10 of the strangest things people have seen or experienced in the wilderness

spooky forestPhoto credit: Mike Powell, flickr

 

I realise I’m a bit late to the party here, but I planned to post this weeks ago. Sorry!

Did you hear about the hiker in Toowoomba who took a photo of a ghost? He was hiking near a well-known suicide spot when he says he felt like he was being watched, and a feeling of dread washed over him. When he went back through his photos from the hike, he found this:

 

ghostt

 

I’m normally pretty sceptical about these things, but you’ve got to admit that is one creepy lumberjack.

Anyways, that article reminded me of a Reddit thread about creepy wilderness stories that I’d come across a few months earlier, so I thought I’d share the best of those with you.

 

via /u/TheFlannelGuy:

I’m doing some subcontracting work marking borders for the state of Massachusetts, meaning I walk around all day blazing and painting trees. I was working today in a wildlife management area which has one road going through it, and as I crossed it, I encountered a hiker.

Now this guy seemed pretty normal, but from his perspective, a 6 foot tall 180 lb man just came crashing out of the woods wearing no shirt, covered in paint, holding an axe. He commented that my axe was “a serious piece of equipment”, and without thinking, I responded “yeah gotta watch out or it can cut you real easy”. He looked completely terrified, muttered a goodbye, and took at brisk walk while checking back over his shoulder every few seconds.

 

via /u/GenesisProTechh:

There was a group of teens that hadn’t been heard from after their scheduled return time from a camping trip. A good friend and I know the area very well so one of the search and rescue guys we’re friends with called us in to assist in the search. Him and I head out in the general direction the teens had set off in. We’d been hiking for most of the day and seen nothing. We’re about ~35km into the woods at this point when we start noticing odd things. Sticks carved like spears stuck into the ground, weird carvings in the trees, a child’s stuffed animal hanging from a noose up in a tree. This place was nowhere near any roads, it wasn’t on the regular trails people would go on in the area. The really eerie thing was that everything was freshly carved. Somebody had been there within a couple of hours of us and made these things. Mind you we’re still looking for these teens.

We kept on hiking and eventually made camp for the night still kind of on edge from what we had seen earlier, but we settle down anyway and go to sleep. We get up with the sunrise hoping to cover more ground before it gets too hot. We pack up the gear and get ready to go when I noticed a bit of shirt that had caught on a small tree and ripped along with some shoe prints, we were thinking great maybe we’re close by to the teens when a radio call comes through. The teens had just been found 20km east of us they’re calling everybody back. All those weird things we had seen from the day before came flooding back into my mind, we wasted no time hiking out of those woods.

 

via /u/Luisg92:

My grandfather used to be the equivalent of a ranger down in Mexico. He was in charge of patrolling the farms and lands mainly due to people growing marijuana. One day he said he was patrolling this ranch late at night shift, and he heard a baby crying. Now the land is pretty flat, so he looked all ways and saw nothing, maybe some goats out in the far (they sound like crying babies). As he is walking his route he hears the same sound, looks up in a sky and he swears he saw a witch, with black clothing and everything flying towards a mountain. He panicked, ran to his car and drove off as fast as he could. Personally I don’t believe him and my family thought he was high.

Someone actually commented on this one to say it’s not an uncommon thing. They left a link to this video…

 

via /u/SenorPuffyPants:

I work in the outdoor field and lead trips regularly. I once led a trip to the top of Mt. Sterling in NC. It’s a tough climb to get to the top and about 6 miles from the nearest road. I was leading a group of 8 middle school kids and had one co-instructor. We were camping out on top of the mountain and it was a beautiful night with a full moon. The kids and the other co-instructor went to bed in their tents. I chose to spend the night in a hammock that night. I was really into a book I was reading so I stayed up and read until about 10:30 pm. I turned my headlamp off to settle in for the night. Everything around me was rather bright from the moon and from the position I was in, I could see down the trail we had hiked to get to the top. I laid there enjoying the scenery and noticed something moving on the trail. Bears are common in the area so I perked up. As it got closer, I could tell it was a person. We were in the middle of nowhere and there was someone hiking up the trail with no headlamp or any gear. I was just frozen watching this person move closer to our camp. They arrived at the top of the mountain where we were and just stopped. I watched as what appeared to be a man surveyed our camp. I really could only see the outline of him. He stood there for what seemed like thirty minutes but may have been 10. He then turned, sat down under a tree facing our camp. He was sitting up in a way that I knew he wasn’t trying to sleep. He just sat there staring at our camp. I had no idea what to do. I decided to wait it out. I waited, just staring at the man while he stared at my camp. This went on until about 3:30 am. Then, he stood up, took a moment to survey my camp a few minutes longer and then went back down the trail he came upon. I, to this day have no idea what that was all about, but it freaked me out. I was paranoid that we were being followed for the rest of the trip.

 

via /u/SYNTHLORD:

I was working with endangered shorebirds one summer and living on a remote island off of Cape Cod. One 12 hour day of monitoring, I plopped down in some sand to take a nap and noticed a bottle laying next to my head. It was fogged up and weathered from the sea. I usually don’t think much of bottles because they’re everywhere on the island, but I decided to open it thinking there might be something inside of it. Earlier that summer I found a message in a bottle from a team of people researching local currents, asking me to email them the coordinates I found it at.
Sure enough, this one had a message in it.

I pulled out a wet, folded piece of paper from the bottle and carefully unfolded it. It immediately began to tear apart in the wind, but I kept it pieced together just well enough to read it. It was from a woman named Mama Lu. She addressed it to the universe, asking to become cancer free, and hoping for a sign of remission during her doctors appointment that was scheduled 2 days after she wrote the letter. It was one of the saddest and most beautiful things I’ve ever read. A letter to the universe, and a glimpse into the soul of a person who is desperate to grasp on to life as she knows it, sitting in my unlikely hands.

Message in a bottle

 

via /u/Tingeoftheging:

I’m a field biologist, and my job takes me to some fairly remote places. I have two favorite stories. The first was the time I was surveying a remote restoration site near an old trail and I heard someone walking up a nearby path. All the hair on the back of my neck stood on end, so I grabbed all my stuff and started casually walking down the trail like I belonged there. I turned the corner and there was a shirtless guy swinging a crowbar around in circles, and when he saw me he started yelling, “I’VE GOT A CROWBAR! I’VE GOT A CROWBAR!” I think I nodded at him, squeaked something like, “nice crowbar,” and then ran the mile or so back to my truck. And that’s the reason why I carry mace and a big knife now.

 

via /u/Skierboy07:

Wildland firefighter with the forest service. Not my story but from an old supervisor of mine that I believe completely.

The setting is 2004 or so, hells canyon area of middle Idaho. his crew had been working all day on an emerging incident and were going to be working through the night as well. Being the assistant superintendent of the crew (second in charge, effectively), he was out ahead scouting on an ATV or some such. He was working his way down a logging road that clearly had not been used in some time when a bobcat or lynx (it’s been a few years since I heard it) appears in the middle of the road, but doesn’t run away as they usually would. The thing stands there for a good 10 seconds, screams at him, and scampers up a tree not 5 feet off the road.

He finds this odd but not particularly unsettling. Just a half mile or so down the road, he finds a small cabin. Also odd, as this is federal land and no private structures should be there. Upon investigation, all the windows had been boarded shut tight and someone had done a good job of doing so. The door knob had been punched out and secured to a hole drilled into the log frame by a chain. Someone did not want anything getting in (or out). Peering through the hole in the door he can see that everything in the house is upset.

This has him kind of unsettled, so he hops on his ATV and heads back up the road. Well, here’s where it gets real interesting. Right where the bobcat had been, there stands a native American woman, in a badly tattered nightgown and bare feet. Just standing there. He yells at her, asking if she needs help. she just screamed at him, the same scream as the cat from before, and climbs right up the tree, faster than any human has a right to be climbing.

Obviously, he nopes out of there as fast as he can. Unsure of who or what he just saw, he asks a local guy about the cabin. After asking around a little, a local Native American hears them talking and informs them that they saw a pumawha (excuse the likely butchered spelling.) In effect, a skin-changer, a warg.

Now, I would not believe most people that tried to tell me that. But this was a serious man that did not fuck around about many things. He was dead serious the 2 times I’ve heard him tell it, and I 100% believe he saw what he saw.

 

via /u/Niskanen204:

I was mapping one summer (ex-geologist) on the tundra in northern Quebec (Nunavik) approximately 150-200 km from the nearest town. I mean, the middle of nowhere – no one was there. No cabins, no ATV routes, nothing.

We were walking along when my field partner flipped a rock with his foot (just a random rock of millions – tons of glacial float up there) when a piece of paper flies up from underneath it caught by the breeze. He turns to me and we both go, what the fuck? because there should be NO paper just randomly there.

I track down the paper and find that it’s folded. I open it up and see that it’s a note with the words, “Je t’aime” on it with a drawn heart. Upon seeing this, I literally got chills up and down my spine, because the improbability of it floating all that way, being undamaged by the rain or the myriad of lakes, and then us finding it… I am not a religious or superstitious man, but it felt like the universe or some higher power just reached out and poked me in the chest.

 

via /u/Didyouaheraboutit:

Former park service here. Being way the fuck out in Alaska waiting for a float plane to pick me and my partner up after a week of slogging through the tundra. And waiting. And waiting. And running out of food. And eating berries. And then when the plane landed, 3 days late, hearing that some asshats had blown up a tower in new york.

 

I don’t have any stories that come close to rivalling these. Do you? Please let us know by commenting below.

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6 Responses to “10 of the strangest things people have seen or experienced in the wilderness”

  1. Kieran Marshall
    July 13, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    I was on a 3 day hike 50 km in yanchep Western Australia with four other people and on the last night of our trip we were just getting ready for bed and we heard a blood curdling scream from a female she screamed 3 times and them stoped this area is right in the middle of the bush there was a few police helicopters with spotlights out regardless I called the police and got out of their as fast as we could at 11:00 at night and the night time temperature was 0.7 lowest in four years we had to walk through thick bush off of the track to get to them it was officially the worst camping trip of my life. Also the area has a history of body dumps and missing people which I found out earlier which makes me worry abit.

  2. Michelle
    March 21, 2016 at 12:29 am #

    On a road trip up north in QLD with 2 mates we were the only ones camping near the town of 1770 one night. Not really true wilderness, but the bush anyway. At about 3am my friend woke up to the sound of dozens of people walking past our tent, murmuring, and he felt something sitting on his chest, crushing it. He tried to talk to wake us up but we kept sleeping, but we were all a bit freaked the next morning when he told us about it. Something similar happened when we were in Emerald – he said he had a history of that kind of thing in his family. …Glad it’s not in MINE!

    • Neil Fahey
      March 21, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

      Spooky! The murmuring people makes the hair on my neck stand up! Thanks for the story, Michelle. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Cheers
      Neil

  3. Gemma
    September 24, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

    I’m not sure I want to do any more solo hikes after reading this, pretty strange and scary stories!

    • Neil Fahey
      September 24, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

      Hey Gemma,

      I know right! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been solo hiking for a long time and never seen very much out of the ordinary, though. We’re probably perfectly fine. Thanks for commenting, by the way. It was great to discover your blog!

      Cheers
      Neil

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