The woods and wilderness get creepy when you're in them after dark, no matter whether you're an experienced camper or a first-time trekker. When at the mercy of nature, campers may find themselves faced with some strange, inexplicable experiences. Scary stories of campground legends and monsters in the woods certainly don't make you feel any better about the figure you saw lurking just outside the campsite.
Even many a veteran camper can't explain everything they've seen, which some actually attribute to being a fun part of camping. If the thrill of camping going wrong thrills you, do you. But the creepy tales on Reddit go far beyond the "Oops, I mistook a raccoon for Bigfoot"-type stories and delve into things that range from overtly terrifying to simply mysterious.
Strange Noises Came From The Woods
"About 10 years ago my wife and I were on a road trip around Nova Scotia, camping in public and private campgrounds along the way.
One night, we were miles away from any real campground, so we asked at a restaurant if there was anywhere we could camp for free for the night. We were told about a public park on a cliff overlooking the ocean near Antigonish. We drove up there and we were the only ones, besides an older couple in a fifth wheel.
There was an old lighthouse right there near the parking lot and we set up our tent on the grass near our car at the base of the lighthouse. Pretty bad idea as all night long, the light would blink on for about two seconds, then off for three, over and over all night long.
Around two in the morning, we started to hear very strange noises coming from the woods that surrounded the clearing on all sides except for the cliff side. Moaning, humming, crying type noises. Very strange.
That coupled with the on and off blinking of the lighthouse made for a very unsettling night. The walls of the tent would light up, and we kept expecting to see the silhouette of an old sea captain hovering over our tent."
Weird Camper Named Hatchet
From a deleted user:
"While backpacking the Appalachian Trail (AT) in northern PA, a friend and I just finished hiking up a very large hill and were ready for lunch. We had planned on eating at a shelter that was another two miles down and up another hill. After some discussion we decided to eat at the shelter as there would be water. Well, as we arrive at the shelter we come across who we initially think is another hiker; but no this guy was just carrying an old-school backpack and was digging for crumbs out of the bottom of a Fritos bag, so he seemed out of place.
We asked if he was backpacking or day hiking. Never making eye-contact he mutters out 'backpacking.' We then asked if he was section-hiking or Thru-hiking (as in, doing the entire trail) He looks at us with this weird look and says 'Um I'm just hiking through.'
After a little bit of talking and avoiding all of our questions, he just quickly said 'I gotta go.' As he packed his bag we asked what his trail name was so we could look out for him on log books. He clearly had no idea what we were talking about, and this struck us odd as anyone because who hikes the AT knows what a trail name is, and usually has one they go by. After sort of explaining what he meant he said 'Oh right... Um, it's Hatchet' which was obviously a load of crap because the guy was holding a pack axe in his hand when he said this.
Well we continued hiking and we reach our camping spot, we got settled for the night when I'm woken by 'Hatchet' rustling through my backpack. (Now my friend and I both use hammocks, and I had my backpack wrapped around the tree my hammock was hanging on, so he ended up shaking my entire hammock) I screamed 'Hey' and he looked in my hammock, stared right at me for a good second, then bolted. By the time I got out of Hammock he was nowhere to be seen. Turned out he had stole a pack of tuna from my bag, and a couple granola bars from my buddy's. Never saw him again.
The weird part was we got back into town and ate lunch at a diner, turns out ol' Hatchet was on the run; there was a wanted poster hanging up on the door. Turns out two weeks prior he had mugged a couple people leaving one guy pretty bloody. The whole thing was pretty freaky. We gave our statement to the police but never heard if they caught him or not."
Beetles Falling From The Trees
"I went camping with my husband and our two kids. At night we were sitting at the picnic table playing cards, and beetles of all different types kept falling from the trees, flying around us, crawling up the table, etc. They kept getting bigger and more weird looking. My daughters were freaking out to the point of almost crying so we decided to get into the tent. When I got in and I turned around, my daughters screamed that I had a beetle on my back. I wasn't freaked, but I told them to brush it off, but they wouldn't come near me. When my husband came in I turned around and asked him to get it off. He screamed and wouldn't get it off either! At that point I knew something totally huge and freaky was crawling on me so I ripped off my sweatshirt and threw it outside. I didn't talk to my husband for the rest of the night."
The Very Last Time She Went Camping
"I actually read this story on Reddit a couple years ago. It was a women relating a story about the last time she ever went camping. It went something like this.
She was a very accomplished camper and survival enthusiast. She enjoyed going on solo trips for two weeks or so, completely on her own. She explained that she would stop and hit a store, a couple hours before her destination to get some supplies and that would be it for people. During her last trip alone, she saw one guy by the store in a truck park along the road fishing. She never saw another person after that. She would see bears, moose, wild life but that's it. She spent her time reading and just traveling around..
During each trip, she would take 10-14 disposable cameras with her. A couple days after one of her trips she took the cameras in to be developed. When she got them back she was sitting at home looking through the pictures. Once she got to the fifth or sixth roll, she almost had a heart attack. Every third or fourth picture was a picture of her sleeping on a different night. She swore she didn't see another person anywhere. She explained that she has never gone solo or camping for that matter since. Her husband could not get her to go anywhere near the woods after that."
Stayed In A Haunted Cabin
"I once stayed in a cabin in Arkansas facing the river. One side of the cabin was almost all window with no blinds or anything, which made me feel really creeped out, especially the first time it got dark and you couldn't see outside. The first night we stayed there, this beating started on all sides of the cabin' it was loud and eerily fast paced, moving from one wall to the next to the roof, etc.
A few times the gas-powered fireplace would roar up and then go out, the TV would turn on and just be static, really cliche stuff. We would also hear whispering at night and because I was too much of a wuss to sleep with the lights off after the first night, we left the hall light on and the bedroom door shut and locked... until we started seeing shadows under the door.
We got the f*ck out of there! I don't know if the place was poorly built or people were messing with us or what, but the shadows under the door was way too much for me. Camping is fun though, give it a chance! Despite being scared as hell it's one of my fondest camping memories."
Caught In A Tornado In The Woods
"A tornado. No tales of monsters, ghosts or campfire murder stories. Sheer natural terror. Groups of 8-to-14-year-olds, miles away from our parents, all gathered in little rickety bunk houses with mattresses against the windows and scared to death. Luckily, nobody got hurt. When walking to arts and crafts the next day, we saw a massive tree ripped out of the ground, roots and all. I had no idea they had that kind of power. Even 20 years later I feel lucky to have gotten back home alive."