31 True Stories Of Deeply Disturbing Camping And Hiking Trips Gone Terrifyingly Wrong

1. The Hanged Man

Hiking the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania for a week in…2006 and my brother and I came across a young man who had hung himself. We sprinted up to the bluff where he was strung up. I wrapped my arms around his waist to take weight off his neck while my brother cut him down with his Leatherman. He had thrown the rope up over a tall branch and lashed it off with a clove hitch at the trunk like you’d hang a bear-bag. Must’ve climbed the branches and dropped once laced in. We probably shouldn’t have even tried, he was dead for sometime before we happened across him. Fortunately no critters had come to tear him apart before we found him, it would’ve only gotten grislier from there. Called 911. Ended our trip pretty damn quick.

I don’t know why we tried, it was very obvious he had been dead for some time. Don’t know how long, he was very cold and smelled pretty bad. Intuition to help someone and adrenaline that clouds your judgement I guess? It was kind of a fucked up day so I don’t really remember my thought process.

2. The Man In The Black Coat

When out exploring an old abandoned quarry with some friends we found this dude stood staring at this rock, occasionally twitching, but he never turned around. We were pretty creeped out so didn’t investigate, and left pretty soon after. Later on that night we found out that another friend was driving down the lane that runs parallel to the quarry found a guy in a black coat stood in the middle of the road, and wouldn’t move. She was pretty freaked out and had to reverse all the way back up the lane in the dark because he was still there. Pretty sure it was the same guy, otherwise it was just a big coincidence.

3. The Altars Of A Serial Killer

Bushwalking in NSW (Australia) me and my friend came across this weird platform looking thing made out of rocks. Later that year the cops arrested some bloke on suspicion of the murders of a series of backpackers who had gone missing over the course of a few years, and at the sites of several of the murders slightly off in the bush were these ‘altars’. Current affairs show runs footage of one (the trial and run up to it were all over the news) and yeah it’s that thing we found. The ‘altars’ were typically no more than 300 yards from the victim’s shallow graves. The guy who was arrested and subsequently convicted for the murders is Ivan Milat, Australia’s worst serial killer.

The cops are pretty sure that at least one other person was involved in the murders than the one now in jail for the crime, they just couldn’t prove it.

4. Abandoned Trailers, Dead Junkies, And Ghost Towns

I’ve spent various stretches of time backpacking and camping throughout the US and seen some strange things.

My brother and I came across an abandoned trailer town, of sorts, that scared the hell out of us.

We also came across a rundown town (really, really small) out in New Mexico that seemed to have one person living in it. We based that on the fact that there was still some food and supplies there that were fairly fresh (perhaps just a few days old). Spent a couple days there trying to find the person, just to find out why they were staying in the town. Never found a person.

We found the skeletal remains of an unknown number of deer (ranging from bucks to fawn) ensnared in a barbed-wire fence that encompassed a 10×10 area in the Ozarks. A few of the skulls topped the fence posts, and there was one post in the middle of this area that had decaying deer bodies (looked to be two, but there were only 6 hooves jutting out of the wreckage) wrapped around it.

We found a dummy hanging from a tree while in the Yukon territory of Canada. Literally out in the middle of the woods. No reason for it, as far as we know.

And we also came across a dead junkie on a road out of Olympia. Obvious OD, as he had his arm tied and a needle in hand. Eyes were glazed over and staring straight ahead, mouth slightly ajar.

5. The Cave And The Candle

Took my young children to a cave not far from the house. Popular spot, but we had the place to ourselves. You can walk through it in about 30 minutes without too much difficulty. It has a tiny exit at the opposite end. It was pretty muddy, so we decided to turn around and head back to the entrance. Halfway back, there was a lit candle sitting about eight feet up one side. It was definitely not there on the first trip. I went into full-on protective-dad-mode knowing there was likely someone hiding in the dark while we walked the rest of the way out.

6. The Circle In The Ground

I was backpacking in New Hampshire and camped out for the night after a day hike. I wondered off from our fire to go take a piss and stumbled upon a circle etched into the ground with tuning forks surrounding the circle standing up straight…It looked like a creepy ritual circle and it bugged me out so I booked it back to the group.

7. Something Bizarre

I was backpacking in Yellow Stone above the tree line at about 10,500 feet. We are hiking on a ridge above a lake when all the sudden we come across a horse skull. No body just the skull, pretty cool looking. We get to our campsite not to far away from the lake near where we found the horse skull. When we get climb down to the lake we find the body of the horse rotting on the edge of the lake with with negative film strips floating in the water and laying around the shore near the body.

8. A Severed Bull’s Head

I wasn’t hiking at the time, but when wandering in the woods one day in high school some of us found a severed bull’s head tied to a tree by the horns. It was about 5 or 6 feet off the ground. It looked like it had been there a few days. I have no idea why someone would do something like this.

9. The Man In The Blue Jacket

Over the years when I have told this story, many people haven’t believed me, but it’s true as the sky is blue. Me and my brother were hiking out in our new backwoods (we had just moved in to a new house) and we stumbled upon a small open grass field. In the center of it, there was a person with a blue jacket crouched over. We thought it was a friend of ours that we had recently met, so I ran out to meet. I did not have my glasses on, but I got pretty close enough to see that it was a grown man leaned over the carcass of a deer, stabbing it with an unsharpened stick. He looked up, and saw me. I was pretty freaked out, so I turned around and yelled at my brother to run, and so we started to sprint as fast as we could back home.

10. A Cage In The Mountains

A cage. Not like a trapping cage or anything but something that could easily hold 5-10 average sized people.

I was hiking in the mountains just above the house i lived in, at the time, in Missoula, Mt. Took maybe 45 minutes of walking, mostly uphill and without a path, to get to the spot. Round steel bars for the edges and rope instead of chain link for the walls and ceiling. It was all set up just on the far side of the ridgeline I was walking, so it couldnt be seen I suppose.

Nothing around it, no foot prints or tire tracks or anything. The rope looked undamaged as well. No idea what it was for but it definitely creeped me the fuck out.

11. A Homeless Man’s Diary

I once found the diary of a homeless person. In it he wrote over and over again about how his 3rd grade teacher was the only person to matter to him. The guy’s bad writing made it even weirder. I found the homeless person’s things in a secluded den in a park which look like he has been there for a while. He left his bag there and several empty cans. I left the journal there as it would have been wrong to take something not mine. But there was no way I wanted to meet this person based off of the writing.

12. “We Had Seen These People Climbing Not Two Hours Before”

Last year I was with a buddy of mine and we were going to do the Heart Creek scramble in Alberta, but due to some health conditions he has it was going too strenuous to complete and we figured we’d make it an easy day and just do the simple trail. Now we’re both climbers and have been to Heart Creek for rock climbing in the past and had a great time so it wasn’t a surprise to see the sporadic climbers on the mountainside as we went. Heart Creek is also pretty popular and easy for people who just want to go for a nice nature walk and maybe have picnic.

Anyway, so we walked in, enjoying the day watching climbers on our way by. We saw a couple even doing some multi-pitch climbing which means basically leap-frogging up the route. We settled in for lunch about a half hour later and left a couple hours after that. On our way back I remember seeing a climbing shoe in the creek and thinking “Oh! Someone must have lost this!” I picked it up when my buddy got my attention and I looked further downstream. Both climbers, a young man (29, or so, I learned later) and his partner were both lying the creek bed, rope and harnesses still attached, dead.

It was very surreal, we had seen these people climbing not two hours before, making their calls, having a good time. The first reaction I had was that I remembered that there was a family right behind us, a husband and wife with a young daughter who were playing in the creek on the way down. We ran back and stopped them and explained as quietly as we could what was ahead and before we knew it, looky-loo’s had come by. It turned out that the husband was an off duty RCMP officer and so he took control of the situation. I learned later we weren’t the first on scene and that the authorities had been called.

It was a very quiet ride back into town that day though.

13.Someone Watching The Campsite In The Dead Of Night

I work in the outdoor field and lead trips regularly. I once led a trip to the top of Mt. Stringer in NC. It’s a tough climb to get to the top and about 6 miles from the nearest road. I was leading a group of 8 middle school kids and had one co-instructor. We were camping out on top of the mountain and it was a beautiful night with a full moon. The kids and the other co-instructor went to bed in their tents. I chose to spend the night in a hammock that night. I was really into a book I was reading so I stayed up and read until about 10:30 pm. I turned my headlamp off to settle in for the night. Everything around me was rather bright from the moon and from the position I was in, I could see down the trail we had hiked to get to the top. I laid there enjoying the scenery and noticed something moving on the trail. Bears are common in the area so I perked up. 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 or any gear. I was just frozen watching this person move closer to our camp. They arrived at the top of the mountain where we were and just stopped. I watched as what appeared to be a man surveyed our camp. I really could only see the outline of him. He stood there for what seemed like thirty minutes but may have been 10. He then turned, sat down under a tree facing our camp. He was sitting up in a way that I knew he wasn’t trying to sleep. He just sat there staring at our camp. I had no idea what to do. I decided to wait it out. I waited, just staring 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. I, to this day have no idea what that was all about but it freaked me out. I was paranoid that we were being followed for the rest of the trip.

14. A Tragic Climbing Accident

My friends and I found a 22 year old girl, face down in the mud, both legs broken with compound fractures. She had no cell phone, no water, no food, and nothing to keep her warm. her friend was dead.

A little backstory – my 2 friends and I were hiking in a pretty popular spot in our area. It’s a 150-ft waterfall that takes about 45 mins of uphill hiking to get to.

We decided to go bouldering around the bottom of the waterfall, there are various little pools and boulders where the water runs off from the waterfall. This bouldering trail is not on the main trail, and not many hikers ever veer off of the main trail.

When we found her, obviously we called 911 and gave her any supplies we had. Eventually a helicopter showed up and they flew her to the nearest hospital.

Turns out she was hiking with her friend the NIGHT BEFORE when they both fell off of the waterfall. Her friend must have gone to get help, but unfortunately died less than 100 yards from where we found the girl. So no one knew she was hurt or that she was even there.

It’s a miracle she was still alive and mind blowing to think what she had gone through when we found her 20 hours later.

Before we found the hiker, we were climbing rocks in the area and taking pictures. We didn’t even know the poor girl was in the background of these photos!! look towards to right side of the frame in the background.

15. A Destroyed And Abandoned Campsite

I was once canoeing the boundary waters between Minnesota and Canada. These aren’t your normal backyard ponds. The boundary waters are thousands of enormous lakes interconnected with each other (think mini-great lakes). We had been canoeing and camping along the lakes for about a week at this point. We didn’t really have an itinerary, just planned to boat and camp, fish, and live off the land two weeks. We had a GPS and a sat phone to call a helicopter for pickup whenever we were done.

Anyway, about a week in and we were set to canoe a few hours to the next lake. An hour or so in and we are in the center of a extremely long and narrow lake. Unfortunately, a storm started to blow in and the waves on the lake swelled to 2+ feet. Too much for our dinky canoes. We pull off to a random clearing on the shore and setup camp in rush to avoid being totally thrashed by a rainstorm. We just setup camp and hunker down for the night.

By the next morning it had cleared up. We started walking up the coast of the lake about 200 feet from our camp looking for a good fishing spot. What we actually found was another campsite. However, it was ABSOLUTELY wrecked. Trash strewn everywhere, tent collapsed and torn, clothes on the ground. At first we were just like disgusted like what assholes did this? or left their shit out to be bear food?

The more we looked around though, the weirder things seemed though. For one, their garbage was still hoisted into a tree to keep it safe from bears, but the whole bag was ripped open despite being 30 feet in the air. Second, literally everything except the canoes were still at the campsite. Clothes, packs, food, rope, pans, like a serious set of hiking equipment. Enough for 2 or 3 people. Half of it was trashed and torn open, mostly the packs, tent, and clothes. The other half was totally untouched but thrown on the ground. Like somebody NOPE’d the hell out of there in nothing but their long johns ditching hundreds of dollars of gear in the process. We waited a couple hours and eventually called it back to our helicopter crew– but they hadn’t been aware of anybody else or gotten any distress calls. We eventually just left everything and moved camp. Everybody was pretty upset by it and a day or two later we ended the whole trip early because it seemed like nobody wanted to be out anymore.

It was the weirdest thing I’d ever seen. First thought was bear attack, but there was food left uneaten, and I’ve seen bear attacks on camps before, but nothing like this. Bears rip open packs and go after food, and are generally pretty easy to scare away. What still sticks with me is why all their clothes and packs were still there with half being totally destroyed and half being untouched. I still don’t get it.

I’ve done a lot of other camping and hiking, rafting and biking, all around the country and I’ve never had any other weird experiences like that.

16. Someone Ate My Lunch And Drank My Beer

This happened to me back in the ’80’s, when I was in my 20’s. On occasion I would go car camping with my yellow tiger cat, Oberon. He had an overbite, drooled, had a monster purr, and was awesome in every way. He loved riding in the car. My solo camping was stupid, and I cannot recommend it, but I needed the aloneness and I needed the bravery. I would drive up roads, some BLM, some National Forest, some disused logging roads…I would not go too far, find a spot that appealed to me, pull off the road as far as I could, set up a small camp and stay for a night, or two, just reading, bird watching, painting, being with my cat…just spending time being me. One day I went up a road, and found a pretty meadow, with a small stream curving around through trees, a perfect place. The cat and I walked around a bit, checking it out. At the side of the meadow near the road was a large flat, round rock. A perfect table. I always packed good food, and I liked a bit of elegance. I set out a place mat, cloth napkin, an unopened bottle of dark beer, my sandwich, still wrapped in foil, on my plate, cookies, and a bowl of kibble for Oberon. He had wandered a bit, and I went to get him.

We went into the trees, and wandered around for a bit. It was a very lovely day, warm, sunny, with a light breeze..and the whole area was beautiful. We were not out of sight of my car, and the rock for very long, maybe fifteen minutes. I picked up the cat, and walked back, looking forward to lunch. When we got to the rock it was gone. Eaten. The foil was crumpled into a ball, the beer was empty, with the opener next to the bottle, cookies gone, sandwich gone, napkin folded loosely, and knife laid across the plate.

It was an Oh Shit feeling. I ran for the car, tossed Oberon in, started the car, turned around, headed back down the hill. Then I thought, what if whoever ate my food was hiding in my back seat?? I stopped, heart pounding, checked out the back, all okay, and headed back to town and friends. Who were understandably freaked out by my story. I still camped after that, but it took awhile for my courage to return.

17. Dog Finds The WristBone Of A Murder Victim

I’m pretty sure our dogs found a radius / ulna bone of the kidnapped and murdered girl, Heather Dawn Church while hiking off trail outside Colorado Springs. As a biology major who remembered some from my anatomy class, I thought the bones looked like they came from a small human. My friends convinced me I was being dramatic and I forgot about it. A couple years later her body was found in the exact same area.

18.An AbandonedBed

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.

19.Lost At Night

Per a friend from college, she was in middle school or so when she went on some hiking trip through the woods with a club she was part of. It had started to get dark so the older group leaders decided to lead everybody back. However, it quickly became apparent that they didn’t quite know where they were.

It was getting darker and darker and they still weren’t able to figure out where they were. Eventually, they stumbled across a small cabin. Without many other options, the group leaders decide to ask whoever is in it if the group can stay the night. They approached the door and knocked but there was no answer. They knocked a couple more times and still no response.

They tried the handle and found that the cabin was unlocked. As they entered, they were pretty freaked out by what they saw. Along the wall were several pairs of shoes. Scattered along another wall were a few bed frames. But the most startling thing was that the walls were just covered in chicken scratch writing.

Everybody was freaked out but it was too dark at this point to risk wandering into the woods blindly again. The group hunkered down on the floor. They didn’t really get much sleep that night, but when daylight broke they got the hell out of there.

20. Heavy Footsteps, Upstairs

Not something I experienced, but my sister and her husband did.

My family used to have a cabin on a lake in the Northwoods. It’s a lake with no public access. On the other side is/was an old Girl’s Camp that the state was letting fall apart. The camp had a large, two-story main house that was mostly intact at the time.

My sister and her husband decided to check out the camp one day. They canoe’d over and started to walk around. They went into the Main House first. They walked around for a bit. And then they heard heavy footsteps upstairs. These footsteps turned into someone running heavily towards the stairs.

My sister and her husband booked it out of the house, but they could hear the steps coming down the stairs and on the main level as they ran out. They opted to run around the house instead of heading back to the shore.

They never saw who it was, but they heard them enter back into the house. And then they heard them storm back outside again. They went into the woods this time and heard someone running in the woods after them.

They took the long way around the lake back to the cabin.

My dad and I had to go back later that day to get the canoe. We never heard or saw anything.

21. A Make Out Session Gone Wrong

Me and my ex girlfriend decided to have a date night since we both had the day off of work. So we did the usual dinner and a movie thing, and afterwards we decided we’d go for a midnight drive. So we drive about an hour and a half out of town going nowhere particular. We just knew that we were going to get it on under the stars.

After scoping out a random dirt road, I took my truck down it and parked in an open area off to the side next to forest. The entire area was surrounded by forest. After about 10 minutes of kissing we decide to get down to business. So we get in the backseat and start tearing each others clothes off.

About 5 minutes in, headlights. Headlights heading towards where we were, but not directly at us. So we are both rushing in an attempt to get our clothes back on, thinking for some reason it might be the cops. (Which makes absolutely no sense now.) My pants are nowhere to be found and neither is her shirt. Now, keep in mind, the closest house to the road we were on is probably 30 minutes away. we kept fumbling looking for our clothing, and eventually found it and struggled to get them back on.

Truck keeps getting closer, and closer. But like I said, not directly at us. Until we finally realize it’s not somebody coming to yell at us to get off their property, or the cops. In fact, they can’t even tell we are there because my truck is black and I’m parked almost into the thick forest area. Finally, an old beat up f150 parks his truck about 50 feet from us. Leaves his truck running and gets out. He walks to his truck bed, grabs his shovel, and just starts digging into the ground. He did this for a good 30 to 40 minutes while we just sat there in silence, afraid to move or speak on the off chance he hears us.

He stops digging and lifts something out of the ground. It was a decent sized object but it was too dark to see exactly what it was. Picks it up, places it in his truck bed, goes back for the shovel and places that in the truck bed as well and drives off into the night. Me and my girlfriend decides it would be best to wait another 20 minutes before we even started the truck.

To this day I have no idea what it could have been, but I really hope it was (at WORST) drugs.

22. The Fur Coat

We have a family cabin in the middle of nowhere, on a small lake with two other cabins, surrounded by forested area and flatlands both. About two miles away from the cabin and across the dirt road is a wildlife reserve. As kids we walked through there all the time. Had the opposite of helicopter parents. After about thirty minutes walking straight into these woods there was a collection of abandoned houses, an old settlement.

We went exploring and found that the people who used to live there had just up and left. In each house, still dishes on the tables, clothing in the closets, cars parked in the clearings, all the strappings for horses in the barns. In one house, the floor had caved in and there were about forty pairs of women’s shoes scattered around the hole in the middle. No bones though, animal or human, nothing. We decided to stay away from the second floors of the houses after we saw that, we figured they’d be structurally unsound. A skeletal treehouse in the middle of the clearing.

After we told my parents, my dad wanted to come and look too. In one of the houses we found a bedroom, fully intact. The sheets were still on the beds. The pillow still had the indentation of a head on it. But everything was covered in a thick layer of dirt and the dust on the floors only had our footprints in it. At the foot of the bed was this stunning enormous grey fur coat. There were a few moth holes chewed in it, and it was as dirty as everything else, but when we inspected it, we knew it was real fur, likely wolf or silver fox. It was gorgeous. Dad decided he was going to bring it back and clean it up and see if he could have it remade for my mom (Dad was a thrifty guy, haha).

As we were leaving I got a chill on the back of my neck, and about sixty yards from the house, turned around and saw an old woman glaring at us from the window of the second floor. She had her hair in a loose bun and was wearing a blue shawl on her shoulders over a cream coloured blouse.

I immediately felt super guilty. I grabbed my dad, who was about ten yards ahead of me, and told him we had better put the coat back, because the woman was still living there and we had probably scared her and she looked pissed. We turned back around and I pointed to the window I saw her glaring at us from. No one there. I said she must have gone downstairs, and as we approached the house, still carrying the stupid coat, one of the windows in another house suddenly slammed shut. I fucking ran as fast as I could into the woods. Dad, being dad, stayed behind and started yelling for the lady to come out, he was sorry, etc.

Went upstairs, no one there, dust on the floor undisturbed. Then he smarted up and dropped the coat in a big hurry and we beat it back to the road as fast as we could. About five years later the government demolished the whole thing.

23. What The Park Rangers Are Left To Find

My son is in Cub Scouts and every year we take a trip to a cabin with the rest of his den. One kid’s uncle is a park ranger so last year we went to the park he worked at as it was near the cabin. He’d been a ranger for a good while and had some stories. The story of his first week on the job is the worst.

First week on the job, the new guy, in a fairly large park. Its colder out so not as busy as summer. The park is notified of a possibly missing camper. Family cant contact the guy and he would camp there often enough. Of course they send the new guy to find him. Car is located by the campgrounds but dude is still nowhere in sight. Ranger goes deeper in the forest and comes across a campsite. There’s a smell and the ranger knew what was up but had to check to make sure. Dude set up camp, got in his sleeping bag and blew his head off with a shotgun. Ranger said the worst part was after radioing it in, remember, just his first week on the job, he had to stay at the campsite until other rangers and law enforcement and local medical examiner made their way up there. He said its a very common occurrence. People often think they are sparing their loved ones the horror of discovering them so instead they go out to to be middle of nowhere and do it, never mind the poor park ranger thats gotta find you.

24. Campsite 37

My girlfriend and a friend of ours went camping once up in Golden Ears Park. Once we arrived we noticed along with one other camper we were the only campers there for the weekend. As we walked throughout the park to take in our surroundings we noticed a campsite fully stocked with tent, coolers, camping chairs…it was like a photo from a magazine.

We figured they left to grab supplies and thought nothing of it but after a couple of days and no activity of the campsite my girlfriend and her friend went to further investigate. What they came across next was something super strange. Coolers were full of rotten food and rusty knives…the tent looked pristine until you got close enough to smell it. The linger of urine, cat food and mold overtook all of your senses. They shook the tent to make sure no one was inside when no one answered they entered. Empty cat food tins scattered the moldy blankets, while large amounts of brand name clothing and shoes stuffed into several duffle bags lined the tent. Makeup…broken mirrors…wine bottles…batteries and cigarettes cascaded like water over the moldy blankets. A cellphone which with a closer look was all in Japanese along with several iPods.

But the strangest thing was a journal written by a girl who was from out of town talking about the guy she was with and how sex with him for the first time was amazing and how she wishes he never would leave even though she has so many men after her. She talked about them fighting and getting evicted and how they needed this trip to figure things out. The last page was of them having a fight and how he was done and she would get what she deserved followed by a page full of random guys names and numbers.

The date of the journal entry was 1 day before we arrived and their campers receipt hanging outside their camp spot was paid for in full for the next week. The campsite was strange and full of what looked like two people’s entire lives stuffed into an expensive tent littered with crack pipes and rusty tools. I will say though, their thermal blanket, axes and lanterns came in handy for those last couple of rainy night’s. Still not sure what went down in campsite 37 but even when we left 6 days later the campsite still remained..untouched.

25. A Very Disturbed Young Man

I have a bunch of woods behind my house, and when I was younger my friend and I would go camping in them. We were like 14 years old.

We went farther than we usually did one day and ended up coming out on a neighbor’s property, so we just went back a little ways and started getting our shit set up. Friend leaves to go use the bathroom, and I hear him screaming and running back toward me. He’s not making much sense, was just sort of blubbering about Barbie’s and cat heads so I sort of force him to show me.

We come out in a clearing next to the creek, and there’s hundreds of Barbie dolls strung up in the tree’s about eight feet off the ground, with dead fucking cat heads on them. As in, Barbie’s head had been yanked off and replaced with them. Not cat skulls either.

I want to say the dolls bodies were dipped in red paint (I know it wasn’t blood because blood doesn’t “stick” and stay that thick) but I don’t know for sure what it really was.

I started backing up toward our stuff, and my friend starts screaming again. He’s off to my side, and had just discovered the huge pile of cat remains, with a bunch of Barbie doll heads thrown in with them. We both threw up.
We packed our shit up and went back home.

But it doesn’t end there!

That neighbor who’s field we stumbled into? They were friends with my mom, and started telling her about a bunch of their barn cats going missing, but they hadn’t thought anything of it since we have a lot of coyotes. (Still at that point hadn’t told my mom about our discovery in the woods because I figured she’d never let me leave the yard.)

Then two of their goats went missing, and coyote’s wouldn’t have opened the gate and shut it back after slaughtering their goats, and there’d be some kind of leftovers. Neighbor’s husband heard someone fucking around in their yard one night, and saw some guy roaming around in their cow pasture. They sort of connected the pieces, realized someone was stealing their animals, so the husband went into 24/7 armed security mode.

Week or so later, he sees the same guy go into his barn. Calls the cops. Turns out it’s some 16 year old kid that lived on the other side of his property that had just moved in. Kid admits to stealing his cats, goats, and trying to take a cow, right? K, fair enough, return them, then.

Kid lives in a mobile home. No where to keep all these animals he’s been stealing. Kids dad ends up telling the cops that he knew his son was taking them and basically slaughtering them in the woods and doing weird shit with the bodies. The Barbie dolls? He stole them from his little sister.

It wasn’t until a year or so after that my mom actually told me what had happened, which is when I gave in and told her about my friend and I basically stumbling into his fucked up shit. AFAIK, they got the kid for animal cruelty and a whole bunch of other shit, and his family moved away not too long after it so I really don’t know what happened with him.

26. “I Made A Fire And Stayed Up All Night Smoking Cigarettes”

So we weren’t exactly in the middle of nowhere. My family and I were camping at a campground on a lake here in the Ozarks a couple years ago. My sister, her friend, my cousin, and I are all in a tent together. I’m trying to get some sleep but it’s very humid and difficult to get comfortable. Around 3AM, I am looking straight up and notice a long flash of light outside of the tent. I look, and it blinks again about 3 seconds later, but not in the same place. It’s very close to the tent, less than 3 feet away. I couldn’t see it perfectly, obviously, but I could just tell. It’s not like an on/off blink, it fades in and out. It’s dead quiet, and no animal/creature could make a light as white and as bright as this. I couldn’t hear anything walking around the tent. It blinks again. Eventually, this blinking light makes its way in a circle around the tent, near the entrance where I was. That’s when I promptly rolled the fuck over and closed my eyes because whatever it was, I didn’t want to see it.

About 30 minutes later I sit up to grab some water. I sit there for a minute wondering. There it is again, on the opposite side of the tent from me. Making it’s way around. I man the fuck up, grab a light and unzip the tent as it nears the entrance. It stops and goes dark. I go outside and nothing is there. I made a fire and stayed up all night smoking cigarettes.

27. Something Circling The Campground

A group of friends was staying at this remote cabin that one of my friend’s cousins owned. There were no roads leading to the cabin, and it was a good 3/4 day hike from where you parked the cars.

I couldn’t go at the same time as everyone else due to work obligations, so I decided to head up the same day but later. It would mean I would have to camp for a night by myself though (the latter part of the trail is too dangerous to be taken at night, especially by someone who doesn’t know it). I didn’t care, I was kind of looking forward to it as I’ve never camped alone before.

So I was in the middle of these woods when the sun went down. I got my camp set up in this small clearing. Probably 40 feet across. Get my camp fire going and pitch my small, one person tent. Do all that camping stuff like cooking hot dogs on a stick over the fire and smores. I probably stay up for a good 2 or 3 hours after dark (it was mid-autumn so the days were somewhat short).

The entire time I thought I heard shit moving in the woods on the edge of the clearing. I didn’t think anything of it at first cause the woods are full of animals, but as the night went on I realized that whatever it was was just circling the clearing over and over. Once I started paying attention it made 4 or 5 laps around before I decided to get up and investigate. The noise stopped as soon as I stood up and I thought I heard some sound going away through the woods.

I just shrugged it off thinking it was some fox that was curious that got scared when I stood up. I decided it’s time to sleep, doused the fire and climbed into my tent. I started to doze off and stayed in that half asleep half awake state for a while. I normally hear weird shit when I’m in this state, so I didn’t think much of it when I heard a voice.

Something woke me all the way up though and I realized the voice is real and right outside my tent. It was just above a whisper and I’m not sure if it was another language or if they were just speaking English in such a way that I couldn’t understand.

I lay there for some time, I don’t know how long, listening and waiting for something to happen. There was just enough moon light to light up the walls of the tent, so I could see when a hand pressed into the wall of my tent down near my foot. This freaked me out and I sat up quickly. Whomever was outside of the tent tore ass out of there. Like running full sprint through the woods.

I got out of the tent and shinedmy flashlight around and saw nothing. I was expecting there to be a bloody hand print on the tent, but nope. Didn’t sleep that night, packed up camp at first light that morning and booked it to the cabin.

28. My Full Name Written In The Snow

This past winter I hiked one of high peaks in the ADK’s with a buddy of mine and camped out overnight. Everything was fine the entire first day we were there. Had a great night’s sleep and woke up early to hike back to the parking area.

On the way back down the trail, my friend and I noticed that someone else had been hiking as well. About a mile after walking, I stopped and saw that my full name, first and last, was drawn into the snow on the side of the foot path. I didn’t do it, neither did my friend. It was snowing a bit throughout the night and if it was drawn the day before, the snow would have covered it up. We got a bit freaked out and decided to hustle back to our car so we could get the fuck out of there.

We finally get back to the parking area and I go to sign myself out of the registry book. When I turn the page to where I signed in, I see that someone had scribbled out all of my information to where you couldn’t read it anymore. No one else had signed into the book besides myself for 3 days.

I will NOT be going back there.

29. Bottles, Family Pictures, A Letter, All In A Cave

A few years ago I was backpacking in Eastern Washington with some friends of mine. I don’t know how well you guys know Eastern Washington, but its pretty much dust, sagebrush and dirt. We decided to hike up onto the top of this canyon, and from up there you could see miles and miles of straight nothing. After a few hours of traversing the top of the cliff, we eventually found a little crevasse that kind of took us a little ways underground, into a pretty decent sized cave. The cave was filled with little bones, like mice and bats. In one of the corners of the cave, there was a rock fixture that jutted up from the ground and almost made a separate “room” so to speak.

In the room we found lots of scratches on the walls, photographs, and three bottles with notes in them. While this was kind of off-putting on its own, we figured it was just some sort of joke and we’d find silly S.O.S. notes in the bottles. The scariest part about it all was the photographs were super ordinary, of families and normal people, and two of the notes in the bottles made no sense at all. While it was English, it was pretty much straight gibberish, none of the words made sense in context with the other words. The third bottle had a super ordinary letter talking about what they’ve been up to; something you’d send to a fairly distant relative after not talking with them for a while.

I don’t really know what to think of it all, I feel like it could easily have been someone just joking around but it was almost too strange for that.

30. As If Someone Stood There All Night

Camping in the back country in Quebec, pretty much all alone for what we thought. We heard shuffling outside of the tent one night but wrote it off as a raccoon or possum. Woke up in the morning with scattered cigarette butts all around the front of our tent as if someone stood there all night keeping an eye on us. Nothing happened after that except some spectacular storms and bear sightings.

31. Who Would Do This?

This at Oleta River in Miami Florida.

Read more: http://thoughtcatalog.com/eric-redding/2016/04/31-true-stories-of-deeply-disturbing-camping-and-hiking-trips-gone-terrifyingly-wrong/