When it comes to the great outdoors, you never know what’s going to happen.
While the casual camper is relatively unlikely to experience a serious animal attack or meet a scary mountain men a la Deliverance, being out in the wild can still result in some bizarre and dangerous experiences. Even veteran outdoorsmen who prepare for a certain degree of danger and feel more at home in the bush have encountered some seriously strange phenomena. These are folks who hunt and kill their dinner and know exactly which berries to eat, yet they still run into weird stuff no one can explain. Whether you’re a hardcore survivalist or an occasional “glamper,” no one knows for sure what’s out there, and a true encounter with the natural (even possibly the supernatural) could be hiding behind every tree. Let’s just say these aren’t your average campfire stories.
40. Back Where It Started
My sister and mother went into an abandoned house to explore. My sister went upstairs and saw a He-man action figure standing on the top of the stair post upstairs, she picked it up and brought it down stairs for no particular reason. She set it down on a table and my mother and her went into the kitchen. They heard this insanely loud banging and crashing upstairs which scared them so they started to leave, as they were leaving my sister noticed the action figure was back upstairs where it originally had been found.
39. A Taxidermy House Of Horror
I was living in a dirt floor cabin for about 6 months. I would pack a lunch and hike out half a day in random directions. One day I found an abandoned hotel with an attic full of bats. The old kitchen was full of taxidermy. Not abandoned old taxidermy… current taxidermy, in various states of finish. There was a closet with stacks of bird corpses, tools, woodworking tools and glass for the display cases, etc. I got out of there in a hurry. I took my brother there later because he didn’t believe me… so I have a witness.
38. Spine-Shivering Step Into Criminal Activities
So I worked at a ranch in southern Arizona, right on the border. I didn’t really consider it to be secluded because I had horses and cows. In hindsight, I guess it was really lonely because sometimes they’d talk back to me.
Anyways, I’m doing fence borders with a guy from another camp and we had to go down into this dry river bed. As we round the bend we see a bunch of beat up trucks sitting there armed to the teeth. It turns out we ran into some kind of big deal for some criminals. The other guy told me to keep steady and we just walked straight through them on our horses. Everyone staring at us, looking like they were ready to attack us if we made one false move.
I asked about it when we got to the other side without turning into Swiss cheese and the more experienced rancher told me: “The criminals only care about Border Patrol and Police. They know this is a ranch, and they know we roam around here, and they know we don’t say much.” Reason being, if they ever assumed the ranchers were the snitches, they could easily find our little ranch houses. You can only have 1 person to so many acres. I could have been offed and left there for many days before someone noticed. With all that in mind, I had a very passive relationship with those kind from then on.
37. A Near-Shipwreck By A Shipping Container
I was on the bow of a sailboat crossing the Atlantic in pretty heavy winds, going about 15 knots. The crew had to be stationed alone on the bow in two-hour shifts at all times, keeping an eye out for anything in the water. About 10 meters away from me I see a weird glint in the water. Then I realize it’s a partially submerged shipping container. Before I had time to even open my mouth, we passed it by, missing it by a few feet.
And that’s the story of how I nearly got shipwrecked in a storm in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.
36. A Mysterious Flock Of Snuggly Deer
I was 13 and on a week-long camping trip. There were two adults and five other kids my age. One night we had spent all day kayaking and got caught in a deluge that threw off our whole schedule for the day. We couldn’t quite make it to the location where we were supposed to set up camp for the night before sunset so we just settled a few meters off of the river. We were so exhausted that the adults didn’t even want to build a fire. Since we didn’t have much light and it was hot they told us that we didn’t have to build our shelters, we could just lay out in our sleeping bags.
Everyone put their sleeping bags near a clearing that was created by a fallen tree. I saw the hole created by the roots and thought that there was possible creepy crawlies living in it. So I set my sleeping bag a little further back about four meters away from the clearing. I woke up a few hours later to these rapid clicking sounds and sniffing. (Thanks to the Internet I later identified it as deer noises.) There were a bunch of them. The clicking grew closer and was surrounded me on all sides. I had my flashlight but I didn’t want to shine it because I was afraid to scare the deer/creatures because I thought they would trample me.
The most vocal deer then stepped on my sleeping bag and eventually sat down on it. I could hear the other deer get comfortable too. After a while, I allow myself to peak out (not wearing my glasses) and I see maybe 15 deer/creatures all just watching the other campers. After several hours I fell asleep and woke back up as they were leaving at sunrise.
It was wholesome and creepy.
35. Coming Close To Being Consumed
While some buddies and I were hiking in Arches National Park we decided to go off the beaten path for a bit.
Shortly thereafter it started raining which turned to a torrential downpour – forcing us to take shelter for a bit. We found an alcove in the small gulch we were hiking. After a few minutes, we turned around to find a mountain of bones and animal carcasses behind us.
We noped right out of there, only to find a notice posted at the trailhead warning of several mountain lion sightings in the park that day. Thankfully we avoided being eaten alive to hike another day.
34. Alarming Sprints Of Stressed-Out Wildlife
I’m your traditional wimp-camping nerd. My buddies finally convinced me to go ‘real camping’ in the interior of one of our provincial parks. We drove out to the spot, ditched our car, and start the hike. There is no problem for the first couple of hours. Then we start noticing the few animals around us acting really weird, squirrels and birds and a fox all running toward us, then past us. Not tons but enough that we started noticing a weird trend.
The first one just looked like it was actually coming for us, we braced and saw it run past. This was repeated several times. The fox (I think it was a fox anyhow, certainly not a wolf) I was actually scared of but again, nothing, it just seemed to want to get away from something up ahead.
Anyways, it started spooking us and eventually one of the other guys actually said what I was thinking, “Do you think they are running away from something we are walking towards?” and pretty much everyone’s fears I’m thinking amplified one another, cause the hiking started to feel more unsettling the further we went.
Finally, one of the guys steps on a rock or something that wasn’t firmly in the ground, and rolls his ankle badly and rolls down a hill. It stunk really bad and we had to turn around and carry him out. I think we all welcomed the excuse not to continue. And as we’re walking him out, the number of animals that passed us was at least two or three times more than had passed us on our way in. And I just kept thinking if something really bad comes ripping through the woods after us then Sean is a goner because I’m running for my life!
33. Super Horrifying Stranger Stalking Hiking Trails
I used to spend a lot of time hiking. The creepiest thing I ever saw was another human, in camouflaging clothes, hiding off the edge of a trail in the brush and trees and obviously keeping an eye on anyone who happened by.
This wasn’t in an area where hunting is allowed, just a county area with some hiking/biking trails (and lots of spots to go off trail), and he wasn’t fishing. Here, there is just a few meters of dense brush and trees between me and the river. I pretended I didn’t see him, walked a bit, pulled out my phone, called someone, and stayed on the phone until I was near people. Until then, I was always pretty comfortable by myself in the woods for hours, now I carry a quality weapon. Just not knowing is enough to creep me out.
32. Summer Stalker Sipping On McDonald’s
This happened once while camping with my then-fiance and a friend of ours. We’re camped out in the woods in the middle of nowhere on a hot July day. Night came, and it was a full moon so around midnight we decided we’d take a hike around for fun. We basically hiked a trail for a bit and then turned around and hiked it back to the campsite.
When we were almost back, we saw a McDonald’s cup sitting at the edge of the path. I found this strange as I didn’t see the bright red and yellow container when we began the venture, but whatever. However, my buddy decided to open the cup up and found ice cubes at the bottom.
That day was easily 90+F and at night it was still in the high 70’s, so that ice would not have lasted long. Somebody was definitely out there by us and we never found another sign of them. No sound of a car, walking or rustling – nothing.
We decided to pack up and go home that night.
31. A Mysterious, Glimmering, Unexplainable Light Orb
I was a forest fire lookout in the summers during college. I went weeks without seeing another human sometimes. Some of the things I witnessed or heard while doing that job are just flat out unexplained. The one that most sticks out in my mind was when I was laying in bed and watched a strange light move through the trees. I figured it was a car with headlights until it went vertically up into the air and hung for 30 min. It was just sitting 20-30 miles away, about parallel with my tower. I was at an elevation of 7,000 ft. I watched it until it dipped back below the trees and never saw it again.
At the time I was super creeped out but chalked it up to the another one of those dozens of things I’ve seen that I couldn’t explain and no one would believe. But the next day another lookout called me on the radio asking if I’d seen the same light. He was much closer to but on the other side of it. He said from his perspective after it dipped below the trees, it landed in an area he knew to be a lake that was only accessible by hiking or horseback.
It stood out in my mind because it was the only strange light that summer we couldn’t explain away by either planes, balloons or tricks of light from cars. I have since wondered if this was a drone, but this was before they we’re really obtainable to hobbyists and have never seen one with lights that could be seen that bright from 20 miles or one that will hold a hover for 30 min that was around then.
I saved the best for last. The lake where that light settled down into according to the other lookout is a pretty popular spot for trout fishing. That summer the lake developed some form of algae or something and all the fish died off. They stocked it with fish and they just keep dying off. No one remembers this happening before that summer we saw the light land in it. It was like this for the next 3 summers that I came back as a lookout. No fish could live in it.
30. Midnight Chat With A Mountain Lion
I was on an Outward Bound trip in the White River National Forest in Colorado. A part of Outward Bound trips is a solo, which can be anywhere from 12-48 hours in which the participants are by themselves with a journal and some snacks.
I set up a sweet tent in a tree grouping. It had rained the night before so the ground was pretty soft. After setting up I walked around the area. I felt pretty tired and decided to take a nap… for 8 hours. I woke up in the middle of the night to a bunch of twigs cracking. It turned on my torch to look to see if it was the instructors or any kind of animal. I even called out, “Hey, you good?” (not sure why I said it that way). Nothing.
In the morning I found some big cat tracks right by my tent that were not there when I took my nap. It was really unnerving knowing that a mountain lion was near me when I was sleeping. I told the guides about it and they got really particular about keeping our food away from where we were sleeping.
29. A Sunbathing Human-Like Bear
I grew up in the mountains. I have always felt really comfortable in the woods and plains. It feels like home to me.
When I was 18 years old, freshly graduated from high school, I took my best friend on a small hike behind my Grandma’s house. Although she didn’t have a lot of property herself, her lot backed up onto a pretty decent size of land that was her neighbors. The house was on the side of a mountain, so directly behind her, it was a steep rocky slide. So steep in fact that we opted to scoot on our rear ends for a good portion of the descent.
At the bottom was a really beautiful stream, completely shaded by granite rock faces and dense trees. You couldn’t even see my Grandma’s house from the bottom, even though you weren’t that far away. We began walking upstream, talking and laughing and enjoying the lush green and browns of the mountains. About 1/4 mile upstream from the house, we were elated to find a large patch of wild raspberries. After snacking on them for a little bit, we turned a corner as the stream winded uphill a little.
About 10 feet across the stream, there was a nice sunny patch of grass. In the middle of the grass I saw a reclining light brown figure. It took my brain a second to figure out what I was looking at because this thing was laying on its back, sleeping. It twitched its hind leg, and I saw the magnitude of its back paw. A freaking bear. A huge freaking bear. Sleeping on its back. We were surrounded by boulders and very steep grassy hillside, far enough away from the house that no one could hear us. All I said was “bear,” in my quietest and sternest voice and we abruptly turned around and walked as quietly and quickly as we could. I was so afraid to look back to see the bear stalking us. We walked the entire way back in complete silence.
28. Chasing Disaster
When I was a teen, I was up in northern Minnesota. Five of my friends and I hiked out to a solitary part of the woods and dug a makeshift shelter and laid trees over it and hung out. One night it was a full moon and we played a modified capture game where three would hide and three would catch. The shelter was the base and when captured, you stayed there until a team mate tagged you or all three were caught. We played for a long time, but one moment I was on the trail of my friend, two other were caught. I knew I had the last guy. He started running through the woods towards the river (a make shift boundary not to cross). I was hot on his trail when I heard my teammate yell that they caught the third guy. I was chasing something big through the woods at night (bear, wolf or deer) and freaked out when I realized how close I was and had no idea to what. I stopped for a moment and heard it continue to move away. I panicked and ran back to our camp. That was scary!
27. “Did You See It?”
When I was younger I was out for a hike with my then boyfriend. It was during the night but on a well known and used trail. It goes through a forest at first, then opens up and swings by the sea and then it goes back to the forest. Well, we were about to re enter the woods, when my ex grabbed my arm, backed up and noped out of there, and we hurried back the way we came from. He kept looking over his shoulder, but didn’t want to say anything else than “did you see it?” until we were back at the car.
He later told me that what he saw was this giant black human shaped shadow approaching and we were just about to go right into it. Like only a few more steps. I think it was just the night and moonlight doing tricks on him, but it nevertheless creeped me out. He was so sure there was something there.
26. A Whole Lot Of NOPE
I was out at sea late (maybe 2 AM) and just saw a fin pop up above the water near my boat in the complete silence while surrounded by black ocean.
25. An Abandoned City Of Ash
I was in visiting Mt Merapi in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. I knew it was the scene of a bad volcanic explosion a couple of years ago where many people died. Everything looked peaceful already though, so I kind of forgot a huge tragedy happened there before. I was wandering off the trail to get good photos when I just encountered all these houses that are still partially covered in ashes. I stepped inside and there was no evidence that anyone else had been in there since the explosion. It was really creepy seeing how time seemed to stop there and all you see are destroyed ruins.
I left everything undisturbed but took some pictures.
24. “The Thing In The Woods Is Coming”
I live in the only house down a country road – everything else is pasture land and National Forest for several miles.
At about 3 AM, my three large dogs go absolutely nuts barking, which sends my husband and I flying out of bed to check on our livestock, assuming coyotes were in the yard.
Before we could even get our shoes on, we hear muttering on our front porch. He grabs his rifle and whoever it is starts knocking on the door, with no real urgency but more like a casual visitor. I had my cellphone already dialling the cops, and my husband slid up to the peephole. A woman right around her late 20s-early 30s was standing outside, patiently waiting a few minutes and gently knocking on the door, not fidgeting or nervous, not being aggressive.
My husband said, “Ma’am, the cops are on the way. If you need help, they’ll be here in just a few minutes and you’re welcome to sit on the swing right there and wait on them, but if there’s anyone with you, we are armed in here and will not hesitate to shoot if anyone tries getting into this house.”
He said she kind of smiled, not creepily but like she was glad her knocking woke someone up. “That’s okay, sir. I just wanted to let you know the thing in the woods is coming, and he’ll be here soon. Good luck.”
He said she turned around and walked down the driveway like she hadn’t a care in the world. The cops looked all over the place and couldn’t find her. It’s a ten-minute drive to our driveway from the main road, with no houses until you get into town, another 20 minutes away. It freaked me out for weeks.
23. We Are The Men In Black
My fiance and I went hiking up a mountain in the Pacific Northwest last summer. It’s perpetually muddy due to a large number of waterfalls along the sides of the trail, so there’s no way you can avoid getting at least a little dirty.
Around an hour and a half up the trail, we passed two men wearing black suits, black hats, black glasses, holding black leather briefcases and wearing black dress shoes. Completely clean dress shoes. And immaculately clean, pressed pants. Not a spot of dirt or a wrinkle on either of their clothes.
As we passed each other, one of them whispered something in German. I looked back at them and they were both standing still and looking back at us, staring.
One of the creepiest things that has ever happened to me, and I’ve had my fair share of strange experiences!
22. Overwhelming Feeling Of Inescapable Dread
This has happened to me twice, once when on the AT in Pennsylvania, and once in the Sam Houston National Forest. I was solo both times, but that is not really unusual for me, I’ve been solo many times both before and after the incidents.
On both occasions I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night absolutely terrified, I could move (not sleep paralysis) but chose not to and listened very intently to nothing at all. There were no sounds, I could hear nothing but my heartbeat and the noises of my hammock creaking, no animal noises, no twigs snapping, no breeze in the trees, no insects, dead freaking quiet. Once out of the bag and hammock, all I can really describe is that things felt heavy, oppressive, like an extremely muggy night but the humidity was relatively normal, no condensation.
My brain is screaming “get out NOW!” The night in SHNF was the only time I have ever had my weapon in my hand in my entire history of hiking. I set new world records in breaking camp and hustling down the trail both nights, both nights I was too afraid to turn my headlamp on until I was 15-20 minutes down trail (ambient moonlight is enough when your eyes adapt).
Once past a certain point, I could make out a very faint buzzing noise, kind of the sound equivalent of seeing something out of the corner of your eye but once you focus on it, it vanishes. Shortly afterward everything sounds normal and the feelings of anxiety dissipate very quickly.
I have no explanation, I didn’t see anything, smell anything or hear anything unusual other than the silence. I’ve probably spent 1000 nights outdoors on multiple trails (compulsive hiker), perhaps 200 completely alone and this has happened exactly twice. Nothing similar has ever happened off trail.
21. Inches From Troubles
Went hiking once in some mountains, near to where I grew up. Farmers would let their flocks of sheep graze around the foothills. Anyway – after hiking for a day, we set up camp at a bend in a stream, had dinner and went to bed. The area in particular was moorland – flat, no large trees or bushes or anything else.
When we woke up in the morning there was a fresh sheep corpse lying half on the stream bank, and it had been messed up. There was wool and parts of it for 30 feet all around our camp. None of it had been there the night before, and the largest wild predator in this country is about the size of a small dog.
In the 20 years since, there’s been monthly sightings of a large black panther like animal in the area, along with many more sheep corpses. If true, it ate a sheep less than 10 feet from where I was sleeping oblivious.
20. NEVER. GET. OUT.
I was driving through the middle of Montana one night going about 100 when I passed something on the side of the interstate that looked like a body. I turned around at the next pass and came back. It was definitely a body. I put my lights on it and tried to call 911 on my cell. No reception. I got in the car to see if I could pick up cell reception. The lights were still on, and the body was gone. There was nothing there but the splatters. I drove away QUICK!
19. An Edgar-Allen-Poe-esque Raven
The strangest thing I have ever experienced in the wild was a raven saying “Hello!”
It would say it once or twice, then stare. It followed me for a while. I’m pretty sure someone trained it to do that, and it was waiting for a treat, but dang that was creepy.
18. A Finland Fairytale Monster
Once when I was trekking through rural Finland alone (a stroll from the campsite), I decided to stop at a lakeside.
I sat down by the lake in the moonlight, surrounded by trees and felt very calm for a while. I splashed water on my face and generally refreshed myself.
Then after spending some time looking at the water, I looked up and across the lake, I saw a really tall figure, half as tall as the trees. It was really skinny and I’m pretty sure it looked like it had antlers or horns and really long fingers. I don’t think it looked at me. I don’t know if I was sleep deprived or something, but I remember I froze for a moment before running back to camp.
17. Hair-Raising Sighting Of Laughing Old Man In A Tree
I was hiking through the remnants of a remote, long-abandoned town and the surrounding area. To get to as far into the woods as I was, you had to cross fallen trees over a creek three times. I had just crossed the third “bridge” and was about five miles in and something blue caught my eye just ahead of me.
There was a man, in his sixties at least, wearing blue satin pajamas, sitting in a tree. The closer I got to him the louder he laughed; it wasn’t a maniacal laugh, but it set off all the alarms in my head nevertheless. He also wasn’t wearing any shoes and looked well-groomed/cleaned.
I gave him a friendly nod as I passed and he just kept laughing. Then it stopped. I turned and he was gone. There was no branch cracking, plants rustling, nothing… He was just gone.
It still rubs me the wrong way. The area I was in was a pretty rough hike, very secluded. Not very many people venture as deep as I was that day. I have no idea what was going out there.
16. The Beating Drums Of Jumanji
Last year a couple friends and I were on a long road trip, and we were driving through the night on our way from the grand canyon toward Denver. We had just crossed into UT from AZ, I think on or near US-191, and we decided to pull over and stargaze. It’s mostly desert out there.
It was a gorgeous night and initially, it was peaceful, but after a few minutes we began to hear this weird pounding noise. At first, I assumed it was something blowing in the wind or some agricultural equipment, but it started getting louder and sounded like it was coming closer. It sounded kind of like a deep drum, but not close enough for that to be it. We got creeped out and agreed to find another spot. I drove for 15 minutes or so and pulled over again.
Our new spot was nice and quiet. We were tossing jokes around about being such wimps and trying to calm down. I wandered away from the group, and after ten minutes or so I thought I heard the noise again, coming from the same direction we had just come from. It was very faint. I tried telling myself that I was being crazy, and rejoined my friends. They were hearing it too, and it was unmistakably getting louder. It was incredibly unnerving. We ran back to the car and hightailed it out of there, panicked for the next hour or so. I’m sure there was a totally innocuous explanation, but at the time it seemed “drums in the deep” serious.
15. The Slippage Of Time
I used to be the Air Force and at the time I was working the night shift. Some people hate it, I personally love it as I’m naturally a night person. I had just gotten off of one of my standard 12 hour night shifts, uneventful night nothing out of the ordinary. I get off at 6 a.m. and proceed to go home. Now, this is a VERY small base up north and it’s the dead of winter. So at least -30 or below, but when you’ve lived there for that long you get thick blood and get use to it.
The drive from work to my dorm was maybe a 2 minute drive even when the roads are ice and snow covered. So I reach my dorm, park like normal, walk up to my room like normal, use the bathroom like normal and strip down to just boxers so I can crash. But just to make sure it’s set I go to check my phone to make sure the alarm is set, and it’s around 8:30 a.m.
The not being secluded is what makes this all the stranger. You hear about people losing track of time out in the middle of nowhere, or if their sense are deprived. I was surrounded by other people (all be it they were mostly sleeping) There was 0 break in my memory of driving home from work and every step I took up to checking my phone. Yet somehow I had lost over 2 hours, and to this day I have no idea where that time went. If I would have fallen asleep at the wheel I would have for sure crashed due to the weather. I hadn’t sat down in my dorm yet so if I would have dozed off there I would have ended up on the floor.
I’m a VERY logical person and while I still lean to believe in some things that most people wouldn’t I spent a long time trying to figure out and piece together what happened. But to this day, I’ve got nothing
14. Walking On Water
So I used to work nightshift at a warehouse. (On weekends now, same warehouse). I left early at midnight one night to go for a ride on my motorcycle. Around 2 or 3 am I found myself at the top of a mountain on the middle of a bridge separating two sections of a lake in a state park with nothing but water around me and then a tree line and woods around that. I got off my bike and turned it off to have a cigarette. The only light was coming from the tip of my smoke and the occasional blue flash from my sena headset on my helmet.
I looked out into the abyss and on the black water was this tall white figure, like a woman in a wedding dress, not in but ON the water, like standing on top of it. I felt like we were just watching each other, both standing there motionless. About halfway through my smoke I heard a pack of wolves howl really close by, as if they were on the tree line at the end of the bridge probably drawn to the blue light and the smell of tobacco. I immediately got on my bike because I knew if I waited even a minute too long they could cross the bridge and reach me before I even had a chance to get my helmet back on and strapped.
Before leaving I turned my handlebars toward where the woman was standing to shine my headlight on the spot. My rationale was my eyes must be playing tricks on me. Perhaps there’s some old concrete structure in the water or a downed birch tree. Nothing. No structures, no trees, absolutely nothing but perfectly still, jet black water, and no woman. I turned my handle bars forward ready to leave and gave one last look into the darkness. She was back. Standing in the same spot on the water watching me. I didn’t know what to do, all the hairs on my body were standing so far on end it felt like they were about to jump out of my skin. Clueless and terrified I gave her a small nod and high tailed it out of there, leaving the woman on the lake and the wolves behind.
For months before that my track phone from Walmart stopped getting data but when I got home that night/morning it was suddenly working again. To this day I feel like that white figure on the lake fixed my phone lol.
13. The Old Mineshaft Worker
When I was 12, my snowmobile broke down about 15 miles into Carson National Forest in Red River, NM on a private trail behind my Granddad’s house. It took me several hours to walk home and along the way, about halfway back, I crossed paths with a man. The last thing I expected to come across was another human since it was a private trail and it was already getting dark and he was headed into the wilderness instead of towards town. I didn’t say anything to him and as soon as we crossed I ran and never looked back. To this day I wonder what he was doing there. My Granddad told me of a guy named Brian O’Brien that lived in an old mine shaft somewhere around there but he had never seen him in his 30+ years living in that area. Maybe I saw old Brian O’Brien that day.
12. Honking Red Nose
I was on a 50+ mile kayak trip. We were in the middle of nowhere between Canada and Washington state. About halfway through the trip there was a guy in a full blown creepy clown costume. He stared and slowly waved as we passed by. Right before he was out of hearing reach, he honked his red nose.
11. A Shoeless Joe
Back in 1994 I was driving through Montana on my way to my permanent party station at Ft Lewis WA. I was in the middle of nowhere at night flying at 90-100 miles an hour. About 200-250 miles from Idaho. I saw a guy fall down just ahead of me into my lane.
I slammed my breaks and tried to swerve I actually ended up doing a 180 across all lanes of traffic. I swear if there was another car coming I’d be finished.
I drove back down the road about a mile in the opposite direction and turned around and drove back. There was a pair of shoes on the side of the road that looked like they had been there for awhile. That’s it. No body. No mess. Nothing but those shoes.
10. Time to GO!
When I was little I lived in a house surrounded by woods in all directions. This was in northeast Ohio in the deep parts of the Cuyahoga Valley. I would always go adventuring in the forest and would be gone all day but always knew how to get back. I knew that place better than anywhere.
One day I was about an hour and a half away heading east away from my house, I had not known that part as well but still decided to go. After awhile I noticed a set of tire tracks that had no earthly business being there. They didn’t lead anywhere and were only about 10ft long. No sign of leaving and no sign of entering, they seemingly stopped right at a tree.
I scanned the tree for awhile and found a carving on the other side which in big letters read “GO”. Obviously, this freaked me out entirely. How did the tracks just suddenly appear? And no sign of leaving in any direction.
I hurried home and didn’t go back to that spot until a few years later when we had to move. I wanted to see if something had changed and sure enough I went back and saw the tree had been cut down. No other trees were cut down around there but the dirt looked soft and freshly dug. Obviously, I proceeded to nope out of there. Creepy part is that no one lives around us for about 10 miles in any direction.
9. Are You Okay?
A couple years back a small group of friends and I were camping up in Northern Arizona. Most of us were sound asleep when we were awaken by the HORRIFYING screams of what sounded like a woman being attacked a few feet from our tent. We were paralyzed with fear, we weren’t sure if we should leap out and fend off the attacker, or stay silent so we don’t fall victim. The unnatural, gurgling, high-pitched screaming carried on for a few minutes until one of us gathered up the courage to scream out “ARE YOU OKAY?! HELLO?!” Mid-scream, it stopped. The only trace of it left was echoing over the trees. We stepped out of our tent, cautiously. Completely expecting a knife-wielding criminal standing over a woman’s’ corpse. But shockingly, there was nothing. The following hours were sleepless, every sound, every movement made our hearts jump into our throats. The next morning we scurried off to a local bait shop and explained what happened to the cashier. He answered us with a wide grin, “Bobcat. Or a mountain lion. Look it up. You should move your tent, don’t want to risk running into one of them.” He wasn’t kidding.
8. A Childhood Of Deathly, Haunted Expeditions
When I was maybe 14 I lived in a rural area of the BC interior. As young teens do, I got bored easily in my small town. To alleviate my boredom, my friends and I would routinely explore the surrounding areas, and go on long day hikes.
There are two instances I can remember being very creeped out on our expeditions. The first time was in the summer; my two friends and I decided to do a hike across several dozen kilometers. We, of course, prepared adequately, as any group of 14-year-olds would. We had water and a bag of jerky between the three of us. Naturally, we got very hungry as the jerky quickly ran out. To combat this, we decided to cut through the back roads, and farmland so we could get to the highway faster, and thusly to food.
After about an hour of hungry hiking, we came upon a little village that was all gated up, and surrounded by brambles. This itself isn’t too creepy. What was creepy was the fact that just inside the gate was a mountain of cattle skeletons and corpses. There seriously would have had to have been 3 dozen bodies in the pile. As kids, we were sufficiently spooked. As an adult, I think a logical reason for a corpse mountain may have been that the herd was diseased and this was a way to quarantine.
The second time was with the same friends, but we were a few years older. On this adventure, we decided to walk the railroad tracks and gather old rail spikes so we could sell them to the scrapper. After a few grueling hours of hiking and carrying increasingly heavy backpacks, we happened upon a house. It was very secluded, but from outside it didn’t look abandoned. Curiosity and fatigue got the better of us.
We dropped our bags and went exploring. We initially just wanted some water, but we found the front door wide open. Outside, there was lots of construction machinery, so we thought maybe they were doing some finishing work inside. We called out but received no reply. So, with recklessness, we decided to effectively break and enter. This place turned out to be a dump. It looked like an abandoned house. There was old garbage and food everywhere. We assumed no one lived there after all. So what do we do? We decide to snoop around. As we were poking around the ground floor, we heard what sounded like footsteps on the second floor. We called out, but no answer was given. My one friend decided to be brave and go up and check. As he got to the stairs, he called out again; nothing. So he starts up the stairs. As his foot hit the first tread, we heard a music box go off. Alright, kind of creepy, but then we heard a kid’s giggle from above. We got out of there pretty quickly and ran home. We even forgot our backpacks!
7. Those Glaring Eyes
One particular instance stands out as the most unnerving thing I’ve experienced. It’s one thing to see a sign warning about a predator in the area. It’s another thing to be stalked by it all day.
I went out one afternoon on my small Jon-boat to do some fishing in the swamp, mainly for Warmouth. I was pretty familiar with the area, and motored out 3-4 miles to reach my favorite spot. Alligators are fairly commonplace out there, and it’s just something you become accustomed to. Generally, if you respect them, they’ll respect you, as they’ve become pretty used to fishermen.
The water in the swamps are full of Tannic acid from the decaying leaves on the bottom, so the water looks inky black at first, and visibility is only a few inches. Anything that is visible just under the surface is tinted a dark amber color.
I had caught a few fish, and noticed that around 50-60 yards back up the canal, a pair of eyes floating just above the water was pointed my direction. It was a gator; no big deal. They’ve learned to be opportunistic and steal stringers of fish if you leave them hanging over the side of the boat.
I continued fishing for a few minutes, and had just reached down over the side of the boat to grab the lip of a Warmouth I’d hooked. As I pulled the fish out, I saw the faintest glint of amber in the water, about a foot below where my hand had just been. I watched as the faint glint slowly rose up towards the surface of the water, revealing two black eyes and the largest jaw on any gator I’ve ever seen in the wild.
I slid back to the center of my small Jon-boat as the head of the gator broke the surface. I could feel it’s back sliding along the bottom of my boat, shifting it slightly. After watching it for 10-15 seconds, it finally swam out from under the boat. I’m guessing it was pushing 12-13 feet, and that’s after having seen hundreds of gators.
This gator followed me the rest of the day. I’d motor ahead a ways, just to put some distance between us and not long after I’d stop, I’d feel that familiar ‘bump’ on the bottom of the boat again. Each time, it would eventually just swim off a few feet to turn and stare at me.
I’ve never felt more outmatched. This dark, quiet, toothy lizard had the ability to sneak up on you any time it pleases and get within three feet of you before you ever know it’s there. Do you know how unnerving it is to look something in the eye at that makes it abundantly clear that it’s only waiting for you to make a mistake? There’s a level of intelligence and focus in those eyes that makes you understand your place in the food chain.
It’s not the first time gators have followed me; I’ve been followed by 3 at one time before. But none have ever made me so intimately aware that the only thing on it’s mind was to drag me out of my boat and under the surface of that black water.
6. A Chilling Conversation With A Nonexistent Human
I was out turkey hunting. We had started hiking at night and found our spots at about 4 AM. I was roughly a quarter mile away from my hunting partner (shouting distance).
It was pitch black, and we were trying to keep our lights off. I kept hearing human footsteps, coming from almost random directions. After getting sufficiently uncomfortable, I heard a voice that sounded like it was maybe 10 feet behind me.
“Hey” in my hunting partner’s voice. I smelled the smell of coffee and smoke.
I replied “Sup?” but got no response. I flicked my lighter but didn’t see anyone in the area.
After saying that a couple times, I shouted for my hunting partner, he called back from what sounded like a quarter mile away.
It started raining in the distance and heat lightning would occasionally illuminate the field. I saw a tree that looked like a human figure. After a few moments, it wasn’t there. More footsteps around me.
After a while when the sun just started to faintly show, I decided to take a break and was getting a bit creeped out, so I walked the quarter mile to my hunting partner’s tree stand to ask him what he wanted.
He said that he hadn’t left his spot, and didn’t walk up to me at any time in the morning.
5. An Insanely Friendly Dog-Like Wolf
We were camping in Montana near Yellowstone Park in a small campground. It was the offseason and there were maybe 5 other people there, including a couple 3-4 spots down who had a large dog with them in their RV. I walked by and the dog was friendly so I petted it and talked to it and went on my way.
Later that night I am sitting watching the sunset and reading on my Kindle when a cold nose bumps up under my arm like a dog does when it wants attention. I figured it was the dog and started scratching its head. Before I could look around, my friend came around the corner and froze with a look of fright on his face.
I was scratching the head of a pretty big grey wolf. I had no idea what to do. I didn’t want to keep touching it but I didn’t want to stop and tick it off either. I scratched for maybe 5-10 more seconds and it just looked at me like “Thanks, bro” and walked off into the woods. We went to a hotel that night…
4. The Wendigo
I saw what I believe to be a wendigo or skinwalker.
I was driving back home from my friends place in rural western MA around 1-2AM. I was driving through this area that’s about 3/4 of a mile long that’s just a long canopy of dense trees. Dark even in the day but at night, it’s pitch black. You can barely see 20 ft in front of you even with high beams on.
Anyway, driving, about 6 feet away from the side of the road ~100 feet head of me I see something that looks wrong in a way I can’t explain. You know when something doesn’t make sense to you or you KNOW something isn’t right. Like the parasympathetic feeling we get when we see someone break their ankle, we KNOW it isn’t supposed to bend that way so it gives us the heebie jeebies.
It was like that, but I wasn’t sure why until I was ~30 feet away from it. It was this coyote standing on its hind legs and was WAY TOO TALL to be an actual coyote standing upright. Coyotes are the size of a very small lab, like ~50lbs on a good day if that, this thing was at least 6 feet standing. It made me feel nauseous just looking at it.
It was too tall and its face was wrong. It looked humanoid, the same way we recognize human faces as being human.. I had that feeling like I was looking at a person but it wasn’t totally human. It reminded me of Cat Eye syndrome but at least that is explainable. This wasn’t.
Anyway, I spent WAY too long being as close as I was to that thing as it stared at me, but I gunned it out of there and locked the hell out of my house when I got home despite being around 20 miles away from where I saw it.
I don’t know what it was, but it freaked the hell outta me.
3. Late Night Car Troubles
A few years ago I moved to Fort Worth and then later took a job in Lubbock, TX. I had a wedding to attend back in Missouri so I took a load of my stuff to my new apartment in Lubbock and then drove back to Missouri. It was a long drive and I left the wedding reception around 6 or 7 and headed back to Lubbock because I started my new job the next morning.
Between Lubbock and Wichita Falls there is a 3.5 hour stretch of highway that is mostly ranch country. There are a few really tiny towns sprinkled in but you can drive the whole 3.5 hours and never see a car if you do it at the right time. I happened to come through at 3 am.
So I turn onto the highway which runs basically straight east-west looking forward to the last leg of the drive and finally being able to sleep. There is no one on the road and you just have that weird alone feeling. There was no reception for me once I left Wichita Falls until I got to Lubbock.
So here I am driving through ranch country with no reception and nothing around and I come to one of the first little tiny towns. On the side of the road in the middle of the town is a car that seems to be broken down. There is a woman standing there with the hood up and a jack nearby but no actually being used and she is trying to wave me down.
Normally I stop to help in situations like this but I really needed to get back and get some sleep for my first day and the whole thing just felt wrong. As soon as I passed the car, the woman runs to the passenger side and gets in. A man springs out from hiding behind the other side of the car, slams the hood down, jumps in and starts the car and they start driving after me. It was all super hurried as soon as I didn’t stop.
So I did what anyone would do and pumped it up to 80-90 and hoped there wasn’t a cow loose. I could see their headlights on the highway behind me for a long time but they eventually seemed to have given up. We hadn’t come to any other town or place to turn off so they had to have turned around.
I was super creeped out but I kind of forgot about it until I read some stories in this thread. I go in at 6 am and had to be at work at 8 am so it got kind of lost in my power nap and first day.
2. A Creepy, Spirit-Riddled Case Of A Missing Coyote
One of the craziest things I have seen is Varmint Control for ranches with free-range cattle, about 2 hours south of Tucson, in the sky island. I arrived and parked my vehicle at the mouth of a small canyon and set up shelter about 10 feet away.
Approximately 1 hour before sunset I made dinner, chatted on the citizens band radio with other hunters, and set up my area. I hung out and read a book until about 9-ish. At that time I heard noise from the canyon. At the mouth, you could see 15 feet in and then it took a sharp right. The walls were about 12 feet high. But I heard the noise, it sounded like it came from way deeper in the canyon. It was a repetitive clacking noise. Like someone had two sticks and kept hitting them together. It did not stop, at least I fell asleep to the noise, with my weapon at my side.
I woke up at 4 AM sharp, had some breakfast, and got ready to head out. I locked my truck, and clubbed the steering wheel. And I was off.
I walked about 3 miles from the mountain, found a high hill, it was covered in white Quartz rock, it had massive veins of micca and was definitely a sight to behold. By the time I arrived to the hill, the sun was up and the coyotes were yapping. I called and called and laid there motionless for 2 hours. Nothing. I watched a small bug crawl on my scope and fly away. Then that’s when I noticed movement about 270 yards away. It was a single coyote. Diseased.
I zeroed in on it and noticed it walked funny. It walked leading with its right shoulder, and it’s head bobbed up and down a little too much. I figured I’ll put the poor thing out of its misery. I took aim and squeezed. It connected and it went down. I walked to collect the animal at the spot but I did not see it. I swear that’s where it fell. Three yards from the sideways barrel cactus. I saw no markings and no trail. Just silence. I knew I hit it I watched it go down. I saw it. I searched for 30 minutes and saw nothing that lead me to the animal. Dang, there went my $40. I called it a day, it was getting a little warm and my arms were sore from my weapon. So I hoofed it back slowly in case I ran into another.
I made it back to my campsite and saw something that made my blood run cold. My camping stool that was in the bed of my truck was set facing into the maw of the canyon. Dead center of the entrance. In the shade of the walls. That’s when I heard it again. The clacking. This time it sounded closer, as if it was right at the bend of the canyon. As if whatever it was that was doing it, was hiding right behind the turn. I didn’t dare to grab my chair, it was $10 at the swap meet. I thought about firing a round into the canyon but I figured it wouldn’t do much.
I rolled up my tent, keeping a sharp eye on the canyon, at this point the clacking would stop every time I stopped what I was doing to watch and listen. When I would go back to loading my truck it would start right back up. I packed my tent, tossed it in the bed, grabbed my lantern and my propane stove and put them in the bed as well. I put my weapon away.
I jumped in my truck and started it. I watched the canyon. Nothing. Not a sound, just the low rumble from the cold started truck. I let her run a bit and warm up. At this time the canyon was filled with sunlight, as it was noonish. I felt a sense of bravery and wanted to take a quick peek around the bend of the canyon. So I let my truck run, grabbed my weapon, and approached the canyon. I stood at the mouth, listening for any shuffling, clacking. Nothing. It was bright from the sun.
I stood about 5 feet away from the bend, unsure what was waiting in the other side. I thought to myself to just grab the chair and book. But I needed to know. I leaned slowly around the corner, and saw nothing, it went about 20 feet in and then a dead end. I did notice animal tracks. Hoof marks and coyote track. I didn’t notice any animals during my stay and these prints looked very fresh. I stood at the corner, facing down at the dead end. Two very smooth rocks lay at my feet. They did not look of the region, they were light red, smooth as if they were from the rivers.
I turned away and grabbed my chair and drove off. I felt as though I was being watched. I swear there were eyes on me and they knew I knew. It felt like a game, like they were the mouse and I was the cat, however, I wouldn’t chase. Now I’ve encountered relics of Native American tribes in the area, old clay pots, napped tools, smooth stones to grind grains in. But I had thought the tribes were long gone.
I spoke to my good friend, a fellow I call Hue. He came from lines of tribe members, his mother and his grand parents, 100% Pascua blood. His father was Mixtec. He spoke of the medicine men that would curse animals and were said to be shape shifters. Evil beings that were turned the wrong way from the magic. He said what I had experienced was from one of the spirits playing games to get me away from their lands. He said he’ll have his Buelo pray for me and that I should stay the night, that his parents home was blessed and I would be safe. So I did.
1. A Terrifying Encounter With A Ghostly Ship
I’m on a small sailing boat in the Pacific, sailing south from Panama to Ecuador in the middle of the night. There are two people on deck – the helmsman and me, theoretically on lookout but really just there to keep the helmsman awake. It’s well after midnight and we’re away from major shipping lanes. We’re somewhere west of Colombia and we haven’t seen land or another vessel in at least a day (at least, not while I’ve been awake – four hours on, four hours off).
And then I see a light off the port bow. It’s far off and distant and under the sail, and therefore hard to keep track of, but it’s there. It isn’t moving. And it seems to flicker and dim but gradually I become aware it’s getting a little brighter, bit by bit. And then I realize it’s a boat, and it’s coming right for us, and by this time I can hear the engine and I yell to the helmsman: “Hard a-port.”
(Yes, I used old-timey sailing talk in a crisis. I have no good explanation for this)
So we steer to the left, and the oncoming boat passes on the starboard bow. It’s less than 10 meters away, a big RIB with a massive outboard engine at the back traveling at full throttle. There’s enough light from the moon and our running lights to see that there’s only one person aboard, slumped upright over the steering column, and a load of fishing equipment in the back. Then it’s gone into the night, still traveling straight at maximum speed.
This was over ten years ago. To this day I have no idea if that midnight fisherman was alive or not or if he’d fallen asleep at the wheel or suffered a sudden heart attack or what. I don’t know if he powered on until the outboard ran out of fuel and was never seen again, or woke up five minutes later and steered back home. I don’t know what he was doing that far from the other fishing boats (we later saw other lights on the horizon and guessed that they were the fishing fleet), or whether he aimed for us deliberately or if it was sheer coincidence that brought him within spitting distance of our tiny boat in the empty sea. I still wonder sometimes.