I was by myself, working on a railroad track in a swamp in Georgia in the middle of the night. I heard some grunting in the woods, so I froze up, then a fucking pig the size of a Volkswagen came running out of the woods in my direction. It ran right past me, and I hightailed it to my truck.
Called it a night after that.
Fifteen years ago I went camping with two school friends in bushland that backed onto my Dad’s property in Woori Yallock, Australia. My Dad didn’t spend much time at the house but said we could use it as a base to dump any gear we might not need. He also gave me a heads up that he might creep up to our campsite that night and scare the guys I was with. We hiked from the house for about four hours through very dense bush, where we found a clearing and decided to set up our camp.
Looking around the place for firewood, we kept turning up a lot of old bones- Some so old they almost looked like wood. We concluded that due to the land once being used for farming it was likely they were cow bones. We came up with a few more theories for the sake of scaring each other then built our fire (even burning a couple of the wood-like bones just to see what would happen) and settled in. I was woken up by one of my buddies at about 1am who said he swears he saw torchlight on the tent wall. “Excellent” I thought. We sat in silence for a few minutes before the light came back.
This was great! I really hammed it up, making up stories about murders in the area and escaped prisoners. The light from the torch fixed on our tent, then switched off. We could hear leaves and sticks moving around outside and my buddies were on the verge of tears. Then we started hearing whispering outside, as well as some low mumbling. Dad had brought some friends in on the prank? Dedicated. The torch light came back on and pressed right up to the tent wall, and a hand began tapping across the top while the whispering continued. My Dad had brought some friends in on the prank AND convinced them to walk four hours through dense scrub in the middle of the night just to shine a torch on our tent?
I started to panic. Then it just stopped completely, about an hour after it began. We sat in total silence aside from the sobbing of my buddies, and at dawn packed up and got the fuck out. We got back to the house and Dad was there, he apologized and said he’d planned to come out and see us last night but fell asleep at his girlfriends house. We told him about what happened and he was genuinely dumbfounded.
Interestingly, I went back to the spot a couple of years ago after telling this story to a friend. We found a small shack made of corrugated iron pockmarked with bullet holes, a 44 gallon drum full of burned clothes, a pile of firewood, and two axes. Who knows if it’s related, but it was fuckin creepy.
I used to live in rural Panama in a community with no electricity. The whole town is inside by sundown, around 7pm, and asleep by 9pm. One night, I’m outside at around 11pm photographing stars and I have to turn my headlamp off while the camera is taking the picture, usually about 30 to 150 seconds at a time. 30 to 150 seconds of almost complete darkness.
When I finish a photo, I’ll turn my headlamp back on and look at my camera to adjust settings and take another shot. One time when I turned my head lamp on, I saw a pair of eyes just about fifteen feet away in the bushes staring at me. I’ve got friends who have worked setting camera traps throughout the country and I’ve seen picture evidence that there are still several types of big cats alive and well in the area. I lean down to pick up some rocks, look back up, and the eyes are gone.
My house is about 100 feet away. I do my best to turn my handful of rocks and dinky tripod into weapons and run as manly-like as I can back to my house. I never went back out to take pictures at night.
This summer I was out in the Dark Canyon Wilderness of Utah, after 2 weeks of driving and backpacking around the country alone. The plan was a 7 day trip and after a few days of setbacks I was on my last night. By this time I was already a little scared of the dark but that’s just what happens when you are your only company for 3 weeks. Anyway on the 6th day I found an awesome elk antler and put it on my shoulders about a mile into the days hike.
As anyone who has poorly packed a pack will attest just slapping 15 lbs on the top of your pack is a bad idea. About halfway through my planned deathmartch my hip was getting sore and I blew through my water. I decided that I would stop early and get some water. Luckily I found a few puddles in a dryish river bed and made camp. I started boiling some water when it struck me, if there’s skanky water here there may be good water upstream. So up I went upstream. Just as the canyon boxed out a little spring filled the bed with deliciously cold refreshing water. I drank on my hands and knees before realizing I didn’t bring my water bottles.
Whatever I hiked the half mile or so back to the camp and grabbed them. This is where it gets weird. On my trip back up I kept feeling really vunerable and uncomfortable. Every little rustle in the bushes set me off. I could hear birds calling in the distance that set me off. I kept looking for something following me. I can only describe my emotion as pure terror. It got to the point where I picked up a branch in the just incase a cougar tried to attack me. I still kept telling myself that it was just paranoia and I’m fine but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was being watched. I finally got to the water and filled up my camelback and bottle, constantly looking over my shoulder. The feeling of unease was still with me when I headed back down the gultch.
There I came upon a fresh mountain lion print placed directly between two that I made on the way up. Its one thing to think that your fears are unfounded paranoia, its much much worse to know they are true.
In 2008 I was in the Navy, we were 100+ miles from any land, it was about 3-4am, off the coast of Peru. I was an Electronics Techinician so I worked in radio with one other guy (a radioman) and we just sat up scanning on HF, UHF and VHF radios listening for drug runners. We intercepted a UHF signal that played a short piano preamble, followed by a haunting, computerized sounding woman’s voice reading numbers. “Eleven, Nine, Four, Six” etc etc. This went on for about a minute, then the preamble repeated followed by the same number sequence, then it was gone.
We recorded the transmission, wrote the numbers down, informed the captain and shortly a message was sent off to the area commander about the strange message. The reply we recieved was to “disregard”. Creeped me right the fuck out.
I came to find out that this is a “numbers station” and while the phenomenon is not entirely understood, it’s likely a method for getting a secure message or code to an intelligence agent in the field, over an insecure method of communication. Since the numbers could be attached to a one time code, it’s basically indecipherable.
I was camping in upstate New York a week after 2 prisoners escaped. This was a high notoriety escape and was national news. My girlfriend and I had hiked and camped for 2 days before this. We were very comfortable, had met a lot of awesome people, but everyone was on alert of the escapees. We had settled in, in a remote area upstate New York with no one around that night. I was sound asleep that night. At 5:30am I had started to awake but stayed in my tent, not trying to awake but to maybe go back to sleep for an hour or 2. Not long after I was awake did I hear rustling in the woods around our campsite. At first It was a few rustles, which caught my attention but not enough to be alarmed.
Suddenly, the rustles are right outside are tent and I am on edge. Before I could even tap my girlfriend, all hell breaks loose. My tent is slashed open with a knife while I am watching. My heart almost went through my throat. Before I knew what was happening I was being pile driven into the ground by men with guns. Thankfully I had noticed in the seconds that the men had POLICE armour on. I started screaming out my name, my address, my Social security number. Everything. My girlfriend was even jumped on and forcefully subdued while she was sleeping.
Once everyone’s adreneline calmed down we showed our ID’s and proved we were just camping. It was one of the scariest moments of my life, and also for the police officers that subdued us. Turns out we were not far from where they were just spotted, and the police hadn’t come across anyone in days. They had thought for sure they had come upon the escapees camp.
This a kinda reverse story.
I go camping now and then, and there’s really nice lake out in the woods about 3-4 hours walk east of Oslo, Norway. It’s a popular-ish camping spot. So, A friend and I are running out of firewood and it’s pitch black. (bad planning + whisky drunk) So we grab our flashlights and head out to get some more bits and pieces to keep the fire going.
Now, the lake is large and dotted around the lake we can see about 3-4 fires going. Other happy campers. One camp site in particular is rowdy. It’s a good 200 meters across the lake but we can hear them chanting and singing football songs and generally be abnoxious. It’s about 2 am now and we want to sleep.
I can do this weird thing with my voice. I let all the air out of my lungs and then breath in really fast and tighten my voice box. I can create this ungodly, banshee, inhuman scream that is LOUD and does NOT sound human. So I go for it!
Within a second, the noise from other campsites stop and the fires are doused within 10 seconds. You could hear a pin drop all across the lake. Silence…. sheer terrified silence. Even my camp mate was freaked out (he’d never heard me do it before)
Got stalked by a mountain lion on a hike. It was late at night, were in a group of about 5, and didn’t have enough flashlights to go around, so we gave one to the person in front, and one to me (in back).
I felt like I was being watched, and so I real quick flashed the light around and turned my head, saw a pair of green eyes attached to a body slink back off the trail a little bit. Our light wasn’t powerful enough to get a super good bead on it, but every 30 seconds or so thereafter, I would turn around and flash the light up the trail, probably saw something about 75% of my turnarounds. It followed us for probably 1/2 hour, until we were 10 minutes from the cars.
The people I was hiking with didn’t notice, and mountain lions don’t often jump large groups of adults — but I wasn’t really about “Statistically, we’re probably fine” at that point. No one else noticed, and I didn’t say a word while it was following us — really didn’t want to run the risk of a panic.
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