Reading scary hiking stories is fun, unless you’re the one sharing your own experience. Have you ever been walking in the wilderness and encountered something truly terrifying? Have you ever been camping and heard a strange noise coming from outside the safety of your flimsy tent? What about coming in contact with a wounded stranger who appears to be dead? You aren’t alone, in fact these ten hikers have shared their scary hiking stories for your entertainment. To read even more scary stories from the great outdoors, check out this Reddit thread.
1. The Cave
A man took his young children to a cave not far from his house. It was usually a popular spot, however they had the place to themselves this time around. You can walk through the cave in about 30 minutes without much difficulty, however it was muddy that day so they decided to turn back around and head to the entrance. Halfway back, there was a lit candle about eight feet up one side. The candle wasn’t there when they started the trip. The family never saw anyone on their way out, yet knew someone was lurking nearby.
2. Abandoned Trailer Town Discovery
A man, who was an experienced backpacker, and his brother came across an abandoned trailer two out in northern New Mexico that seemed to have one person living in it. They deduced this based on the fact there was still some food and supplies that were fairly fresh. The brothers spent a few days there trying to find the person, curious why they were staying in the rundown, small town. They never found a person but they did find the skeletal remains of an unknown number of deer ensnared in a barbed-wire fence. A few of the skulls topped the fence posts, and there was one post int he middle of this area that had decaying deer bodies.
They also came across a dummy hanging from a tree while in the Yukon territory of Canada. But that wasn’t the worst thing they’d find. Next they came across a dead man on a road out of Olympia. His eyes were glazed over, staring straight ahead, mouth slightly ajar, a needle in his hand, and his arm tied.
3. The Waterfall
Three friends were hiking a popular spot near their home — a 150-foot waterfall that takes about 45 minutes of uphill hiking to get to. They never expected to find a 22-year-old girl face down in the mud, both legs broken with compound fractures, and her male friend dead next to her.
After deciding to go bouldering around the bottom of the waterfall, the friends came across the two bodies. When they found the girl still breathing, they called 911 and gave her any supplies they had available until a helicopter showed up and flew the girl to a local hospital.
The three friends found out the girl and her friend had hiked the night before and both fell off the waterfall. Her friend tried to go for help, but unfortunately died less than 100 yards from where they found the injured girl. The girl lived, even though she was found 20 hours after the fall.
4. Yellowstone Skull
While backpacking in Yellowstone above a tree line at about 10,500, two friends came across a horse skull. There wasn’t a body just a skull — and a pretty cool looking skull at that. When they returned to their campsite they found the body of the horse rotting on the edge of the lake with negative film strips floating in the water and laying around the shore near the body.
5. The Altars
Bushwalking in NSW (Australia) two friends came across a weird platform made out of rocks. Later that year the police arrested a man on suspicion of the murders of a series of backpackers who had gone missing over the course of a few years, and at the sites of several of the murders slightly off in the bush were these platforms, also known as “altars”. The “altars” were typically no more than 300 yards from the victims’ shallow graves. The man was arrested and subsequently convicted for the murders and became known as Australia’s worst serial killer. The platform the two friends came across was one of his altars.
6. Snakes in the Park
There once was a man who lived in a national park alone for three months. Several times when he would go back to his trailer after a long day, he would hear music. It was always loud and always sounded to be coming somewhere above his head. One day when looking for the source of the commotion he followed the dirt road past the trailer. With his eyes on the trees he looked down just in time to avoid stepping on a snake. Only the snake was dead, and there were half a dozen dead copperheads stretched out in the road, looking in the same direction.
When he went back to his car the music had stopped. He never heard it again. But he did hear from a friend there was a haunted prison in the same park, the Pea Farm.
7. The Cage
There was a cage. Not a trapping cage but a cage that could easily hold 5-10 average-sized people.
While hiking in the mountains just above the house a man lived in, in Missoula, Mt., this cage was found. It took about 45 minutes of uphill climbing and without a path to get to the spot. Round steel bars surrounded the edges of the cage and rope instead of a chain ink held up the walls and ceiling. It was all set up just on the far side of the ridgeline, maybe set up to not be seen.
There were no footprints, no tire tracks, there was nothing around it. There was no indication of what it was used for but one thing was for certain — it was beyond scary.
8. Mountain Creatures
Hiking in the Hoh Rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington is one beautiful hike, until something goes wrong. On a backpacking trip, the second day quickly turned from fun to frightful for one man. Day 2, fog appeared as thick as anything you can imagine. He was pretty much blind, knowing to follow the Hoh river upstream to get to one of the campsites he was looking for. As the day dragged on, the fog didn’t clear but he found a fairly big clearing to pitch his tent.
As he lay in his tent, he slept through the darkest black night he’d ever experienced. At 2 in the morning, he starting hearing a huffing noise. Reaching for a flashlight and pulling the drawstrings on the tent a bit, he poked his head out. Too dark to see anything. Then he heard the noise coming 5 feet to the right.
Poking his flashlight out and turning it on, he finds he is feet away from a massive Roosevelt Elk, who’d lost his way in the dark as well. He was equally as scared, darting the other direction, tagging a tree and knocking himself out. The man patiently waited for the elk to grunt away.
9. Geocache Gone Wrong
He was embarking on a simple geocache hike deep in the New Mexico wilderness when a man saw a series of half-built/crumbling concrete structures in the distance. Rebar poked out of the concrete, and a dirt road approached from the opposite direction of the hike. Footprints and some recent trash indicated people had been there recently. He was hiking alone, and decided to cut the hike short and turn back around.
He later found out the site was used as a paintball tournament ground and designed on an urban welfare theme. There was no evidence of spent balls or paint on the concrete walls, which explains the confusion and eeriness of finding a post-apocalyptic setting in the middle of nowhere.
10. The Shoe
His friend found a shoe — so large he kept it as a trophy. He later ran into a park ranger hiking on the trail he found the shoe on, mentioning to the ranger that he found a big boot. He was escorted off the mountain and given a courtesy ride to the Ranger station for a formal report regarding finding the large boot. There he was held until his identity was verified. Then he was released, without a word of why he was detained.
When returning to his truck, they decided to inspect his vehicle that had been sitting for a week for “fish and game violations”. Suddenly he became a “person of interest” and face polite grilling from the FBI over the next several months regarding a missing park ranger. He was suspected of foul play.
The huge boot had belonged to a back country park ranger who had been missing. At first it seemed to be foul play, then two year slater during a drought period the water was low enough to reveal the truth. The park ranger’s body was found beneath branches and debris in a large stream. During the time he went missing the stream was raging and uncrossable.