1. The torture chamber in the Rocky Mountains.
“My boyfriend at the time and I were hiking up in the Rockies. We came across what looked like a small silo. The door on it had a padlock but was unlocked. Like it had been busted off. We were curious what it was inside of it because it was weird we came upon anything at all. We weren’t on a trail and were wayyyy up there. My boyfriend at the time opened it up and inside was what looked like a torture chamber. Like full on chair with restraints and chains coming from the ceiling. There was a trap door on the floor and no way were we opening it. We hiked right back to our car and left. Still feel creepy about it…”
2. When the forest goes silent, pack up and move along.
“I worked for a few months as a park ranger with the Florida Forest Service at my local state forest. The ‘creepiest’ thing I saw was a poor young man who hung himself on my second week on the job.
The unexplainable, though, are obviously not as cut and dry. We’d have children’s clothes neatly folded and left on the trails, pairs of shoes in the middle of our dense burn blocks, and just a general sense of eeriness. My first few weeks on the job I was easily spooked but after I got into my groove of spending hours alone in the woods, it took a lot to shake me. When the forest goes silent, pack up and move along.”
3. The scariest and most dangerous thing to encounter out in the wilderness is a person.
“I work at a summer camp taking kids on canoe trips for a few days at national parks. One night after setting up campsite and quenching the fire I was doing last check of the campsite. I looked at the lake and saw this lone man paddling a canoe. I thought it was pretty strange but it’s not out of the ordinary, the only weird thing being that he was alone. He waved so being the polite Canadian I am I waved back. Went to bed in the staff tent and everything was normal. I had a bit of trouble sleeping that night so I decided to go star gazing as that usually calms me down. I exit the tent and see this man on our campsite, looking through our tarps and bags. For what I don’t know, maybe drugs or food but that’s not important. This stranger is by the campers I am responsible for. We make eye contact and this guy stands up. He is tall as all hell and I am quite short so I quickly grab the first thing I can think of. A can of bear mace. This stuff is meant to like kill a charging bear so I hold it ready to spray and tell him to gtfo of my campsite. We don’t really speak just like Oh…I…didn’t…see…you…guys. when he is leaving I immediately wake up the other staff and we make sure he leaves. We use our SAT phone to call park rangers with our position, the guy’s characteristics and tell them the story.
Without a doubt the scariest moment I had on the job. I’ve learned not to fear animals, as for the most part they are predictable dumb and not malicious… But people on the other hand. The scariest and most dangerous thing to encounter out in the wilderness is a person.”
4. Someone was throwing bowling-ball-sized rocks at us from the underbrush.
“A friend and I were out fishing on the river in a little John boat. We’re sitting there relaxing and the sun is starting to go down, the crickets are starting to chirp. All of a sudden we hear a loud splash behind us and toward the opposite bank. We see the end of the splash and watch for a few more seconds. Then we see it. This rock comes hurling down the river bank and into the water, near us. Not tumbling, being thrown. And these aren’t little stones either. They’re probably about the size of a bowling ball. We could hear movement in the underbrush but couldn’t see anything as there wasn’t a lot of light. We kind of laughed it off but whoever it was threw five or six more rocks over the course of a few minutes. We finally decided to call it a day when one of them got a little too close.”
5. All I could see were two eyes about 3.5-4 ft in the air.
“I was the lone recreation ranger in a small district in southern Idaho. Nearest town from guard station was about an 1.5 hours away by car.
After moving in to the guard station…solar power was not working, and I hadn’t slept for about a month due to various factors (bats in the cabin, something walking on the deck at night. The woods there always had an eerie feeling to them.,.unlike the southwest Ponderosa forest that I was used to.
About two months into the seasonal job, I started to hear something walking and scratching on the deck at night…perhaps even on the door. Now this district was known for its badgers and beavers…so I didn’t think much of it. When leaving the cabin at night, I always had an eerie feeling like I was being watched.
One night, I was returning from my grocery run (always went on Tuesday nights), and I had a bad feeling. At the time, I did not have my shotgun in the vehicle.
After stepping out of the vehicle, I looked to the right of the cabin, about 50 feet from my front door. All I could see were two eyes about 3.5-4 ft in the air. To say I freaked out was an understatement.
I started yelling ‘Get the fuck out of here’ but the eyes only crouched down and inched closer. At this point I could tell it was a large animal of some kind, definitely not a coyote.
I tossed a piece of firewood in the general area and the creature leaped back a bit but did not make a sound. Tossed four or five more pieces and creature still inched forward. At this point I fumbled with the keys, of course the fucking solar power was out again. I managed to get inside and grabbed my shotgun (technically, you are not supposed to have guns in gov housing, but who the fuck lives in the ‘hills have eyes’ back-country and does not carry?).
Went outside, creature was bit closer. Still could not get a good look with my shitty headlamp. Loaded shotgun and continued to throw pieces of wood with one hand. Finally the creature walked back into the brush.
That night, I drank about four IPA’s and slept with my shotgun. In the morning, trail crew came up and we found mountain lion tracks all over the porch, rocking bench, and compound leading back to the creek.
After that event, I always heard the rocking chair move and someone or something walking on the porch, but never found any tracks after that point. Considering that it was always muddy up there it was weird to not find any tracks. I’ve been stalked by mountain lions before and never had that eerie feeling like I did in those woods.”
6. They heard at least 20 people scream ‘get out!’
“My dad said once he was out in the forest with one other ranger, the had to camp overnight halfway to their destination. Well that night they heard footsteps and a lot of them outside their tent. Then they heard at least 20 people scream ‘get out!’ Needless to say they got the fuck out and radioed it in. The next morning the cops went out and searched and found 4 skinned animals pinned to the treats around their camp site.”
7. There are pictures of us, all in creepy night vision mode, with some looking like they were taken from the window of the camper, and the last one is of my friend running directly towards the camera.
“So we’re at this camper near the Dover Lights in Arkansas. It’s not the fanciest campsite but we manage to find this guy that spend a lot of time out there (as much as legally allowed) while also working (and apparently making a lot of cash) so he just vacations in the woods half the year. The guy offers to let my friend watch the place while he goes to visit his son. My friend automatically invites me and some other people to come hang out and we spend a few days there drinking, smoking, fishing, and fucking around.
All in all, pretty OK, until my female friend gets super drunk and barges outside in the middle of the night buck naked to eat beans by the handful out of a cold pot. As someone who admires cleanliness I follow her out and try to make sure she doesn’t hurt herself while everyone else just laughs.
So there she is covered in beans and I’m trying to convince her to settle down and clean herself off with a towel when suddenly her head shoots up like a deer in headlights. She just glares at the trees around us (we’re alone and it’s pitch-black) before literally growling and then sprinting into the woods.
I have no fucking idea what to do. I’ve completely lost sight of her and she’s naked in the woods by herself. A few failed attempts to call out to her and I do the stupidest thing I could have done by following her. About five meters into complete darkness I look down and see a faint light from someone’s phone. Picking it up I see it’s in camera mode and there are pictures of us, very recent pictures, all in creepy night vision mode, with some looking like they were taken from the window of the camper, and the last one is of my friend running directly towards the camera. Realizing what happened I delete the pictures and drop the phone on a rock, crushing the screen with my foot.
Still unable to find her and freaking out I double back to the camper for help, only to find her still very drunk in a lawn chair naked. Carrying her back inside I let her BF towel her off and they both pass out spooning on the bottom bunk.
I never told them what really happened and she didn’t remember in the morning. But I did lock the door and wake up every hour just to keep an eye on things.”
8. There was a man with a long rifle who’d hike up to the property, set up in the bushes, and watch us.
“Not a ranger, but I lived on the outskirts of a national park in a cabin. It was a four-mile drive from the main road just to get to the property, and we had no plumbing or power—this property was right next to where the parks started, to call it the middle of nowhere is an understatement. My roommate at the time was interning with the park service, but he is a…city kid.
Every evening at the dead of night I had been hearing noises in the woods, what I thought was someone walking… but then they’d just stop in particularly overgrown areas of the jungle, so your mind starts to doubt itself.
Is it a pig? A cat? Is it just the wind?
The cabin didn’t have a locking door, and the owners didn’t want me to install one, so I began sleeping in my car. Now, this is a huge property, and I’d park my car over an acre away from the cabin and where I was hearing something.
I started hearing those footsteps again.
I moved out, my roommate (who thought I was bonkers,) stayed and still slept there without a locking door.
He got robbed, not once, but twice after I moved out! So he finally put up motion triggered cameras…
There was a man with a long rifle who’d hike up to the property, set up in the bushes, and watch us.”
9. One lone desk in the middle of the woods attached to an electrical socket.
“My cousin is with the forest service in the Montana/Wyoming area and I decided to go up there with her to literally test the waters. She does hydrology and has to ride out to the middle of nowhere to test streams and snow runoff to ensure no contaminants, so I thought that sounded fun and wanted to do a bit of a tour with her. We were going to have to camp out there for 2 nights, so we packed up all our gear in saddlebags or saddle-bundles and started out.
The first day and night was amazing. Beautiful scenery and amazing air quality. It really is so peaceful out there. I love that area and wish I got to go up there more often.
Anyway, we started out on the second day and my cousin said, ‘You want to see something weird?’ Of course I said yes, so she led me on a bit of a side journey into this tiny little ravine. We ended up traveling about 2 hours away from our actual path we had laid out.
At the very end of this fold in the land, she dismounts and tells me to get off my horse, too. We tie them up in this gorgeous little clearing and she tells me to follow this tiny wildlife path and bring our little rechargeable radio. It is one of those you can plug in or wind up, and it also acts as a lantern if you really need it to, but that kills the batteries quickly.
I do and, out in the middle of fucking nowhere, there is a huge coil of wire sticking out of the ground. The wire itself was not weirdly large, like some buried transmission wire, but small, like 10 or 12 gauge wiring for a house. It trailed off into the brush and trees, so naturally I decided to follow the damn thing out of curiosity.
My cousin trails behind me as I do, and this wire, after coming straight up from the ground, is strung across limbs of trees then back to the ground, then it snakes around rocks and finally dead-ends into an outlet. That outlet is mounted on the side of a desk. It looks like a schoolteacher’s desk from when I was growing up, with a metal base and a pseudo wood/plastic top thing. No chair, no building, no nothing, just this outlet and this desk.
I am staring confused as all hell at this desk in the middle of a forest when my cousin takes the radio, pulls out the cord, and plugs it into the outlet. That fucker then lit up and started blaring static.
The wire was being fed from somewhere. Now, the place where we were had no road access, no buildings for many miles, and no other people around. And yet, there was a live outlet.
Weird as shit.
No spooky jump-scares or bodies, just one, lone powered desk in the middle of the woods. I wish I had taken a picture of it.”
10. To this day we are both convinced he was a ghost.
“Was hiking in Andorra with a friend. Long story short, we got lost off the trail and ended up in Spain. Found another trail and we’re following it, without a map.
A while ahead of us we see a man with two golden retrievers walking in the same direction we are. He looks young and is carrying climbing gear over his shoulder. We’re rushing down the trail to catch up with him and finally do. We ask him for help with directions, and he tells us exactly where we are and where we need to be—about 12km away there’s a town with a hotel. He says there’s another, smaller, town about 6km away and that he parked his car there. He says he can give us a lift for the last 6km if we like, but says that he’s in a hurry. We are over the moon and so we hike together for a while.
The dogs are nice and friendly, running circles around us. We are chatting away to the guy and he is really nice, but my friend and I are getting tired and so we cannot keep pace with him for long. The trail bends away to the right and the man (now a bit ahead of us) disappears behind the bend. We get there a couple of minutes later, and the trail is empty—no man, and no dogs, even though the trail is a straight run for quite a while and we should’ve been able to see them. The two of us continue on, alarmed, waiting to hear/see something, or perhaps be murdered by a stranger. Nothing. We get to the town eventually, and from there made it to the safety of the hotel in the next town over.
We were completely freaked out by his sudden disappearance and to this day we are both convinced he was a ghost.”
11. The mystery harmonica player.
“I’ve only ever lived one place in my whole life. I lived with my family up on a mountain in rural Alabama. Like, really rural. Around our house you could walk two or three miles in any direction and not find any sign of civilization except for the road leading up to our house. Just trees, leaves, and pine straw. So just a ~3 mile radius of private woodland. Anyway one night when I was probably about 15 or 16, I had a lady friend at my house who I desperately wanted to impress. So I decided it would be cool to go walk out to my favorite spot in the woods. In hindsight I know I shouldn’t have done it but the spot was my ace in the hole aight it was super romantic. Fireflies and the sound of a small stream the whole shebang. She seemed tentative at first because she was smart but ultimately caved to the thought of adventure. So we start walking down the path I had cut out. I’ve got my lantern because I couldn’t find the flashlight so I couldn’t really see too far out in front of me but it was enough to see the path. So it’s about a ten or fifteen-minute walk and about halfway through there was this kinda distant weird buzzing sound. It was hardly loud enough to interrupt our talking but it was definitely there whenever there was a break in talking. At first I really didn’t think much of it. The woods can be a really loud place at night with all the bugs and it was getting to be spring. So I pretty much ignored it. Then after a bit of walking it was definitely getting to be more and more pronounced. Eventually my friend asked me if I heard it too and after I confirmed it she was adamant about turning around and just going back. I agreed just to make her comfortable but as we were going back the noise just kept getting louder, and eventually as we were almost back it was clear what the noise was. The sound of someone playing a harmonica had been gaining on us in the dark the whole way. By the end of it we were running pretty much full speed out of the woods across the yard and straight into the house. We went up to one of the windows facing the yard hit the light and cracked the windowsill to listen. It was still out there, playin’ its harmonica. And we listened to it pass the house and fade into the pines. By far the most surreal, horrifying experience of my life. Probably my most cherished memory too because that girl ended being the one that got away.”