Camping can be a pretty magical experience: It's the opportunity to get back to nature, breathe in all that fresh air, and roast some marshmallows around the fire. It's great fun if you can get over the fact that you're out in the middle of nowhere, completely unprotected with only a thin, vinyl tent flap protecting you from wild animals and whatever else is hiding in the night.
It can get pretty creepy out there, so some people decided to make themselves feel better by taking to Reddit and sharing the absolute creepiest things that ever happened to them while camping. Now it's your problem.
1. Honestly, this story from StarshipEnterprise is 10 times scarier than it needed to be.
Crossed paths with wolves, a pack of 10. They got off the trail after staring at us for about 40 seconds. I looked over my shoulder the rest of the trip, not like it would really do anything.
2. Just a ghostly figure needing to borrow a cup of camping sugar, prenatal_queefdrip, it's fine.
I was camping with a buddy in separate tents and had my dog in my tent. Middle of the night he starts up with a very gutteral growl Ive never heard from him before or since. Shine my light at my buddies tent and see what looks like him standing outside the front of his tent. Don't think anything of it and go back to sleep. I brought it up to him the next morning and he said he never got up that night. I made him show me all the clothes he brought with him and he didnt have any that matched what that person was wearing. We were very far removed from any kind of civilization and hadn't seen another person for many miles.
3. This guy thought they were safe, but they were just pulling the wool over their eyes, as it were.
2am, heard a scratching sound. Instantly wide awake.
Scratching gets louder. Too dark to see anything.
Side of tent starts bulging inwards. Now a loud scraping sound. Side of tent almost touching the floor, pointy object pushing into the tent.
Leaped up, freaking out, unzipped tent door, expecting serial killer.
Fucking sheep had fallen asleep on the tent.
4. What happened to Drac123 in the woods is equally creepy in the city.
Might seem a little mild, but my friend and I were maybe eleven or twelve . So we're In the woods being dumb boys, when we start to pee. By this time it was getting dark, and I feel like somebody's watching us, so I looked to my right and saw some dude staring at us. I told my friend but he didn't believe me, so when I pointed at him he tried hiding more. So, we took the F off.
5. This story from KateMadeAce has everything a story needs, if what you need in a story is poop and a dead body.
The first and last time my significant other convinced me to try camping only lasted a few hours. We set up the tent, I got wrapped up in reading and he went for a hike. He has some ongoing digestive issues and a couple of miles away felt natures call. He walked off the trail into the trees to take care of business.
He came thrashing back into the campsite red faced and in a little bit of shock. The first words out of his mouth were "is there DNA in poop? I just pooped on a crime scene."
To clarify, he pooped on a shallow grave. Or near a shallow grave. Stand By Me was a decent movie, but I wasn't tromping back to see for myself. This was just before everyone took phones everywhere, so we drove back to the nearest town to call authorities. The police asked us to clear out and I packed up while he went to show the detectives where.
6. At first, English user PM_ME_YOUR_ZITS_G1RL probably thought they were meeting Paddington.
Woke up to find a bear literally standing over me. I'm English, I'd never seen a bear before. I was 'cowboy' camping in just a sleeping bag in lake Tahoe. I froze, then closed my eyes and feigned sleep, and it wandered off.
7. You know what's worse than encountering an angry bear in the woods? Encountering a distressed ghost in the woods, like Stooby2 did.
I used to run a Cub Scout Pack years ago and one weekend we were camping at a Scout Association camp site. At about 2am on the Saturday morning I was woken by one of the boys screaming. It was really loud, really terrified screaming.
I crashed out of my tent and as I ran to where the boys' tent were - a row of dome tents with four boys in each - the screaming stopped. I was looking for a tiger or something dragging a cub scout out and devouring him (not that we get tigers in South East London), the screaming had been that terrible.
But there was just silence. No other kids had woken up, but I'd been joined by the other two leaders, equally worried and mystified. I couldn't believe that the other boys hadn't woken up or that there wasn't anyone crying. Just silence.
We still had the same number of boys in the morning. It didn't happen again and we never did find out who it was or what was up.
8. It so nice of the tornado to be quiet so as not to wake goaway432 and their friends.
I was tent camping with some friends in a relatively remote location. We all went to sleep around 11pm. Woke up the next morning and all the trees behind our tents (starting around 100 feet away) were torn down. Checked the weather later and a freak tornado was reported to have popped up overnight. We just got lucky it bounced when it did or it would have taken us with it.
9. User twomangocats experienced that rare time in life when it's not awesome to meet a dog.
My family owns acreage in the middle of nowhere so we've created a "family camp" of sorts. I was sitting around the fire, finishing my beer and the rest of the family was asleep. It was about 1-2am. The only light was from the stars and the fire and the only sound was the crackling of said fire.
Suddenly, I get that feeling that I'm being watched. There's woods surrounding the camp area and they're obviously pitch black.
This unsettling feeling won't leave me so I stand up to go to to the cabin. As I turn, I see a huge dog standing less than a foot from where I was sitting, just staring at me. I never heard him approach, breathing - nothing. He looked like one of those hunting dogs - black with gray spots on the back.
My heart jumped and I about shat myself but he just sniffed the air then returned to the woods. I've never seen him since nor has any of my family members. Scared the shit out of me.
10. But if it had been a frog, nhjuyt would've pulled the trigger.
I was in my sleeping bag trying to sleep and heard the sound of heavy footsteps coming toward me so I turned on my flashlight and saw nothing.
I settled back down and the footsteps started up again and when they were about twenty feet away I turned on the flashlight, and saw nothing.
So I got my revolver out of my pack and waited, they started up again, the crunching sound in the leaves coming straight for me, crunch, crunch, and when it was about five feet away I turned my light on again and found myself facing down with a .38 a tiny little toad that was trying to reach the stream I was camping near. The sound was it hopping through the leaves.
11. 47sams went camping and it was a total boar.
While I was camping on a peninsula in florida, I awoke to the sound of snorting and heavy breathing. It was quiet for a moment, but it started up again. Turns out, there was a few wild boars right outside my tent, sniffing around and making a ton of noise. I don't think I was in any danger, but that shit freaked me out.
12. Franz_Mueller should look into one of those tents that are more resistant to bullets (they're called houses).
Once when I was camping with my family we heard gunshots. We ran back to the tent to find it practically shredded with bullets.
P.S. It was a "no hunting" area.
13. Say cheese, EthanWoodward!
About 18 years ago I was backpacking alone in Desolation Wilderness in Tahoe. When I got back to civilization and had my photos developed, there was a picture of me sleeping.
14. They were probably just looking for an open campsite, SeriesOfAdjectives.
When I was young, my mom's boyfriend, his two kids, my brother and myself were chilling in lawn chairs looking up at the stars in a big clearing (mom was already sleeping in the tent trailer). We had seen a few shooting stars, and were pointing out the constellations. Suddenly, we saw this super bright object basically just 'zoom' into view. It stopped kind of in the middle of our sight, way high...It just stopped, like dead stop. And hung there. We all were looking at it and each other to make sure other people were seeing this. It just stayed there for a few moments, and then it took off briefly backwards relative to its trajectory when it came into our view, instantly changed direction after this movement and took off as quickly as it had arrived over the horizon. We were all so freaked out we went straight to bed.
15. The guys in the truck blaring their high-beams at FatGuy_InALittleCoat in the middle of the night somehow aren't the worst part about this story. (Spoiler alert: The murder is.)
Some buddies and I went camping by the lake one night. About 1:30 AM, we heard some rustling in the bushes and just figured it was a rabbit or something. Went over to check it out, found nothing. About 1:35 AM, a huge pickup truck that was lifted and blaring loud music drove by (on a dirt road) really, really slowly, shining a huge police-grade spotlight on me and my friends. The truck burned out and kept driving.
So my best friend and I decide to drive up the road and see if we spot anything unusual about the truck. We get to the main road, and there are probably seven or eight cop cars, lights flashing, and two or three ambulances. We stop to turn around and (I swear, like I damn horror film) a cop pecks on my window with his flashlight out of nowhere. He asks what we're doing, we told him we were camping and told him about the truck. He says, "Well, you boys might want to camp somewhere else. We had a homicide here and haven't located the suspect." Friend says, "so should we be scared?" like a damn idiot, and the cop says, and I quote, "Well I'm not scared, but there are twenty officers here and we all have guns." I said yes sir, and tore off back down to the camp site.
Best friend called the rest of our buddies and told them to pack up the gear, not to ask questions, and that we had to get out. We literally threw two fully pitched tents in the back of one of our trucks and got the hell out of there. The cops located the killer about thirty minutes later....at our camp site.
16. Always bring earplugs when camping so you don't end up like canadienne_: terrified.
My friends and I used to camp at this abandoned campground. I'm not sure who found it first, or why, but it was free and that's all that mattered.
I arrive late the first night so I have to bunk awkwardly with several people in a tent. We'd just finally figured out how to arrange ourselves so the guys weren't nuts to butts when we heard it.
Opera music. Full orchestral accompaniment and a beautiful, though faint, soprano voice.
No one else had been in the campground when I got there (I was the last to arrive well after sundown), there were no houses around. A river bordered one side and a large river valley farm was on the other. It was eerily silent all night until the opera singing started.
The second year we went there, we expected more singing, which we got, but only on the first night (which was still super creepy but we had been expecting it). But that year we also got a campsite filled with owls. I've never seen this many owls in one place in my life; there had to have been at least a dozen of those orb-eyed bastards hanging out in the bush surrounding our campsite. They didn't seem to be afraid of us since they lingered every single night, observing us as we went about making dinner. Unnerving to say they very least.