There's a good reason why many horror movies take place in the woods: it can be creepy. It shouldn't be that surprising then that those dedicated to protecting and working within these eerie spots have an unsettling tale or two while on the job. Thanks to brave Redditors, these shocking, unsettling and downright creepy stories will make you think twice before heading out on that next camping adventure.
A Stranger Watching In The Distance.
"I once led a trip of middle school kids to the top of Mt. Sterling. At night the kids and the other co-instructor went to bed in their tents, I chose to spend the night in a hammock. I laid there enjoying the scenery and noticed something moving on the trail. As it got closer, I could tell it was a person. We were in the middle of nowhere and there was someone hiking up the trail with no headlamp. They arrived at the top of the mountain and just stopped. I watched as what appeared to be a man survey our camp. He stood there for what seemed like thirty minutes then turned and sat down under a tree, staring at our camp. I just stared at the man while he stared at my camp. This went on until about 3:30 am. Then he stood up, took a moment to survey my camp a few minutes longer and then went back down the trail he came up on."
An Abandoned Shed That Used To Be A Cell.
"A shed behind an abandoned house with a steel reinforced door broken off the hinges. The windows of the shed were boarded up from the outside. The only thing inside the shed was a queen size bed with shredded, partly singed white sheets."
A Severed Deer Head On The Trail.
"I'm a ranger at Yellowstone. I was exploring the Lamar valley, about 11 miles from the nearest road. There in the middle of the trail, is a perfectly severed deer head. No blood, no raggedness at the severance. This is weird because I have seen wolf and bear kills, but this was not any of those things. The head was completely uneaten – eyes, tongue, everything intact. Even the ravens hadn't touched it yet. Even a human doing it made no conventional sense. It was a doe so it had no antlers, plus, why leave it in the trail?"
A Deranged And Possibly Dangerous Person Nearby.
"There was a group of teens that hadn't been heard from after their scheduled return time from a camping trip. A good friend and I head out in the general direction the teens had set off in. We'd been hiking for most of the day and seen nothing. We're about ~35km into the woods at this point when we start noticing odd things. Sticks carved like spears stuck into the ground, weird carvings in the trees, a child's stuffed animal hanging from a noose up in a tree. The really eerie thing was that everything was freshly carved. We kept on hiking and eventually made camp for the night. We get up with the sunrise and pack up the gear when I noticed a bit of shirt that had caught on a small tree along with some shoe prints. We then get a radio call that the teens had just been found 20km east of us."
Almost Starving Due To A Tragic Event Thousands Of Miles Away.
"Former park service here. Being way the f–k out in Alaska waiting for a float plane to pick me and my partner up after a week of slogging through the tundra. And waiting. And waiting. And running out of food. And eating berries. And then when the plane landed, 3 days late, hearing that some
A Sad And Chilling Discovery.
"For several years I worked out in the forests of a country that experienced a genocide in the not-incredibly-distant past. Several times I found skulls. Once I wasn't watching where I was going and stumbled on something soft. I looked down and it looked like a very old sweater had been lying there forever. I poked it with my foot and dug around in the vegetation a bit, and sure enough. Most of the skeleton was gone, but it was clear there were bones inside the sweater. Somehow that freaked me out more than the skulls."
Being Stalked By A Hungry Cougar.
"I was hiking to an old shelter and had that creepy 'being watched' feeling. I had seen fairly fresh cougar scratches and scats along the trail but that's pretty common up here. That night I camped at the shelter, which only had three walls and a roof. I felt uneasy all night and hardly slept. The next day I found FRESH scat and scratches on the trail I had hiked in on. About a mile past the shelter I found a mostly-eaten deer in some dense brush off the trail. Cougars often keep kills stashes throughout their territory for later snacking. Now a cougar wont usually tangle with a human but here I am a 5ft tall, 100lb sack of flesh and bones at least 13 miles out from any other humans. I decided to cut short my trip. The last 2 hours of hiking through dusk in a dense forest was the most hair-raising hike I've ever had."
A Crazed Man Swinging Around A Crowbar.
"I was surveying a remote restoration site near an old trail and I heard someone walking up a nearby path. All the hair on the back of my neck stood on end. I turned the corner and there was a shirtless guy swinging a crowbar around in circles, and when he saw me he started yelling, 'I'VE GOT A CROWBAR! I'VE GOT A CROWBAR!' I think I nodded at him, squeaked something like, 'nice crowbar,' and then ran the mile or so back to my truck. And that's the reason why I carry mace and a big knife now."
Don’t Even Want To Know Why.
"A human thumb nailed to a tree."
A Deer Carcass Stuffed With Bones.
"One time I was in a state park looking for mushrooms and I wandered way off the main trail. I found a deer carcass and looking at it the spine/ribcage were pretty much disconnected from the rest of the body, so I lean over and look into the ribcage, lo and behold it was picked neatly clean inside but it was STUFFED with bones. Like someone took the ribs off of dozens of animals and just jammed them in there, I mean that thing was FULL. I have no f—–g clue what did it or why they were there."
A Gunshot In The Middle Of Nowhere.
"Camping 80+ miles from any thing resembling civilization. Lying in the tent talking before falling asleep when all of the sudden a
Kids Finding Human Teeth.
"Our park lets kids from school in so they can look for animals in the forest and the streams. One day a kid finds molars. The teeth looked like human molars, but the teacher said was a deers. Two days later, they found a corpse with a smashed skull and jaw in another part of the park. All its teeth were missing."
Almost Peeing On A Bear.
"I fought forest fires for 4 years in the Pacific Northwest. My scariest encounter was about 2 am while maintaining fire line on a 300 acre fire caused by a lightning strike. I needed to take a
Stumbling Onto A Site Where People Died.
"The remains of a plane that had crashed into a cliff. Turned out later that it had crashed a few years before and there had just never been the proper resources to remove the wreckage, but finding a place you know people have died in is weird."
A Mysterious Pick-up Truck.
"A pickup truck that had been driven off the road up in the Cascade Mountains. It was totaled. I hiked down to it and checked it out. No signs of injury, so maybe it was just pushed down after being stolen. But behind the truck seat was a used pair of women's panties."
A Man Hanging In A Tree.
"When we go around opening parks each day, we drive through to make sure everything is ok. I was driving through and had just lost sight of the road when I saw a man hanging from a tree in a clearing. He had hung himself. I called the cops and the coroner…friggin coroner took an hour to show up and he was the only one with a ladder long enough to cut the guy down….so I stared at a dead guy in a tree for an hour."