9 Of The Creepiest Encounters That Have Ever Happened In The Wilderness

Flickr / Dávid Sterbik
Flickr / Dávid Sterbik

Found on r/AskReddit


So in NC there is a town the army bought to use for training. They replace the doors and electrical but everything else they let go to shit. Which is very cool because the main house is over 100 years old.

So it’s getting to that part of the day where it’s not dark but the trees make it really shadowy but you can still see fairly well. So it’s a group of 7 of us going to explore the house. First interesting thing. So I drove the second car with 3 other people. Legend had it that people would lose their keys and they end up sitting on the hood of the car or in the door. So I very scientifically and deliberately wait until everyone is out all the doors are properly closed. I then hit the lock on the key fob and everyone hears and sees it lock and I check the doors. Remember this for later.

We all end up splitting into small groups and I end up alone (Yay me). My wife and her friend go around back and I stay out front walking around and scanning the woods. They then come back which is when they tell me they heard what sounded like 2 little girls laughing and playing out in the woods.

So I start walking around with the flashlight scanning the woods. When we get back….the dome light was on and one of the doors war cracked open on the jeep. I shit you not, this starts to freak everyone out.

As we are discussing this we heard the loudest thud come from the house. I compared it to someone dropping a safe on the top floor of the house. This literally shook the house and I heard the base in my chest. Now being prior military I know for a fact it wasn’t artillery or ordinance. The rest of our friends that were in the house beat feet and we got in our cars and left.

No one can explain the noise. They were all upstairs and they looked in a bedroom and then went to the next room and the boom came from behind them.

Also we talked to our friends years later about expecting them to say it was a joke and they had done something but they stood by their story.



My dad and I would occasionally go hunting together when I was a kid. I was 14 and my dad knew a guy who owned what seemed to by half of Georgia. I mean the amount of property this guy owned was ridiculous. He let people hunt out there and if he trusted you he’d let you camp out there for a couple of nights if you wanted. He’d always make sure we had a way to call for help though before we did it though.

I loved camping out there more than I did just going hunting for a few hours then coming home. I liked the woodsman feel of living out in the woods. We woke up early one morning and hiked into the woods. It was still dark when we got to our stand. We didn’t see or hear anything. Not even birds. I remember my dad commenting on it and looking back it should have been a sign. Frustrated, we pack up and look for a spot to camp and we would set up again later that evening. My dad suggested we go deeper in to better our chances of seeing something so that’s what we did.

We hiked for a few hours, found a clearing, set up a small camp, got settled and passed the time freaking ourselves out by talking about big foot and other woodland creatures. We hike a ways away form camp, set up our blind and wait. Again, nothing.

We get back and our tent has been pulled up and laid flat. Not in a neat way but it’s just kinda laying there. We thought it was just the wind or something and we didn’t put it up right and it collapsed. We didn’t think much of it. Since we didn’t see or even hear anything all day we decide to leave the following day and try again later that week. We settle in for the night build a really small fire and just relax. Again, not even birds are making a sound. I remember thinking how odd it was to be this deep into the woods and only hear one or two birds the whole trip. Oh well, maybe we are making too much noise and scared everything off.

We go to sleep soon after settling in.

It’s pitch black, middle of the night, I wake up for some reason just to try to go back to sleep. I’m in that half asleep half awake phase when I hear laughter. I kinda jolt awake but don’t hear it anymore so I figured it was a dream. I lay back down and a few minutes later I hear it again. It continues and gets pretty loud. I wake up again but this time my dad is up too. He whispers and asked “Did you hear that?” and this is when my heart dropped. He heard the laughing too. It wasn’t a dream. We heard it again but it was faint and now that I’m actually awake I am paying attention to it.

It sounded kind of like several people laughing in unison. It wasn’t cackling or hysterical laughter but just kind of normal laughter. It didn’t last but for maybe 5 or 6 long motherfucking seconds. I have never felt that much fear before in my entire life. We didn’t hear it anymore after that but needless to say we didn’t get any sleep. We packed up as soon as the sun came up and GTFO’d.

My dad was convinced someone followed us and was playing a prank. That’s why we didn’t see anything. He said while we were in the stand and blind, they were scaring all of the wildlife off with their unmasked scent and being on the ground. He says this but he didn’t go back out there for over a month. When he did finally go back, he mentioned it to the guy who owned the property. He wouldn’t let my dad hunt their anymore. Didn’t say why either. My dad thinks he made the guy think that my dad was crazy or something.

I guess it is possible for someone to have followed us out there. They must be legit ninjas though because we went out before day break. Nobody but the owner was parked out there that morning. There were dead leaves and stickseverywhere and when they decided to laugh, it came from different spots and I never heard a footstep. Sorry if this wasn’t really what you were looking for but it’s one of my best stories, even if nobody I tell it to believes me.

I’ve got goosebumps.



Wildland firefighter with the forest service. Not my story but from a old supervisor of mine that I believe completely.
Setting is 2004 or so, hells canyon area of middle idaho. his crew had been working all day on an emerging incident and were going to be working through the night as well. Being the assistant superintendent of the crew (second in charge, effectively) he was out ahead scouting on an atv or some such. He was working his way down a logging road that clearly had not been used in some time when a bobcat or lynx (it’s been a few years since I heard it) appears in the middle of the road, but doesn’t run away as they usually would. Thing stands there for a good 10 seconds, screams at him, and scampers up a tree not 5 feet off the road.

He finds this odd but not particularly unsettling. Just a half mile or so down the road, he finds a small cabin. Also odd, as this is federal land and no private structures should be there. Upon investigation, all the windows had been boarded shut tight and someone had done a good job of doing so. The door know had been punched out and secured to a hole drilled into the log frame by a chain. Someone did not want anything getting in (or out). Peering through the hole in the door he can see that everything in the house is upset.

This has him kind of unsettled, so he hops on his ATV and heads back up the road. Well, here’s where it gets real interesting. Right where the bobcat had been, there stands a native American woman, in a badly tattered nightgown and bare feet. Just standing there. He yells at her, asking if she needs help. she just screamed at him, the same scream as the cat from before, and climbs right up the tree, faster than any human has a right to be climbing.

Obviously, he nopes out of there as fast as he can. Unsure of who or what he just saw, he asks a local guy about the cabin. After asking around a little, a local Native American hears them talking and informs them that they saw a pumawha(Excuse the likely butchered spelling.) In effect, a skin changer, a warg.

Now, I would not believe most people that tried to tell me that. But this was a serious man that did not fuck around about many things. He was dead serious the 2 times I’ve heard him tell it, and I 100% believe he saw what he saw.

– Anonymous


Not a pro but more than a thousand days in the back country over the past decade. I have always been drawn to the wild. It seems like home and I generally know my neighbors out there. Not afraid to be in the deep woods, in the dark. Love my woods.

One sunny, weekday afternoon I had dirt biked up an old mining road. It gained a couple thousand feet from the the valley floor towards one of the ridges of the Cascades. When the road gave out near the bottom of a high basin I put on my backpack and started off cross country toward the ridge. It was still heavily forested, old growth and old cut fading in another thousand feet into those scraggly, wind blown ones near the top. About twenty minutes in and about a half mile up from me, near the tree line, I heard this thumping sound. It was very odd so I stopped to listen carefully. It sounded like a big, solid branch was being whacked against a solid tree. I use the term solid because the hits were powerful. One or both of the pieces of wood were hard and dry. The wood resonated and rang on impact as dry wood will. I couldn’t get over the power though. It sounded like someone was swinging a four inch post. Weird right? Well it gets better, this someone sounded like they were trying to communicate, the thumping had a very complex and well defined pattern. And here’s the weirdest part. The thumping “signal” occasionally became very rapid like what a drummer could do if they were noodling around with a stick but I swear it sounded like a four inch post was being treated a lightly as a drumstick.
I listened for maybe five minutes, just fascinated with this sound, this code, and the power of it. Then the drumming suddenly stopped. And I, kind of woke up to the the fear of this unknown thing out there. I had my pistol, I had my bear spray, and my knife. I really only fear cougars and even then I figure they’ll have a bad day trying to take me down. Still, the silence as I stared into the forest ahead seemed loaded and I turn on my heels and left that valley. That place and that experience gave me the chills and that high valley won’t see my shadow again.

I have read stories about some of the native peoples around here having valleys that they just wouldn’t go into. I can now easily understand how these legends get started.



Summer camp counselor here. I work every summer for a camp for 5 weeks. One time we were backpacking to the tallest peak in my state. At night me and a coworker/friend went on a night hike to get away from the kids. We laid down on a slope in patch of grass to star gaze about a quarter mile from everyone else. As we were laying I heard the beautiful sound of water behind me and I mean beautiful. I’ve never heard water running before and thought to myself “wow this sounds beautiful”. All I could imagine was crisp, clear water gracefully trickling by. I had this image stuck in my head. I had this sudden urge to go find it. Not just an urge but a NEED to find the creek.

Now behind us was dense forest and brush so it would have been hard to find it at night, but it sounded somewhat close to us. Me and my friend looked at each other without saying a word I knew he was having the exact same thought as me. I said to myself “let’s wait for 5 minutes then we’ll decide if we should check it out or not” It felt like a playful presence was trying to persuade us to go over there. Then I decided we should go check it out and we stood up without saying anything to each other. It just sort of happened.

As we were approaching the sound, it became quieter and quieter. We stopped not knowing if we wanted to continue. As we stood there, the noise of trickling water became louder and louder until it sounded like standing next to a river. I then said “let’s come back tomorrow to find it” and we agreed to come back later.

When I made that decision the sound of the creek vanished along with the urge to go. There was only silence. The presence I felt earlier suddenly became sinister. It was just this dark feeling of a presence, kind of similar to knowing when someone is watching you. I felt this fear slowly creeping up from my belly.

We walked back to camp quickly without speaking. Once we got back we started talking about what just happened. My friend had the exact same urge to find the creek and same internal battle in fighting the urge to go look for it. When we got back it was like a trance had been lifted and only then did we realize that what happened was not normal. We both could think clearer, like a fog had been lifted. That urge I felt did not feel like my own minds urge. It’s hard to explain. Like a urge placed there because once the sound of the water stopped the urge stopped.

The next morning we went back to the spot and went to the place where we heard the creek. We looked and looked but we couldn’t find any sort of creek or water. We later looked at some maps of where we were and there are no creeks or water nearby. I’m scared to imagine what would have happened if we followed the sound of the water because of the ominous presence we both felt. If I was by myself I would have thought I was imaging it, but my friend thought, felt, and experienced everything I did. I don’t know what it was but it was eerie to say the least. What’s strange is neither of us said anything to each other once we heard the sound of water, and yet we both made the decision to go look for it without asking each other and both heard the sound of water becoming louder and quieter even though there was nothing there. We both felt the sinister presence trying to lure us in. I’m thankful we decided to go back later became all of it felt off…



Park ranger here. Another ranger and I were out on a search and rescue call once. The missing person was a man in his 20s. He had gone hiking and had not returned the day that he intended to. When we got the call, it was nighttime, but we hiked in a few miles and set up camp on a ridge that had a pretty good view. He had gone into the woods prepared, so we decided to wait until daylight before beginning the search.

About 2 AM, I get up and am taking a piss when I see a moving light at the base of the cliffs across the valley and a few miles away. Looks like a flashlight beam. I tell the other ranger and we make the decision to keep waiting for daylight.

The next morning, we decide to go check out the area and bring this guy home. He get to approximately where I saw the light the night before and start calling his name. Soon, we find his body at the base of the cliff. He had fallen 60 feet on his head. The body was badly mangled. We radio back that it has now become a “recovery” instead of a “rescue.”

At this point, the other ranger yells to me to come look at this. Lying 20 feet from the man’s body was his maglite. It seemed odd, but I thought nothing of it until the other ranger reminded me of the light the night before. It kind of gave me the creeps, but I still dismissed it.

Before too long, the coroner arrived and inspected the body. After he took the body back to the lab, he said that the man had been dead for at least 48 hours before we found the body. All of the sudden the “oh, shit” alarm went off in my brain. I knew that it couldn’t be possible. I had the coroner review his work. Same result. I tried to find an explanation for the light I had seen–perhaps other hikers. But one Search and Rescue guy had stayed at the only trailhead in the area all night. No one had come or gone.

To this day, I have no clue what I saw that night. It freaked me out though.



When we were little my father who was in army for 18 years, used to tell us true stories about him and his fellow army members. One of them was happened in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). One time my father and his friend were in a camp on duty in the middle of nowhere when they hear a woman’s voice outside of there camp. My father and his friend were scared and curious because the nearest town was at least 50 miles away. Anyway, they went outside and asked the lady if everything was alright. She said she is lost and need something to eat and drink. My father invited her inside and gave her food and water.

After she finished the food, she asked my father if he is local. My father told her that he is from west Pakistan and he is here for training only. She asked my father if he would like some local home made sweets. My father said yes and she left. Couple of days went by and my father forgot about the incident. After a few days when my father and his friend were sleeping in the tent they heard same woman’s voice again. This time in different clothes and had new perfume. Her hairs were wet and looked like she just took a shower and got ready. It never looked like she had walked 50 miles to get there. My father invited her again inside and gave her some water. This time she refused the water and gave my father a tray with a piece of cloth on it. When my father took the cloth from it there were some home made sweets as she had promised. The sweets were still warm and felt like someone had just made them. After a while she left and promised to come back soon. According to my father, she started coming there every day and everyday with same sweets.

One day she asked my father and his friend if the were married. My father lied to her and told her that he is happily married but my father’s friend to her that he is not. She asked him he would like to marry her. My father’s friend told her no. After which she got angry and told them that they were just wasting her time and they will regret. After that she never came back. After a few days my father and his friend finished their training and left the camp. When they reached the nearest town they asked the locals about the woman. Locals told them that no one with that name and description live in that town. The nearest town after that was at least a few hundred miles away. After that my father left the area and came back to his home in west Pakistan. To this day my father wonder about that woman and wants to know that who she was and what was where she was coming from.



Was winter camping in northern Wisconsin with a few buddies when at around 11 pm a guy appears in the firelight out of nowhere, no flashlight/headlamp.

Now this place is not a campground, not a national forest or any land designated for camping – just wilderness. The nearest town is approximately 12 miles away and the roads aren’t plowed so they’re nearly impassable this time of year unless you have the right equipment.

The guy sits down, has a couple beers, is friendly and leaves after about 45 minutes and disappears back into the forest. We have been camping and exploring this area for around a decade and from the direction he came there is only forest that empties into vast swamps. I don’t know how or where he was going or surviving that night because it was midnight and we never heard/saw a truck leave on the only road in and out of this area.

There are no cabins back here, no camps, nothing. It was February in northern Wisconsin and the low that night was around 5 degrees Fahrenheit.



Not a professional or anything, but while my brothers and I were camping at this primitive campsite in west Texas, it was about 12:30 at night and we start hearing this very faint, opera music in the forest around us. After heating up Spaghettios on our fire (which the park ranger specifically told us not to make) we nope’d the fuck outta there and hiked like 6 miles by moonlight back to our truck and drove home. It was like it was following us, because we heard it all the way to about a mile away from the parking lot. The reason it was creepy was because when we got to our campsite (after getting lost and escorted by the same park ranger from earlier in the story) he told us we were lucky to be the only people for miles around because of how peaceful it was. He said there was no one else there :( Thought Catalog Logo Mark


Jacob has written things @ Thought Catalog. Maybe Like him👍 and Follow him🙋?

Keep up with Jacob on Instagram, Twitter and JacobGeers.com

More From Thought Catalog