We all have our own camping horror stories. From losing valuable materials to struggling to construct a tent, camping isn’t always easy. Still, people love to go camping. And, I guess it’s easy to see why. You’re outside in nature, away from all the hustle and bustle and stresses of normal, everyday life.
It can be very relaxing for your body and mind. But, let’s face it, being isolated out in the wilderness can be extremely dangerous. Since you’re often miles from the closest hospital or completely without cellphone service, you do put your life at risk.
On top of safety issues, you have to deal with exposure to the elements, deadly wild animals, and, perhaps worst of all, other humans with less than noble intentions. So, with that said, pack up your gear, here are 25 camping horror stories that’ll make you appreciate hotels, and maybe even encourage you to rethink your plans for your next family vacation to the great outdoors.
When one camper went to relieve themselves by a tree deep in the forest, the last thing they suspected was a company. Imagine their surprise when, in the peripherals of their vision, they spotted two big brown eyes watching them from the underbrush. Somehow a rogue cow had found its way deep into the forest and decided to pay the camper a visit in the most embarrassing of moments.
A Terrible Feeling
A husband and wife were camping together when the wife got a terrible feeling that they weren’t alone. She told her husband and the two searched their camp and the surrounding area thoroughly, only to come up empty-handed. The feeling never left though, and every once in a while the couple swore they heard the sound of footsteps or the snapping of branches just out of their sight.
Things only got more suspicious when the sun went down. The sound of something big moving around their campsite became undeniable. Footsteps, low growls, and other strange noises were heard all throughout the night, and in the morning the two found huge feline-like footprints nearly 8 inches across, all around their tent and campfire ring.
Knocked Down Trees
When some friends went camping in a remote location, the last thing they expected to find when they woke up in the morning was all the trees behind their campsite knocked to the ground. Unsure of what else could have caused such a thing, the group looked up the weather in the local area only to discover a freak tornado popped up, less than 100 feet from where they were sleeping in their tents.
Any encounter with a bear is extremely dangerous and, although they usually prefer to mind their own business, it’s never a good idea to get too close or risk upsetting one. This is why one man was so shaken when he found a fully grown black bear running wild through his camp in Saskatchewan.
The bear left him alone after he managed to scare it off by shouting. However, only a few minutes had passed before he turned around in surprise to find the same bear, now merely inches away, back into the camp behind him. What followed was an intense staredown between a man and beast that probably felt like forever, despite only lasting about 20 seconds.
Luckily, the bear decided to leave the man be and ran off back into the surrounding woods. He still wasn’t gone for good, though. The man had to routinely wake up every half hour or so to scare the animal away from his campsite for the rest of the night.
A large group of nearly 30 people were camping under some breathtaking sandstone cliffs in the Watagan Mountains of New South Wales when they woke to a horrible rumbling that shook the earth for a solid 20 seconds before stopping suddenly. After making sure nobody was injured, the campers grabbed their flashlights and set out to find what caused the sound.
It didn’t take long. Not 100 meters from where the campers were sleeping, they found a massive boulder the size of five school buses which had broken off at the top of the cliff and slid down the mountainside, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. If it had broken off just a little bit closer, there would have been nothing the campers could have done to avoid being crushed by the enormous stone.
A woman and her husband were woken up on a camping trip by a pack of wolves who had snuck into the campsite at night while on their hunt. Listening through the tent, the woman counted around 6-10 wolves, and it sounded like they had caught some small animal.
Luckily, the campers remembered to hang their food a couple of feet off the ground, and they eventually managed to scare off the pack by firing a pistol into the air through the tent. Even for the most veteran of campers, running into a pack of wolves must be one of the most terrifying situations you could find yourself in.
When a boy scout troop woke up to a bloodcurdling scream in the middle of the night while on a group camping trip, they thought they were being attacked by a Sasquatch. Fortunately, it wasn’t actually a Sasquatch at all, but instead one of the scout’s fathers. He had made the sound to spook off a family of raccoons who had been trying to get into the campers’ food supplies, which was hanging from a tree in a bear bag.
A Redditor was going hiking while on a camping trip with a friend when he heard a weird zing next to his ear as though something fast had sped past it, followed by the popping sound of something impacting a tree in front of them.
With the loud crack of a distant gunshot a second later, the hikers, realizing that they had been shot at, got off the trail, fast. Later that day, a park ranger informed them that they had caught an old guy hunting illegally in the woods where they were hiking.
Lowveld of Africa
Since this was a cold winter night, the guide knew that whatever had to be on the other side of the canvas had to be an animal of some kind; and, it was big. Without thinking, the guide moved, causing it to jump up and run off, away from the tent.
When city gang violence resulted in the death of a young man, the perpetrators thought they were in the clear after they left the body in an obscure back road over two hours from the nearest city. They thought wrong.
This road was barely a mile from one of the most popular outdoor recreation spots in the entire region. It was only the next morning that some unfortunate hikers, camping in the area, stumbled across the corpse and reported it to the local authorities.
Camping Trip in Florida
One Redditor took his fiancé on a summer camping trip in Florida, probably hoping to enjoy some time together on a nice, warm beach and maybe even get a tan. Things, however, did not go according to plan.
Their romantic getaway became a nightmare as they dealt with pouring rain, horribly hot and humid weather, and an endless swarm of mosquitoes. Why anybody thought to vacation in Florida in the summer was a good idea is beyond me, but it’s probably safe to guess that those unlucky campers won’t be coming back anytime soon.
Food in Tent
It’s never a smart idea to keep food in your tent while camping. One woman learned this the hard way when a black bear tore open her tent in the middle of the night. Luckily the bear was only there for the food and wanted nothing to do with a terrified, screaming human.
Not A Happy Camper
One group’s fun camping adventure became a nightmare after they dealt with pouring rain, leaking tents, mosquito swarms, and last but not least, running out of food. Things went from bad to worse when their 15-passenger van got stuck in the mud as they were packing up to leave.
The group spent the next several hours digging it out, but as they were driving down the bumpy dirt road away from the campsite, the driver lost control of the van and all their possessions were thrown out of the vehicle through the back door, landing right in the muck. I wouldn’t blame any of them for not wanting to go camping ever again after that fiasco.
Noisy College Students
When a large group of college students was being obnoxious after hours at a camping ground, some of their neighbors took it upon themselves to teach the noisy kids a lesson. They sprinkled some ground up Doritos under the edges of the group’s tents to attract some wildlife that would show up and hopefully spook the kids into leaving. Needless to say, it worked.
Many skunks showed up and clawed at the tent to get at the crumbs. The ensuing freak out caused the surfeit of skunks to start spraying. The next few hours were filled with screaming, crying, and vomiting while the group packed their stuff to leave as fast as possible. The smell was so bad that nobody in the campground could get to sleep that night.
A couple were hiking at Appalachian Trail in northern Georgia when the sun set and they had to set up camp. They got a fire going and were settled in when they noticed that they had significantly less firewood than they thought they should. Thinking nothing of it since they were miles from any civilization and hadn't seen any other hikers on the trail nearby, they both decided to go together to their truck and grab some more logs. Suddenly, as they were grabbing some wood out of the truck bed, a man and two young boys stepped out of the forest wearing dirty, tattered clothing and looking like they would fit right in on a "Deliverance" movie set. They had a brief conversation before the couple, understandably creeped out, hurried back to their campsite with the firewood. They never saw or heard from the three strangers again.
A couple hiked at the Appalachian Trail in northern Georgia when the sunset and they had to set up camp. They got a fire going and settled in when they noticed that they had significantly less firewood than they thought they should. Thinking nothing of it, since they were miles from any civilization and hadn’t seen any other hikers on the trail nearby, they both went to their truck and grabbed some more logs.
Suddenly, as they were grabbing some wood out of the truck bed, a man and two young boys stepped out of the forest wearing dirty, tattered clothing and looking like they would fit right in on a “Deliverance” movie set. They had a brief conversation before the couple understandably creeped out, hurried back to their campsite with the firewood. They never saw or heard from the three strangers again.
A couple of buddies were camping in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania when they woke up to rocks being thrown at their tent. They assumed it was just a couple hooligans from a nearby campsite, but a quick look outside didn’t reveal anything or anyone in the area.
They cautiously went back to sleep, but it was only a couple hours later that they were once again disturbed, this time by an ear piercing screech right outside their tents, not unlike a human woman’s scream. The campers were shaken, but the rest of the night passed uninterrupted. Nothing more ever came of the thrown rocks or the terrifying scream.
When a young trapper headed out alone into the snowy mountains of British Columbia on a two-day trip to check on his father’s traps, the last thing he expected was some company. That’s why, when he woke from his sleep by the sound of something big walking through the fresh snow outside his tiny log cabin, he thought it must have been a grizzly bear or moose.
While both of those things would have been terrifying on their own, what he saw instead, when he went to the window, was something else. It walked upright like a human but appeared to be much, much larger. The next morning, when the trapper went outside, all the tracks had been covered up by the previous night’s snow. He never did find out what it was.
Some friendly campers in Northern British Columbia were communicating by flashlight with another group across a large lake. Suddenly, the light from the mysterious group across the way seemed to glow brighter before zooming away and stopping on the side of a nearby mountain before continuing to flash.
Thoroughly spooked, the campers decided that was enough and retreated to their tents to ponder what they had just witnessed. If things weren’t weird enough already when the campers awoke in the morning, the first thing that greeted them was a good number of dead toads scattered around their tents and campsite.
Valley of the Gods
A man was camping alone in the Valley of the Gods, Utah, when he was woken by the sound of footsteps outside of his tent. The sounds were getting closer and closer till they stopped, only a couple of feet from where he was sleeping. Slowly, he reached up to turn on his lamp, and as soon as he did, he found himself looking directly into the terrified face of a bighorn sheep.
They stared at each other frozen for a good minute before the man, realizing the light had probably startled it, turned out his lamp. Shortly after, he heard the sound of the confused sheep continuing on its way, and in the morning he discovered hoof prints on the ground all around his tent and car. It would seem he had unknowingly set up camp right in the path of a grazing herd of sheep.
Wild boar can weigh up to 200 pounds, are known to be extremely aggressive towards humans, and have large tusks that make any encounter with these feral pigs extremely dangerous for those out in the wilderness unprepared.
This is why a couple of campers deep in the mountains of Georgia were so terrified when they woke to a number of wild boar sniffing around their campfire in search of some leftover food scraps. Luckily, the campers knew to stay quiet and not to scare the animals. Not before long, the dangerous hogs were on there way and the campers could relax once again.
A man was camping in the Florida Keys when some people began burning garbage in a nearby dumping site, causing hundreds of rats fleeing the flames to end up in his camp. The tiny animals were all over and around his tent when he finally got up and went outside to shake them off and start a fire, and he ended up staying awake all night to shoo off any more that showed up.
By morning they were all gone, however the next night the rats were back with a vengeance. After that, the camper decided he’d had enough and moved on to the next campsite.
If you’re somebody with a sensitive stomach, it might be best to skip out on eating anything with baked beans in it while out in the wilderness. One camper learned this while staying with his girlfriend in the woods.
After waking at around midnight to an uncomfortable feeling in his stomach, he decided it would be best to walk to the nearby outhouse and relieve himself to get it over with. When he arrived at the outhouse, however, he discovered somebody else had made it there first.
A gaze of raccoons had moved in for the night and they seemed to have no interest in letting him get past. Feeling bloated and disheartened, the camper made his way back to his tent and, luckily, managed to hold it in until morning when he was finally able to do his business in peace.
The Eyes of a Spider
When a research group hiked through a dense rain forest on a remote island off the coast of Malaysia, one scientist noticed little specks of light all throughout the forest, popping up wherever he aimed his flashlight.
Finally, the curiosity became too much and the scientist closely inspected the lights next time he noticed them. Sure enough, it didn’t take long for his flashlight beam to land on some more of the glittery lights, and he stepped closer to find out what was causing it.
Pulling back a leaf to get a better look, the scientist found himself face to face with the largest spider he’d ever encountered in his life. As it turns out, all of the small, shimmery lights had just been the light of his flashlight reflecting back at him in the eyes of millions of spiders.
A bow hunter headed back to his camp late on a moonless night when he realized he had stumbled into the territory of a bull moose. He realized he needed to get out as fast as possible, but before he could even start to move, he heard the unmistakable sounds of a huge beast crashing through the darkness, heading straight for him.
Without looking or thinking he sprinted through the underbrush as fast as he could, with the 700-pound moose hot on his heels. When he tripped over a log, he thought he was a goner, but he managed to roll into some bushes at the last second and stay completely silent until the moose finally gave up the chase and went on with his business.
One redditor was camping with a group of friends when they came across a recently used campsite where the previous resident had set up a fire ring, some benches, and a large log that had a totem pole-esque face carved into the side. The group jokingly named the log Steve and set up their tents, thinking nothing else of it. That night, after everybody had gone to bed, some of the friends decided to play a prank on the others by moving the face in front of the other tent, however when they awoke in the morning the log had mysteriously been moved in front of their own tent instead. Initially, they thought the other campers had caught on and reversed their prank back on them, but when asked the other campers seemed confused and claimed they never touched the log at all. Creeped out, the group quickly packed up and headed on, leaving behind the strange campsite and the wooden face of Steve where they had found them.
One Redditor was camping with a group of friends when they came across a recently used campsite where the previous resident had set up a fire ring, some benches, and a large log that had a totem pole-esque face carved into the side. The group jokingly named the log Steve and set up their tents, thinking nothing else of it.
That night, after everybody had gone to bed, some of the friends decided to play a prank on the others by moving the face in front of the other tent. However, when they woke in the morning, the log had mysteriously been moved in front of their own tent, instead. Initially, they thought the other campers had caught on and reversed their prank back on them.
But, when asked, the other campers seemed confused and claimed they never touched the log at all. Creeped out, the group quickly packed up and headed on, leaving behind the strange campsite and the wooden face of Steve where they had found them.
You love being freaked out by scary stories. Who doesn’t? You have to check out 25 Horrible Demonic Possessions That Could Be True.