17 ‘Scariest Thing That’s Happened In The Woods’ Stories That Will Make You Never Go Outside Again

Wesley Eller

Curated from the minds of Reddit.

Man in the woods

“Not my story but my friends. He took his 7-8 year old son fishing with him up in the mountains. They first try a couple regular spots by the stream. After a few hours with no bites, they go a deeper down following the stream. It’s at this point his son starts saying, “dad, look there’s another guy here too..” Obviously my friend sees nobody, says it’s nothing, and they keep fishing.

After settling on a new spot, he notices his son acting really strange. Kind of nervous, scared, and almost hiding a bit. He asks his son again what’s wrong, to which the response is, “the man is hanging over there by that tree…”

There’s nothing there but of course after hearing that, they both jet on out of there. He hasn’t gone back to that area since.” — ObiMemeKenobi

Torture cabin

“I was once hiking in rural Kentucky when I stumbled across a cabin. I knock on the door hoping someone there can give me directions back to the closest trail so I get back to my car but no one answers. I look through the window and see a very basic cabin but the creepiest thing I noticed was a bed with leather restraints at each corner and a dog leash wrapped around the top of the head board like someone was leashed to the head board. Got my ass out of there in a hurry” — godbullseye

“Are you carrying any protection?”

“Not my story, but girlfriends-

Her and a few friends, two gals and a guy, went camping to a remote place in the woods for fun. It was like a little turnout near a random forest service road.

The guy friend, who I will refer to as Manly Man, was actually a scared twip and hated sleeping in the wood, but for whatever reason loved being out there. In order to alleviate his fears, he brought a dose of sleeping aid, either ambien or OTC benadryl, I don’t remember.

Fast forward to around dusk, they are enjoying a fire and generally jesting when a truck rolls up. Lifted, loud, you know the type. One guy gets out of the passenger door, another stays in the cab. They want directions to somewhere that no one has heard of, and want to use a phone since they have no service. After being told that no one else has service, he proceeds to ask questions like “just you four up here?” “Did you know there are bears?” (Which there aren’t, in the Oregon valley)”Are you carrying any protection from wild animals? ” rather annoying and innocuous stuff, until…

Fast forward again to the middle of the night when Manly Man is thoroughly knocked the fuck out, and headlights pop up on the road. An engine rolls closer, my GF wakes up, spooked. Engine stops, headlights cut. No noise for a couple minutes, then rustling.

GF wakes girls up, and they all start freaking out and trying to rouse Manly Man. Eventually he wakes up and groggily agrees that the rustling is real, he is a bit nervous.

They listen for a while longer and after the noise gets closer, they start shouting out “who’s there” and all that. No answer. Rustling stops.

Needless to say, they threw their camping stuff in the trunk and GTFO. They passed (YES) the same truck a bit down the road, no one inside. Either those pricks were playing a prank, or legit up to shitty things, but either way not how you want to be woken up.” — never_reddit_sober

Body parts

“I was out on a hike and I noticed some deer bones on the side of the trail. Odd, I thought, but there are lots of deer out here, and it’s not uncommon for them to be taken out by a cougar, bear, lynx or a myriad of other predators. Then I saw a hipbone in a tree. Later I saw the severed head had been neatly placed on another tree. Throughout my hike, someone had physically placed parts of a fresh deer carcass all over the trail and throughout the trees. It was pretty damn unsettling.” — milesdizzy

What were they?

“My wife and I were out camping back in 2012. We had spent 52 nights in the back woods that year. Every weekend we would get remote on Vancouver Island and enjoy the solitude. We were on a beach a good distance from anywhere and we had a fire.

To get to the trail to leave the beach was a kilometre along the beach and two kilometres to the road through the forest. There was nobody there except a guy named Leon from New Zealand that we met earlier on the beach that was planning on sleeping in his van up at the road. We invited him down to the beach for fire and we brought a bottle of wine that we could share. He came out and we talked about all kinds of things.

We kept hearing female voices from what sounded like behind us in the bushes. I had figured it was just someone who had anchored offshore and the sound was bouncing in a weird way. All of us acknowledged that we could hear the voices. It was getting late so Leon hiked out to his van and we stoked the fire because my wife was creeped out.

We stayed up very late and the voices had stopped so we decided to put out the fire and go to bed. We had scanned the cove with a flashlight several times looking for boats that could be the source of the talking. It must have been 3am and we decided to go to bed. About fifteen minutes after we lay down we heard footsteps in our camp area over by where the fire was. They came from the direction of the bushes toward inland behind us. That direction was not traversable by people!

We just lay there hoping it was a bear or something because the island only has black bears and they are easy to deal with. The footsteps went from the fire, then over to our tent, then back into the woods. Five minutes later the footsteps go back to the fire with two female voices talking gibberish very loudly. They are having a discussion at full volume in the dead of night very far away from civilization without using lights to navigate through dense brush relatively quietly in a direction that we considered impassable. After they were done at the fire pit area they walked over to our tent still talking at loud volume. They stood over us and talked for a few seconds then went completely dead as night silent. Then they went back into the woods never to be seen or heard again.

We just lay there completely frozen afraid for who knows how long. We woke up around 11:00am the next day because we had such a late night. That was the last night we stayed outside for at least a year.” — mrtherapist

I tried to scare him

“My dad owns 40 acres. It’s mostly wooded except for the house, and my brother and I used to camp on it regularly. We spent countless hours in the woods, still do actually, and I’ve only ever been afraid in the woods once.

There had been reports of houses being broken in, and my brother and I decided to sit in different places in the woods to see if anyone was walking through to case the houses.

Sure enough, I heard walking and slinked down where I was so whoever it was wouldn’t see me. I thought it was my brother coming to get me cause we had been up there for hours. I decided to jump out and scare him. I waited till the steps got closer, jumped out, and I was face to face with a dude I’d never seen before.

After that initial moment of shock for both of us, he tried to grab me and I took off. I was hauling ass through the woods, and made enough noise my brother came to see what I was doing. I told him I saw the guy about the same time that he got close enough we could see him.

Got back to the house, called the cops, and they found him up there. Dude got arrested, and had some warrants. Apparently they had been looking for that dude for a while. He got sent to prison for some years, don’t remember how many.” — whtwebb

The old man

“I was alone hiking out in the Flinders Ranges in Australia and started to set up camp by an empty creek of pebbles which were softer and cool unlike the surrounding terrain. Once it got dark I saw a light from a torch pass through my tent and decided to get out to see who it was. About 20 metres away from me was some old man in rugged clothes with weird dead things in his hat. I greeted him but he didn’t reply and continued to walk toward me. At this point I’m completely baffled and freaked out and decide to run. Dont know why but something was not right this whole situation. But as I started gaining distance he began to chase me down. As the Flinders is really open terrain I couldn’t hide so I climbed up a mountain and hid behind a collection of boulders and observed him walking around the mountain as if he was waiting for me to come down. This went on for a couple of hours before he left. I have no idea what his motives were or where the fuck he came from but I decided to hike back to the nearest town and back to Adelaide, my home town.” — Otto_Von_Hesse


“A person who hanged himself. Couldn’t go hiking there ever since.” — FreedomMoon


“A man who was a 3 hour hike in the bush…sitting on a stump in a tuxedo, with an axe in hand, and no camping gear in sight.” — khanthecactus

Really hope this isn’t anything sinister….

“Backpacking through the Tuolumne Meadows my SO and we passed a woman in a blue sweatshirt running down the trail with an entrenching tool and didn’t think anything of it until we passed her and she was burying a folded stroller, diapers, clothes, and baby toys, and a blue sweatshirt.” — FrOOtBatFucker0

Someone was throwing something into the water

“I was solo kayak camping in the North woods in Ontario, Canada last summer, lakeside. Very quiet night. It was around midnight or so and I was trying to get to sleep.

I heard some massive crackling in the woods that I could swear was bi-pedal but of course I couldn’t be 100%. Something was walking around about 50-75 feet away. I was creeped out. Suddenly I heard (and felt) a huge KER-PLUNK slpash in the water about 30-50 feet away from my tent on the water. It was like a huge rock got lobbed into the water. Too scared to go out and investigate, I washed down a couple tranqs with a huge slug of JD and passed out soon afterwards. Yikes!” — andrewmik

Alien lights

“Me and my mates were camping in the mountains (South Africa) miles away from any roads or hiking trails. It wasn’t a conventional camp area (pretty sure camping there wasn’t even allowed). The spot where we eventually set up camp was a grueling hike deep into one of the bigger canyons, which we deliberately choose to ensure that our fire wouldn’t be spotted, resulting in a hefty fine. Anyway, at about 2 AM at night we see what I can only describe as strobe lights coming from behind the mountain ridge in the distance. There is no civilisation in that direction for miles and nobody would be up there at night seeing as this part of the mountains is so isolated and no hike trails lead up there to that area.” — Conscious_Caracal


“I’ve dealt with bears, cougars, goats, spiders,snakes,bugs…

The only thing to be worried about is:


The only thing to ever be scared of in the woods is another person.

Everything else is either scared or wants to eat you so at least you know where they stand.

People are sketchy.” — Dude_Check_This_Out

Someone’s bracelet

“Found a really old looking wooden bracelet that had the random depictions of the virgin Mary on it while hiking on a camping trip. Thought nothing of it and took it home. Found out that we weren’t going back because there was a body that was dug up on a path. I’m 90% certain that bracelet belonged to that person. It’s in my house somewhere and I need to burn it when I find it.” — SheZowRaisedByWolves


“An overturned Jeep off of a remote trail in Utah. It had been snowing for months and the two occupants of the Jeep were dead and frozen. Fortunately my group had a satellite phone and a GPS so we could alert the rangers and give them exact coordinates. It definitely put a damper in an otherwise epic trip. I never found out who they were…” — TheWorkforce

My teacher

“So, I had a football coach back in high school who was also one of my teachers for a semester. He told us one story that freaked us all out pretty bad.

He had a coaching job at a small college in Montana when he was a lot younger and newly married. He said that after practice one evening, he was making his long commute home, and the route ran alongside just fields and fields of hay, grain, whatever. Since it was late summer/early fall, it wasn’t even approaching dark yet. His car was an old beat up truck with just a bench seat.
Anyway, he’s driving along when he sees a hitchhiker on the shoulder. This being back in the day and in small-town Montana, my teacher pulled over to let the guy in without a second thought. The man was described as wearing a really old, outdated style of suit. Not quite a zoot suit, but styled in a similar, baggy way. He also had a big, stylish hat. This guy looked like he was out of the 40’s, and “sort of like a pimp”. My teacher thought it was weird that he was so overdressed, it being super hot out. But maybe that was the only clothing he had.

So the guy gets in next to my teacher without a word. Teacher asks him where he needs to go, and the guy just points forward. Teacher drives on.

Later, my teacher tried talking to the guy, just trying to make simple conversation, but the guy wouldn’t speak or even acknowledge him. He just pulled his hat down like he was sleeping.
Out of nowhere, the guy just tips up his hat, looks out the window, and says “Stop the car, Now.” My teacher pulls over and lets him out, not wanting to offend a possibly crazy man. The guy stands on the side of the road for a second, and then at a dead sprint, just runs off into the field beside the road, until my teacher couldn’t see him anymore (granted the crop was fairly tall). He waits there for a while, thinking maybe the guy had the runs or something and didn’t want to shit next to the road. After a long enough wait, my teacher gets back in the truck and starts to accelerate back on to the road.

The thing about really old trucks is that they don’t accelerate very fast. As my teacher got back on to the road, he looked in his rearview mirror to check for a safe merge. But there wasn’t a car in sight. What there was, was the hitchhiker, on all fours like an animal, running (crawling?) after the truck at an inhuman speed. Meanwhile, my teacher is beginning to fish-tail as he attempts to go faster. The whole time his eyes glued on the mirror, watching the man chase after his car.

Eventually, he was able to get up to speed and lost sight of the guy in his mirror. When he was able to stop at a gas station to use a pay phone, he called his wife at home to tell her the story, and to lock up the house. She thinks he’s just messing with her, and he had been talking to her coworker about the hitchhiker. When he asks why she would think that, apparently at her office in the town she worked in, one of her coworkers told her a story of the exact same thing happening to them. And it is a well-known urban legend in that town. She thought it was just folks playing with the new girl at work, who had to drive home alone at night.

Anyways, my teacher assured her that he was not lying, and she evidently believes him and can vouch for her side of the story, because she showed up to one of our fundraisers and I asked her about it.

So yeah, now I just avoid lonely roads in Montana.

*A lot of you are asking where this happened. I don’t think he ever actually told us. But for some reason, I’m leaning towards the northwestern part of Montana. At least that’s where I pictured it in my mind. Sorry I can’t be of further help. He told us this story quite a long time ago.” — bennedictus Thought Catalog Logo Mark

👻 You can read 101 of the scariest (and shortest!) true stories in our new collection, 101 True Scary Stories to Read in Bed Tonight, available here. 👻

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Erin Cossetta

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