Usually, camping is a carefree way to unwind and connect with nature. But for some, it’s left a lasting impression and not in a great way.
These scary camping Reddit stories may give you goosebumps.
Tea for two?
“Solo camp in the middle of nowhere. When I woke up in the morning, someone had made a cup of tea and partially drunk it in the middle of the night. No sign of anyone anywhere.” – Magnus_40
Don’t Listen to Dad
“Camping with my kids in the woods for the first time. They were very nervous, but I assured them that nothing was out there to be afraid. Immediately after one of my assurances, we heard something moving outside of the tent. They started crying a bit, and I said it was either the wind or maybe a raccoon a little bit away. At that moment, something came down on the top of the tent…something pushing in at four spots. They lost their minds with terror….even I screamed.
It was our cat. My wife had let him outside, and he made his way down in the woods to see us. He was young and had never seen a tent before and jumped on top of it right above us.
This was a few years ago, and my kids still bring up how scary it was and how daddy screamed.” – joeltheconner
Not Enough Airhead’s to Go Around
“Sheer terror when I was a kid at Boy Scouts summer camp. One kid left a couple of airheads out on the picnic table. Everyone woke up in the middle of the night to, no joke, 30+ raccoons fighting over airheads and going into tents looking for more food.
If you’ve never heard that many hissing and growling raccoons at the same time, good for you.” – pirate737
Baby on the Loose
“I was tent camping in Arkansas around 2003-04, and The Blair Witch Project was still fresh on my mind. I was about 20 years old at the time.
Around 2-3 in the morning, we’re woken up by what sounds like a small child running around our tent, crying and trying to get in.
I was thoroughly freaked out. Finally decided to open the tent, and there was a kid that couldn’t have been more than 3 years old scared half to death and only wearing a diaper.
I had lots of thought going through my head, but mostly – how the hell do I handle this? I can’t really go campsite to campsite, the ranger office is closed, and I’m standing there in the middle of the night holding a child that isn’t mine.
We had decided to call the cops, figuring it was the safest thing to do; just then, a lady walks down the trail and is like ‘how did you get out?’ The kid was saying, ‘mama, mama…’ and went straight to her. She nonchalantly said thank you and walked away.
Now as a parent, I can’t imagine how much more that would freak me out if it were my kid.” – khoelzeman
That was Beary Close
“I was about 8, I didn’t want to sleep in the tent with my sister, so I slept on a cot under the stars. Woke up to a bear sniffing my head/ neck. I was basically paralyzed with fear; the bear left me and went to sniff around for snacks. It made enough noise to wake my parents, who then scared it away. I moved my cot into my sister’s tent immediately after.” -___okaythen___
The Woods Are Calling
“I was pretty young, went camping with my dad in Alabama. It’s late at night, the embers of the fire are dying down, and we’re about to go to sleep when we hear what I can only describe as a bone-chilling moan in the woods.
We looked at each other & decided it was trees rubbing together, but then it happened 2 more times. My dad grabbed the flashlight & I walked behind him with a big stick, determined I would save him if something went wrong.
Eventually, we discover a woman lying on the ground, not far from our campsite. She was on a hill, with her head facing down, feet uphill, continuing to moan.
Turns out she had so much to drink that she could hardly talk, but she was also camping out in these woods with her boyfriend. They had a big fight & he drove away, leaving her alone in the forest. She had seen our fire dying & wanted to give us the rest of her firewood before she left too, but had tripped & was too drunk to get up. We got her back to her campsite, & made sure she wasn’t driving anywhere that night.
I’ll never forget that moaning sound though.” – RangerLongTorpedo
Am I the wildlife?
“There was one where the person went camping to take pictures of wildlife and found pictures of themselves sleeping in their tent. That one freaked me out.” – sarcastic_monkies
“We used to have a pop-up tent trailer with a fiberglass roof, one very early morning, we were woken by what we thought was the devil and a band of demons screeching and clawing at the roof of the trailer – turns out it was a bunch of seagulls fighting over what I found out was a hot dog bun one of the kids tossed up there before we went to bed.
Between me yelling, my wife screaming, the kids crying, and the seagulls squawking, I’m pretty sure the whole campground was woken up before we figured out what was going on.” – Tanglrfoot
Howling at the moon
“Once in the wilderness, me and a couple of other guys, drunk as we were, started howling at the moon only to attract real wolves inadvertently. They showed up at our campsite about 1½ hours later when we were in our hammocks getting ready to sleep. No harm done. They sniffed around for a couple of minutes and then went off.
Guess they were disappointed in what they found and, luckily not desperately hungry. Anyway, I was very scared and tried to remain completely still and silent during this brief encounter.” -boredashellandangry
“I was camping once in the UP in Michigan, in a pretty secluded spot with distinct individual campsites. It was in the fall, so dead leaves were all over the ground. When we were settling into sleep, we started to hear these slow, consistent footsteps on the leaves. They’d walk around the campsite, circle our tent, just walk all around without any clear goal and without stopping.
Obviously, we assumed it was some kind of animal, but when we rushed out with a light there was nothing – I mean no sound, no trace of anything. Once we were back in the tent, these footsteps immediately started up again – and they didn’t come from far away, they started up right next to our tent.
We repeated this whole rigamarole probably 3 more times because of how distinct and close and creepy those footsteps were – and we never caught even a glimpse of what was walking around.
The next morning we were sitting by the fire and started hearing the steps again – only to look down and realize it was the sound of multiple small frogs hopping around the campsite.” – KingRoyIV