Terrified Hikers Share The Creepiest Thing They've Seen On The Trails

April 19, 2023 | Rachel Ramlawi

Terrified Hikers Share The Creepiest Thing They've Seen On The Trails

There’s a reason so many horror movies start in the woods, they’re a place that inspires the imagination to run wild. They’re the place of mythical monsters, and the setting for slasher films. Some people can run into some creepy, wild and outrageous things while they’re taking a walk late at night. The late-night walkers over at Reddit shared with us the 42 creepiest things they’ve seen while hiking.

1. Cat Calling

I was working at a summer camp for kids, and we went on an overnight outing. We had a cougar circle our camp from around 11 pm to roughly 5 am. It was crying out, hoping one of us would separate from the group. I stayed up all night with bear spray and a hatchet keeping an eye on it with the other staff.


2. Lost Boys

This happened in the summer around dusk. I was camping at a remote campground with my dad. There was a lake right next to the grounds, and my dad and I would trail blaze through the forest, right next to the lake because if you went far enough there was a really pretty waterfall. A few strange things happened on this hike.

First, we found a pile of leaves that had a little kids shoe on top. Then when we came to a small clearing, my dad had to take a leak, so he faced one side of the clearing, and I faced the other and we both clearly heard a child say "I'm over here". My dad thought it was me, and when he realized it wasn't, we spent half an hour looking for someone, but we couldn’t find anybody.

After that, we gave up on going to the waterfall and started to make our way back to camp, but there were clear sounds of something following us (twigs snapping, bushes shaking). We haven't been camping there since.

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3. Leave Nothing but Footprints

One time I returned to my car after a late-night hike with friends, and my SUV was covered in... foot/hand/paw prints. They were just so large, and even dragged a little in the dust. It was on/near a large army base in the mountains. I think some local who enlisted may have made them to scare us. But it was just so well done.

Pretty scary for all of us because it's what you'd imagine the Blair Witch would do. No animal did it.

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4. Cougar Bait

Wife and I were camping at Big Bend in Texas, and in the middle of the night she wakes me up silently by shaking me hard. I can barely see her face in the moonlight, but I can tell she is terrified. I start to say something but she covers my mouth, and points to the tent entrance. I turn my head and look out the screen flap, and a cougar is lying on the ground about six feet away, staring at us.

I just froze, staring at it, while it stared back. After what seemed an eternity to my frozen and freaked out self, it slowly got up and ambled away silently. No more freaking sleep that night.

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5. Make-Out Point

It was around midnight in a clearing for picnics in a large park that lots of people hike through, pitch black, no one around, and I was with my boyfriend at the time. We were getting pretty frisky at one of the picnic tables, and I’m facing a river which is sort of illuminated from the moonlight, he’s facing the solid black treeline.

We’re trying to have a good time, and he becomes completely still, and in a low voice says, "there’s a man coming towards us". I turn my head, see only a white T-shirt approaching us at a brisk walking pace from the trees, and that’s all I needed to see. I ran, I knew my boyfriend would catch up. He did. I was never down for midnight forest stuff again.

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6. Empty Town

I go hiking in the woods that permeate my town, sometimes so late that I get to see the sunrise out there. The strangest thing I ever saw was what I could only describe as a shantytown was built up seemingly overnight deep into the woods. Simple little hovels made of scrap metal and bedsheets and a small firepit that someone had made out of an old tire, with the fire still burning.

But that wasn't the weird part. The weird part was that this was well past midnight when I found this place, and it was quiet as a grave. There was no one there. Someone made the trouble of getting a fire going and then left it. From the look of it this place could hold about a dozen or so people, and yet there was nothing there but the fire they abandoned, and whatever possessions they had left in the shanties.

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7. Lying in Wait

I drove to a park to go hiking at night in the mountains. I hadn't even turned off my car and I already feel like I'm being watched. There weren't any cars around so I thought maybe it was just me being paranoid for some reason. But for some reason, I looked to my right and I see this weird looking humanoid shape on top of the little bump hill about 50 feet away.

At first, I thought it was a weirdly shaped tree until I saw the arms move—there was no wind at all. So now I know there's a person staring at my car trying not to move, for what I assume is for me to get out of my car and leave to a more secluded area as we were next to the road. Of course, I left, I don't go hiking at night in that particular park anymore.

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8. Watch the Road

I go out for walks very late at night fairly often, so I've seen a few things. The creepiest though, happened about two months ago when I was 15. I left the house around 1:30 am, and it started off as a normal walk. I wandered around the town till about 2:00 am, when I decided to go home. I was walking back the route I had come when I noticed a black van meander down the street.

Didn't really pay too much attention to it though, at first. I did pay attention though when I saw it slowly drive by me for a second time. I wasn't entirely sure it was the same van though, so I just continued walking. But this time I kept an eye out. And lo and freaking behold, about 10 minutes later, the same darn black van came down the street again.

This time I knew for sure because it didn't have license plates. Now, I was fairly scared, so I picked my pace up a little bit. When the van came around again this time, it stopped in the middle of the road a few houses in front of me. I stopped, turned around, and booked it back in the other direction. I made a few turns onto different roads, and then ran right into someone's yard.

I waited behind their fence, and the same freaking van came down the street. I assume that when they couldn't find me, they finally decided to screw off. But I waited in that yard for about 20 minutes before I ran back to my house, and practically threw myself through my bedroom window.

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9. Midnight Hike in Georgia

When I was younger and stupider and going to college in the north Georgia mountains, my friends and I would go night hiking a lot on the trails near campus. I got pretty familiar with the area and being out in the wilderness at night in general, which probably made me too confident. One night the full moon was out, and the weather was perfect, so visibility was crazy good (everything was basically washed in dim blue light). I was slightly stoned, and feeling adventurous, and I love doing fun stuff alone, so I decided to go enjoy a night hike by myself.

I took a flashlight, but this was around 2002 so no cell phone. I chose a super easy trail that was mostly flat/ maybe a mile loop, in a pretty secluded area, but not exactly a national park or anything (it was a very rural area). I didn't even need my flashlight for most of it, and just hiked in the moonlight; it was actually a really cool/ beautiful experience at first.

At some point, I started feeling uneasy, and maybe a millisecond later I heard a man's voice. It was coming from a good distance ahead of me, somewhere off in the woods, maybe from the right side of the trail. He was crying. I'm honestly an empathetic person, and 99.9% of the time I hear someone crying I want to comfort/ help them in some way, but this time I felt sick in the stomach, like a dry panic attack, if that makes sense.

I remember coming very close to calling out to him, because my brain was trying to tell me he might be hurt, which was the only reason I hesitated—but it was like my body shut my voice down before I could say anything, and I knew I had to stay very quiet. He was sobbing like he'd just found out a loved one had passed, but also gibbering, and almost-babbling, like he was less than a person.

There was a shrillness to it, under his crying, like he was holding back a scream - but perpetually, on and on, as if he'd been doing it all night. I remember it vividly, and my spine is tingling like crazy even as I write this. It's hard to explain, but I knew deep down he wasn't right in the head, and nothing good would happen if he realized I was listening.

I went back the way I came; it was like I had tunnel-hearing, and the only sound in the world was that crying. I was hyper-aware of everything else around me, and beyond paranoid that I would snap a branch, or snag my boot on something. I worried the man's crying would get louder if I wasn't paying razor-sharp attention, getting closer, or turn into an outraged crazy-person scream.

Thankfully it just faded the further I got from it, and I made it back to my car. Still, I was convinced some wild-eyed hermit was going to rush out of the forest and bite me to death, right up to the second I locked my doors and got the heck out of there. I finally had the rest of my panic attack on the drive back. I managed to park back at campus, and I just sat in the car and collected myself.

Adrenaline is freaking powerful. I have never felt a shred of guilt about leaving that guy crying out in the woods in the dark. I know I was slightly stoned, but slightly is the keyword there. I'm convinced to this day I was in very real danger that night. Sometimes, I get that same sick feeling deep down, whenever I wonder what might have happened if the moon been less bright, or if I'd been more responsible, and I'd decided to use my flashlight even once.

He'd have seen me for sure.

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10. Stay Away

I have a large farm in Gippsland Australia, most nights I would walk the fences with the dogs just to relax. This walk would usually take an hour and a bit. This one year in winter, we had a very large collection of dead trees in the back paddock that we had decided to burn. So we started the fire in the morning, and let it burn all day.

Every so often I'd go and check that it was ok. So it gets to be night, and around 9 pm I decide to go for my walk and check on the fire. I go to get the dogs, and they just stayed in their kennels. Which was strange, but they had a big day herding. As I get down towards the fire I just get this chill through my body and start to feel unsettled, at this point, I just beeline to the fire.

As I'm about 20 feet from the fire I see a figure to my left, but behind me by about 50 feet. At this point, I think it's one of the dogs that has finally followed me. I turn to call it over, and I get no response. I whistle some commands and still no response, it's just standing there. I'm pooping bricks at this point, and move closer to the fire, and grab a burning branch.

I start to think "I'm screwed, it's a wild dog, and my wife will find me mauled," so I decided to rush it, and hopefully scare it off. I take two steps, and this thing takes off like a rocket, the only noise is when it jumps the fence and hit the bush. I run back to the house, to find the dogs all where I left them. The next day I go to check the fire with the dogs, both of them refused to go with me, and even the cows wouldn't go near the area.

I stopped walking after that, and now I carry a blade with me when I go in that area of the farm.

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11. Light or Sound?

This happened to me a few years ago. I used to go to school at the University of California Santa Cruz. I'm a runner and on the campus is in a beautiful redwood forest, so I would run on the trails. One day, I left a little later than usual on a run through one of the more isolated trails. Here's where it gets weird. I was about 15 minutes running deep into the woods and still hadn't seen anyone else around.

Suddenly, up ahead, I saw what appeared to be a homeless man in ragged clothing walking on the trail. Now, he was walking further into the woods, and this path went very, very far, and the sun was setting. So, I figured this man was spending the night in the woods. I wanted to reach my usual running checkpoint before turning back so, I decided to keep my distance and run by.

As soon as I passed the man he called out to me, "What came first, light or sound?" In my head, I was like what the heck, this guy is nuts, but I decided to humor him and yelled out light without looking back. He said, "Well I think it's sound, but who knows..". and started mumbling to himself. I continued on. I reached my goal and started to head back.

It was really dark now, and I was feeling freaked out that I had to pass this guy again to get back. He seemed pretty crazy and potentially dangerous, but I didn't have a choice. I got past the point where I first passed him, but he was nowhere to be seen. There weren't any other branches of the trail and if he had headed back I would have seen him by then.

He must have gone off the trail. Suddenly, a girl from up on a hill screamed for me to stop. I stopped and looked up on the hill, but it was too dark to see anything. I was freaked out. I called out to ask if she was alright and eventually saw her climbing down. The hill was really steep so she put in a lot of effort to get up there, and away from whatever was after her.

She said that she was on a run when a scary homeless guy started harassing her, and he chased her up the hill, but she didn't know where he went. She was going to spend the night there until I came along because she was too scared to go back down. At this point, we both wanted to get the heck out of there. Who knew if this creepy man was lurking around watching us from the dark.

So, we ran back together and made it to the road. She thanked me, and we parted ways. Never ran back on that trail again. Santa Cruz can be a pretty weird place, I've heard legends of students flunking out of school there, and then just living in the forest. Maybe this guy was a student from years past.

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12. A Cry for Help

We were camping in upstate New York, at a New York State campground. 40 other campsites and it was at capacity. 10 pm is quiet time and enforced. It’s around 1 am and everyone is asleep. I'm dreaming, and in my dream hear a young girl yell out "help me" from pretty far away. In my sleep I'm thinking, wow, that's weird and realistic, and I hear it again and I wake up this time.

I check on my kids, ok they are still there. Its pitch black outside and every time I heard it, I was asleep, so maybe I was dreaming it. Then I heard it for the third time—"HELP ME" being not yelled, but it was loud with a definite sense of fear and urgency to it, and she's deep in the woods away from the campsite. This time it sounded further away than the last.

I'm now trying to figure out what to do. Is somebody dragging her to her doom? Is an animal attacking her? It’s the middle of the night and its pitch black outside of the tent. I arm myself with my pocket knife, and I leave the safety of my tent ready to attack, wondering what the news articles will say about my heroism and subsequent demise from a murderer or wild animal.

At this time, there are other campers yelling out, "Where are you". Followed with only a response from her, "Help me" which is getting further and further away. I'm kinda freaked out at this point. So maybe four minutes have passed, and other people have joined in the search. We hear somebody say we found her. I walk around to one of that site with the people that were searching for her, and they said they found her.

She was sleepwalking and walked into the woods. Apparently, she does this a lot. Going back to sleep was challenging.

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13. Mystery at the Farm

For a few years, I had been walking around on the farmland that I live on, usually a stretch of one to two miles. Sometimes, that took place at night when my sleep schedule was bad. No issues other than severe paranoia from time to time, but the only predators around are coyotes as far as I knew. I was about halfway done with my walk, when I saw a black figure that was at least seven to eight feet tall coming at the dirt road I was on from a crossroads.

I'm six feet tall, and it was above my head, so I know it was tall. At this point, I'm genuinely fearing for my life, and I don't know why. I'm the movie character who runs towards the killer/ghost/monster, but this time I turned to run, shut off all my lights and went max speed half a mile back to the house. I wait around by a tree with a giant metal fence post acting as an impromptu spear, until the feeling of fear fades suddenly and I go back inside.

So, me being me, I obviously go out the next night, and I see some claw marks that are bigger than my 11-wide boot, and completely unnatural looking. Even after posting pictures of it around the internet for years, nobody has been able to identify the claws.

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14. Creep in the Woods

I used to often spend my summers bouldering with my friends by a relatively large forest that was about an hour and a half away from where I used to live. We used to spend some of the nights camping out there just to save some travel costs and time. Anyway, I think this was roughly like the third or fourth time we were out there camping, my friend had left all her climbing gear and her rucksack just outside her tent, or we definitely think she did anyway.

The next morning we noticed that her boots, a few of pieces of her clothing, and all her chalk powder had disappeared. We figured that it could have been completely feasible that she had been the one to misplace it, although we were quite sure that they were next to her tent we didn't really want to believe that they were stolen.

Anyway, we didn't read too much into this and just stupidly said to ourselves that perhaps she had left it by the boulders and some animal took an interest to it...I know it sounds stupid but it was very reasonable to us at the time. Fast forward a year, we're at the same spot as usual, sitting by the tents and chilling after having some food.

Mind you, it's pitch blackout, and only the camp area is lit by the fire. I go somewhere a bit out of sight for a minute and what do I see? A dude in a full-on camouflage suit laying on his stomach looking right towards our campsite. I kind of stood there frozen as this dude clocks that I've seen him and he just bolts it out of there.

I don't know whether the event to the year prior was related to the camouflage suit guy but this definitely has stuck to all of us, we haven't been back there since which is a darn shame.

Creepy Hiking FactsPixabay

15. Let’s Talk About Kevin

I was in the woods with three friends at night. A friend's house was nearby, and I was getting hungry so I went inside to find some food. Another friend came inside with me. Two friends were still outside. Later on, one of the two who were outside came in and saw the indoor friend on the couch next to me. They panic and immediately run back outside.

I decided to poke my head out of the door and ask what's going on, only to hear them yell as loudly as they possibly can, "THAT'S NOT KEVIN!" Everyone came inside and calmed down a bit, and then, the story comes out. They thought the friend who was indoors with me (Kevin) had been outside with them this entire time. Why?

Because in the darkness of the woods they saw a silhouette about the same height walking alongside them silently, then at some point it ran away, and they were chasing it thinking Kevin was running off for some reason. The reason my friend yelled, "That's not Kevin" was to stop the last outdoor friend from chasing whoever was out there deeper into the woods.

We still have no idea who that was or why they never even spoke.

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16. Alarm System

I was camping in the mountains in British Columbia, Canada, and myself, my friends, and my dog had spent the day 4x4ing and decided to come back, as it was getting dark fast. The truck breaks down, and we decided we better walk back to camp—we were only a short distance away when we broke down. It was around 11 pm at this point, so very dark, and no one had a real flashlight so we just walked with the moonlight.

My dog was super on edge and was growling a lot, and smelling around. He's a hound so smelling is pretty normal so I did not think much of it. But after a while, he was really growling, and was looking around rapidly and barking behind us, to the side of us, in front of us, and going nuts. My friend turned her phone light on to just look up ahead, and it was a cougar just standing in front of us on the trail.

My dog was fully howling at this point, and was trying to run at it—he was on a leash—and the cougar took off. We were all terrified for the walk back. It made no noise the whole time we walked, the only reason we knew was because of the dog.

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17. Can You Ignore a Man in Pain?

I normally got off of work around seven in the evening, and my walks home were uneventful. However, on this night I covered a half shift for someone and worked until 11 pm. There was a trail behind some train tracks I would take home to avoid walking beside traffic and whatnot. I came to realize that night those trails were a lot different at 11 pm then they were at 7 pm.

I happened across a guy who was laying by his bike moaning in pain. It didn't sound like real moaning, more like a kid's fake "I have a tummyache and can't go to school" moan. I also noticed his bike was standing up on its kickstand. It didn't make sense to me he would set his bike up properly only to fall to the ground in pain.

He saw me and called out to me for help, but I kept walking and turned to make my way back up towards the street. As I turn, I suddenly hear some shuffling around, and the previously "hurt" gentleman yells at me: "I'm gonna kill you!" He gets on his bike and starts rushing towards me. At this point, I'm most of the way up the incline going towards the railroad tracks that ran parallel to the street.

I haul my butt up there, and as I get over the tracks, my would-be assailant proceeds to hit the tracks with his front tire, and flips over his handlebars, hitting the ground hard. He is now moaning in pain for real and makes genuine calls for help. I used a payphone at a gas station to call the authorities and explain what happened.

They get there and the officer explains to me this guy is the village idiot who does this stuff to rob people, and it's not the first time they had to pick his butt up after he biffed on a bike trying to rob someone. I told the officer he threatened to kill me, and he laughed. Dude wasn't even armed, and apparently has had his butt kicked more times than he can count using that little line of his.

Police Officers Unforgettable Moments On the Job factsPixabay

18. Rustling in the Trees

I was walking around my neighborhood alone once, enjoying the night air and watching the stars. There was this little pond near my house, with a wooded area that had trees, a bench and a rope swing that went out over the water. I sat down on the bench to look at the stars, and I heard some rustling off to my right, towards the trees.

Bears were not uncommon where I'm from, so I took out my flashlight and shone it around over there. I didn't see anything. It freaked me out, so I kept my flashlight on and my senses aware, but I stayed on the bench to mull over my thoughts and watch the sky some more. I don't know why I did that, 'cause that's typical horror movie stuff.

Anyway, a few minutes pass, and I hear nothing more, so I lean back into the bench, and start to relax a bit. I'm staring up at the sky with my flashlight pointed downwards, so as not to create any light pollution, when I notice something in the tree in my peripheral vision. I couldn't tell what it was, but the branch was swaying slightly, and the rustling noise was back too.

I immediately sat up, and stared at it, but hadn't shone my flashlight at it yet in case of upsetting some huge bird or something else. I don't think I've ever been that scared. I remember my heart was beating so fast, and I could taste blood. I stared at it for what seemed like forever, and it slowly stopped moving, but the shape was still there.

Bears do climb trees sometimes, so I was hesitant to run away in case that's what it was. So, I just kept staring at it. After a while, I mustered up the little raisin-esque kahooneys to shine my gosh-darned light at the tree. It was a man. a freaking man. In the tree. Crouched in the tree-like some silent, unclothed monkey. He had no expression on his face, but his eyes were open really, really wide.

When my light landed on him he started to move like he was going to come down, but I didn't stick around to see if he did. I jumped the bench and ran for the freaking hills. I ran to my house, and around to the back door, and locked myself in without looking back once. I went around and made sure every window and door was locked, I even checked the attic.

I never go out alone anymore.

History's Creepiest People factsShutterstock

18. Slasher

This wasn’t hiking so much as car camping, but we were way out in the frick middle of nowhere in Colorado. We drove for an hour and a half down a forest service road and didn’t see another soul. You could see headlights and hear cars from miles away from our campsite—it’s not like somebody could have snuck up unnoticed.

We had three cars with us and eight people. We had just gotten done eating dinner, cleaned up, and it was getting dark so we went back to the cars really quick before hitting our tents for the night. Somebody had slashed the front right tire on each of the three cars with what appeared to be a box cutter. Everyone thought it was a prank, but it becomes very apparent, very quickly that it wasn’t.

All of us were beyond spooked, like panicking, scary to watch spooked. We all had spares, and one dude had a pistol, so we threw on our donuts while that guy literally guarded us, and got the heck out of there. I still have nightmares about it sometimes. Just knowing there was some person, probably watching us, maybe wanting to harm us, makes me feel physically ill to this day.

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20. Forest Roads Take Me Home

My buddies told me about an abandoned mansion in the area and my curiosity got the best of me, and I wanted to go check it out. According to what they said, the neighbors were fond of calling the authorities whenever they saw someone unfamiliar checking the place out—so me, being the (not) genius I was, decided to go the back way through the woods, because the house was relatively close to a trail.

I pulled the address of the allegedly abandoned mansion up on my phone, and punched it into my GPS, then went off into the woods, checking and basically stumbling off the trail to move closer to the mapped address. For the curious: this wasn't a serious trail where this could put one in danger; Meadowdale Beach trail for the curious.

Some might know the house I'm talking about if they're from my area. Anyway, partway through I found my way to a strange, paved backroad in the middle of the woods. Never figured out what it was, I didn't follow it. I'd come from one side, from off the trail, and on the other side was a steep hill. I thought I heard a car (I didn't), panicked, and climbed up the hill to hide; at the top, I spotted a group of about a dozen tents.

This was about 1-2PM in the afternoon, but a solid 30 minutes from the trail, with only what appeared to be a private road leading to it. I promptly crapped myself and slipped away before seeing anyone or waiting for them to see me.

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21. He is Coming

I went to this kind of outdoor education boarding school when I was 14/15 in the Victorian Alps in Australia. We hiked the mountains in that area almost every weekend usually doing two to three-night hikes, sometimes more. We had heard from teachers and locals that there were hermits in the mountains who lived in shacks or drifted between the old cattlemen huts.

We just brushed them off as stupid stories that the teachers tell you to spook you. However, we did this one hike at the tail-end of winter that kind of lead me to believe there were actual hermits living in the mountains. Basically, we were doing this four-day hike at the end of winter so it was super gloomy, foggy, and cold the whole hike.

The Victorian Alps are famous for their cattlemen's huts which are all over the high country. We would hike from hut to hut, but we rarely stayed in them because it was one of the school's rules. So, we were hiking on the second day on this steep ridge, and it was mega foggy and cold. You couldn't see into the valley, only down the sloping edges of the ridge.

When you’re hiking long distances you don't really talk the whole way, and since it was miserable we all just had our heads down walking straight. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a black dog about 50 meters down the side of the ridge. It wasn't a dingo, because it was jet black, and had a collar on. It looked kind of like a border collie.

I had only just registered it was a dog in my mind when I swear I saw a man walking behind the dog. He looked homeless and was looking up at us. Bear in mind, it was really foggy, and this guy was darting in and out of trees. I turned around, and told my mate I saw a dude and his dog on the trail below. He was still visible so I pointed him out, and my mate freaked a little too and told everyone else to look.

In the moment of getting my group (six guys) to stop hiking and all look, he was gone. Everyone other than myself, and my mate who saw him shrugged it off as a day hiker and his dog. We joked it was a hermit, but didn't speak about it much after. We arrived at our campsite which was the Vallejo Gartner Hut. We couldn't stay in the hut so, we set up camp on the flat ground around it.

We set up, cooked dinner, and got ready to sleep. I didn't think much about the man and the dog I saw earlier, but now it was getting dark, and it kind of crept into my mind. There is this awesome toilet at this hut that overlooks the valley below. Honestly, an awesome bathroom. It was almost dark, and I need to go to the bathroom, so I headed to the loo.

As I was sitting there, and looking at the view, I was feeling a little creeped out, I don’t know why. Now, one thing to note is that these huts are all covered in scribbles, and people’s names, little sayings, etc. Like, literally every square inch is covered in something. So, of course, you never really read anything on the walls if you stay at these huts like every weekend.

Though as I reached for the toilet paper these words literally jumped out at me: "RUN. RUN. RUN. HE'S COMING. RUN". I never wiped my butt faster. Combined with what I had seen earlier, and my creepy feeling I just bolted out of the bathroom into my tent. The guy I was tenting with actually was the one who had also seen the dude, so I told him what I saw in the bathroom.

We both became pretty paranoid, and just sort of laid there for hours not making a sound. Eventually, I went to sleep. Stuff really gets weird when the next day we woke up to find huge portions of our food missing. We keep the food in the outside bit of our tents, in our hiking packs and then inside zipped bags. Half of my groups outside tent zippers were undone with the packs open, and food bags were strewn over the ground.

We thought it was a wombat originally, but the bags were literally unzipped, and our hiking packs had buckles to open them. My thinking was the dude I saw earlier was a hermit, and followed us to our camp and took our food at night. Honestly, creepiest stuff I have ever experienced.

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22. The Devil You Don’t Know

I was walking home from a party late, late, late at night. I'm just enjoying the beauty of the city at night when I notice a man walking about a block behind me. Two blocks later he’s getting closer. So, I cross the street. What a coincidence. His route needs him to cross too. Half a block later I cross back. Oh heck no. Yeah, he crossed back too.

About two-three blocks ahead I see a homeless person pushing a shopping cart. I start jogging towards them, and call out: "Excuse me!? EXCUSE ME!? I'm so sorry but do you mind if I walk with you a bit?? Because (turn back towards my little shadow friend) THIS JERK doesn’t think I notice him FOLLOWING ME!!!" The homeless person turns out to be an elderly black lady.

She doesn’t miss a trick, pulls out this big stinking Bowie knife from her cart, waves it at the man in the lamplight so he can see, and yells, "WHAT YOU GONNA DO!? YOU WANNA PLAY! GO HOME!!" Guy gets out of there, fast. She was astounded that I approached "someone like her" especially since it was not immediately obvious she was female from a distance in the dark.

I was like, "I knew he was trouble. I figured even if you were a man, best take my chances that you weren’t".

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23. Less than Friendly Game of Tag

I had a group of friends who used to get together and play Manhunt in a local park at night. Just a different way of saying a big game of hide and seek/tag where three people start off "it," and everyone else goes and hides in the park. As they find and tag people, they become "it" as well until eventually there are only one to three people left, then we start again, and play into the early morning.

Well one night, I was it with my friend and his younger brother. We were heading to the middle of the park, to a hotspot for hiding places. There is a long stairwell that leads up a huge hill to a pavilion and field. We were slowly walking down those stairs, maybe halfway down when we notice two folks way below us. Thinking it was one of our friends, we tell out: "HEY, WHO'S THAT?'

Instead of the normal reaction, which is to call out your name then sprint away trying to avoid getting tagged, a strange voice responds "Who ARE YOU?" We at first started sprinting down at them like we normally would. But then we realized they too, were sprinting at us. We don't even hesitate, we turn around and sprint up the stairs, as fast as we can, adrenaline kicking in, hairs sticking up on the back of my neck.

We make it up on top of the hill and pause, when I look back, and they are RIGHT behind us, not more than 10 feet away, which is absurdly fast because of how much distance we had had between us. We start sprinting as fast as possible to the park trail that wraps around the entire park and leads to a road where one of our friends lives and that we use as a meetup spot between games.

It's a two-mile run back from where we are so we book it, sprinting as if our lives depended on it. Occasionally looking back, and seeing the two people following behind. As we get nearer our energy is spent, but we push on, and make it to the street, looking back and there is no sign of the two strangers. All of our group is back at the house, lounging on the driveway, having decided to prank us that night, and while we were off in the park searching for them, they would meet back at the house until we gave up.

We shared our story with them, and some laughed in disbelief, others wanted to search the park for those two strangers, but we never discovered who they were. All I know is that they were incredibly fast, and shady as all get out.

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24. Coyotes Keep Out

I was camping and some of the group had gone off on a late-night stroll. After a while, me and a friend got bored and decided to go look for them. It was pretty much rolling grassland hills with few trees out there, so we figured it wouldn't be hard. It was also unearthly quiet, other than the occasional distant owl or coyote sounds, so we were whispering and being very chill.

There was a pretty good moon so we hadn't brought lights either. Anyway, I finally see someone standing under a tree on the crest of this hill, so I go up there first. I call out quietly and don't get a response. Again, no response. I was kind of annoyed, I just strut up there, but I'm realizing something looks weird about this person I've been seeing.

They're holding their arms over their head and the proportions aren't right. But I think that was all kind of subconscious because I didn't do anything different until I got close enough to see that it wasn't a person at all, but a freaking coyote that someone had flayed, and strung up to the tree by the limbs like some kind of totem.

I literally fell backward in shock. Turns out the woman who owned the property was no fan of coyotes coming after her livestock. She also woke us all up in the middle of the night once with sustained AR-15 fire. Like 20 shots. Someone who lived near there just said, "Oh she must have found a whole pack of them. Go back to sleep".

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25. Good Guard Dog

One night my girlfriend and I were walking our dogs around the neighborhood; she's a lot smaller, so I was walking two of the dogs, and she was walking one, who was a former service dog. He was a real gentle dog, albeit a bit older. Other than snatching the ball away from the others during fetch, he'd never shown a bit of aggression.

I walk a bit ahead of my girlfriend because of the two dogs pulling pretty hard on me, but not too far, maybe 10 or 15 feet ahead, but around a corner. As I found out later, she'd slowed down in part because she'd noticed someone nearby acting strangely, scoping out a house I think, when he spotted her. He said hi, and she responded in kind, asked how he was.

Before he could answer, the dog she was walking started to growl, and she apologized, commenting that he was a guard dog. The guy looked at her and said, "Well, he's doing a good job tonight". She was pretty spooked and hurried to catch up to me; we were more careful on nighttime walks from then on.

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26. Dunes of Hazard

I was camping with a few buddies once pretty far out in a sort of sand dune type terrain in Australia. The plan was to just hike to a good spot we knew well and get sloshed. We got to the spot and pitched tents and were chilling, our spot is on top of a really high dune because the view from the top was just mesmerizing with the ocean and wilderness.

Anyway, we just got the campfire started and out of nowhere this Jeep just comes flying over the lip of this hill right next to us, and almost crushes a few friends of mine and one of the tents. Like I said this sand dune is really high up so I have no idea how they managed to get up it at the speed they did. They slammed the brakes and no one can get a look at them as the windows were tinted and sped off over the dunes.

Then about an hour later I went off to do my business in a bush nearby and was looking down the hill and just saw a figure staring up at me, a friend of mine came behind me to do his business in a bush next to me and scared the life out of me. When I pointed the figure out to my mate it just took off over a lip of a hill. Definitely a night I won't forget and I don't think I've returned to that spot since.

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27. Grinning Man

I was out taking my dog on a short walk and to go to the bathroom. She was a rescue, and was, at this point, terrified of everything. So, getting her outside was always a task. It was four am, and she was whining at me. I figured she needed to go to the bathroom, so I put on some shoes and took her outside. It was a warm night as it was July in Missouri.

I’m walking down the street from my apartment complex, and I see a figure standing under a streetlight, not moving. Thinking it was just a guy out for an early morning run, I kept walking. That’s when this figure started to move towards me in a weird fashion. He wasn’t jogging, wasn’t walking, it looked like skipping. Thinking to myself, "Uh, what the heck".

I stopped walking. That’s when my dog started growling from behind my legs. I’d had her almost six months, and had never heard her growl or bark. I turned around and walked back into my complex. I looked over my shoulder and this dude is standing at the entrance to my apartment complex, head to toe in black clothing, grinning from ear to ear.

I was fully in "what the heck is this" mode and walked back into the complex further while checking to make sure smiles wasn’t following me. I started to walk towards my entrance, and he turned and slipped away into the night. I went and talked to my landlord the next day, and she told me they’d had multiple reports of this guy skipping around the complex late at night, but whenever the officers showed up he was gone.

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28. Bird People of a Feather

About a year ago I was talking a walk at a local nature park, it's rather big, right alongside a big inlet river. I tend to cycle up there as there is plenty of drops, and jumps for me to do on my mountain bike, but this one day/night was a bit weird, you know when you can just feel something in the air? I was going about my business as usual and realized it was getting pretty late, like not dark, but the light was beginning to fade.

Not many people were there that day, but all day I just felt like I was being watched, I lined up a drop which runs next to a set of stairs, quite a long one, right as I hit the drop I hear this almighty freaking squawk, really throaty, bit of a roar combined with like, a bird I guess. My handlebars wobbled a little bit, but I managed to get to the bottom without falling.

I slam on my brakes and look up the drop behind me and there was this figure, human-like, just standing at the top, he was wearing denim jeans with this freaking weird, almost pagan-esque robe/garment which had like feathers on it, all tattered and stuff, and he just looked at me, deadpan, no expression, and after about 10 seconds just let out this freaking noise again, really loud, eyes stretched out—I pooped my freaking pants, and began to cycle out.

Now, it's about a 10 min ride of windy paths, going over little wooden bridges covering small rivers/runs - and I swear to freaking god this noise happens like four more times, each a little closer. And to top it off, there was freaking nobody around, like normally you get couples walking through, or older folk with their dogs, but nobody, nothing.

I've been back twice since, and each time I just cannot get comfortable enough to stick around and enjoy myself as I used too. One day I think I'll grab a bunch of my pals from hockey, and go exploring, see if we can figure that stuff out.

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29. Straight Out of a Horror Movie

Years ago, some friends and I were going to have a campfire at a lake late at night, with copious amounts of booze. When we got there, we had to drive around a barricade, and one of the cars got stuck in the mud. While trying to get it unstuck, I looked around and made a joke about how we were definitely in the beginning of a horror movie.

We all laugh about it. We get the car out and continue to the lake, get all set up, fire is going, music is playing, drinks are flowing, we are having a great time. All of a sudden some random freaking guy comes walking out of the woods with a beer. I get nervous, everyone else tells me I'm being paranoid since I watch a lot of scary movies.

They invite him to join us, he ends up sitting next to me, but a few feet away. I go to grab another drink from the cooler, see the hatchet that someone brought, and I decide I'm going to hold on to it. I sit back down, and this random guy makes some comment about he can see my jugular and wants to bite it. I'm ready to peace right out, but I, of course, didn't drive.

A little while later he makes a comment about he should have brought his chain saw. I'm completely alone in thinking this is going to end badly, I move across the fire and closer to the cooler and one of my friends. I set the hatchet next to me, try to ignore the guy and enjoy my night. Fast forward a bit, and the guy is making more weird comments so, I reach for the hatchet.

It's gone. I start glancing around, discreetly at first, when the guy smiles at me from across the fire and goes, "Looking for this?" and holds up the hatchet. I said "Forget all of this, I'm leaving," and managed to get one of my friends to leave. The next day everyone said that nothing more happened, but as someone who has seen A LOT of movies, I wasn't taking any chances.

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30. Late Night Drive

One night around 3 am, I was driving home from a friend’s house just outside of the city. The four-lane road was a very busy one during the day, but was totally empty at this time of night. As I approach an area wooded on both sides with a bridge overhead, I noticed from far off that there was a figure in the middle of the road. So, I started slowing down.

As I got closer, I realized it was a woman with matted hair and tattered clothing who was facing my direction down the center of the lane, and there was something in her mouth. After a moment, I was close enough to see that it was no small amount of twigs and small branches clutched between her teeth, and sticking out both sides of her mouth because she was biting down on them.

Her eyes were wide and bugging out looking at my approaching vehicle. I know this might sound dumb since I was inside my moving car, but I think I let out a little scream because the sight was disturbing, and I came upon her so quickly. What’s worse is that I quickly changed lanes to go past the woman, but whichever direction I went in, she moved quickly and decidedly toward my car, as if she was going to jump in front of it.

I swerved a few lanes over to give her a wide berth, drove past her, and just kept going, but the feeling took a while to leave me. And the walk from my parking spot to my apartment in the dark a few minutes later was an uncomfortable one. To this day I think it’s the eeriest thing I’ve ever seen.

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31. Footsteps of a Stranger

Yellowstone National Park in October of 2015. I'm kind of an avid amateur photographer, and one night around 4 AM I was out alone in the Firehole Basin region of the park. The goal was to take a long exposure photo of a geyser erupting, with the Milky Way stretching through the sky overhead. The photo turned out to be pretty much a bust—when geysers erupt they shoot massive amounts of steam into the air, and steam kind of blurs that whole beautiful night sky situation.

But anyway, I parked my car and hiked a ways to get close to the geyser I wanted to photograph, then I set up my tripod, adjusted all the settings, and waited for the (eventual) eruption. The night was crystal clear, perfectly quiet, and very cold. As my ears grew accustomed to the lack of sound, I gradually realized I could hear the gentle burbling of the spring that gives birth to the Firehole River, some distance behind me.

I could hear the wind in the trees and leaves rustling across the ground. In front of me, I could hear rumbling and hissing from deep within the Earth, as the White Dome geyser worked itself up for another (inevitable) eruption. An owl hooted somewhere above me, and I could even hear the distant howls of wolves across the bowl of the Midway Valley below.

As my eyes grew accustomed to the darkness, I could see the Milky Way stretched like a river of light from horizon to horizon overhead. A million, billion stars shined above, brilliant and cold. Orion hung over my right shoulder, and Venus burned just above the horizon—so bright it almost hurt to look directly at it. And then behind me, loud and sudden, the pounding footsteps of a giant.

Clearly coming right at me. Bear? Bigfoot? Some hideous monster, born in the abyss of a geyser's boiling mouth, spewed upon the land to wreak vengeance? I didn't know. But I knew it was coming, and I knew it was close. The buffalo actually brushed against me as he went past. I was frozen in place. Resigned to my fate. A huge bull, a mountain of fur and horns, shambling up out of the darkness, steam billowing from his nostrils in the cold, dry air.

It felt like a close encounter with a freight train. He strode past like I didn't exist, seemed to tiptoe gently around my tripod, then stopped about 10 feet in front of me and took a long, slow, very satisfying, steaming pee on the ground. Then he grunted and went on his way. And I stood there wondering how I was going to take a photo if the geyser blew before my hands stopped shaking.

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32. High Tech Stalking

My wife walks our dogs late at night. She heard a sound and couldn't figure out where it was coming from. It was a high pitched whining like a radio-controlled car and seemed to be coming from the graveyard near where she crosses a road. She figured an electrical box had failed and continued walking. Both dogs immediately started barking and staring at the graveyard behind her.

Then she saw the culprit: a quadcopter. Now, remember that it was past midnight. The quadcopter didn't have any running lights. And it started to follow my wife. She was more than a bit upset, so she messaged me, and asked me to be ready to drive and pick her up. The quadcopter continued to follow her and matched every turn she made.

She said to me that she was scared of it knowing where we lived. She was ready to call the authorities when the quadcopter turned around and headed off. I drove to pick her up, and we drove out of town to approach our home from a different route. The next day we asked the local online community groups about it. Turns out that this quadcopter had been following women to their homes for a few days.

The authorities were notified, but the quadcopter's pilot decided to lay low, and the officers couldn't find anything.

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33. Bad Dogs

I was in Syria on a visit from Australia back in the late 90s. I saw two dogs in the distance, about 30 meters away, lit up by a bright moon, they had faces that looked human. I seriously froze. They walked up to about 10 meters away and looked totally flipping human. One of them growled so I fired my piece at them, and they ran away.

I immediately headed back home looking over my shoulder the whole way. I told my aunt what I had seen, and the house erupted in laughter. It was some local ghost story. Everyone had an encounter with them at one stage or something.

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34. Dancing in the Dark

A few friends and I went on an overnight hike in the Rockies behind our little town a few years back when I was in high school Our camping site was pretty far up there, and it was getting dark. The spot we were at was nestled in a grove of trees secluded from the wind and elements, so we decided to stop there for the night. The four of us built a little fire and ate dinner then just talked for a few hours.

Then all of a sudden my friend leaps forward and douses the fire with our emergency water plunging us into complete darkness. Needless to say, the rest of us were pretty upset, as there was no reason for him to do this. He quickly shushes us and we realize he is absolutely TERRIFIED. Like so scared he couldn’t even speak or move.

The rest of us manage to get a few words out of him and he tells us to look up on the ridge we’re we should have been camping at. It was pretty far up so it was kind of hard to see at first, but that sight will haunt me for the rest of my life. There was a fire, a big one, like a bonfire sort of thing. Around the fire were several figures moving in a slow circle.

They were humanoid, but not quite, and in they had arms and legs like people but something just seemed different about them that I can’t really explain. Almost like the limbs were too long and skinny or something, but maybe not. Anyway, these figures just moved around the fire in a really slow circle over, and over again.

My one friend claims he could hear them singing something, but I don’t remember anything. Importantly, there was one standing off to the side a little ways leaning with his arm on a tree branch above his head. It really creeped us out, but we were able to sleep it off. We figured it was a scout troop having a camp or something. Morning came, and we finished off our hike to the peak, and on our way down we passed the place we saw the figures and decided to check out the camp.

It was completely deserted. It was obvious that there had been a fire, and there were footprints everywhere. Inside the fire pit was a small mound of charred animal bones (probably chipmunk), and a pile of four or five rodent skulls that had been burned. Creepy right? Then we look over at where the one figure was standing. Blood.

Not a lot, not enough to be of concern or anything, but enough to be creepy. Then we see the tree branch he was casually leaning against. It was well over any of our heads and I’m over six foot. That would mean that in order for the figure to lean against it like he was, he would need to be at least seven feet tall. Needless to say, we got off that mountain very fast, and I have never been up there again.

We called the fish and wildlife rangers and told them what we saw. They said it was probably just a bunch of kids messing around, and not to worry about it. It might have been just that, and we let our imaginations run wild, but all four of us swear to this day we all saw the same thing, and it didn’t look like a bunch of kids in the dark.

I don’t believe in ghost or the supernatural, but those mountains still scare the heck out of me, and I will never go back there again.

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35. Bad Kind of Shrines

I was hiking through a park in central Florida about three years ago. It has a kind of dense scrub brush. You can only see the trail in front of you. The brush is chest high on both sides. I'm about two miles from the nearest trailhead, and it's around 7 pm. I had an hour of light left. I had intended on setting camp when I found the next clearing.

First clearing I get to has a gator head in the middle with a circle of stones around it. It was maybe two to three weeks old. Just a dried skull with scales. Soft tissue was gone. I had seen gator skulls left by poachers before, and I usually ignore it, but it gave me a weird vibe so I kept walking. About 15 minutes later, (and deeper in) I get to another nice sized clearing.

This time, a few lifeless birds were strung up to some sticks and hanging in a circle, like a mobile over a baby crib. Seven or eight small birds. Maybe four feet across. Had been there for a while. It didn't smell anymore at least. Still creepy enough to send me on my way. Third times the charm, right? Wrong. 20 minutes later and after taking to side paths to get away from the main trail, and hopefully avoid any other "displays," I find a fresh one.

A deer head on a stick. With sticks scattered around making four circles around the base of the stick. The blood was splattered all around the sticks. Fresh enough for the flies to still be on it. The head smelled rancid. I didn't see the body, but I didn't look for it either. I got out of there. I was dark before I got back to my truck.

Called fish and game the next morning, because the gator and deer would have been taken out of season. Told them what I found, and apparently, this wasn't the first time somebody called about animal effigies in that park. Never went back but I am curious just how many other "shrines" were out there.

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36. Unidentified Glowing Object

We were hiking in central Maine, close to about 100 miles of wilderness... about as thinly populated as you can get in the lower 48. Wife and I pull up to the trailhead at about 2 AM, after a long drive and epic storms, and decide to catch a few Zs before hitting the trail at sunrise. After settling in, we notice a blinking light on a distant mountain—there's no illumination for miles, and miles in any direction, so it sticks out immediately—and we comment on it likely being the only radio tower for 50 miles.

Then the light starts slowly moving down the hill, it's maybe a couple of miles off, and we both get interested. We figure it must be some truly insane weirdo coming down the mountain in the darkest part of the night with a headlamp, and the blinking is when a tree obscures the line of sight. It keeps coming and picks up speed, and at this point, we start to make casual jokes that it's coming rights towards us.

I can't remember how long we had the car's lights off, but at this point, we turn them back on as we're starting to feel a little creepy. We watch the light come down the hill, covering the couple miles in a minute...maybe two. Then it's right outside about 20 feet off the ground and blinking. We grab a flashlight to try to see what it is, but can see nothing.

It's just a blinking light about the brightness of a dim street light appearing every few seconds. It hovered there for around 20 minutes, then was suddenly gone. To this day we have no idea what it was. I assume some kind of giant glowy bug, but I've lived in the country most of my life and have never seen anything that bright or a bug move that fast.

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37. If It Looks Like a Ghost, and Floats Like a Ghost …

I'd like to preface this by saying: I do not believe in ghosts...I was walking through the woods after fishing for the better part of the day. I decided to stay out really late and try and fish up some bullheads from a local watering hole. I was only about 13 and stayed out WAY later than I normally would. Usually, I would take a trail home, but decided to cut through some thicker brush to get to my grandparents’ house so I could call my mom.

I knew she'd probably be freaking out a bit, even though this happened from time to time. There was an abandoned graveyard on my route. I don't remember what the story was about it, but I knew it was there. I had wandered past it before, never really checked it out. It's all overgrown and wild. I knew that if I followed on the outskirts of the graveyard I'd hit the road, and be home free.

The day had been pretty chilly overall for a late spring day, but I swear, in my teenage brain that it was getting colder. I remember looking at my breath and thinking, it was weird how cold it had gotten. It was overall a pretty bright night, near full moon, but in the woods, it was hard to see. The graveyard was wide open, no trees. It was well lit.

As I was walking up, I noticed that the ground was covered in a thin layer of fog, and remember looking into the graveyard, and not really registering what I saw at first. It was a person, which at first didn't seem odd, so I kept quiet and walked into the woods a bit more so I didn't get spotted. I didn't know who it was, so I wanted to keep clear.

I stepped behind some trees and lost sight of them for a moment, and when I came back around the tree, they were gone. Weird, because I was behind the tree for maybe a few seconds tops. I didn't hear anything either. I walked a bit further, keeping an eye out. I was a bit creeped out. Near the graveyard was a run-down...barn?

I'm not really sure, but as I got closer to it, I could see that someone was inside. I got a good look and it was a woman, probably in her 50s. The way the moonlight hit her made her look incredibly pale. She seemed to be digging, but I didn't hear anything. No sounds of a shovel, or her making noise in any way. I was maybe 30 feet away.

I could see she stopped, and disappeared behind some debris. I decided to get the heck outta there and quickly moved to get out to the road. I tried to keep track of her, looking for where she went, but I couldn't find her. It was like she literally disappeared. I kept trucking and came out to the road. The fog was pretty much covering the road, a small country road, fields on one side, woods on the other.

As I walked down the road she would randomly appear behind, and in front of me, and I started hiding and basically playing cat and mouse. Each time I saw her, she was hard to see, only in the moonlight and stuck to the remnants of some of the old houses nearby. She always looked pale. Never made any noise. Once I got past that part of the road, which had a number of barn foundations and home remnants, I never saw her again, and it instantly started getting warmer.

Creeped me the heck out and I never went that way again. I don't know who or what that was, but I told my uncle about it, and he went and checked it out, thinking maybe someone was maybe trying to excavate the graves. He said there wasn't anything messed with. They thought I was lying. Still gives me the shakes just typing this out.

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38. What’s in the Bag?

My girlfriend and I had driven down an old dirt road that ran beside a lake on one side with mountains on the other. We were looking for unexplored territory to hike in. The dirt road became a trail and eventually was swallowed up entirely by the forest. Once the path became impassable by car we got out, and hiked for quite some time and began making our way back to the car as the sun was going down.

It was a challenge getting the car turned around, but I finally managed and we were off. It was slow going, as it was a cruddy road and getting dark fast. Suddenly, we came to fork in the path that hadn't been visible coming the other way. Neither of us had any idea whether to go right or left, so I just picked randomly hoping that both would end up taking us back to the main road.

As we rounded a small curve in the road, our headlights fall upon a man dragging a large hockey duffle bag off the trail into the woods. As soon as the lights hit him he just froze, standing completely still. Driving past him felt like it took an eternity because we couldn’t have been doing more than five miles an hour, due to the crummy road.

My girlfriend and I didn't say a word to each other until we were well past him...at which point we were like, "What the heck was that?" And then the road ended. Just like where we had stopped the first time, the forest had swallowed up this part of the road. We were going to have to turn around and drive by the man with the human-sized duffle bag again.

I told my girlfriend to buckle up and hold on tight because at the first sign of trouble I was going to hit the pedal. We came to the spot where the man was, and he was nowhere to be seen. We eventually made it to the right path and got the frick out of there. The weirdest thing about it was, there wasn’t a vehicle anywhere near this guy for 50 miles in either direction.

We would've seen it if there had been. We'd traveled as far as possible both ways, and there just wasn't a car or place to pull off of the road. How the heck did he get there? Where was he going? What was in the bag?

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39. People are the Scariest Things in the Woods

One night my friend and I decided to hike to the top of this small mountain at night for a meteor shower. There were four of us, all around 16 at the time, and we thought it would be cool. We drove over and started hiking. We took a break about halfway when we noticed there was a guy following us...in a business suit. We were weirded out so, we decided to start back up and walk a bit faster.

But by the next time we stopped he was like 10 feet away, so we waited to see if he’d just walk by. He didn’t. He stopped and asked if we were there for the meteor shower and if he could walk with us. Weird a 30-something-year-old man in a suit wanting to hike with four 16-year-olds, but whatever. As we were walking, my friend and I notice he was walking really close to our friend (the only girl in the group) like he could smell her shampoo that was how close he was.

We got to the top, sat down, and he sat down almost right up on our friend. With her reasonably freaked out, I made an excuse as to why we have to leave early, and we promptly booked it the frick out of there. We were nearly running the entire way down. When we got back to the car we thought, "cool we ditched the weirdo".

But no, that was not the case. When we were all in the car my friend pointed out that this guy is FULL ON SPRINTING down the trail, and towards our car with a large stick. Being in a car we just drove out of there very shook up. We chalked it up to some dude on some sort of a drug, but two days later we all got a text linking us to a news report about a guy that had strangled his wife and then proceeded to kill another girl later that night on a hiking trail.

It. Was. The. Guy. The same dude at the same hiking trail. We never told our parents about the incident and never went back there. EVER.

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40. A Useless Dog

It was about 1:00 in the morning, my dog rang her bell, so I begrudgingly got up to take her outside. When she wants to pee in the middle of the night I don’t take her very far, just in our side yard. I took a flashlight with me in case she decided to poo so I could pick it up. I’m standing there waiting for her to do her thing, she is doing the doggie walk in a circle thing.

Then all of a sudden the dog gets spooked and whips around. Out of the corner of my eye, I see this chick just standing there. I didn’t see her walk up, I didn’t hear her walk up, I just see her standing there super still. Based on her position, she had to have come from between my house, and my neighbor’s house. This is odd because behind our houses back up to a green belt.

It was probably 40 degrees outside, and this lady, about 20, is in super short shorts and a t-shirt. I looked at her, told her she scared me, and she mumbled something like, "Nice night, what are you up to?" Standing there holding the leash with my dog, I said, "I’m walking my dog.".. then she said, "Cool, cool... do you know how to get into my house, I locked myself out".

Pointing to my neighbor’s house. Now, I’m a good American, I know my neighbors, and this wasn’t my neighbor, who is a single 30-year-old female. She hangs out with my wife, so I know her really well. So I asked her, "That house?" Pointing directly at my neighbor’s house. She nodded. I said, "You don’t live there... I know who lives there".

She just scoffed and wandered her way into MY back yard. I followed her said, "What the heck are you doing?" She then took off running, scaled my fence...which item of note, it isn’t an easy fence to scale. It is a deer fence, which is a see-through fence that goes up three feet with cattle gate, then at the top of the fence is stainless steel wire that runs horizontally.

It is the type of thing that, if you weren’t expecting it, you’d easily trip over as it is extremely hard to see, and not very common. Anyways, she scales the fence and ran away into the green belt. I always have a pocket knife on me, and was fortunate enough to have my, unfortunately, useless dog.... so I looked around my house, neighbor’s house for other people... shined my light in the green belt... and nothing.

I have no idea how she wound up back there. What she was doing. What she intended to do... but she scared the ever-living heck out of me.

Late Night Hikers FactsFlickr

41. Distant Memories

When I was very little, like five or six, my dad used to take me on all sorts of adventures through nature, especially when we owned a little cottage up in the Scottish Highlands. Now, my dad is sort of a combo Irish bloke and Yorkshire laddy type of fellow, and very spry and on this particular occasion had decided we were going to go hiking way up into the cliffs.

This was a proper, proper trek, he wanted to get to one of the highest bluffs so we could have an amazing 360-degree view of the gorgeous meadows and some sparkling sea, but after we reached the top plains, where it's all short, wind-whipped grass and you can see for miles, he suddenly turned very still and very quiet.

When you're small, your parents are God, so seeing your dad look frightened is scarier than anything your own mind can come up with. So, I was pulling on his arm and going, "What, what?"—my mum is epileptic, and I saw her fits when I was a kid so I thought it was happening to him too, or something similar, and I wouldn't know what to do, because we're up on this huge cliff and no one is around.

When just as fast as he started it, he snapped out of it, fireman-lifted me right up, and just started striding away without a word. Over his shoulder, I could see a big, pale yellow object stuck into the ground like an obelisk. I know now that it was a refrigerator. When I was older,  I asked my dad about it. He stiffened up and told me that when he was a boy in the 50s, he and his little friends had found an old-style fridge in the woods, and being little boys, they opened it.

Well, of course, they had found a body—another child, who by whichever means had found themselves in the fridge and unable to get out. My dad has never mentioned a gender which leads me to believe he either witnessed a very decomposed individual, but I can't ask him. Remember that episode of The Simpsons where they unlock Homer's PTSD and it turns out he found a lifeless body when he was a teenager?

My dad grew increasingly uncomfortable the first time we saw that episode and had excused himself to the kitchen before the ending. My dad has seen some gnarly stuff, but for whatever reason, he will not discuss anything further about this lifeless child in the fridge, only that it happened. So when he explained, I assumed it was the trauma, and I said something like, "Oh dad, that's awful—so when you saw the fridge up there, it brought up the old memories?"

He honestly looked at me with his big blue eyes like I was an idiot, I'll never forget it. "No, Amy," he said in a very low tone, "it was because it was the same fridge".

Hunters in the Woods factsPixabay

42. Mean Girls

I walk at night in my rural area regularly. I’ve encountered black bears, coyotes, bobcats, angry deer, and everything on down, with no real concern. But the creepiest encounter was a little black pickup truck with rainbow and unicorn stickers. Bubblegum pop music blaring, and it smelled like cotton candy when it passed me.

The first time it passed me it swerved to hit me. I jumped out of the way easily. I thought nothing of it really, just figured they were startled by seeing me at night with my reflective gear. The truck circled back and comes at me again. I saw it coming this time and grabbed my dog up just in time to jump into a ditch. I heard little girl laughter, high-pitched and maniacal.

The tiny truck circled back for a third go at me, but by then I was hiding in my neighbor’s shrubbery. I watched it slowly drive down the road, hearing giggling as it passed me. Fortunately, it kept on going and I made it home just fine.

Late Night Hikers FactsShutterstock

Sources: Reddit

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