Hikers And Campers From Around The World Share Strange Things They Saw At Night

Hikers And Campers From Around The World Share Strange Things They Saw At Night

Going for a hike or walk at night really is refreshing. You can enjoy the crisp night air, see some stars, and savor a bit of peace and quiet. That's why so many people love to get out of the city and camp out in the wild. It's a great way to recharge your batteries.

Of course, sometimes you see freaky stuff when you're out there wandering around at night -- even when you're in your own neighborhood.

These late night walkers, hikers, and campers recently went online to share their strangest experiences after dark. Better bring a flashlight!

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21. The slasher

Not hiking so much as car camping, but some friends and I were way the frig out there in the middle of nowhere on BLM land in Colorado. We drove for an hour and a half down a forest service road and didn’t see another soul. You could see headlights and hear cars from miles away from our campsite - it’s not like somebody could have snuck up unnoticed.

We had 3 cars with us and 8 people. Just got done eating dinner, cleaned up, it was getting dark so we went back to the cars real quick before hitting our tents for the night. Somebody had slashed the front right tire on each of the 3 cars with what appeared to be a box cutter. Everyone thought it was a prank but it become very apparent very quickly that it wasn’t.

All of us were beyond spooked, like panicking, spooked to the bone. We all had spares, and one dude had a gun, so we threw on our donuts while that guy literally guarded us and we got the heck out of there.

I still have nightmares about it sometimes. Just knowing there was some person, probably watching us, maybe wanting to harm us, makes me feel physically ill to this day.

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20. They were up to no good, whoever they were

I go out for walks very late at night fairly often, so I've seen a few things. The creepiest though, happened about two months ago.

I left the house around 1:30am, and it started off as a normal walk. I wandered around the town till about 2:00am, when I decided to go home. I was walking back the route I had came when I noticed a black van meander down the street. Didn't really pay to much attention to it at first. I did pay attention though when I saw it slowly drive by me for a second time. I wasn't entirely sure it was the same van, so I just continued walking. But this time I kept an eye out.

And lo and behold, about ten minutes later, the same black van came down the street again. This time I knew for sure because it didn't have license plates. Now I was fairly scared, so I picked my pace up a little bit. When the van came around again this time, it stopped in the middle of the road a few houses in front of me. I stopped, turned around, and booked it back in the other direction.

I made a few turns onto different roads, and then ran right into someone's yard. I waited behind their fence, and the same van came down the street. I assume that when they couldn't find me, they finally decided to screw off. But I waited in that yard for about 20 minutes before I ran back to my house and practically threw myself through my bedroom window.

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19. Empathy is one thing, but this...

When I was younger and stupider and going to college in the north Georgia mountains, my friends and I would go night hiking a lot on the trails near campus. I got pretty familiar with the area, and being out in the wilderness at night in general, which probably made me too confident.

One night the full moon was out, and the weather was perfect, so visibility was crazy good. I was feeling adventurous, and I love doing fun stuff alone, so I decided to go enjoy a night hike by myself. I took a flashlight, but this was around 2002 so no cell phone. I chose a super easy trail that was mostly flat in pretty secluded area. It was actually a really beautiful experience at first.

At some point I started feeling uneasy, and maybe a millisecond later I heard a man's voice. It was coming from a good distance ahead of me, somewhere off in the woods, maybe from the right side of the trail. He was crying.

I'm honestly an empathetic person, and 99.9% of the time I hear someone crying I want to comfort them in some way, but this time I felt sick in the stomach, like a dry panic attack. I remember coming very close to calling out to him, because my brain was trying to tell me he might be hurt, which was the only reason I hesitated - but it was like my body shut my voice down before I could say anything, and I knew I had to stay very quiet. He was sobbing, but also gibbering, and almost-babbling. There was something mad about the noises he made.

I went back the way I came; thankfully, the sobbing just faded the further away I got from it.

I have never felt a shred of guilt about leaving that guy crying out in the woods in the dark. I'm convinced to this day I was in very real danger that night. Sometimes I still get that same sick feeling deep down, whenever I wonder what might have happened if the moon been less bright, or if I'd been more responsible, and I'd decided to use my flashlight even once. He'd have seen me for sure.


18. It pays to know your neighbors

Not on a trail but walking my dog late at night...

It was about 1:00 in the morning, my dog rang her bell and I grudgingly got up to take her outside. When she wants to pee in the middle of the night I don’t take her very far, just in our side yard. I took a flashlight with me in case she decided to poo so I could pick it up.

I’m standing there waiting for her to do her thing, she is doing the doggie walk in a circle thing. Then all of the sudden the dog gets spooked and whips around. Out of the corner of my eye I see this chick just standing there. I didn’t see her walk up, I didn’t hear her walk up, I just see her standing there super still. Based on her position, she had to have come from between my house and my neighbor's house. Which is odd, because behind our houses back up to a green belt.

It is probably 40 degrees outside and this lady, about 20, is in super short shorts and a t-shirt. I looked at her, told her she scared me, and she mumbled something like, “Nice night, what are you up to?” Standing there holding the leash with my dog, I said, “I’m walking my dog...” then she said, “cool, cool... do you know how to get into my house, I locked myself out.” Pointing to my neighbor's house...

Now, this wasn’t my neighbor, who is a single 30-year-old female. So I asked her, “That house?” She nodded. I said, “You don’t live there... I know who lives there.” She just scoffed and wandered her way into my back yard.

I followed and she took off running, scaled my fence -- a very formidable deer fence -- and ran away into the green belt.

I looked around my house, neighbors house for other people, shone my light in the green belt... and found nothing.

To this day, I have no idea how she wound up back there, what she was doing, what she intended to do... but she scared the ever living crap out of me.

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17. Children of the forest

It was in the summer around dusk and I was camping at a remote campground with my dad. There was a lake right next to the grounds and my dad and I would trail blaze through the forest right next to the lake because if you went far enough there was a really pretty waterfall.

A few strange things happened on this hike. We found a trash pile that had a little kids shoe on top. When we came to a small clearing, my dad had to take a leak so he faced one side of the clearing and I faced the other and we both clearly heard a child say, "I'm over here." My dad thought it was me, and when he realized it wasn't, we spent half an hour looking for someone, but we found nobody. After that, we gave up on going to the waterfall and started to make our way back to camp, but there were clear sounds of something following us (twigs snapping, bushes shaking).

We haven't been camping there since.

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16. Bad man well-dressed

One night my friends and I decided to hike to the top of this small mountain at night for a meteor shower. There were 4 of us, all around 16 at the time, and thought it would be cool.

We drove over and started hiking. We took a break about half way when we noticed there was a guy following us... in a business suit? We were weirded out so we decided to start back up and walk a bit faster. But by the next time we stopped he was like 10 feet away so we bit the bullet to see if he’d just walk by. He didn’t. He stopped and asked if we were there for the meteor shower and if he could walk with us.

Weird that a 30-year-old man in a suit wanted to hike with four 16-year-olds but whatever. As we were walking my friend and I notice he was walking really close to our friend (the only girl in the group) -- like he could smell her shampoo close. We got to the top, sat down, and he sat down almost on top of our friend. With her reasonably freaked out I made an excuse about why we have to leave early and we promptly booked it out of there.

Nearly running the entire way down. When we got back to the car we thought “cool we ditched the weirdo”. But no. When we were all in the car, my friend pointed out that this guy is FULL ON SPRINTING down the trail towards our car with a large stick. Being in a car we just drove out of there very shaken up.

Two days later, we all got a text linking us to a news report about a guy who had strangled his wife and then proceeded to attack another girl later that night on a hiking trail. It was him. We never went back there ever again.

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15. The big bucks

When my now wife and I first started dating, we would take long walks through our very small town after I got off work at 11pm. We would wander through the cemetery, down little country roads, everywhere. But our favorite area was a large field where the stars were incredible.

One night we were watching a small meteor shower and heard all kinds of loud grunting and ruckus coming from a tree line. We had nowhere to go and we're starting to get concerned. A large, angry buck came out stared at us, and then quietly walked away. I don't think we breathed for several minutes. I was convinced he was coming at us and there was no way to outrun him. We didn't go back there for a few days.

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14. A chilling memory

When I was very little, like five or six, my dad used to take me on all sorts of adventures through nature. On this particular occasion, he had decided we were going to go hiking way up into the cliffs.

He wanted to get to one of the highest bluffs so we could have an amazing 360 degree view of the gorgeous meadows and some sparkling sea, but after we reached the top plains, where it's all short, windwhipped grass and you can see for miles, he suddenly turned very still and very quiet.

When you're small, seeing your dad look frightened is scarier than anything your own mind can come up with. So I was pulling on his arm and going, "What? What?" He snapped out of his stupor, lifted me on his shoulders and just started striding away without a word.

Over his shoulder, I could see a big, pale yellow object stuck into the ground like an obelisk. I know now that it was a refrigerator.

When I was older and I asked my dad about it, he stiffened up and told me that when he was a boy in the 50s, he and his little friends had found an old  fridge in the woods. Being little boys, they opened it. Inside, they had found a body.

So when he explained, I assumed it was the trauma and I said something like, "Oh dad, that's awful - so when you saw the fridge up there, it brought up old memories?" He looked at me earnestly with his big blue eyes.

"No, Amy," he said in a very low tone. "It was because it was the same fridge."

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13. Ghost campers

I go hiking in the woods that surround my town, sometimes so late that I get to see the sun rise out there.

The strangest thing I ever saw was what I could only describe as a shanty town was built up seemingly overnight deep into the woods. Simple little hovels made of scrap metal and bed sheets and a small fire pit that someone had made out of an old tire, with the fire still burning. But that wasn't the weird part.

The weird part was that this was well past midnight when I found this place and it was quiet as a grave. There was no one there. Someone went to the trouble of getting a fire going and then left it. From the look of it, this place could hold about a dozen or so people and yet there was nothing there but the fire they abandoned and whatever possessions they had left in the shanties.

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11. Gives you paws

Usually, it's what I hear. Large (fallen) branches snapping just out of sight of my head lamp. Or waking up an hour later and hearing steps and leaves rustling, but too exhausted and fearful to inspect or want to know (probably nothing important anyway).

One time I returned to my car after a late night hike with friends and my SUV was covered in... foot/hand/paw prints. They were just sooo large and even dragged a little in the dust. It was on/near a large military base in the mountains. I think some local enlisted may have made them to scare us. But it was just so well done. Pretty scary for all of us because it's what you'd imagine the Blair witch would do. No animal did it, that's for sure.

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10. Scary when you're with kids

Was working at a summer camp for kids and we went on an overnight outing. Had a cougar circle our camp from around 11pm to roughly 5am. It was crying out, hoping one of us would separate from the group. I stayed up all night with bear spray and a hatchet keeping an eye on it with the other staff.

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9. He's lucky he didn't get peed on

I used to often spend my summers bouldering with my friends by a relatively large forest that was about an hour and a half away from where I used to live. We used to spend some of the nights camping out there just to save some travel costs and time.

Anyway, I think this was roughly the third or forth time we were out there camping. My friend had left all her climbing gear and her rucksack just outside her tent or we definitely think she did anyway. The next morning we found her boots, a few clothes and all her chalk powder had disappeared.

We figured that it could have been completely feasible that she misplaced it, although we were quite sure that they were next to her tent we didn't really want to believe that they were stolen. Anyway, we didn't read too much into this and just stupidly said to ourselves that perhaps she had left it by the boulders and some animal took an interest to it... I know it sounds stupid but it was very reasonable to us at the time

Anyway fast forward a year, we're at the same spot as usual, sitting by the tents and chilling after having some food. Mind you it's pitch black out, and only the camp area is lit by the fire. I go somewhere a bit out of sight for a pee and what do I see? A dude in a full on camo suit laying on his stomach looking right towards our camp site. I kinda stood there frozen as this dude clocks that I've seen him and he just bolts out of there.

I don't know whether the event to the year prior was related to the camo guy but this definitely has stuck with all of us; we haven't been back there since which is a shame.

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8. Something is getting closer...

Years ago, before we got married, my wife and I went to a local state park, with a picnic and a hammock. We set the hammock up in the woods, enjoyed our picnic, then feel asleep together in the hammock.

I was abruptly awakened by my wife. She motioned for me to be quiet. The sun had set; there was still a hint of light in the sky, but we couldn't see anything meaningful in the woods.

My wife beckoned me to listen. Complete silence. Then, the snap of a branch, in the distance. More silence. We were both suddenly very on edge. We whispered to one another, trying to figure out if someone was sneaking up on us. The silence was broken again: another branch, same direction but closer. Then, from another direction a momentary crunch of leaves.

Now, we were terrified. We both had pocketknives on us, small but better than nothing. We also had a flashlight. We drew our knives and deliberated whether whatever was out there knew our location. We decided to keep the light off, lest we give away our exact location. Maybe we could run for the car?

More steps, in rapid succession, coming directly toward us, then silence again. My wife had enough: "We know you are out there!" she yelled.

Silence for an eternity, and then another crunch of leaves. We had enough. We prepared ourselves as best we could for a fight, then shined the flashlight into the darkness, toward the last noise we had heard.

Three deer scampered away, into the darkness.

We sheepishly gathered our things and left without incident.

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7. "He's doing a good job tonight"

Back in our old place, one night my girlfriend and I were walking our dogs around the neighborhood; she's a lot smaller, so I was walking two of the dogs and she was walking one, who was a former service dog. He was a real gentle dog, albeit a bit older. Other than snatching the ball away from the others during fetch, he'd never shown a bit of aggression.

I walk a bit ahead of my girlfriend because of the two dogs pulling pretty hard on me, but not too far, maybe ten or fifteen feet ahead, but around a corner.

As I found out later, she'd slowed down in part because she'd noticed someone nearby acting strangely, scoping out a house I think; when he spotted her, he said hi and she responded in kind, asked how he was. Before he could answer, the dog she was walking started to growl and she apologized, commenting that he was a guard dog. The guy looked at her and said, "Well, he's doing a good job tonight." She was pretty spooked and hurried to catch up to me; we were more careful on night time walks from then on.


6. Waiting for you

I drove to a park to go hiking at night in the mountains (so safe I know). I hadn't even turned off my car and I already felt like I was being watched. There weren't any cars around so I thought maybe it was just me being paranoid for some reason. But for some reason I looked to my right and I see this weird looking humanoid shape on top of the little bump hill about 50 feet away. At first I though it was a weirdly shaped tree until I saw the arms move (no wind at all). So now I know there's a person staring at my car trying not to move, for what I assume is for me to get out of my car and leave to a more secluded area as we were next to the road.

Of course I left, I don't go hiking at night in that particular park anymore.


5. Good thing he wore white

It was around midnight in a clearing for picnics in a large park that lots of people hike through, pitch black, no one around. I was with my boyfriend at the time. We got pretty frisky at one of the picnic tables, and I’m facing a river which is sort of illuminated from the moonlight, while he’s facing the solid black tree line. We’re trying to have a good time and he becomes completely still and in a low voice says, "There’s a man coming toward us." I turn my head, see only a white T-shirt approaching us at a brisk walking pace from the trees, and that’s all I needed to see. I ran, knowing my boyfriend would catch up. He did. I was never down for midnight forest stuff again.



4. That's why you don't play scary games in the dark

I had a group of friends who used to get together and play manhunt in a local park at night. (Just a different way of saying a big game of hide and seek tag where 3 people start off "it" and everyone else goes and hides in the park. As they find and tag people, they become "it" as well until eventually there are only 1 - 3 people left then we start again, and play into early morning.)

Well, one night I was it with my friend and his younger brother. We were heading to the middle of the park, to a hotspot for hiding places. There is a long stairwell that leads up a huge hill to a pavillion and field. We were slowly walking down those stairs, maybe half way down when we notice two folks way below us. Thinking it was one of our friends, we tell out: "HEY, WHO'S THAT?"

Instead of the normal reaction, which is to call out your name then sprint away trying to avoid getting tagged, a strange voice responds "Who ARE YOU?" We at first started sprinting down at them, like we normally would. But then we realized they too, were sprinting at us.

We don't even hesitate, we turn around and run up the stairs as fast as we can, adrenaline kicking it, hairs sticking up on the back of my necks. We make it up on top of the hill and pause, when I look back and they are RIGHT behind us, not more than ten feet away. We lose our minds and start sprinting as fast as possible to the trail that wraps around the entire park and leads to a road where one of our friends lives and that we use as a meet up spot between games.

It's a two mile run back from where we are so we book it, sprinting as if our lives depended on it. Occasionally looking back and seeing the two people following behind. As we get nearer our energy is spent but we push on and make it to the street, looking back and there is no sign of the two strangers.

All of our group is back at the house, lounging on the driveway, having decided to prank us that night, and while we were off in the park searching for them, they would meet back at the house until we gave up. We shared our story with them and some laughed in disbelief, others wanted to search the park for those two randoms, but we never discovered who they were. All I know is that they were incredibly fast, and for whatever reason determined to run us down.


3. Groans in the dark

I was walking home after work one night, many years ago.

I normally got off around 7pm and my walks home were uneventful. However this night I covered a half shift for someone and worked until 11pm. There was a trail behind some train tracks I would take home to avoid walking beside traffic and whatnot.

I came to realize that night those trails were a lot different at 11pm than they were at 7pm. I happened across a guy who was laying by his bike moaning in pain. It didn't sound like real moaning, more like a kid's fake "I have a tummy ache and can't go to school" moan.

I also noticed his bike was standing up on its kickstand. It didn't make sense to me he would set his bike up properly only to fall to the ground in pain. He saw me and called out to me for help but I kept walking and turned to make my way back up towards the street.

As I turn, I suddenly hear some shuffling around and the previously "hurt" gentleman yells at me: "I'm gonna kill you, scumbag!"

He hops on his bike and starts rushing towards me. At this point, I'm most of the way up the incline going towards the railroad tracks that ran parallel to the street. I haul myself up there and as I get over the tracks, my would-be assailant proceeds to hit the tracks with his front tire and flips over his handlebars, hitting the ground hard.

He is now moaning in pain for real and makes genuine calls for help. I used a pay phone at a gas station to call the cops and explain what happened. They get there and the officer explains to me this guy's a village idiot who does this to rob people, and it's not the first time they had to pick him up after he biffed on a bike trying to rob someone.

I told the officer he threatened to kill me and he laughed. Dude wasn't even armed, and apparently has gotten himself beaten up more times than he can count using that little line of his.

Still, it was terrifying from my perspective.

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2. Tarzan

I was walking around my neighborhood alone one night, enjoying the crisp air and watching the stars. There was this little pond near my house, with a wooded area that had trees, a bench and a rope swing that went out over the water.

I sat down on the bench to look at the stars and I heard some rustling off to my right, towards the trees. Bears were not uncommon where I'm from, so I took out my flashlight and shone it around over there. I didn't see anything. It freaked me out, so I kept my flashlight on and my senses aware, but I stayed on the bench to mull over my thoughts and watch the sky some more.

A few minutes pass and I hear nothing more, so I lean back into the bench and start to relax a bit. I'm staring up at the sky, when I notice something in the tree in my peripheral vision. I immediately sat up and stared at this shape in the shadows. My heart was beating so fast and I could taste blood. It slowly stopped moving, but the shape was still there. Bears do climb trees sometimes, so I was hesitant to run away in case that's what it was.

After a while I mustered up the little courage to shine my light at the tree. That's when I realized it was a man. A man. In the tree. Crouched like some silent, naked monkey. he had no expression on his face but his eyes were open really, really wide. When my light landed on him he started to move like he was going to come down, but I didn't stick around to see if he did. I jumped the bench and ran for the hills.

I ran to my house and around to the back door and locked myself in without looking back once. I went around and made sure every window and door was locked, I even checked the attic.

I never go out alone anymore.

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1. The tall boys

A few friends and I went on an overnight hike in the Rockies behind our little town a few years back when I was in HS. Our camping site was pretty far up there and it was getting dark. The spot we were at was nestled in a grove of trees secluded from the wind and elements so we decided to stop there for the night. The four of us built a little fire and ate dinner then just talked for a few hours.

Then all of the sudden my friend leaps forward and douses the fire with our emergency water, plunging us into complete darkness. Needless to say the rest of us were pretty angry, as there was no reason for him to do this. He quickly shushes us and we realize he is absolutely TERRIFIED. Like so scared he couldn’t even speak or move. The rest of us manage to get a few words out of him and he tells us to look up on the ridge.

There was a fire up there, a big one, like a bonfire. Around the fire were several figures moving in a slow circle. They were humanoid but something just seemed different about them that I can’t really explain. These figures just moved around the fire in a really slow circle over and over again. There was one standing off to the side, leaning with his arm on a tree branch above his head. It really creeped us out but we were able to sleep it off. We figured it was a scout troop having a camp or something.

Morning came and we finished off our hike to the peak. On our way down we passed the place we saw the figures and decided to check out the camp. It was completely deserted. It was obvious that there had been a fire and there were foot prints everywhere. Inside the fire pit was a small mound of charred animal bones (probably chipmunk) and a pile of four or five rodent skulls that had been burned. Creepy right?

Then we look over at where the one figure was standing. Blood. Not a lot but enough to be of concern or anything but enough to be creepy. Then we see the tree branch he was casually leaning against. It was well over any of our heads and I’m over 6 foot. That would mean that in order for the figure to lean against it like he was, he would need to be at least 7 feet tall.

Needless to say, we got off that mountain very fast and I have never been up there again.

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