Camping Tales of Terror

Four True Stories of Paranormal Encounters

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Heard all the fictional campfire stories? How about some scary true tales? The telling of supernatural tales is a long-held, cherished tradition among campers. As they sit around a crackling fire in the dark of night, chilling stories are told of vengeful ghosts and threatening monsters. But these stories told and retold year after year, are just that—stories.

Unexplained things sometimes really do occur out there in the woods at night. Here are some true tales of the paranormal reported by campers. Ghosts, strange creatures, UFOs, and mysterious phantoms are encounters that are sure to creep back to mind the next time you're camping.

White Mountains Creature

K.H. was camping at a National Forest campground in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. One night, after his wife and daughter had fallen asleep, he was sitting by the fire when he heard a noise...

"This was different than the usual bear grunt. It was more like someone sneaking in the trees. I immediately grabbed the flashlight. What I saw haunts me even now. I saw a being in the trees, hunched down. It was naked and looked gray. It was very muscular but its legs were backward, like a bird's. Then it quickly turned and bounded off down the hill. I couldn't even follow it with my light. We left the next day.

"The next year, we went back to the same campground and campsite. Again, I stayed up late poking the fire and reading. It was maybe one or two in the morning when I heard a noise. I shined the light in that direction. That same creature was there. It looked exactly the same as I'd remembered from the previous year.

"It just sat there, crouched at the small tree line that separates the campsites. I slowly walked toward it. I tried not to make any threatening moves or gestures. I got to within 20 feet when it just jumped backward and disappeared. It looked like it might be five to six feet high if it stood up. It was definitely gray. It had human features, but more leathery. Its face was very wide. Its eyes were so big, and, even though they reflected light, they still looked black, like two intensely black marbles. Its legs were very muscular but turned backward. I know what I saw. It was real."

Phantom Campers

Nightraven and friend Todd were camping at a cabin in the Upper Peninsula Of Michigan. They were waiting for other friends to arrive when they had an unexplained experience...

"At about 9:30 p.m., it was getting dark, and we were beginning to worry about Randy and Tommy. Only a few moments later, we saw car lights at the front of the cabin. We were in the middle of nowhere, so it had to be them. We heard the car doors open, heard Randy and Tommy as plain as day. I yelled. 'We're on the deck.' The car doors closed, we heard footsteps rounding the corner. At the point that someone would have rounded the corner, it was silent.

"I looked at Todd. He was looking at me. It was quiet. I yelled, 'Hey, Randy. Hey, Tommy.' We got up and walked around front, and there was nothing. No car, no people, no sound. Ninety minutes later, the phone rang. It was Todd's mother calling to inform us that at 9:30 that evening, a fatal traffic accident involving Randy and Tommy took place 30 miles from the cabin. It's almost as if they just wanted to keep our tradition alive."

The Light at the Cabin

Northern Michigan is also the location of this strange event. R. Bassil and a friend were at a riverside cabin one night, relaxing. They were about to retire to bed when...

"I had just stretched out when a huge crack erupted from the woods. Both of us thought it was a branch or old tree that had fallen. After he had turned off the living room light, we noticed that the light coming from the windows was abnormally strong. This sent our nerves to a new high. The light seemed to pulse several times and got so bright at one point you could have read a book by it. It couldn't have been a car as we were almost a mile off the road on a dirt trail. Plus, the light came in from all the windows equally.

"Every so often we would hear a strange humming noise that penetrated that cabin. This lasted almost half an hour. We talked about just running out to the car and leaving, but neither one of us wanted to go outside. After the light went out, we sat on the couch, occasionally putting forth theories on what it could have been. Around four o'clock in the morning, there was another loud crack. We worried that the light might come back, but nothing happened."

The Blue Spectre at Camp

Devin was away at summer camp in Quebec, Canada where there were the usual camp stories of a ghost. One night, however, he may have encountered the real thing...

"My friend and I were walking just outside of the circle of cabins. It was a bright night with all the stars shining, and the moon was well lit. There was a campfire going, and in one of the big cabins there was a party going on with music and so on. We were walking, and we both got a really weird feeling as if we were being watched.

"We both turned toward the sea. We saw a blue figure, very tall—about 7 feet—walking through the trees. It made no sound at all. It was a bright blue and glowing figure walking through the forest. It was emitting a shimmery aura, and my friend and I both became very frightened.

"We shouted at whatever that thing was, and we were asking it what it was. We got no reply, of course, but we expected one. We stared as it walked away and out of our vision; we didn't dare follow it. We then ran back to the group of people at the camp fire, screaming and describing what we saw. Another friend of mine claimed he was watching it from a distance not far from were we were and was just as frightened as I was."