21 Forest Rangers Reveal Their Strangest Experiences In The Woods

Imposing trees, strange sounds, and a general sense of the wild can lend a forest a bit of eeriness. Odd sightings, weird events, and unexplained happenings are just a few of the things witnessed by forest rangers, camp counselors, and others in the woods.

These scary stories take place all over the world, filled with mythological creatures and other unknown entities as described by Reddit users. The creepy tales here will make you think twice before you go out into the woods. Don't read them after dark!


  • A Strange Man Saved The Dog

    My family used to camp in Algonquin Park in Ontario when I was a kid. We used to do a lot of the day hikes with our dog. The dog was a crazy runner, and would run up and down the trail, back and forth between my parents and my brother and me.

    This one trail ended at a lookout. My brother and I stopped to take in the view, and my dog arrived, seconds later, traveling at full speed. He attempted to apply the brakes, but the momentum carried him right over the edge.

    We freaked out. Our dog had just gone over a cliff, and it was a good 50 or 60 foot drop.

    I ventured over to the edge to look. My dog had somehow landed on the one ledge that sat about 10 feet down.

    Crap. Now what? Any movement, and my dog would fall the rest of the way down. It was a shear face, and no way to get down.

    Out of the blue, from the trail behind, appears a hiker with full hiking gear. Algonquin is not an area known for a lot of climbing, and I've never seen anyone before or since with gear on that trail.

    This guy belayed down, rescued my dog, packed up and left. He didn't even stick around long enough to get his name. To all intents and purposes, he just returned to the trail and vanished.

  • It Might Have Been The Mythical Thunderbird

    Not a camper or ranger, but an archeologist.

    A few years back we were doing a massive survey in the middle of nowhere in the interior of British Columbia. 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, in the middle of nowhere along deactivated logging roads. The closest town is miles and miles away. We hike out to this one area we had found 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. While standing there, it happens again "WOMP!" ear pressure and chest pressure like I was just squeezed. Chills erupt 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 stuff 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. 10 years later, I still get the chills.

    Edit: There have been a lot of theories and sounds, but nothing like it. 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? Kind of like that...but you would feel it and it was LOUD!

  • An Invasion Of Coyotes

    I have seen weird lights, heard weird sounds, found weird stuff in the woods before, but the one that sticks out was years ago. I was camping at a friend's property in South Texas. While asleep in my tent, I suddenly wake up in the middle of the night. One of those 'from dead sleep to wide awake in a half-second' things. I can feel something is outside the tent, but I don't want to look. I have considerable camping/hiking experience, so I am not freaking out too much.

    I very slowly unzip the top of the tent door, being as quiet as I can, and look out of the tent. There is scarce light because we were camped under a giant oak tree, so big the branches dip down and connect with the ground before growing back up again. It is a huge tree and there are a lot of shadows and weird shapes.

    Anyway, as my eyes start to adjust I realize there are about 40+ coyotes all milling around the camp sight! Just slowly walking around, sniffing here and there, almost ghost like in their quietness. I slowly zipped the flap back up and laid there for about 30 minutes before I fell back to sleep. In the morning, in the light, you couldn't tell anything had been there. The next night we heard the pack howling for hours in the distance. That was almost freakier than seeing them 10 feet away.

  • Startled By A Small Humanoid Creature

    This happened about eight years ago when I was 21 and working as a camp counselor for Camp Tommy in Fishkill, NY. The place is basically a bunch of cabins in the woods on top of a mountain, each cabin a half-mile apart from the other, so you're pretty isolated in the woods.

    One night at about 1am I was sneaking off to meet my camp GF (you're supposed to stay in your cabins after 10pm) as was usual, and was cutting through some woods to get her to cabin.

    Suddenly I heard rustling in the woods, and stopped to investigate it. There are bears/other animals so I was expecting something like that. This three-foot-tall humanoid type thing suddenly jumps out of the bushes and looks at me. It's too dark for me to make out any of its features, other than it was standing on two feet, had two arms, and basically looked just like a miniature person without any features (just looked solid black, if it had clothes on, I would have been able to notice that).

    I was curious what it was so I started walking towards it and it spooked, bolting back into the woods. I'll never forget how mechanical it looked as it took off running. It's whole body basically shifted 90 degrees (like if someone was doing the robot dance) and it just took off. I have never seen anything on two legs run that quickly, so I was pretty confused about what it was. I'm a pretty fast runner and fit person in general, but this thing was on another level of fast.

    As much as I try to make sense of it, I still to this day have no idea what it was. It was very human, but too short to be a human (three-feet-tall is about accurate) and I don't know how a human could run that fast anyway. I have no idea but it's always bugged me! Maybe one day I will go back to try and find this creature again!