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Creepy Stories from the Appalachian Trail

Updated September 27, 2019 29.8k votes 6.5k voters 441.6k views14 items

List RulesVote up the scariest legend from the area.

The Appalachian Trail is one of America's most famous hiking paths. The massive journey spans close to 2,200 miles and runs from Maine to Georgia and is the longest hiking-only trail in the world. With that big of an impact on our culture and history, it's no wonder so many urban legends and scary stories are based around the trail. 

Much of the Appalachian Trail is desolate and remote, cutting through mountains and thick forests. And when you've been hiking for a few days, haven't seen civilization in a while, your mind can start to play tricks on you. Or maybe not. Maybe there really are unexplained incidents and creatures lurking in the woods. Check out the list below to read about the creepiest stories to come out of the Appalachian Trail, and decide for yourself whether the hike is still something you want to do. Vote up the creepy Appalachian Trail stories that scare you the most.
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  • 5

    A Young Girl Sees Her First Ghost

    Sometimes ghosts don't have to do much to be creepy. A young girl who was hiking with her parents experienced her first ghostly encounter after they stopped to camp for the night. Her father was fast asleep, but something was frightening her and she couldn't keep her eyes shut. The next morning, she found her mother and asked if they could go for a walk. While out exploring, her mother suddenly stopped.

    The girl followed her gaze and saw a hazy apparition standing against a tree not too far away. It was a man who looked calm and sad. After a tense few moments, the man just faded away, leaving the mother alone with her child.  

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  • 6

    The Pierce Pond Ghost

    A man was hiking along Pierce Pond in Maine when he experienced a fright that he'll never forget. One night, he was enjoying his campfire, when he suddenly spotted a figure walking a short distance away from his campsite. It was ghostly in appearance and looked like a woodsy outdoorsman type with what appeared to be fishing gear. It wasn't long before the figure faded into the night.

    The man didn't know what to think of it, but the next night, the ghostly figure returned, only this time, it stopped to stare at the hiker. Getting the message, the hiker abandoned his camp and ran off into the forest. He hid behind a tree and waited until morning to return, pack up his stuff, and get out of there quickly. 

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  • 7

    Civil War Soldiers Haunt Maryland

    In 1862, three major Civil War battles were fought over different passes on what is now the Maryland section of the Appalachian Trail. Many lives were lost in the bloodshed and carnage. The death count was so high that it seems some spirits still remain. People hiking over the passes report seeing ghost soldiers, odd campfires, and the sound of cannons blasting in the distance.

    On top of that, near the farm of a man named Daniel Wise, the bodies of 58 soldiers were tossed down an old well. This has caused reports of ghostly figures wandering around Wise's property.

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  • 8

    Spearfinger

    The Spearfinger legend originates from the Cherokee Indians and has been used to scare children for years. She is a witch-like hag, who is said to be able to take on the persona of a sweet, old grandmother. She lurks around the highest peaks of the Smokey Mountains, keeping a special eye out for children who have wandered away from their parents. She likes to prey on their fear, telling them she will help find their parents, but slowly sings them to sleep.

    Once the child is sleeping soundly, Spearfinger will use her fingers and gouge out their liver and eat it in front of them. 

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