. They start f**king digging, with shovels. Now I’m s**tting my pants, they dig for about an hour, then stop, then I hear the car return. They begin to ascend the embankment, but before they do, they shine their flashlights down on to my position. I don’t move a muscle, and they didn’t seem to notice me. I just sat there, didn’t move a muscle for at least an hour after they had gone. I packed up and moved about a 1/4 mile away, deeper into the woods and well off the trail, just in case they had seen me and were going to come back for me. The next day, I hiked out, found a park ranger and gave him a map that I had drawn of the area and where the digging had taken place. He asked me to accompany him to the spot, but I refused.” (Warped Speed)
I wonder if they found a body.
5 The Witch Doctor
Maybe there are many spirits that inhabit the woods because these experiences seem to be pretty common.
“A few years ago, I was on a mission trip in Kenya, and we were camping out in the bush for a few days. Pretty uneventful. One night, the moon was either full or just randomly super bright, and it made the sides of my tent kind of transparent to the outside, if that makes sense. So, if something were to walk past my tent, I would see its silhouette from inside my tent. I woke up sometime in the middle of the night to the sound of quiet feet shuffling near my tent. When I lifted my head up, I saw the silhouette of a person creeping past my tent. He was wearing a large, terrifying-looking headdress, which, after I described the incident to my team leader, I learned was the garb of a witch doctor. Anyhow, I didn’t sleep that night.” (The Lineup)
4 Come and Find Me
This experience would just totally creep me out.
“When I was a kid hiking along a coastal national forest area with my friend and his dad, I went alone down an overgrown side trail to pee. I noticed a stench from the main trail that we figured was a dead animal somewhere nearby was getting more powerful as I went a short distance down that side trail. Stopped at a tree to do my business and found some trash scattered at the base of it and a cardboard sign leaned against it that read, 'Come and find me' with an arrow pointing further down the overgrown trail. At that point, the stench was so powerful that my nose was starting to burn. Couldn’t pee with my mind freaking me out with all kinds of images of what the hell could be further down that trail, so I went back to the main trail and didn’t say anything to my friend or his dad about what I’d seen until I couldn’t hold my pee anymore and asked his dad to stop again so I could pee. When we got back to town, he called it into the local sheriff. Don’t know what they found, if anything, but I can’t help but still imagine some suicidal man’s corpse or a bunch of dead animals a budding serial killer [had] slaughtered and arranged somewhere down the trail.” (The Lineup)
3 Lighting the Way
Caves can be dangerous places, especially if there's an unknown person in there with you.
“Took my young children to a cave not far from the house. It was a popular spot, but we had the place to ourselves. You can walk through it in about 30 minutes without too much difficulty. It has a tiny exit at the opposite end. It was pretty muddy, so we decided to turn around and head back to the entrance. Halfway back, there was a lit candle sitting about eight feet up one side. It was definitely not there on the first trip. I went into full-on protective-dad mode knowing there was likely someone hiding in the dark while we walked the rest of the way out.” (Thought Catalog)
We wonder what creepy person left the candle and where they went. It’s something that definitely would've had us thinking twice about going back there.
2 Knocking on the Door
The story certainly sounds like a haunting and a creepy one at that.
“My girlfriend and I were visiting Mt. St. Helens. We were sitting in the car, parked at a rest area, having something to eat. It was raining, windows were a bit fogged up, and it was getting dark. There was a knock on my window. Knock knock knock. We both were startled and looked at each other, as there was no one else at the pullout, and my side of the car was parked beside an embankment. I rolled down the window and looked out; there was no one. Then we sped off. It was super terrifying. Later, we read in a park flyer that a man [had] died there during the eruption. I still get the creeps thinking about that knock!” (The Lineup)
We still can’t believe he rolled down his window!
1 Bizarre Situations
This situation started off as a puzzle and became more bizarre by the minute.
“I was backpacking in Yellowstone above the tree line at about 10,500 feet. We are hiking on a ridge above a lake when all the sudden, we come across a horse skull. Nobody, just the skull, pretty cool-looking. We get to our campsite not too far away from the lake near where we found the horse skull. When we get to climb down to the lake, we find the body of the horse rotting on the edge of the lake with negative film strips floating in the water and laying on the shore near the body.” (Thought Catalog)
Why were there negatives floating in the water with the horse? Now that’s creepy! The fact that the head and the body weren’t even near each other is another strange part of it.