Some of the creepiest places in the world are those small, rural towns that exist in the shadows. They make perfect locations for horror stories, given their relative remoteness, their haunted histories, and their sometimes sketchy civilians. Of course, such stories are better to read about than actually be a part of, and the following people can attest to that fact. Their creepy tales from the countryside will definitely make you think twice about venturing beyond the outskirts of your city.
1. Lesson Learned
I went to northern Wisconsin with my family as a kid. While there, I went on a little hike with my brother and dad, just sort of going through some woods. Somehow, we ended up on someone’s property, and the dude who lived there saw us. He came up with his kid and asked, “Uh, whatcha doing on my property?” My dad just apologized and said we were hiking and that he shouldn’t have been so careless.
We went back into the forest quickly, and while the encounter was odd, I didn’t think it felt tense or anything. Well, I soon found out how wrong I was. The dude we encountered was apparently not satisfied with our apology. Later on, he actually hired some goon to track us back to our cabin. About five minutes after we got back and started to make lunch, the goon literally waltzed inside the cabin and began to talk about how we were caught trespassing.
It was so jarring having some camo-wearing stranger barge into my grandparents’ house. Still, my grandma knew just what to do. This jerk didn’t have a lot of time to say much because our grandparents owned a few rifles…and sure enough, grandma pulled one on him. Yep, our grandma held this guy up while apologizing to him once again for the prior instance of trespassing.
Then she started to yell at him for following us, trespassing on our property, and coming inside uninvited. He left instantly after that. It was a really weird encounter. I’ve talked to my dad and brother about it on occasion, so it wasn’t just a dream or my imagination. Either way, don’t trespass. That’s the lesson I learned. Oh, and don’t mess with my grandma.
2. A Deer In The Headlights
I live in a fairly rural part of New Jersey surrounded by thick forest and hills. One night, my friends and I were driving down one of the local backroads to find a place to chill. As we were driving, a deer jumped out in front of our car. As we slowed down, the deer turned around and went back the way it came, walked up to a tree, and then proceeded to bash its head in on it. The impact was so hard that it fell to the ground, dead.
It was the weirdest behavior we’d ever seen. It could have been rabies. It unsettled all of us so much that we decided to just go back and hang out at my friend’s house.
3. Of The Shadows
My uncle used to live way out in the country on a plot of land. He said it was a little less than eight acres. His closest neighbors weren’t terribly far away, but they were still far enough that walking wasn’t a very viable method of getting to them. Anyway, I spent my eighth-grade summer there, and he had one story that scared the heck out of me back then.
He had an array of animals on the farm—three hunting dogs, some pigeons, dozens of chickens, a few goats, and a lone horse—and every night, he would make his rounds through his farm just to make sure they were where they were supposed to be. One night, as he was walking back to his house, strange things began happening. First, his dogs started going wild.
He initially didn’t care and continued on his way, but his dogs just kept relentlessly barking. He waved his flashlight around and didn’t see anything. He got to the back door of his house and his dogs were still barking, so he turned around one last time to do a quick survey. Way out in his fields, he saw what looked like a moving shadow. He automatically assumed it was a coyote or some other wild animal and just went back inside.
The next night, as he went out to make his rounds, he said he spotted the shadowy figure again, just a little distance away from his barn. Again, his initial thought was that it was a coyote trying to get his chickens. However, as he took a few steps toward it, he nearly screamed. The figure suddenly stood up, almost human-like, and ran into the field, covered in darkness.
He said he was so startled that he just froze for a moment before yelling out, “Hey!” He didn’t chase after it, but for about a week after, his dogs would go ballistic at night. When he was telling me the story, he said that it could have just been a transient but I don’t know about that. The dude lived in the middle of nowhere, so it seemed incredibly bizarre for some random homeless person to even be in that area.
4. Jeepers Creepers
I live in the countryside in the UK, so I am as far away from any city or town as you can get. It’s all very flat farmland where I live. I go for a lot of walks through all the fields. Last summer, I went three miles out of my house. It was super hot that day, around 33 degrees Celsius. I was walking past this one field that was full of crops ready to harvest.
I had no idea what kind of crop it was, but it was about waist high, bright yellow, and it looked amazing, so I stopped and got out my phone to take some pictures. I stood there for about five minutes messing around, trying to get some cool pics and videos for Instagram. Then I carried on walking. I had no idea at the time that something was very wrong.
About 30 seconds later, I looked back across the field and saw what looked like a person dressed in black, standing in the middle of this field of yellow. At first, I thought it was a scarecrow that I just didn’t notice when taking those pictures. I thought maybe it had blended in with the trees in the distance behind this field.
I got my phone out and was looking through the pictures, zooming in and trying to see if I could see this scarecrow in the photos. And of course, I couldn’t. I kept walking adjacent to the field and when I glanced over, the figure I thought was a scarecrow also started walking. At that point, I realized it was a real, live person…
…A person dressed in all black on this really hot summer’s day. The person started walking towards the spot I had originally stopped at to take pictures, then he or she just stood there. I kept walking until I was far away enough that I couldn’t see the creep anymore. It just freaked me out, as there was no reason for someone to be walking through that field.
Only the farmers ever did this, as it was full of crops. Part of me thinks this person had to have been laying down in this field while I was taking the pictures, as there was no way they got to the middle of the field in the 30 seconds that I looked away. I don’t know, it was just a weird thing to see. I’ve never seen a single person just randomly walking through a farmer’s field before or since then. It just felt like a scene from Jeepers Creepers.
5. Shattered Fragments
My wife and I met in a small, rural town on Lake Superior. When we were ready to move in together, we purchased a remote cabin about 40 minutes out of town. It was incredibly idyllic and peaceful for the two years that we lived there. Eventually, though, we decided it was time to move closer to family. We had packed all of our items except for two mason jars that we had used for celebratory glasses on our last night.
When we woke up the next morning, both glasses were destroyed. It did not look like the glasses just fell off the table, either—there were pieces of glass everywhere, even in other rooms and on the window sills. Some pieces of glass were also ground into a fine powder. I cannot think of a logical explanation for what happened. Whatever caused the mess should have woken us up. I still think about that incident years later.
6. Dobby, Is That You?
People from ex-USSR countries believe that a house goblin lives in every house. There is even a cartoon about it. It can either like you or hate you depending on how you treat it. Obviously, a lot of people do not believe in them, but others, like my mom, leave some treats for them—milk, cookies, that sort of thing. Now, my mom is a strong believer because of some weird experiences she’s had in the past.
When I was a toddler (in the late 80s), she put me to bed and came into the living room. There were fruits scattered all across the apartment—grapes on the TV, peaches on the sofa, an apple on the floor, etc. It was only me and her in the apartment, so she thinks a house goblin took the fruits from their original spot in the kitchen and put them out in different spots.
Another time, she came into the kitchen to find the stove glass in pieces. But it wasn’t all over the place—it was shattered into tiny pieces and swept into a very neat pile. Again, there was no one but myself and my mom in the apartment, and I was only two years old. There were other stories since then, but in any case, she now tries to befriend the house goblin every time we move.
7. Those Yellow Eyes
I got stalked by a lone wolf for a few months. Though it was never aggressive to me, it was big. I live on the southeast side of a lake in Northern Ontario and in the winter, when the lake freezes, wolves come across the lake from the northwest. They usually arrive in packs and hunt the local wildlife; mostly rabbits I think, which are abundant.
Well, one year, I guess one wolf didn’t make it back across the lake before it melted (we had an early spring thaw) and he was around for the summer. There are no street lights on my road and my friend lives about a kilometer up the road from me. After work, we’d hang out at his place and I’d just walk home after. For weeks, I felt like I was being followed, and one night, I turned around out of instinct and got a quick glimpse of yellow eyes.
At that point, I had never seen a wolf before, at least in the summer. I borrowed a trail cam off of an MNR guy we did service work for and put it on the road not far from my buddy’s place. After a few days, I picked it up, and sure enough, there was a big timber wolf following behind me. It really freaked me out, but I had the solace of knowing that if it wanted to attack me, it probably would have already.
After that, I started driving to and from my buddy’s place instead of walking…except for one night, when I had far more than my usual two drinks after work. I said “screw it” and grabbed a flashlight out of my truck so I could walk back home instead of drive. There was a 3/4 moon behind me coming through the trees, and it was bright enough for me to see without my flashlight.
Halfway through my journey, I suddenly saw his eyes get lit up by the moon behind me. It had been walking on the opposite side of the road, moving in the same direction. I don’t know what the heck made me say it, but I just blurted out a “Yo” as we saw each other and the wolf just grunted and carried on. Every year since then, there have been a lot fewer rabbits in our area. I’m guessing the wolf cleared out a lot of the population that summer.
8. Creep In The Night
I live out in the country. One night, I realized that I never got the mail that day, so I walked out to the road to get it. No moon was out that night so it was pitch black; it was just the sound of crickets and tree frogs. As I was walking back up the driveway, I heard my husband whistling, and it sounded like he walked out the back door and was coming around the side of the house towards me.
I didn’t know why and I didn’t bother to ask. Instead, I just went up on the porch and back in through the front door. That’s when my husband CAME OUT OF THE BATHROOM. I still get freaked out a little when I think about it. It was 100% a human whistling a tune outside our property.
9. Running Scared
I used to live in the desert for a year. On nights when the moon wasn’t out or there were clouds blocking out the stars, it would be almost pitch black, and you wouldn’t be able to see more than 10 yards ahead. One night, I was driving down the highway when suddenly, in my headlights, I saw a guy running on the side of the road, just full-on sprinting.
I was going 70 mph, so I only saw him for a second or two, but I wondered…what the heck was he running from? I hoped he was okay because I was not about to pull over. About a minute later, I saw another guy in my headlights, only he was just walking. I could have sworn it was the same guy, so I got confused. I didn’t see any cars on the side of the road that might’ve broken down, either. I just had an uncomfortable feeling the entire ride home.
10. Uninvited Guests
My family lives in an old farmhouse that’s surrounded by a lake, field, and forest. There are no neighbors nearby and no reason for outsiders to be in the area. This happened to my aunt when she was dog-sitting—she woke up in the middle of the night to some noises. Our dog is a less-than-helpful guard dog and she didn’t alert her at all.
My aunt looked out the window and saw several people outside with flashlights, walking around the yard. She panicked and immediately put on all the lights, causing the people to run away. She would have called the local authorities, but it would have taken them an hour to get there. Nothing was taken but it sure scared the heck out of my aunt.
11. A Father’s Intuition
I live in rural Wisconsin. I’m surrounded by corn, marsh; the works. I remember one time, when I was in my teens, I was outside at dusk with my parents and we were all just doing our own thing. Suddenly, a woman yelled “HELP ME” from the woods beside our house. It was just loud enough to hear, but quiet enough for me to second guess what I had heard.
My mom and dad both looked at me and asked, “You heard that too, right?” My mom then screamed back, “DO YOU NEED HELP? WHERE ARE YOU?” At that point, it was already pitch black now out and the hair stood up on my neck because it got quiet…too quiet. My mom wanted to keep yelling, but my dad just got up from his chair and said, “Inside. Now.” I think that’s one of the only times I’ve seen her listen to him.
12. Backyard Lurker
I showed up at a friend’s house once, as I did almost every day after school, when I was 13 years old. I rode my bike everywhere. I usually left it by the side of her pool in her backyard, but as I was pulling up, she started waving at me from her front porch. Her parents had gotten upset with us for leaving our bikes up there before, but neither of their cars was in the driveway, so I cruised up to her and we headed inside.
She immediately locked the door and called 9-1-1. She had been up in her room looking for me to arrive, as she usually did apparently, and she had spotted a man lurking behind their pool, very near where I usually dropped my bike. I was almost kidnapped. The guy booked it when the local authorities arrived and they didn’t find him.
13. Marking My Territory
I lived out of a camper shell I built on the back of a small Japanese pickup I own. I toughed it out in there for about eight months, traveling from the east coast to the west coast and lots of places in between. I was doing some work on a guy’s house in Sonora, California. He and his family were the coolest of Mormons and they actually offered to let me park anywhere on their eight acres until we got their house finished up
Having a stable campsite, I changed things up and would sleep in my hammock beside my truck, since the weather was perfect that time of year. The guy’s wife saw me in my hammock on the first morning and told me about the two goats they had lost to a mountain lion the year prior. One day at dusk, while I was there, she and her son showed me a video they managed to capture of a mountain lion walking up the driveway.
It was back. I knew the risk, but figured it would be far too scared of human smells, lights, and sounds to ever come close to me, which is the case for 99% of those cats. Just be noisy before bed and you’re set, I thought. I would live to regret it. After I turned the lights out at night, I’d sit and browse the web for a while in the cab of my truck, and I could charge my electronics from the inverter I had in there.
I wasn’t done going in and out of the camper shell in the bed of my truck, so I had left both the tailgate and hatch wide open. It was well into the night and I was just reading away when all of the sudden my entire truck lurched from a dip in the rear end. Something was in the back of my truck. I’d shuttled people around back there before, so I had a good sense of how the rear springs up when it’s carrying weight.
At first, I thought it was a person, but since I was parked on crushed gravel, I would have heard someone walking towards the camper shell and jumping into the back. A useless wide-eyed check of my mirrors sent me thinking of a better plan. All I knew was that I was NOT getting out of the cab. I manually locked both doors and revved the thing in accordance with my heart rate, but I didn’t blast the horn because I didn’t want to wake the family up.
The plan worked—the truck sprang back up, unweighted. The noise did scare the cat. I shut the truck off and waited things out for a good while. When the coast was clear, I decided to try something I had seen on the Discovery Channel in hopes that it would keep the cat away. I basically marked my territory all over the trees that my hammock was strapped to and around the hammock itself.
I did that every night for the next two weeks with no problem until we finished the job. It felt ballsy then, but looking back, I realize how stupid it was. The reality is, anyone who sleeps outdoors in that area of California is likely sleeping in a mountain lion’s territory, and no amount of “marking the territory” will keep them away.
14. A Quiet Place
I live in the city, but I’m quite an accomplished outdoorsman when I can get away. A few years ago, I loaded a bunch of camping gear onto my bicycle and spent the better part of the next seven months riding 5,300 miles around the US. At night, I most often preferred to wild camp, simply finding somewhere to disappear into the woods.
Usually, it was a spot where people were unlikely to find me and even less likely to care that I was there. It ended up being one of my favorite parts of the whole trip; just finding some secluded spot in the woods to get some much-needed rest. But the forest, I quickly learned, is not a quiet place at night. There’s always some form of noise.
The chirping of thousands of crickets becomes a constant drone throughout the night, accompanied by many toads. There would always be at least a slight breeze through the trees or the babbling of a nearby creek. It was always a highlight of my nights—though not particularly uncommon— to hear the distant yips and howls of coyotes, and I fondly look back on the one night where two owls, one on either end of my tent, called back and forth through much of the night.
After a month or so of this, I became quite accustomed to the nighttime sounds of the forest, and it became very comforting. So it was quite a shock to my system when one night in rural Montana, I realized I was struggling to sleep because of the exact opposite of what keeps most people up. That night, it wasn’t the noise that was keeping me awake but rather the complete lack of any noise.
It was dead silent, and that was an incredibly unnerving experience. I can only describe it as the loudest silence I’ve ever heard. It almost felt as if the entire forest was hiding from an equally silent predator. Suddenly, the occasional snapping of a twig—a common sound that would normally get lost in the cacophony of the forest— sounded like a pistol going off. I slept terribly that night, and morning could not come soon enough.
15. They’re Here.
I had just turned 16 and was driving home in the middle of nowhere at night on a backroad that had trees on both sides. In one section of the road, the tree line on the left side briefly cleared. That’s where I saw five large, almost perfect circles of yellowish-orange lights high in the sky, just hovering. Two were close to each other to the left, and the other three were aligned more to the right.
There was no movement from them, no sound, nothing. Again, these were large glowing circles. They looked nothing like the dot of light you’d see from an aircraft. After about 15 seconds of driving, the tree line got dense again, so the sky was blocked from my view. Near the end of the road, the trees cleared again, and I had about another 10 seconds worth of viewing the mysterious lights.
I noticed they got slightly brighter and then disappeared pretty much instantly. To this day, I still have no idea what I saw. Again, this was in the middle of nowhere hours from any major city. There were no known defense facilities or government entities or anything like that nearby. I’ve rattled my brain on every logical theory possible— fireworks, missile tests, meteors, government aircraft, etc. None of them make sense.
The whole experience was so eerie and the fact that it’s still unexplained weirds me out to this day.
16. Cookie Monster
A long time ago, I was heading home from a friend’s ranch-style house. I walked outside and it was close to midnight, but the moon was almost full so it was really bright. I was parked back in the sticks, so it took me a second to get there. As I neared my truck, I heard a low growl and the beating of feet against the ground. It was loud, but not as loud as a horse or anything like that.
It just kept getting louder and louder. I got a little freaked out, so I ran to my truck and fumbled for my keys. Of course, they fell to the ground just like some horror movie. I bent over to grab them, and that’s when I saw something. It was about as tall as my waist and was around the end of my pick-up bed. I immediately knew it was a werewolf and that was it for me.
The beast slammed into me, knocking me to the ground and jacking up my elbow. Then, upon closer inspection, I breathed a sigh of relief. It was just a Great Dane. Her name was Cookie and apparently, she belonged to an elderly couple about 40 acres over. Somehow, she had gotten over their fence that night. I ran in to grab my friend and we played with her for another hour before I headed home.
Cookie became a staple around the ranch house and she would always wait for us when we pulled up.
17. Eyes On You
Behind my house, there is a drop-off that leads to a valley with a creek in it. It’s very steep on both sides. The valley fills up the space between the neighborhoods with dense forest. I only let my dog out to do her business in the backyard while leashed because she tries to escape from time to time. At night, it has always been creepy to walk out to the edge of the woods, even with my dog.
Last summer, my sister and I kept hearing something over the hill and felt like we were being watched. The motion sensor light in our yard was always on as well. We both thought we were being paranoid, so we didn’t tell each other our thoughts. Eventually, I broke and told her how I felt someone was eyeing us from over the hill and she said she felt the same way.
We both agreed that the presence felt negative and angry. We started taking the dog out with bats, knives, and pepper spray. We could not figure out what was watching us. Whatever it was got bolder and bolder. We started to hear it more frequently. By the way it sounded, we both estimated its size to be at least that of a large dog.
Sometimes we heard a grunt or two, and this only happened at night. My dog would silently whip her head towards the sounds and just stare. Normally, she barks at that kind of stuff. Still, my dog is a chihuahua mix, so if she started a fight, she would lose. This went on for weeks. Eventually, we felt like we were being watched during the daytime too.
We never once thought this presence felt human. There are coyotes in the area. There are bears too, but they are so rare that they make the news when they are sighted. Mountain lions are extinct in my area, so while it was possible that some found their way back, but it was unlikely. One day, I let the dog out, but I was not too on guard as daytime “visits” were still much rarer.
Then, all of a sudden, I heard something large moving through the brush, grunting. My stomach dropped as that was the closest I’d ever heard it. I picked up my dog as slowly as possible and started to turn towards the house to evacuate—that’s when I caught sight of a herd of deer on the cliff staring me down. They looked downright horrifying.
I had seen deer before, but these ones looked so angry. It had been in the news a year before that a single deer killed someone nearby (they were dumb and didn’t respect the deer’s space), so I kept that in mind. Turns out, my house was stalked by a herd of deer for weeks. See, my family throws expired produce out of the backdoor over the cliff to avoid compostable materials sitting in a landfill.
That’s probably why the deer were hanging out—we had a buffet for them. When we stopped doing that, they only hung around for a few more days. The end result was pretty funny, but the build-up was creepy.
18. Forest Fright
I was walking home from my friend’s house one evening. The path took me downhill through a forest. It was quite late so it was really dark, but there was just enough moonlight shining through the trees that it was possible to walk on the path without a flashlight. Just as I was in the middle of my path, I started hearing twigs snapping and dried leaves cracking under footsteps to my immediate right.
I froze and looked to see if I could spot anyone. Nobody was there. Then the grumbling became audible…it sounded like some big creature, and it was right next to me. I let out a frightened “Hello?” but the grumbling and cracking and snapping continued. I was scared out of my mind. I’d never heard anything like that before in my life.
And to make things worse, there were warnings of brown bears in the nearby woods. I was trembling. I somehow pulled my phone out, turned on the flashlight, and shined it out in front of me. What I saw was…Nothing. But the grumbling continued. So I shone the flashlight down to the ground. That’s when I saw it. A HEDGEHOG!!!
He was about a meter away from me, burrowing for worms or God knows what. But the sounds it was making made it sound like it was a creature 100x bigger. I wanted to punt that little rascal down into the valley. So yeah, that’s the one time I almost wet my pants due to a hedgehog.
19. Hard Backtracking
I was in western Washington hiking on a forestry road. It was sometime during May, so there was snow still in patches as I was at 6,000 feet elevation. I was walking along on that beautiful day, by myself, and all of a sudden, I got one of the coldest chills I’d ever had in my life. You know the feeling—chicken skin, the feeling of uncertainty, and a fear of the unknown.
I walked a bit further and as I approached a patch of snow, there was a set of very large mountain lion prints. They were pretty fresh, and they looked to be heading in the same direction as I was. I went back to my car walking backward, which was maybe 250 yards away from where I was. I know it was watching me. I never went up there again without at least one other person.
20. The Escapee
It was my second Christmas living in a trailer. I got a phone call one night from the local prison informing me that there had been an escape and that there was a possibility the prisoner was heading into my area. They told me to stay on alert, to not answer my door or go outside, yadda yadda yadda. At first I thought it was a prank call, but I talked to some neighbors and they had all received the same call. I looked it up and yup, it was real. I didn’t sleep that night at all.
21. Plain Evidence
I grew up in the hills out in the country. We own a ton of land including a ridge and a large hill. One day, my cousins and I were deep in the woods and we walked upon an old, bloody white shirt hanging off a tree. We thought it might have been someone’s hunting shirt because it almost looked like a rag, but we looked around some more and found a pair of shoes.
Then we found a pair of socks, shorts, and underwear in an old freezer bag covered in mold and dirt. It looked like petite women’s clothing. We got our uncles out there and they blew it off until they saw it. They left all of it untouched and told us to stay out of the woods for a while. No one really talked about it after. Looking back, that was extremely suspicious.
22. A Grisly Sight
I used to live 30 minutes away from where I am now in the Philippines, and back then there weren’t any convenience stores or supermarkets nearby in my village. It was just all grass, trees, and vines, which was perfect if you wanted to hide sacked bodies. One day, my parents and I drove home from my pre-school. Suddenly, my dad went silent and told me not to look.
I was stupid and looked anyway, which I totally regret now—I saw someone hanging from the trees by their neck.
23. Good Ol’ Nature
We had dress rehearsals for our school play and they would run a little late sometimes. One time, my friend ended up being one of the last people there. When she walked to her car and got in, something in her rearview mirror caught her eye. She looked through her back window to see that there was a mountain lion just a few yards away from where she was.
It wasn’t the first instance of a mountain lion being on the school grounds, either—the middle school just down the hill from there went into lockdown once because there was a mountain lion outside.
24. A Lonely Departure
One time, I was riding my four-wheeler with a friend high up in the Vermont mountains. My gas light came on, so we decided to drive straight down and not take the trail. We happened to stop a little ways down. There was a couple of inches of snow on the ground. Somehow, we noticed a pair of boot toes sticking up through the snow, and then we noticed…the body.
Frantically, we drove the rest of the way down the mountain and called the local authorities. We had to drive them up to where the body was. They uncovered a man who had shot himself. Then they had to strap the frozen body in and travel back down.
25. Bambi, No!
I went for a longish day hike into the foothills of California. I didn’t plan on being gone for more than a couple of hours, but I went a little farther than I would usually go. Up higher in the hills, I turned a corner I wouldn’t normally turn at and I found a deer skeleton. It was complete with a head, spine, ribs, pelvis, and limbs. That wasn’t especially disturbing, but what I didn’t like was seeing the baby deer skeleton next to it.
26. The “Get Out” Run
I stopped at a crossroad in the middle of nowhere to check my phone. When I looked up, I saw someone running towards my car at full speed. I slammed on the gas pedal and saw him still running after me, waving in the rearview mirror. Keep in mind that this happened miles away from the nearest town or farm, in the middle of some backwoods forest, at 3 am in the morning.
27. Moving Shadows
I had a black dog named Shadow. I let him out one night, then went back in to grab a jacket. When I came back out, I called him. All I could make out was a big black shadow running from the far side of the yard. I figured it was him…until I heard a noise to my left and saw my dog coming around the corner. When I turned back, whatever was running across the yard toward me was gone.
28. A Lingering Noise
My mom and I were in our backyard, and this may sound weird, but it was 3 am when we heard some whispering in the woods. We freaked out and started speed-walking to the door. But it got even creepier. Once we got inside, we walked all the way around the house, and the whispering noise followed us the entire time. We never saw anything, we just heard the whispering.
29. Eggs In The Basket
My female co-worker, who was in her late 50s, lived alone on a farm. She went out one evening to collect the eggs from her chicken coop when a man emerged from some tall grass, soaking wet. He held her up with a pistol and demanded that she give him her truck and keys, plus a change of clothes. She agreed and asked him to hold her basket while she unlocked the door.
Really, she was just enacting a genius plan. The door was already unlocked and there was a baseball bat right behind the door. So she whipped it open, grabbed the bat, and disarmed the man like the boss she is. Even better, his instinct not to drop the eggs in the basket saved her. He started to run and she called the local authorities to catch him.
30. Mystery Music
A music store seemed to just show up in my town. I’d lived here for three years and never saw it once. When I went in, a guy was there and he had one bass guitar in the store. Me, being a bassist, played it and fell in love. I bought it, and then the next week when I was in town, the store was totally empty. It looked like it hadn’t been open in a long time. I got a new bass out of it though, so I’m cool with it being a spooky ghost store.
31. Secret Club
A man in Canada decided to drive until the highway stopped. I believe he started in Winnipeg and kept going north until he ran out of the road. About one to two hours before he got to that point, he saw a lot of cars parked off the side of the road. Keep in mind that there wasn’t a single gas station, store, or house nearby. There were a lot of old cars (probably from the 50s or 60s) and in the distance he saw a cavern entrance that was faintly illuminated by light.
He noticed the tail end of a group of people dressed in all black walking in. No signs were around advertising it and he said he couldn’t find anything about it on Google Maps.
32. What’s Left Behind
When I was a kid, my family and I were driving back from a family vacation down in Georgia. After driving for a while, we decided to pull over for food. The next exit had plenty of stores on the interstate sign, so we got off to check it out. When we exited, we got a look at the area and it was surreal. Everything was just in ruins. The Taco Bell, the gas stations, all of them were shredded piles of rubble.
Also, there wasn’t another soul around, aside from a couple of cars that had the same thought as us. The last few days there had been some bad storms, so we assumed a tornado had rolled through, but still, it was crazy to see. We were just kind of in awe for a few minutes. I had never seen devastation like that up close in person.
33. Zombie Town
One time, I was driving with a friend from St. Louis to Nashville, and both our phones ran out of battery. We got a little lost and ended up driving through Cairo, Illinois. That whole town should not exist. It was surreal; like driving through a Scooby-Doo ghost town. The buildings were faded and falling apart, and people were just haplessly milling about the streets like zombies. Freaky.
34. Haunted Hospital
We were out shooting a friend’s new flintlock, and I thought my friend knew how to shoot. He did not. After getting his new crescent-shaped scar, we thought we would take him to the nearest hospital for some stitches. We found the hospital, went inside, and all the lights were off…The hospital appeared to be completely empty. This happened on a late weekday afternoon.
We walked around the place a couple of times to look for someone because it seemed odd to shout. Finally, the sole person working came out of the bathroom and explained that no one ever came there and that they only had one tiny section of the hospital in use. It was really unsettling walking around empty buildings that should be filled with people.
35. Ritual Setting
I’ve seen a ton of weird stuff in the New Jersey pine barrens. Most recently, I found a very small fawn’s head and foot while mountain biking. I assumed it was a coyote’s doing at first, but there were no other remains around and they were positioned together in the center of the trail. I can only imagine that they were placed there on purpose.
36. Cougar Town
I saw a cougar in person once and it was terrifying. It was probably less than 10 feet away from me. If you’ve never seen a cougar before, you’re imagining it too small. They’re just shy of eight feet long and their whole body is muscle. Not muscle like a bull mind you, but like a tightly coiled wire. They are the biggest and meanest-looking animals I’d ever seen in the wild. We just stood still for a good couple of minutes until it got out of sight.
37. The Thin Man
My parents’ house is landlocked, which means it does not have direct access to the road. You have to go through someone else’s property to access theirs. Currently, that property is a parking lot that belongs to a park. My parents have kept their property “natural,” so they basically have a house in the middle of the woods next to a park.
I was coming home one night between 10 and 11 pm. I came around the corner and immediately slammed on the brakes as I was pulling into the driveway. There was this tall thing coming out of the darkness and it was moving. It was taller than my car and super skinny. I really thought Slenderman was coming for me. As I sat there in shock, my eyes adjusted.
It was a blue heron. A big giant bird. It had come up from the creek at the park looking for food, I guess. It scared the heck out of me.
38. The Sounds Of Nature
I’ve lived in the city for my entire life, so I thought it would be a fun idea to rent a cabin in the woods for a weekend to completely disconnect. The one I found was only accessible through a couple of backroads. I drove 45 minutes to an hour through the woods without seeing anyone. Anyway, the first evening went great—I cooked myself a nice dinner, had a couple of drinks, etc.
It was snowing heavily, so I poured myself another glass, wrapped myself in two thick blankets, and went outside on the deck to enjoy the views. Let me tell you something…as someone who’s used to city noise, the silence of the deep woods is terrifying. I couldn’t see much except for trees, but it was as if the primal part of my brain switched on and ran on overdrive.
I’m not superstitious at all, but I felt like every cell in my body was screaming, “You’re being watched,” or “You might not be alone here, go back inside where you’re safe.” Of course, nothing happened, and after the first week, I enjoyed the quietness…but still. You hear so many new sounds. I totally get why my ancestors believed in demons, banshees, wendigos…
39. Mating Call
I live on a road very far away from town. I have neighbors, but I can’t hear them or see them from my house. My back deck overlooks a field before miles of woods. One night, I was out back, just chilling in the dark when I heard a sound that scared the heck out of me. It was a deep, low breathing type of sound. It came from the field but it sounded like it was right next to me.
It gave me chills—I thought there was a monster right there in my backyard. It was pitch black and I couldn’t see what it was (not that I really wanted to), so I went back inside, locked the door, and Googled the possibilities. According to my research, it was most likely a deer. During their mating season, a male dear can make sounds like the one I’d heard.
40. Apocalypse Preparedness
I grew up spending a ton of time in the Colorado Rockies. In college, a friend and I were on a weekend backpacking trip up in the national forest, about three hundred yards off-trail, when we stumbled across a mostly-buried bunker someone had made. Think a 20-foot-long Tuff Shed, buried up to its roof. We only noticed it because the sun glinted off one of two small windows in the roof, which had been deliberately covered with brush and tree litter.
Looking through the windows, we could make out a cot, buckets and tubs of food, and other supplies. We later found the door that was partially buried, but it had a heavy padlock securing it. We noped out of there soon after as we didn’t want to run into whoever had built the place.
41. The Unexpected Culprit
I grew up in a very rural area of Kentucky on a property that was about 75 combined acres of woods and empty fields. One night when I was a kid, I was sent to take the trash out to the dumpster after dark. The dumpster was at the bottom of the driveway. When I reached the dumpster, I heard the most blood-curdling scream I have ever heard.
It was like a woman was being brutally attacked right in my ear. I flew back to the house and had a full-on meltdown, crying and telling my dad to get his baseball bat. Upon further investigation, we found out the surprising cause of those screams. It was a fox. Fox screams will make your blood run cold.
42. Disco Nights
I used to live in the rural Philippines in a tiny fishing village in. Right next to our house was a fenced-off lot that contained a really broken-down house. It always looked REALLY creepy at night and kids in the neighborhood told me it was haunted. From our rooftop, you could look into the lot. One night, while I was looking at it, I saw a strange blue glow coming from inside and shadows moving across the windows.
I couldn’t place it at all and I didn’t hear any noise. I brought it up to my family and they told me that drag queens were squatting there overnight so that they could attend a nearby disco…That was a relief.
43. Night Vision
One night, I grabbed my son’s toy night vision goggles to see if they even worked. If they did, maybe we could see what was making all the weird howling noises in the woods behind our house. I looked across the yard into the woods and there were so many eyes. So. Many. Eyes. They were everywhere. In one case, there was a grouping of three eyes.
I had myself convinced it was just a possum with its baby and I just couldn’t see one of the eyes, but then they all blinked at the same time. I have never ever used night vision to look into the woods again. Whatever deformity was there can have its space.
44. A Life-Saving Tactic
A mountain lion was stalking me in the woods on a midnight hike. I turned my flashlight on and my brother shot a round of his .45 into the ground about six feet away. It ran away scared, but we still went home paranoid that night. There is an old trick that people in India do: They have a mask that looks like a face with big eyes, and they wear it backward with the mask part on the back of their heads so that way anything behind would think you are looking at it.
It’s meant to protect against tigers stalking you, and I really wished I had one that night.
45. Hunting The Predator
When the neighbors kept finding deer dragged into the trees half-eaten, it started to bother everyone. It was surreal seeing my neighbors pull their carcasses out of the trees. It seemed very unnatural, but it all made sense once the culprit was found. It was a mountain lion.
46. Underground Prisoner
When my brother and I were kids, there was an abandoned house we’d go in from time to time. One day, we were brave enough to knock on the root cellar door. I will never forget the immediate sharp bangs on the door back at us. I don’t think either of us has run that fast since.
47. Dressed To The Nines
When I was a child, two of my friends and I decided to explore an abandoned house that was down the road from us. It had the typical abandoned house look—there was paint peeling off with exposed wood in some spots, overgrown vines scaling its sides, broken windows, roof tiles missing here and there, etc. Well, we walked inside and it matched the outside.
The cupboards were broken, the walls were rotting, and floorboards throughout the space were splintered and cracked. Other than the place being extremely empty, we didn’t really get any scary vibes from it. Nothing really stood out to us as “paranormal” as we’d expect. We left the house mildly disappointed…but the nightmare was actually beginning.
Then, as we were walking alongside one of the windows, this very well-dressed, well-groomed man, maybe in his 60s wearing a black dress coat, white shirt, and black tie came into view from inside the house. We didn’t see him inside or hear him approaching, yet there he was, just staring at us blankly through the window.
My friends and I booked it as fast as we could and rushed back home. It was probably one of the property owners who just happened to be inside the house on the same day that we were there (there were a few rooms we didn’t go in), but man, that scared the heck out of us. A few years later, the local Fire Department burnt the place down in a controlled burn, so if it was paranormal…Welp, it’s gone now.
48. Horsing Around
A friend of mine lived in a semi-rural area growing up. One night, the local authorities knocked on her door and warned her that they were looking for a possibly violent fugitive. They told her they’d check her property and that she should lock up and be wary. It wasn’t until some time later that she found out the full story. The fugitive had been caught mauling a horse in a local stable. In the ensuing panic, the horse’s leg was broken and the man got away. He was found two days later hiding in a stormwater drain.
49. A Bloodcurdling Scream
My little brother and I were tossing a baseball around near dusk at the bottom of our property, 30 wooded mountain acres WAY in the middle of nowhere. It had gotten dark enough that we were just about to call it quits…but then we heard the single most horrifying scream we’ve ever heard. It came from the trees, just beyond the edge of the clearing.
Imagine a woman screaming in mortal agony, writhing in the most wretched torment imaginable. Every tortured scream from horror movies, true detective movies; anything you’ve ever heard could not compare to this. Even now, decades removed from hearing it, the hair on my arms and neck stands up just thinking of it, and it’s made even worse by the realization of what it actually was.
It was a mountain lion. Full-grown female mountain lions scream loudly when they’re in heat, and it sounds like a human woman being torn to pieces by Lucifer himself. To hear that, as two kids alone in the dark in the middle of nowhere, was about as terrifying as it gets.
50. A Dark Upbringing
When I was young, my family lived in the woods up in Northern California. We were hippies, sort of, and at the time, there were no cell phones or Internet. We didn’t have a TV, cable, or electricity for that matter, so my friends and I would often just hang out in the woods, mostly unsupervised. One of the kids in the group I hung out with was Dennis.
He was a year older than me, and I had a crush on him. He was goofy, fun, and interesting. He was the one who taught me to ride a dirtbike, and we used to go around on his, exploring the paths in the surrounding area. One day, we were riding around, and Dennis said he had to swing by his place to get something. I’d never been to his house, but my brother had, and he came back with stories about Dennis’ dad being really creepy.
He liked when Dennis brought his male friends over, but hated when girls came along. He’d give the boys all sorts of freedom, and that freaked my brother out. He didn’t go there again. But on that particular day, Dennis made me wait outside. He said his dad, Ken, would be really angry if I came in. At the time, they lived in a trailer in the middle of nowhere up a dirt road, with a tall wire fence surrounding it and a dog in the yard outside that barked at me nonstop.
Ken stood at the window and stared at me with an angry, pouty look on his face. It was weird as heck. After some time, Dennis eventually came back out, and we left. I tried talking to Dennis about his dad, but he shut me down and would not discuss it at all. When I turned 12, we moved, and I lost touch with Dennis. Then, when I was 14 or 15, my mom sat my brother and me down, saying she had something to tell us. That’s when I learned the chilling truth.
She said that the kid we knew as Dennis was actually named Steven, and the man we thought was his father, Ken, had kidnapped him when he was only seven years old. He’d told Steven that his parents didn’t want him anymore and that he was forced to take care of him. Steven believed it after a while because…what else could he do? He was only seven.
Ken took advantage of Steven for SEVEN YEARS. I can’t even think about it; it makes me so angry that my friend lived with that monster. When Dennis was about 14 or so, he was getting too old for Ken’s liking, so Ken went out and kidnapped another little boy. The kid’s name was Timmy White. Well, one night, Ken left Timmy with Steven as he had to work.
Steven wanted to spare Timmy from the terror he knew was coming, so he took Timmy and managed to hitchhike about 35 miles to the nearest Sheriff station in Ukiah. He walked Timmy in and then tried to leave, but an officer saw him, brought him in, and talked to him. He said: “I know my first name is Steven.” Ken was later taken in by the authorities, and Steven was hailed as a hero for saving Timmy.
Ken spent less time behind bars than he’d held Steven for because the prosecutor didn’t bring charges to spare Steven from having to testify about it. That always ticked me off, but at least now, after wasting away in prison, he’s since passed. I still can’t get my head around the fact that these things happened in one family. None of us had a clue what was happening to Steven back when we all hung out.