There’s nothing creepier than the woods. Serene, scenic, peaceful–yes. But the setting of many horrific stories, as well. These are a few firsthand accounts of disturbing incidents to happen in the wilderness where no one’s around. Our advice is to read them right before you go to sleep.
The Creepiest Thing To Happen To People In The Woods
Few years ago I was camping in the Everglades in Florida with a few friends. We all had gone into our separate tents and were starting to fall asleep. The area was pretty noisy with bugs, crickets, birds, etc. I heard this very low vibration, sounding almost like a low roar. It was powerful enough to vibrate in my chest. Suddenly everything in the forest shut up. No bugs, no birds, nothing. About 30 seconds later, my phone vibrates and it’s my friend in the other tent texting me, asking if I heard the same thing. The four of us kept texting each other, wondering what it was. About ten minutes later, all the animals slowly started making noise again. I slept that night with my machete at arm’s reach.
Just a few weeks ago we were on a road trip from BC to San Diego and we came upon a campsite just outside of Crescent City, California. We drove through. One side of the campground was relatively empty. I noticed a few scattered tents, but nobody close to the location we ended up picking. We had tons of space.
We wanted an early night, so I started a fire while my girlfriend started cooking. We ate, had a few beers, and climbed up to our rooftop tent (Tepui) with our dog by 9pm or so. I had a rough time sleeping and woke up a few times, but finally fell into a decent sleep.
In the pitch dark with all of our tent windows and canvasses closed, I was awoken at 1am by someone whistling outside of our tent the tune of “When the Saints Come Marching In.” After a few minutes of this repetitive whistling, I nudged my girlfriend who awoke and was obviously freaked out as well. The whistling then turned to chanting things like “When you sleep here you disrespect me, and when you disrespect me you disrespect the US Marines!” The person would then start spelling out words like “F.L.E.E”. The verbiage and tone kept getting more aggressive so we decided we had to make a move. I slowly unzipped the tent while our guard dog was snoring and got my head out if the tent. I took a few seconds to let my eyes adjust and figure out where the person was. I felt more confident once I could somewhat see and hear, so I climbed down and the girlfriend passed me the dog and she climbed down too. We flipped the tent up without securing it and we jumped into a truck (while the person was still whistling) to a motel in Crescent City.
The next morning, we drove back to get the few belongings that weren’t in the truck and a family who had been camping a few sites over said it went on for another 2-3 hours and it was the scariest thing their family had ever experienced.
This happened to me when I was little. I went camping with my older brother and my mom. I was about 7 or 8, and I went to bed around 10pm in a sleeping bag inside my tent with both my mom and brother. Some time during the night, I don’t know when, I woke up somewhere in the middle of the woods still in my sleeping bag. I had no idea where I was or where my tent was. I screamed for my mom and I heard her calling back for me in panic, but she was easily 100 yards away or so. To this day, I have no idea how I ended up in the middle of the woods still inside my sleeping bag. Gives me the chills…
I wasn’t in the woods, but what I saw came out of the woods behind my house. I saw an alien. No joke. To this day, I still wonder if I was somehow tripping on something I ate on accident or something. I was about 10 years old and was playing in my room by myself. It was about 11pm. I had a sliding glass door in my room and the blinds were pulled back. Out of nowhere, the automatic spotlight behind my house turned on. I looked to the sliding glass door and a figure started approaching the door. At first, I thought it was my neighbor, who was older than me and about the same height, but as it got closer I realized it was something else.
I remember it approaching the door slowly. It stopped at the sliding glass door for a few seconds and just started staring at me. It felt like an eternity passed by. Like, I remember specifically how long it felt when in reality it was probably only a few seconds. I remember it was dark black. It had a rounded head just like you see in the movies and was about 6 feet tall. Two arms, two legs. Really skinny. The thing about it is that it was so close to me right on the other side of the glass that there is no way I could have mistaken it for a human. I know what I saw.
After a few seconds of staring at me, it just turned to the side and walked away. Long strides. It went out of my view and I immediately ran out of my room and screamed for my mom. She didn’t believe me. I had to sleep in my room that night knowing I had seen a legit alien a few feet away from me earlier. I’m 23 now, and to this day I still get chills when I think about it. My eyes always start watering when I think about it. I know it wasn’t a dream. I know what I saw. No one believes me.
The thing that creeps me out the most was its demeanor. I remember it coming slowly up to me and walking slowly away. That’s what scares me the most. Like there was no rush to it. It was just watching me. I believe in aliens, but I don’t really believe in aliens visiting Earth, so it’s been hard to cope with. I think what I saw (if it really was and alien) is what some people call a “Grey.” Fuck. I’m not sleeping tonight.
I live on a compound by myself (I know it sounds Waco-ey, but it’s really my tiny home, workshop, and a couple of other buildings for food/equipment storage and a guest room). One bad snowstorm knocked my area out of commission, so I decided to hunker in for the long haul. I spent almost two weeks without leaving.
Three days in, I get woke up to a knock at the door. I get up to answer it and halfway there, I realize the only way this guy could knock on my door is if he broke the lock.
So I grab my shotgun and asked him through the door who he is and what he wants. Guy says nothing and keeps banging. I go out the backdoor and sneak around front. I see a man who is on the ground, covered in blood, and shouting (albeit quietly) for help. Turns out he was driving and crashed and dragged himself five miles down the road until he came to my place. By then, he realized that I forgot to lock the bottom part of the gate and weaseled in.
Luckily, he survived.
I used to go camping with my cousins when I was a kid. We used to play outside all day and then go back inside when it was dinnertime. One summer, the camp we visited was full, so our family rented the last cabin available which was located at the far end of the property, a 40-minute walk away from the main area.
One day, we stayed playing way longer than we should, and we had to walk back at the cabin almost in complete darkness. We could take the long walk, or take a steep shortcut. We decided to take the shortcut, which meant we would have to climb a small hill using our hands and knees to avoid falling down. We had done this a ton of times, but never at night.
When we reached the middle part of the hill, we felt them. Dozens of tarantulas, coming out of their nests which were located on the hill face. We couldn’t stand up because we could fall or make the person next to us fall.
We had to keep climbing while they crawled over our arms and legs. We couldn’t even scream because we feared they could get into our mouths. Finally, we reached the top of the hill and shook off any baby tarantulas. I remember even undoing my ponytail and combing through it with my fingers.
When I was young, I lived by what I called “The Dark Woods.” It was abandoned farming land. One night, I was walking alongside the trees on my way home and I hear someone calling my name from inside the woods. I thought it could have been my brother, so I walked closer and responded. The call then turned to a terrifying scream of my name right in front of me. I ran. It was not my brother, and I never walked by the woods at night again. I still can’t get the scream out of my head and it has been over ten years.
Got stalked by a mountain lion on a hike. It was late at night, we’re in a group of about five, and didn’t have enough flashlights to go around. So we gave one to the person in front, and one to me (in back).
I felt like I was being watched, and so I real quick flashed the light around and turned my head. I saw a pair of green eyes attached to a body slink back off the trail a little bit. Our light wasn’t powerful enough to get a super good bead on it, but every 30 seconds or so thereafter, I would turn around and flash the light up the trail. I probably saw something about 75 percent of my turnarounds. It followed us for probably a half hour until we were 10 minutes from the cars.
The people I was hiking with didn’t notice, and mountain lions don’t often jump large groups of adults. But I wasn’t really about “statistically, we’re probably fine” at that point. No one else noticed, and I didn’t say a word while it was following us–really didn’t want to run the risk of a panic.
I was camping with friends. It was early in the season and we were the only ones in that section of the park. One morning, I stayed in my sleeping bag in the tent while everyone else went to the facilities, which were a bit of a walk away. I dozed off again. I was awoken by someone grabbing my foot through the tent. I was groggy and assumed it was a friend playing a joke and kicked and said fuck off. My foot was grabbed again and pulled, and I kicked again pretty hard, not afraid to kick my friend who was now pissing me off. He stopped and I dozed off again.
I woke up again probably less than half an hour later and heard my friends in the distance, returning. When they got back, I asked them who was the one trying to wake me up. They had no idea what I was talking about, honestly. I told them about something grabbing my foot through the tent and they thought I was trying to tell a story to scare them. I still have no idea what it was. It wasn’t even dark out at the time.
I used to live in Texas and, being a runner, would often seek out wooded paths to run. One summer day–Friday, I believe–I went for a run in the evening (6pm) through a local park with a paved path through the woods. Everything started fine. The winds were picking up and a storm was approaching, but I thought I could finish the run before the rains hit. And then… I wake up and it’s the middle of the night and I’m stumbling around off trail, in the woods.
I spend what felt like forever crawling around because I was so tired and dizzy, trying to find something to drink to slake my thirst. Not finding anything, I vaguely recall eating snails and insects to try to get some moisture. I eventually find my way back to the path, where a guy comes by and calls for help. I actually was missing for two nights and ended up with extreme dehydration. Doctors don’t think I would have made it another day. It turns out I was no more than a half mile from the path, but was too disoriented to figure that out. And the cover was too thick for the search parties to find me. I don’t remember much of anything that happened after I started my run. And no one has any idea as to what happened.
Two years ago, we were camping at a place called Lake Glenbawn in Australia. Now to set the scene, two mates were sitting around a fire, one was getting something from his car, I was passed out in my tent and another mate was down at a tap rinsing his plate about 50 meters from the fire. He got smashed in the head with a beer bottle. At first, they thought it was me, thinking I’d drunkenly stumbled out of my tent to take a piss and had thrown the bottle. They went and checked and I was still out cold in my tent. There was nobody else around the camping area. We hadn’t seen a single person since we got there. Talking about it the next day, we narrowed the options down to a ghost, a serial bottler, or a bird dropping the bottle after trying to fly away with it. We decided to go with the serial bottler, and now every year we keep a vigilant lookout for the Glenbawn Bottler.
I actually visited the Suicide Forest in Japan by myself last year. I was near Mount Fuji anyway, so figured it wasn’t much of a detour. I’d been in there for about two hours perfectly comfortably; hadn’t gotten frightened; seen a few things. Then at one point, at probably the furthest point I’d walked, I came across a sleeping bag under a tarp.
One thing to know about Aokigahara forest, it’s dead silent. No insects or birds. It’s also a forest grown on top of ancient lava and the dead roots of previous trees, so there’s no “ground level” really. There are caverns and holes everywhere. It’s actually very dangerous to walk in. So I’d approached this sleeping bag when I suddenly noticed that it looked like something was in it, and a wave of an awful smell hit me. I panicked a little and turned around to get away from it, but my foot went straight through the rotting roots and I got stuck for about three minutes.
Not very long, but I was completely freaked, totally convinced I was a few feet away from a dead body in this dark, silent forest and unable to get away. Eventually, I got loose and didn’t turn back. I just marched the hour straight out of that place. The whole walk back I felt incredibly uneasy. I deleted most of the photos I’d taken, out of this sense of “respect,” I guess. I don’t believe in the supernatural, but that was as close as I’d come to it.
I was at a cabin with four other people. I woke up at about 5am and they were all sleep talking at each other. Like straight up grunting, mumbling, shaking and everything else a person mid-sleep would do, only the four of them were actively engaging in some kind of primitive sleep talk at once and towards each other. It scared the shit out of me. In the morning, I told them about what happened and they didn’t remember a thing. What probably happened is one started sleep talking and it set off the rest of them. Still WTF worthy, though.
Some friends and I would take my truck up in the mountains during the winter time and tow someone on a tube across the snow. We’d drop the tailgate in my old long bed Ford and a few guys would sit in the back with one of those bazillion candlelight spotlights. When I was driving, it’d be fun to make really wide turns in the dark so the person on the tube didn’t have the luxury of headlights or taillights to somewhat illuminate their trail. The person in the bed of the truck with the spotlight would be funny and shine the light clear off to the side so it was pitch black if you were on the tube. One particular winter night, a snowstorm was rolling in so we headed up to the usual spot, and it was DARK that night.
A friend was on the tube, I was driving watching my mirrors as I’d swing him wide enough that he had little light to see anything. The guy with the spotlight shined the light clear to the side of the truck, and as I checked my mirror, I made eye contact with a guy dressed in jeans, a red plaid shirt, and a blaze orange ball cap. As we made eye contact, I lost all control of my body for probably only five seconds, but it felt like an eternity. I stopped the truck and turned it around and asked the guys if they saw him. They all said no, so I flipped the truck around and turned on the high beams and they shined the spotlight all over. I got out and looked for footprints in the fresh snow and saw nothing.
That night, we went back home and I told my dad about the weird experience and he didn’t think anything of it. A week later on the news, the police reported finding a body in the area close to where we were and asked for any tips. My old man convinced me to call the police and tell them we were up in the area and saw that guy. I called and the police and they said they’d send an investigator over. He came over to the house. I recalled the same experience, saying it happened seven days earlier. As soon as I said that, the investigator asked me, “You are sure on your date?” I was positive, and he showed me a picture of the body they found wearing the same red plaid shirt and blaze orange ball cap. He informed me the body had been on the mountain for at least 1 month, so I must have just seen something. Turns out it was a man who suffered from some mental handicaps and committed suicide on the mountain one month prior to when I saw him.
When I was around 13, I went exploring in the woods behind my home. I was just walking around and I see this pink dildo in the dirt with, like, a Barbie head glued on the top and legs glued on the side and hair and everything! It was pretty much a Barbie, but instead of the body it was a dildo! At the time, I was confused and I laughed, but it was weird.
I was out backpacking alone one night in the woods pretty far from any civilization, and as far as I know, miles away from any other person. I had picked a nice spot to pitch my tent, and had settled in to sleep for the night. I had just closed my eyes when out of nowhere I hear this bloodcurdling cry. It was without a doubt the most terrifying noise I’ve ever heard. It sounded kind of like a woman screaming, but in a twisted, inhuman way. I grabbed my flashlight, unzipped the tent slightly, and looked around, but I didn’t see anything.
I crawled back into my sleeping bag, heart pounding and waiting for anything to happen. Over the next 15 minutes or so, I heard it a few more times–sometimes louder, sometimes quieter–and then suddenly it stopped. I was absolutely certain that I had just heard someone being murdered. I ended up staying the night there anyway because I was too afraid to move or try to hike back down the trail in the dark. But I don’t think I managed to ever get any sleep.
It wasn’t until I got back (after booking it out of there soon after sunrise) and was telling the story to a friend of mine that he asked me if maybe it had been an elk. I’d never known what an elk sounded like before, but I looked it up, and sure enough, that was exactly the noise I’d heard. So, a happy ending at least.